ARTIST: Ten Million Lights
RELEASE DATE: 23rd February 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Portland based 'Ten Million Lights' pull influences from from shoegaze, post-punk and modern psych rock to craft and create a sound so luscious it will have you instantly hooked and checking their back catalogue in a heartbeat. Comprising of Ryan Carroll - vocals/guitars, Eric Block - guitars, Emily Logan - vocals/guitars, Russ Ellis - bass & Scott Smith - drums they unleashed their four track sophomore EP onto the world back on February 23rd 2018. 'Bellicose' is available to buy/download right now from tenmillionlights.bandcamp.com
Bellicose by Ten Million Lights
'Bellicose' opens up stuck fast to a jangling guitar progression before swirling vocalisations and the pull of bass frequencies add a heady weight to proceedings. Percussion free and lasting for under two minutes, 'Simplicity' tumbles and flows brilliantly, building with each sonic circumference before falling off a veritable cliff and on into it's unexpected finale. Up next, 'Falling Apart (extended mix)' erupts into a pounding percussive beast. Noisy layers of angry guitar and throbbing bass envelope that brilliantly executed vocal track as we swoon effortlessly through shimmering reverberations peppered with catchy hooks and brilliant production. Bouncing post-punk hued bass lines meander in and out of the mix, cascading at times through catchy lines of lead guitars and brilliantly poised acoustic breaks making this track a definite highlight for me.
'Smother', the EP's lead single, opens up riding a wall of brilliant noise. Humming bass lines ride a steady percussive pattern as feedback laden guitars and catchy lead lines pull those duel verse vocal lines (reminiscent of 'Goo' era 'Sonic Youth'), into the mix before tumbling out the back end into a mesmerisingly melodic chorus progression. Although I hate using these analogies, I can't help hearing subtle similarities to 'RIDE, Catherine Wheel' and the melodic side of 'The Brian Johnstown Massacre' swirling through this track, making it a bloody good listen. The EP close out with a instrumental of sorts. Channelling their inner MBV, 'Ten Million Lights' unleash 'Dakota/Code/Talker' onto the listener. Woozy reverb laden guitars pull turbulent layers of hovering vocalisations into the mix ,underpinned at times by the addictive throb of bass and resonating frequencies, as we fall into those lusciously spacious beaks and eventually out into that infectious ending. Its a great closing track that literally showcases this bands abilities as musicians. They must make one hell of a racket playing live!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock 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 (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Summer's June
RELEASE: Drag Along
RELEASE DATE: August 2nd 2017
New Jersey based 'Summer's June' create a sonic concoction of modern day dream-pop, fizzy lo-fi electronics and layers of sequenced instrumentation that is carefully sculptured into an atmospheric mix of light reverberations and darker undertones. The band are made up of Vincent Medina - guitar/vocals, Steven Dodge - bass & Luke Lehner - drums. Their debut three track release entitled 'Drag Along' was released back in August 2017 and it's available to buy/download right now via summersjune.bandcamp.com
Drag Along by Summer's June
In a haze of melodic reverberation the opening bars of ‘Crime And Punishment’ eddy and swirl into audible range pinned to the twang of luscious guitar and the tremble of translucent vocalisations. A gently moving percussive pattern moves underfoot accompanied by the soft tones of bass and bubbling tremelo as dreamy lines of synth hang effortlessly in the sonic ether. ‘Crime And Punishment’ is blissfully captivating and a brilliant opening track. Up next, ‘Endless Blue’ shimmers on a fragile synth line, humming bass frequencies and the metronomic pitter patter of sequenced percussion. Woozy guitars add intensity as they wrap themselves around a blissed out vocal track thus allowing catchy chord sequences to carefully lift the listener skywards out into the ether.
The EP closes out with 'Julia', a melancholic affair that’s fixed to a slow moving drum track and the whoosh of synth. Melodic guitars add catchy hooks as it’s vocal lines meander in and out of airy production and the pull of reverb All in all it’s a beautiful closing piece to what is very accomplished EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock 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 (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genre's 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 DATE: 24th January 2018
Noisy Spanish based quartet 'Uniforms' create an atmospheric mix of noisy layered shoegaze and alternative rock deftly underpinned with dreamy & melodic vocalisations and connotations of sullen noise-pop. The band are made up of Pan - drums/vocals, Laura - bass /vocals, Spingel - guitar/vocals & Annie - synth/lead vocals. Their debut four track EP entitled 'Equals' was self-released back on January 24th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via uniformsband.bandcamp.com
EQUALS by UNIFORMS
Swirling instrumental drones bellow and shimmer as the opening salvos of ‘Addicted’ meander into audible range. Angry guitars add beautiful atmosphere as it’s percussive assault pulses through layers of hazy reverberation. Jangling, layered guitar progressions accompany mesmersing vocal lines out of the sonic melee as we move through huge verse patterns and on into monumental chorus changes. The production values on this track are epic. They swirl and intertwine effortlessly with some influential sounds such as shoegaze, dream-pop and noise rock to create a wall of sonic bliss. Up next, the opening bars of 'Pearls' floats and swirls through shimmering clouds of instrumental atmosphere before exploding into a kaleidoscope of sonic colour as it roars skywards in a tumble g ball of collective instrumentation. There are hints of post-punk echoing on that trembling bass line as it's fragile vocals arrive accompanied by occasional strums of guitar and that huge synth line. The chorus progressions on this track are absolutely huge and they envelope layered backing vocals beautifully. 'Pearls' is big, bold and brash and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire release.
'Don't Wake Up', the EP's penultimate piece, leans heavily into shoegaze as it's opening walls of sound reverberate and surge on layers of angry guitar, resonating synth and repetitive percussion. Deep penetrating bass frequencies swirl through the clouds of noise as glorious vocal lines emerge, cutting deep trenches of clarity as they meander through the haze. This track is masterful and another definite highlight on this released for me. 'Equals' closes out with 'Gris'. A repetitive line of electronic sequencing opens proceedings, followed quickly by lines of jangling guitars and subtle swells of synth. A very enticing drum track tweaks this listeners ear as the hum of bass guitar throbs just below the mix and those dreamy vocal lines arrive to wash a kind of ethereal glow over the entire piece. As I've come to realise throughout this whole EP, 'Uniforms' song structures are built to inject massive chorus changes into every track and 'Gris' is no different. It soars into the ether on resonating surges of noisy but melodic guitar, swirling synth and pounding percussion as beautifully intense vocal lines ride the sonic wave skywards. It's a brilliant closing track and another highlight on this release for me. As EP's go, 'Equals' has something very addictive coursing through it's veins. It's thoroughly enjoyable and I'm very eager to hear what comes next from this band.
ARTIST: Melt Dunes
RELEASE: Flesh EP
RELEASE DATE: 16th March 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Strong Island Records
Portsmouth based psych aficionados 'Melt Dunes' create a heady brew of dark and doom laden, acid blotched psych permeated at times with sullen krautrock tendencies that collectively creep into the inner psyche to completely blow our fucking minds. With only two singles released to date on both Strong Island Recordings and Fuzz Club respectively, the quintet have penned in the release date for their stunning debut EP brilliantly titled ‘Flesh’ for the 16th March 2018 through 'Strong Island Recordings' with pre-orders available right now on various formats via strongislandrecordings.bandcamp.com
Flesh EP by Melt Dunes
The 'Flesh' EP opens up with 'Whats Your Name?', a burgeoning slab of psychedelic enchantment filled to the brim with swirling electronics, deep penetrating bass lines, rumbling percussion and dizzying guitars. It builds like a steam train, echoing those early psychedelic explorers before unleashing a mind-bending cacophony of sound-waves that swirl around those menacing vocalisations with ease. It's lead guitar lines whip resonating frequencies at will as they fizz and hiss alongside those eerily enticing tambourine shakes and intertwining at times with those absolutely immense bass lines that seem to dance and sway with every single percussive hit. 'Whats Your Name?' is a stunning opening salvo. Up next, 'Flesh' bellows from deep below the mix as squally guitars and a bass heavy drones melds with swirling reverberations before opening up into a modern psych gem. Explosive drum tracks growl, pulling the throb of bass, the stab of synth, hypnotic guitars and those fucking immense vocal lines into audible range. Sullen lead guitar lines buffer for space in amongst the sonic melee as we surge along in metronomic time building monstrously with every twist and turn and tumbling headlong into that huge instrumental break. 'Flesh' is a triumph and a definite highlight for me on this release.
'Epicaricacy', the EP's penultimate track, bounces into the ether on a huge bass progression and strapped to a brooding krautrock swagger. Collectively whipped and cajoled by those reverberating lead guitars, it's sullen vocal lines meander in and out of the instrumentation leading the listener on a merry dance all the way into that darkly atmospheric instrumental break filled to the brim with swirling organ lines, woozy guitars and swaying drum tracks. Hypnotic, enchanting, downright scary and at times sonically reminiscent to those fantastic Athens based psychedelic travellers 'Holy Monitor', 'Epicaricacy' is one of those tracks that you will want to go back to again and again. The EP closes out with 'Grotesque'. Swirling organ lines accompany those immense bass progressions as a slow moving drum pattern rattles deep below the mix allowing the vocal lines to sit comfortably as lines of lead guitar undulate and move at will. Sporadic shakes of percussion join in with the fun was we're led on a merry dance through passages of psych, neo-psych and heavy alternative touches all the way to tracks end. It's a blistering closing piece to what is a decent EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock 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 (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped 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.
Pure Kafka by Alien Lizard
"Have you ever looked up at the night sky and realized the vast beauty of our universe has been drowned out by the artifice of streetlamps and skyscrapers?"
Noisy Gdansk-based psychedelic explorers 'Alien Lizard' have announced the latest single to be lifted from their forthcoming nine track long player 'Pure Kafka', penned in for release on February 23rd 2018. The track in question is brilliantly titled 'Heaven Takes The Moon' and it delightfully simmers in a heady brew of melodically hypnotic instrumentation steeped generously in glorious reverberation. Wispy vocalisations meander and move in and out of cascading bass progressions and the repetitive pull of tambourine as subtle swells of synth merge effortlessly with swirling drones and beautiful effervescent sound-waves to create something magical. 'Pure Kafka' gets it's official release on the 23rd of February with pre-orders now available via alienlizard.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: syrup, go on
RELEASE: Joyful Hesitation
RELEASE DATE: January 1st 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Self-Released
A spoonful of sugar helps the shoegaze go down - that's the recipe for the success of syrup, go on's latest treat. 'Joyful Hesitation' is the Australian band's newest release. The four track EP has lots of sweet notes, that's for sure. There's some crunch too and plenty of fizzy energy so it's pretty satisfying all round. At the time of recording (2017) the band consisted of Kris Briese, Tom Briese, Liz Dick & Ken Kimura. 'Joyful Hesitation' was released back on January 1st 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via syrupgoon.bandcamp.com and the band have a couple of live dates coming up this weekend around the Gold Coast. Go check them out if you get the chance.
Joyful Hesitation EP by syrup, go on
'Mantaray' bounces open with bass, and barrels along brilliantly. The textures of phased guitars add just a hint of haze, intensifying the track's rolling melodies. Titular track 'Joyful Hesitation' packs a powerful chorus on the scale of, say, Mitski's Your Best American Girl. The verses are sad and spacious, but it's the howling guitars that almost make your heart burst.
There's a change of vocalist on 'Adore' which feels like it's on a trampoline. It's so spirited, shambly and superfun - a really strong song. Closing the EP is 'Waco', a cover of the Violent Soho song, which 'syrup, go on' have succesfully shoegazeified, bringing all their textures to the table. The effect on the chorus is especially impressive. 'Joyful Hesitation' is out right now via the bands Bandcamp page - syrupgoon.bandcamp.com
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
ARTIST: Aural Air
RELEASE: The Torpor of Minds
RELEASE DATE: December 8th 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Little L Records
Dublin based 'Aural Air' is the moniker of dreamy lo-fi singer-songwriter Laura Rai. With a sound that conjures up far too many comparisons to mention, 'Aural Air' glides and glistens effortlessly on layers of woozy reverberations that ride sparse percussive hits used primarily to direct the listener onto those blissfully ethereal vocalisations and their accompanying wide scoped production. Laura's debut three track release entitled 'The Torpor of Minds' was unleashed back on December 8th 2017 via 'Little L Records' and features two previously released bonus tracks. You can get your hands on it right now to buy/download via auralair.bandcamp.com
The Torpor of Minds by Aural Air
The EP opens up rumbling magnificently on the thump of bass drum, the deep twang of bass notes and jangling hook heavy guitars. Oodles of reverberation swirl and eddy as addictive chord progressions envelope the entire piece and those swooning vocals meander into audible range. 'Serpents Speak' moves up a gear half way through, slowing at first before injecting some forceful tempo changes as the surge of heady production catches this listener off guard and we soar skywards, pinned fast to brilliantly executed vocal lines courtesy of Laura Rai and the hypnotic jangle of blissed out guitars. It's a brilliant opening salvo that leads us into track two - 'The Vanishing Dove', a lo-fi affair layered with immense guitars, cascading bass lines and probably the best vocal take on the entire EP. 'The Vanishing Dove' is one of those tracks that surprises you with every twist and turn. It rises and falls through pools of reverb, exploding at times into a kaleidoscope of sonic colour before fading out on waves of lead guitar progressions and the fading hiss of production.
The EP's next track is gloriously melodic. 'Medina's Wolves' unfurls it's fuzzy sonic tendrils and floats into the ether on subtle instrumental stabs and the hazy pull of reverb. It's hypnotic back beat rolls and moves brilliantly, dragging another impressive vocal take with it as the humming of bass frequencies melds with jangling guitars and fizzing lo-fi theatrics. Sonically sublime, 'Medina's Wolves' is stacked to the brim with an up front melodic confidence that is rarely heard in today's scene. As previously mentioned, 'The Torpor of Minds' closes out with two previously released tracks. 'The Heir of Indignation' showcases sublime vocals as a repetitive drum track holds a steady beat beneath quivering lines of guitar and deep booming bass notes. This track builds ever so slowly allowing the vocals time to breathe and meander in and out of the collective instrumentation whilst 'Edinburgh', the EP's closing track, shimmers dreamily on waves of reverb hued guitars, deep melancholic strings and sparse percussion all entered around that truly magnificent vocal track. It's a wonderful end point to a marvellously dreamy EP from a fellow Dubliner ... Bravo!
ARTIST: Dead Vibrations
RELEASE: Dead Vibrations
RELEASE DATE: January 26th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Swedish noise manipulators 'Dead Vibrations' create a delicious mix of psychedelically tinged shoegaze and dark atmospherics layered brilliantly with swathes of gloomy reverberation, screaming feedback, angry vocalisations all topped off with brooding fuzzed-out guitars. Carefully honing their sound over the past few years through touring and appearing at some of Europe's best psych fests, 'Dead Vibrations' have made considerable sonic strides. Since exploding onto Stockholm's underground psych scene back in 2015 the band have released their debut 12” EP ‘Reflections’ and this year's 7” single ‘Swirl/Sleeping In Silver Garden'. The band are made up of Christian Jansson - guitar/vocals, Elmer Hallsby - bass, Josefin Ahlqvist Lyzwiski - drums & Olov Sjogren - guitar and they have joined forces with London based independent record label 'Fuzz Club Records' to unleash their immense self-titled debut album with the release date penned in for January 26th 2018. The album is available to buy via www.fuzzclub.com on lovely deluxe vinyl (limited to 100 copies on 180g coloured vinyl, hand numbered and gatefold sleeve) and on standard vinyl (limited to 400 copies on 180 vinyl).
Angry instrumental drones swirl and loop through clouds of dark and oppressive reverberations as 'On A Sunday Morning' unwraps it's fuzzy sonic tendrils and pulls repetitive percussion and the throb of deep bass frequencies out into the ether. Melodious guitar progressions envelope soaring vocalisations, strapped to noise laden passages of screaming feedback that pummel the senses as the track builds brilliantly and lurches to a turbulent finale. It's a blistering opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'Chemical Hug' belches out subtle feedback, sporadic notes and sullen fret noise as it winds itself up and steadily sways into audible range. Somber vocal lines ride a huge surge of instrumental fury permeated by layers of dark swirling atmospherics that loop and arc atop of a steady drum pattern. Catchy chorus changes carve out a deafening pause before we lurch back into a raging cacophony of fizzing noise as 'Chemical Hug' presents it's grungy final throws to the masses.
Whirring drones blend with overdriven guitars drenched in swathes of reverb with the arrival of 'Dive With You'. It's addictive lead lines quiver and sway as ghostly vocal lines pulse a surreal kind of melody through the collective sonic fog. Rolling drum patterns hold court here as throbbing bass frequencies hover in close proximity, building ever so slowly as repetition creeps into proceedings and continue right up until tracks end. Up next, 'Marbles' explodes into a magnificent array of sonic colour with pounding almost motorik like percussion keeping a steady backbeat and used primarily as a vehicle to collectively ferry those immense vocals, rumbling bass lines and huge layers of atmospheric guitar on into that magnificent instrumental break and then on into that angry finale. 'Marbles' is a triumph, worthy of your ears and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire release. Up next, the open salvos of 'Void' are angry and atmospheric with swirling reverberations and deep dark sonic trenches filled with alluring instrumentals and a pounding percussive assault but permeating that cacophony of wonderful noise are melody strewn vocalisations that surf on top of the melee and at times carry this track skywards. It's masterful in it's approach and another highlight for me.
The albums penultimate piece entitled 'In Habits' materialises from Void's dissipating death throws. Dark and malevolent, this track has a definite shoegaze personality with ghostly vocalisations riding hypnotic beats, soaring lead lines and the deep penetrating rumble of sullen bass frequencies. Mesmerising instrumental breaks pull the listener in before exploding into a blistering melting pot of sounds lead primarily by luscious guitar and growling production. 'In Habits' ends in a sonic haze before the incantational sounds of 'Bitter Better Way' creep into audible range and wash this listener with a heady concoction of swaying percussion, quivering guitars and cascading bass frequencies. Immense vocals meld effortlessly with dark swirling sounds, breathing life into proceedings as they cut through the noise thus allowing this track to erupt into a massive sonic behemoth. It's a brilliant ending to a mesmerising debut album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Your Friends Polymers
RELEASE: v chuzhoi strane
RELEASE DATE: December 12th 2017
The clear choir-like vocals on the latest release from 'Your Friends Polymers' seem to evoke the most quintessential illusions of English village life. In fact, the four piece are from Samara, Russia, which is altogether more intriguing. Following on from the shimmering 'Chudesa EP' from December 2015, the 6 track 'V Chuzhoi Strane' was released last month and is constructed from lustrous summery sound. The EP is available to buy/download right now via yourfriendspolymers.bandcamp.com
v chuzhoi strane by your friends polymers
Opening track 'Bees' flows between a swell of swooping guitar, before the pace slows and the vocals soar, inducing a very pleasing wooziness. The 90s jangle of 'No Dice' has the Sweetness and Light of Lush and pops along dreamily. Delicate delayed guitar coaxes 'Little Box' into life, contrasting with the insistent drums which push along. The chorus has a melody that is fit for a cathedral. Title track 'V Chuzhoi Strane' is a collection of icy shards catching the light with angular beauty.
The frosty electronic taps of 'At The Depths Of The Gulf Stream' soon melt into a melodious concoction topped with a sweet refrain. The bass sets the groove of the instrumental '48' which ends this EP with a breezy air - appropriate as it has brought some much needed light and air to this dark January.
RELEASE: Starwheel EP
RELEASE DATE: December 16th 2017
Derby based quartet 'Starwheel' embrace and meld sounds and genres effortlessly. From subtle shoegaze to jangling psych pop, indie to alternative rock this band instil a surreal calmness to their their overall collective sound that is highly addictive and deeply hypnotic. The band released their debut double A-side single 'Drip Feed/Broken Glass' to the masses back in April 2016 and followed it up in 2017 with their stunning second single 'Sit Down/Through My window (Parts 1 & 2)'. Now the band have returned with their stunning self-titled debut four track EP and they do not disappoint. The EP was released back on the 16th December 2017 and it is available to buy/download right now via starwheel.bandcamp.com
Starwheel EP by Starwheel
Swirling organ sounds announce the arrival of track one 'Replica' and it's accompanied by bounding percussion, jangling guitar and the rambling of bass frequencies. Stunning vocals meander in and out of accomplished instrumentation permeated at times with subtle flourishes of catchy lead guitar, luscious reverberations and lines of slight backing vocals. Up next, the instrumental 'Radio Love' slows things down a tad as shimmering slide guitar draped in oodles of reverb and laid back guitar progressions wash over this listener. Slow methodical percussion dances underneath ferrying deep melodic bass lines with ease and allowing jangling lead lines to intertwine with fantastically hypnotic psychedelic frequencies.
The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Veins' is filled to the brim with intense melody. The swirl of organ melds effortlessly with cascading bass lines and the gentle jangling strum of guitar. Steady percussion rattles below as the vocal track weaves a magical spell as it dances and moves in ands out of the collective instrumentation. It has catchy hook laden breaks that catch you off guard allowing you to soar skywards, if only for a short time, before you get pulled back into the mesmerising mix of dazzling sonic frequencies. 'Veins' is a triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire EP. 'Safari' closes proceedings with a sweet little psych-pop gem. Boundless bass lines rush beneath sporadic percussive hits and rambling lead guitars run and meander in and out of breathless vocalisations. It's a wonderful little track and a brilliant ending to a marvellous EP.