About Ed

Music fan by instinct



Every so often, a submission in my email reminds exactly why I write the blog. To champion music that I feel deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Tonight, an email from one Marilyn Roxie, a synth musician who runs a label called Vulpiano Records made me feel I had to write before sleeping.

The band in question are a three-piece called Vukovar. They are Rick Clarke, Dan Shea, and Buddy Preston. They claim to come from the Brutalist wastelands in the North of England. Amongst their interests and influences appear to be ‘Ultra-Realism. Depravity. Monotony. Concrete. Hedonism. Silence’. Vukovar describe themselves as idealists, voyeurs and totalitarians. Whether any of this is true or not doesn’t really matter. (It’s a hundred times more interesting than a band who claim that their main influences are Oasis and the Beatles and that they just make music for themselves and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus.’) They produce music that sounds like the meeting point of post-punk with post-rock. I have played their new single ‘The Three Shades’ incessantly tonight.

The video for the single can be seen here:

The single and b-side can be downloaded legally for free at the Vulpiano bandcamp page here .

Additionally you can check out more music from Vukovar’s bandcamp page here.

A song for today #36: My Pleasure


Many moons ago, NME (back when it was better than the sadly-depleted freebie it is now) ran a feature on the most rock’n’roll films. A Clockwork Orange came out top.

Anthony Burgess may not have liked Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, but it seeped deeply into popular culture. Even though it was banned in the UK for the best part of thirty years (Kubrick withdrew it), it informed so much of popular music. Blur’s video for ‘The Universal’ is an obvious reference point, but an entire book could be written about how it informed youth culture in Britain for decades afterwards (there probably has already been a book or two on this). As a teenager growing up in the early 90s it had a whole mystique attached that’s harder for a younger generation to figure out now, much of it in the fact it was so hard to see legally in the UK.

I mention this because a video popped into my inbox that’s very much informed by A Clockwork Orange. Not so much the ultraviolence, hanging out with droogs or even Beethoven but more the controversial ‘cure’ (if you have seen the film, you will understand the quotation marks). Jon Mills is the director and he has produced a great pop video.

My Pleasure is a Hull-based solo musician who has received acclaim from the likes of Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson. This track ‘I Want To Keep This Feeling Going’ is a joy, like Momus covering XTC (and I mean that as a compliment). This is taken from the EP Party Popper which is available for free (sic), you pay only P&P (see here for details).


Album Review – Wedding Present


Wedding Present  -‘Going, Going…’ (Scopitones)

‘They’ may say not to judge a book by its cover, but the fog, rain and shadow on the cover of the Wedding Present’s ninth studio album certainly sets the tone in a most apt way…

In many ways, this might well be the Weddoes’ most ambitious album to date, and overall, this largely succeeds. The first quarter of the record has more in common with post-rock acts like Mogwai or Godspeed than it does with the band’s contemporaries on that legendary c-86 tape (now, of course, thirty years ago). The opening ‘Kittery’ is as atmospheric as the album cover, and hell, you don’t even hear David Gedge’s voice until the third track.

In their decades long career, the Weddoes have, of course, been here before. 1991’s Seamonsters album, produced by Steve Albini (who would go on to make records with the likes of PJ Harvey and Nirvana), was contrary to the expectations of those expecting more records like their first two more janglier records George Best and Bizarro.

Yet to paraphrase what John Peel (one of the band’s most vocal champions) used to say about The Fall, with the Weddoes they’re always different, always the same. The two singles (well, promotional tracks, whatever we want to call them in 2016) to do the rounds ‘Bear’ and ‘Rachel’ are perhaps more immediately accessible than some of the other tracks on the record, and might more immediately find a home next to the likes of classic tracks like ‘My Favourite Dress’ ‘Montreal’ or the great comeback that was ‘I’m From Further North Than You.’

How do they all fit together on one album? Well, at times it might seem a lot to take in – but remember, children, indie is shorthand for independent and not just white boys with guitars. That’s music that thinks outside of the box, and that’s what Mr. Gedge and his men and women over the years continue to do once again.

Long may their chimneys smoke.


Going, Going is out now on Scopitones





A song for today #35: Stillhavet

…and so the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and it just needs a soundtrack, right?

Stillehavet come from Bergen, Norway. They are a newly formed band consisting of Marit Elisabeth Svendsbøe and Gaute Stedje. There doesn’t seem to be much information about them, other than that they used to be part of a band called Funin.

‘Gola Malimbe’ is a beautiful, ethereal track that sounds wonderfully original. Over the course of the six and a half minutes running time it reference alt-folk, electronica, Radiohead, Sigur Ros and the Cocteau Twins. What more could you ask for?


A song for today #34: Troy Joe

As I have said many times over the last ten years, I get more submissions than I can possibly listen to. Sometimes it may be nothing more than pure chance that I get the chance to listen to something.

And once in a while, there’s an unsolicited submission that makes it all worthwhile. Toronto’s Troy Joe got in touch a couple of weeks ago with a track taken from his Rich Nobody EP, which he’s not long finished recording in Miami.

After my first listen to ‘Bounce’, it got put on repeat play. It’s that kind of track. So turn it up, enjoy the video, and some edgy loop going on in the background. One of the best tracks I have heard this year.

Utterly fabulous. And like a lot of great tracks it doesn’t hang about, clocking in at less than three minutes.

Once I’d heard that, I had to head on over to check out his soundcloud and you should, too.

Album Review – Monochrome Set


Monochrome Set -‘Cosmonaut.’ (Tapete)

What’s that high-pitched sound? Signals from outer space? It’s the call to attention of the opening, title track for the fourth album since Bid reactivated them for a second time, and their thirteenth overall.

The Monochrome Set still sound like, well, the Monochrome Set. Sure, they might be vaguely ‘post-punk’/indie-pop (well, they’re certainly not acid jazz or psychedelic trance), and yet there’s still the sense that it’s hard to quite work out what exactly it is that makes them so unique.

There is a strange sense of humour at play on this record, with the second track ‘Suddenly, Last Autumn’ being a tale of cannibalism, complete with a woman’s voice advising how best to cook human flesh (as you do).   Coming from this band it comes across as black humour and only a little unsettling, as opposed to being dedicated gross-out.

And that’s the thing with The Monochrome Set. Yes there are bands both past that they might sound like, or those who are indebted to them. I’d be willing to bet that Franz Ferdinand and Belle & Sebastian have been taking notice of ver set over the years (as well as being the only two other acts who would come up with a song title like ‘Put Your Hand Up If You’re Louche’). Several plays have started to open up the album, which is complex in its own way, without being self-indulgent.

The album may not win the band lots of new fans, but it is characteristic enough to please older fans, and given their prolific release schedule over the last few years (four albums in five years), no doubt there will be another new album along soon.


Cosmonaut is out now on Tapete


A song for today #33: THANKS


OK, I have to admit that THANKS may have a name that is frankly flippin’ daft in the age of the search engine. But never mind that.

The Danish duo, who were formally known as Alphabeat, have sampled Jill Scott’s ‘Golden’ and produced what will almost certainly become a dancefloor classic in ‘Livin’ My Life.’ Whilst the original Jill Scott track had a laid-back jazzy feel, this has a more uptempo feel. With each play it becomes more addictive. Like any great dancefloor track should, it makes you want to dance, or at the least, drive around in your car with the volume up, and the windows down. Sure there was quite a lot of acclaim for their previous single ‘Dizzy’ but this beats it hands down.

They’ve just unveiled the video which is gorgeous and summery, and feels a million miles away from Scotland, where autumn is trying to set in…


Back on the streets special

Michael Kiwanuka

This is, of course, a slight joke. However, as I finally seem to have resolved technical difficulties with the blog, even if health problems still aren’t quite resolved, it feels like things are up and running again.

So, a few pieces I wrote over the summer are on God Is In The TV, including album reviews for Michael Kiwanuka (above)’s Love and HateScott Walker’s Childhood of a Leader soundtrack and Frank Ocean’s Blonde.

I’ve got numerous album reviews I want to write (including for New Model Army and the Wedding Present) and on a completely different sort of music tip again, I’ve also been enjoying a lot of Grime of late too, including albums from Giggs, Skepta and Kano. The latter has been responsible for my favourite track of late ‘T-shirt weather in the Manor’ from his brilliant album Made In The Manor.