Recorded at Soup Studios with producer Simon Trought at the helm, and inspired by the psycho-geography of walks in North London woods and in the forgotten grey hinterland of the city’s back streets, Comet Gain's seventh album “Paperback Ghosts” comes soaked in autumn melancholy. Tender-hearted but not miserable, defiant but not angry, it maintains the delicate balance that has always been Comet Gain’s strength.
Heavyweight Vinyl LP + MP3 Download Card.
Mining the rich territories of The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys, their debut album proper "Wooden Head" features fourteen thrillingly taut and melodic pop songs with a deep, dark undercurrent. Comprised of Argentinian Max Claps and James Hoare (also of Veronica Falls) – who both sing and write the songs – and joined by Daniel Nellis (bass) and Robert Syme (drums), the band have already shared stages with the likes of Real Estate, Woods, Crystal Stilts, Toy and Metronomy. Maximo Claps arrived in London in 2008 on a one-way ticket from Buenos Aires, aided by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
Oldham had produced a record by Claps' Argentinian band of the time but the group had fallen apart in a mess of drugs and acrimony and Claps' family were attempting to intervene by sending him to a mental hospital. The only option seemed to be to flee the country. As Claps recalls, "The day before flying to the UK I got run over by a car and had to escape hospital in order to make it so I arrived with bandages and my head all stitched up." A few weeks later Max walked into the vintage clothes shop where James Hoare sat behind the counter reading a book on The Velvet Underground, and attempted to cause a diversion while his kleptomaniac girlfriend stole a pair of boots. “She didn't steal them in the end,” says Max. “They weren't her size”. However, the shop assistant and the would-be accomplice bonded over a mutual love of the Velvets, Love, Felt and West Coast pop and began writing together, taking their name from a song by the pioneering soft psych band The Free Design. In 2010 they released their first single, "Recalling", following it up with a five-song EP for London label No Pain in Pop.
In 2013 Lo Recordings released all their output to date on a collection titled "Waiting for the Summer", followed by the single “First Step Out” in February 2014. Their new album was recorded at a studio in Hackney, as well as at home in their old flat in Whitechapel on a broken 8-track reel-to-reel bought off eBay from an angry guy who threatened to shoot them and chop off their balls when they attempted to return it - a terrifying experience for a pair of skinny indie boys. Taking inspiration from Berlin-era Lou Reed, Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Darklands”, The Television Personalities and West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, the songs are breezy and easy on the ear, with sublime harmonies and chiming Byrdsian guitar, but with a darker twist and a pervasive air of melancholy. Stand-out tracks include the beautiful but sad “Summer’s Gone” (about mental illness), “Magazine” (an upbeat number written from the perspective of a bullet in the barrel of a gun) and “You’ll See” (about how when you die you’ll see everyone you know, all there lined up in a row).
With "Wooden Head", The Proper Ornaments prove that it is still possible to create an album of pure pop perfection. Max's girlfriend may not have stolen the boots, but The Proper Ornaments are about to steal your heart. “The joint project of James and Max, through romantic drama that borders on that of The Libertines. And when you hear The Proper Ornaments you’ll see why it’s all worth it.
4. Now I Understand
5. Don't You Want To Know (What you're going to be)
8. Step Into The Cold
9. Tire Me Out
10. Always There
11. Summers Gone
12. What Am I To Do
13. You Shouldn't Have Gone
14. You'll See
"Horseshoe" is the magnificent first single proper from the long awaited second album New Gods by WITHERED HAND (aka Edinburgh based folk-rock troubadour Dan Willson). Love and the fear of loss is the theme here, and its plaintive entreaty “Please don’t put a shadow on her lung” is coupled with an epic, widescreen, soul-stirring pop tune that leaves no room for doubt. As Dan himself says, "It's about love. Not romantic love or sexual love. The other stuff."
2. Not Another Sunny Day
1. Why I Am A Terrorist
3. Menwith Hill
4. Saint Bob?!
5. One More Parade
6. When The Morning Comes
7. Music Rules
8. Money (That's What I Hate)
9. Meat-Eating Hippies
10. Talking Newcastle Nuclear Nightmare
11. Two Chord Trick
12. The Return Of The Repressed
13. Ballad Of The New Orleans Flood
14. Betrayed By Folk
15. McCarthy In 2005
1. I Met The Devil On The Bus
2. This Last Hope
3. Not Quite Yet
4. This Man Is Not Dead
5. Bomb Shelter
6. The Devil Is Alive
7. The Afterlife
8. What The Devil Wants The Devil Takes
9. Just A Few
10. Leave A Light On
12. The Devil Always Wins
1. Je T'Aime, Baby
2. I My She Love You
3. She'll Break Your Heart... Again
4. The Rainbow Connection
5. Xs And Os
7. Jazz My Bads (For JT)
8. So Sad
10. How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
11. (Gimme Gimme) The Good Times
1. Would-Be-Goods – Vivre Sa Vie
2. Les Très Bien Ensemble – À Hélène
3. Corazón – Jugando Con El Corazón
4. The Chemistry Experiment – You're The Prettiest Thing
5. The Lucksmiths – Fiction
6. Camera Obscura - I Love My Jean
7. Airport Girl – Show Me The Way
8. Fanfarlo – In The Trunk
9. Single – Llévame A Dormir
10. La Casa Azul – Viva (Un Poco Más) El Amor
11. Loves, The – Honey
12. Cooper (3) – Rabia
13. Milky Wimpshake – Pearshaped
14. Bearsuit – Rodent Disco
15. Tender Trap – Applecore
16. Cannonball Jane - Hey! Hey! Alright!
17. La Monja Enana – Números
18. Niza – El Muchacho De Los Ojos Tristes
19. Trembling Blue Stars – The Sea Is So Quiet
20. Jupiter Apple – Act Not Surprise
21. Nosoträsh – Pez Globo
22. Le Mans – Juan
23. Finlay – Fuck Honey
24. Butterflies Of Love, The – Belt And Shoelaces
In anticipation for the first new Tullycraft album for five years, Fortuna POP! are releasing a single featuring the title track ‘Lost in Light Rotation’. One of the most influential bands to have emerged from America’s indiepop underground, Seattle’s Tullycraft revel in a DIY aesthetic having honed their particular brand of clever, self-reverential pop to perfection.
‘Lost in Light Rotation’ is an all-in-one banner anthem for the heartbroken, the disenfranchised, and the fleeting pop star. The song also makes a not-so-veiled reference to the 1996 single “This is Fake D.I.Y.” by the Scottish indiepop band Bis.
The b-side ‘Bad Connection’ is a cover written by the British synthpop duo Yazoo (also known as Yaz in the United States). The song originally appeared on the group’s 1982 debut album, Upstairs at Eric’s.
A. Lost In Light Rotation
B. Bad Connection
On the heels of their debut eponymous album, released in 2009, Brooklyn quartet The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have rightfully earned themselves a reputation as masters of the peerless pop song, crafting tender, melancholy gems which shimmered and sighed with the wistful promise of new love, casting a spell over listeners and critics alike.Which brings us to “Belong”.
For this, their second album, The Pains of Being Pure Heart have recruited the services of what, on the surface of it, seems like two unlikely conspirators, in the form of master producer Flood and renowned mixer Alan Moulder. Only a few seconds into the title track however, and it makes perfect sense. Having worked with the legendary likes of My Bloody Valentine, U2, Smashing Pumpkins and PJ Harvey (to name but a few) between them, they have opened up the band’s beautifully self-contained sound and made it vast and magnificent, banishing once and for all any associations to “lo-fi” and bringing it into heretofore unmapped widescreen dimensions. Not that they have abandoned what made them so special in the first place however – quite the opposite.
Everything seems more vivid, more lush and spacious now; the emotion heightened, more potent. The majestic “The Body” gallops along and goes deeper, darker than they ever have, painting a bleak portrait of decaying relationships, “Too Tough” is one of the most wrenching, yearning songs they’ve written to date, while previous single “Heart In Your Heartbreak”, with its handclaps, infectious chorus and late-breaking synth stabs, sounds like the very essence of bittersweet romance. The new single meanwhile, is also the title track, and sounds positively anthemic, with buzzsawing, Smashing Pumpkins-circa-Gish guitars slicing intermittently through Pains’ beautifully jangling wall of noise.
And even though it comes equipped with hooks to spare and an infectious climax of “we don’t belong”, the sweet melodies bely its acute study of restlessness and human (dis)connection (“What to do/ nothing new/ we’ve tried each other/ let’s try another”, Berman sighs at one point) and manages to lodge itself in the listener’s brain long after its short but sweet running time is over. Taken in total, it adds up to a glorious vision of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – vibrant and expansive, more muscular and complex to be sure, but without losing any of the fragile beauty and inimitable charm that marked them out in the first instance. We simply cannot wait to see what the next phase will bring.
2. Heaven's Gonna Happen Now
3. Heart In Your Heartbreak
4. The Body
5. Anne With An E
6. Even In Dreams
7. My Terrible Friend
8. Girl Of 1000 Dreams
9. Too Tough
British art-pop five-piece Shrag and US indie sensations Tunabunny are teaming up for a joint headline UK tour in February. To commemorate this union and the unmissable series of shows, the bands are releasing a split 7” on 20 February, a three-way release between labels WIAIWYA, Fortuna POP! and Happy Happy Birthday To Me.
The single features a brilliant new track from Shrag entitled “Tendons in the Night” as well as Tunabunny’s song “Locusts”. Shrag recorded “Tendons in the Night” along with their forthcoming album Canines, at Gargleblast Studios with producer Andy Miller (Life Without Buildings, Mogwai, Sons and Daughters).
“Tendons in the Night” is a visceral song bristling with urgency, melody, and danger, and is the sound of a band fully in their stride. Shrag describe the song as “a voyeuristic ode to the pursuit of gymnastic perfection, but we doubt very much it will be sanctioned by the IOC."
Tunabunny hail from Athens, GA and have just released their arrestingly exciting second LP Minima Moralia on Happy Happy Birthday To Me records. 'Locusts' is a song about destruction and unwanted guests, those who ravage the dead soil for their personal and political gain.
1. Tendons In The Night - Shrag
2. Locusts - Tunabunny
Due for release this July, the single sees the now London-based six-piece in full-on disco-tastic power pop overdrive.
‘Call Me’ has as catchy a refrain as anything we have heard so far from The Pipettes, which is really saying something, given their knack for serving up slices of utterly infectious pop perfection. Hot on the heels of the band’s ebullient comeback ‘Stop The Music’ (“the sort of chorus that makes you go a bit wobbly and misty-eyed” - Popjustice) this disco-tinged follow up is undeniable proof that there’s something different about the Pipettes.
Thanks to a change of line-up and a hop, skip and jump into 2010, they've reinvented themselves as a big shiny pop group, leaving behind the realm of the three female harmony girl-group and moving towards the sounds of Chic-inspired seventies disco and eighties chart music.
1. Call Me
2. Over Heels
Ex-Hefner frontman’s brilliant new duet with Emmy The GreatEx-Hefner frontman Darren Hayman met Emma-Lee Moss when they were both recording sessions for a radio station in North London. Like many, Darren was struck by the audacity of Emma-Lee’s “Emmy the Great’ stage name and decided to celebrate their new friendship by recording a duet.
“I always assume singers younger than me don’t know shit,” says Darren of Emmy, “but watching Emmy play at the Union Chapel earlier this year was an education for me. Her wit, stage presence and intelligence are something to behold and of course she has those beautifully intricate songs.”For their duet Darren wrote a love song about illicit sex in parked cars.
“The album Essex Arms is about love in unloved places. I wanted to sing about a lawless, hidden version of the countryside, but still treat the subject with tenderness and respect.”Darren continues to forge an increasingly, idiosyncratic career path; writing the theme tune and staring in a Spanish Sitcom, playing a 30 people capacity show in a 100 year old paper mache observatory and playing possibly Britiain’s most remote festival on the Isle of Eigg.
Darren is also writing the best tunes of his career; increasingly complex and mature songs. His band, The Secondary Modern, are a tight, tough, but soulful folk-rock orchestra reminiscent of a more urban Incredible String Band or an Anglicized Lambchop.“Calling Out Your Name Again” is the second single to be released from Essex Arms, Darren’s latest album. Besides the title track, the EP includes three songs taken from the album sessions that are exclusive to this release – Essex Arms, Beach Head and Until We Got Bored.
1. Calling Out Your Name Again
2. Essex Arms
3. Beach Head
4. Until We Got Bored
Tender Trap are now a proper girl-group! Neither Talulah Gosh nor Heavenly (Amelia Fletcher's previous bands) had this much vocal harmony going on.
With two extra voices from new guitarist Elizabeth Morris (also of Allo Darlin’) and new drummer Katrina Dixon, this great new single combines the harmonies, oohs, ahhs and sha-la-las of classic girl-pop with the stripped-down beats and dirty guitars of the Shop Assistants and The Vaselines.In contrast with earlier Tender Trap, which had a more electronic bent, the current line-up has stronger links to the pop lineage of its founding members; Fletcher and Rob Pursey were in influential indie-pop originals and John Peel favorites Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, who released records on Sarah Records, K Records and Stephen Pastel's 53rd and 3rd.
Revered by today's revitalized indie-pop scene, their records are floor-fillers at indie dance clubs and their influence can be heard in bands such as Los Campesinos! (who namecheck Fletcher in their song "International Tweexcore Underground") and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart."Do You Want a Boyfriend?," taken from the Tender Trap's upcoming album Dansette Dansette, is a perfect chunk of pop, but it's not as innocent as it seems - it celebrates the girl-pop phenomenon, but deconstructs it, too. Fletcher sings in response to Dixon and Darling's increasingly intimate questions about boyfriends, and her answers stray well outside the standard girl-group territory.
The punk-rocking flip side "The Sum and the Difference" is the closest Tender Trap have come to Talulah Gosh; while guitars and drums rush by in a blur, Fletcher and Morris harmonize sweetly, contemplating whether to kiss or kill another unreliable partner.
1. Do You Want A Boyfriend?
2. The Sum And The Difference