Mayflower Madame – Prepared For A Nightmare

photo by Sven Santelmann

Through the striking propositions found within their debut album of 2016 and a following EP, it is fair to say that eager anticipation for the release of a new album from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame was fired up upon news of its release, one only accentuated by a recent single taken from the ten track encounter. It was an intrigue and hope which has been quickly replaced by sheer pleasure as Prepared For A Nightmare is one of the most captivating and hauntingly fascinating pleasures of the year so far.

That first album, Observed in a Dream, shared a sound which bred from a fusion of post-punk, shoegaze and psychedelia hungrily gripped and fed our ears and imagination. It proved a compelling proposition which the following Premonition EP in 2018 only echoed as it built upon the prowess and strengths of the previous release. In turn Prepared For A Nightmare has taken the potent attributes of those before it and evolved them into its own impressive strengths and temptations and indeed a real uniqueness which was may be not quite there on its predecessors. Without distilling any of the cold shadows and apocalyptically hued romance and intimation which has made their music in sound and character so compelling to date, there is a warmer dare we say slightly poppier aspect to the new album and one which has only accentuated the rich imagination and breath of the Oslo hailing trio’s sound.

Prepared for a Nightmare opens with its title track, a shimmer of light drawing attention as a darker hued sonic sigh lures the subsequent full body of rhythmic incitement and melodic intimation to emerge. It is a weave of almost menacing psych rock temptation and crystalline suggestion, the guitars of Håvard Haga and Trond Fagernes spinning strands of sonic luminosity across rhythmic manipulation. With Fagernes’ vocals an equally magnetic draw and, in the first of two appearance within the release, Petter G. Marberg’s bass a heady tenebrific grip on the senses, the track was swift and inescapable captivation.

Recent single, Vultures, is next up to be quickly followed by its successor in Swallow. The first of the two tracks similarly entices with a lone lure, a guitar suggestively teasing ears before the virulent gait and enterprise of the track erupts to join its persuasion. The senses nagging beats of drummer Ola J. Kyrkjeeide alongside Fagernes’ moody bassline were swiftly under the skin, the latter’s tones again a thick lure into the kaleidoscopic beauty of the track. Yet there is a predatory edge to it all which grips just as firmly, post punk rhythms and steely grooves colluding with spiralling psych guitars and harmonic vocals to escalate the guileful nature of the song.

The second single opens with a percussive clipping of the senses aligned to a delicious intrigue woven hook; its intimation alone a rich lure of espionage and flirtation soon taken up by the darker hues of bass and the melodic entanglement of guitars. A warmer hug comes through the synth of Kenneth Eknes who features across numerous tracks within the album, the song a calmer engagement compared to those before it but again the organic volatility within the band’s sound adds to its drama and adventure; its energetic infectiousness sparking thoughts of Modern English as its psych/shoegaze nurtured enterprise hints at the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain and House Of Love.

The instant rhythmic drive of Ludwig Meidner had us greedily hooked, the quickly surrounding smog of melodic and vocal insinuation building the fascination until the song is a thick almost concussive but invigorating engagement. The dark grumble of the bass is delicious alone; its post punk inclinations an infection to which the band only add further virulence in voice and sonic endeavour while the following   Never Turning (In Time) breeds a tenebrific seduction from its cinematic opening which enthralled as it subtly devoured. The track proved pure temptation, a dark haunting again where beauty and jeopardy collude.

Across the equally sinister Sacred Core and the crepuscular romance of The Night Before a form of addictive captivation with Prepared For A Nightmare only grew closer; the first of the two bordering on the radiantly nightmarish as the second seduced with its own Gene Loves Jezebel hued serenade while Goldmine straight after illuminates a shadow hungry dance-floor with its animated but still rapaciously intense trespass. An electronic effervesce underlines the denser touch of the song yet everything about the drama and opaque climate of the track is inescapable catchiness.

A Future Promise is another where dark intrigue oozes from every note and syllable, guitars and bass alone weaving a darkly intimating theatre within the brighter dye and optimism of the keys. As with all tracks the imagination is fuelled with an adventure to build upon, ears soaked in a bewitching sound setting Mayflower Madame apart from the rest as finally endorsed by album closer, Endless Shimmer; a song which gently radiates upon the senses as it enraptures ears and thoughts.

It is a bewitching end to an album which had us embroiled in its tantalising breath and creative web from start to finish and with greater lust by the listen; Mayflower Madame surely casting a lure to major attention.

Prepared For A Nightmare is out now digitally via Only Lovers Records @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare with its vinyl and CD release on May 15th in collaboration with Portland’s Little Cloud Records and Parisian label Icy Cold Records.

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

Pete RingMaster 23/04/2020

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