‘Inhale Day’, the first part of a two part EP project called ‘Breathe Life’ by ‘Said the Ghost’ (the solo project of Brighton based Jamie Lees), just came out on Summer Solstice. The second part of this grand production will be out on Winter Solstice, and that should literally cover the long and short of it ;). As for Inhale Day, it is a celebration of new beginnings with its shoegazy meditative guitar riffs, soulful singing and a distinctive fusion-hymnlike vibe which submerges your mind and unleashes splashes positive energy in your limbic system. What is clearly impressive is Jamie’s musical and vocal prowess. For starters, his soothing yet versatile voice will be at home in musical styles as diverse as Indian and Irish. To top it off, the eclectic sound that draws some comparisons to Everything Everything and Dutch Uncles, Grizzly Bear, Field Music, White Denim, War on Drugs, St.Vincent, even Stevie Wonder at times, is something that Jamie and Nick Lewis (Mastering) should be very very proud of. We can’t recommend this enough and please purchase this EP from the band camp links below and encourage Jamie for an even more stupendous return with the second part ‘Exhale Night’ later this year. Get ready to get immersed:
A quartet of brothers (L.P. Moore, C. Moore, T. Moore, R. Mills), originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, call themselves ‘Catholic Radio’ and dish out a very unique anthemic indie rock sound which blends melodic poppish undertones with part aggressive part fuzzy guitars. They cover the spectrum from Simon & Garfunkel to phsychadelia in the same album and sometimes within the same track. They released their first album (Vol 1) around half a year ago and followed it up with (Vol 2) just recently. Both ‘The Last Summer’ albums have some hard hitting gems which are full of contrasting rhythms, the right balance of angst and calm and very well written and expressive lyrics, which clearly won’t leave you wondering about what they did last summer and will go down well with a crisp Carlsberg or few. We find ‘Rain is Done’ and ‘Gufts Glistening Boob (trim)’ to be absolute masterpieces as they transcend so many genres beautifully and go on to show the impressive range that this band has. But there are numerous tracks to cheer on both these albums and here is a selection of some of our absolute favourites:
Kips Golden, who goes by the pseudonym Gudjohr, returns after the supposed darkness in his last EP, titled Looks Kinds Lunar, to attain an enlightened aura in his latest EP, titled ‘Eliza Glow’. This spiritual awakening is sort of mirrored in the music and vocals of this album which starts off with tracks which sound more like internal conversations until the questioning and finally acceptance in the later ones. Like most processes that shape things and persons to attain a fine cut or a steely resolve, it isn’t easy and the mood of the album is therefore intense and sombre. Having said that, like many other such pleasures in life, this bitterness is very enjoyable, a great exercise in psychadelia, slightly remniscent of the ‘The Wall’. Here are couple of our favourites:
London based trio Lifecycle, whose alternative tribal music we featured around half a year ago, have released a super video of them performing their track ‘The Big Picture’ live. Traces of psychadelia interspersed among a very early Zeppelinish drums and guitar work, this is one great performance which is not to be missed. You will be transported to a time when they made it like they should.
Our friends at Russian Winter Records sent us this MR KITO’s latest Album and we absolutely love the unique sound which is a blend of indie rock elements heard in the early works of Talking Heads and Televesion. A distinctive psychadelic element coupled with the imperfectly perfect diction of the vocals make this an experience worth cherishing over and over again.
MR KITO is the musical solo project of Eric Michot, a French multi-instrumentalist and producer living in Cape Town since 1998.Having played extensively in the local indie music scene, Eric began writing and recording his own songs during 2012.By featuring on several online platforms at once and focusing on simply getting the music out there rather than sales, MR KITO was able to get to the enviable response from music fans worldwide
Earlier this year we shared their beautifully hazy and perfectly lazy single Coyote. In the meanwhile Tiny Tiny from Kentucky have completed their wonderful debut album ‘Evening and Everywhere After’. This album was recoreded @ the Bakery in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and in Boone’s apartment in Somerset, Kentucky. The album is experimental psychadelic pop with elements of upbeat acoustic thrown in for good measure. Like somehow someone crossed the Barenaked Ladies with the Syd Barrett era Floydians. Well, here are a few samples:
If you like what you hear please encourage them, spread the word and purchase their album here: http://tinytiny.bandcamp.com/album/evening-and-everywhere-after
And then comes along an album so deep, so personal, riffs that mirror your deepest darkest worries, words that eloquently phrase your underlying angst, notes that hit the perfect highs and the perfect lows at the perfect moments.. Interior City by The Gabriel Construct is all that and much more. And like all noteworthy albums , that are worth listening to because they are albums and not simply a collection of singles, this should be heard continuously in one go. It is a story and one that can have many interpretations for the listener because it is so relevant in so many contexts.
A bit about the wonderful bunch of people who given so much joy by creating this World Wonder: The Gabriel Construct’s debut album, Interior City, was released on April 5, 2013! It is a dark and atmospheric concept album written and performed by Gabriel Riccio and featuring Travis Orbin (ex-Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane, Of Legends) on drums, Thomas Murphy (ex-Periphery) on bass, David Stivelman (ex-Debbie Does Dallas) on guitar, Soren Larson on saxophone, and frequent collaborator Sophia Uddin on violin. It was engineered by Garrett Davis (Train, Shinedown, The Devil Wears Prada) and was mixed and mastered by Taylor Larson (Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane, Life on Repeat).
It starts of with the brilliantly understated ‘Arrival In a Distant Land’. The story, according to the band is about the dawning of a person’s awareness shortly after their birth. But for me it is metaphorically more about beginning to accept a situation in which you find yourself without any control or contribution on your part. It could be a choice that you would have made anyway, but the fact is that you didn’t and so you begin to cope. This then moves on to my personal favourite from the album ‘Ranting Prophet’. I say favourite (in a creme de la creme way) simply because this has to be one of the best put together tracks of all time. So many diverse influences from traditional arabic to cool over the bar jazz, from an 80’s Genesis drumbeat to King Crimson.. a plethora of musical instruments (but naturally) and a very unique and powerful vocal style to boot and still sound so coherent and beautiful. Applause! The story is about basically everyone around the central character coping with situations and life in their own ways. So even though you may be lonely, you certainly aren’t alone, at least not in misery. As every method of escapism is unique , the diverse styles used in the track are fully applicable given the context and that they harmonize so well together kind of shows us that somehow things do add up to create something that can be perceived as beautiful, albeit in a melancholic way because there is no real happiness in the escape. The next track called Fear of Humanity, and is the Soul of the Album which describes the main character’s worldview. A solid track , very powerful and sung with so much pain, it might become your cocoon. Then we have ‘My Alien Father’ which lends a bit of perspective to where the paranoia of the protagonist (for lack of a better word), stems from. His father is mesmerized by alien theories and if he protagonist’s own world view wasn’t depressive enough, he has ‘The War of the Worlds’ to worry about too. The next two tracks Retreat Underground and Subway Dwellers complement each other beautifully, musically and lyrically. The pacy Retreat Underground mirrors the panic certain anxieties manage to conjure and then when you are well within your retreat or your escape you can catch a breath and make poignant observations about the world and the people around you. Subway Dwellers, is a slow slightly poppy composition and the way the previous track leads into this one is sublime. From this subway of observations and inner protests, the next track transports you to a highway of dreams. Defense Highway deals with being lost in memories of the past as a defense mechanism to avoid waking up to the present. You can hear influences from Failure, drum-n-bass, barbershop quartets, Debussy, and more in this 10 minute song which alternates between full band sections and stripped down interludes (mostly solo piano). Thanks to the song’s frequent tempo changes and numerous sections in free rhythm (which are thus of indeterminate length), it had to be tracked in multiple chunks and somewhat out-of-order. Inner Sanctum, which follows this one, deals with giving in to your inner self, giving in to life or giving in to something. Something that keeps you away from the madness you don’t want to deal with, for the time being at least. This is followed by ‘Languishing in the Lower Chakras’. For the uninitiated, Chakras are a Hindu concept and deal with the new agey wellness ideas(ironically coming from the oldest religion in world). Healing your lower chakras is supposed to give you a sense of safety, boost your creativity and give you more power. The track seems to convey this. It is mainly instrumental with some voices , seemingly on the outside, when the protagonist is still hiding from them in his inner sanctum. At the very end, as if to show that there is some healing that has taken place he screams ‘Get me out of here’ a few times. And the album ends with the powerful ‘Curing Somatization’. This is sort of the ‘destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation’ track of the album. It is a struggle between the forces that beckon change and the forces that want to stay the same. St last he breaks the shackles of his burdenous comfort zone and is finally free. Now the album:
Well, I request you to buy the CD from bandcamp: http://thegabrielconstruct.bandcamp.com/ or following them on their website: http://thegabrielconstruct.com/category/interior-city/. This kind of music is endangered species and needs all the help it can get.
Some bands create music, some create lasting experiences! Sometimes the visual, aural, lyrical and vocal elements harmonize to create imagery that reflects your deepest feelings in ways that take your breath away. If they continue in the same veien, Alias Punch, ‘an indefinable power trio’ from Orlando, FL might very well be on their way to creating their version of Pink Floyd’s greatest album ‘The Wall’. Watch the video, reflect on the lyrics and let the sound soak in:
The Monks of Mellonwah are a 4 member alternative rock band from Sydney, Australia. They have won a major award and created 3 albums in their slightly over three years old career thus far. They started out with a more funky sound reminiscent of John Butler Trio in their debut EP ‘Stars are out’ , and their second EP Neurogenesis started to blend incorporate influences from Modern Rock and a bit of psychedelia. Their third EP, which is to be released this April Fool’s day, shows the band drawing heavily from Floydian influences. The EP is titled Sky and the Dark Night , and is an applaudable attempt by the band to challenge themselves and pursue the treacherous path to greater glory. Have they found their feet with this genre yet? Not quite! But what they do display here is oodles of promise and boldness. I wish them all the very best and urge everyone to spread the word. Sometimes imperfections make for the best experiences:
Park Planet are a Glasgow based band who like strong melodies and great tunes, at least according to the self description on their soundcloud page. Talk about understatement! I got wind of this band by the soundcloud weather reports and a few eargasms later allow me declare that they seem to be number ‘667’, i.e. one step ahead of this beast called music which consumes most of my time, attention and devotion.
The electronica, drums, guitar lines and vocals blend perfectly and create a mood which you probably won’t discover in the music of many of their contemporaries. The lyrics are usually a simple mantra, almost chant-like to ensure that you become worshippers, followers or in cases like yours truly, evangelists.
A bit of info about the band: Park Planet are Graham (Guitar & Vocal), Gordon (Bass & Vocal) and Leon (Drums & Vocal). Managed by Ann Duff at Boo Management, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In my humble opinion (I shall not use the acronym as it looks like a declaration of my charging money for certain time based bodily services), the two songs that lit up my evening: