Beachniks have just released a 7″ on Captured Tracks. It’s their first. Information on the band online is fairly scant. But if I was to guess – I’d say the band were from 1987. Bristol or Glasgow if I was to narrow it down to two possible locations. The band sound like The Vaselines having an almighty dust up with Bubblegum Splash. And of course I approve.
The songs on the EP are super short and just as sweet. With titles like ‘Brighton Beach and ‘Coney Island’ this is primitive indiepop that pushes all my buttons – girl/boy vocals, simple drums, frayed guitars – you get the picture.
The Captured Tracks website states the band feature members of Crystal Stilts and German Measles. So there. An indiepop supergroup. I think I’d prefer it, if they really were from 1987, to be honest. But whoever the band are, this single is still a cracking slice of lo-fi pop music. It comes in a fab old school poster sleeve, too.
Links: Beachniks | Captured Tracks
This single was one of the download releases I picked up over Christmas period on my emusic subscription. The ‘A’ side ‘Summer Holiday’ is a light and breezy song. It reminds me of something. Something from the 1980′s. Something that I can’t quite put my finger on. It has a light and airy production and some wispy dreamlike guitars. I’d be tempted to say it sounds like a 4AD bad from way back when, but that’s not quite right either. However the ‘B’ side ‘Vultures Like Lovers’ is all about beats and ethereal guitars and vocals that sound like Alison Shaw from the Cranes – so that definitely puts this song in that prime 4AD territory here – although I am now doubting whether the Cranes were ever released on 4AD.
So, to conclude, this reminds of bands that may have been influenced by the 4AD sound. That’s kinda apt given the fact that I still can’t wrestle the name of the band that the ‘A’ side sounds like from my new year fug of a brain. Either way, these are decent little songs. And the fact that I can’t remember what it reminds me of is neither here nor there, really. The physical release is out now on Captured Tracks.
Links: Wild Nothing | Captured Tracks
Hot on the heals of their debut 7″ record on Hozac Records, The Girls At Dawn return with a 12″ on Captured Tracks. These labels seem to be on merri-go-round of acts at the moment with bands passing between them at will. I don’t mind this when the bands are ones that I have taken a shine to.
The Girls At Dawn are a trio of girls from Brooklyn – I’ve been raving about them since I first stumbled onto their My Space page back at the start of this year. It seems that a few others out there are keen on their shambolic lo-fi pop too. The question is will their 2nd release match the beauty of their debut. And after a few listens, I’m not entirely convinced. Opening song ‘It’s The Only Time’ is reverb soaked girlgroup pop with production levels set to limited. Which is all ok by me. The Girls manage to channel the gritty production values and influence of mid 80′s indiepop but there obsession with 60′s girlgroups is never farm from the surface and on ‘Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday’ I can hear the pop charm of the Shangri-las filtered by way of The Shop Assistants. So far, so good. However it’s the songs on the ‘B’ side that let the release down a little. It’s more of the same but with songs that aren’t as strong – although saying that, EP closer – ‘I’m Not Sad’ is the better of the two songs on offer.
The Girls At Dawn may be one trick ponies on the evidence of their first two releases and when they couple their lo-fi ramblings with tunes they are hard to beat – but a couple of songs on this EP aren’t half as good as I’d hoped they’d be. Here is hoping they develop a slightly fuller sound for future releases and they remember that tunes are always the key. For now, they’re a pleasure best taken in small doses.
Link: The Girls At Dawn | Captured Tracks
Another slice of off kilter guitar goodness. Lead song ‘Leave Me Be’ is 60′s girl groups meets surf guitar via the Velvet Underground and early Creation Records. Yes, it’s that good.
The band are, for a change, British. They hail from Leeds. No matter, this release still comes to you via the good people at Captured Tracks (although I’d wish they sort the shipping costs out to the UK!). Indeed, the closest modern comparison could well be the echo drenched pop of Crystal Stilts that first came shimmering to you from the same label. I want more of this stuff. Luckily the flip side ‘Suit Yourself’ is just that – haunting guitars chime to this perfect slice of pop. This is one of those singles you will cherish forever. Perfect Pop? It’s as close as you can get, I think.
The band are also playing a host of shows in the UK between now and the end of the year. Catch them if you can – dates on their My Space page.
Links: Spectrals | Captured Tracks
Roman Soldiers new single (debut?) has been released on Captured Tracks but I found the single on eMusic and with the cost of postage – this will have to suffice for me. I downloaded the ‘single’ after giving their My Space a listen.
Roman Soldiers are something of enigma. The bands My Space page states they are from Tuvalu. I’d be surprised if it was true. Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, in terms of land area and it lies in the southwest Pacific Ocean somewhere between Australia and New Zealand. Still, stranger things have be known. But I suspect, as the band are on Captured Tracks, that they have something to do with that whole Dum Dum Girls/Blank Dogs thing that has captivated a fair few people over the past 6 months or so, me included.
With scant information to go on. It’s upto the two songs on the release to do the talking. ‘Warmer’ is a slightly psychedelic bubbling synth pop song with vocals that sound like they’re being sung under water. Very hypnotizing. I like it. I can’t quiet put my finger on why. ‘Yuppie Fires’ is an instrumental that sounds uncannily like Blank Dogs – doom laden synths and a shuffling beat recall the early 80′s without being derivative. I shall be seeking out the 7″ when it comes out. For now this download of the single from eMusic is sounding pretty good.
Links: Roman Soldiers | Captured Tracks
I’ve been craving this release for what seems like months. Indeed I first mentioned the band back on the Lostmusic blog back in February. At the time I called this collabration between Dum Dum Girls and Blank Dogs ‘reverb drenched lo-fi pop music’.
The 7″ single finally arrived this week and it is exactly as I’d described previously – The lead song ‘Already Warm’ has got a feel of Joy Division meets punk rock about it – that could just be the male vocals – which are echo-y and Ian Curtis-esque. Whilst the B side ‘Desert Fun’ is more lo-fi high jinks with Dum Dum Girl Dee Dee taking the majority of the vocal duties. I prefer it. The chiming guitar and simple chorus are all this boy needs to be won over.
Links: The Mayfair Set | Captured Tracks
The Bitters are a duo from Toronto in Canada. They’ve just released their debut 12″ record on Captured Tracks. As you’d expect from a release on Captured Tracks The Bitters are make a suitably discordant guitar sound. ‘Warrior’ is a loose anthem that starts with a chorus and then spirals and sprawls outwards and it sounds like a ball of string unravelling. Messy and utterly compelling. Elsewhere ‘Can You Keep A Secret?’ is a power chord 50′s rockn’roll song that keeps the guitars scuzzy and me happy. While ‘Princess’ is a feast of slacker guitars and where Aerin Fogel takes the lead vocals for the first time adding a female twist to the The Bitters sound – with a voice not unlike a young Polly Jean Harvey – but the song is still a rolling punk rock affair. The EP draws to a close with ‘Caves’ – probably the least immediate of the four songs on offer – but it very much fits the template of what has gone before – dirty guitars and fuzzy voices to a loose backbeat is the order of the day. And it’s not a bad way to start the weekend, it has to be said.
The band have future releases planned on True Panther Sounds, Woodsist, Captured Tracks, Drone Errant Cassettes and Hi Shadow. They must be doing something right, it seems. All in all this is a promising EP without having the killer song to lift it into greatness.
Links: The Bitters | Captured Tracks