The romance of light and shadows: a singles round-up

With the ever welcome keen insight of Shauna McLarnon of Shameless PR and the outstanding band Ummagma, we offer up another quartet of singles deserving of your explorations.

First up is the new solo track from Harry Stafford of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies and a rather potent taste of the Manchester hailing musician’s forthcoming album, Gothic Urban Blues.

Painted Ocean is a song which casts a web of intrigue and intimation within a jazz and blues wired dark rock landscape. It is a dark echo of the world we live in yet equally intimates on a personal level as its morose yet spirit rousing stroll works away on body and rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Within its drama bold body, Stafford’s narrative is just as magnetic and enticing; word and sound entangling in a shadow nurtured sea of dark imagination and devilish enterprise further lit by jazz flamed brass across soulful blues enterprise.

Something akin to a blend of The Filthy Tongues and Tom waits, Painted Ocean proved quickly and thickly irresistible and an invitation to Gothic Urban Blues impossible to turn down.

In contrast to the darken skies cast by Mr Stafford, Ukraine’s 6th Crowd weaves an electronic enticement in new single, The Day is Over, which boldly almost viscerally shimmers with electronic luminescence though this is underlined by its own suggestive shadows.

6th Crowd is the solo project of Kyiv based Dari Maksymova who is better known as the front-woman, synth and bass player of post-punk band On The Wane. Her own musical exploration is bred in the heart of synth pop and rave dance floored electro rock adventure and has already offered up a debut single in Самозванцы which was keenly received, together both tracks a taster of her debut EP, Avoid The Void, expected in late spring.

A purposeful rhythmic lure aligns to a similarly dark and immediately firm electronic murmur as The Day is Over stirs, crystalline sparks lighting its temptation. As Maksymova’s radiant tones join the emerging proposal, further light and enterprise is cast by synths yet still that balance of dark and light offers an intimation and tempestuousness which firmly enthrals attention. With Maksymova sharing the song’s heart in her own national tongue it is left to the music to inform the imagination and that it does with almost teasing effortlessness, The Day is Over a source of infection and enterprise sure to lure a greater wealth of ears to its creator and her forthcoming EP.

With a double EP in Fishbowl/ Terrestrial due March 20th, Alienbaby Collective is another fine proposition offering up some potent teasers in the shape of singles of which Degenerate Moon is an infestation of sound, a noise rock bred trespass of ears and imagination as captivating in its melodic craft as it is in fuzz induced irreverence.

Almost menacingly infectious and with a melodic enterprise verging on the toxic, the track is a moment of raw beauty further escalated by the entrancing tones of Liú Mottes, the former guitarist in Blue Crime and New YX and currently part of SOON, Slow Worries, and OBOL LE. Her solo project, Alienbaby Collective creates a sound which holds no fear in going where the listener may fear yet as proven by the bewitching Degenerate Moon it is the source of haunting pleasure, something also epitomised within double A-sided single Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up released even more recently, an incitement which fascinates as it courts emotive responses to its post punk endowed noise rock nurtured predominantly instrumental haunting.

Together both singles suggest, no insist, that Fishbowl/ Terrestrial is a challenge ears and imaginations should take on.

Lastly we have for your intrigue, the new single from The Mystery Plan. With their fifth album, Zsa Zsa, scheduled for an April release through Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings, the US outfit drop the enticing offering of Ballad of JC Quinn as a lead and warm up for intrigue and attention on March 6th.

The song is a vibrant and infectious slice of the band’s dream pop meets melodic alternative rock adventure. With lively “folk nova” rhythms adding to the swinging instinctive funk stroll of the song, it needed little time to reveal a richness of ingredients and flavours as equally swift captivation.

Having already ignited the senses and appetite with previous uniquely sounding and equally contagious single, the Massive Attack-esque Al Gore Rhythms, the North Carolina hailing quintet repeat the captivating deed again with Ballad of JC Quinn; The Mystery Plan laying down grounds for a definite exploration of the sure to be unique charms of Zsa Zsa.

Painted Ocean from Harry Stafford is digitally available now with Gothic Urban Blues released March 27th, both via Black Lagoon Records with album pre-ordering available now @ https://harrystafford.bandcamp.com/album/gothic-urban-blues

https://www.facebook.com/harrystaffordUK/    https://twitter.com/harrystaf62

The Day is Over from 6th Crowd is available now @ https://6thcrowd.bandcamp.com/track/the-day-is-over

https://www.facebook.com/6thcrowd

Alienbaby Collective’s Degenerate Moon and Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up are out now through Humm Recordings with pre-ordering for Fishbowl/ Terrestrial available @ https://hummrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/alienbaby-collective-fishbowl-terrestrial-lp-humm10

https://www.facebook.com/alienbabycollective/

The Mystery Plan drop Ballad of JC Quinn on March 6th via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings with Zsa Zsa due for release April 3rd.

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan,

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Pictures in the mind, a singles round-up

With our feet now firmly into 2020 we welcome another collection of new singles via Shauna at Shameless PR and a truly eclectic mix of sounds and flavours they offered our imaginations to play with.

The first sees British electronic duo Broads come together with fellow Norfolk based artist and songstress Milly Hirst. Theirs has been an on-going collaboration over the years and sees a new album, Ollust, unveiled in March. Ahead of its release they have just revealed Happisburgh (Single Edit), an atmospheric and provocative ambient crafted instrumental which as it hugged ears swiftly had the imagination composing its own interpretations.

Pronounced ‘haze-bruh’, Happisburghis built around ideas of a town disappearing into the sea – history being rendered in front of us, and future folk tales falling into place.”  It is a piece of music which even in its relatively minimalistic shape is rich in intimation and emotion with field recordings aligning with suggestive melodies and at times the almost drone like touch of pianos.

The tale it suggests is open for the listener to further weave with, every listen opening new avenues and vistas to imagine and explore much as the accompanying B-side Red Pits incites with its own individual sonic theatre. It is a darker and tenser piece but it too has a light within its shadows which inspires thoughts as they paint their exposition.

Happisburgh is a beguiling and haunting departure from the incessant trespass of the day and with eyes closed a moment in time which involves much more than just ears.

In rich contrast Vultures is a track which has all its creative statement in its rich web of sound but equally provided an experience which haunted the senses and imagination. The single is the new offering from Norwegian psych post-punk outfit Mayflower Madame and it too comes from a larger proposition due for release in March, the band’s new album titled Prepared For A Nightmare.

The Oslo band was formed in 2011 and soon established themselves on the national underground scene though it was through debut album, Observed in a Dream in 2016, and more so the Premonition EP two years later that they really stirred attention and acclaim much further afield. The sound of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitars, bass), Håvard Haga (guitars), and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (drums) has proved a captivation of psychedelic rock, shoegaze and post punk and it has to be said has been no more potent than within the delicious dark haunt of Vultures.

A track centred around “feelings of excess, lust and greed, always wanting and needing more,” Vultures is almost ravenous in its contagious breath and insistence. Nagging post punk rhythms and steely grooves provide the riveting  core to which spiralling psych guitars and harmonic vocals cast their spellbinding enterprise yet there is much more to its atmospherically evocative character which brings the single further alive.

It is a stunning track and quickly inflamed an impatient anticipation in us for that impending album.

This March also sees the release of Kingdom of Sleep, the new album from American singer-songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Polonsky. New single The Weeping Souls is the first teaser for the release, a song which it has to be said swept us up in its infectious embrace and proceeded to share a certain light on the day.

A solo artist for over 23 years, Polonsky has worked with the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tom Morello, Pete Yorn, Dixie Chicks, Maynard James Keenan, Minnie Driver, and Donovan along the way as well as collaborated and played with a host of artists. Kingdom of Sleep is his sixth album and if The Weeping Souls is a clue to what it holds, the full-length is going to have ears eagerly waiting.

Guitar and voice immediately hug ears, rhythms holding back but still a pungent texture before steering the contagious stroll the song breaks into. It is a gait which twists from swing to canter and back across the track but as the music, one which is as unpredictable as it is mesmeric. Listening to the song thoughts of XTC and Love and Rockets came to mind, a delicious spicing which only elevated the temptation of the encounter even further again resulting in a certain intrigue for the bigger proposal it comes from.

Lastly we hope to spark your curiosity the way of Strangest Thing from Swedish-Australian indie pop outfit Tiny Fighter and no surprise it too is a taster for something larger to come, and a rather flavoursome appetiser it is too.

Based in Stockholm, apparently Tiny Fighter came about from a chance meeting between Therese Karlsson (a truck driver from Kalmar, Sweden) and Tim Spelman (a doctor from Melbourne, Australia) in 2017 in that great Swedish city. Since then the band has released a host of successful praise gathering singles alongside an EP and live album. Strangest Thing is our introduction to the band and we eagerly wait to hear much more starting with their forthcoming debut studio album, Going Home.

Strangest Thing is an eagerly infectious affair, its gentle but eager start soon breeding a strong catchiness, one definitely encouraged by the rousing character of the bass and Karlsson’s magnetic vocals. Keys and guitar weave further melodic enticement across this already captivating stroll, everything carrying a virulent breath which only escalates once aligning together.

With a touch of The Primitives and The Cranberries to the song, Strangest Thing lured keen attention with greater lust by the listen, so again roll on the album.

Happisburgh and the album Ollust from Broads and Milly Hirst are out now via Humm Recordings; available @ https://broadsofnorfolk.bandcamp.com/album/happisburgh-1

Upcoming Broads and Milly Hirst Shows

02 April 2020 – Octagon Chapel, Norwich

03 April 2020 – Thetford Guildhall

04 April 2020 – Oulton Chapel

05 April 2020 – Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

10 April 2020 – Happisburgh St. Mary’s Church Rooms

11 April 2020 – Dereham Memorial Hall

https://www.facebook.com/Broadsofnorfolk   https://www.facebook.com/millyhirstmusic

Mayflower Madame’s Vultures is out now with Prepared For A Nightmare released March 27, both through Only Lovers Records and to be available @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

March 27th – Desert Stars Festival – Joshua Tree

March 28th – Bar Sinister – Los Angeles

March 29th – Whistle Stop – San Diego

March 30th – Lunchbox – Phoenix

April 2nd – Lo-Fi – Seattle

April 3rd – Out From The Shadows Festival – Portland

April 4th – Elbo Room – Oakland

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame

The Jonny Polonsky single, The Weeping Souls, is out now with the album, Kingdom of Sleep due for release digitally, on CD and clear vinyl with gatefold sleeve on March 6th, both via Ghostworks Recordings with pre-ordering of the latter available now @ https://www.jonnypolonsky.com/music and https://jonnypolonsky.bandcamp.com/

February Europe Tour Dates:

2/14 BRUGGE-De Kelk

2/15 MAASEIK-Jazzclub Sjuur

2/16 ANTWERPEN-Tram 3

2/19 GENT-Kinky Star

2/20 SINT NIKLAAS-Casino

2/21 BRUSSEL-to be determined

2/22 LEUVEN-Depot

https://www.jonnypolonsky.com/   https://www.facebook.com/JonnyPolonskyMusicPage   https://twitter.com/jonnypolonsky

Strangest Thing is available from Tiny Fighter via Bay Terrace Records February 7th with Going Home released March 27th @ https://tinyfighterz.bandcamp.com

https://www.tinyfighter.org   https://www.facebook.com/tinyfighterz   https://twitter.com/TinyFighterz

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright