Category Archives: Alternative

Beach House – Leviathon (2015)

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Easter’s over. Oh no. In 2015, Beach House released Depression Cherry. The album opens with the nostalgic ‘Leviathon’. For me, the yearning was all about how much it reminded me of the ethereal Teen Dream five years earlier. Have a great week.

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Aldous Harding – Fixture Picture (2019)

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On the subject of ladies with style, I feature Ms Harding for the second time this year. ‘Fixture Picture’ is the opening track off her most recent album Designer. I like one youtuber’s comment that it sounds like Neil Young’s Harvest Moon and Beck’s Morning Phase had a baby girl. And what’s more, the hats and the curious dance moves are an added bonus.

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Tame Impala – Patience (2019)

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It’s been 4 years since Tame Impala released their third studio album Currents and it feels like it. Hopefully the wait has been worthwhile and the first signs are good. A fortnight ago, the band released the single ‘Patience’. Patience indeed.

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Volcano Choir – Byegone (2013)

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In 2005, Volcano Choir began as a collaboration between Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees. Their sophomore album Repave was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. The album’s strongest section is at its centre, namely ‘Bygone’ followed by ‘Alaskans’. I have plumped for the former. Have a great week.

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The Family Crest – Beneath The Brine (2014)

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The Family Crest is a creative collective from San Francisco. Liam McCormick and John Seeterlin built the band around a core of seven members but boast access to over 400 musicians, friends and fans. If you’ve not heard them before, the title track off their 2014 Kickstarter-funded album Beneath The Brine gives you an idea what this collaboration can do. One can only guess how many instruments make up the sound.

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Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead (1979)

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It’s been said that every time a bunch of young kids start a goth band an angel loses its wings. In which case, angels must have been cursing when Bauhaus got together and penned ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. As someone quite astutely points out, this their first single is the equivalent of a goth’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’. It was released on Small Wonder Records in 1979.

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Aldous Harding – The Barrel (2019)

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New Zealand singer-songwriter Hannah Harding (aka Aldous Harding) had already drawn much praise for her gothic folk. Then, in 2017, she signed to 4AD and enlisted the help of John Parish of Sparklehorse and PJ Harvey fame. Her sophomore album Party was released in 2017 to critical acclaim. Now, things continue to move onwards and upwards… her new single ‘The Barrel’ is a forerunner to a new album ‘Designer’ due to be released in April 2019. This is a modern take on folk, but still in the tradition of Nick Drake.

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Spiritualized – Shine A Light (1992)

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The summer of 1992. Spiritualized released their debut album Lazer Guided Melodies. If you don’t know it, do check it out. ‘Shine A Light’ reassured lovers of Spacemen 3 that Jason Pierce continued his ongoing affinity for the pioneering sounds of The Velvet Underground. Part VU, part space rock, part psych rock, part shoegazing, part…

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Foals – Exits (2019)

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Foals are releasing two albums this year… ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’, ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’. If that wasn’t enough, the early signs are very positive indeed. Their first single of 2019 is ‘Exits’ which premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show back in January.

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Sharon Van Etten – Comeback Kid (2018)

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‘Comeback Kid’ was the first single off Sharon Van Etten’s most recent album Remind Me Tomorrow. I think I’m right in saying that the production features a Roland TR-808. I am liking the new direction.

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Skinshape – I Didn’t Know (2018)

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Double header this morning as I will be offline tomorrow. British musician William Dorey has may interests. He played bass in London band Palace until he stepped down in October 2017. And while he’s not running the London-based reggae label Horus Record, he has his musical project Skinshape. The project recently gave its fourth album pressing Filoxiny; it features the retro groove ‘I Didn’t Know’.

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Jessica Pratt – This Time Around (2018)

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‘Morning folks. I bring you a Jessica Pratt song and all the delicacy that promises. ‘This Time Around’ is the lead track from Quiet Signs, the Californian’s first album in four years. “It makes me want to cry.” Have a good week.

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The Antlers – Kettering (2009)

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In 2009, Brooklyn band The Antlers recorded an ambient tour de force. They had turned from one-man project to a creative experimental rock band… Peter Silberman (founder and frontman), Darby Cicci (keyboards) and Michael Lerner (drums) . On the trio’s first album Hospice resides the emotional sound of ‘Kettering’. Have a good weekend.

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Sufjan Stevens – I Walked (2010)

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“Lover, will you look at me now?/ I’m already dead to you/ But I’m inclined to explain/ What I could not before.” Five years after the success of his masterful LP Illinoise (and the existential crisis that followed), Sufjan was able to exorcise himself on The Age of Adz. The album features the beautiful, melodic and electronic ‘I Walked’.

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Emilie Simon – Mon Chevalier (2011)

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Émilie Marie Simon is often painted as France’s answer to Björk. Her quirkiness was heightened in 2009 through misfortune; her fiancé François Chevallier died of the flu while on holiday in Greece. Two year later, Simon released the album Franky Night – it kicks off with the single ‘Mon Chevalier’. Have a great week.

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