Westkust – ‘Swirl’ / ‘Weekends’

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Swedish noise poppers Westkust have posted two tracks (‘Swirl’ and ‘Weekends’) from their forthcoming debut album ‘Last Forever’. The Gotheburg quintet have honed their punk meets shoegaze sound since forming in 2010, so far with a 7inch and EP under their belt. Stereogum recently premiered ‘Swirl’, also giving the thumbs up to Makthaverskan (a post punk band that features two members of Westkust). Needless to say, with explosive tunes like this I’m sure the first Swedish vinyl pressing will disappear fast! ‘Last Forever’ will be released via Swedish label Luxury on April 22, Run For Cover Records will distribute it to the USA later in the year (more @ Bandcamp).

 
Westkust – ‘Swirl’ / ‘Weekends’

Visit Westkust @ Bandcamp @ Luxury @ Facebook.

Bizarre – ‘Vectors’

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And now for something completely different! Seksound are re-issuing Bizarre’s 1996 tape ‘Cafe De Flor‘ (on digital, and for the first time on vinyl). It’s the second album from the band, who are considered to be one of the first shoegaze bands from Estonia! ‘Vectors’ is just a taste, the rest of the album is quite a trip! A mix of experimental electronica, world music and shoegaze.

 
Bizarre – ‘Vectors’

Visit Bizarre @ Bandcamp @ Seksound.

Death & Vanilla – ‘California Owls’

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This May Death & Vanilla return with their new album ‘To Where The Wild Things Are’ featuring the lead single ‘California Owls’. Known for their incredible 60s-styled psych pop, their latest is equally hypnotic. A vintage sounding pop tune that crescendos into noise, pre-sale is on now via Fire Recordings.  The Swedes have also announced a spot at Liverpool Psych Fest this September!

 
Death & Vanilla – ‘California Owls’

Visit Death & Vanilla @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Fait – ‘Slow Glow’ [Video]

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Fait returns with an epic new video for ‘Slow Glow’, taken from her debut EP ‘Atmosphere’ (available now). It’s a gorgeous cinematic work from director Matsu, filmed across 500km of West Australian landscape with model Shelby Lee. It’s the second video from the Perth-based instrumentalist (Elise Higgins), and follows the equally huge clip ‘Surrender To‘. Can’t get enough!

 
Fait – ‘Slow Glow’ [Video]

Visit Fait online @ iTunes @ Facebook.

Marriages – ‘Skin’ / ‘Less Than’

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Emma Ruth Rundle, Greg Burns (Red Sparowes) and Andrew Clinco (Drab Majesty) are Marriages. The L.A.-based trio are set to unleash their debut album ‘Salome’ on April 7 via Sargent House (pre-sale). The moody alt rockers ‘Skin’ and ‘Less Than’ are the first public tracks. It’s not your regular SBWR material but explosive stuff! Amazing musicianship and production.

 
Marriages – ‘Skin’ / ‘Less Than’

Visit Marriages @ Sargent House @ Facebook.

Echo Lake – ‘Era’

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The big week of album releases continues with Echo Lake‘s second LP ‘Era’, out now via No Pain In Pop (CD/Vinyl) or download through iTunes. The British band delivered their much loved debut album ‘Wild Peace’ in 2012, a mix of swirling, dream pop anthems. However, it was a bittersweet time due to the passing of drummer Peter Hayes right before release. Do they disband or regroup? The following year singer Linda Jarvis and guitarist Thom Hill resurfaced to begin work on their new ‘Era’ with Misha Herring at Hackney’s Holy Mountain Studio. Their first time working with a producer who could help expand the Echo Lake sound.

‘Era’ is far less pop centric than ‘Wild Peace’, this time round the songs are more ambitious, with open-ended structures that span up to ten minutes. Which is why there’s only seven songs on the 45 minute album. There’s a much stronger psych rock influence and overall, an emphasis on atmosphere rather than melody. The naivety, and even positivity of ‘Wild Peace’ is replaced by a more serious and commanding tone. This evolution may divide existing fans who are looking for a blast of catchy dream pop.

The album begins with ‘Light Sleeper’, a slow building, cinematic epic. Linda’s vocals interject and overlap each other, much like a chant. It’s hard to predict where the song is going, which is one of the album’s big strengths. However, for all the mood setting we need a payoff, and that’s where the lead single ‘Waves’ comes in. A reminder of how brilliant this band are! A near flawless combination of melody, mood and rock n’ roll. The title track is equally impressive, a slight step back in intensity.

The psych pop slow burner ‘Dröm’ is another highlight, even though the lengthy introduction is somewhat superfluous after hearing a similar build in ‘Light Sleeper’, that said, it’s a trippy mood setter. ‘Sun’ and ‘Nothing Lasts’ are the most light hearted moments on the record but aren’t the most compelling. Whereas the closer ‘Heavy Dreaming’ cements Echo Lake’s transition to free flowing psychedelia. It’s the most hypnotic Echo Lake have ever sounded, it’s fantastic to hear them return with such ambition and scope. Not every song rewards you for taking the journey but it’s an otherwise enjoyable trip.

Echo Lake – ‘Era’ [Album Stream]

Visit Echo Lake @ No Pain In Pop @ Facebook.

Echo Lake - 'Era'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Ambitious new sound
  • Epic arrangements
  • Something for psych fans
CON'S
  • Less pop appeal than 'Wild Peace'
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)