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

Mayflower Madame – Premonition EP

photo by Sven Santelmann

Though formed in 2011, it was the release of their debut album Observed in a Dream two years ago which awoke real attention upon Mayflower Madame, introducing them to a whole wealth of new fans, us included. It offered a compelling and increasingly gripping full taste of the band’s psych rock infested post punk. Ahead of a new album later this year the Norwegian outfit have unveiled the Premonition EP, a release which simply leaves that previous encounter in the shade and is already making anticipation for the band’s second album impatient.

Fresh from a US tour, the latest the Oslo quartet has undertaken beyond their homeland since the release of that first full-length, the band now no strangers to venturing across the UK, Europe, and N America, Mayflower Madame lures the listener into a new soundscape of their imagination fuelled sound with Premonition. Consisting of four tantalising propositions which can be, as the EP’s promo sheet suggests, “best described as apocalyptic love songs”, Premonition has a captivating calmness across its body which the previous release maybe evaded but equally a more virulent almost predacious craft and indeed seduction for a romance of impending darkness to embrace and fear.

The EP opens with its title track, a siren warning its arrival. From the midst of the threat an instantly compelling groove emerges, its calm but inescapable swing courted by additional melodic tendrils from the guitars of Håvard Haga and vocalist Trond Fagernes. It was pure temptation to our ears, the swarthy blend of their lures irresistible and swiftly complemented by the dark enticement of Kenneth Eknes’ atmosphere weaving synth and Fagernes’ potent voice. The rhythmic captivation of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and the crisp swings of drummer Ola J. Kyrkjeeide reinforced the grip the song quickly held, it only tightening its hold as the layers of psychedelically lit post punk infested body and psyche.

The following Before I Fall makes a similarly magnetic entrance, the bass of this time Fagernes walking magnetically through ears with the melodic intimation of the guitars for company.  Like a psych washed fusion of Dead Can Dance, My Bloody Valentine, and Fields Of The Nephilim, the song fascinated and tantalised in equal measure. Its heavy emotion and senses wrapping shadows unavoidably infested the imagination but equally the song tempted the body into calm but definite involvement even as its darkness consumed. The fact that the song did not bring the same lust as for its predecessor or successor is simply down to their might, the song only magnetism.

The best track to our ears is Alma’s Sermon, its swing and melodic dance manna to our musical instincts and passions. Flirting with both through something akin to The Orson Family assimilated by The Doors, the track ensnares ears with a hook which teases and pleasures as an insatiable creative appetite supports it from within a web of melodic suggestion from the guitars. All the while, rhythms manipulate attention and hips like a puppeteer with the tones of Fagernes as alluring as they shimmer and echo the song’s dark magnetism.

Spiders Seek with the opener is a close contender to that favourite track choice as it completes the release, the intrigue soaked encounter cinematic in its atmosphere, intimate in its breath. The keys simply seduced our ears, their seemingly familiar yet unique enterprise a spark for the imagination on their own, the suggested drama thoughts conjured only accentuated by the dark catchiness of the bass with Marberg back plucking the strings, the hypnotic stroll of the beats, and the guitar’s sonic wiring.

It is a superb end to a magnificent release. Observed in a Dream only pleasured and excited but the Premonition EP has left it in its wake with ease. Goodness knows what the band’s forthcoming full-length will do…We cannot wait.

The Premonition EP is out now digitally and on CD via the band’s own label Night Cult Records @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com  as well as being available on cassette via Black Verb Records (Germany), SpiderChild Records (US) and Custom Made Music (US).

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Mayflower Madame – Observed in a Dream

MayflowerMadame_RingMasterReview

When looking back at the end of the year, we suspect that April will be noted as one of the most fruitful months for stunning albums, with a great many of them striking debuts. To a list running into double figures we can add the outstanding first full-length from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame. The band’s sound is a captivating weave of post punk, shoegaze, and psych rock textures but given its own distinct character by the imagination of the Oslo quartet, and Observed in a Dream a release which commands attention with a presence slightly nostalgic but as fresh as the dew on a spring morning, and as radiant.

Formed in 2011, Mayflower Madame has already drawn potent attention and praise with the Into the Haze EP in 2013 and last year their single Lovesick. Comparisons to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Bauhaus, Spacemen 3, and The Jesus & Mary Chain have readily been offered, and understandably with the band’s provocative dark and sensuous sound. Live they have earned a strong reputation too, sharing stages with the likes of Crystal Stilts, Night Beats, La Femme, Disappears, Crocodiles, and Moon Duo along the way and making successful appearances at Norway’s largest festivals, Oya and Norwegian Wood. Now released on their own Night Cult Records and Custom Made Music in North America, Observed in a Dream is ready to wake up the biggest and most attentive spotlights upon the band.

As soon as opener Confusion Hill envelops ears it is a success easy to imagine, and then be sure of as each track seduces imagination and appetite. The first song emerges from a haunted atmosphere with already slightly portentous shadows to its air. Its approaching tempest though is quickly turned into a strolling seduction upon arrival, psych and surf rock flavours shining, almost sighing, over the infectious darkly hued prowl of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and Ola Jørgen Kyrkjeeide’s crisp beats. The guitars of Rune Øverby and Trond Fagernes swiftly spin a bed of evocative colour and suggestiveness too as the latter’s also quickly impressing vocals lay emotively upon the strands of sound. It is easy to see where those Bauhaus and Jesus & Mary Chain references come from, though the bigger and bolder the song becomes it reminds more of Gene Loves Jezebel, echoes and resonance on voice and melodies a delicious shimmer.

art_RingMasterReviewAn outstanding start is still eclipsed by its successor Lovesick, a song which plays second fiddle to no one. From its beguiling dark rock ‘n’ roll strum, the song canters along with a devilish swing led by another highly flavoursome throaty bassline and catchy riffery matched by flirtatious beats. Think The Birthday Party meets Helldorado and Tones on Tails as a clue to the track’s virulent alchemy; a song with as much fascinating drama as it has addictive infectiousness.  Its exceptional incitement is as good as matched by that of Self-Seer; another track rolling along on an enslaving rhythmic tenacity and ingenuity. It explores a mellower climate of sound yet still has an energy and sonic clang to physically stir the spirit. If looking for another hint, Echo and The Bunnymen would be a suggestion for the otherwise unique rock ‘n’ roll of the mouth-watering proposal.

A sixties instrumental twang adds to the seduction of Upside Down (The Death Loop), guitars a sultry lure with again a surf rock like tone to their imagination whilst within their searing elegance a cinematic drama infests rhythms and hooks. As much as there is variety to the sound within Observed In A Dream, so too the vocals craft similar diversity, here harmonies glowing with a hazy beauty around the matching delivery of Fagernes.

Latest single Weightless rumbles in next, carrying a far heavier tone and intent in its creative espionage and welcome trespass. A Play Dead/ Sisters Of Mercy like breath soaks the song, its heavy shadows and provocative textures as invasive as they are seductive. Personally, it is not the song we would choose to lead into the release of Observed in a Dream with other more irresistible options, yet the song in its brief moment is a thrilling and rousing protagonist only making the appetite for album and sound greedier.

The calmer landscape and presence of Into The Haze (Redux) hugs ears next, the song a gentle but again lively adventure into noir lit pastures with more cinematic lures whilst the album’s title track, which follows, from a similar template casts its own tantalising and riveting psyche embedding web of sound and emotion which at times is like The Shadows in collusion with House Of Love and Flesh For Lulu.

The album closes with the psychedelically atmospheric Forever//The End Of Everything, a track which equally expresses post punk discord and causticity within its pulsating and bewitching theatre of sound and emotion. It is a powerful end to a tremendous first introduction to most of us to Mayflower Madame. They and Observed In A Dream grab attention, grip tighter with every pleasure giving twist and turn, and emerge as a reason why Mayflower Madame is one of the most exciting bands to make their mark on 2016 so far.

Observed In A Dream is out now via Night Cult Records in Europe and Custom Made Music in North America as an Ltd Ed vinyl, CD, and Download. All options available @ http://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame   https://www.instagram.com/mayflowermadame/

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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