Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Pretty Greens - Jealous Waves (February Records)

This is a delicious slice of DIY pop from Philadelphia, which brings to All Girl Summer Fun Band, The Icicles - even Tender Trap in parts, and it's another triumph from the transatlantic February Records.

The title track is all understated majesty and shambling shoegaze strums with a laid-back, almost coy nature. Meanwhile, Lonely Hunter brings to mind Unrest or, closer to home, September Girls' earlier stuff. There's even time for a cover of The Palisades' 'Make the Night a Little Longer', which is a deft little coquette of song.

If there was any justice in the world, then The Pretty Greens would be famous and Liam Gallagher's fashion label would be (literally) consigned to the dustbin of history. It won't happen, of course, but then that shouldn't take anything away from just how flippin' ESSENTIAL The Pretty Greens are. If they don't make it across the sea to play in the UK this year then I'll throw a terrible strop. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Jealous Waves by The Pretty Greens from Tear-n Tan on Vimeo.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Evans knows I'm miserable now

Another short post because I can;t do anything else at the moment than write news stories and for pointless walks to dismal places - all in the name of "making money". Today I bought a tie for work to cheer myself up. What a world.

Any way 'round, there's another gig to look forward to in the very near future, as we welcome back Evans the Death to Nottingham, ably assisted by Emma Kupa off of the late, lamented Standard Fare, and heroic underachievers Mascot Fight.

All of which led me to listen to this again. Easy to forget this was one of the best singles of recent times. I'll see you there.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Slowcoaches: our troubled youth

If you ask me, being young hasn't got much going for it bar being able to get out of bed without the aid of a tower crane, but it does have some redeeming features. Such as being in the audience in this Slowcoaches video. There can possibly be only one thing better than that - and that's being in the band.

Slowcoaches are wonderful, don't you think? Get back to me when you find a time machine that strips away all the crap of being 18, 'cos this makes me wants to get drunk and do daft things and then get up and go to work and do come home and do it all over again.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Slum of Legs: a modern Iskra

Back in the early '90s I was writing a fanzine here in Nottingham. Thinking back, it was a pretty desperate time; living in a mice-infested flat with no running water in the bathroom and 70 quid to live on a fortnight (this has gone a bit Four Yorkshiremen, but bear with me). However, a few things made it worthwhile...

Tapes in the post. Tapes from all over the world. Demo tapes, promo tapes - all full of rough edits of glitterball songs covered in the dirt of DIY production - which often made them better, it has to be said. Listening to the Slum of Legs demo tape immediately slings me back to those freezing cold days in Radford, when only the music kept me warm.

Slum of Legs are from Trendy Brighton, and have a member of The Chemistry Experiment and an unknown number of Blue Minkies among their number. They make lo-fi soul music that claws at your heart, and their three-track demo tape is a proper winter warmer alright. These songs drip with a passion you rarely hear these days - this is the pop underground kicking back, the sound of defiance in cruel times, the very essence of indiepop (although I doubt they'd welcome that term).

It's a shot in the arm for a scene struggling a little after five years of the best times. If this demo can inspire a new generation of indiepop bands then it'll be even more than just a fantastic demo tape. Here's the spark - you do the rest

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Darren Hayman and Emma Kupa - Boy, Look at What You Can't Have Now (Fortuna Pop!)

When these two met they wanted to make a record that sounded like Bryan Adams an Sporty Spice as possible. Bloody students. Thank God they've failed.

'Boy Look at What You Can't Have Now' is more like a pair of jealous kittens spitting out barbs than anything you'll find on Now 65. Think of Tom Jones and her out of Catatonia, and then forget them immediately because that song was a crime against humanity, whilst this discordant rattle through self-defiance is a slow-burning beauty.

I used to love Hefner, you know. There was a time when I hung off every Darren Hayman lyric, but I haven't really hit it off with much of his solo stuff. However, a sprinkle of Emma Kupa on anyone's cornflakes is enough to transform the mundane into the magical. There are rumours of a duet album. That might fill the Standard Fare-shaped hole in my life for a while, but for now, this is very nice, thank you very much.

'Boy, Look at what You Can't Have Now' is out on Fortuna Pop! on 3rd March.