ARTIST: Andrew Younker
RELEASE DATE: 2nd February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
While many of us were in a turkey coma over the festive season, Andrew Younker appears to have experienced a bout of intense productivity. He's created an impressive 6 track EP that builds on the woozy sonic foundations of 'Brainchild' (released November 2016). Andrew's voice and approach somehow make me think of Sufjan Stevens, it's probably more my perception than reality, but sometimes that's how it goes. The aesthetic is familiar, with washes of beautiful noise given direction mainly through the insistent bass. There's a strong electro feel, but plenty of organic noises too. 'Microchasm' is available to buy/download right now from andrewyounker.bandcamp.com
Microchasm by Andrew Younker
The resolute rhythm of Electric Chair sets the pace for the EP, the bassline pushing the song along pleasingly, while the guitars swirl about somewhere up above. Totaled Ambulance's post punk feel with its reverby snare sound and, of course, that bass bowling along in its icy beauty, nods to the 80s. Multi-layered melodies shine through Eyes Turn Blue. The gritty but glorious guitars glow with restrained power, as does Andrew's voice. There's a change of feel with Down The Stairs which in contrast to the immaculate construction of earlier tracks seems freer, with an almost psychedelic guitar line.
A monotone robotic voice sings plaintively in Sophisticated, which soon merges in into Pretend Therapist. Again the 80's influences are clear, but Younker's tastes are impeccable, every sound carefully selected and placed perfectly. Microchasm is an interesting step in Younker's musical development, exuding a cultivated chilliness. Can't wait to hear where he goes next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
by Primal Music
London (Hackney) based fuzzy & atmospheric psych/shoegaze outfit 'The Marbles Jackson' have announced a brand new single & visually compelling accompanying video directed by Naoko Takahashi entitled 'Ten Million Suns', penned in for release on the January 26th 2017 via Feline Frequency Recordings. This latest single is the band first since their highly successful full length album 'Notes To Dust' wowed us back in April 2015. The band are made up of Terry Kirkbride - voice/drums/acoustic guitar/drone, Naoko Takahashi - electric guitar/voice, Simon Gwyne - keys/electric guitar/slide guitar & Mikey Belfast Gibson - bass. 'Ten Million Suns' (backed by Wish For) is released on digital download and very limited edition Red Cassette Tape on 26th January 2017 and will be available to pre-order very soon via ffrecordings.bandcamp.com
'Ten Million Suns' echoes in a swirling haze of reverberation as the highly addictive vocalisations of Terry Kirkbride shimmer and glide through diminished instrumental drones, fizzing percussion and tremulous acoustic frequencies. The track loops and arcs through many different sonic permutations all the while cushioning your senses with beautifully intense passages of hypnotically charged psychedelic tones deftly underscored by brilliantly executed production techniques.
ARTIST: Living Hour
RELEASE: Living Hour
RELEASE DATE: 19th February 2016
RECORD COMPANY: LEFSE Records (Portland)
I know that its probably too early to be discussing the dreaded ‘Best Of 2016’ albums list? And that it’s also probably way too early in the year to waxing lyrical about the best singles but I’m so happy that I had the chance to hear & then to write about this debut self titled 8 track release from Winnipeg based dreamy 4 piece Living Hour as I believe that this release will feature heavily on the year end lists for 2016 especially within the dream pop & shoegazing fraternities when the time comes around. The band initially peaked my attention before, way back in 2014 when they were known as their previous incarnation ‘The Hours’ and even back then I had fallen head over heels in love with their reverb induced & luscious single – ‘Steady Glazed Eyes’. The band released this self titled full length debut album worldwide through LEFSE Records (Portland) on February 19th, 2016.
Living Hour by Living Hour
In a haze of shimmering reverberating brilliance the opening bars of ‘Summer Smog’ grace this listeners ears and I’m instantly floating in a world of melodic tone & shape where addictive dreamy vocals are king and where the crackling jangling effected guitar lines stand guard for what will be one of the best releases of 2016 come years end. I am in no doubt of that. There’s a sort of unplanned understanding between the vocals & guitars on this track as they vie for space within the wide expanses of the reverb laden production. It works really well and helps to catapult Livinghour to somewhere special within the dream gazing world as we know it. A jangling guitar line greets us as we wait for track two ‘Seagull’ to break free and let fly. The chorus soars and there’s a brilliant crescendo of sound before it breaks back into the verse parts again. The vocal lines are divine and allowed to stray within the layers of reverb laden guitar whilst the drum pattern keeps the whole affair firmly fixed to solid ground. A triumphant track full of expressive soaring hints of shoegaze & interspersed with heavenly dream pop flair.
The atmospheric awakenings of track 3 ‘This Is The Place’ shatters the sound sphere as yet another reverb laden jangling guitar track ambles into the musical ether. There’s a definite psychedelic feel to this unlike the previous 2 tracks. It sounds like a cross between ‘Spacemen 3’ & early ‘Creation Records’ era 'Telescopes' that have been melded together with Melbourne based underground psych gazing stalwarts ‘Fire Behaving As Air’. Truly remarkable. Im transfixed as the track shuffles through its sonic algorithms. Again, it’s the floating almost whispering vocal track that grabs my attention and I swoon within its grasp. Track 4 is a slice of shoegazing brilliance. Originally appearing at the back end of 2014 and into early 2015 when the band were known as ‘The Hours’, ‘Steady Glazed Eyes’ is a dream gazing phenomenon. Swirling, layered guitars & strong percussion form a droning wall of sound that’s purposely built to envelope & caress that immense vocal track. This is three minutes and fifty four seconds of pure gazing indulgence. A masterful track that deserves plaudits for its song writing structure & production. We’ve comfortably landed from our previous flight and settled back into proceedings as track 5 ‘There Is No Substance Between’ arrives into the arena. A slow menacing affair that’s full of dark & light sonic shading but also expertly buffered by duel vocal lines, shimmering guitars & pounding drums. This light & dark theme is carried right through to that singular rock n’ roll break, 5 minutes into the track, when Living Hour buck the trend and give us a glimpse of a subtle ‘baggy’ manchester vibe!
‘Mind Goodbyes’ is reminiscent of Philadelphia based dream gazers ‘The Morelings’. It swims in reverb soaked guitars as melodic tremolo & delay intertwine with that glorious vocal and we’re treated to a two minute display of dreamy percussion-less melodic dream pop. The track then explodes into a droning mesmerising piece of emotive shoegaze. Sure to be a favourite of the underground dream gazing fraternity on its release. There’s a psychedelic droning entrance for the next track on the immense release before we’re again treated to a masterful melodic chord structure. ‘Miss Emerald Green’ floats along on its reverberating sonic axis as shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals again occupy centre stage. But there is an alt-rock tinge to proceedings as the the track progresses & as tempo’s change but this just showcases the bands ability to switch it up when needed.
The closing track on the magnificent 8 track release is nothing short of brilliant. I expected it to be if I’m honest. A swirling, droning maelstrom of sound heralds in that stunning vocal as ‘Feel Shy’, the albums longest track at 6.51, cranks up and brings with it images of dreamy Cocteau Twins, the droning abilities of The Cranes & the more modern dream pop sounds of Welsh based Golden Fable. You simply have to listen to this track via headphones. Trust me, it will blow your mind. A truly remarkable track to finish off a wonderful album.
Bravo, Livinghour & welcome back.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based 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 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.
Norwegian based psychedelic dream gazers 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' have unleashed a beautifully hazy new video to accompany their debut single, the brilliantly titled 'We Don't Care', released via 'Sotron-Records'. With a sound that harks back to the likes of 'early Verve, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized & fuzzy UK stalwarts Lupine Howl', 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' have created a downtempo masterpiece, filled with jangling acoustic guitars and utterly addictive vocal lines that collectively swirl within a shimmering sea of glorious reverberation.
'We Don't Care' is streaming right now over on Soundcloud, Spotify & Apple Music.
Vancouver based experimental psych aficionado's 'The Orange Kyte' have returned with their eight single and possibly their most laid back release so far entitled 'Imaginary Conversation #27'. This new single see's the band continuing on with their sonic manifesto of releasing one new track per month in varying shapes & sizes whilst always staying through to all things fuzz! The band are made up of 'Vancouver based but Dublin born', Steve Moonboots & a revolving door of likeminded musicians. Piloting the good ship Orange Kyte on this voyage is Stevie Moonboots - guitars/bass/hammond organ & vocals and he's accompanied this time by Ross Fahy -percussion/synth & rhythm ace programmed by Chris van der Laan. The single is available to buy/download right now from: theorangekyte.bandcamp.com
Imaginary Conversation #27 by The Orange Kyte
'Imaginary Conversation #27' features spoken word readings of Vernon Howard's 1967 'The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power' intertwined with swirling hammond drones, sparse percussive hits, tremulous guitar progressions and swathes of joyous reverberation.
RELEASE DATE: 29/06/15
RECORD COMPANY: Morningside Young Team Records
In the realm of instrumental shoegaze noise-rock, psych & post-rock it is the ability of the musician and or musicians to collectively carry a project to its finality thats the most important overriding factor. These modern day creators of psychedelic gazing are tasked with the job of carefully enticing listeners into their world by virtue of a sonic journey through many layers of infectious mind bending tone & shape and on into a blissful arena of sound. Musicians need to be masters of their craft & commit to enthralling listeners with their collective creative abilities in order to achieve their fans adoration. One such band have continued to impress not only me but the vast majority of the underground shoegaze, noise-rock, psych & post-rock world with their stunning musical soundscapes & their collective ability to bring listeners to their music on a psychedelic rollercoaster ride through waves & waves of addictive shoegazing goodness.
From their earliest creations Edinburgh based sound gazers 'Wozniak' have produced mind numbing music of brilliant shimmering proportions. 'Wozniaks' first release 'MFMB / New Hampshire' was a tiny crack in the surrounding framework that encompasses their musical world but what it did was to allow us to briefly peek inside. Listening to it let us collectively (as music fans first & foremost) sample a small sliver of their psychedelic might. It wasn't until the release of their immense EP 'Pikes Peak' that they broke the mould & unleashed a torrent of beautifully inspired shoegaze & noisey post rock infused cinematic sounds into the atmosphere that are so good they actually had the ability to sweep up this listener & carry him on an awe inspiring wave of shimmering musical brilliance.
After releasing the brilliant explosive single 'Five Star' back in November 2014 as a follow up to the mighty 'Pikes Peak' the band have released another stunning collection of tracks on Morningside Young Team Records aptly named - 'Auster'. The EP takes its name from the Roman God of the south wind, and reflects the elemental forces at work on Auster’s four stunning tracks. With its swirling snarl of guitars, dark, dirty bass tones and tom-heavy drums, the EP builds on 'Wozniak’s' previous releases revealing sophisticated sounds and songs that reveal themselves over repeated listens. 'Auster’s' layers of shoegaze sounds are underpinned by a noise-rock intensity and the expansive structures of post-rock bringing to mind comparisons with Slowdive and Mogwai.
This latest release opens up with the rather beautiful 'Snow Effect'. Glimmering guitars, addictively layered lead progressions, fuzzed out intricate bass lines, the steading presence of John Sinclair on drums mixed with that absolutely stunning standout vocal performance from Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr makes this track shimmer. As opening tracks go this has to be one of the best that I've heard this year. 'Snow Effect' has the ability to tell a story through the medium of music. Its chorus alone will shake up your memories & have you dreaming of the heady sunny days gone by. This is an absolutely stunning first track!
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The opening salvos of 'Wings Of Pegasus' charge into the musical atmosphere & instantly bring you back down to earth with its full on instrumental noise-rock swagger accompanied by that ( a- typical of Wozniak ) swirling maelstrom of guitars courtesy of both Simon & Sarah's penchant for guitar effect pedals & their ability to craft wondrous sounds from them! This is an addictively repetitive monster of a track that belongs on an early Death In Vegas mixtape & should in my opinion be remixed for the dance floor at some stage further down the road.
Next up on this immense release is another instrumental masterpiece - 'Gospel Of Infinity' is a call to arms. It builds from its very first repetitive chord progression whilst sitting on top of Johns Sinclair's rolling drum pattern & intertwining with yet another addictive bass line courtesy of the brilliant James Urquhart until the band eventually explode in unison as one swirling singular mass of gazing noisy sound waves.
The closing track on 'Auster' is simply EPIC. 'Hester & Zelda' is eight minutes plus of pure joy. Its cinematic beginnings are steeped with post-rock tendencies but don't be fooled. Wozniak refuse to be tamed within any genre specific borders. They unleash a full on sonic assault on your senses that will have you on the one hand gazing at your shoes immersed in a beautiful swirling mass of sound & on the other I can guarantee you will spend your time being absolutely amazed at this tracks post-rock infused glory. A truly wonderful track by a band who are not afraid to experiment by beating & bending sound until its moulded into their preferred shape. Stunning!
If creating & releasing music can be classed as a continuous progression with each step a betterment of yourself as a musician or as a collective of musicians then Wozniak have made a serious leap up the musical ladder with this latest EP release. What 'Auster' shows is that this band are one with their music & that they have the ability to create serious waves in todays underground musical landscape. I firmly believe that they have (as a collective) raised the musical bar for others to see clearly. This is a bold statement of intent from a band that I have a lot of time for & who I know have a lot more to give to us paltry music fans going forward. This EP is a must have for any serious music fan reading this (who like me) love their music on the shadier side of noisy post-rock but with that full on atmospheric shoegaze wall of sound.
It is my belief that the sounds 'Wozniak' are creating today will be influencing new bands for years to come.
Next up a full album release .......... & I can't wait.
Del Chaney has spent the last three 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 Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. 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: The Constant State
Release Date: 02/03/15
Record Company: Unsigned
Trying to convince someone to part with their hard earned cash isn't an easy thing to do when it comes to music! It's an even harder thing to do in the modern day underground music scene. Stats surrounding music sales continue to be wishy-washy at best, with some saying that vinyl is king while other prominent music selling websites are stating that the digital age of downloading music is still here & is still pulling the strings behind the scenes. Convincing people to support your music is the first step on a long upwardly hike to building a fan base! New bands just starting out quickly become aware of just how difficult it can be in this modern day musical landscape. Music Blog's, Online Radio & PR companies, who know their stuff & are willing to go the extra mile for the artist are the key in my opinion, to successfully making this happen. Today's Music Blog's depend on certain underground PR companies to get new artists to their ears & in turn introduce them to immense new music! This week one such online PR Company, the brilliant 'Shameless Promotion PR', introduced me to an immense New York based 4 piece outfit called 'MALKA', who have created a sonic landscape full of psychedelic impressions, stunningly emotive shoegaze, intertwined with dream-pop flair, reminiscent in parts to the amazing early 90's sounds of 'Lush', a firmly solidified member of the first wave of shoegaze & a band that I am a big fan of.
'MALKA' will officially release their debut EP, The Constant State, on March 2, 2015. Recorded at both APT Studio (NYC) and Elohino studio (NJ), mixed by Darko Saric, and mastered at 825 Studios by Grammy Award-winning engineer Butch Jones (Madonna, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, The Gun Club, B52's). They band are made up of: EJ DeCoske - guitars, synths and vocals, David Ciauro - bass and vocals , Michael Dawson - Drums & Darko Saric - guitars, synths and vocals. The vocal melodies on this impressive debut assume an instrumental form and transcend language, adding transparency to bilingual Spanish-English lyrics shared between three lead vocalists. We've picked our favourite tracks from this brilliant debut release & you can find out what we thought of them below.
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'The Constant State EP', opens with a trip back in time to the early 90's and an absolutely immense track entitled 'A flock Of Crows'. A wall of luscious reverb laden guitars, riding a wave of heavy bass & thunderous drums introduce the arrival of a well produced vocal, infused with a plethora of effects, all swirling around an amazing song structure cruising through a landscape of musical peaks & troughs! This track heralds the arrival of something wonderful.
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With an almost post-rock edge, the second track on this EP stalks it's musical landscape like an animal on the hunt. 'For Now We Live' is so beautiful in it's structure that first it lures you in & then menacingly explodes into a wall of swirling sound's & effected vocal lines, like a hurricane ploughing a track across the earth. For me, this track is not only the cornerstone of this whole release, but it is also the bedrock for what is to come from this stunning band. This is a truly impressive EP. I'm 2 songs in & hooked fast.
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Track 3, 'Mientras Se Respira', again brings me back to the early 90's with it's dream-pop infused vocals & hazy wall of effected guitars. Simple in its construction & with vocals sung in Spanish, this track is simply beautiful and it flows so well, with it's psychedelic breaks & screaming shoegaze swirls. Seriously, go and check this track out:
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You can listen to any track on this 7 track release from New York based 'MALKA' and really drift away on it's post-rock, dream-pop & shoegaze walls of sound. It's a stunning debut from a band I reckon will make serious waves going forward in this next wave of shoegaze. Tracks like 'Wolves And Sheep, Diamond Girl, Corazon Sin Sangre' & the brilliant 'Swoon' will have you drifting through their sonic waves, force you to listen to their explosive shoegaze swirls & have you wanting to hear more from this amazing outfit. Their songs are evocative, both musically and lyrically, touching on metaphysical, existential and interpersonal subject matter with an honesty that resonates to an emotional core. Their music is a reflection of the triumph and tragedy of the world, compelling us to look deeper into the realms of our consciousness.'MALKA' are trying to stretch the concept of songs to make them sound more like emotional lapses of time.
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - February 2015 - Dublin, Ireland.
The Constant State is available on Bandcamp and will also be available as a digital release in iTunes and streaming through Spotify, Rdio, etc.
Del Chaney has spent the last two 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, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, 'The Primal Radio Show', has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he's passionate about. He also currently write's for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com. 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.