Indie rock had seen power duos before: Guv’ner, Royal Trux, Buckingham-Nicks, the Carpenters – but they’d never sounded like Quasi. Drumming like a controlled detonation; mutant blues coming out of an electric harpsichord or guitar by turns. Backwards through the backwoods of AM pop and Pebbles psych to create a new form: bar-room baroque. Honey-golden multitracked vocals and some of the bleakest, black-eyed, black-hearted lyrics put to paper since Lou Reed woke up in a bad mood. And all played with the kind of ramshackle ease that only comes from weeks of practice, months in the van, and serious chops.
Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes first collaborated in 1990 as Motorgoat, but by 1993 they had become Quasi. These initial excursions would later be re-released as Early Recordings, but 1997’s R&B Transmogrification is where they define their double act. On drums and harmonies, Weiss is all low-key Bonham-ie, power with poise. On top Coomes’ Roxichord makes you wonder how the electronic harpsichord never took off, its low-end crunch with top notes sounding like Ray Manzarek with a Superfuzz.
From Weiss’s opening salvo, and the first action-painting splatter of Coomes’ keyboard on ‘Our Happiness is Guaranteed’, Featuring “Birds” is Quasi at their peak, melding jams-kicking rock’n’roll, punk action, and chord shifts that feel like the change of a season. The success of Weiss’s other group, Sleater-Kinney, in the meantime was clearly only firing up, rather than undercutting Quasi.
Closing in on the millennium, both feet on the pedals, Field Studiesarrives in 1999. Organ edges out the Roxichord, making for a sound less jagged and more floating – like the protagonist of ‘The Star You Left Behind’, drifting out into an infinite void. Does Field Studies have an Elliott Smith turn to the harmonies? They do share that heady hit of sweet-sour power-pop – or maybe both Quasi and Smith have a Heatmiser influence, given that’s the Portland band that Coomes and Smith had played in together.
The Jesus And Mary Chain are set to release their long-awaited new album ‘Damage and Joy’ on March 24th on ADA / Warner Music. The album is their first since ‘Munki’ was released backed in the summer of 1998.
Fronted by the Reid brothers Jim and William, The Jesus And Mary Chain first reformed to play the Coachella festival back in 2007. Despite regular touring – most notably a 2015 world tour which revisited their landmark album ‘Psychocandy’ – it took some time before they could agree on a plan to record a much-mooted seventh album.
'Always Sad' is the second release from the new album adter the first single 'Amputation' which was released late last year. Watch the video above.
Yorkston/Thorne/Khan release their new album Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars on 7th April. Itfollows the band’s debut, 2016’s critically acclaimed Everything Sacred, and presents a confluence of currents, among them the north Indian sarangi; jazz-tinged bass, reminiscent in places of Danny Thompson; acoustic guitar that owes a debt to Elizabeth Cotton, Dick Gaughan and Mississippi John Hurt; and three very different vocalists - James Yorkston (East Neuk of Fife), Jon Thorne (Isle of Wight) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (New Delhi).
Joe Goddard has shared the video for his brand new single, Home. Featuring vocals from bright, new, Michigan born vocalist Daniel Wilson, this disco-sampling deep house banger is all about that long cab ride home through London after a night out clubbing.
Thanks to Pete Fowler’s brilliantly trippy animations, the journey starts here on earth (as it usually does), before we’re transported into a world of purple dinosaurs raving on clouds and floating DJ booths.
Home is taken from Joe’s forthcoming solo album Electric Lines which is out on 21st April, 2017 via Domino.
Real Estate has shared ‘Stained Glass’ and want you to play along. This is the second track to be released from their upcoming LP In Mind, which is out via Domino. The band have posted a silent clip of the video featuring guitar tabs and keyboard parts, encouraging fans to create their own instrumental interpretations of the song before it became available to the public. Today, they’re pleased to share the full version of ‘Stained Glass’ along with the tutorial video. This is the second tutorial video release for Real Estate, following up on the fan favorite tutorial for ‘Crime’ from their 2014 release Atlas.
Listen to ‘Stained Glass’, paired with a video tutorial for each instrument, above.
On their new album II, L.A. Takedown align the moody grandeur of a film score with the pure melodicism of pop. Led by Los Angeles-based composer/multi-instrumentalist Aaron M. Olson, the seven-piece band delivers a guitar-driven take on synth-pop that’s inspired its own genre.
The follow-up to L.A. Takedown’s 2015 self-titled debut, II is the first release featuring the full band, which includes keyboardists Ryan Adlaf and Jonah Olson, guitarists Miles Wintner (Girlpool) and Stephen Heath (Paul Bergman), drummer Mose Wintner, and bassist Jessica Espeleta (Weird War, Love as Laughter). L.A. Takedown recorded the album at a home studio in Van Nuys with producer Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Cults, Vampire Weekend), a process that Olson describes as “seven goofballs eating snacks and watching Columbo and making music.”
London producer Mr. Mitch has announced his second LP, Devout, an album of “leftfield pop with [a] foundation in grime,” according to his label Planet Mu. He has shared the first taste of the record, ‘Priority’, featuring grime MC P Money.
The album is about “love, loyalty, family and the start and end of relationships, with an overarching theme about becoming a father,” the label adds, and sees Mitch, aka Miles Mitchell, adding his own vocals for the first time, while his young son Milo also adds vocals.
“We all know the stereotype of the black dad with multiple children from multiple partners who is absent from the child’s life,” says Mitch. “We see it consistently in popular culture. I want to champion the alternative, which to me is just normal.”
The album also features Denai Moore on ‘Fate’, Duval Timothy on ‘Lost Touch’, Py on ‘Pleasure’ and Palmistry on ‘VPN’.
Rocket is the Philadelphia-based artist’s Alex G eighth full-length release—an assured statement that follows a slate of releases, many of them self-recorded and self-released, stretching from 2010’s RACE to his 2015 Domino debut, Beach Music. Rocket’s sessions began shortly after Beach Music’s ended, with Alex tracking songs at home, by himself and with friends, in the gaps between a hectic 2015 and 2016 touring schedule.
Rocket was mixed by Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bass Drum of Death), who also lent his hand to Beach Music, giving the album a fine-tuning that retains the homespun personality of earlier efforts.
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