Monday, 1 September 2014

Tigercats - Junior Champion

Two exciting pieces of news came out today regarding London indie-pop band Tigercats. Firstly, the band announced that they had signed to the wonderful Fortuna Pop, who have put of releases by bands like Let's Wrestle & September Girls among others. Secondly, the band have announced that a 2nd studio album, a follow-up to 2012's under-appreciated "Isle Of Dogs", is on its way, and have previewed its with the first track to be taken from the album, "Junior Champion".

A self professed anthem for chess fans, "Junior Champion" sees the band in a more wistful mood than before, with the band extending their indie-pop pallet with the addition of some heavenly flute, and a brass-filled middle 8 section. They might have also delivered one of the oddest couplets in a song this year - "she's the greatest kisser, and God knows I'm no Bobby Fischer". It's a cracking new song from a group who I'd feared had disappeared for good, and if they can deliver an album of songs as good as this one, they'll be sticking around for some time yet.

The sophomore album from Tigercats, "Mysteries", will be released in January 2015.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dirt Farmers - Alibi For The Silent Guy

A second trip to Melbourne in the space of a day? Why not?

Australian 5-piece Dirt Farmer are a blues country-rock band with a penchant for the sound of 60s and 70s Los Angeles. Their latest single is "Alibi For The Silent Guy", a song which sounds quite a bit like Alabama Shakes both in terms of their overall sound, and also in their vocal similarities (despite the gender flip). It's also got a pretty wonderful saxophone interlude, which has more than a little Clarence Clemons to it. You've got to love a band who make much which sounds so timeless.

"Alibi For The Silent Guy" is taken from their d├ębut album "Free BBQ", which is out now.

The Hunted Crows - Sniff You Out

For the second time this week, it's time to introduce a new rock duo hoping to follow in the wake of Royal Blood's success. This time, it's the turn of Melbourne based band The Hunted Crows. They've got quite an unusual set-up compared to other rock duos, given that it's their drummer who takes on lead vocals rather than the guitarist, as can be seen/heard on their debut single "Sniff You Out", which was released last week.

It's a pretty short song, one that leaves you feeling like you've just been hit slap bang in the face with a tidal wave of rock awesomeness. Musically, it feel closest to The White Stripes at their heaviest, with their dentist-drill guitar sounds calling to mind "Blue Orchid". It's a strong starting point for the band, who have done a good job of cutting rock down to its bare essentials.

The Hunted Crows' self-titled E.P will be released on September 21st. "Sniff You Out" is available now on a pay-what-one-likes basis.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Rhodes - Breathe

The last time we heard from UK Blog Sound of 2014 Longlisted singer/songwriter Rhodes, he was busy blowing everybody away during his appearance at The Great Escape with just a clean electric guitar and vocals that couldn't possibly be from this world. Things have been going rather swimmingly for him recently, having signed to Ministry of Sound (which might seem like an odd decision, although keep in mind that this is the same label that helped to guide London Grammar to super stardom).

With a new E.P out in October, Rhodes has released its lead single "Breathe". The song is a lot more expansive than one might have come to expect from his earlier recordings and his live sets, probably so that it's more suitable for both radio and being played by a full band (as it will be done on his upcoming tour). But as always, the focus is on his vocals, which are as breathtaking and heavenly as always. Here's hoping that the song gives him is breakthrough, and if not, Sound of 2015 is just around the corner.

"Home" E.P will be released on October 19th.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

James Canty - Strangers

"For the past year I've been writing, recording and fighting off disillusionment with a sword of fire and after countless set backs, cock ups, let downs, dead ends, blow outs, whiskies, take-aways and existential debates, I am happy to say the north wall has fallen. So here is a song I'm very proud of, consigned to the depths of the abyss, a tear drop in the ocean baby yeah."

After receiving such a powerful email, there was no way that I couldn't listen to "Strangers", the debut single from Essex born, Liverpool based singer-songwriter James Canty, and it's quite lucky I did, for it's a rather interesting listen indeed. It's hard to describe exactly what genre it would be, but odd-folk would probably be the best approximation. It mixes some decidedly un-folky banjo with luscious string arrangements and wraps it up in a tale of heartbreak to create something that is both rather unique, yet also somewhat timeless at the same time.