Molly Burch #4 - Please Be Mine

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Posts here are getting rarer and rarer so I must apologise, there's a hundred and one reasons that I won't bore you with... There's two albums of 2017 so far that I completely love, one is Courtney Marie Andrews' wonderful Honest Life and the other is Please Be Mine by Molly Burch, whom I fell in love with in the middle of last year.

Unbelievably her best song (in my opinion) "I Adore You" doesn't make the cut but over ten songs Please Be Mine transports you to a sensual wonderful filled with Molly's sultry, hazy vocal and slowly waltzing balladry, swoonsome is the best word I can think of.

Molly plays London's Sebright Arms on June 1st, I shall definietly not be missing it. 

Mermaidens #3 - Lizard

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Ah yes, guitars and darkly hued menace, two of my favourite things. New Zealand's Mermaidens have featured here a couple of times already and the taut, hypnotising rhythms, harmonising choruses and swirling guitar textures of "Lizard" were sure to make me pick up on the trio again, a four minute concoction of noise, distortion and gnarling confrontation. 

Perfect Body is due out on August 4th via Flying Nun.

Many Voices Speak - Video Child

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And so another month passed by in the blink of an eye. I've no idea how I had the time to run this blog to the level I did for a good number of years until the middle of last year but I seemingly have one or two nights at home a month when I can sit down and digest music. That sucks in some ways because this is part of my life but it's great in someways because it's means my life isn't just sitting at home doing nothing. Saying that, I got a new puppy this week, so chances are I'll be staying in a whole lot more for the foreseeable!

It didn't take me long to fall in love with this, the first Youtube comment 'idyllic' about sums it up. “Video Child” is the first track I've heard by Swedish artist Many Voices Speak and it is absolutely blood gorgeous, filled with restrained beats, flickering guitars and a voice to die for, filled with melancholy and optimism, it's perfect for a lone night in.

"Video Child" is taken from an EP Away For All Time, released last year and available everywhere you'd expect it to be. 

Tuvaband - Everything We Do Is Wrong

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Tuvaband were another of the acts I saw twice ay By:Larm, take a listen to "Unknown" and you'll pretty quickly learn why.

A half British / half Norwegian duo (they played live as a trio) who have to date shared a couple of elegant and spacious tracks that sparkle around a strikingly beautiful vocal and sparse yet absorbing melody. Less is certainly sometimes more. 

Unnveig Aas #4 - What Hurts The Most (Is Knowing You Want To Leave)

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I cannot believe it is already almost two weeks ago that I was very happy to find myself in attendance of an off:larm showcase (a few additional shows put on as part of By:Larm) and catching a superb set by Oslo's very own Unnveig Aas (I caught her as part of the main festival in 2016 too).

She kicked the set off with the brilliantly titled "What Hurts The Most (Is Knowing You Want To Leave)", a classic country ballad filled with pedal steel, chiming guitars and perfectly placed percussion amongst heartfelt, storytelling lyrics. It pulls you in from the start and you can feel the anguish in Unnveig's velvety voice.

I love the video too, with the arms movements and the piercing stares straight out of the live set.

"What Hurts The Most..."  is taken from Unnveig Aas' forthcoming debut album, Old Soul, due March 31st via Playground Music. (Order here). If the rest of the set was anything to go by, you won't be disappointed. 

Pikekyss - Tåke

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Pikekyss achieved one of those very rare things at By:Larm (for me at least), produced a set I absolutely loved (and went back for a second helping of during the festival) without me having a bloody clue what they were saying! I find out after that these two shows were the bands first with a new vocalist, so consider me further impressed.

It was all there, tight harmonies, controlled and energetic percussion and shimmering guitars, the lead guitarist is perhaps the star but that takes nothing away from the gorgeous vocals, I just cannot understand a word of what they sing. As I leave both Mono and Herr Nilsen where the band play I cannot help but think this Is melodic pop made for the bigger musical audience of the UK, call me a philistine but I really hope the band translate or produce some English language track soon.  Earlier EP called Tåke contains a couple of tracks I remember fondly from the shows and provides a great taster to the band "Hjemlengsel" and "Hjertebank" (complete with plenty of singalong ooh's and aah's). Think all your favourite indie pop moments (just in Noreweign).  

Ponette - I'm Alone

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I only caught 2/3's of Ponette's set at BLÅ because I was rushing over from Mono after seeing Julia Jacklin, I was certainly left wanting more (so if you are free to pop over to the UK any time soon that would be great) after a set that was different than I was expecting after listening to their debut EP I'm Alone earlier that day but at the same time was exhilirating and left me with a massive smile on my face. 

On record Ponette sound pure and gorgeous, take "Relief" and "I'm Alone" as examples, spacious, restrained electro-pop filled with a melancholic and dreamy atmosphere that's perfect for the Nordic winter, icy and somewhat dreamy but filled with more than a hint of darkness. It's this later sound that comes alive during the show, morphing into a thrilling beast where apocalyptic sounding percussion collides with soaring guitars and punchy pop choruses that come somewhere between shoegaze and Paramore. I love it. 

Amazing photo by @magnordstrand.

Strange Hellos – We Are Trouble

Another band discovered at By:Larm (I cannot believe it was a week ago already) is Strange Hellos, a Norwegian super group of sorts (all the artists have other bands they'd call home) whom are gearing up to release an album later this year and arrive to me new and unheard at Sentrum Scene last week, I was more than happy with what I discovered thereafter (so much so that I went to see them again at their second set the next day).

Recent single "Monumental" sums up Stange Hello's sound well, a band that seem to have perfected the knack of writing gorgeous pop songs with more than a penchant for a romantic, wistful melody all wrapped in a wash of fuzz. "We Are Trouble" is even more addictive, filled with beautifully hazy vocals and a lovely, warm nostalgic guitar sound. It's the sort of thing we've all been listening to for years (and will do for years to come).