Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fairewell - Poor, Poor Grendal

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

Making sweeping atmospheric soundscapes can be a tricky business to perfect. Creating a ten minute wave of formless fuzz interspersed with tiny dots of melody doesn't seem like the most taxing kind of songcraft to master, but in reality it's no different from other forms of music. Like any genre, woozy, introspective dream-pop done correctly can soar majestically; done incorrectly and it's nothing more than a limp snoozefest. It also throws up another conundrum: drawn out, hazey instrumentals can be enchanting, but 45 minutes worth often turns into overkill and sets your potential audience level to 'niche' at best. Dropping in a bunch of 3 minute distorted pop tracks to try to redress the balance can not only detract from your original aim, it attracts accusations of selling out. Get the mix wrong and the album will become an untidy directionless, hotchpotch. Get it right and you're on to a winner. Welcome to the high wire act that is the ethereal shoegaze record.

If we use Slowdive's 'Souvlaki' as a a benchmark when it comes to this type of thing, an album rightly considered a classic, we find the ambience of tracks like 'Souvlaki Space Station' for the purists, interspersed with dreamy, melodic pop such as 'Alison' for those who favour things like actual tunes. Not only does it satisfy more than one taste, it more importantly works as a whole; it's a cohesive work. It's with this combination of understanding and talent that Johnny White, AKA Fairewell, pulls off a similar feat with his debut offering 'Poor, Poor Grendel'. It may have had a lengthy incubation period, but it was worth the wait.

The choral sighs of 'Grendel (Apocalyptic Visions)' ease us in to Fairewell's world of synths and effects pedals, building to a buzz reminiscent of Recurring era Spacemen 3, before 'Others Of Us' explodes into song with a simple, uplifting melody and distant, blurry vocal. It's near spine-tingling in its icy beauty. 'Wild Meadow/I've Been Locked Away' achieves a rare feat of being 11 minutes long yet not outstaying its welcome. It's a prime example of how repetitive atmospherics can be utilised as a tool for inspiration and poignancy; a delightfully soporific listen. The stomping burst of 'Born Under A Bad Sign' brings a flash of colour and constitutes the most accessible moment here; it should certainly be considered a highlight. 'So May We All' echoes back to the aforementioned Slowdive with its rumbling bass and barely-there vocals.

This could be a record to convert those who still consider shoegaze to be a dirty word. It's complete yet each song stands alone solidly, and there's quality on enough levels that different needs are catered for. Despite the downbeat tempo of this album, the songs remain resolutely upbeat, as though they're attempting to force their optimism upon you. It's a task they succeed in with flying colours, 'Poor, Poor Grendel' works like an uplifting tonic. If you're looking to elevate your mood then a healthy dose of Fairewell might be all the medicine you need.

Fairewell's website

Buy the album.

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Five For Free #34

Psychic Babble - Let Me Change

Colin Frangicetto is the guitarist in Circa Survive and as his solo project Psychic Babble he's self-released his debut album 'My Brother's Ears/My Sister's Eyes'. Free track 'Let Me Change' is waves of lush, laid-back sparkling harmonies; it's a genre he terms "Shrug Wave", which kind of fits, but this track deserves far more than a shrug. It's more like "Chillwave but with actual songs".

Psychic Babble - Let Me Change by Alcyoneslight

Psychic Babble's website

Buy the album.

Exlovers - Starlight, Starlight

London quintet Exlovers are gearing up for the release of their debut album in the new year and are offering new single 'Starlight, Starlight' as a free taster. It's a great piece of energetic, melodic indiepop in the vein of an early Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and is the best we've heard from them yet. If this is an indicator of things to come then their album should be very special.

Starlight, Starlight by NYLONmag

Exlovers' website

Choir Of Young Believers

Choir Of Young Believers are a six-strong orchestral pop collective formed in Denmark. Their debut album 'This Is For The White In Your Eyes' was released in 2008 and they're currently putting the finishing touches to follow up 'Rhine Gold'. The first track taken from it is free download 'Patricia's Thirst' which you can pick up for free below.

Choir of Young Believers - Patricia's Thirst by ghostly

Choir Of Young Believers' website

Pre-order the album.

Sinkane - Jeeper Creeper

Once you've listened to 'Jeeper Creeper' it will come as no surprise to learn that Sinkane is the solo guise of Yeasayer's multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab who releases new album 'Mars' soon. This free sample shares his other band's elastic, meandering basslines and slightly African Rhythms. It's easily on a par with their stuff too. Click the link below to download it free.

Free download: Jeeper Creeper

Sinkane's website

Officers - The Competition Winner

Leeds quartet Officers have recently released their debut album 'On The Twelve Thrones'. Free track 'The Competition Winner' is an ambitious slab of experimental electro-rock that brings to mind Pure Reason Revolution. Beginning in a steady fashion, this track builds into a convention-busting epic which suggests they may be a little better known before too long. It's also happens to be Gary Numan's favourite album of the year.

The free download of 'The Competition Winner' is available from Track In A Box

Officers' website

Buy the album.

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Monday, 28 November 2011

The Best Albums Of 2011

Chosen by KevW

Well here it is: The Sound Of Confusion's top 15 albums of the year! It should be noted that these are entirely my personal choices, but as I'm our only writer doing an albums list this makes it official! Check back for writers tracks of the year in the next couple of weeks. The rules are a bit complicated so please read carefully, I shall type this only once: The only albums that qualify are new studio albums released in the UK in 2011. Got that? Good. Be sure to check the little black arrows on the soundcloud links as some of the tracks posted are available to download free. So... let us begin...

15) Mirrors - Lights And Offerings

I had high hopes for the Brighton' classy synthpop kings this year. A string of excellent singles could only point to a great album. As it happens there were a couple of tracks included that were nothing more than filler and prevent 'Lights And Offerings' from appearing higher up on the list. Still, there's enough of the good stuff to warrant their inclusion and it's better than the entire careers of many 80s botherers. Read our full album review.

Fear Of Drowning by theworldofmirrors

Into The Heart by theworldofmirrors

Mirrors' website

Buy the album.

14) Wooden Shjips - West

Pychedelic drone-rock specialists Wooden Ships gave us a new album this year, the immense sounding 'West'. If you're familiar with their previous work you'll find no surprises here, they stick to their blueprint and piss from a very great height onto their imitators. You're not supposed to be able to dance to drones but somehow Wooden Shjips make it possible. Read our full album review.

Wooden Shjips - Lazy Bones by thisisfakediy

Wooden Shjips "Black Smoke Rise" by 7x7SF

Wooden Shjips' website

Buy the album.

13) Dirty Beaches - Badlands

Taiwanese-Canadian Alex Zhang Hungtai, better known as Dirty Beaches, has already featured in a few end of year polls thanks to his lo-fi take on rock 'n' roll heroes. 'Badlands' was a gloriously messed up blend of Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Ronettes, Eddie Cochran and more, made to sound dark, sludgy and just plain old druggy. Read our full album review.

True Blue - Dirty Beaches by Ennui Industries

Dirty Beaches - Sweet 17 by ObscureSound

Dirty Beaches website

Buy the album.

12) The Duke Spirit - Bruiser

It was always going to be an impossible task for The Duke Spirit to match 2008's 'Neptune' but they very nearly did it with superb third effort 'Bruiser'. Liela Moss' sultry tones backed by such a rich, soulful rock band could never really fail, and with another incredibly strong batch of tunes they cemented their status as one of the best bands the UK has to offer. Read our full album review.

The Duke Spirit - Cherry Tree by CuartoDeKilo

The Duke Spirit - De Lux by CuartoDeKilo

The Duke Spirit's website

Buy the album.

11) The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

They may have inspired as much hatred as they have love this year, but personally I'm of the opinion that they're a great little rock 'n' roll band. Nothing more, nothing less. Their sprightly debut album is full of excellent guitar-pop tunes; good simple pleasures and a keen ear for a melody. Ignore the hype but don't ingnore the band. You may find you end up liking them after all. Read our review of 'Wetsuit'.

Norgaard by The Vaccines

The Vaccines - Wetsuit

The Vaccines' website

Buy the album.

10) Harp And A Monkey - Harp And A Monkey

Following the inundation of post-Mumfords banjo-toting groups, peddling inauthentic Top Shop folk, it was truly refreshing to hear a modern take on traditional storytelling done with authenticity and substance. The debut album from the Harp And A Monkey trio was made with a true understanding of the genre, and yet not being afraid to incorporate modern sounds. A very pleasant surprise. Read our full album review.

Harp and a Monkey - The Soldier's Song by Folk Police Recordings

Harp and a Monkey - Katy's Twinkly Band
Harp And A Monkey - Katy's Twinkly Band

Harp And A Monkey's website

Buy the album.

9) Parts & Labor - Constant Future

Brooklyn based experimentalists Parts & Labor may have lost a member prior to making this album but it hasn't hampered their sound, they still sound thunderingly robust and wilfully innovative. 'Constant Future' is probably their most complete album to date, despite containing nothing quite so powerful as 'Nowhere's Nigh' but the two tracks below come close . Read our full album review.

14 Rest - Parts and Labor by spanky808

Parts & Labor - A Thousand Roads

Parts & Labor's website

Buy the album.

8) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

The follow up to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's superb debut album was another great divider, seeing some fans desert them after failing to get to grips with their slightly slicker sound. In reality 'Belong' isn't vastly different in sound to their first, but at times the pace is slower. But those who've written this album off are missing out on some truly great guitar-pop. Read our full album review. 

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak by forcefieldpr

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Strange

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's website

Buy The Album

7) Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes

Faris from The Horrors teamed up with Canadian soprano and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira to indulge in their shared love of 60s continental pop and girl groups as Cat's Eyes. The result was a lush debut album of striking beauty and attention to detail. This should be considered more than a mere side project and hopefully they won't limit themselves to a single record.

Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes by Cat's Eyes Music

Cat's Eyes - I'm Not Stupid

Cat's Eyes' website

Buy the album.

6) The Horrors - Skying

The Horrors have effortlessly made the transition from garage band to Krautrock and now baggy experimentalists. 'Skying' is a superb realisation of the genre's best bits with, as always, their own identity stamped all over it. Somehow they've managed to take non-mainstream music into the big league and inspired many to check out records they didn't even know existed.

The Horrors - Changing The Rain

The Horrors - I Can See Through You

The Horror's website

Buy the album.

5) The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave

Over the past decade The Raveonettes sound has changed little (apart from a brief dalliance with major label production) yet they never fail to come up with the good. 'Raven In The Grave' is less immediate than some of their albums, but over the course of the year it's absolutely blossomed into a work to rival their very best. They remain the best band Denmark has ever produced.Read our full album review.

The Raveonettes - Ignite

The Raveonettes - "Forget That You're Young" by orchardmktg

The Raveonettes' website

Buy the album.

4) The Death Set - Michel Poiccard 

It can't have been easy for The Death Set to continue after the death of founding member Beau Velasco but it's a blessing that they did. 'Michel Poiccard' comes out kicking and screaming with a flurry of beats, samples, distortion and fuzz. It's a high-octane blitz of inventiveness and more than a fitting tribute. We think Beau Velasco would be very proud indeed. Read our full album review.

The Death Set - Can You Seen Straight by Happy End_ings

Is It The End Again?
The Death Set - Is It The End Again?

The Death Set's website

Buy the album.

3) Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams

Sadly, death is a spectre that also hangs over Dum Dum Girls second album, written in part about the death of singer Dee Dee's mother. 'Only In Dreams' adds superior production and songwriting to their girl-group-fuzz format and results in an album with depth and first rate songcraft. They've really stepped up a gear here and made a classic. Read our full album review.

Heartbeat by subpop

Caught in One by subpop

Dum Dum Girls' website

Buy the album.

2) The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts

The Go! Team's debut was crowned The Sound Of Confusion's album of the decade, follow up 'Proof Of Youth' was good but maybe lacking a bit of magic. That magic has well and truly returned here, making 'Rolling Blackouts' their most complete album to date. It's a massive rollercoaster of fun right the way through. There's still no other band quite like them. Read our full album review.

The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts by thegoteam

The Go! Team - Secretary Song by thegoteam

The Go! Team's website

Buy the album.

1) Tennis - Cape Dory

I'm actually a little surprised that the debut album from Tennis ended up grabbing the top spot. From first listen it sounded utterly fantastic, but fast forward eleven months and the fuzzy pop gems it contains are continuing to grow in stature and brilliance. It's near impossible to fault a work of such sweet lo-fi perfection. I've played no other album so much this year, it's rarely been off the stereo since January and in the end there was no contest. A worthy champion! Read our full album review.

Tennis - 'Take Me Somewhere' by stripeyjumper

Tennis - South Carolina

Tennis' website

Buy the album.

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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Out This Week - 28th November 2011

Boris - Spoon

Tokyo's Boris have chopped and changed genres over the years, although most of these would be rock, prefixed with words such as noise, psychedelic, ambient and drone. Their new album is with us this week and is preceded by single 'Spoon' to which, oddly, all of the above words could apply. But we'll just call it shoegaze and be done with it. However you tag it, it's great.

Boris "Spoon" by terroreyes

Boris' website

Buy the album.

The Little Kicks - Call Of Youth

Scottish quartet The Little Kicks don't mess about with genres or try denying that they fit into any, being more than happy to simply call themselves indie-pop. After a brief break they're back with their self-titled second album this week. You can pick up single 'Call Of Youth' for free - and what does it sound like? It sounds like excellent indie-pop of course.

The Little Kicks' website

Buy the album.

The Beets - Doing As I Do

No prizes for guessing where The Beets call home... the shambolic Brooklyn garage rockers named themselves after the more famous band of the same name, which doesn't do them any favours in terms of google-ability. Their optimistic and melodic lo-fi sound is ensuring they're making the name their own though, and new album 'Let The Poison Out' hits the UK this week. Check out free download 'Doing As I Do'.

The Beets - Doing as I Do by Pretty Much Amazing

The Beets' website

Buy the album.

Chapter 24 - Spindle

There's a distinctly post-punk feel to this new single by London based Chapter 24, although the Pink Floyd referencing band name may seem odd when you listen to their sound, it makes sense to remember that at that point Syd Barrett was still steering the mighty ship through experimental waters in much the same way that 'Spindle' throws together echoing vocals, spiky guitars and punk attitude into a short burst of agit-pop. Great stuff.

Chapter 24's website

To get single with immediate delivery this week - before it's the shops buy it here.


Girls - Lawrence

We weren't expecting new material from Californian duo Girls so soon after the release of their acclaimed 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost' album, but they're back with a corker of a single here. The instrumental 'Lawrence' is a tribute the cult hero from Felt, Denim and Go-Kart Mozart and is a glorious, proggy guitarscape with added choral atmospherics that invoke more passion than words themselves. It's as good a single as they've released so far.

Girls - Lawrence by PIAS Entertainment

Girls on Facebook

Buy the single.

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Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Vaccines - Wetsuit/Tiger Blood

Single review by KevW

This article also appears on

No band this year has divided opinion quite like The Vaccines, with some declaring them to be over-hyped public schoolboys who shouldn't be considered authentic, snaring groups of hipsters who hang on NME's every word with baited breath. Others prefer to look beyond the excessive coverage, disregard the notion that rock 'n' roll is solely the birth right of the working classes and are happy to enjoy what they believe to be a great batch of guitar-pop tunes. Here at The Sound Of Confusion  things are no different; Andy dismissed them long ago, but I fall into the second category.

Signing to a major won't have done them any favours in the credibility stakes, but surely the only way music should be judged is on whether or not it sounds any good, right? If you don't like them then make sure it's for the tunes rather than superficial reasons. Of course differences of opinion are by no means a new thing when it comes to music and, frankly, the world would be a less colourful place without them. One thing is almost certain: whatever your feelings towards The Vaccines, they are not seminal, nor any kind of saviours of indie music. What they are is a decent band with some very fine tunes in their armoury.

'Wetsuit' is not only a suitable way to round up what has undeniably been a great year for them, it's also a fitting way to conclude the campaign for their debut album. Following the punky pop clatter of their singles so far, this more emotional, sentimental number seems apt with its lyrics about change, good things coming to an end and the fight to recapture lost youth. It's undoubtedly one of the highlights from 'What Did You Expect...' and may show the haters that they have more than just the one trick.

It will be their next step that will make or break them. The follow up album can't be a simple repeat of the first, they need to step up a gear and add more substance. New track 'Tiger Blood' is probably a poor indicator of the band's future direction. It feels more like the fulfilment of a dream than a statement of intent, having been recorded in New York by their hero Albert Hammond Jr. It's a pleasant enough track but essentially they're playing Strokes karaoke. So, nothing life-changing, but if you can let your inhibitions go you'll find much to enjoy from The Vaccines, not least these two songs, and, really, where's the harm in that?

The Vaccines' website

Pre-order the single.

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Thee Gravemen - Thee Gravemen

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

If this duo are new to you, and despite them being called Thee Gravemen, you're still wondering what the Malmo based Englishmen sound like, there are further clues contained in this album's song titles: 'Six Feet Down', My Girlfriend Is A Werewolf', 'Diggin' Graves', 'My Witch'... I think you get the idea; it's unlikely they'll be enlisting Skream or Benga for production duties any time soon.

Think Screaming Jay Hawkins imagery, think The Cramps psychobilly, think surf, garage, punk and rock 'n' roll. Add some primal, wildman drumming, some dirty, twangy riffs, throat shredding howls, a coating of treble... and voila! The formula has been tried and tested, and the results were in years ago: it works. That's not to say that in the wrong hands things can't go disastrously wrong; a 4-4-2 formation has won football teams championships, it's also got others relegated.

Sir Lee Tea and Develish Daz Trash have previous form as members of Thee Exciters and Skitzo! respectively, and Lee is currently a member of Swedish garage kings The Branded. There aren't any revelations here but in such capable hands it hardy matters. 'Thee Gravemen' won't be for everyone but if the above description ticks any of your boxes you'll find this a worthwhile addition to your collection. Unlikely to win the Champions League but probably pushing for a Europa League spot.

Thee Gravemen - My Witch by Cargorecords


Thee Gravemen's website

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Five For Free #33

Sharon Van Etten - Serpents

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten is set to release her third album 'Tramp' in February on Jagjaguar. The album was recorded in Aaron Dessner from The National's studio and he also takes on production duties. The famous guests don't stop there, the dark and moody single 'Serpents' features members of The National, Doveman, The Walkmen and Wye Oak.

Sharon Van Etten - Serpents by Pretty Much Amazing

Sharon Van Etten's website

Buy the single.

The Bats - Simpletons

Underground heroes The Bats have been together for almost thirty years and in that time they're seen many of their New Zealand/Flying Nun Records contemporaries come and go. The influential indie rockers certainly have staying power, and this week they release new album 'Free All The Monsters' (on the legendary Flying Nun label of course) and you can pick up 'Simpletons' below.

Free download: Simpletons

The Bat's website

Buy the album.

Young Dreams - Young Dreams

Whether Young Dreams are named after the Elvis song of the same name is unclear, but it seems unlikely that The King is much of an influence on their eclectic dream-pop sound. The Norwegians are set to release their debut album next year and taken from it is 'Young Dreams', a breezy, tropical take on Beach Boys-style pop with a shimmery, distant yet intricate sound. It's absolutely lovely.

Young Dreams - Young Dreams by modularpeople

Young Dreams' website

Sea Lions - Grown Up

Californian five-piece Sea Lions release their debut album 'Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask' this week on the ever reliable Slumberland Records. Single 'Grown Up is a wonderful piece of summery, melodic indiepop that's both jangley and slightly fuzzy. Effortless, sweet, harmonious and rather addictive.

Sea Lions - Grown Up by Slumberland Records

Sea Lions' website

Buy the album.

Pujol - Mayday

Nashville garage band Pujol are led by singer-songwriter Daniel Pujol and in the past have caught the ear of Jack White who has produced for them. Following their appearance at CMJ they release their new EP 'Nasty, Brutish, And Short' which is out now. You can pick up the EP's stand-out track, the gritty 'Mayday' by clicking on the little black arrow below.

Pujol - Mayday by The Wounded Jukebox

Pujol's website

Buy the EP.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Foxx On Fire - March Into The Sun EP

EP review by KevW

This article also appears on

Melbourne's Foxx On Fire would have you believe that they specialise in cosmic psychedelia that is "perfect for dancing and transcending", but space cadets seeking any kind of mind-expanding journey to far-out sonic dimensions will struggle to find them here. Instead this trio of UK-based Australians do a grand job of sculpting ebullient, bright, sunshine-pop with just enough of a hallucinatory touch to set them apart from the pack without shunting them into a left-field niche. The end result is an EP that many will find gratifying, but few are likely to become infatuated with.

The buoyant title-track has a sky-kissing chorus and soaring solo that's built to soundtrack carefree, cloudless summer days. Things take a funky turn on 'Vicious Satellite' with its bulging horns and disco bass, before 'Into The Light' takes us as close as we come to an acid-fried wig-out. The dance floor strut then returns on the handclappy 'Mission Abort', it's almost as though Foxx On Fire can't decide whether to be The Rapture or The Byrds. 'March Into The Sun' is a decent record but it would be great to see them pushing the limits a little further next time.

March Into The Sun by Foxx on Fire

Foxx On Fire's website

Buy the EP.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Five For Free #32

Thieving Irons - So Long

First stop Brooklyn (yet again) and the new project formed by Nate Martinez, former guitarist with Pela. Thieving Irons haven't announced plans for an album yet, but are planning a series of singles in the coming months. Free download 'So Long' is a promising way to kick things off with a driving beat and soft vocals. More of the same will do just fine, thanks!

Thieving Irons on Facebook

Buy the album.

Bikini Test Failure - Yes We Are Having A Good Time Now

'Fleecing The Easily Pleased', the second album Manchester based Bikini Test Failure was chock-full of quality 90s-influenced indie/guitar tunes. After an extensive promotion campaign in the UK and US including a few radio sessions, the good news is that they'll be making some rare full-band live appearances soon. Even better news is that you can pick up 'Yes We Are Having A Good Time Now' by clicking on the arrow below.

01. Yes We Are Having A Good Time Now - Bikini Test Failure by bikini test failure

Bikini Test Failure's website

Buy the album.

Guided By Voices - The Unsinkable Fats Domino

Since reforming last year after a six year hiatus, alternative legends Guided By Voices have completed a sell-out tour and recorded a new album. 'Let's Go Eat The Factory' will be the band's seventeenth full-length and is set for release in January. That record's first fruits come in the shape of the brilliantly titled 'The Unsinkable Fats Domino', and fans will be pleased to note that their sound remains unchanged.

Guided by Voices - The Unsinkable Fats Domino by ForFolksSake

Free download: The Unsinkable Fats Domino

Guided By Voices' website

Buy the single.

Damien Jurado - Nothing Is The News

Another returning alternative legend is Damien Jurado who will be following up last year's excellent 'Saint Bartlett' album with his eleventh studio offering 'Maraqopa' in February. Ahead of its release he's giving away the psychedelic Americana jam of 'Nothing Is The News' as a free taster. It's slightly different to his usual format and all the better for it. Like Fleet Foxes during a heavy night on the 'shrooms.

"Nothing is the News" by Damien Jurado by DOJAGSC

Damien Jurado's website

I Am In Love - Call Me An Animal 

London quartet I Am In Love released this free download at the end of October and the EP it's taken from is out this week. The EP's title track 'Call Me An Animal' is a hybrid of many danceable indie/new-wave bands but successfully manages to stand on its own two feet with a fierce beat and reverby guitars. It also suggests that it would be wise to keep your eyes peeled for future releases from this lot.

Call Me An Animal by i am in love

I Am In Love on Facebook

Buy the EP.

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My Tiny Robots - Guild Of Defiants

Single review by KevW

This article also appears on

'Guild Of Defiants' is the first in a planned series of three singles from Edinburgh experimentalists My Tiny Robots and follows on from free download 'Rock Bossa Nova Four Beat Black'. It's a more conventional concoction than that track's oddpop eclecticism, but this is by no means a criticism, as despite its more subdued nature and containing less of a menagerie of sounds and surreal lyrics, this is arguably a better song.

After a few plays the circling guitar riff begins to get under your skin and is nicely complimented by the thumping, irregular drumming; it all becomes pleasantly catchy. This is no out-and-out pop song though, there's too much off-kilter charm for that, but it's difficult to deny it possesses a certain cross-over appeal, the strong vocals in particular are unlikely to find many haters, and there's an occasional twang of a less polished Wild Beasts about the chorus. My Tiny Robots have revealed another string to their bow and come up trumps again.

My Tiny Robots - Guild of Defiants by Soundandvisionpr

My Tiny Robots' website

Buy the single.

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Out This Week - 21st November 2011

The Black Keys - Lonely Boy

Ohio duo The Black Keys celebrated their tenth anniversary this year, and they're marking it with the release of their seventh album 'El Camino' at the start of December. Those who pre-order the album from the band's website will receive an instant download of ace new single, the blues/soul stomp of 'Lonely Boy', which gets a limited vinyl release later this week. We wish we were as cool as the guy in the video too.

The Black Keys' website

Buy the single.

Bos Angeles - Days Of Youth

Despite their American referencing name and distinctly US lo-fi/alt-rock sound, the trio that make up Bos Angeles actually call Bournemouth home. 'Days Of Youth' has been around for a while but now gets a single release as a double A-side with 'Slalom'. It comes across as a less harsh take on A Place To Bury Strangers' noise rock, and that's no bad thing.

Bos Angeles - DAYS OF YOUTH by Lost Lost Lost

Bos Angeles on Facebook

Buy the single.

Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons

Here at The Sound Of Confusion we're not averse to a bit of pop, if it's done well that is. Another name to add to our list of promising new female popstars (Yadi, Alex Winston, The Good Natured etc.) is London's Charli XCX. Very kindly, she's giving away a free download of new single 'Nuclear Seasons' to those who sign up to her mailing list. A potential star in the making, we think.

Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons by Atlantic Records UK

The free download of 'Nuclear Seasons' is available from Charli XCX's website

Buy the single.

Carter Tanton - Fake Pretend (Feat. Marissa Nadler)

Baltimore songwriter Carter Tanton was formerly a member of the band Tulsa, who released one EP before splitting due to record label struggles. Thankfully he didn't call it quits totally and is now back with his debut solo album 'Freeclouds' this week. One of the album's standouts - free download 'Fake Pretend' - features guest vocals from dreampop singer Marissa Nadler.

Free download: Fake Pretend

Carter Tanton's website

Buy the album.


Twerps - Coast To Coast

We posted a free download from Australians Twerps last week. After further investigation it turns out that the best track on their self-titled debut album is closer 'Coast To Coast'. Pure, sunkissed, jangle-pop perfection, 'Coast To Coast' is a song full of hope and wide-eyed wonder. When they sing "I've never felt so high" you believe them, and the euphoric harmonies of "Oooh, oooh oooh-oooh" look basic on paper, but on record they simply soar.

Twerps on Facebook

Buy the album.

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