Presenting…Pale Honey

Pale Honey

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Pale Honey are a duo consisting of Tuva Lodmark (guitar and vocals) and Nelly Daltrey (drums). They have been described as being like early PJ Harvey or Sleater-Kinney. Whilst the format of singer/guitarist and drummer has become quite popular over the last few years, their debut single ‘Youth’ suggests that there is much that they might have up their sleeves. There’s been quite a bit of acclaim for this track online, which comes out this Monday.

Their self-titled debut will be out on May 4, in the meantime, turn this up loud and play again and again!

Album Review – Bob Marley & the Wailers

Bob Marley

Bob Marley & the Wailers -’Easy Skanking in Boston ’78.’ (Universal)

February 6 marked what would have been Robert Nesta Marley’s 70th Birthday. This year there are rumours of all sorts of releases to coincide, and the first to come along is this excellent recording, previously unreleased of an American gig in June 1978.

There’s been previous live Marley albums over the years – Babylon By Bus, Live! (AKA Live At the Lyceum) and this joins them as an excellent album in its own right. Recorded around the time of the release of Kaya and not long after the still-astounding Exodus, what you have is a band at the peak of their powers, and an audience who are loving every minute.

It takes key album tracks and a number of the hits, but what is particularly exciting is the final three tracks of ‘War’/'No More Trouble,’ ‘Get Up Stand Up’ and the closing ‘Exodus’ where the passion and belief in Rastafarianism really shines through.

This really is no opportunistic cash in. Marley fans will be delighted, and if it’s not necessarily the starting point for those yet to investigate Marley (disturbing concept, but anything’s possible) it is a document of an excellent gig. Let’s hope further releases are of this calibre.

****

Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 is out now on Universal.

A song for today #1

Magic Potion
This arrived in my inbox the other day. Part of its charm is that there is the feeling that any moment the whole thing could fall to pieces – but doesn’t.

Magic Potion hail from Stockholm, Sweden. In their own words ‘Deep Web is a pop tune with sketchy guitar licks, VHS-y synth sounds, drums in mono and some lo-fi tape vibe sweetnesss. Basically, it’s about internet luuuv, eating pizza and feeling alone.’

Who am I to argue with that?

I can find very little information about them, other than that they are Gustaf Montelius, Kristoffer Byström and Andreas Sandberg. This appears to be the only song on their soundcloud, so take it at face value, and enjoy…

Presenting…Happyness

Happyness

South London trio Happyness (yes, ‘y’ not an ‘i’) released their debut album Weird Little Birthday last year and saw them pick up quite a lot of media acclaim. They have now signed to hip indie label Moshi Moshi, who will re-release Weird Little Birthday on March 30, including this new track ‘A Whole New Shape.’

The band are Jonny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper. Listening to the music on their soundcloud page, influences surely include classic US indie rock, including the likes of Pavement, Yo La Tengo and
Wilco.

Check out this rather fine earlier track, the wonderfully named ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same.’ If Hannibal Lecter wrote song titles…

You can also stream the earlier EP Everything I Do Is Alright below

More music can be found over at their Soundcloud page

Ash to release first new album for eight years

Ash

Poor Ash. Rather like a few years ago when Suede announced a new album, only to have it overshadowed by the release of David Bowie’s first album in a decade, little could they have known that when they announced their new album, the news of Blur’s first studio album in 12 years would overshadow it.

The band’s sixth album is entitled Kablammo!. There is no release date or tracklisting for the album as yet, but it can be pre-ordered through PledgeMusic.

The first track to be heard from the album is ‘Cocoon’, which can also be bought online and can be streamed below:

They will also be on tour in June:

Dublin Whelans, June 7
Belfast Limelight, June 8
Edinburgh Liquid Room, June 9
London Scala, June 11
Manchester Sound Control, June 12
Wakefield Long Division Festival, June 12
Isle of Wight Festival, June 14

The long-awaited return of Blur

It’s been a long-time coming – in fact, Damon Albarn himself indicated it might never come out – but it has been announced today that Blur will finally release their eighth album, The Magic Whip, on April 27.

The first track to do the rounds ‘Go Out’ can be bought now, online – and the lyric video – which appears to feature a woman making vanilla ice-cream to compliment the cover art of the album, can be streamed above.

According to NME the album tracklisting is as follows:

‘Lonesome Street’
‘New World Towers’
‘Go Out’
‘Ice Cream Man’
‘Thought I Was A Spaceman’
‘I Broadcast’
‘My Terracotta Heart’
‘There Are Too Many Of Us’
‘Ghost Ship’
‘Pyongyang’
‘Ong Ong’
‘Mirrorball’

Whilst Blur never officially split, they were inactive for much of the 2000s, after the release of their seventh album, Think Tank. That album featured guitarist Graham Coxon playing on only one track -’Battery In Your Leg.’ Since 2009, as well as playing live the band have issued two singles ‘Fool’s Day‘ in 2010 and ‘Under The Westway‘/’The Puritan’ in 2012.

I’ve been a fan since the early nineties – and loved these tracks: ‘Fool’s Day’ made no.10 in my Festive Fifty in 2010, while both sides of the 2012 single made the list in 2012.

Excitingly, as well as the already confirmed Hyde Park show in June, there are going to be more live appearances…

Forthcoming from Tori Amos

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Back in late 1991, Tori Amos’ ‘Silent All These Years’ appeared on the radio. It was unsettling, vastly different and utterly thrilling. It later became a Top 40 hit on re-release, and indeed she had a number of UK chart hits in the 90s, including a no.1 single with a remix of her song ‘Professional Widow.’

April 13 will see deluxe re-issues of her first two albums, 1992′s Little Earthquakes and 1994′s Under The Pink. These not only include a number of great singles – ‘Pretty Good Year,’ ‘Crucify,’ ‘Winter’ and ‘Cornflake Girl’ but also some excellent b-sides. My favourite was ‘Sister Janet’ (the b-side of ‘Cornflake Girl’, but perhaps the most legendary was her take on Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’:

‘Take To The Sky’ is another Little Earthquakes‘ era b-side that suggests you really should snap these re-issues up:

17 Seconds questionnaire with… Aaron Fyfe

Aaron fyfe

Shortly to release his debut album 10 Songs, Aaron Fyfe took a 17 Seconds questionnaire…

Where are you and what’s the weather like?

In Glasgow. Weather’s pretty shit to be honest

What’s your favourite record in the charts?

Taylor Swift – pop gold.

What are your favourite films?

Love Actually. Notting Hill. I love chick flicks.

What are your favourite books?

I read loads of different things I’m reading Russell brand’s book at the min revolutions he is on point.

What are your favourite TV programmes?

Don’t watch TV.

What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it from?

I think it was a Mike Flowers tape. ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday,’ from Virgin.

What is your least favourite record that you have made, and why?

I recorded an album I got a bit wrong. Just because you can have things i.e string section doesn’t mean you have to use them

Do you believe in God?

It would be a sad life if you didn’t believe in something. Humans can’t understand it. It’s like trying to teach a cat how to use the internet – it’s too big.

What is the strangest story you have read about yourself?

Nothing that strange. People get things wrong all the time – my age. I’m 27.

Tell us a joke

What cheese do you use to get a Bear from its cave? Camembert.

Which football team do you support?

I watch football. I don’t have time to follow a team.

Do you have any pets?

Nope.

What’s the worst song lyric of all time?

Happy Birthday.

Who do you consider to be the most overrated musical act of all time?

Phil Collins. I just don’t get it.

What car do you drive?

My motor home.

Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?

Johnny Depp.

Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?

All.

How will you vote in the next election?

I’m not a Tory, let’s put it that way…

When was the last time you cried?

Not sure. I don’t cry that often. When I’m working most of the time.

What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?

‘All along the watchtower’ – Jimi Hendrix

What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of your own gigs?

I got hit in the face with a glow sick.

Have you ever been starstruck?

I had a piss next to Seasick Steve. Couldn’t really talk though, was weird enough me looking at him.

What is your culinary speciality?

BBQ.

The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?

Stay. I think they’re funny. Share the wealth a bit and let them get on with it.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?

I would love to be a cobbler.

What were you like at school?

Much the same, really. Louder perhaps.

What’s your poison?

Lager.

If you could change one law, what would it be?

Not sure. People should be able to do what they want, within reason.

Which decade would you have most liked to have lived in?

1960s.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

No but my mate Jim did, he said it was well strange.

‘Rocking Chair’ is out on February 23 on Tentman. 10 Songs follows on March 16.

The return of Florence and the Machine

florence-welch

Several years in the making, June 1 will see the release of the third Florence and the Machine album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

The first single from the album ‘What Kind Of Man’ was released midway through last week (doing better in the Scottish charts than the UK ones, for those of you interested in such stats), and the band are being talked about as serious contenders to headline Glastonbury.

The excellent (but NSFW) video for ‘What Kind Of Man’ can be seen below.

The album tracklisting is as follows:

1. Ship To Wreck
2. What Kind Of Man
3. How Big How Blue How Beautiful
4. Queen Of Peace
5. Various Storms & Saints
6. Delilah
7. Long & Lost
8. Caught
9. Third Eye
10. St Jude
11. Mother

The return of Wire

Wire 2015

The next few months look busy for some of the acts who first came to prominence during the post-punk era – and who refused to join the heritage circuit. Wire, who released their debut Pink Flag in 1977, will shortly release their 13th album, entitled Wire. The line up is now Colin Newman (vocals, guitar); Robert Grey (drums); Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), and former It Hugs Back guitarist Matthew Simms, who joined the band in 2012.

The album tracklisting is as follows:

1. Blogging
2. Shifting
3. Burning Bridges
4. In Manchester
5. High
6. Sleep-Walking
7. Joust & Jostle
8. Swallow
9. Split Your Ends
10. Octopus
11. Harpooned

You can stream ‘Joust & Jostle’ below: