ARTIST: Dræm Girl
RELEASE: You Can't Go Back
RELEASE DATE: 2nd November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Florida based noisy grunge/gaze trio ‘Dræm Girl’ have unleashed a blistering three track EP entitled ‘You Cant Go Back’ via their bandcamp page. The EP was released on November 2nd 2016 and it follows on from their previous explosive release entitled ‘Remember’ back in June of this year. The band are made up of Vincent Medina - vocals/guitars, Jared Hanlon - bass & Nicolas Remy - drums and what they collectively create musically is a tremulous whirlwind of noisy, grungy fuzz that’s permeated with swathes of melodious reverberation and brilliantly cohesive vocal lines. ‘You Can’t Go Back’ is available to buy/download right now from: dræmgirl.bandcamp.com
You Can't Go Back by Dræm Girl
The EP opens up with ‘Blackbird’, a growling ball of resonating guitars, steadying drums patterns and brilliantly addictive bass lines. The vocals are immense as they cut through the squally instrumental attack with ease. Up next, ‘Shallow’ enters the sonic arena on an angry guitar line and another surreal vocal performance. It’s bass lines skip lazily in and out of that skittish drum pattern as we menacingly meander through walls of fuzzy reverberation and grunge tinged brilliance.
The EP’s closing piece is swirling maelstrom of high-hat heavy percussion and raging guitar squall. The melancholic vocals sit precariously atop a pulsing wall of reverberating instrumentation as ‘Mouth Breather’ weaves in and out of old-school grunge and screaming alternative rock with aplomb. 'You Can't Go back' is highly recommended and brilliantly addictive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & 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. 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.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Coconut Cluster
RELEASE: Brighter Day
RELEASE DATE: 25th September 2016
Generally when I get a post-rock submission into the blog these days the first thing that I tend to look for are surrealistic or atmospheric soundscapes with expansive swathes of reverb and repetitive patterns of minimalistic instrumentation. At least thats what I have been brought up associating the post-rock genre to be. Music that you can transfer into a movie soundtrack with the flick of a switch and in doing so you end up being brought on an immense sonic journey. Paris based post-rock/indie duo of Matthieu Connon & Gaël Maffre aka ‘Coconut Cluster’ released their debut five track EP entitled ‘Brighter Day’ to the masses on the 25th September 2016, and if you can get over the band name, have actually released something rather special. A melding of post-rock, shoegaze and electronica with indie and alt-rock tendencies that still have those spine trembling atmospheric moments but with a distinctly modern edge. ‘Brighter Day’ is available to buy/download right now from: coconutcluster.bandcamp.com
Brighter Day by Coconut Cluster
‘When We Burn’ pulsates on a wave of synth and swirling guitars as sequenced percussion builds feverishly behind walls of impressive production. The vocals arrive in a haze of atmosphere that builds menacingly through the verse parts and explodes brilliantly into the chorus progressions. The use of undulating synth swells and repetitive guitars lines add depth to proceedings and I cant help but hear sounds reminiscent of our good friends ‘In Violet’ peppered throughout. It’s a wonderful opening salvo. Up next, ‘The Terrifying’ rattles and shakes on a slow percussive pattern as sampled vocalisations and intensely delicious instrumentation creeps and weaves a magical kind of sonic spell. The vocal lines intertwine themselves in amongst the swirling cacophony of atmospheric noise as the track builds & drags itself into the musical ether on a wave of harmonious sounds and massive synth swells.
Track three, ‘The Mysterious’ explodes into the arena circulating effortlessly within a maelstrom of synth, drums and growling guitars. The cascading lead guitar lines dance and spin a web of blissful, golden hued instrumentation as the track unfurls its tremulous tendrils before ‘Downstream’ pierces the musical ether, held fast within an distinctly atmospheric sonic bubble. ‘Coconut Cluster’ show us their definitively intelligent post-rock side with this beautiful track. It’s fragile melancholic vocals ride a wave of reverberation as droning instrumentation builds and shimmers into earshot. Sparse rumbling percussion pulses from far below before the introduction of dark repressive synth swells and swathes of noise inter the fray with one aim in mind; to deliciously lash the senses with glorious sonic aplomb. The EP’s closing track breathes and undulates brilliantly as its held deep within an air of 70’s sci-fi chic. Acoustic frequencies swirl as the track builds in momentum, consciously looping and arcing as it changes gear and pushes a wave of blissful synth filled repetitious noise out into the ether. ‘The Strange’ injects overdriven guitar squall into the mix, shattering the surreal calmness of before and instilling an unnerving dark & haunting edge into its final moments. An absolutely stunning finale to brilliantly executed debut EP.
ARTIST: Pastel Coast
RELEASE: Sense EP
RELEASE DATE: 17th October 2016
Plain and simple, straight and true, Sense by the French based dream-pop project Pastel Coast is a neat and enthralling 5/5 EP. When I saw the projects genre to be that of dream-pop, I sighed and wondered whether this would be any different; different to the mass amounts of the genre that are poured out into the public sphere from musicians who think they are truly unique in some various way. Is it different? I’m not sure. Because I started to think as I listened to it; what makes dream-pop good? What makes it an enjoyable and a favourable listening experience? The answer, I started to think, is that if it evokes some sort of emotional response; some kind of ‘connection’ (if you want to get fancy) then it must be of better quality than others. And while I feel that Sense is definitely an original EP, filled with unique and refreshing songs and music, I believe it to be the nostalgic, propounded elements of Pastel Coast's musical and lyrical content that truly makes it a step above the others.
Sense opens with the ideal characteristic sound of the whole EP; the hush roll of waves on a shoreline and the gentle plucking of dream pop tone guitars. This song, ‘Nightfire’, showcases the projects musical landscape and favourite tools for creating soothing, relaxing and dreamy pop music. ‘Nightfire’ centres itself silently around the gentle beat of a drum machine at the back of the mix. Guitars sound light and fluffy; perhaps like the clouds that Pastel Coast are trying to emulate through their music. The sound is drenched in reverb enough so that the vocals and the instruments mix together without being totally audible all the time; which fits well in the music. Altogether I feel the song sounds synthetic; but synthetic in almost a genius way… As though these characteristics do nothing but good for the music. What follows, however, is the best track on the EP. ‘Lifes’ sees Pastel Coast use a more shoegaze texture; they connect this back with the ingredients used at the start of the EP; such as drum machines, heavy reverb, distant but entrancing vocals and simple yet appropriate bass lines. The project also add another gem into the mix; as ‘Lifes’ is where the vocals truly shine. The mesmerizingly beautiful chorus sees the vocals reach high to accompany the guitars in a truly brilliant passage of music. This tight mixture of sound also sees Pastel Coast at their most proffer as the music begins to reek (in a good way) of nostalgia.
‘Synthetic Love’ follows with its lengthy and more pronounced musical structure. The song opens with clear vocals, a steady drum beat and some basic backing instrumentation. It develops, however, over the course of the song, to include a neat synth and heavy, pounding drum machine passage of music. The track reaches its artistic heights with a winding, disco like breakdown in the middle of the song; after which the band slowly plaster things back into one cohesive image at the end of the song. Another truly beautiful and genuinely fantastic song is the aptly titled ‘Don’t Gaze Your Shoes’. By far the most shoegaze Pastel Coast ever broach on Sense, the song appears and projects itself in a much heavier way than others with reverb drenched guitars, more elusive vocals and a slower tempo that could be likened more to gazing at ones shoes than dream pop-ing. The song almost acts as the musical representation of swimming as it soothes; gentle, yet always deep and more often than not layered sounds paddle over the top of others.
Literally everything about Sense EP connects with what I referred to as ‘nostalgia’ in the aforementioned paragraphs. The artist image on the Internet is a colourful photo of somebody walking in the ocean with their guitar; the sky is blue, the water is dark and the whole picture looks like some sort of beautiful oil painting. The EP cover art displays a neatly blended colour pattern, light and full of colours associated with the beach, the ocean and I suppose… The coast? Even the band’s name links in with this dream pop nostalgia beauty, aesthetic. Of course, however, it is the music that links everything together tightly; presenting Sense EP in a neat, good-looking package. The production is almost bordering on lo-fi, which one generally does not associate with shoegaze or dream pop. However the project somehow push this very lo-fi like production quality to the front which somehow adds another gentle element to the mixing on the album. Reverb is heavy, as are the echoed programmed drums and the undercurrent of shoegaze like synths and soundscapes. Thankfully, again, the band use this to their advantage.
The beauty of this EP is immense. So much so at some points I felt like I was listening to Sense while standing on a cove or beach somewhere, ankle deep in the dark sand. And ultimately I feel like that’s why you should listen to this EP; it is a creature of mesmerizing brilliance and attraction, all the while being something you feel has walked you back through the past and placed you somewhere under the sun. Pastel Coast present this image and connect it together through the avenues of production, performance 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.
ARTIST: Curelight Wounds
RELEASE: Wearing The Strings EP
RELEASE DATE: November 1st 2016
Brooklyn based noisy lo-fi aficionados ‘Curelight Wounds’ unleash a monumental brand new four track EP to the masses entitled ‘Wearing The Strings’ on November 1st 2016. The EP brings with it a mixed bag of influential sounds that includes surging shoegaze, driving post punk and a splattering of lo-fi frequencies that collectively are guaranteed to stir the deepest of melancholic feelings from the most introverted amongst the underground gazing fraternity.
‘Wearing The Strings’ opens up with its title track, gloriously held within a turbulent maelstrom of angry noise and driving melodious bass frequencies. ‘Wearing The Strings’ weaves and soars effortlessly through layers of screaming feedback and pounding drums as its vocals swim through a deep dark sea of lo-fi brilliance. Up next, (the very punk like) ‘Sail It Away’ is awash in reverberation as its brilliant bass line undulates between the soaring guitars and the pounding drums whilst all the while being straddled by a repetitious vocal progression. ‘Sail It Away’ is absolutely magnificent and probably my favourite track on this entire release.
The EP’s penultimate track is a work of art. ‘Salted Hour’ drives headlong into the sonic ether on a skittish percussive pattern brilliantly underscored by weaving post-punk inspired bass frequencies and a raging cacophony of thunderous reverberation. Again, the lo-fi vocals cut an unwavering wedge through proceedings as the swirling accompanying guitars perform whammy bar theatrics as they unleash a wave of beautiful noise. The final track on this impressive release is ‘All In Red’. A melodious affair filled with snaking bass lines and addictive lead guitar progressions that weave in and out of that sublime vocal take with ease. Reminiscent at times to early ‘Cure’ or Boston’s own ‘Swirlies’, ‘All In Red’ is a fitting ending to a bloody marvellous EP.
RELEASE: Wide Shot EP
RELEASE DATE: 16th September 2016
Post-rock is almost always at its best when it is subtle, delicate, free-form and bordering on ambient music. It should also be noted that other styles are fantastic, but I feel post-rock and ambient music to be kind of next door neighbours. And so when they invite each other over for a barbeque, beautiful and majestic soundscapes and musical textures are made together; harmoniously, slight but somehow always so clever that it remains interesting. On 'Wide Shot', an EP full of such sounds, French based post-rock outfit Tölva deliver refreshing and earnestly beautiful post-rock/ambient songs that are spiced up by a more progressive sound than your normal instrumental outfit. Wide Shot lands beautifully between post-rock art music and the heavier and louder post-metal genre, offering a neat cross breed of genres and sounds.
Wide Shot by Tölva
'Wide Shot' opens with ‘Poveglia’, which uses fade in to a wild degree before introducing the dense yet fine instrumentation on the track. Much like subtle undercurrents of Berlin School of Electronic Music, the band use a light soundscape to introduce the first plucking of a guitar with bright sounds stationed behind and the neat introduction of the bass guitar. By the time the drums enter the mix, a beautiful yet simple guitar chord progression brings the music together. On ‘Poveglia’ the drums tie everything together in one package, allowing tiny blemishes of ambient guitar textures to sneak into the ear space of the listener. ‘Renton’ follows with a much more progressive rock/post-metal sound, built again around the steady yet full percussion of the drums. The guitars sound much heavier, as does the bass guitar, but even over the crunch of prog-instrumentation there is the rhythmic guitar playing that echoes the bands post-rock core. At around the four minute mark the band leans back toward a more ambient sound and then in a way, step-by-step, they crescendo back to the fuller, heavier sound of the beginning of the song.
‘Puzzle’ begins as an interlude of sorts; soundscapes float while tiny bells are plucked in the background of the mix. The trance-like guitars on ‘Puzzle’ allow Wide Shot to sound much like the soundtrack to a wintery, French or Icelandic film score. The EP’s title track ‘Wide Shot’ seeps in with a very distant fade in (much the same as opener ‘Poveglia’) but introduces a more ambient style sound before breaking into a post-metal wave of energy. ‘Wide Shot’ is by far the most epic track on the EP; soaring guitars and melodic soundscapes all conjoin to form a tight and heavier sound. At around the half way point however, the band slide back into their textured, subtle and beautiful form of a more quiet sound. This time, however, the undercurrents of metal run rampart through the slower and quieter parts of the track. The outro, which begins just past the half way point, connects every trick the band have pulled over the course of the EP and throws it at the listener in a fantastic, vast and satisfying way.
Tölva weave enough magic on Wide Shot to make the listener wish it was an entire album; and that’s pretty much one of the only flaws with this EP… The songs on the EP, while lengthy, seem to set up a wider scope for more potential material that could lead into an album that would showcase a fuller and more structural element of the band. For example, the beautiful and engaging interlude type track ‘Puzzle’ seems as if it’s asking to be noticed more. Similarly the first track ‘Poveglia’ seems like an album intro, with its heavy and fading instrumentation, but feels tight and frustrated in the context of the EP. Also while those who enjoy post-rock, progressive rock, ambient music and different types of heavy instrumental music will find this tremendously enjoyable, some listeners may find it too basic or simple for complete appreciation and praise. But, for those willing, this EP is a brilliant, simple and subtle listen. Each track stands on its own comfortably (even the interlude type track of ‘Puzzle’) and reinforces the bands skill and talent throughout. The performances and mixing are solid, fantastic and engaging; the production is clean enough to be appreciated by post-rock fans and heavy enough to be loved by metal listeners alike. Even the album art is impressive, and links back into the core stylistic elements of post-rock, ambient, textured and dense music. It’s fun and full; enjoyable for its production, performances and sound.
'Wide Shot' is available to buy/download right now from tolvaband.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Magic Love
RELEASE: Night Falls
RELEASE DATE: October 7th 2016
Shimmers and swells set the lush tone for the latest release, Night Falls, from Tokyo's Magic Love. Their first release since single 2015's Night Before brings together four tracks of stomach-flipping sonics.
Night Falls by magic love
Wait For Rain feels like dropping through dense clouds, Midnight Baby's tumbling energy rolls like sweet-sounding thunder. Popularity's full of summer pop sensibilities. There's a darker edge to Ghost Novice with its heavy fuzz and vertiginous swoops.
Night Falls is out now at magiclove.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: The Valkarys
RELEASE: Since I Was Fifteen
RELEASE DATE: 28th October 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Wrong Way Records
Edinburgh based garage/psych five piece 'The Valkarys' have announced the release date for their forthcoming five track EP entitled 'Since I Was Fifteen'. It's penned in for release on October 28th 2016 via Wrong Way Records with both a digital pre-order and a very limited 10' orange vinyl pressing available via wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com . Collectively, 'The Valkarys' have a very unique sound that skips nonchalantly through a beautifully melodic & endearing sixties psych vibe thats deliciously underscored by a distinctly modern approach.
Since I Was Fifteen by The Valkarys
The EP opens up with 'Grandma', a brilliantly executed slice of tremolo induced melancholy. 'Grandma' swirls blissfuly through cascading guitar lines that seem to perfectly filter out to envelope those incredible duel vocal lines courtesy of Scott William Dunlop and Sarah Ross. Up next, 'This Time's Today' floats into earshot on subtle acoustic vibrations coupled with the hum of bass frequencies, steadying drums and a jangling lead lick that snakes in and out of Scott William Dunlop's distinct vocal takes with aplomb. 'This Time'sToday' is wonderfully melodic and takes the listener with it on a beautiful journey of sonic discovery. The EP's title track ambles into earshot next. 'Since I Was Fifteen' begins with an acoustic guitar progression and a whirling drone before exploding into a cacophony of reverberating colour as the drums, bass and slide guitar soar into the ether. Vocally sublime, 'Since I Was Fifteen' is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. Simply beautiful.
The EP's penultimate piece, 'I Cheated Time', is a foot tapping 60's garage juggernaut. It rattles into the ether on a hi-hat heavy percussive pattern coupled with driving guitars and shaking tambourines, ploughing a heavy furrow as it deftly meanders on its predesignated course. A monumental track that will have you humming along to its hypnotic instrumentation. The EP closes out on a jangling acoustic strum and subtle synth swells. 'Crazy Shoes' introduces slide guitar to proceedings as Scott William Dunlop preaches the good word to the baying masses. Reminiscent at times to mid 90's Verve, The La's & Echo And The Bunnymen, 'Crazy Shoes' shakes and rattles into a glorious finale. A fitting end to a very satisfying EP.
RELEASE: EP 1
RELEASE DATE: November 4th 2016
Menacing Essex based psych/garage trio 'Muertos' release their debut EP entitled 'EP 1' to the masses via the brilliant purveyors of modern psychedelia 'Wrong Way Records' on November 4th 2016, unleashing their impressive fuzzy freakbeat imprint on the unsuspecting music buying public in the process. The band are made up of DeAnna Avis, Marc Crane & Tom Lewis and their debut EP is available to pre-order on various formats right now from wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com
EP1 by Muertos
'EP 1' unfurls its burgeoning sonic tendrils from deep within a reverberating vortex, filled with growling guitar drone, throbbing bass frequencies and the incessant thump of the bass drum. 'Ballroom Spritzer' skulks impatiently like a misguided school boy, dripping with hypnotic swagger as it deftly meanders down dark sonic corridors, wrapping itself around that brilliantly executed boy/girl vocal and constantly building momentum until we're thrust headlong into a maelstrom of impressive noise and dragged effortlessly along with it through stunning sonic peaks and troughs. 'Ballroom Spritzer' will blow your mind from its opening notes. Up next, held fast within the twang of tremulous guitars and howling feedback, lives the masterful 'Black Box'. It explodes through its chorus progressions in a hail of fuzzy instrumentation & pounding drums before the listener is dragged back into the calmer waters of its verse progressions, safe in the arms of those soothing boy/girl vocal tracks that seem to instil a short-lived sense of calm to the piece before exploding once more into a cacophony of noise. 'Back Box' is what I imagine walking in and out through the eye of a raging tornado feels like. It's that bloody good.
The EP's penultimate track slows proceeding down to a dark crawl. 'Snakes' undulates as it hovers into ear shot on a woozily repetitive lead guitar line, underscored with reverberating whammy bar theatrics and a metronomic percussive pattern. Vocally reminiscent at times to the brilliant UK based 'Dead Rabbits', 'Snakes' builds beautifully and floats through a wonderfully translucent vocal break before leading the listener to its eventual explosive finale. The EP's closes out with another impressive piece. 'Write To The Devil' swirls into the ether on an repetitive drone and deliciously dark bass frequencies, before the introduction of a shaking tambourine and another impressive vocal performance cracks up the atmosphere. Pounding drums ride the ensuing sonic wave as the track explodes into a maelstrom of fuzzy noise, howling vocals and throbbing bass. A fitting end to a marvellous debut EP.
Recommended! So good that I just bought it on vinyl!
ARTIST: Vivienne Eastwood
RELEASE: Shook EP
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2016
Brooklyn based fuzzy shoegazers 'Vivienne Eastwood' finally unleashed their highly anticipated sophomore EP entitled 'Shook' to the masses back on October 6th 2016 via bandcamp. The band are made up of vocals/guitar - Jordan John Parker, drums - Jenny Wong & bass - Bailey Meadows with additional musicians on this release listed as lead guitar/slide guitar on 'Nons' by Phil Radiotes & additional vocals on 'Snooze' by Lindsay Lueders. Vivienne Eastwood create impressive sonic imprints that are filled with dreamy layers of fuzzy reverberating shoegaze.
SHOOK EP by VIVIENNE EASTWOOD
A cacophony of swirling cymbal noise enters earshot before the opening bars of 'Snooze' erupt into the ether on a massive sonic tidal wave. This track is explosive and it meanders deftly on a bedrock of pounding drums, throbbing bass lines and woozy guitars coupled with that immense duel vocal attack. Up next, 'Shook' twinkles, drones and floats blissfully into audible range before the distortion arrives and the repetitive drum beat leads us into the verse progressions with aplomb. It's a different approach on this track, vocals are aligned brilliantly to the fore as the impressive instrumentation takes a back seat. But don't be fooled, Vivienne Eastwood's trademark wall of reverberating sound returns soon enough as the chorus parts explode into a maelstrom of beautiful noise. Thoroughly enjoyable and probably my favourite track on the entire release.
The very dream-pop sounding 'Maybelline' arrives on a shimmering guitar line and another impressive percussive pattern. Soon its wowing this listener completely as its stunning vocal track arrives in a haze of glorious reverb coupled with those impressive lead guitar licks that seem to unfurl their tendrils gracefully as they meander in and out of the entire piece. 'Maybelline' is brilliantly addictive, its sickly sweet tones hang in the air as if held by some unseen gravitational pull. Up next, 'Sea Salt' shudders as it works through its opening sonic gears, reminiscent at times to Adam Granduciel's 'The War On Drugs' or early 'Tame Impala'. 'Sea Salt' quietly builds as each facet of instrumentation is added, perfectly poised to accommodate that impressive vocal line as it weaves and bobs in and out of earshot and leads us into its brilliantly explosive finale.
The EP's penultimate track, 'Nons', is a blissful affair. Sparse percussion and throbbing bass frequencies underpinned by massive swathes of reverb laden guitar and that utterly addictive slide guitar collectively create a hazy wave of beautiful noise that carefully envelopes that fragile vocal track. 'Nons' is a triumphant soundscape that instils an air of intriguing melancholy into proceedings, bringing up past dreams of longing & lost love. The EP's closing piece, 'Messy', is a floating sonic monolith, full of beautifully translucent effervescent tones and golden hued frequencies that envelope the senses and aid floatation through the mechanisms of sound. Vocally sublime, it soars through its hazy progressions with ease, drenched in reverb and pulsing fuzzy melodies. A fitting ending to an absolutely immense EP...... Bravo Vivienne Eastwood!
With buying formats and links to be announced, this is a must have EP for 2016. Keep your eyes & ears peeled and head over to vivienneeastwood.bandcamp.com for details.
RELEASE: Danxia EP
RELEASE DATE: 11th September 2016
The lush sounds of Warm Rain are a dreamy introduction to Danxia. The Warrington based band have been whipping up whimsical sounds for their debut EP.
Danxia EP by Danxia
Closer is a triumph of textures, the guitars gritty and soaring by turns, topped with a honeyed vocal. The mood is more contemplative with Dislocated Minute's hushed intro, full of intricate layers that briefly bloom into a crashing reverb-laden crescendo. Sullen's melodic bassline bobs and weaves alongside the pretty vocal lulls and soothes.
A delicious debut!