My initial plan was to work my way back in by posting half year round ups and the like but last night the stars aligned and after 5 months of feverishly glancing at Shura’s soundcloud page every week or so looking for a new song HERE IT IS AND OMIGOD I NEED TO CALM DOWN. ‘Just Once’ is not quite the anthemic, woozy beauty that 'Touch' was, but it is another excellent showcase of Shura’s clearly remarkable talents.

If I’m erring on the side of hyperbole here, it’s purely because of the song itself. ‘Just Once’ is equal parts break up and hook up song, and at it’s centre is a heart broken to the core. I mean, if you can sing a line like ‘if you get my name wrong I won’t get pissed off/cause I wish I was somebody else’ and mean it, you’re probably not in a great place. But where a Banks might turn this song into a subtly devastating put down number like ‘Change’, Shura turns the song’s down beat sentiment into a completely different beast.  By singing ‘Have you ever been lost/do you wanna get lost/we could get lost’, the song changes completely from a downbeat tale of a one night stand to something altogether more beautiful.

I started listening to Haley Bonar’s Last War on a whim, but ended up well pleased with my exciting new discovery. I’m not always much of a one for this kind of music, but the melodies they are so strong, and Bonar’s voice on this album is compelling in a way I haven’t seen altogether too much of in 2014 so far. ‘Sensitive Man’ (or ‘No Sensitive Man’, as its written here), is something of a piece with Neko Case’s fantastic 'Man' from last year, albeit from a different perspective. The result is no less cutting however. Cracking stuff.

tyciblog:

Great article by Mike Diver for Clash:
http://www.clashmusic.com/features/not-your-toy-stop-it-with-the-music-industry-misogyny-already#view-gallery-image-7

I’ve also been thoroughly impressed by Elephant’s Sky Swimming. The whole album has this hazy summer days feel thats practically irresistible, at least if you’re me anyway. I could list any number of tracks here, but ‘Shapeshifter’ is as good an introduction as any. I definitely expect this to feature on any forthcoming year end roundups. 

Also fairly new is the debut from Bird, My Fear and Me. I’ve seen it described elsewhere as a hybrid of Daughter and Savages, an I’m rather inclined to agree. Time will tell if I come back to this album later in the year, but for now it feels like a strong collection.

Not all together too much shoegaze has come up on my radar this year so far, but A Sunny Day in Glasgow more than make up for the lack of quantity with the excellent Sea When Absent, which came out back in June. As you can hear in ‘In Love With Useless’, the focus is on meshing a classic shoegaze sound with looping and other studio effects to create a constantly shifting yet coherent musical dynamic. One of my favourite albums of the past couple of months.

Hey there! Its been a while. I’m looking forward to catching up on the past month or so’s new music, recapping the year so far, and also dedicating a little time to some of the older stuff I’ve been listening to lately. That’s all to come soon, but in the mean time I’ve been getting intimately acquainted with the excellent new Slow Club record Complete Surrenderso it’s gonna head up the top of the blog for the next few days or so. I highly recommend it! 

Please excuse me while I die of excitement. The absence of new Neko Case material always makes the year seem a little less bright (even if we do have the wonderfulness of SVE et al to compensate), so it was with a ridiculous surge of uncontrollable joy that I discovered that the New Pornographers have a new record due out in August. ‘Brill Bruisers’ is everything is classic tNP: bouncy pop hooks, vocal melodies and harmonies and a general sense of ecstasy pervades this latest track.

A word on the state of the blog for this summer: I’m currently living in a place without internet, which explains the patchiness of updates. I’ll post new stuff when I can, but there might no be regular updates until mid-July. Wishing you all the best until then!

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One of my favourite things about blogging is stumbling across things you might not otherwise have even heard of, let alone listened to otherwise. This song is called ‘Hoshi No Kieta Yoru Ni’, and features on J-pop artist Aimer’s Re:I am single from last year. The effect is altogether more soothing and enchanting than the phrase J-pop might suggest though; ‘Hoshi No Kieta Yoru Ni’ sounds like a fairy tale ballad in classic mid-00s emo style, but with far more finesse than THAT descriptor might indicate as well. I hope you like it!

Gotta love this new track from Tennis, out just in time for the summer season and in anticipation of their new album Ritual in Repeat. ‘Never Work For Free’ is the kind of capitivating, catchy, sorta-jangly sorta-old-school-sounding track we’ve come to expect from Denver’s finest, and has me all in a quiver in anticipation of the album it precedes.

Is it twee? Is it pop? Honestly when it’s this good, I couldn’t care less.

Ritual in Repeat is out on the 9th of September via Communion Records