Something For The Weekend – New Vinyl Out 6 April
Long Live Vinyl’s pick of this week’s best new album releases on vinyl – including a Tame Impala straying from the herd, quality US lyricism and a searing debut from the UK’s most exciting band…
Spinning Top Music
Tame Impala and Pond multi-instrumentalist Jay Watson is prolific – this is his fourth solo album since 2014 under the GUM monicker – and it’s a sketchy, time-travelling take on pop and prog rock beamed through a psychedelic prism. The styles on offer are extremely varied, with joint lead single S.I.A. a nervy and propulsive 80s-influenced jam that’s immediately contrasted with Serotonin, a woozy, down-tempo dreamscape that weaves detuned synths, skewed arpeggios and sax over reverb-coated drum-machine loops.
Fans of Tame Impala will recognise some of that band’s tropes making an appearance, from the liberal use of effects on the vocals and drums to the transatlantic late-60s psychedelia of songs such as After All (From The Sun) and The Blue Marble; but this is a much looser and more prominently electronic affair on the whole, as the closing pair of tunes, Trying My Best and The Fear demonstrate – the former with its descent into arpeggiated modular chaos and the latter a darkly funky and slightly unhinged electro-pop workout.
“The world is going nuts,” Mark ‘E’ Everett has said of his 12th Eels album, “but if you look for it, there is still great beauty to be found.” So Today Is The Day admits, “I had it wrong right from the start”, but its upbeat, almost naïve nature betrays its overall optimism, and on Sweet Scorched Earth’s lilting, stripped-back chamber pop he serenades his wife with the charming, “There’s poison in the water and sky/ We’ll hold onto each other if we fry”.
Bitter break-up song Bone Dry also finds him alleging: “You drank all the blood”, but he’s accompanied by “sha-la-la”s and a heavily reverbed sound that’s as much Motown as psychotic psych-rock, while, on Premonition, a gentle acoustic lament, quietly picked electric guitar and muted choral backing emphasise its precious sentiment: “You and I can really live/ Much more than survive”. Lovely ambient vignettes punctuate this evocative coalition of magic and madness.
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs
A provocative title from the Baltimore duo featured in Issue 14 of Long Live Vinyl, out now – backed up by thought-provoking lyrics which drill into your subconscious and whirl round and round for days; none more so than in the title track (released on limited-edition vinyl). Jenn Wasner’s vocals are, in places, more reminiscent of Adele than the Cat Power-style melancholy we’re used to – not necessarily a bad thing. Messy and distorted guitars wail as Wasner’s hazy vocals provide a beautiful narrative.
It’s hard to pin a single sound on this album, as the tracks weave through various soundscapes – keeping your attention throughout. It Was Not Natural proves the most straightforward and clean indie sound, and also one of the highlights of the album, along with You Of All People. And My Signal is somehow timeless in its execution; it wouldn’t necessarily be out of place sung by a siren in a 1920s cocktail bar.
While the current state of Albion and, a kind of fretful worrying over its place in the world, may be all too familiar to anyone with a few years on the clock, how does it seem to those not even old enough to remember when things could only get better? The debut offering from south London quartet Goat Girl offers clues, and its millennial/Gen Z perspective doesn’t make for comfortable listening. As we find out in our interview with the band in Issue 14 of Long Live Vinyl, it’s a song cycle that loosely tracks what it feels like to grow up in 21st-century Britain.
In short, Goat Girl are cross, as detailed in songs that are short, sharp and satirical, and come across as ruthlessly edited rather than truncated. The direct and unsettling imagery of frontwoman Lottie’s lyrics – “Touch my body, touch my soul/ Touch that deep and disused hole,” she howls on Country Sleaze, one of several moments where she makes you think of PJ Harvey – mirrors what’s going on musically. A magnificently precocious debut.
Also out this weekend:
Manic Street Preachers
Resistance Is Futile
The 13th album from the Welsh rockers – see Long Live Vinyl Issue 14 for a full interview with James Dean Bradfield.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sex & Food
A funky twist in the tale from Ruban Nielson’s inventive experimentalists.
Four new tracks and four new guest remixes of tracks from Nika Rosa Danilova’s 2017 album.
Song For Alpha
Talented producer follows up 2014’s acclaimed techno record Drone Logic with a more ambient-leaning sound.
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