Groups with guitars is the theme for this edition of SoundPost where we have pleasure in sharing with you some new releases from the world of Indie Rock. Hope you enjoy these tracks, each of which was helped into the world via the mystic midwifery practiced in our beautifully furnished but slightly untidy audio mastering studio…
One of the most talked about acts of 2012 so far, Howler are from Minneapolis and have signed a four album deal with Rough Trade in the UK. The music has a raw garage-rock flavour but with a pop sensibility running right through it (writer Jordan Gatesmith claims to have locked himself away with only The Jesus And Mary Chain for company while writing debut album “America Give Up”).
When the album came in for mastering it was accompanied by a clear brief from Jordan to ensure that it had plenty of crunch, and was not to be polished or finessed – rather, there were a couple of tracks that sounded too pretty already and the whole thing needed to be moved towards an edgier, punkier sound. No problemo. I must give some credit here to the excellent Manley Massive Passive EQ for helping to add some additional grit to tracks such as this, the debut single “Back Of Your Neck”.
I said “groups with guitars” didn’t I? Well then ok, you got me – Elsie isn’t strictly speaking a group-with-guitars, she’s a solo artist – but most certainly not one of the wallflower variety. Elsie’s got swagger, and her music employs the guitar-band aesthetic to great effect, often reminiscent of Blondie at their energetic best. Her press describes her as an alpha-woman and from this great video it’s not hard to see why.
Kirsten Ross’ vocals have invited comparisons to PJ Harvey and Stevie Nicks, while the pounding rhythm section of Mark McClelland (Snow Patrol) and Michael Branagh (Degrassi) comes over like a beefed up Grandaddy taking Elastica’s best hooks to the prom with a half bottle of Makers Mark in one pocket and a three pack of Trojan in the other! Look out for debut album “Rock Riot Soul” coming out in March 2012…
This is taken from the album “Folly” which according to The Times “…is very English, very unusual and proof that if you want to make art, you just have to ignore debilitating forces and get on with it.” A fine album, both delicate and spooky at times. If there were still such things as record shops in the high street you’d find it filed under ‘Folk’ but to call it such undermines it’s eclecticism and originality. The album is out on Teaspoon Records – and “Honey In The Rock” has also been released on 7″ vinyl by Rough Trade.
Rather more upbeat and yet no less beguiling is this track from Rachael Dadd’s new album “Bite The Mountain”, also backed up with an animation. The album and singles are out on Broken Sound and singles available in special edition packaging featuring handmade artwork by Rachael.
Something of an acoustic guitar supergroup, 3 Boxes is a trio comprising Andy Roberts, Clive Gregson and Mark Griffiths and their début album “Strings Attached” was produced by none other than John Wood; one of those figures in the music industry whose name it seems is now always preceded by the word “legendary”, and rightly so. This instrumental album encompasses a vast range of musical styles from folk, blues and swing, to ballads and beyond. Don’t be put off by the video, in which a vast outdoor and windswept visual sits rather incongruously with this fine intimate recording…
Prepare for a clashing of adjectives. WSP have been described as everything from jazz-punk to post-prog funk and are a force to be reckoned with. Imagine a four-way cage match between Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Stravinsky and Meshuggah… got it? No? Oh well – probably best you go see them live, or you could watch this – which features them in reflective mode. Taken from their album “Relentless“, which was recorded at the fantastic Cowshed Studio in North London.
Acoustic, lo-fi and lush; this is taken from the début album “Lantern”, available now. The 12 songs on the album make creative use of a variety of instruments including a string section, accordion, piano, banjo, Hawaiian guitar, trumpet, saxophone, bowed saw and a choir.
In our continuing series of audio and video clips by clients of Fluid Mastering, SoundPost number 3 visits the zone where indie rock and pop meet, and features one bona fide legend. In fact we’ll kick off with him…
The brand new studio album from post-punk bass/dub master Jah Wobble is a collaboration with Manchester’s rising star Julie Campbell, who issued an acclaimed album on Warp as Lonelady in 2010. Psychic Life sees Wobble reunited with fellow ex-PiL guitarist Keith Levene for the first time since the groundbreaking Metal Box album.
Taken from the album “Siberian Dream Map” in which Francesca Lago combines rich cello with edgy guitars to create a singer-songwriter album with a garage band sensibility. Recorded in Milan, mixed in the UK by deskmeister Jeff Knowler, and out now on On The Camper records.
Rita Ro is a songwriter and experimental artist from Mexico City, now based in London. Her début album ‘Renaissance’ is darkly intimate, delicate at times but with it’s roots in alternative rock. A self taught musician, her use of overdubbed live drums and otherworldly sounds gives this album a diverse, original and haunting quality. It’s available through her website.
December 2011 sees the release of The Correspondents’ first single, ‘Cheating With You’; a twisted love song carried on the back of a growling electro beast which explores a new sound for The Correspondents. Road tested at all the major festivals this year, Cheating With You is already a firm favourite with thousands of fans.
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