14 June 2010

The Ruby Suns

The other day I went so see The Ruby Suns play Cardiff's Buffalo Bar, a gig put on by the quite brilliant Loose (run by Liz from The School). It was a really good gig - and one that I reviewed at ThisIsFakeDIY (top Google result for "Ruby Suns Cardiff", yes!) - though it was far too empty than the band deserved, probably because of Islet and Yuck playing at Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach on the same night.

The third album from the New Zealand based group is pretty darn good (I also reviewed this, on StereoSubversion) and it definitely deserves checking out, especially for fans of the likes of Animal Collective. In fact, all three albums (all of which are on Spotify) deserve a good listen. I also interviewed the band after the gig and will link to that as soon as I get around to transcribing.

Most of you will already know of them. Well worth a listen if you are yet to or are skeptical!

Islet - I Did One of Them Interview Things

The other day I met up with Islet, the Cardiff band making some pretty large waves right now, in a Portuguese cafe that sold bottles of beer for £1.40. We had a jolly good chat, and I just happened to be recording it on my brand new dictaphone. Read the interview online now at The405.

Incidentally, their debut 'mini-album', Celebrate This Place, is out today. Purchase it online at Shape Records. It is highly enjoyable - if you don't believe me, read what the Pigeon Post had to say.

1 June 2010

A Quick Round Up of Cool (and Quite Obscure) Stuff

I've been listening to lots of bands over the past few weeks that deserve more recognition and attention than they have received thus far, and so this post aims to both get those bands some more fans as well as informing you of some great new bands that you will (hopefully) enjoy.

Craft Spells
This is really cool, dreamy indie-pop. Quite chilled out, lo-fi feeling vocals with a drum-machine playing the time-keeping role. Think early Best Coast, only with male vocals. MySpace here. Download "The Fog Rose High" and "You Should Close the Door" from HypeMachine.

Water Borders
Think Animal Collective, only slightly more freaky and with more of a bass-y buzz. Lots of weird shrieking layered vocals over some drum beats and the odd bit of bongo hitting, and plenty of noise. MySpace here, and a free download from Turnstile's Bento 7 (click here and sign up to their mailing list for regular free downloads).

Civil Civic
These are playing this year's 1234 Shoreditch Festival, and it's through researching for this that I stumbled upon this band. Lots of people will have noticed them all around blog world, because everybody is loving them right now. There are only two guys in the band, but it sounds like a lot more. Lots of building guitar loops and heavy riffs over a (sometimes pretty convincing) drum machine and some electro whirrs to make this instrumental math rock typed thing. MySpace here, Twitter here, HypeMachine here for some free downloads, blog here with two new free downloads. These are pretty similar to a guy called Swathes (also playing 1234), who I also wrote a blog post about a few months ago, with free downloads.

Boundary JIM
Another top release from Holiday Records (the guitarist from The Drums', plus a friend's, label). Really pleasant lo-fi indie pop, lots of jangling guitar work and a really relaxed feel, though, unusually for this genre, no vocals. In one sense it makes it a little less exciting, but in another it makes it more relaxing. Plus, change is nice sometimes. MySpace here, and two free tracks from Holiday Records here (or a direct link to the zipped folder, just in case the site crashes, which it sometimes does).

The Babies
Really fun and energetic indie/surf pop. "Meet Me In The City" really nice guitar work (not too dissimilar from The Drums' style) and a really catchy chorus. Add them to MySpace and be only the 838th person to do so, and download some songs from HypeMachine.

Golden Ages
Dance-y electro sort of stuff, with a hazey and psychedelic twist. People are tagging it "glo-fi" on Last FM, and that should give you a good idea of how it sounds, though I'm not the biggest fan of that term. It's good, though. Find stuff on their MySpace and download stuff from HypeMachine here

The Proper Ornaments
These remind me a lot of The Beta Band/The Aliens, and that's a good thing, with their indie-pop-with-a-psychedelic-twist sound. "Recalling" could actually be a Beta Band track, I think, whereas "Home" has more of a lo-fi and lazy rock feel to it. Like Civil Civic, these also play 1234, and you can find some free downloads of both of the songs mentioned here from Vice. Also, find more info on their MySpace.