Sunday 16 January 2011

Hits From The Box #3

What a week to have your eye glued shut. Well, having a bung eye is never good, but there were a couple of nice days this week to venture outdoors, but I was too blurry eyed (and embarrassed) to make the journey to anywhere other than the NHS Walk-in Centre and the pharmacist. Which allowed me to pore over our inbox and see what juicy treats we had in store...

The first two acts have a common thread - they are projects of bands we have previewed recently, Luftwaffe and Smiley With A Knife. Firstly, Camera Phone is the solo project of Luftwaffe's Toby Altman, and is an interesting affair indeed, as its mainly made up of samples from the new Taylor Swift album... Red Stag (For James) is all shimmery lo fi dreampop though, that much we can be certain of. And its a nice little grab too.

Late last year we posted about an instrumental math group from New Orleans called Smiley With A Knife, whose 3rd LP Long Now showed a real progression for the band. The guitarist from the band, Patrick Bailey, puts out musak of his own under the moniker LoOmis, and is releasing his own 3rd LP, A Solitary Attraction. Experimental looped ephemera. I likee...

Talvihorros (AKA Ben Chatwin) has grace Sonic Masala with his presence before, with the Bad Panda backed track 'The Blue Cathedral' - check that one out here. Here he is extending his experimental exploration of the guitar with ‘Etude V’, a cut from the forthcoming album Studies For Acoustic Guitar and Electronics. I find his compositions alluring and enthralling – I cant wait to see what else he produces in 2011.

Etude V by Talvihorros

Slowwave have a component to their sound that is either a blessing or a curse for the Washington band, as the lead singer sounds at times like Jose Gonzales, or Jimi Goodwin, and at others very Chris Martin. Now I don’t mind, I think Gonzalez and Martin have good voices, and Goodwin’s is great. It just matters what the songs are like. And with Drag Lake Sin, Slowwave’s EP out on the 25th (through Savings n Loan Records, a small start-up indie label in Tacoma, WA), the songs a very strong indeed, particularly ‘Pour’ and ‘Gold’, although the electronics at times stands at odds with the rest of the sound. Drag Lake Sin will be in vinyl format sometime in the upcoming months too.

Slowwave - Pour

On Volcano, a four-piece from Tampere, Finland (a breathtaking part of the world I might add) have given the world New Blood. Their four track EP is beautifully emotive, sweeping along at a creeping pace, the hushed female vocals pushing the indie/post rock tunes towards a sudden rush of cacophonous exhilaration. You can download the entire thing here at their website.

On Volcano - The Explorer

Lastly we have Lady Lazarus, whose album Mantic is out on Tuesday. She is an acolyte to Cat Power with a smattering of Joanna Newsom there too. Its pretty good – very good in some places (‘The Eye In The Eye Of The Storm’, ‘Sick Child’). Just Lady Lazarus (AKA Melissa Ann Sweet) and her piano for the most part, making beautiful melancholic sparse compositions. And that Chan Marshall-esque voice...

Lady Lazarus - The Eye In The Eye Of The Storm

Happy Sunday!

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