Kris Lavin (aka Real Swell) is a London-based artist with a penchant for wistful lo-fi pop. ‘Suburban Fortress‘ is a new 30 song collection (available for free download) featuring raw, honest and introverted tunes inspired by the likes of Grouper, Ariel Pink, Connan Mockasin and Mac Demarco. Real Swell has even posted some thought provoking gifs to accompany your listening experience like this… and this! Stream / download the whole release via Bandcamp.
Real Swell – ‘No Place Like Home’
Not long until The Fauns drop their sophomore record ‘Lights’ via Invada Records (December 2). Check out the new video for the title track below (directed by Chris Lucas). The Bristol five piece have created another very accessible dream popper that follows the lead single ‘Seven Hours‘. To kick off the new year, The Fauns have announced an epic European tour (dates below).
The Fauns – ‘Lights’ [VIDEO]
17.01.14 Austria – Vienna/Szene
18.01.14 Germany – München/Backstage Halle
19.01.14 Switzerland – Lucerne/Schüür
21.01.14 Germany – Köln/Gebäude 9
22.01.14 Germany – Berlin/Lido
23.01.14 Poland – Warszawa/Klub Hydrozagadka
24.01.14 Lithuania – Vilnius/New York Club
25.01.14 Finland – Helsinki/Korjaamo
26.01.14 Finland – Tampere/Klubi
28.01.14 Norway – Oslo/John Dee
29.01.14 Sweden – Stockholm/Debaser Ballroom
30.01.14 Denmark – Copenhagen/BETA
31.01.14 Netherlands – Arnhem/Luxor Live
01.02.14 United Kingdom – London/Islington Assembly Hall
02.02.14 France – Paris/Divan Du Monde
04.02.14 Portugal – Porto/Hard Club
05.02.14 Spain – Madrid/Joy Eslava
06.02.14 Spain – Barcelona/Apolo
07.02.14 France – Luynes/Le Korigan
08.02.14 Italy – Brescia/Circolo Colony
Visit The Fauns @ Invada Records @ Facebook.
UK psych revivalists Temples have delivered a new single titled ‘Mesmerise’ from their debut LP ‘Sun Structures’ (out February 10 on Heavenly Recordings (UK) / February 11 on Fat Possum (US). The vintage rock approach is hard to master without sounding overtly derivative but Temples manage to pull it off and throw in some flowery melodies while they do it! ‘Sun Structures’ is another add to the 2014 album hit list.
Temples – ‘Mesmerise’
Visit Temples @ Heavenly Recordings @ Fat Possum @ Facebook.
Asheville trio Doc Aquatic deliver their first full length ‘Tombs‘ featuring the reverb-heavy stand out ‘On The Run’. The album was recorded at home and mixed at Echo Mountain by Jon Ashley (War On Drugs, Steve Martin). A mix of indie pop, rock and psych, the record is available now via Bandcamp. These tunes are well written and easy to absorb, it’s surprising they’re not all over the blogosphere as yet.
Doc Aquatic – ‘On The Run’
The KVB push out an enigmatic mix of noise rock, darkwave and post punk that’s mashed together to create an audiovisual feast. Dark, stormy and provocative, there’s little room for fence sitting ears. You’re either going to lap it up or run screaming for the light switch. It’s been a big year for the London-based duo (Nicholas Wood & Kat Day), kicking off with ‘Immaterial Visions‘, followed by a remix EP and now the extended ‘Minus One‘ release plus there’s an impending tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre on the horizon. This week I had a chat to The KVB to figure out how it all came together…
The KVB – ‘Again And Again’
Your last LP ‘Immaterial Visions’ was released earlier this year, how has the response been and are you happy with the record?
We love that release; it’s a beautiful LP! The remix EP was equally so and we were especially honoured that artists such as Regis and Silent Servant etc created such wonderful interpretations of our work. Additionally, we felt that the visuals (ie sleeve design, ‘Shadows’ & ‘Dayzed’ videos) blended well with the sound and encapsulated the oeuvre of the record and our aesthetics as an audiovisual project.
Am I right in saying that The KVB started out in 2010 with Nicholas recording all the parts before Kat joined the group? How did it all come together?
It came together quite naturally. We collaborated on each other’s work – Nick contributed audio to Kat’s video art, and vice versa. Our interests and artistic direction seem to coalesce perfectly.
How do you manage producing such a big sound as a duo? Is it a difficult dynamic to manage on stage?
It’s deceptive; the drum machine is like an invisible member. Aside from that, our setup is quite minimal – two synths, guitar, vocals and lots of pedals.
How were you drawn to the cut throat sounds of noise rock and post punk? Do the dark overtones of The KVB come naturally?
Although there are dark tendencies, there was no melancholic intent whilst writing, it’s just how the inspiration flowed out… most material was written during periods of isolation in Southampton before Nick moved to London – so maybe the ‘cut throat’ sounds we are drawn to and create is just a natural reaction to the boredom of the suburbs.
‘Minus One’ was originally recorded in 2011, at home in less than a week! Tell us a little about those sessions and what fans can expect from the forthcoming extended edition.
It was shortly after we had first met, and Nick had also acquired some new equipment combined with a particularly dark, grey winter. It was a time of great inspiration with a longing to be elsewhere.
Previously, ‘Minus One’ was released as a digital only 6 track EP. However, now it has been remastered and extended to 8 tracks along with new artwork as a physical LP/CD and digital release.
There’s some really interesting sounds on ‘Minus One’. Like the creepy keyboards on ‘Endless’, brickwall guitars on ‘Something Inside’ and brutal basslines on ‘Dominance / Submission’. How did you approach these sounds?
It was an interest in conscious experience, and how sound can affect the listeners’ body and create immersive environments to be lost in.
What music have you been listening to lately? Any recommendations for SBWR readers?
Albums by Belong, Samuel Kerridge and The Holydrug Couple have been spun lots recently on our turntable.
Are you excited about your Australian tour next month with The Brian Jonestown Massacre? What can we expect from your live shows and are you prepared for the Aussie summer!? Bring sunscreen. Lots of it.
Well that goes without saying, of course we are excited! Expect haptic visuals, reverb soaked audio and jetlag induced mania.
Tearjerker have teamed up with their buddies Indoor Voices, Snow What, Little Kid and Heartbeat Hotel to deliver an exciting new collaboration ‘Hiding With Friends‘ (download here). It arrives following last year’s ‘Hiding‘ EP and is a remix release of sorts. Though it’s been messed with so much it might as well be a whole new EP. The Toronto trio are much loved for their melodic gems and distorted tendencies. Snow What’s rework of ‘Another Moon‘ is one example, rising from an ominous opening to a chorus backed with speaker busting fuzziness!
Tearjerker Feat. Snow What – ‘Another Moon’
Tearjerker Feat. Snow What – ‘Another Moon’
Brooklyn’s Total Slacker have unleashed the second single ‘Keep The Ships At Bay’ from their forthcoming album ‘Slip Away’ (out February 11 via Black Bell Records). The foursome recently posted ‘Sometimes You Gotta Die‘ and their latest is no less in your face! Rolling Stone are offering a free download.
Total Slacker – ‘Keep The Ships At Bay’
More Total Slacker @ Black Bell Records @ Facebook.
Nancy Sinatra’s 1967 classic ‘You Only Live Twice’ has been reworked by Irish outfit Elastic Sleep. Turns out James Bond and dream pop make a pretty good couple! The band are offering the tune for free download in the lead up to their debut EP ‘Leave You’ (due in January via Fifa Records). If you missed Elastic Sleep’s debut single ‘Anywhere’ have a listen here.
Elastic Sleep – ‘You Only Live Twice’
Visit Elastic Sleep @ Bandcamp @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
Super excited for Cull‘s debut EP ‘Bà Nội‘ which was released today (download here). The Sydney-based quartet swing between psych rock and shoegaze with an acid drenched sound that always surprises. Cull are not afraid to experiment with random sounds, weird tempo changes or unorthodox song structures which is why they’re so compelling. Closing track ‘Keep My Star’ is one example of how spaced-out these guys can get while still sucking you in with a catchy melody. Previous singles ‘Good People Disappear’, ‘Canker’ and ‘I Thought We Was’ are all available for streaming via Soundcloud. Locals can catch Cull live on the east coast this month (see dates).
Cull – ‘Keep My Star’
Southend brothers Skinny Dream follow up their ‘Crushing‘ EP with a slow motion shoegazer called ‘Surfercaine’ (free download). Once again packed with ocean references, the beach dwellers back their fuzzy guitars with multi-layered vocals and plenty of reverb! Stream more tunes here.
Skinny Dream – ‘Surfercaine’