Shit! Where the hell’s 2012 going already? One thing’s for sure, it’s proving to be an AMAZEBALLS year for music. So without further ado, let’s get on with the current quarter’s bestest noisy stuff – at least this’ll be a whole heap hotter than this paltry excuse for ‘summer’ we’re contending with at the moment…
1. The Allah-Las, Tell Me EP
So, I’m pretty easily pleased by a good slathering of ’60s style vocal harmonies, surf pop and reverb and pleasantly grizzled pre-fuzz twangy shizzle. Ergo, this is precisely why I’ve lost my shizzle over The Allah-Las intro EP. The only problem with it is that it’s not a full length album: please, Sir, I fucking want some more. But four tracks of perfectly referenced retrospective West Coast (nay, totally authentic, actually…) is better than nothing, and so it’s with hugely self-indulgent pleasure that I implore you to check these muthers out. Gifted to the general public courtesy of the marvellous Nick Waterhouse, ‘Tell Me EP’ is only just out on Innovative Leisure.
2. Fossil Collective, Let It Go
For some reason I completely missed this release (11th June) from new Leeds-based duo, Fossil Collective. It might have been the name, now I come to think of it: “Sounds like a pretentious electro troupe from Lyme Regis, if you ask me…” I may have thought to myself, without giving the actual music any kind of listen. Well, I stand corrected, and possibly lag behind many of you on this count. Where we’re talking about yet another EP in this rundown, ‘Let It Go’ is acoustic purity, symbiotic and euphoric instrumentation and highly emotive lyrical content. Despite the duo’s very British – and northern to boot – roots, Fossil Collective capture all the good bits of alt-Americana (yep, that includes pedal steel tickles here and there) and ‘Let It Go’ could be the record that the Fleet Foxes failed to make. Very much available now on Dirty Hit.
3. Holograms, Holograms
We survived the Jubilee last month, but it would seem punk just ain’t gonna be held at bay. So Holograms aren’t a flat-out punk band – that’s why they’re real great. They also hail from Stockholm, which puts all the more tingly a bent on the sentiment along with all that ethereal sound-vision them Scandinavians seem to be masters at nailing. This frenetic eponymous album blends the whole V-sign brandishing punkish headbutt seamlessly with a layer of ’80s new wave lacquer. Sound complicated? Well, it’s not; it’s fucking fantastic. The likes of MGMT and Empire of The Sun had a good old run at resurrecting the synthed up ’80s references, but because the general overtone of our current economy is tending to resemble Thatcher’s Britain again, Holograms (despite the Swedish thing) pull together an effortless soundtrack of subtle responses to what’s happening outside our front doors at the moment. Out 9th July on Captured Tracks.
4. TEEN, In Limbo
No girls in this rundown yet, so I’m turning my sisterly attention to TEEN. This rich neo-psychedelic offering from Brooklyn’s latest girl outfit was produced by Sonic Boom, which quite frankly, is no blinking surprise on listen. Shoegazey, lo-fi and trippy, controversially, each time I’ve gone over the tracks with my ears (yeah, I just imagined the lobes on the side of my head as slow-mo tractor tyres too – weird), Alanis Morisette’s vocal on ‘Jagged Little Pill’ keeps coming back to me like a wily Post-It note with a useless and long-forgotten message on it. That’s not meant to put you off – comparatively citing Morisette is often shark infested waters – because singer Teeny Lieberson’s efforts are free-falling fab, sitting flush atop a blizzard of thickly layered soundscapes. Your record bag can gobble this album up on 3rd September, Carpark.
5. múm, Early Birds
Ach, go on then, a bit more from Scandinavia. But before you múm fans wonder how you might have missed something here, ‘Early Birds’ isn’t an upcoming LP of new stuff: it’s 15 tracks of the band’s lesser known, previously limited releases, all of which were recorded between 1998 and 2000. The Icelandic experimenters need absolutely no fluffing up here – we know what they’re about. Expect dusty examples of old demo tapes and rare vinyl presses, ready for your consumption on Morr Music, 9th July.
And in other release news…
Welsh wonder, Cate Le Bon – currently touring her ‘mazin CYRK alongside Brian Jonestown Massacre on the back of 2011’s tour with St. Vincent – regales us with a sequel mini-album, namely, CYRK II. The follow-up comprises five tracks that didn’t quite fit in with the vibe of its predecessor LP, harnessing more standalone status as a quintet collection that proffers a starker, cranked up confessional lyric-wise, and ostensibly barer instrumentation than the prequel. Get it 20th August, Turnstile.
Lo-fi wonder, Chaz Bundick aka Toro Y Moi, has been doing some serious rounds over the last three years and to mark this (unofficially, mind: that’s an Electric Plum fact), he’s collected his favourite tracks and musical moments onto one handy record. June 2009 was released on 25th June of this year, so if you’re a Toro fan, you need this comp in your life. Out on Carpark.