Tag Archives: heavenly recordings

Check Out The Orielles’ Debut Single for Heavenly, “Sugar Tastes Like Salt”

The Orielles, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ (Heavenly)

Photo by Neelam Khan Vela

Halifax, England (not Nova Scotia).  Fun facts about Halifax (from ultimate lazy bastard encyclopedia, wikipedia): (1) it’s been a textile manufacturing hub since the 15th century – which is kinda cool; and (2) it’s the home of Rolo candy – which is extremely awesome.

What’s also extremely awesome, has six thumbs and currently hails from Halifax (and Liverpool)?  The Orielles, a trio comprising sisters Esme Dee (bass, vocals) and Sidonie Hand-Halford (drums) and Henry Carlyle Wade (guitars).  After self-releasing a few singles, and putting out last year’s fantastic Jobim EP via Art Is Hard, “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” (from a line in the movie Death Proof, per this great write up on the band in The Guardian) is the band’s first single for the mighty Heavenly Recordings.  Starting, innocently enough, with a ride down the neck of a swirling, arpeggiated psych melody, it turns out to be a trip down the rabbit hole.  The track bobs and weaves its way through a smorgasbord of styles (jittering rock steady, Blondie or Factory Records’ style post-punk disco, a sprawling Floyd-like interlude, straight-up Troggs’ garage, some space truckin’) without coming off overcooked.  And despite a modern day attention span straining length of 8 minutes and change, “Sugar” fixes your attention throughout, like some kind of goddamn Medusa.  Brilliant.

“Sugar Tastes Like Salt” is out now, on Heavenly.  You can follow The Orielles’ adventures on fbook, the twitt and instagram.  They’re also on tour in the UK – dates here.

“Fast Silver” and “I’m Still Believing” – Two New, Early Christmas Presents from TOY

TOY, “Fast Silver”; “I’m Still Believing” (Heavenly)

Not one, but two, new tracks from the brilliant TOY released in the past few weeks – Christmas comes early!  “Fast Slilver” (released last month) and “I’m Still Believing” (released this week) will each feature on the band’s forthcoming long-player, Clear Shot, with “Believing” serving as the first official single.

TOY established themselves at the forefront of a group of bands fusing psych and shoegaze with their self-titled debut and 2013’s Join the Dots, creating alarmingly beautiful songs bathed in layers of reverb and propelled by a crisp rhythmic churn.  These new tracks suggest a bit of a blue-pencil job by the band on this sound – it’s cleaner; less pedal-driven.  Each feature brisk, sharp stabs of wistful, sonically vivid psych-pop, reminiscent of bands like Soft Boys, The Dream Syndicate, Split Enz and The Chills.  Both also even summon some 70s drivetime AM radio, with sweet three part harmonies and strummy guitar work (“Fast Silver”’s outro solo is Ventura highway worthy).  Singer Tom Dougall (brother of thegrindinghalt resident muse, Rose Elinor Dougall) channels Robyn Hitchcock, singing of feeling “unreal” and “perfectly out of time”.

Clear Shot is due October 28, via Heavenly.  On this evidence, it should be very good, indeed.  Check out TOY on fbook, the twitt, and their website.  The band also have some tour dates coming up in the UK and Europe – you can find those here.

New Music: The Parrots, No Me Gustas, Te Quiero

The Parrots, “No Me Gustas, Te Quiero” (Heavenly Recordings)

Shout along to this shambling psych/garage track from The Parrots, an excellent Madrid-based three piece.

The Parrots bring a similar energy to that of other modern purveyors of slightly inebriated, shamalamadingdong stompers like King Khan or The Black Lips, as well as compatriots like sisters-in-tuneage, Hinds, and thegrindinghalt fave, Wau y los Arrrghs.

The title literally translates as “I don’t like you, I love you” (fun fact, these lines are similar  to the opening lines of The Miracles’ “You Really Got a Hold On Me”:  “I don’t like you/but I love you”).  The detuned guitar strumming and ringing lead melody line, combined with hoarsely cried lines like “I don’t remember too much/if I did something and you didn’t like/sorry, darling” call to mind the image of a late night, drunken plea to a darkened upstairs window.

The track has us all aquiver with anticipation for The Parrots’ upcoming debut release for the mighty Heavenly Recordings, “Los Niños Sin Miedo”, due August 26.  It also had the added bonus of prompting us to go back through the band’s earlier releases, which you can also find and enjoy on their bandcamp page.

“No Me Gustas” comes out physically, as a limited edition 7”, on August 5, together with b-side “Let’s Do It Again” (no slouch of a tune, in it’s own right) – you can preorder it here.  Check out The Parrots on the fbook, the tumblr and the twitter.

The band also have a slew of dates coming over the next few months in Europe and the UK (effing Brexit) – listed below.  Here’s hoping for some US dates soon.

July 09 — Quintanilha Rock, Portugal
July 16 — Super Bock Super Rock, Lisbon
July 22 — Siren Festival, Vasto, Italy
Aug. 25 — Rough Trade East In-store, LDN
Aug. 26 — Sea Change Festival, Totnes Sea Change, Totnes, UK
Aug. 27 — The Magnet, Album Launch Party, Liverpool
Aug. 28 — Hare & Hounds, King’s Heath, Birmingham
Sept. 04 — Broadcast, Glasgow
Sept. 05 — Headrow House, Leeds
Sept. 06 — Concorde 2, Brighton
Sept. 07 — The Victoria, London
Sept. 09 — Strange Waves 2016, Manchester
Sept. 10 — Start the Bus, Bristol (free entry!)
Sept. 11 — OnBlackheath, London
Sept. 12 — Le Point Éphémère, Paris
Sept. 14 — Péniche Cancale, Dijon

New Track(s) Review(s): Amber Arcades

Amber Arcades, “Fading Lines”, “Right Now”, “Turning Light” (Heavenly Recordings)

Amber Arcades is the nom de la musique (is that a thing?) of Dutch artist Annelotte de Graaf, who is set to release her new album, Fading Lines, in June.  Lucky for us, three of the album’s tracks – “Turning Light”, “Right Now” and, most recently, the title track – have been released into the ether for your listening pleasure, each showing a slightly different variation on psych-tinged dream pop.

There’s a languid, partly sunny/mostly cloudy (eye of the beholder), gossamer-wrapped melodic quality to both “Right Now” and “Fading Lines”, with hints of C-86 jangle, and bands like Lush, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Trespassers William.  de Graaf possesses a light, somnolent voice that fits the mood perfectly, sitting dead center of the mix, accompanied by a loosely strummed, reverb-heavy Rickenbacker (de Graaf penned the tracks, and the album was recorded with musicians from Real Estate and Quilt, as well as Kevin Morby of The Babies).  The soundtrack to a wordless car trip through the countryside, shot on over-exposed Super 8 film.

“Turning Light”, while still light on its feet, gains traction through the use of a chugging, kraut rock drum and bass rhythm.  The vocal melody reminds me of Broadcast (in particular, “America’s Boy”) and comes off less dream pop and more something from label mate, Gwenno (who we are, admittedly, slightly obsessed with).  Train trip this time, then?  It’s an interesting twist and bodes well for sound variety on the full length.

Fading Lines is due June 3, on the always Heavenly.  Check out Amber Arcades on her website, fbook and SoundCloud.

Single Review: The Wytches, Robe for Juda

The Wytches, Robe For Juda/Wide At Midnight (Hate Hate Hate Records, 11/17/2013)

A compelling slice of stoner/surf/grunge/psych/whateverit’sgood rock from this Brighton, UK based trio, released on the great Hate Hate Hate label, also home to The Fat White Family (the group are now on the just as great Heavenly Recordings – well done!).  On the a-side, vocalist/guitarist Kristian Bell’s nasal croon floats disembodied over the track, which lurches spastically from jangly, psychedelic guitar and “Come As You Are”-inspired bassline to an angst-ridden piledriver of a chorus.  B-side “Wide at Midnight” might be even better, following a similar dynamic with lovely 60s sounding melody, de- or evolving (I don’t judge) into a catharsis of imploding guitars, drums and bass.  The quiet/loud/quiet dynamic in full effect.  Similar in tone and dynamic to contemporaries like METZ (who they are touring with in July), this and other releases like the Gravedweller ep have me looking forward to their debut full length, due in August.  The soundtrack to a really lost weekend – or maybe for that wraith chick in The Ring’s ascent from the well. 

Track Review: Cherry Ghost, The World Could Turn

Cherry Ghost, “The World Could Turn” (Heavenly Recordings)

Each of us needs a good pick me up from time to time; some reassurance that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t actually the 5:15 to Newark.  For some, this can be found in life’s little miracles – birdsong, the cooing of a newborn, a found sock.  For others, in the stentorious, disembodied voice from Candy Crush telling us our accomplishments are ‘sweet’, perhaps even ‘divine’.  While each has its merits, I would prescribe this track from the new Cherry Ghost album, Herd Runners, out next week in the UK.

This is the first track I heard from the album, and it’s still my favorite – should’ve been the lead single.  Riding a wave of Spector-like production full of insistent piano chords and snappy drums, the lyrics evoke familiar “things will get better” imagery, without a hint of irony or sarcasm.  What saves the song from pushing the sentimentality to “mawkish” are the genius twists in the arrangement – the almost ghostly synth backdrop, the horns at 3:30.  Impossible to listen to this and not smile.

A Little House Cleaning, pt. 1

For my first post, I thought I would spend a few words discussing some of the music I’ve been enjoying over the past six months or so – music that, in a just world, would be all over the radio.  Think of this as the written equivalent of a “clip show”, if you will, but with ever so slightly more effort involved.

Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back (Hyperdub, 9/9/2013)

Janet Jackson and Depeche Mode hanging together in the chill out room (they still have those, don’t they?).  Twenty-first century blue-eyed soul from the Great White North.  Whatever:  slinky percussion, whispery vocals and arrangements that unfurl over the course of a song.  Many 80s touchstones (the aforementioned Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty), DM and Prince) abound, but don’t mistake for revisionism.  The moment at the 1:37 mark of “Giddy” makes me just that.  Highlights include:  “Giddy”, “Against the Wall”, “Strange Emotion”.

Out Cold – Invasion of Love (Heavenly Recordings, 9/17/2013)

Side project of Simon Aldred, lead singer for Cherry Ghost (a band worth investigating, if you’re not familiar).  Where his primary vehicle builds drama largely courtesy of lush arrangements, Out Cold accomplishes same through chilly synths and programmed beats.  Aldred’s warm, sometimes thin voice is pushed forward in the mix to great effect.  Dancier cuts like “Murder Black Corvette” and (personal favorite) “Sorrow” sit side by side with cooler fair such as “Fingers Through the Glass” and “All I Want”.  Highlights include:  Fingers Through the Glass, Sorrow.

Sampha – Dual ep (Young Turks, 7/29/2013)

Sampha’s voice is instantly recognizable – in a good way.  I first came across it through his work with SBTRKT and have followed it through collaborations with the likes of Jessie Ware (I drew the line at Drake).  Building from a base of voice and piano, the songs somehow manage to maintain their organic quality even when surrounded with electronic beats and embellishments (check the sound on “Demons” – always makes me check my phone for an incoming message when I hear it).  Highlights include:  all of it.

Running – Vaguely Ethnic (Castle Face Records, 8/6/2013)

Big, loud scuzzy rock and/or roll.  Guitars distorted and aggressive, vocals reverbed and, well, aggressive – tapping into a rich vein including early Black Flag, Electric Eels, Birthday Party; perhaps a soupçon of first album PiL.  Great album to:  pogo to, sit and eat Cheetos with, or clean the bathroom to – the world is your oyster.  Would love to check these guys live – the production gives a sense of the energy produced.  Highlights include:  “OoOo OoOo OoOooo”, “This is a You Problem”.

Youth Code – s/t (Dais Records, 8/13/2013)

LA duo carrying the torch for industrial music that proves something danceable can also pack a punch.  Rhythmically and sonically harkening back to early Wax Trax and bands like Skinny Puppy and Front 242 (to name just a couple), this breathes new life into a genre that – at least to these ears – became dominated by over the top, metal cock rockiness.  Vocals sound as though they are being screamed into a storm of the band’s own creation.  Highlights include:  “Carried Mask”, “What is the Answer”.