Tag Archives: discovery

Minor Victories

I know right? I’ve been away from this blog forever. It’s something I’d like to change but who knows what will happen.

Anyhow I’ve been listening to so much amazing new music lately, including this track from Minor Victories, a group made up of members of Slowdive, Editors, Mogwai and Hand Held Cine Club. It’s sublime.

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Because I Am Always Talking cover art

I know there are many who think Spotify is akin to Satan in terms of the little revenue it gives to artists, however lately I’ve found loads of amazing music through it. One such band/person (information seems to be very limited is Careful), have a listen.

(An aside on Spotify the thing with me is that I buy vinyl and I use to discover bands whose vinyl I buy and gigs I attend. Long live the physical medium of music!)

Thus Owls Play Takeshi Terauchi

There’s a feeling I get when something I’ve never heard is sent to me and it’s really good, it never fails to make me smile. When I ask that musician to write something for me and they send something equally amazing – then it’s almost like magic.

In this case it’s Montreal husband and wife duo Thus Owls (Erika and Simon Angell) whose bewitching song ‘How in My Bones’ recently landed in my inbox. Their sound is eccentric but familiar – a lovely melody, idiosyncratic, on key, lightweight and at times ethereal vocal, hypnotic guitar work and the notes of a Wurlitzer organ. Quite simply – sweet. Their new album Turning Rocks comes out via Secret City Records this April.

Read on and discover Simon s top pick…

Thus Owls

Thus Owls Play Takeshi

Takeshi Terauchi is sort of the grandfather of Japanese Surf and Psychedelic guitar. Nej, scratch that. He IS the grandfather! From 1962-69, Terauchi recorded with two main groups. His Blue Jeans and The Bunnys (Blue jeans having reformed in ’69 and still perform today!). The multiple guitars layered on top of each other defined the sound of 60’s Japanese Instrumental Surf Rock. There were usually 3 of them, sometimes each playing single melody lines, often in octaves, and sometimes playing more classically with a melody-chord-bassline approach.
 
As a guitarist myself, you could say I fell upon Terauchi (and subsequently a pandoras box of great Japanese and Korean Psychedelia) in quite a roundabout way. It started with Erika and I purchasing a Wurlitzer. Afterwards, I started seeking out other, more obscure vintage organ sounds. I have a good friend in Montreal who is the worlds most insane keyboard collector – you should see this guys studio! -and we started having conversations about different possibilities in the keyboard realm. Well, that led me to a place I rarely visit. Internet forums! At the way bottom of some out of the way vintage organ forum, someone had mentioned, almost in passing, the music of Terauchi. So I looked it up. And dug it instantly. Not just for the guitars, although they are incredible and at the forefront of the music, but since I was a bit tunnel-visioned (aurally tunneled??) at the time, my ears where immediately attracted to the organ accompaniment. Anyways, after picking up everything I could of him, his records are still on constant rotation in our home.
Thus Owls are currently at SXSW  and the band’s new album ‘Turning Rocks’ comes out in April.

Things I found on bandcamp

Bandcamp

This week I’m living a bandcamp renaissance. Forgot how much you can discover in a very short time, and how easy it to flick through their catalogue. If you haven’t been on for a while check it out here, the handful of discoveries below might get you started.

In a Lonely Place – ‘Mess’ 

I wonder if they are named after the Humphrey Bogart film. A six track release.

Cloud – ‘Cherry Dip’ 

They remind me of ever-loved Neutral Milk Hotel, that’s just a general win.

Wolf Cottage – ‘Glow’ 

Describing themselves as a cross between National and Youth Lagoon is certainly an attention grabber. I know I listened to this song and liked it, but I can’t for the life of me find the link. On the plus side while searching I also came across a three year old Chelsea Wolf album, ‘The  Grime and The Glow’

Listen Up! Bill Callahan

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I heard this version of Kath Bloom’s song ‘The Breeze’ for the first time this morning, as I was getting ready for the day. The lyrics are strikingly honest, I wrote the line (above) I like best the-book-where-I-write-things. Bill Callahan’s version, which featured on a tribute album to Bloom, is compassionate, thoughtful and shimmers with emotional fragility.  Hope you like it as much as I do.