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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Discoverer 148: new indie findings

Last Sunday of July, we have time for another round of new proposals in our discoverer series before holiday's break! We go quite psychedelic & ethereal today, get ready for the trip!

Zen Mantra. We begin in Christchurch, NZ, to introduce you to the music of Sam Perry's solo project, that he began around 2012, when he was just 17 years old. Perry, who is also member of pop band Yumi Zouma debuted in January 2013 with album 'How Many Padmes Hum', and now has a self-titled follow-up, created and recorded mostly by himself around the world whilst on tour, out since this April via mighty Flying Nun Records. A record that sees Perry going deep into that psychedelic pop territory that no one does as New Zealanders groups but widening the sonic palette to add all forms of pop music: from shoegaze bursts to reverb attacks, from atmospheric landscapes and occasional darker tones to blissful, immediate tunes full of hooks. Oh! The "warped" pop from down under is here again to haunt you...

Eerie WandaAnd let's move to Amsterdam, The Netherlands (first time?) to meet this indie pop quartet led by Croatian/Dutch singer-songwriter Marina Tadic. While she was the guitarist of local band Earth Mk. II after graduating from art school she decided to embark herself in writing her own material, citing Beat Happening,You Marble Giants and Daniel Johnston as influences. Early circulating demos reached Jacco Gardner’s bassist Jasper Verhulst, who agreed to help her assemble a band and produce its music. Bram Vervaet on lead guitar and Nic Niggebrugge (also in Jacco Gardner) on drums joined the then duo and, in 2015, they began rehearsing and recording debut LP, 'Hum', out since this February via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond RecordsAnd what a record this is! Summery, evocative, gentle, extremely melodic, subtle yet elaborate, with Tadic's vocals recalling you the quiet powers of Angel Olsen doing joyful indiepop with hints of psych-folk. Look for Wanda at the best records of the year list! 

Manon Meurt. Very happy to feature a band from the Czech Republic at the Blog (sure it's the first time!). Hailing from Rakovnik, just outside of Prague, this quartet formed in 2010 but until 2013 they were known as Katie & The Accessories. With the adoption of their current, literary name, also came a solid status of "band to follow", playing alongside consecrated bands like The Raveonettes or the legendary My Bloody Valentine. In the fall of 2014 they self-released debut 12" mini-album, self-titled, which sold out shortly, becoming almost a collectors item. Now upstart Canadian imprint Label Obscura has reissued the vinyl this April. An unmissable chance to discover the highly melodic yet moody, sparse and dreamy sounds of the combo, clearly recalling Lush and Slowdive, combining with their full throttle shoegaze moments. Best of both worlds.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 112

Here we are again, squeezing the last days of July with the most exciting new music approaching our radar. This time, our regular TOP TEN Jukebox blends brilliant, consecrated artists returning to form, like our beloved Hamilton Leithauser (hard to imagine his song is not fated for the best songs of the year list) or the amazing reunion of Neko Case, Laura Veirs and K. D. Lang, alongside dear bands of this Blog as Space Daze or The Spook School, plus the regular discoveries taking us places, some sort of a music travel with stops in Argentina with Las Kellies and our recurring New Zealand with Zen Mantra. A lot to discover, a lot to enjoy! And remember, all songs are listed at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2016 Jukebox playlists

Friday, July 29, 2016

These Go to 11: interviewing Phosphene

Last interview before holidays! And what a great one! Because our guests answering the questionnaire this time are Phospheneone of our favourite music discoveries on this 2016 so far and, besides an exciting band, are a trio of wonderful people. These Go to 11!

Rachel, Matt and Kevin, seeking for the light among the haze
Haling from Oakland, CA, they started to play in 2008 when Rachel Frankel (vocals / guitar) and Matt Hemmerich (drums) met in class. Two years later the couple decided to start a music project together, launching a first EP that by now must be a rising collectors' item. But Phosphene needed a major factor to become what they are now (an ace band, that is): meeting Kevin Kaw (bassist/ guitarist) in a songwriting event featuring Aaron Dessner's from The National (a shared passion with this Blogger) in 2013. With Phosphene becoming a trio, they recorded s/t first LP in July 2014 followed by the terrific EP 'Breaker' this April (among the best of 2016 so far). A stunning blend of dreampop, indie-rock and shoegaze fated for great things to come. Here we go!

The millennial heartbreakers 
1.First record that you bought (be honest)
Matt:​­ 'Dookie' by Green Day.
Kevin: '​­Fountains Of Wayne' (s/­t album).
Rachel: ­'Millennium' by Backstreet Boys.

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
Matt​­: AFI in 2003, most recent: Low with Andy Shauf.
Rachel: Hanson in 1999 with my mom (SUPER COOL), most recent: Low with Andy Shauf.
Kevin​­: my sister took me to see Duran Duran in 1993, most recent: Treasure Island Music Festival.

3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
Rachel:­ 'Transantlanticism' by Death Cab for Cutie (not all that embarrassing, but it’s a super sappy album and they’re a very mushy indie rock band).
Matt​­: 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late' by Drake.
Kevin:​­ 'Me&The Rhythm' by Selena Gomez.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Matt:​­ 20” Paiste Dimensions ride cymbal.
Kevin:​­ my Torino Red 2000 American Standard Stratocaster.
Rachel​­: my great­grandmother’s violin.
The "fucked up" song. The National during the durational performance of
'A Lot of Sorrow' by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Photo: Charles Roussel
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Matt​­: "You are my center when I spin away" ­ Radiohead, “Videotape”; "I'm a moth who just wants to share your light" Radiohead, “All I Need”; "I live in a city sorrow built. It's in my honey, it's in my milk" ­ The National, “Sorrow”; "I still owe money to the money to the money I owe" ­The National, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”.
Rachel: ​“I’m a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily” ­ Rilo Kiley, “Pictures of Success”; “Bored in a role, but he can't stop standing up to sit back down, and lose the one thing found. Spinning the world like a toy top 'till there's a ghost in every town.” ­ Elliott Smith, “Can’t Make A Sound”; “There’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck” ­ Radiohead, “There There”.
Kevin​­:No longer cradled in gravity’s memory...” ­ Pale Saints, “A Thousand Stars Burst Open”, “Over the moon and under the influence” ­ The Trash Can Sinatras, “Easy Read”.

Neko Case, a true original
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Matt:​­ Neko Case, Thom Yorke, Carrie Brownstein, Killer Mike, El­P.
Rachel: ­ ​Neko Case, Elliott Smith, Alan Sparhawk, PJ Harvey, Rachel Goswell.
Kevin​­: Kurt Feldman, Jen Goma, Koji Nakamura, Robert Smith, Johan Duncanson, Jeremy Wrenn.

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Matt​­: 'Unknown Pleasures' by Joy Division.
Rachel: ­​​'July Flame' by Laura Veirs, 'The Eraser' by Thom Yorke.
Kevin​­: 'Kid Games' by Airiel, 'I Love You, Honeybear' by Father John Misty.

'We got you, babe'... repeat ad eternum...
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
Matt​­: Movies because I’m illiterate. 'Carol' is one of the most evocative films I’ve seen in some time.
Rachel: ­books- 'Kafka On The Shore' by Haruki Murakami, 'All My Puny Sorrows' by Miriam Toews
Kevin​­: books- 'The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' by Michael Chabon, 'Man V. Nature' by Diane Cook; movies- 'Groundhog Day'.

9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of
Matt​­: It’s a tie between 'Rogue' and 'Wire'. Both are dear for selfish reasons. 'Rogue' was the first song I ever wrote and sung a vocal melody on. 'Wire' is the first song I wrote in full on guitar.
Rachel:​­ I’ll pick one from our first album and one from our second. I was really happy with the way the melody turned out on 'Thief' and 'Be Mine' is probably my favorite child from Breaker.
Kevin​­: I’m quite fond of 'Wild Decay'.

10. What does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Matt:​­ Indie is more of an ethos to me than a genre. There’s a huge community of musicians, bands that encompass it, so you can really stick “indie” in front of any sound. Being indie, however, doesn’t inform the music itself.
Rachel: ­I still don’t really know the answer here. At its core the term just represents “independent” music, but like Matt said it’s evolved into an entire scene. It’s actually pretty meaningless for me at this point.
Kevin​­: I think it involves making something for the sake of making it, and then sharing it with others, all on your own terms.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
Matt:​­ residing in Portland, Oregon with Rachel. A black cat and corgi are mandatory in this house. Ideally, we’ll still be creating music with Kevin as Phosphene labels.
Rachel: ­ ​I’d love to keep playing music and gain a stronger following over time. I also hope to be living in the Pacific Northwest and continuing my work as a designer and illustrator, probably with lots of animal babies and a HUGE kitchen.
Kevin​­: I don’t know, but wherever I end up, I’m sure it’ll involve donuts.

 Zillion thanks Matt, Kevin and Rachel!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Indie Anthology 67: essential songs

Almost A YEAR since the last chapter of our anthology? Please accept my apologies... I don't have a real reason to justify the lack of updates in this section except less time on a daily basis to update the Blog. But that's something about to change (I think), and we're going to revamp it here immediately. So, in order to do it properly, I needed an engaging, really driving tune from a very beloved & flawless band. Let's bring back the memories... and the great tunes!

Song: You Should Always Keep in Touch with Your Friends
Artist: The Wedding Present
Year: 1986

Can't remember exactly when I first listened to The Wedding Present, but I easily recall the compilation mixtapes (yes, ages ago then) with terrific bands a long lost friend of mine and myself used to exchange for a while. One of my favourites was a selection of tracks from The Posies' 'Frosting on the Beater', The Fall's 'This Nation's Saving Grace' and The Wedding Present' 'George Best'. What a killing trio, right? I loved the three bands (I still do!), but I got particularly hooked by David Gedge's way of blending jangle-pop with pure, urging electricity, so I started to search from more immediately, finding an incredibly amount of gems, among them this blissfully stunning 'You Should Always Keep in Touch with Your Friends'. From the very first second the short drum roll connects with the chiming guitar (Peter Solowka and Gedge doesn't get the credit they deserve as guitar players) the listener knows there's something going on here. It's a burst of adrenaline that keeps the pace and momentum during its minutes... but there's more beneath the shiny, upbeat surface. There's a real ache, a poignancy in the simple yet affecting lyrics. A look back to first loves and a period in time now long gone. Evocative and contagious at the same time. What an eternal tune!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 111

In a blink of an eye, we have arrived to the last days of July. Which means that we are almost touching our deserved, wished, needed holidays with our thumbs! Yeah, we are warning you... we are going to disappear a bit this August. But first goes first, and here's our weekly TOP TEN Jukebox! Starting with the indie-punk energy of The Tuts, going through the sweet proposal of French Pop Dream or two brilliant covers: Tape Waves transforming a New Order's classic into a surf-pop wonder and our beloved Sharon Van Etten making The Flaming Lips' most iconic tune even more touching. Overall, here's a very eclectic & exciting playlist! And remember, all songs are listed at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2016 Jukebox playlists

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Discoverer 147: new indie findings

Here's another round of new proposals in our discoverer series! We make quite a long trip today to bring you some of the most exciting new sounds in pop, enjoy!

Ciggie WitchWe begin in dear Melbourne, Australia with this six-piece, name it music collective or some sort of superband if you prefer, with members also playing in wonderful bands like The Ocean Party and Totally Mild. First releases 'Stupid Hamish' and 'Echidna Cottage', from October 2012 and January 2013 were packed on a limited edition cassette via their own label Osborne Again, with debut album 'Rock and Roll Juice' appearing in June of 2014. Since June, we can enjoy sophomore LP 'Classic Connection', co-released by them and our friends at Lost And Lonesome. Ciggie Witch are pure DIY guitar-driven indiepop, somewhat the missing link between Pavement, Real Estate and The Go-Betweens, languid, slightly awkward but sun kissed tunes with not so joyful lyrics. Contagious yet carefree music.

PalomicaLet's meet British (between Brighton and Bristol?) musician Nicol Parkinson and his experimental, homemade solo music project (he's also member of pop band Frozy and The Nervy Betters) that live has featured members of The Wave Pictures, Joanna Gruesome, The Middle Ones, Trust Fund, The Choo Choo Trains, among others. Palomica's first songs surfaced in 2013, with debut album 'Sometimes It's a Struggle' arriving digitally that June, followed by sophomore LP 'Petito' out just now via Fika Recordings. His music is indiepop, warm, melodic... and extremely unique, as Nicol blends the immediacy of pop with ambient sounds, cacophonies, electronic drones. From The Pastels to the Japanese avant-garde Tori Kudo’s Maher Shalal Hash Baz, everything seems to fit in Palomica's music, an young adventurous of pop.

Soccer Mommy. And finally, let me introduce you to Sophie Allison, a young singer-songwriter (and former soccer player) hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, but based in New York, where she studies English at New York University. Although she has been playing guitar from an early age, this sporty-titled project began to shape just last year, with the apparition online of 'Songs for the Recently Sad' in September 2015, followed in December & January '16 with 'Songs from My Bedroom'. parts 1 & 2.  Now, after teaming with Warren Hildebrand of Foxes In Fiction/Orchid Tapes, Allison has just released 'For Young Hearts', an utterly disarming album. Warm, inviting lo-fi indiepop with a dreamy mood, packed with gorgeous guitar lines, emotional directness and confidence in her vocals and lyrics, and an undeniable feeling of freshness and authenticity. Look for her at the Music Champions League!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 110

It's hard to turn on the news (our condolences and solidarity are with the people France, as well as with every place that is suffering/has suffered the violence and nonsense of the ignorants). It's almost impossible to understand the way international politics is developing (Brexit, Clinton vs. Trump, Rajoy again, Turkey, we could keep going forever...). It's terrible to just open windows because it's too hot and start hearing your neighbours' criminal music tastes... So, we need an oyster where we can hide for a while... an oyster with a fantastic soundtrack, of course. Like our weekly TOP TEN Jukebox. Because music is always there for you. And remember, all songs are listed at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2016 Jukebox playlists

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Discoverer 146: new indie findings

Time for another trio of new proposals in our discoverer seriesA pretty eclectic combination today, from singer-songwriter to synth-pop, so you have plenty and diverse music to enjoy with!

Twin River. Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, around 2009, the first incarnation of the band was the stripped-down folk duo of singer-songwriter Courtney Ewan Bromley and guitarist Andy Bishop. But changes were already evident with the self-release of debut EP 'Rough Gold' in early 2012, recorded with with the help of local guitarist Malcolm Jack and singer-keyboardist Rebecca Law Gray. A full band was born, being completed shortly with Dustin John Bromley on drums. The quintet locked into the studio the year later, giving form to the tunes (with Colin Stewart from The New Pornographers on mixing duties) that, after some changes in the line-up, would became their first LP 'Should the Light Go Out', out via Light Organ Records in February 2015. Now they're back with 'Passing Shade' sophomore album out since June, consolidating the shimmering blend of garage, jangle and dream pop of their sound. Think on The War On Drugs or DIIV meeting Neko Case or Jenny Lewis. Think on dark, cloudy hazes pierced by rays of light in the form of eternal guitar lines and upped drum paces. Think on the kind of music that haunts you before stays with you.  

Margaret Glaspy. Born in Red Bluff, California, but based in New York via Boston where she became part of the local folk scene, singer-songwriter career "officially" began in 2013 (although there's a 'Homeschool' EP from 2012, available digitally at her bandcamp, collecting some home-recorded songs) with debut release 'If & When' EP. Then came tours with Lucius, Rayland Baxter or Milk Carton Kids, the signature with ATO Records and the release of a 7" 'You and I b/w Somebody to Anybody' in January 2016, in advance of first LP 'Emotions and Math', out just now. With a very distinctive, explosive voice and a approach to songs where electric guitar lead the way, Glaspy is able to croon and bite, trap you with a melody or knock you out with a killer lyric hidden between an almost grunge riff. Expansive minimalism on an artist summoning Joni Mitchell, Feist and Josephine Baker. Fated for greatness...    

Featherfin. And we end in Tromso, Norway, to recommend you the music project of Knut Børre Lindbjør, a Bloodbuzzed beloved friend, the blogger behind Eardrums Music, a founder member of the GREAT label EardrumsPop (never praised enough) and musician since the 80s, now back with this fishy moniker blending his passion for electronic music and indiepop with his ability with visuals. Although the first Featherfin tune appeared in 2014 on the 'Between Two Waves- The Second Wave' lovely compilation album, his first proper release dates back from February 2015, with EP 'Butterfly Girl', followed by the single 'The Crimson Spill /Nananarama and 'Wintersongs' EP later that same year. Now he's back with 'Helen Richey' EP, out just now (don't miss the video for the title songs, a genius mini-documentary). And he's in superb company, alongside "usual suspects" from this Blog's Jeremy Jensen from The Very Most and Michaël Korchia from Watoo Watoo. Dreamy, organic, undeniably gorgeous tunes. Haunting music.  

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 109

Summer has clearly arrived to Barcelona... making the citizens just focus either on holidays and finding a way to breath (sweltering days that keep repeating as 'Groundhog Day'). Luckily for us, the music is not taking a break, so prepare yourselves to for a great playlist gathered in our weekly TOP TEN Jukebox. Is pretty full of friends (what a starting trio!). as well as new and exciting bands demanding your attention. And remember, all songs are listed at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2016 Jukebox playlists

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Spanish Indie 29: suggesting the best national acts

Pop, pop and more pop in our latest trio of national bands. Brace yourselves, gorgeous music is coming!

El Palacio de Linares. Drummer Gonzalo Marcos founded the band in 2011, initially with Mariví Hernández Lara, Ángel Román and Elena Cascón, debuting in 2012 with 7"'Himalaya' out on Elefant Records. Changes in the line-up began while the group released EP La Casa Es Negra on Discos de Paseo in 2013, as well as singles with Discos de KirlianDiscos Walden, plus the Mini-LP La Espalda de un perro via Sweet Grooves Records a year later, which looked like the final release of the band. But Gonzalo didn't want to quit, so instead he relaunched the band in San Sebastián with the help of Alex & Raúl from Nuevos Hobbies and the support of Yon Vidaur from Ama. The new and reinvigorated ensemble now has come out with first LP ‘Ataque de amor’ via the great Pretty Olivia Records. A collection of pluperfect tunes echoing some of the greatest pop artisans, in between The Feelies and Belle and Sebastian, but with a trademark sense of humour and costumbrist grace. Smashing pop attack!

Evripidis and His TragediesEvripidis Evripidis Sabatis is a classically trained musician, visual artist and writer born in Athens, Greece, but adopted by Barcelona a decade ago. Here, with the support of likely minded musicians and artists, he gave form to his own particular musical and aesthetical universe, a solo project that expands into a collecive process. Since 2006, Evripidis has released several EPs, music for short movies and art projects and three LPs, the self-titled debut in 2007, 'A Healthy Dose of Pain' in 2011 and, since this March, we can enjoy 'Futile Games in Space and Time' in a joint release by Snap! Clap!, Canada Editorial, Jigsaw and Inner Ear. Piano-based, his soft pop is kaleidoscopic: sometimes vintage, devoted to 50s & 60s, others baroque, or flirting with Motown as well as with Belle and Sebastian, but always lush, hopelessly romantic and adventurous. Oh! This charming man...

Islandia Nunca Quema. Although they hail from Reus and Tarragona, this quartet formed in 2010 has their music DNA in distant places like Brisbane, Glasgow or Dunedin... also known as the "kingdoms of indiepop". Debut release arrived in December of 2012 with 7" 'The Wrong Parade / Pile of Junk', out via Philatelia Records, followed by another 7", only digital, entitled 'Behold the Evil Mind/ Dotted Lines' in January 2014. 'Applause', first album to date was next, again via Philatelia, with a 'Covers' record made public early 2015, including versions of The Kinks, Lloyd Cole, The Velvet Underground and Young Marble Giants, among others. So, while we wait for the new chapter of these "Islanders of pop", we can enjoy all their good deeds: their knack for penning classic, lasting melodies, their chiming guitars lines, their flirt with psychedelia... Contagious tunes.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Discoverer 145: new indie findings

Back with another trio of new proposals in our discoverer series. And again, and it's becoming a very nice tradition, conformed by three amazing female musicians, the best example women rule the indiepop world right now. Always girls to the front!

Mitski. Born in Japan, 25 year-old musician Mitski Miyawaki has moved with her family very frequently around the world, living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, China and Turkey among other countries before getting settled in New York to study composition at SUNY Purchase. After digital, self-released albums 'Lush' and 'Retired from Sad, New Career in Business' in 2012 and 2013, in 2014 arrived her first proper debut record with ' Bury Me at Make Out Creek' out via Double Double Whammy and Dead Oceans. Now she's back with 'Puberty 2', recorded with the help of her accomplice Patrick Hyland, out since June by Dead Oceans, an album fated to transform Mitski in one of the alternative artists to follow closely. Inventive and sonically rich, risky, brave, tense and meaningful, like summoning the Pixies and St.Vincent's altogether. Among the frontrunners for best album of the year... A must.

Japanese Breakfast. And we end with a very personal story between Eugene, Oregon, and Philadelphia, PA, to meet Michelle Zauner. Singer and guitarist of Philly indie rock quartet Little Big League, in late 2014 she moved back home to the Oregon after her mother was diagnosed with cancer. While she was there, she revamped songs from her previous lo-fi releases (there's a pretty bunch of music you can check at her bandcamp from 2013-2014) under the name Japanese Breakfast in collaboration with musician Ned Eisenberg. The result is 'Psychopomp', a stunning album out now via Yellow K Records, where the mourn of the loss collides with a bursting celebration of love and life enveloped in a collection of arresting tunes, ranging from bright indiepop to hazy shoegaze. Music as the guide for the souls to the afterlife and the comfort of the ones who remain here.

Lucy Dacus. Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Lucy Dacus is a ridiculously talented musician for such a young age (just started to count her twenties!). She dropped out film school at Virginia Commonwealth University, worked at a photography lab before deciding to focus solely on music, with first tunes appearing online in 2015 and igniting the buzz on the blogosphere. Debut album 'No Burden', recorded in Nashville in just a couple of days, appeared on February 2016 via EggHunt Records (now reissued by Matador who just signed her to overwhelming response, thanks to her powerful, distinct voice, her witty (and funny, darkly funny) lyrics and her knack for melodies, between rock and folk. Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett... take her on tour with you!