With a quickstep in her gait and a rich groove in her regular selection of new sounds for us to explore, our friend Shauna from Canadian creative weavers UMMAGMA and SHAMELESS PROMOTION PR came a knocking. As ever, an eclectic mass of pleasure was on offer from which we present our first picks of the month…
The first infection of instinctive movement is the new single from Indie pop outfit THE MYSTERY PLAN. Recently the Charlotte, North Carolina based band unveiled the What A Day EP with its lead, title track a smoothie in temptation and body gliding manipulation.
Formed back in 2010 by Jason Herring and Paul Jensen (Fetchin’ Bones / the Interstellars), the duo has evolved into a full unit enlisting Jason’s wife, Amy Herring and subsequently several years on Otis Hughes, Patty McLaughlin Thomas and Jefferson Chester. The band has emerged from the pandemic years with a fresh breath to their ever fertile songwriting and sound, one in full bloom within the EP, it’s What A Day (Disco) lead and we suspect the band’s forthcoming seventh full-length, Haunted Organic Machines; all released via 10MM OMEGA RECORDINGS.
Instantly What A Day (Disco) pulsates into view, its electronic oscillation open magnetism which is soon embraced by its rhythmic swing. It’s a calm, soulful proposal though, its liveliness wrapped in an atmospheric electro chill echoed in the ethereal harmonic sways of vocals and the earthier but no less alluring lead tones.
A fusion of dream world beauty and earth danced enticement What A Day (Disco) took no time to have its way with ears, body and imagination as well as stoking a very healthy anticipation for THE MYSTERY PLAN’s new album.
A band also making a return is UK post-punk / indie rock stalwarts THE ROOM. After an extensive hiatus, the Liverpool outfit has just released their new album, Restless Fate; their first collection of new songs after 38 years. It is fair to say that with the band’s 1982 single, Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl, is one of our all-time favourite tracks so anticipation of the band’s re-emergence and new album definitely sparked a buzz inside and going by their new single, The Drift, it is curiosity and excitement soon to be richly satisfied.
Originally formed in 1979 by singer Dave Jackson and bassist Becky Stringer, the band’s current line-up is completed by guitarist Darren Brown, keyboardist Ethan Kyme and drummer Tom McCabe. Since splitting in 1985, the band’s founding members have embraced a host of projects and bands including BENNY PROFANE, DEAD COWBOYS and THE ROOM IN THE WOOD, all undoubtedly experiences and adventures which have impacted on Jackson and Stringer in their creativity yet listening to The Drift it is like THE ROOM has simply and organically taken the next step from the moment their momentum took a pause. Even so, there is a wind of fresh and adventurous invention and enterprise to the song resonating on ears with that distinctive breath and creative personality which made band a potent spark within the eighties new wave/post punk landscape.
The Drift instantly entangled ears in a seductive melodic thread which is soon joined by the calm and bright breeze of keys and the contemplation loaded shadows of the bass. Jackson’s magnetic tones similarly were soon in their midst, intimacy and observation steering his thoughts as the song continues to simmer and energetically bubble. With a sense of disturbance in the sonic flames of the guitar and the post punk tension of its rhythms, the song continued to evolve and ignite the imagination yet all the while making for a mellow companion with a knowing hand on the shoulder of life.
In so many ways, The Drift is like THE ROOM has never been away but equally a strikingly new and unique moment in their adventure meaning our want for the 9X9 RECORDS released Restless Fate is in full swing.
If the previous track had the body gliding across the floor, Started Something had it breaking out in a lusty shuffle. The track is the new single from UK indie pop outfit JODY AND THE JERMS and is the first offering from the band’s new album, Wonder, which is scheduled for an April release.
Formed in 2019, the Oxford band has found regular attention and airplay across the likes of Radio X (UK), Sirius XM (USA) and RTVE (Spain), as well as BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, BBC Wales and BBC Ulster with the late Janice Long the keenest fan. The have also released two increasingly well received albums in the shape of Deeper (2020) and Flicker (2022), both rich with an infection loaded sound which has drawn references to the likes of THE GO-GO’S, THE BANGLES and THE DARLING BUDS.
Started Something offers a catchy, energy rich dose of indie pop which inspires those kinds of comparisons yet firmly installs its own individuality upon ears. Boldly walking in on the melodic firmness of keys, the track soon breaks into a virulent stroll swiftly joined by Jody Jeger’s magnetic tones. Already though, there is drama in the song’s sound and emotive musing; that pop instinct welcoming a varied rock and almost Americana-esque twang to its jangling prowess.
Unassuming but firmly engaging, the Mark Gardener (Ride) produced, mixed and mastered Started Something quickly had bodies bouncing and the imagination fired through its lively and imaginative tempting, the latter soon moving on to thoughts of the promise of Wonder.
This coming April also sees the REVEAL RECORDS release of How To Love, the new album from UK indie rock troubadour WITHERED HAND. Before then, he has unveiled a potent urge to go explore with the Waking Up single, an enlivening slice of pop rock enticement.
WITHERED HAND is the nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dan Willson, an artist releasing a host of acclaimed EPs and albums since debuting with the New Gods LP in 2014. Produced, recorded and mixed by renowned producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, David Byrne, Teenage Fanclub, The Twilight Sad, Belle & Sebastian, The Delgados) the highly anticipated How To Love also sees guest appearances by KING CREOSOTE and Mercury-nominated English songwriter KATHRYN WILLIAMS while the radio edit of Waking Up finds Willson collaborating with producer Mark Freegard (The Breeders, Del Amitri, New Model Army, Lush, Pale Saints).
It is a song which gently but compellingly flames on ears from the first second while in word and breath Willson takes hold while sharing his thoughts and shadows. Similarly, Malcolm Benzie’s guitar drew us in with his own lively and slightly scorched enterprise just as the roars of brass and the Hammond organ shared swirls.
From start to finish, Waking Up is an evolving fire of temptation and emotively bred passion yet equally a seduction of calmer but no less impacting sound with a bluesy tinge and the intimacy impassioned singer songwriters share from within.
https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/ https://twitter.com/mystery_plan https://www.instagram.com/the.mystery.plan/
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063702032127 https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom https://www.instagram.com/davejackson9483/
https://jodyandthejerms.com/ https://www.facebook.com/jodyandthejerms https://twitter.com/Jodyandthejerms https://www.instagram.com/jodyandthejerms/
http://witheredhand.com/ https://www.facebook.com/witheredhand https://twitter.com/witheredhand https://www.instagram.com/witheredhand/
Check out JODY AND THE JERMS on Tour across the UK:
Fri., March 10 NEWBURY – Craven Arms @ 7pm
Fri., March 17 SOUTHAMPTON – The Attic @ 7pm
Fri., March 31 OXFORD – The Bullingdon (with The Shapes) @ 9pm
Wed., May 3 EDINBURGH – Leith Depot @ 7pm
Thu., May 4 GLASGOW – Slouch @ 8pm
Fri., May 5 YORK – FortyFive Vinyl Cafe @ 7pm
Sat., May 6 MANCHESTER – R-Fest at Retro @ 6pm
Sun., May 7 LONDON – Off the Cuff, SE240JN (with Jinder) @ 7pm
Sat., May 20 WOKINGHAM – Hope and Anchor @ 7pm
Fri., June 2 BRISTOL – The Thunderbolt @ 8pm
Sun, July 2 MINEHEAD, SOMERSET – Weirfest at Porlock Weir @ 7pm
Sat., Aug 5 GLOUCESTER – Millwood Cam Festival @ 7pm
Thu., Aug 31 BLANFORD – Hall & Woodhead @ 7pm
Further info can be found at https://jodyandthejerms.com/live
Pete RingMaster 02/03/2023
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