“Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always” -Hippocrates
These are words which should be woven into the bag of aural goodness regularly brought our way by our friend Shauna from the captivation of sound that is Ummagma and Shameless PR. Monthly, often sooner, she turns up with a host of sounds which individually so often bring a spark to the day and more often than not leave ears and imagination revitalised. The recent rap on the door was no different, in her eager possession a clutch of goodness from which we plucked this handful of choice temptation.
As their new album, the My Long Wknd released Lies and Legends, reveals its body of sound, Atlanta based indie popsters I Am a Rocketship have provided a potent taster with new single What’s This For. A shimmering slice of the band’s expressively melodic sound but one with an edge of anxiety amid imposing drama, the track proved a quick magnet for the ears.
Consisting of guitarist/programmer Eric Weissinger and cellist, scientist, radio DJ and vocalist for Swedish synth-pop duo Neobox, L E Kippner, I Am a Rocketship follow up last year’s acclaimed offerings in the album Ghost Stories and the Orange EP, with what promises to be their most compelling and adventurous proposition yet, certainly that is the suggestion of What’s This For. The pair’s creative union has never squandered the opportunity to experiment and express fertile imagination yet the single hints of maybe their most fascinating venture yet.
What’s This For slowly dawns upon ears but instantly lures attention, keys and bass weaving a beguiling crepuscular coaxing. Kippner’s ever captivating tones are soon by their side, a radiant light with a haunting glow echoing that of the song’s lyrical breath. As mentioned, there is a hue of peril and disquiet to the beauty, one which especially catches flame in a tension lit chorus.
The song is as infectious as it is compelling; a calm yet tempestuous seduction which owed the seeds to deep intrigue as to the adventure that may come with Lies and Legends, I Am a Rocketship reinforcing the urge to tag them as an impending latter.
Similarly emotionally intense and haunting is PTSD, the new single from alternative pop artist Jenn Vix, a song providing a glimpse into the mental and behavioural condition brought with intimacy borne of the songstress’ own personal experience of diagnosis and life with this unforgiving disorder.
Emotionally raw and honest, the track wraps ears and thoughts in a realm of invasive shadows and tension stoking anxiety, revealing the darkness and destructive depths that open up and devour. Bred in Vix’s powerful post punk hued alt pop invention there is no escaping a beauty to the song though, a musical radiance which still only emphasizes the turmoil and disarray inside.
PTSD is a powerfully striking proposition, a stunning piece of creativity and an emotionally impacting intimate look at mental illness with its proceeds donated to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
With a debut album lying in wait for early 2022 release, Irish duo Telefís have just released the 4-track Mister Imperator EP featuring their recent title track single for a compelling appetiser.
Telefís (the Irish Gaelic word for Television, pronounced Tele-feesh) is the collaboration between producer/ mixer/ composer Garret “Jacknife” Lee (ex-Compulsion and producer for the likes of U2, R.E.M., Modest Mouse, The Cars, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Crystal Castles, Editors, and Taylor Swift) and singer-songwriter Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, The Fatima Mansions) who has already lit up the year with fiercely acclaimed solo album Song Of Co-Aklan. It was the 2020 global lockdown which allowed the gents to reconnect and create forthcoming 13-track album, a hAon, a highly anticipated union of Lee’s electronic/composing prowess and Coughlan’s inimitable lyrical conjuring and similarly iconic tones.
With predecessor We Need, the instantly compelling Mister Imperator simmers into view on a dulled yet vibrant pulse before hitting a grin carrying swing ridden by Coughlan’s immediately recognisable and potent tones, they immediately weaving an imagination stoking tale within a web and maze of words.
With a heart of nostalgia soaked temptation, the song increasingly drawing thoughts towards artists such as British Electric Foundation and Paul Haig, Mister Imperator was under the skin and courting the imagination as swiftly as it took the need to explore that upcoming February 11th Dimple Discs released album to take over.
With an album not having to wait as long to be unveiled, Lusitanian Ghosts offer another keen taster for the November 19th European Phonographic unveiled Exotic Quixotic with their new single, Never Less Than Lonely, a track dedicated to the memory of Maria Narcisa Ribeiro, the great-grandmother of vocalist Neil Leyton sharing its own observation on a form of mental illness, the loss of memory in whatever form it comes that sees victims fade away as the person they were before family and friends.
Lusitanian Ghosts is an alternative neo-folk collective with Portuguese-Canadian-Swedish hailing members who embrace traditional European instruments and in particular for the single and indeed album ancient Portuguese chordophones. Aligned to the band’s fresh and individual invention, songwriting and a lyrical reflection on themes affecting people and the world they share, the band have proven a captivating proposition, the richly emotive Never Less Than Lonely and its striking predecessor Soul Deranium proving the suggestion.
With an almost Beatles-esque breath, the new single is a gentle and evocative recollection and reflection, an intimate and honest heart bearing a reassuring hand on the shoulder. It is a concern potently echoed in its tapestry of melodic rock where a fire in its heart catches flame to emphasize the emotional dilemma and angst felt in such mental diminishing whether observed or experienced. That tension though is perfectly balanced by harmonic beauty in image of the warm memories of loved one, it all casting another captivating moment with Lusitanian Ghosts.
Lastly we present The Waters, the new single from Finnish Prog rock trio Pennies By The Pound. Earlier this year the band digitally released their quickly acclaimed album Heat Death of the Universe via the Lilith label and ahead of its November 22nd release on limited edition pink vinyl they remind us of its magnificence with a song which simply captivated and seduced our imagination first time around.
The Helsinki hailing threesome of band founder Johannes Susitaival (vocals, drums, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Vesa Ranta (lead guitar, rhythm guitar) and Tomi Laaksonen (bass guitar) cast songs which immerse the senses in realms of warm adventure and unpredictable enterprise. Their sound embraces various melodic rock flavours from across the decades but stands as individual and fresh as it could be, The Waters rich epitome.
With, for us, something of Julian Cope meets The Man Who Built America era Horslips meets Servant Leader/Billy Momo to it, The Waters is an infectious stroll through scenic invention. There is a familiarity to its landscape as too the pleasure and excitement in discovering new captivations; a tempting encapsulating the band’s sound and album as a whole.
Real pleasure comes in many shapes and forms and The Waters is a rapturous example, as in their own ways are all within this delectation of songs.
Pete RingMaster 14/11/2021
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