Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – EXPATRIOT

Long awaited fourth long-player from TM & HL takes an intelligent and compassionate look at the hard times of old/new England.

For their previous album, 2012's La Ferme De Fontenaille, husband and wife duo Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou spent ten days recording in a barn located in the Pay De La Loire, France, aided by little more than a pair of guitars and a 4-track cassette recorder. For their latest album they've enlisted the help of recording legend Ethan Johns whose label Three Crows Records is jointly releasing the record with Trevor and Hannah-Lou's own Anglophone Recording Company.

The pair have busied themselves between album with a series of tours, most notably opening for Tori Amos throughout Europe and North America. Fortunately for us listeners they've also found time to write. Matching Ethan John's heightened sonic focus on the new album is the song-writing which is as sharp and incisive as anything from their back catalogue. As hinted at by the album title's play on words, EXPATRIOT sees the duo explore a recurring theme in their writing, that of nationality, what it means to be British, or more specifically English. And also just how deep rooted are the systems that perpetuate our problems with ourselves and the rest of the world.

The opening title track sets the tone, a rallying wake-up call to a population whose “daydreaming days may be done”. 'Galley Hill' casts a compassionate eye at the refugee crisis over an early Beatles chord sequence while 'Up Mercatoria' paints everyday vignettes of working life in an area of the duo's hometown and subtly references the founding blocks of how we interact with the rest of the world. 'Babe To Cradle' is an album highlight, a genuinely sublime track with Dylan-ish use of alliteration, examining monarchy as well as warmongering and extremism. For all the serious topics the album ends on an optimistic note with 'A Better Day' complete with a sing-a-long chorus and kazoo solos.

As a nation we precariously balance hope and despair, pride and shame. The latter pairing none more so when it comes to how we view and treat the rest of the world. Our borders may be made by God, but our frustrating insularity is wholly our own. It's a sensitive area and one that a lot of musicians shy away from. Not Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou. If only more musicians were prepared to examine these issues in such an intelligent and compassionate way. Especially now we need them to more than ever.

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou will be supporting Ron Sexsmith on tour this October as well as opening for Jools Holland later this autumn - 

Jools Holland dates
Thursday 29th October – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
Friday 30th October – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
Thursday 12th November – Colosseum, Watford
Saturday 14th November – Barbican, York

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Tir na nOg – Ricochet (Ltd7”)

Tir na nOg's newest mystical masterpiece! A taster from their first studio LP in over 40 years!

Tir na nOg were and are trailblazers of genre defying acoustic music. The duo formed in 1970, released a string of critically acclaimed albums. and achieved a sizeable cult following before splitting in 1974. The pair re-united in 1985 for sporadic live shows and have recently stepped their touring up a gear, much to the delight of fans old and new.

Their reputation as acid-folk luminaries is now further cemented by the release of new track 'Ricochet' on a coloured vinyl 7”. Taken from the forthcoming album The Dark Dance, (their first in over 40 years), it resembles a devotional Sufi song more than it does Irish or English folk, with echoes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, acoustic Zep and even The Sisters Of Mercy. Drone, Arabic scales and percussion are the order of the day, lending the song an air of urgent mysticism.

The flipside features a previously unreleased live version 'Tir na nOg'. It's a cracking take on their signature song and proof that the pairs' talents and enthusiasm show no signs of diminishing just yet. Land of eternal youth indeed!

Click here for Tir na nOg's website
Click here for the Fruits De Mer website.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Wrong Society – She Destroyed Me b/w Without You (Ltd. 7”)

A double pronged ode to love gone wrong from Hamburg's newest garage band.

One of the garage scene's default lyrical themes, (hell one of life's themes I guess!) is love gone wrong, being mystreated by a lover who you'd put all hope and faith in. With this in mind it could be a case of treading (dirty) water for German garage band The Wrong Society whose second single, and first for Paul Messis' Market Square Records, has this staple subject at its core.

Through sheer spirit and conviction however this is not the case. She Destroyed Me is a four chord stormer charting the love-gone-wrong aftermath. It's bolstered by high-in-the-mix tambourine and a Vox Super Continental keyboard solo. The Hamburg based quartet have a more measured, reflective take on the situation on the flipside Without You, where the protagonist's feelings turn from anger to sadness. A nice addition to any deejay's 7" box.

On 7” black vinyl, limited to 300 copies complete with a hand-numbered postcard.

Check out The Wrong Society at one of their upcoming German gigs -

September 22nd - Molotow Skybar, Hamburg
October 1st - Feinstaub, Frankfurt
October 2nd - Goldgrube Kassel
October 3rd - Sonic Ballroom, Cologne
October 16th - Roadrunner's Paradise, Berlin

Click here for The Wrong Society on Facebook.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Magic Bus – Seven Wonders b/w Eight Miles High (Ltd. 7”)

Devon band's take on the Canterbury sound is as warm and welcome as a ray of late summer sun.

Magic Bus make music that lives up to their name; it delights, dazzles, and takes you places you want to go. Their first single for the Fruits de Mer label contains an original A-side, Seven Wonders, backed with their take on The Byrds' Eight Miles High. It may just be the pick of the crop of FDM's early Autumn releases.

If you want comparisons think Caravan and the Canterbury sound. Think gentle, pastoral home counties psychedelia. Think Englishness as encapsulated by Robert Wyatt-esque vocals. Think hops fields, sunny days and games of cricket. But really don't think at all, just listen. You won't be disappointed.

The initiated may have already heard Seven Wonders as it's taken from their Transmission From Sogmore's Garden album, their 2nd for Static Caravan Records. For the rest of us this first meeting is as warm and welcome as a ray of late summer sun. Along with its strong melody and harmonies worthy of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the band prove equally adept at wigging out as evidenced in the song's proggy coda.

Eight Miles High is a slowed down take on The Byrds classic with an almost Gregorian vocal intro. Any folk-rock urgency is replaced by a more measured jazz swing. Similarly it's flute and synthesizer that take flight on the solos instead of McGuin's garbled guitar. Very nice indeed!

Click here for the Magic Bus website.
Click here for Magic Bus on Facebook.
Click here for more on Fruits De Mer Records.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Nick Nicely – 49 Cigars (Ltd. 7”)

'80s lost psych classic gets a well deserved reissue on Fruits De Mer Records.

Cult musician Nick Nicely may not be known to many outside of the psych-scene cognoscenti, but he sure as hell knows how to make great music. The lead track of this 4 track EP is actually a B-side from his 1982 single Hilly Fields. Hilly Fields was actually reissued by FDM several years ago but now it's 49 Cigars that's getting some well deserved attention.

All the hallmarks of classic British Psychedelia are present, incorrect and there to disorientate your senses. Chug and drone, lyrics that engage but don't always make sense, sampled sonics that swoop in unexpectedly, along with backwards guitar breaks and a trumpet blast that's part fox-hunt bugle, part Proms pomp but mostly a reveille directed at the straight world.

Also included on this EP is a revelatory live version of 49 Cigars that brims over with brio and energy, an exclusive remix of Belinda (taken from Nick's latest solo LP) and Lobster Dobbs, a track taken from his Space Of A Second LP for LO Recordings. Fans of all things lysergic will find this as good an entry point as any into Nick's work.

Click here for Nick Nicely on Facebook.
Click here for more on Fruits De Mer Records.

Worthless – Children Of The Grave b/w Softest (Ltd. 7”)

Brooklyn acid-heads trip out into poppy psych and blissful soul on their latest single.

Market Square Records, the rapidly blossoming garage rock label, have diversified somewhat with their latest batch of releases which includes this limited 7” single by New York acid heads Worthless. It's the sound of '60s pop going psychedelic. The track's simplistic melody nicely draped in swirly atmospherics, echo and disorientating reverb.

Softest features a blissfully stoned circular groove, and comes across like an out-take from Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson. The sound of innocence getting experienced. Loping bass and drums that sound like they could fall apart into fits of giggles at any point. Midway through this mutates into a solid psychedelic soul groove worthy of Isaac Hayes, or The (Norman Whitfield produced) Temptations.

Limited to 300 copies only, this platter comes in a hand-numbered fold over sleeve, the inner side featuring a collage by Worthless' Curtis Godino, plus a free postcard. Get one now or regret it later!

Click here for Worthless on Facebook.

Vibravoid – Stepping Stone (Ltd. 7”)

Psychedelic Monkee business and heavy Traffic aboard the Lovecraft.

With Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork heading out on their latest nostalgic cash-in for the first time in ten years it's a happy coincidence that Vibravoid are releasing a brand new 7” featuring their take on The Monkees classic (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone. The garage rock staple gets a Freakbeat makeover complete with backward guitar solo. Neat!

If the Monkees cover doesn't float your boat there's always their version of Traffic's Hole In My Shoe which features guest vocals from Italian mod jazz singer Viola Road. A fairly straight take on the Brit-psych save for the middle eight section which is sung as opposed to spoken

Completing this 3 track 7” is a new mix of H.P. Lovecraft's The White Ship. Less about melody and more of a mood piece with atmospherics, synth shimmer and pulsating bass, it completes a pretty impressive 3 tracker!

Click here for Vibravoid on Facebook.
Click here for more on Fruits De Mer Records.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Paul Messis - The Blind Leading The Blind b/w As Time Rolls By

Sixth solo single from Sussex-based garage outsider.

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the recorded output of Paul Messis should listen up. For my money he makes some of the most authentic garage psych out there at the moment. And not only that his songs actually say something. That's right kids, music that actually speaks to you!
On his latest solo single he takes a stand against the hypocrisy of the modern world. For all its vocal dissatisfaction with the mores of today, the backing sounds just like an unearthed folk-rock nugget from the mid '60s. Two minutes of garage-psych spleen venting that brings to mind Arthur Lee's Love or early Byrds.
The flipside is an altogether more reflective affair with a tears-of-a-clown theme. Its C86 vibe provides a sweet counterpoint to the A-side's fuzzy snarl and bite.

Out now and limited to 300 copies on trad black vinyl housed in 'Market Square' company sleeve, all copies come with a hand-numbered Poster.

First 100 buyers of the 45, will get the record in a DIY photocopied fold-over sleeve made by Paul Messis.