Death And Vanilla – The Tenant

Seemingly in no rush to capitalise on the potential crossover attention afforded to 2015’s art-pop tailored To Where The Wild Things Are LP, Malmö’s Death And Vanilla have instead spent the last couple of years overseeing curatorial Fire Records reissues of their earlier works and delivering sporadic live performances.  This latest release also … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#53 (Lake Ruth’s Allison Brice on The Source)

Allison Brice (Lake Ruth) on… Jimmy Scott’s The Source (Atlantic Records, 1970) Like many, my first encounter with Jimmy Scott was via his commanding performance of the haunting and inscrutable "Sycamore Trees" in the Twin Peaks second season finale. Pensive and tuxedo-clad, he crooned against a backdrop of brilliant red, inhabiting … [Read more...]

Phantoms Vs Fire – Swim

Less is occasionally more when it comes to the self-promotion required of any electronic musician nowadays. Who, we are invited to ask, is Thiago C. Desant? He is in fact a Brazilian now living in Italy, influenced by artists as varied as Tycho, Mike Oldfield, Ryuichi Sakamoto and others, and as Tycho features prominently in my own playlist at the … [Read more...]

Pete Astor – One For The Ghost

With 2016’s Split Milk LP and Do Nothing EP - on the now folded Fortuna Pop! and the furtive Feral Child labels respectively - veteran musical scholar and polymath Pete Astor reconnected somewhat unexpectedly with the guitar-driven singer-songwriter persona of his Creation Records-affiliated years.  Seemingly still in no rush to return to the … [Read more...]

Bardo Pond – Volume 8

Now effectively grand elders of the active psych-rock world, with a quarter of a century or so on the clock, Philadelphia’s Bardo Pond have little left to prove with Volume 8. At this stage you will automatically know whether you need another of the band’s records in your collection or not.  Yet, there’s no laurel-resting here.  Featuring studio … [Read more...]

Table Scraps – Autonomy

You might not have heard very much about it yet, but punk pock is, very definitely, back. From out of nowhere in particular an entire subculture of bands has emerged in the last two or so years. Groups whose defining characteristic is calling themselves 'punk' regardless of their own takes on the basic three and a half chord basic song structures, … [Read more...]

Mary Brett Lorson – Themes From Whatever

They say time speeds up as you get older but it’s still somewhat of a shock to realise that Mary Lorson’s last LP, the lush and lightly theatrical BurnBabyBurn, appeared back in 2011.  Incessantly busy with other projects - including the multimedia stage show Signals, soundtracks for documentaries, audiobooks and the internet drama serial The … [Read more...]

The Heartwood Institute / Dollboy / Listening Center

With 2017 feeling for many like a long hangover from a turbulent and once seemingly never-ending 2016 in geopolitical terms, it’s not clear where 2018 will take us all next.  Certainly, the still-dark January mornings, for those of us following Greenwich Mean Time in the UK at least, make it seem harder to envisage a lighter year breaking through … [Read more...]

Trees Speak – self-titled

On its surface, this 15-track album from a band which appears to originate from the vicinity of Phoenix, AZ is a deeply obscure post-rock experiment, with Trees Speak referencing ensembles that some of you may have heard of (the coincidentally German groups Cluster, Harmonia and Neu!) and others that are certainly unknown to me until now (Beak, … [Read more...]

An Amalgamated Albums A-Z of 2017 (From Binker And Moses to Roger Waters)

As we approach another year’s end reflecting on what wares touched us the most on the aural plane, it's clear once more that there have just been too many things released to boil it all down here into a fully comprehensive, easily portable or competitive clickbait compendium. Instead, below is an independently-selected clutch of albums and one … [Read more...]