Melbourne based noisy experimental shoegaze outfit 'Bloodhounds On My Trail' have announced a brand new single entitled 'Over The Wall', via the reclusive 'Moon Sounds Records'. 'Over The Wall' is lifted from the bands forthcoming brand new EP, penned in for release on September 16th, and it follows on from 2015's mind-blowing debut release 'Escape II'. The band are made up of Johnny Green (guitar, vocals), Chris Donaldson (guitar), Nik Donaldson (drums) and Ché Walden (bass) & collectively they have a cunning knack of connecting the sonic dots, bringing together a mix of music genres blending hazy melodious shoegaze with driving post punk, atmospheric post rock and growling noise rock thus lighting the proverbial touch paper on a stunning array of mesmerising sound waves. 'Over The Wall' is available to buy/download right now from: bloodhoundsonmytrail.bandcamp.com
Over The Wall by Bloodhounds On My Trail
'Over The Wall' swirls into earshot on a maelstrom of growling fuzzy frequencies before unfolding into a deliciously melodious slice of post punk infused shoegaze. Its driving baseline is captivating as it hugs the steading percussive attack, infectiously twisting around the utterly addictive vocal line, allowing the soaring hazy guitar squall to wash luscious reverberation across the entire musical piece. You can't get a better recommendation than that.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: New Pope
RELEASE: Youth LP
RELEASE DATE: 09/12/15
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Contemplative, reflective, gentle, forgiving, lush, ambient, folky, dreampoppy, insert adjective here! Whatever this is, it's good......... really good. Echoing the voices of its predecessors: Bert Jansch, Neutral Milk Hotel and even a spot of Arlo Guthrie, New pope is a band I have experience with, having seen them live at a time when there was a stripped down lineup of classical guitar and accordian in terms of instrumentation. They've upped their game and added an aul setta drums, a wee bass geetar and a nice swirling, echoing electric guitar (which is one half of the reason why this album is justifyibly on a shoegaze website, the other being the spacious vocals). New Pope is the moniker of David Boland, a Galway based songwriter dealing in melodic dream pop and sometimes folk. Live, he is joined by Colm Bohan on drums and Stephen Connolly on organ and guitar. This album is a friend to your ears. Lyrically pensive, restrained and thoughtful; anthropomorphically speaking, this album sounds like a mothers love!
Im not going to go describing this thing track for track because it is on the internet for you to listen to for yourself. I am however going to highlight the tracks that might get you hooked faster than if I didn't, like a crack dealer givin you the crack with the most cocaine in it, because the most sing alongable tracks will hit you first.
'Onwards Westwards' is a doozie, a great-tastic opener for any album. Even limp bizkit could open an album with this track:
YOUTH LP by New PopeThis is absolutely the sing alongable-ist track on the album by a long un:
YOUTH LP by New PopeThis next one here is a spicy boy as well:
YOUTH LP by New PopeJuly 2016 saw the release of LOVE EP, the precursor to New Pope's second album LOVE due out in October. So get yer palms nice n sweaty for this one!
The 'Youth LP' is available to buy/download right now from: newpope.bandcamp.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert Mulhern is the vocalist, guitarist, producer & engineer in Irish based heavy experimental psych-gazers 'Tuath'. Hailing from Donegal in the North of the Republic, Robert’s musical influences span numerous genres and are far reaching. 'Tuath' are quietly establishing themselves as forerunners in Ireland’s experimental shoegaze & psych-rock scene.
ARTIST: Lazy Legs
RELEASE DATE: 15/07/16
RECORD COMPANY: Wild Patterns Records
Noisy, fuzzy electric shoegaze is brilliant when it’s pulled off properly, so here’s a band that skips the non-brilliant and stays brilliant. Make sense? Maybe? Anyway, Lazy Legs, a fine trio of musicians, have exerted all their musical knowledge and song writing skills on their latest full length LP to bring you some brilliant noisy, fuzzy electric shoegaze; it’s called VISIONDEATH and its central sounds are built around the dirty, the dreamy and the intelligent.
VISIONDEATH by Lazy Legs
The LP begins with the distortion heavy intro track, ‘Rapid Eyes’ a nice, melding intro of all sorts of both pointed and beautiful sound mixed together. This leads into the next track, ‘Open’, which features a more garage rock sound than other songs, so much so that it evolves into a post-punk-esque storm, which layers and layers until a distant hum entrenches the background sound; fantastic. ‘Blister’ is much more drenched and heavy, maintaining only the tap of the drums to keep its tempo from swaying at a slowcore pace. The chorus showcases the bands noise pop tendency, taking the music and vocals a note or two higher than the gutter verses (using the word gutter in a good way that is) and blending together beautiful and conceptual sounds. ‘Deep Breath’ sounds almost like a dream pop song compared to the previous few tracks, with a deep, shoegaze inspired chorus that slots swiftly between the crunchy, less violent fuzz of the song.
Songs like ‘Sparks’ and 'Deathvisions' again pull the layer blending off, but only in the bands favour, who crunch out brilliant performance after brilliant performance. The songs at this point sound like a mix between noise rock, noise pop, garage, post-punk shoegaze with majestic slowcore, airy and distant vocals thrown in for good measure. The vocals are on a different wavelength altogether with bizarre, echoed, low volume singing that purposefully can’t be fully heard in the battleground built by the band; full of noise and sludge, with the occasional soundscape and ambient piece of genius thrown in for good measure. ‘Snaketeeth’ is a prime example of this and of perhaps the most shoegaze of all the songs on the album, period. The songs outro is close to one of the most ambient, beautiful and downtempo pieces of music on the entire album.
‘Beholder’ turns the game back around, however, with its crunchy and loud intro; full of filthy and dirty bass and guitars. Eventually though, the song captures the mood and style of almost the entire album; that is a mixture of loud, confronting noises coupled in harmony and blended with serene, dreamy vocals, soundscapes and instrumentation. ‘Beholder’ rises with a mix of winter and sweaty and dirty spaces; who would have thought of that? The albums closer, 'Wide Awake', plays on a much slower beat, eventually displaying everything shoegaze that the band have been toying with over the course of the entire album. This album is whether or not the band think so, very very conceptual. It’s so much so that it’s bordering on a concept album… But, I hear you so patiently ask, what’s the concept? Well… It’s not a conceptual story; Lazy Legs don’t sing about the medieval period or how a girl learned to dance, rather the concept is blending. Every sound on the album is blended with each other, on a theoretical level, ideas (of how a sound should be heard, whether it is loud or soft) are also heavily blended. This theory is backed up even more so by the abstract, digital art on the albums cover… A piece of art built upon blending. The good part of all of this is that Lazy Legs are actually extremely talented in the art of musical and sonic blending, of joining and building a relationship between sounds and instrumentation, which in turn reinforces the albums concept and makes the listening experience all the more enjoyable.
For some, the album will be perhaps too alternative. These same some may ask why the vocals are so distant and become bored with the same fuzz, distortion and ambience that features so heavily on the album. But for those who enjoy truly alternative and original music, the listening experience will be the exact opposite of that. So listen and enjoy the noise, and appreciate the texture and blending, achieved through performance, production and sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
Phoenix based dreamy shoegaze trio 'Citrus Clouds' have just released a brand new single entitled 'Imagination' via their bandcamp page, following on from 2015's impressive dreamy soundscape 'In Time I Am'. Formed in 2014 the band consists of Erick Pineda, Stacie Huttleston and Angelica Pedrego and they collectively create stunning soundscapes that swim through swathes of melodic ethereal shoegaze whilst all the while coupled with addictive dreamy vocals! 'Imagination' is available to buy/download right now from: citrusclouds.bandcamp.com
Imagination by Citrus Clouds
'Imagination' swerves & glides on gloriously dreamy, layered frequencies that are simply doused in reverb and deployed effortlessly to accompany a vocal line that swoons & soars as it gently caresses the senses with ethereal joy!
Far from the multi-platformed mainstream musical hubs and hidden deep within a scene so overlooked by the big radio corporations that its generally left alone to allow shoegaze fans run a meandering course of blissful musical discovery, sits an online radio station so important that its unhealthy demise due to corporate bureaucracy would be nothing short of a bloody travesty. We've all read about the unhealthy reams of read tape surrounding online broadcasters and their downgrading of broadcast rights due to the changes in US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) fees and we've seen first hand various online stations being forced to cease all operations indefinitely due to lack of funding to pay these overhyped & inflated broadcasting fees! If it continues we will lose a very important tool that allow's unsigned artists to get their music across to a wider online radio audience. Online stations worldwide, Dj's & their embedded radio shows, focusing on various musical genres are a key promotional resource for todays underground artists. I mean, how many TRUE champions of this modern day underground shoegaze scene can you count on your fingertips at this present moment in time?
READ ON -
Mute Swan by Half / Wozniak
Broadcasting out of Fresno, California, DKFM has been at the forefront of the genre's resurgence since it launched in 2012 but more recently has faced an uncertain future due to changes in US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) fees. They are an important mainstay in todays scene, helping to sustain and develop many of the movement's best bands. DKFM continue to be a major influence on us here at Primal Music and have been the 'Go To' site for us for all things shoegaze & dream pop since our early radio show days on Radioaktiv back in 2012.
Now, two brilliant UK based musical outfits, the impressive Gateshead based 'Half' & Edinburgh's finest 'Wozniak', have released a stunning collaborative track entitled 'Mute Swan' with the aim of raising much needed funds to help DKFM to stay on the air. The track has been released as a pay-what-you-like download through Bandcamp with all income going to help support DKFM and you can help in the fight by heading over to: herelieshalf.bandcamp.com and pledging as much or as little as you like.
Colorado based duo 'A Shoreline Dream' have been best described as 'progressive shoegaze'. They combine lush sampled textures, wall of sound dynamics, and vocals layered like a synth, similar in vein to bands such as Ride, Slowdive and Sigur Rós. The band are Ryan Policky - vocals/guitar/keys/bass/programming & Erik Jeffries - guitar. 'Whirlwind' is the third single from their ever-evolving new record, which is being released song by song before its completion and will eventually culminate into the bands first ever vinyl release. This latest single gets its official release on September 2nd 2016 and will be available to buy/download from: ashorelinedream.bandcamp.com
READ ON -
whirlwind by A Shoreline Dream
'Whirlwind' is a driving sonic surge of glorious dark energy. The instrumentation pulses & swirls as it circumnavigates those hard hitting vocalisations, infectiously dragging swathes of impressive atmospheric reverb with it to pummel the senses. There's also a subtle but refreshing hue of old-school post-punk swirling within the sonic maelstrom, reminiscent at times to Bauhaus, Joy Division & The Sisters Of Mercy.
Swirling San Jose based psych aficionados 'The Gentle Cycle' have unleashed the lead single & its brilliant 'Acid Drenched' accompanying video entitled 'Follow Light' from their forthcoming full length album, due for release over the next few months. The band are made up of Derek See - guitar/vocals, Maxwell Borkenhagen - guitar/mellotron, Todd Flanagan - bass and Craig Heitkam - drums and they have a unique talent of creating infectiously addictive psychedelic soundscapes by utilising vintage gear and bygone recording methods to birth a swirling, grooving style of rock 'n' roll that's both timeless and relevant. The overall outcome is mesmerising! The accompanying video was directed by & presented in a film by London based musician/ visual artist Gil De Ray.
'Follow Light' undulates as it works through its reverberating sonic gears, spewing out melodious instrumentation and highly addictive vocalisations that constantly swirl within an ink blotted sonic landscape. If this is the lead single from this impressive Bay Area band, we can't wait for the full on sonic assault!
'Follow Light' is available to buy/download right now from: thegentlecycle.bandcamp.com
RELEASE: Red Rooms
RELEASE DATE: 17/07/16
RECORD COMPANY: Coypu Records.
Following on from their stunning full length album release entitled ‘Historias de Frió’ back in 2104, the brilliant Barcelona based darkwave outfit ‘Sexores’ have returned with a blissful six track release entitled ‘Red Rooms’. With an intriguing sound thats full of noisy ambient swirls, ethereal vocalisations and dark repetitive percussive arrangements all gloriously intertwined with soaring walls of layered reverberating guitars, ‘Sexores’ have the ability paint stunning sonic pictures with their music. The band are made up of Emilia Bahamonde - vocals/guitar/programming & David Yépez - drums/programming with various touring members and guest musicians (including Alexander Kretov of UMMAGMA fame) appearing on the album. ‘Red Rooms’ was released back on the 17th July 2016 via Coypu Records and is available to buy/download on various formats right now from: sexores.bandcamp.com
Red Rooms by Sexores
Ethereal vocals coupled with a wall hazily layered guitars announces the arrival of track one ‘Sasebo’ and we’re instantly pulled into a beautiful world of sneaking drum patterns, underlying synth swells and hypnotically cascading piano progressions. The vocals are simply mesmerising as they cut through the swirling instrumentation and instil a gentle calmness over proceedings. Up next, ‘Sea Of Trees’ is a classic slice of beautifully arranged dream pop thats centred around a cascading synth line, a repetitive drum pattern and another blissful vocal performance courtesy of Emilia Bahamonde. ‘Me And The Void’ saunters into earshot riding an explosive drum pattern, dark throbbing bass frequencies and synth swells to die for. Emilia’s vocals shine as they pulse wave after wave of golden hued frequencies through the controlled reverberation and on into the maelstrom of fuzzy tempestuous guitar lines.
‘U.S.S.R Girls’ leans more into the realm of dark electronica with its sequenced synth progressions and repetitive drum patterns whilst the albums penultimate track, the impressive ‘Daywalkers’ instantly flatters with its floating boy/girl vocal attack, courtesy of Emilia & Alex Kretov (Ummagma), coupled with those beautifully arranged synth lines & its glorious instrumentation breaks. The album closes out with the highly atmospheric instrumental piece - ‘Loner’. A dark & foreboding reverberating drone opens proceedings before we’re treated to a slow, repetitive drum pattern and stuttering piano stabs. ‘Loner’ sounds like it belongs on a late 70’s sci-fi soundtrack as it deftly meanders through ambient sonic peaks and throughs, never losing its edge and all the while building slowly into a stunning cacophony of blissful atmospheric noise.
A fitting end to an absolutely stunning album!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, DreamPop, PostPunk, PostRock & PsychRock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
RELEASE: Home Recordings
RELEASE DATE: 13/05/16
Released to the masses back on the 13th May 2016, ‘Home Recordings’ are the tentative first steps by a band who create stunning musical soundscapes that are heavily steeped in melodically astute, fuzzy alt-gaze promise. ‘Sidechick’ are a Texas based trio made up of Stephen McElwee - Guitar & Vocals, Austin Yates - Drums & Kelvin Givens - Bass and their debut three track release is available to buy/download right now from: sidechick.bandcamp.com
Home Recordings by Sidechick
‘Home Recordings’ unfurls with excellent ‘Prisms’, a two minute plus instrumental masterpiece thats filled with golden hued guitar lines, steadying percussion and throbbing bass frequencies. The band give very little away on this opening piece as the tension builds, forcing glorious reverberating swirls into the sonic ether and pulsing fuzzy layered guitar squall through shimmering hazy frequencies. ‘Prisms’ soon burns out and courses headlong into track two, the blistering ‘Dimensions’, and its not long before we’re introduced to a droning guitar line that drags the listener into the impending explosive drum patterns, heavily tracked by fuzzy throbbing bass lines and screaming feedback laden guitars. The vocals here are sublime and they sit on top of the instrumentation like some sonic demigod vying for populous attention. ‘Dimensions’ is probably my favourite track on this entire release and worthy of your attention!
The EP’s closing track is a brilliantly melodious affair. ‘Mercury’ rocks on a thoroughly addictive lead lick that explodes through the chorus breaks whilst carefully balancing on a bedrock of pounding drums and hypnotically layered reverberating guitars. Another stunning vocal track adds atmosphere as it pierces the protective reverb induced bubble and soars into the sonic ether with aplomb. A fitting end to an interesting first outing from ‘Sidechick’.
Ones to watch!
RELEASE: Songs From The Woods
RELEASE DATE: 26/05/16
What do you get when you mix smooth soundscapes with rock’n’roll, hush with loudness or hypnosis with high flying vocals? 'Songs from the Woods' is what you get. This mini album/EP from dream rock duo The Maheekats seeks to remind the listener of the past, while evoking originality and something altogether interesting… And it does so over the course of six dream inspired, folk-impinged rock and pop tracks.
Songs from the Woods by maheekats
The EP begins with the song ‘Lady in Space’, that begins with ethereal alternative guitars and the comfortable tap of the drums in the background, until the fantastic and hypnotic vocals enter the mix, giving the song a distant folk sound that mixes in brilliantly with the dream rock fused bass, thick and heavy. The song seeps 'The Stone Roses', in lyrical quality (see ‘Waterfall’) and with a similar production technique (except Maheekats production sounds much fuller). The chorus, which backs off on the instrumentation to allow for the catchy lyrics, is a warm and enjoyable creation. However, with the immense lyrical quality of some songs, ‘Lady in Space’ wavers between interesting and boring each listen. Its chorus and simple instrumentation (beside the fantastic bass) don’t allow it to stand out from 90’s alternative rock radio hits with the exact same style of writing, and ultimately the song sounds timid and tiresome. This song is followed by the refreshing and dreamy ‘Shotgun’ which sounds influenced by the Kate Bush styled art-pop that Maheekats blend together with greater and more experimental instrumentation. The vocals featured in the chorus are phenomenal, especially when they reach and grab the trance-evoking high notes that are underpinned with a brilliant array of horns. The song then introduces a breezy, shoegaze filtered synth line which finally mixes into the songs brilliant collage of horns, vocals, drum, bass, guitar, keyboards and more. ‘Shotgun’ displays all the greatest elements of Maheekats diverse and layered song writing skills, along with lyrics and a denser production style that allow the song to project itself beautifully.
‘Starry Ocean’ is a fantastic post-rock, piano centred interlude… Simple, soothing, imagery evoking brilliance. The genius touches of smaller sounds (pads, strings) allow the piano to serve as both a background and foreground instrument for the listener, rather than an average and stock standard interlude or instrumental album fillers. The Pretenders influenced ‘Without Horizons’ acts as the EP’s biggest step into straight-forward alternative rock, not that’s a bad thing. The riffs featured on the song once again highlight the wide and talented vocals of Maheekats and the quality of the production (and mixing) are of a fantastic quality. The greatest element of ‘Without Horizons’ is that it features some of the EP’s most well-written lyrics. These lyrics read as poetry and arise as the songs ultimate feature after each listen. Musically it sounds like a seventies inspired heavy rock song but practices a subtle hint of nineties era alternative/garage musical expansion which propels it to be greater after reading (or in this case listening) into it.
The epic ‘Eureka’ follows, constructed at around seven minutes and featuring all the musical adventures that the band has embarked on across 'Songs from the Woods'. ‘Eureka’ begins entrancingly intelligent, with soft sung vocals and basic instrumentation that feeds the listener the dreamy, poetic lyrics on a golden plate. The song then eases into a bizarre exercise in drum bashing and the lyrics roll out into ‘The weight of the world is in hand’ sung over and over… The brilliant guitars follow, but the lyrics don’t… Instead turning into a tongue in cheek Celtic influenced folk-dance underpinned with… Um, animal noises? Or something? I don’t know. Then the song continues with an interesting bassline which is slowly drowned out with cymbal rape (is there a reason we can only hear cymbals?) before the guitars and other instruments return to evolve the song into an interesting and engaging piece of music. The outro to ‘Eureka’ finally does the entrancing vocals justice, and uses them as an instrument rather than another mere feature. In fact, on the outro to the song, the Maheekats manage to mix all the instruments together to create a soothing and interesting piece of music, reminiscent but much more epic than on ‘Shotgun’ which saves the song and reminds the listener of the high quality of song writing they are listening to.
After listening to 'Songs from the Woods' I was confused, with what opinion? On one hand, elements of the EP shone through brilliantly and tied everything together to create a musical beast worth listening to over and over. But on the other hand I wondered, sincerely, about a few features on the album. For one, ‘Lady in Space’ became more and more generic after listening to the EPs other tracks, displaying the professional and engaging level of song writing on the other tracks but in turn doing the band (and ‘Lady in Space’) no favours. The instrumental interlude ‘Starry Ocean’ was fantastic… So fantastic that it was more enjoyable than ‘Without Horizons’ (which has its own merits), which somehow (while being enjoyable in its own right) bought the level of song writing back to near the same area as ‘Lady in Space’. And while ‘Eureka’ eventually highlighted and presented an extravagant piece of song writing and music, the middle section was completely baffling with its instrumentation, mixing and interpretation.
Let’s get one thing straight… 'Songs from the Woods' features next to no post-punk, dream pop, shoegaze or hugely experimental music and at times the EP even seems far from the bands self-dubbed dream rock status. There is nothing wrong with that, however listeners seeking out these things should instead know that 'Songs from the Woods' is fluent with art pop, folk rock and even underpinned with large amounts of Celtic and Irish music in some songs. Altogether the band resemble Kate Bush more than any other artist; occasionally they dabble their toes in heavier rock, but ultimately the vocals direct the music into a style most reminiscent of Bush’s. And much like (but superior to) Kate Bush’s bizarre 00’s albums, 'Songs from the Woods' seems like a representation of a band obtusely seeking effort and thus creating something unchallenging, in patches greatly uninteresting and generic.
But this mini album is also greatly enjoyable, features brilliant performances and production and ultimately attributes top quality song writing within. On tracks like the outro to ‘Eureka’, ‘Shotgun’, the post-rock inspired ‘Starry Ocean’ and the riffs on ‘Without Horizons’ the band highlight beautiful and engaging soundscapes and construction, achieved through mixing, production, performance and sound.
3.5 / 5