September Girls #11 - Love No One


Perennial blog favourites September Girls return with the rather lovely and ominous “Love No One”, the first song we’ve been treated to from the Dublin quintet’s second LP Age Of Indignation, released on April 8th on Fortuna Pop.

It highlights more than ever before the progression of the band. When I first featured them here back in 2011 I referred to them as ‘retro, rough around the edges lo-fi fuzz pop with infectious harmonies and catchy lyrics’. Now, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Love No On” is a glorious, sweeping epic filled with dark, deep bass rhythms and haunting, spidery guitar noise that makes for a vast, paranoiac and cinematic experience that recalls The Cure for me, it’s long and multi layered and draws you in bit by bit as gorgeous harmonies and doomy atmosphere collide to delicious, dizzying effect.

A UK tour has been announced for May, I’m hoping a Great Escape show turns up as the London date coincides with it. If not, next time (full dates to be posted here).

Albums of 2014 #22 - September Girls - Cursing The Sea

September Girls
Cursing The Sea
Fortuna Pop. Released January 13th.

Irish quintet September Girls had been a blog favourite for well over two years before the release of their debut full-length Cursing The Sea, thankfully its release did not disappoint, shrouded in tense hooks, muddy reverb and rough around the edges atmosphere.

Three back to back singles that come in the middle of the album are amongst the finest ten minutes released this year. "Heartbeats" wraps it up perfectly as distorted harmonies entwine amongst fuzzy, reverb-heavy guitar jangles and rumbling rhythms that live through menacingly dark undertones, here the lyrics dismiss a would-be admirer as bluntly and sharp as "I’m not your girlfriend, you’re not my guy, go back to your life, I’m living mine".

"Green Eyed" sees tight bass riffs and scratchy beats hypnotise amongst the tracks infectious swirling, scuffling melody as jealousy rules the waves whilst "Ships" is similarly wonderful, where an extended intro of chugging bass and creeping guitar lines create a moody fog of ominous psyche atmosphere before the girls vocal harmonies enter, all echoey and somewhere in the distance, it concludes an utterly brilliant trio of tracks.

"Secret Lovers" is the earliest track to remain and is the albums most harmonic moment before the noir-pop returns on the distorted "Sister", which grows in strength throughout to a concluding climax of raw, gritty brutality far away from the bands garage-pop beginnings.

I'd call that a success.

September Girls #10 - "Veneer"


Joining the ever-expanding, increasingly brilliant bands at Kanine Records  (Fear of Men, Beach Day, Beverly) are September Girls with a new track "Veneer" (they're still on Fortuna Pop here). The first song taken from a four song EP of the same name due November 24th in the UK and the next day in the US.

Split label releases are something I can see increasingly happening,.. I know from first hand experience that postage price is killing off mail-order due to high costs - it costs £7.50 to ship a single LP from the UK to the US. Crikey!

Back to the music, "Veneer" is harder and darker than anything we've heard from the quintet before, taking their signature feedback soaked, distorted fuzz pop to the next level with aggressive guitars swirling and continually building around a furious rhythm section whilst sinister doo-wop harmonies and equally ominous vocals keep you firmly on the edge. Don't listen to this one in dimly lit alleyways folks...

The Great Escape - Friday Preview

The Great Escape 2014 - Five for Friday 9th May.

If you missed my introduction and preview of Thursday, head here.

French For Rabbits - TGE Page
9th May 2014 1:15pm - 2:00pm
10th May 2014 8:00pm - 8:30pm

I will finally be catching up with New Zealand duo French For Rabbits. I can't quite remember why I missed them last time they were in London but in the famous words of Mcfadden and Whitehead, there ain't no stopping me (us) now...

The gorgeous, melancholia drenched dream-folk of their most recent track "Goat" gives a perfect example of what to expect from their performance, a beautiful hushed vocal and calming guitars combining to steal your heart. Sounds like the perfect start to the days music to me.

September Girls - TGE Page
9th May 2014 1:45pm - 2:15pm
9th May 2014 6:30pm - 7:00pm

Long time blog favourites September Girls are a must-see next week and are another act I've talked about at length here (and as such I'll keep this post short, you should have the idea by now).

Their cavernous vocals, reverb-heavy guitars and precise drum beats provide a buzzing mix of 60's girl pop and 70's noir, stir in some sweetly harmonies and nods of approval are sure to follow.

Esben & The Witch - Facebook
9th May 2014 4:10pm - 4:35pm (an Alternative Escape show)

Local Brighton trio Esben and the Witch will play an Alternative Escape show (they aren't on the main bill for some unknown reason), a short set (boo) but one that promises to be an essential inclusion for your Friday plans...

I hope recent single "No Dog" gets an airing, an uncompromising, frenetic and brilliant track which grabs you by both arms and begs you to listen as pummeling drums and guitars collide with Rachel Davies' haunting vocals, it's a jaw-dropping listen and one that could be even better live.

Lyla Foy - TGE Page
9th May 2014 7:30pm - 8:00pm

I've conspired to miss every Lyla Foy gig since her show at Komedia (then on the bill as Wall) at last years Great Escape, I'm promising to make amends and get my first live taster of her beautiful debut album Mirrors The Sky.

"Feather Tongue" highlights Lyla's sound perfectly, both understated and beautiful combining her heart-melting vocals with a perfect melody of gentle percussion and a bubbling synth undercurrent. The results is a gorgeous, dreamy atmosphere that is guaranteed to make your heart skip a beat or two.

Broken Twin - TGE Page
9th May 2014 9:00pm - 9:30pm

I still can't decide where I'll be heading at 9pm on Friday (and I probably won't until just before I need to) so I'm going to cheat and make my five picks for the day become six. A heart-wrenching clash sees Broken Twin and Sophie Jamieson play at exactly the same time (thankfully I'll be seeing both artists in London during next week to take away the pain of the clash for me personally).

Broken Twin's debut album May was released this week is already my most played record of 2014 (recently overtaking the equally magnificent July by Marissa Nadler), as intimate and arresting an experience as music can offer, bring your quiet shoes, turn your phone off and immerse yourself in Majke's beautiful, dark melancholia.

Here's one of my favourite tracks from May, "Sun Has Gone":

Sophie Jamieson - TGE Page
9th May 2014 9:15pm - 9:45pm

As I just alluded to, Sophie Jamieson plays at the same time as Broken Twin and as such I have a decision to make. Sophie is a prolific gig player around London but has never once let me down when I've seen her live, always a rare treat with her ever expanding band (now complete as a quartet?) adding extra depth, ambiance and beauty to her wonderful talents.

Last time I saw her play, she played "Dinah", "Ode to the East", "Stain", "Other", "Waterloo" and one more that I can't quite remember - that's pretty much as knock out half an hour set as you'll likely to hear. If you are thinking about heading to see Sophie, the one thing I can guarantee is that you will not be disappointed.

See Also. Las Kellies at The Tube (8pm), Sea Change at Neighbourhood (11pm)

September Girls #9 - Sister


A little later than I planned after spending 24 hours unexpectedly in bed thanks to a lovely bout of sickness (in the same week that I'm running a marathon no less) I return to post about one of this blogs long standing love affairs, I think I've posted about every September Girls single to date so it would be rude to make an exception now...

"Sister" is the latest track to be taken from January's debut Cursing The Sea (out now via Fortuna Pop!) and takes the quintet's reverb-soaked noise-pop to darker streets. Paula's lead vocals are low in the mix perhaps hiding the tracks challenging subject matter amongst a sea of distorted, rumbling bass rhythms and echoey guitars which grow in strength throughout to a concluding climax of raw, gritty brutality far away from the bands garage-pop beginnings and sounds more like something you'd expect to hear from a newly found Joy Division out-take but with sweetly harmonies of course.

September Girls are back in London playing Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on April 18th and are also confirmed for May's Great Escape festival amongst a slew of other dates. You've no excuse not to get your dancing shoes on.

September Girls #8 - Heartbeats

Following swiftly from an almost instantly sold-out cassette release September Girls return with new track "Heartbeats", their first single via Fortuna POP! whom will release the girls debut full-length in January next year.

"Heartbeats" is everything we've all come to love about the Dublin quintet all wrapped up within under three minutes, gorgeously ethereal, distorted harmonies entwined amongst fuzzy, reverb-heavy guitar jangles and rumbling rhythms combined with ominously dark undertones and infectious lyrics about unrequited love - perfect.

September Girls are back in the UK in a couple of weeks time including a London show at The Waiting Room on the 18th (details) and "Heartbeats" is released November 4th on Sea Foam Green vinyl (me neither - I guess it's a type of green!) - pre-order here.

September Girls #7 - Ships

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Last year I went on a road trip to Manchester with a friend with the sole purpose of having a few too many drinks and watching some great bands. The gig that made two London based folk visit what is easily the UK's second best music scene was a pretty great one, PINS with support from September Girls, two much blogged about acts here. It delivered a Saturday night show that was everything we wanted, we later had kebab and chips on Oldham St and I've no real recollection of getting back to the friends we were staying at - a real win-win night!

The reason for that waffle is simple, that evening musical friends were clearly made between the two bands and now we see September Girls lining up to release a limited edition tape through PINS' own label Haus of PINS for the forthcoming Cassette Store Day (something in itself I'm torn about - Have you ever seen a cassette store? Do we really need releases from major labels and re-issues on tape? Shouldn't the day be celebrating the bedroom run labours of love who tend to use the cheaper cassette format nowadays?).

Anyway, due on Saturday is the quintet's new single "Ships" and the title track is quite wonderful, where an extended intro of chugging bass and creeping guitar lines create a moody fog of swirling, ominous pysch atmosphere before the girls typically reverb soaked vocal harmonies enter, all fuzzy, echoey and somewhere in the distance "Ships" is perhaps the most un-nerving, darkest track from September Girls yet.

Three more dates are lined up with Pins in mid October (I can't make any of them this time - mid week and up north) but an as yet unannounced London show is planned for Oct 18th - in the diary.

September Girls have also announced their signing to Fortuna Pop and dated their debut album for January 2014 - that's something to look forward to indeed. One of my 'tips for 2013' becomes one for 2014 in the blink of an eye. 

September Girls #6 - Talking

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The welcome return of September Girls now with a rather awesome animated video for their new single "Talking" (which you can order on digital / 7" via Art For Blind Records), you'll want to do that as soon as you've finished listening below, playing to the quintet's paranoid, psychedelic side "Talking" rattles along with precise percussion, meaty bass and swirling keys whilst the girls alternating harmonies float around in a Spector Group gone psycho-stalker kinda way. The accompanying video really is great, as Powerpuff Girls they save the world from all sorts of monsters whilst playing a rather excellent tune, all without breaking sweat of course.

The flip side "Some For Me" isn't quite as dark and suffocating but still rumbles with spacey, jagged guitar and throbbing bass, here though the vocals are lighter, softer and the melody more bright and upbeat, it makes me wish it was sunny and that the September Girls had a London show soon. They don't yet but you Northern sorts can check them out at Manchester's Sounds From The Other City Festival on May 5th.