Modern Outsider Records released the new album by Gliss this week. ‘Langsom Dans’ (Slow Dance) features the atmospheric dream popper ‘Weight Of Love’, mixed by Michael Patterson (Trent Reznor/NIN, How To Destroy Angels, Beck, Ladytron). The trio from Copenhagen and Los Angeles produce accessible downbeat pop, backed by solid production (for fans of The Raveonettes, SPC ECO, Echo Lake).
Gliss – ‘Weight Of Love’
Visit Gliss online @ Modern Outsider @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.
Instrumental post rockers Apricot Rail release their second album ‘Quarrels’ featuring ‘Basket Press‘ (free download) on February 25 via Hidden Shoal Recordings. The Perth-based six piece shift between pretty melodies and different textures… when was the last time you heard woodwinds on a post rock tune!? The “soft, soft, oh my gawd crescendo” moments are avoided in place of a more reflective listening experience. Thumbs up.
Apricot Rail – ‘Basket Press’
Visit Apricot Rail @ Hidden Shoal Recordings @ Facebook.
Following the ‘Blissed Out In Italy‘ feature come the Roman shoegaze band Weird. Their impressive debut album ‘Desert Love For Lonely Graves’ is available for free download now! Weird formed as a trio in 2011 before writing and recording this seven song collection with Marco Barzetti. Take a listen to their spacious rock styling on ‘Dark Was The Sky, Cold Was The Rain’.
Weird – ‘Dark Was The Sky, Cold Was The Rain’
Melbourne-based songwriter Fergus Miller (better known as Bored Nothing) delivered his debut LP on Spunk Records last year and I’m just catching up. Fergus recorded the entire thing himself but has since assembled a touring outfit. ’Bliss‘ is an example of his songwriting and style, full of lo-fi grit, contemplation and honesty. All of the things that make bedroom productions such a pleasure to listen to.
Bored Nothing – ‘Bliss’
Visit Bored Nothing @ Spunk Records @ Bandcamp @ Tumblr @ Facebook.
As promised, here’s the very first guest post @ SBWR from the super talented PSYCHIC HEARTS! PSYCHIC HEARTS is a CA/NY-based writer of sorts who loves obese cats and used records. You can read more reviews, features, and commentary from her music site <here> dedicated to shoegaze / dreampop / garage / synthwave. Big thanks for the work put into this feature! Blissed Out In Italy shines a light on our Italian friends and a bunch of new acts to keep an ear on.
For music lovers like us, the inquisitive mind never rests, nor should it. You can visit the popular website, rely on your friends, randomly catch a show, hoping to strike gold. Or… you can dig. After hearing Be Forest’s acclaimed debut ‘Cold’, I discovered their label We Were Never Being Boring, which led me to unearth more DIY labels such as Keep It Yours (Rome), Upside Down Recordings (Rome), and Tannen (Verona). Their rosters include English-singing bands that have toured and played alongside the Japandroids, Dum Dum Girls, Moon Duo, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, as well as epic festivals such as Spacefest! And so, we at SBWR think the following artists from Italy should definitely be on your radar this year…
BE FOREST (We Were Never Being Boring .,Pesaro)
Dreamy, warm, atmospheric music from the Adriatic coast. BE FOREST features two female singers and spent the remaining part of 2012 touring Europe with the Japandroids. That last part should pretty much confirm their awesomeness! If you like BLOUSE, Slowdive, and the ethereal vocals of Elizabeth Harris of GROUPER, listen to BE FOREST’S stunning debut, ‘Cold’ @ Bandcamp / Facebook / WWNBB as well as their latest single, ‘Hanged Man’ and what was voted as Decay FM Radio’s 2012 shoegaze song of the year, ‘I Quit Girls‘ (Japandroids cover).
Be Forest – ‘Florence’
Be Forest – ‘Wild Brain’
Be Forest – ‘Hanged Man’
HOLiDAYS (Keep it Yours .,Rome)
A sunny bucolic daydream, drenched in reverb and lovelorn lyrics. HOLiDAYS are a dreampop quartet from Rome with songs and DIY-visuals inspired by their European travels, Roman summers, and youthful nostalgia. Though they are not even close to completing their second LP, the leaks so far sound incredible and very different from ‘Young Love’ – with more fuzz and dreamier soundscapes. If you like Wild Nothing, Real Estate, Blueboy, and Mood Rings, listen to HOLiDAYS’ debut, ‘Young Love’ @ Bandcamp / Facebook / iTunes.
HOLiDAYS – ‘Holes’
HOLiDAYS – ‘Only in Dreams’
HOLiDAYS – ‘Sleepless’
BROTHERS IN LAW (Tannen /WWNBB/ CF/ CoCo Heart .,Pesaro)
Shimmery, c-86 inspired surf pop featuring Nicola Lampredi of BE FOREST. BiL’s ‘Gray Days‘ EP is an ironic misnomer, considering each song is a loud, jangly haze of fuzz and melody. Their debut, ‘Hard Times for Dreamers’ drops this year on WWNBB, CF and COCOHEART Records (Japan); they will follow the release with a series of shows in New York and Austin for SXSW 2013 (dates). Be sure to check them out if you are attending this year, and pre-order their new album via Musicraiser. If you like Crocodiles, Dum Dum Girls, Beach Fossils, and/or Best Coast, listen to BROTHERS IN LAW @ Bandcamp / Facebook.
BROTHERS IN LAW – ‘Ode to Love’
BROTHERS IN LAW – ‘Shadow II’
BROTHERS IN LAW – ‘Holy Weekend’
HIS CLANCYNESS (Independent .,Bologna)
Nothing can be written about Italy’s indie rock scene without mentioning, Jonathan Clancy of His Clancyness and A Classic Education, who is perhaps the most well-known Italian indie rocker to crossover in recent years. Indeed, the last few years have definitely been a whirlwind with what seems like a non-stop itinerary of US/EU tours and marathon recording sessions with Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) and Chris Koltay (Lotus Plaza, Atlas Sound, Akron/Family), but thoughtful and prolific as always – Clancy continues to gift us with a steady stream of late night, lo-fi recordings perfect for any jilted lover’s mixtape (like his cover of ‘I Can’t Talk About It’ by El Perro Del Mar). You can catch HIS CLANCYNESS at SXSW this year, along side BROTHERS IN LAW this March in Austin. If you like The Microphones, Minks, Weed Diamond, or anything off K Records listen to HIS CLANCYNESS @ Bandcamp / iTUNES / Soundcloud / Facebook.
HIS CLANCYNESS – ‘How It’s Done In Italy’
HIS CLANCYNESS – ‘Summer Majestic’
HIS CLANCYNESS – ‘Carve A Peach’
SEA DWELLER (Upside Down Recordings .,Rome)
I die whenever I hear this band. Beautiful, ecstasy and what have you. They are so underrated, under-appreciated, and incredibly talented, but thankfully well known in this very esoteric world of ethereal guitars and heavy distortion. With alternating male and female vox, SEA DWELLER probably has the most classic, recognizable sound highlighted in this feature, with noise reminiscent of Ride, early LILYS, and the Telescopes. They were recently invited to play alongside the likes of Mark Gardener and Pure Phase Ensemble at Spacefest! (an epic shoegaze fest in Poland). You can stream their entire last album, ‘Signs of a Perfect Disaster’ @ Bandcamp and order their gorgeous, limited edition yellow vinyl of ‘Signs’ @ Sea Dweller Music @ Facebook.
SEA DWELLER – ‘Marion’
SEA DWELLER – ‘Slow Down’
SEA DWELLER – ‘I See The Sea From Her’
GENERAL DECAY (Milan)
All I know is that this very fuzzy, garage pop band is supremely awesome, but sadly defunct. Oh, and everyone loves them!
More @ PSYCHIC HEARTS.
If you’ve never experienced the bliss of Pia Fraus before, this is your moment. Their formation is the stuff of… well, its easy to ham up. Six Estonian art school students came together in the late nineties to write dreamy pop songs, in 2001 their debut LP ’Wonder What It’s Like’ was born. The band have re-recorded (or remastered) all of their key tracks for a new compilation called ‘Silmi Island’ (1998-2008), available on January 22 through Shelflife Records (order here). Take a listen to ‘Feeling Is New‘, first released in 2006 on the Pia Fraus album ‘Nature Heart Software’.
Pia Fraus – ‘Feeling Is New’
Visit Pia Fraus @ Shelflife Records @ Facebook.
French duo Future released ‘Citizen’ as a free download late last year (grab it here) through Athens-based collective Sonic Playground. It’s a little bit new wave and a little bit post punk with some shoegazey guitars thrown in! Think A Place To Bury Strangers meets Black Marble.
Future – ‘Citizen’
Visit Future @ Soundcloud @ Bandcamp @ Sonic Playground @ Facebook.
On January 29, Saint Marie Records release the debut LP ‘Emerald Cures Chic Ills‘ (pre-order here) from Berlin’s The History Of Colour TV. ‘I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway’ is one of the rare moments of pop sunshine on this record… and there’s still a shrill simulated scream in the bridge! There’s something odd around every corner of this album, industrial brick walls, ecstatic synth lines, delicate pop melodies, evil drones, this is an experience well rewarded for those willing to take the trip. Suited for fans of The Soft Moon, A Place To Bury Strangers or Bloody Knives.
The History Of Colour TV – ‘I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway’
‘Emerald Cures Chic Ills’ – Album Teaser
Visit The History Of Colour TV @ Saint Marie Records @ Tumblr @ Facebook.
New romantic fans take a breath! The debut video from Girls On Drugs has hit the web. The duo from New York / Czech Republic have been posting new wave, synth pop demos on Soundcloud since mid 2012. The delicate ‘Old Town‘ swoons about all Morrissey-like…
Visit Girls On Drugs @ Tumblr @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
The swansong for Sydney’s Colours is the newly released ’Sadistic Dreams‘ (free download). Producer Tom Crandles will be focusing his efforts on the dream pop duo Au.Ra before beginning work under the new moniker Sunmachine.
Colours – ‘Sadistic Dreams’