Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Big Catch Up 6 - I Discovered Ought

I am one of those very lucky people who will be attending the End of the Road Festival later this year and I can’t wait. Mac Demarco, Alvvays, Future Islands and of course the Fat White Family, will all be there. However there is one band that I am perhaps even more excited to see.

Montreal’s Ought have been around for a while and their debut album came out last April so it’s fair to say I’ve been pretty slow here. I first saw a live video of them playing at Pitchfork music festival in Paris and it just blew me away. Exquisitely atmospheric their sound is timeless. Guitarist and Vocalist Tim Beeler Darcy’s punchy vocals sit charmingly above floating keyboards and winding bass lines as the band build up into exciting choruses to which you just have to sing along.

Debut album, More Than Any Other Day, is full to the brim with brilliant tracks of Ought’s hypnotic cross of post punk and indie. This really is the kind of album that you cannot stop listening to.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Big Catch Up 5 - Girlpool - Before The World Was Big

Girlpool’s debut EP, which I wrote about on this very blog, was snapped up in moments by none other than Wichita Recordings. Now they are back with a debut album in the form of Before The World Was Big. Cleo Tucker and Harmony Trividad prove that best friends can make simple but brilliant music together with ease.

Opener ‘Ideal World’ is driven gently by Trividad’s bass while the pair perfectly harmonize, a feature that is dominant throughout the ten tracks on the album. The title track sees the pair’s instruments coming together in a way that almost seems as though they are finishing each other’s senesces. This creates an enticing synergy that reflects their close friendship.

There is a gentle sweetness that makes this album about as loveable as you can get. Combined with the fascinatingly beautiful harmonies and intriguing simplicity of just a guitar and a bass, this makes Girlpool’s debut one of the best of the year so far.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Big Catch Up 4 - Birdskulls Have Made An Album

After a quick jaunt up to Leeds my catch up continues: 

On my list of reasons for being proud to live in Exeter, Birdskulls are right up there next to having a football team who once held Man U to a nil-nil draw. It’s no surprise then, that the announcement of their debut album, Trickle, which will be released on Brighton based label Dog Knights Productions, really got me through the darkest of those revision filled days.

To make things more exciting, we were also treated to a brand new single in the form of  ‘Good Enough’, which premiered, on Noisey. This is Birdskulls at their grungy best as guitarist and front man Jack Pulman, also of the brilliant Abattoir Blues, angrily shouts “I don’t wonna go to bed”. If the whole album is as good as this one track we are most definitely in for a treat.

Birdskulls are off on tour supporting Best Friends next month so look out for them and get there early to sample some top-notch grunge.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Big Catch Up 3 - Nai Harvest - Hairball

My last post on this blog was all about these guys. They’ had just released ‘All The Time’ from their upcoming album Hairball. Fast-forward almost four months and that album is out and it’s everything I could have ever hoped for!

Tracks like ‘Melanie’ and the hugely catchy ‘Gimme Gimme’ are genuine DIY anthems backing up the fantastic early tasters ‘Sick On My Heart’ and ‘All The Time’. Meanwhile ‘Ocean of Madness’ is slower, but still as brilliantly memorable.

Ben Thomason and Lew Currie’s ability to write fantastic indie pop songs full of dazzling glittery guitars and hopping drums make this album perhaps the most fun record you’ll buy all year.

If you’ve never listened to Nai Harvest (where have you been hiding?!) it’s always worth remembering that ‘Hold Open My Head’ is one of the best songs to come out of the UK’s DIY scene this century!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Big Catch Up 2 - I Went To See Yak Again (Twice)

Since I was lucky enough to see Yak support Peace in Bristol in January they’ve really exploded into action. A debut single already released and nestled nicely in my record collection and the Plastic People EP on its way later this year, this band will be big and soon.

Yak’s first visit to Exeter was back in February so it’s a bit of a disgrace I’m only just mentioning it. In a support slot for Palma Violets, the band set about their fuzz filled set with suitably rumbling bass lines and shimmering guitar feedback. The night was young but the room was full to see one of the UK’s hottest new bands and they definitely didn’t disappoint.

It wasn’t long before they where back, this time with a headline slot at Exeter’s finest underground club, The Cavern. Equally hotly tipped, The Big Moon joined Yak as supports and got the party started with their fun filled set, which included fantastic new single ‘Sucker’.

Soon after Yak were on, and playful as ever. Front man Ollie Burslem presented a rather unappealing looking buffest for audience members to pick at before singing through cardboard cups and writhing around on the floor.

I’ve seen Yak three times now and their phenomenally tight, gigantic sound is no doubt taking them to the top.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Big Catch Up 1 - Marching Church - This World Is Not Enough

Elias R√łnnenfelt took a break from the country-infused post punk of Iceage to release this gem. While Marching Church began life as a R√łnnenfelt solo project, for debut album, ‘This World Is Not Enough,’ he is joined by a full band complete with strings and horns.

‘This World Is Not Enough’ takes us through an array of varied sounds from the pumping drums of opener ‘Living in Doubt’ to the shrouded darkness of ‘You’re Father’s Eyes’. The Iceage front man’s often bleak but always fascinating lyrics tie together each song with illustrious ribbons of pure pretension.

I can see that this album will not be for everyone. If you’re a fan of beautifully grandiose music and Nick Cave-esque vocals this album was lovingly crafted with you in mind and you’ve in for a treat.

The Big Catch Up

Weary heads are emerging from the thick, suffocating cloud of exam time stress and sweltering nervous anticipation. I have finally finished exams (hopefully forever) and therefore I have returned to spread my opinions via this deep crevice of Internet space that I call my own.

While your heads have been buried deep in textbooks, red eyes straining to grapple with just a few more lines of Hamlet, your ears have missed a lot. For this reason I’ve put together this little catch up to introduce what you’ve missed and I’ve failed to rave about in the last few weeks. 

You can expect a new post every day for the next seven days as part of this feature. I hope you enjoy!