The return of Meursault!


Perhaps the biggest stars so far of fellow Edinburgh blog turned label, Song, By Toad Records, Meursault are set to release their third album Something For The Weakened on July 16.

Having recorded their previous two albums in bedrooms and living rooms, this album was recorded in an actual recording studio (Pumpkinfield Studios, near Perth). Production duties were handled by Pete Harvey, the ‘cellist whose work on other SbTr records I have singled out on this blog before.

‘Flittin’ is the first single from the album, and you can stream it here:

The full tracklisting for the album is:

Lament For A Teenage Millionaire
Lightning Bolt
Dull Spark
Dearly Distracted

It’s playing as I write; so far the album sounds bloody brilliant.

It’s always good to support your local record store, but you can also buy the 7″ of Flittin’ from the Song, By Toad Records site. You can also donwload mp3s from the site of earlier Meursault work.

The return of Muse!


So, Muse are shortly to return with their sixth album, The 2nd Law. There were rumours they were going to go dubstep, but the first track to do the rounds ‘Survival’ is classic Muse, in their own gloriously OTT way.

Not only that, but it’s the official theme of the 2012 Olympic Games, which (unless you’ve been under a rock since July 2005) is being held in London this year.

If you don’t like Muse (or Queen, for that matter), this will not change your mind. If you are of the opinion that they went downhill (or in the wrong direction) after Showbiz, their debut, this won’t change your mind either.

But if you like or even LOVE Muse for being Muse, with all that that entails, you should enjoy this:

Introducing…Mikhael Paskalev


What with being part-Bulgarian and part-Norweigian, to say nothing of being an adopted Liverpudlian, Mikhael Paskalev would probably raise some interest on paper, before you hear a note of his music.

But I’d like you to hear two tracks that he has released as singles: ‘I Spy’ and ‘Jive Babe.’ Two brilliant, and very different singles.

…and now, having sampled that fine, quirky pop, check out the videos for said singles.

First up, ‘I Spy.’ Yes, it features him dancing around in his briefs. But don’t let that put you off.

And now, one of the best videos I have seen this year. Directed by Jack Whiteley, imagine if Quentin Tarentino was Eastern European, rather than from the US of A. Utterly compelling.

Apparently various Hipster publications have picked this up. Don’t let that put you off.

Bizarre Music Show Performances #4

Madonna and Nirvana both became massive in the UK after Top Of The Pops performances, although I suspect they probably would have done even if they had not gone anywhere near the BEEB.

Madonna had already had several hits when the title track of her second album was released. Quite why she chose to turn up wearing a god-awful outfit -and a pink wig that even Lady Gaga might have passed on remains a mystery. Her record company boss reportedly rushed down to the studio to plead with her not to appear with it, but she did, anyway…


Meanwhile, Nirvana might have been committing career suicide, what with singing an octave lower and changing the words to the charmingly moral-majority baiting ‘load up on drugs and kill your friends.’ I have to confess when I saw this the night it went out I didn’t know the tune that well, so it bypassed me. But in time, this, like the Madona appearance, showed that bizarre appearances may also make acts, as well as break them.


More new music from my inbox


I first encountered Fleetwood Mac via a tape my Dad often played in the car which featured entirely instrumental tracks, entitled Reflections, about 1983. Thus ‘Albratross’ by ver Mac cosied up to the likes of ‘Chariots Of Fire’, Abba’s ‘Arrival’ and Santana’s ‘Samba Pa Ti.’

I next encountered them on Top Of The Pops in 1987-8, when ‘Big Love,’ ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Everywhere’ became massive hits, along with parent album Tango In The Night. Quite frankly, if you love music, then you should own a copy of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk and Tango In The Night. Telling that acts as diverse as Eva Cassidy and Hole have covered their songs.

And now, this:

Death Rattle have yet to release their cover of ‘The Chain’ (which misses out the bass part and still sounds brilliant), but we are told it will be on their debut EP later this year. Check it out below:

This was their latest single, released last month:

Death Rattle describe themselves as being electronic doom pop, and list Depeche Mode and Fever Ray amongst their influences. The two-piece act are made up of two members, Death and, um, Rattle.

Bizarre Music Show Performances #3


Top Of The Pops (but of course), 1980.

The Cure will go on to be one of the defining bands of the decade and will appear on the show on many more occasions. ‘A Forest’ was their first Top 40 UK hit, taken from their second album Seventeen Seconds (yes, well done, etc..)

However, given the fact that the performance lasts less than three minutes, and that a young Robert Smith (slim, with very short hair and no make-up) looks less than enamoured to be there (and isn’t remotely even pretending to mime), it’s amazing either side wanted to repeat it after this:

Twin Shadow returns with awesome video


As mentioned a few weeks ago on 17 Seconds, George Lewis Jr. AKA Twin Shadow will be putting out his new album, Confess, in July.

The first track to do the rounds is ‘Five Seconds’ which is not only available as a free download, but is now also an excellent video.

Based on a novel co-written by George Lewis Jr, Night Of The Silver Sun, this video seems like a glorious Hollywood blockbuster (think X-Men and the like) to a brilliant track. Twin Shadow is a master at taking eighties pop and producing something flaming awesome and with it.

Crank it up, sit back and enjoy!

And if you still haven’t downloaded this, get on with it!

The return of How To Swim


Glasgow’s How To Swim are set to release their sophomore album Niagarama in the autumn.

The nine piece band have just released the third single from the album, entitled ‘Bacterium.’ Gorgeous, summery-sounding indie-pop. Just what we need today.

You can watch the rather cool video here…

…and download the free (everybody’s favourite price) EP which comes with no less than five remixes. I’m really enjoying the rather fine Martial Arts remix.

Not only that, but as a spectacularly generous band, you can also download the two previous singles from Niagarama for free as well.

This includes the much more frenetic ‘Corpsing’

…and the very gentle ‘She Gets Around.’ Showing three already very different sides to that forthcoming album…

They will be playing at the Hidden Lane Festival in Glasgow on June 23 (yes, this Saturday).