Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mini Round-Up

Ok, so it's been a while since I've updated this. It's not for want of trying, I can promise you. It just seems that lately every time I sit down at the keyboard and ready my fingers, some distraction gets in the way. Recently this has been ukulele/guitar related as I try desperately to gain some talent before playing at a 'not really bands' night, very soon. That's another story. Anyway, I thought I'd use today's entry as a bit of an update on some of the music I've been listening to/been made aware of recently.

Firstly to Slumberland. Slumberland records have already put out some great music this year, Leichtenstein's 'Survival Strategies In A Modern World' is already being hailed in some parts as a record of the year. Then there's Summer Cats' 'Song For Tuesdays' which is also garnering high praise. There's an ace review of that over at Afogofideas, which you should definitely read. Not content what that, Slumberland have also put out 'Blue Genes' which is the infectious, ramalama, fuzzy pop debut from The Champagne Socialists. There's a very fine interview with the music makers themselves over at Alayerofchips, that's also recommended reading, by the way.

That's a great trio of bands to listen to and love right there, but that's not enough for Slumberland. They've just released the next two volumes of the 'Searching For The Now' single series; volumes 5 and 6. Volume 5 is a Swedish affair, featuring Liechtenstein and The Faintest Ideas. I've only head the Leichtenstein half, but it's as good as anything on the new record, which means of course you should definitely check it out. Volume 6 veers a little further from home and has Washington Brown (former Kenickie man, Johnny X) on one side, and The School, on the other. The School's song is a cover of 'And Suddenly' by The Left Banke. It's great too, all keyboard drive and sweet vocals. I cannot wait for their debut album.

If any of that has peaked your interest then you should rush over to Slumberland now to read proper descriptions of the bands, and hopefully buy everything they have. You could do a lot worse then checking out this thread on Anorak, too.

I've already mentioned AfogofIdeas and Alayerofchips, but there's been exciting news coming from their twin camps this month too. In short, they've announced the 2nd annual Nottingham Indiepop alldayer (exciting title isn't it) for November. The line up is predictably great, with Standard Fare, The School, Mascot Fight, The Just Joans, Tender Trap and The Red Shoe Diaries all confirmed. I've been privy to news of other bands who've been approached, and I can tell you there's some very exciting announcements on the horizon. Last year's Alldayer was exceptional fun and this one looks to be even better, so you should put the date in your diary - it's the 15th of November - and start getting excited already. You can read about the alldayer here, and there's a last fm event for it here.

I've also been listening to 'In The Dream Of The Sea Life' by Candy Claws. It's coming out on recently fledged, Dublin based label Indiecater records. It's a lovely record too. Soft dreamy electronica with blissful vocals and samples of the sea. The samples of the sea work beautifully, and it doesn't sound like a CD you might buy for £2 in a New Age shop in Glastonbury. It's well worth checking out, and the label are currently streaming the entire thing for free, so you have no reason not to really.

Finally, one of my favourite bands; The Mountain Goats, have put a new song on their website called Genesis 3.23. It's typically Mountain Goats, a great guitar riff, John Darnielle's distinct vocal, and a terrifically catchy melody. You can listen to it here. The idea behind the album sounds great too, you can read about that on their website. John Darnielle is also doing a solo tour in October, which includes dates in Manchester and London, I'd highly recommend going.

That about wraps it up.

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