Still Corners #9 - Horses at Night

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A little unexpected early December bonus now, the return of the wonderful Still Corners. After 2013's Strange Pleasures comes "Horses at Night” a track which remains faithful to the London based duo’s ever expanding blend of dream-pop, from delicate foundations they’ve blossomed to create another lush, darkly cinematic beauty that is built on the foundations of great melody and Tessa Murray’s alluring vocals.

“Horses at Night” is a quietly embracing and affirming noir-pop track with a twist of bittersweet nostalgia as fizzing electronic effects swirl around luscious, misty atmosphere. The result is delicious and sets the tone for album three, set to hit next year.

Still Corners #8 - Berlin Lovers (Video)

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Still Corners yesterday released a video for their laest track "Berlin Lovers", the second song to be taken from their forthcoming album Strange Pleasures, in a perfectly accompanying video new love blossoms as Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray work at a Skate Park, the bright, pop track follows "Fireflies" as something of a new avenue for the band / duo, I'm still unsure which, with a repetitive, jaunty synth beat mixing with Tessa's airy, ethereal vocals it's distinctly nostalgic yet distinctly Still Corners.

The band seemingly set to soundtrack after hours romantics with this neon-futuristic beauty that's more Chromatics than Broadcast, the bands previous yard stick.

I've also added a stream to the b-side of the recent Fireflies single, "Hearts of Fools", beautiful from the start it treads more traditional Still Corners plains, cinematic and breathtaking in every possible way. (You can order the 7" here).

Orders of Strange Pleasures made via US label Sub Pop get a scrapbook journalling the making of the album - available on LP/CD May 6/7th - pre-order. The same link will provide you with a free download of "Berlin Lovers" too.


Still Corners #7 - Fireflies

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Here's something that I wasn't expecting just yet, the return of Still Corners, who today announced their new single "Fireflies", released as a tour-only 7" with limited copies available via their Big Cartel store 'soon'.

The follow up to last years gorgeous Creatures of an Hour, "Fireflies" retains the emotional, cinematic approach that has been a signature of the band right since their debut Remember Pepper EP, it's wonderfully atmospheric with Tessa Murray's alluring backing coo's and soft, dreamy vocals but the slow-motion shimmering synth pulses and pitter-patter beats which dowse you in a heavenly haze more Drive soundtrack than film-noir, fear not though guitar lovers, if recent shows at End of the Road and Scala are replicated with further new material, I'll be a very happy boy.

Speaking of shows, the aforementioned tour begins at the end of October and hits London's Lexington on November 12th - full dates. See you there.

End of the Road 2012 - Festival Preview Part One

I've been looking forward to the End of the Road festival for some time now, thankfully the time is almost here. One of my favourite labels Bella Union are curating an entire day at the festival, the Friday, and they have put together an exceptional line-up to start off the (hopefully rain free) weekend. I'll split my 'ones to watch' posts in two, one concentrating on the BU day and another on the rest of the weekend, both with six of the best acts to watch (there are plenty more acts to see) if you are heading to Dorset, or just a few recommendations if not.

Outside of the music the festival promises much too, laid-back atmospheres, lot's of variety in food and drink (one of my major criticisms of my last festival, Latitude), comedy, literature, family activities and incredible scenery and walks around Larmer Tree woods, a weekend is sure to fly by but with no further rambling (pun), I'll had straight into part one of my festival picks:

Mountain Man - Facebook
Garden Stage 12.30

Arguably the act I'm most excited to see is the opening act of the entire festival, Mountain Man had me spellbound back in 2010 with a breathtaking performance in the Crow's Nest at Glastonbury (check this video for proof), with a later show at St Giles Church in London living up to my initial introduction but since then, late 2010 we've had a period of silence, an EOTR performance last year was postponed with the girls later taking on a role in Feist's backing band.

Thankfully this year the girls make amends and return to these shores (though perhaps strangely there don't appear to be any other UK shows).  Largely acappella and always sparse, the trio's harmonies are from the heavens, their debut album Made The Harbor a timeless collection of understated, aching beauty. I cannot wait for this performance and the follow up album which hopefully must be nearing completion. (I live in hope).




Hannah Cohen - Facebook
Tipi Tent Stage 13.45

I've not seen Hannah Cohen since her performance at The Great Escape back in May, I'm expecting this show to be equally gorgeous. A sure fire entry into my top albums of 2012 with her exquisite debut Child Bride Hannah's to-die-for voice, haunting and intoxicating is bound to turn her audience into silent devotees and have them clinging to her every word, wrapped in melancholic acoustic plucks, her early afternoon set is sure to be an emotional, beautiful experience.



Still Corners - Facebook
Big Top Stage 15.30

As well as an exemplary field of Bella Union acts, the label have also invited some non-Bella friends to play, amongst them the divine Still Corners who I saw deliver possibly the best set I've seen (out of a good six or seven times) at Scala in May in support of EMA, their sound was fuller, darker and wrapped in sumptuous, mysterious beauty.

The band are working away on their next release currently and I'm very much looking forward to that, Creatures of an Hour introduced their exceptionally crafted film-noir aesthetics, otherworldly, kaleidoscope and damn-right wonderful. The live show is very much the same and should not be missed.



Lanterns on the Lake - Facebook
Big Top Stage 17.00

Another act who released one of my favourite albums of 2011 that I've not seen for too long are Lanterns on the Lake and I'm looking forward to breaking a duck which goes back to the start of the year and getting re-acquainted with the sextet's enthralling live show...

Hopefully combining tracks from Gracious Tide, Take Me Home (my number three album of last year) with a couple of new tracks, their rich tapestry of intense, emotional melodies are spine-tingling in their beauty and sure to tug at your heartstrings, masters of multi-instrumental atmospheres, Lanterns on the Lake are not to be missed.



Veronica Falls - Facebook
Big Top Stage 20.30

As with many of these acts, Veronica Falls are a band I've seen and blogged on more than a handful of occasions over the past two or so years, the repeated superlatives used with these acts are to be forgiven though because without exception the acts are stunning.

Veronica Falls are no different, though switch the sweeping, celestial and cinematic soundscapes of my last couple of recommendations for a darker, faster macabre pop, bewitching in their intent, both bitter and sweet their delicious melodies and deadpan delivery will provide some of the weekends finest sing-along's.



Beach House - Facebook
The Woods Stage 21.30

A somewhat obvious choice of headliner but when it's Beach House, it's not important. A rare band who've managed to juggle commercial and critical success for two albums now with no sign of giving up. Bloom a perfection summation of the bands talents, perfectly constructed pop tracks combining both choruses with sparkling, impeccable melodies.

Its first single "Myth" brought the same magisterial, melodic dream-pop sensibilities that brought swooning reviews from all quarters but seems more dramatic, richer and larger in scale. Twinkling keys and shimmering guitars wrap around Victoria's trademark vocal, much like 'Take Care', "Zebra", "Walk in the Park" etc etc,

Beach House are simply not to be missed and their show will bring all sorts of goosebumps to lovers and dreamers all over the world, or in this case, festival.

My Favourite 25 Albums of 2011 - Part Four

Just Music That I Like’s Twenty Five Favourite Abums of 2011 aka The Best 25 Albums of the Year Part Four

Direct Links to Albums: 25 - 21 // 20 - 16 // 15 - 11 // 10 - 6 // 5 - 1

10. Esben and the Witch - Violet Cries
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Esben and the Witch's debut album 'Violet Cries' (which came out way back in January via Matador) delivered ten tracks that combined to create a rich tapestry of dense and mystical fairytales delivered in a dramatic, uncompromising and bold manner. Equal parts stark beauty and deathly misery encompassed in an unsettling, atmospheric gloom and ethereal soundscapes.

Opening track "Argyria" hammers home the dark, intimidating mood, after an unnerving, slow building start it startles you with powerful drums and intense droning guitars wash over subtle glitches while gothic enchantress Rachel Davies' vocal incantations could bring blood to the boil. It's overwhelmingly bewitching, and utterly sublime.

"Marching Song" see Rachel's wailing cries play over hammering kettle drum, harsh guitars and shimmering, rich electronics building to a cacophony of unrivalled noise, the thumping basslines and eeriness reaches new heights on the outstanding "Chorea", where the repeated cries of "dance themselves to death" bring harrowing, plague-like epidemic comparisons to mind.

Though the paranoia of "Eumendies" is arguably even better, dream-like hallucinogenics combine with europhic sonic architecture to weave the biggest spell of all. before the desolation of "Swans" brings the album to a superb and naturally chilly ending, a truly stunning album from Brighton's finest act.

Esben and the Witch - Warpath



9. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
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The winner for most aptly titled album of the year is hands down Lykke Li, her second album 'Wounded Rhymes' is exactly that, an almost voyeuristic look into Lykke's personal account of broken relationships. Wrapped around her intimate, vulnerable lyrics are amongst the most beautiful songs I've hard this year combining sumptuous melodies, Lykke's gorgeous voice and pounding, tribal percussion, lots of percussion. Part Spector girl group, part Springfield soul and part Swedish fire.

On the starkly arranged "I Know Places" and "Sadness is a Blessing" we hear a heartbroken Lykke sing with sincere emotional tenderness of a victim of unrequited love, then the polar opposite on "Get Some" where she is at her most provocative and attention-seeking, danceable, rhythmic and with its lyrics "like a shotgun needs an outcome / I’m your prostitute, you’re gonna get some", easily the most aggressive track where the victim becomes a cock-sure tease.

"Silent My Song" drips with gorgeous harmonies and the voyeuristic themed "I Follow Rivers" use of tinpot drumming, hand-clapping and exotic flavours provides a further stand-out amongst an album of them, the pop album of the year? If you call this pop (the darkness of her lyrics and the emotions portrayed throughout lead me to think this has far too much emotional depth and beauty to appeal to your typical pop fan / x factor junkie) then unquestionably.

Sadness Is a Blessing by LykkeLi



8. Zola Jesus - Conatus
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The prolific Zola Jesus returns after last years incredible 'Stridulum' (II in the UK) with her latest offering 'Conatus', an incredibly polished offering that certainly sees ZJ expand upon her Gothic arsenal of electronic darkness. Powered by her unmistakable voice, Nika Roza Danilova is most definitely a creature of the night.

It's her operatically trained voice, powerful drums and propulsive industrial synths that drive the album forward, album preview track "Vessel" is the early stand-out, harsh metallic beats and Nika's colossal voice create an immediate, menacing atmosphere that's dramatic and chilly. "Seekir" is an upbeat, almost dance orientated track, electronic glitches and a pulsing synthetic beat, equally foreboding is "Avalanche", delightfully bleak, brooding and monstrous.

Though their are also some simply beautiful moments, the eerie "Hikkomori" fizzes away with more drama than in an episode of The Sopranos, yet the best of all is saved for the second side of the album, where Nika lets in more than a touch of lightness, the delightfully named "Lick The Palm Of The Burning Handshake" is melodramatic and wonderful. The intimacy of "Skin", a stark piano led ballad will send shivers down your bones and "Collapse" with its foreboding synth fizz, slow building drums and the quivering vocals close the album with two tracks of transcending, majestic beauty.

'Conatus' certainly sees Zola Jesus move away from her industrial lo-fi beginnings into epic scale dramatic pop territory, it's one that I think is her home. It's equal parts incredible and absurd to think that she's still just 22.

Zola Jesus - Seekir by souterraintransmissions


7. Still Corners - Creatures of an Hour
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Still Corners released their spellbinding debut 'Creatures of an Hour" via US label Sub Pop back in October, masterminded by Greg Hughes 'Creatures of an Hour' is exceptionally crafted from the outset, where film-noir aesthetics transport you through an expansive journey of kaleidoscope soundscapes that are undeniably alluring and gorgeous.

The singles "Cuckoo" and "Endless Summer" return and are as immaculate as ever, a graceful, melancholic mist wrapped around shimmering guitars flourishes, hollow drums and twinkling keys create beautiful dream-like warmth which is rounded off by the ethereal sweetness that is Tessa's angelic vocal. On the more energetic "Into The Trees" glistening 60's psychedelia, precise drum beats and shining guitars offer the perfect example of the wistful, romantic atmosphere so sumptuously crafted.

"I Wrote in Blood" adds an otherworldly, dark undercurrent (though with its title it's not that much of an undercurrent) amongst its eerie organ swirls and woozy, washes of reverb, haunting guitar and ghostly whispers that are equally noticeable on "Circulars". Mysterious synth perfectly complements slow, chiming guitars and trembling drums on "The Twilight Hour" and closing track "Submarine" are equal highlights in this quite simply, stunning debut.

Still Corners - Cuckoo by subpop



6. Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls
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Veronica Falls were snapped up by Bella Union for the long-awaited release of their debut LP which came out in mid October, the London / Glasgow quartet have been favourites of this blog since early last year and the release of their signature tune 'Found Love in a Graveyard', which now, some eighteen months later hasn't lost any of its immediate charm and finds itself as the lead track on the bands self-titled debut album. Any song that can sing about falling in love with a ghost in a graveyard yet sound as irresistibly catchy as a Cliff Richard Christmas song (joke!) is a winner in my book.

The outstanding and hopeful closure "Come on Over" is certainly one of the highlights of the album and contains just about everything I love about Veronica Falls, urgent pacing where cleverly constructed male/female vocal harmonies deliciously combine whilst infectious, head-nodding melodies which embed themselves around your brain. While eqaully catchy, yet somewhat more dark and brooding is the anti-feel good "Bad Feeling", a song from the same morbid scrapbook as Graveyard as well as another of the early singles, the formidable “Beachy Head” (a song about a suicide hot-spot) and new track “Misery” (a song about being generally miserable).

It’s not all high energy ramshackle guitars and self-wallowing lyrical matter, the slower paced “Veronica Falls” is a genuine highlight where Roxanne’s usual deadpan delivery changes to a soft, beautiful lullaby. In summary, this joyous album offer a melodic pop album with more energy than you can shake a stick at that revels in misery yet somehow manages to capture its essence into a joyous, uplifting affair that is certain to improve your mood.

Veronica Falls - Come On Over by Bella Union

Tips for 2011 – One Year On (Part One)

Before I start with my end of year posts (favourite albums / songs of 2011 / tips for 2012), I thought I'd revisit  my tips for 2011... In early December 2010 I gave fifteen acts whom I tipped not for stardom (though perhaps it would have been nice in some cases) but as artists that potentially could offer some of the finest releases of the year, now almost twelve months later I’ll revisit the acts and (perhaps) see if I was right or not by form a brief (or not so in some cases) synopsis of what they've been up to. That sounds equal parts stalkerish and good fun, we’ll see how it works. Part one today and parts two and three to follow over the next 30 hours.

The original posts 'Tips for 2011' posts can be found here: 1 – 5 // 6 – 10 // 11 – 15

1. Stricken City
Hmm, well it’s fair to say I didn't get off to the best of starts here; before 2010 was even out, two weeks after I tipped them as one of my acts to follow through 2011 Stricken City announced their end, a brief statement announced a last ever show and second, final, album for February.

All was not lost though, that last show was bloody excellent and left the audience with a bittersweet taste of what could, probably should have been, in a time when mundane fills the charts here we have a band splitting up because "We never stood a chance". Rebekah is a captivating front-woman, her voice is beautiful and the bands blend of 90's brit-pop and tropical rhythm luscious... Instead we’re left waiting for what Rebekah and Iain come up with next, as yet I’ve heard diddly-squat.

The album, ‘Losing Colour’, while undoubtedly still a work in progress with a couple of tracks that probably wouldn’t have ended up on a final album if the band completed its recording, still has enough to make it a highly satisfying memoire (and for Pitchfork to give it a 7.7 - ), the highs are superb, "Animal Festival" is incredible, anybody who saw the SC live show will know what I mean when I say the infectious, energetic live performance of Raa is highlighted at it's best here, "Corridors" moody demure gradually builds up through skittish rhythms and (once again) impeccable vocals. Early single and live favourite, the revamped "Lost Art (ii)" is the perfect "should have been anthem", a propelling guitar intro and killer hooks, the highlight though is the title track, the shimmering "Losing Colour" a hypnotic, majestic and soothing number which finds the band at their beautiful best.

Stricken City might be gone, but they certainly won't be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to share at least some of the journey with them.

You can order the album for just £6 here, it comes in a delightful vinyl packaging too (as well as the equally superb debut mini-lp for just a fiver) from their shop here.

Losing Colour by {Stricken City}


Stricken City - Animal Festival from Phil Sharp on Vimeo.


2. Still Corners
The first time I saw Still Corners last August the slight nod of head approval between me and the guys I was with at the end of the show spoke volumes, it was that silent indication that "we've found one here", found one we had because in the following eighteen months the London based act have become one of my favourite acts both on record and live (although I'm still sticking to my previous comment that their live dynamic is more suited to a five piece rather than four - perhaps I'll get used to it).

2011 has seen the band play probably a handful of London shows as well as pick up high praise for their SXSW performances, their live show is (besides my minor criticism above) sensational, soaring guitars, hollow drums and twinkling keys create mystical, hazy dreamscapes rounded off by the ethereal beauty that is Tessa's vocal. As well as getting signed up by US indie giants Sub Pop and releasing the spellbinding debut 'Creatures of an Hour" in October. Shimmering single "Cuckoo" and "Endless Summer" return and are as immaculate as ever, the album as a whole, doesn't disappoint one bit.

It works because the material is so good, masterminded by Greg Hughes who wrote everything you hear 'Creatures of an Hour' exceptionally crafted film-noir aesthetic transports you through an expansive journey of kaleidoscope soundscapes that are delicate, beautiful and dreamy yet with an undeniably misty, dark undercurrent (though with titles such as "I Wrote in Blood" and "Demons" it's not that much of an undercurrent!). My favourites are probably "I Wrote in Blood" and "Submarine", though I also love the stunning bonus "Cabot Cave" that came on a free flexi-disc with pre-orders. It's a stunning debut that's been really well received critically (dis 8/10) and although it's perhaps a little too soon to judge commercial success, a sold out album lunch at Cafe Oto and its rapturous applause at the end indicates to me, at least, that this is a band that's going in the right direction.

Buy the album now from Sub Pop or Rough Trade with a bonus mix CD.

Still Corners - Cuckoo by subpop


Wish from Still Corners on Vimeo.

3. Esben and the Witch
Esben and the Witch were a surprise addition (at least to me) in the long-list of the BBC sound of 2011, less of a surprise is they didn't make the top five (especially since Jessie "never heard of PJ Harvey" J scooped first place). I doubt they were too bothered. More important than a being tipped by apparent industry know-it-alls is that their debut album 'Violet Cries' (which came out way back in January via Matador) delivered on all counts, ten tracks which combine to offer a dark, mystical fairytale of uncompromising and bold intent. Equal parts beauty and misery encompassed in atmospheric gloom combining stark beauty and intense droning guitar haze washes over electronic glitches and gothic enchantress Rachel Davies' vocal incantations. It's utterly sublime and deserving of every one of the high end of year lists placing it receives - including my own.

If that wasn't enough they followed it up with the best release of Record Store Day 2011, the 'Chorea EP' is worthy of that for "Corridors Installation" alone, an eighteen minute experimental epic that starts twinkling drones before shrouding its soundscape in typically misty ambience with unsettling chants, hollow drum beats and chilling guitars, easily one of the best things you'll hear this year.

Clearly not a band to rest on their laurels (they probably don't own any either), the six part 'Hexagons' was released as a digital EP in November. A concept EP which saw the band take over their local cinema in Brighton for a number of screenings, it's overall more sparse then the album, for example where "Argyria" used military drums and building force to sweep you away where on the whole "Hexagons" is shivering ambience of swirling keys and celestial vocals. This is a band who've created a vision and then (I'm guessing) spend endless hours meticulously planning to deliver it with stunning results.

I only managed to catch Esben live twice this year, they are to be seen to be believed, enacting a hypnotic séance of foreboding drums, guitar swirls and ethereal vocals, thrashing guitars and electronic soundscapes make it hard to believe that there are just three people making this racket. Have Esben delivered? Oh yes.

Order the album now on gorgeous gatefold vinyl (and mp3s) or bonus CD version from Rough Trade.

Esben And The Witch - Warpath


Esben and the Witch - Marching Song (Official Video) from David Procter on Vimeo.

4. Lanterns on the Lake
Another band I discovered mid way through 2010 and who've spent 18 months firmly in the category of 'favourite bands' are Lanterns on the Lake, signed up by the impeccable Bella Union at the turn of the year the sextet spend the first six months playing a few shows (included the spine-tingling shows I caught at The Great Escape and finalising their album 'Gracious Tide, Take Me Home' which was released in September.

The album fulfilled every ounce of my incredible expectation, awash with natural beauty and elegance, the purposely restrained melancholia that shrouds the eleven tracks are the very definition of sensual, dreamy bliss. The soft, delicate whisper of Hazel's voice is enough to make you fall in love alone.

It's difficult to pick highlights, the album flows so beautifully it's best to sit and listen on one luscious sitting, windswept instrumentation sweeps and swoons while heartbroken melodies tug at your heart strings, the updated version of "I Love You, Sleepyhead" the perfection summation, genuinely gorgeous. Another track revisited from the early EP's "A Kingdom" is fantastic, sweeping strings and galloping beat, Hazel's voice combines perfectly with Adam's while the graceful elegance of "Keep on Trying" provides more emotional joy.

Critical acclaim has been forthcoming and a sold out show at The Lexington in November showed the band have certainly hit the right note in the capital where a show at Cargo has been announced for January - get your ticket to that here and buy the album from Rough Trade as it comes with a bonus EP that contains much superior version to album closure "Not Going Back to the Harbour" as well as two exclusive tracks.

Keep On Trying by Lanterns on the Lake


Lanterns on the Lake - You're Almost There from Bella Union on Vimeo.

5. Veronica Falls
Just part one in this review of my tips and I feel like I've been revisiting all of this years blog favourite acts, the feeling certainly isn't leaving as I come to Veronica Falls, another band snapped up by Bella Union. The London / Glasgow quartet have been favourites since early last year and the release of their signature tune 'Found Love in a Graveyard' which some eighteen months later hasn't lost any of its immediate charm and now finds itself as the lead track on the bands self-titled debut album, any song that can sing about falling in love with a ghost in a graveyard yet sound as irresistibly catchy as a Cliff Richard Christmas song (joke!) is a winner in my book.

After spending the first six months of the year quietly beavering away behind the scenes the band exploded back onto the scene with the outstanding "Come on Over" in July, it's one of the highlights of the album and contains just about everything I love about Veronica Falls, urgent pacing where cleverly constructed male/female vocal harmonies deliciously combine whilst infectious, head-nodding melodies which embed themselves around your brain.

They followed it up with another belter, the anti-feel good "Bad Feeling" a song from the same morbid scrap book as Graveyard, as well as another of the early singles “Beachy Head” and new track “Misery”. It’s not all high energy ramshackle guitars, the slower paced “Veronica Falls” is a genuine highlight where Roxanne’s usual nonchalant delivery changes to a soft, beautiful lullaby.

New shows have hinted at a quick follow-up with the band including two exceptional new tracks in their live sets, they’ve played quite a few shows around the capital recently including a few support slots where they got as good a reaction as the headliners. Rough Trade voted the album number six in their top albums of the year, hopefully another catalyst towards worldwide domination for the band.

Order the album from Rough Trade (I’m not on commission I promise) and received a five track covers EP which includes a simply wonderful rendition of the Eurythmics' "Thorn In My Side", definitely amongst the best cover versions of the year and deserving a release of its own, don't let it hide away here unheard buy it and tell your friends to do the same!

Come On Over by Veronica Falls


Veronica Falls - Bad Feeling from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

Part one over, I was on fire with those choices wasn't I? Two to follow.

Still Corners #6 - Into The Trees

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The release date for Still Corners debut full-length 'Creature of an Hour' is slowly but surely approaching (10th of October) and to wet the appetite even further the London based four-piece (though I'm still not sure why they've dropped from being a five piece) have released another new track, "Into The Trees"...

If you've been following Still Corners for a while like me then you'll know they've exquisite quality control and this, their new single, naturally follows suit, it's quite wonderful. Fully utilising their trademark cinematic soundscapes, though the misty haze that cloaks many of their previous tracks is missing, instead glistening 60's psychedelia, precise drum beats and shining guitars combine with Tessa's dream-like whispers creating another track to fall in love with.

Pre-order the CD/LP from Rough Trade and get an exclusive bonus mix-cd, they also perform an instore the day after its release, on  the 11th October as well as a headlining show at Cafe Oto on the 10th - tickets. US folks (and importers) get direct from Sub Pop for a bonus flexi-disc.

Listen:
Still Corners - Into the Trees by subpop

Here is a recently released video for the soft and shimmering beauty that is their last single "Cuckoo":

Field Day 2011 - Preview

This will be my first Field Day, I was tempted to go last year but it was the day after my birthday and the lure of curry and beers in my home-town proved more than sufficient to keep me out of East London. Taking place at Victoria Park the line-up is pretty spectacular, if the weather cools down a little (yes I'm now moaning it is too hot after weeks of asking where our summer was) it promises to be a spectacular day.

Here's my suggested day plan, there are so many great bands that clashes are inevitable so I've adopted a policy of seeing bands I've not seen / seen less / won't be seeing again in the near future (sorry Echo Lake / 2:54 and more):

The History of Apple Pie // Laneway Festival Stage // 12.00

Since I last mentioned THoAP back in early June they've been Guardian New Band of the Day and released their debut single "You're So Cool", they'll open up proceedings at midday, so make sure you head down to Victoria Park early enough to catch their beautifully melodic, hazy summers day slabs of indie pop.

The History Of Apple Pie - You're So Cool by Roundtable Records

Anika // Bloggers Delight/Lanzarote Stage // 12:45

Finally, and I do mean finally, I'll be catching Anika live, I couldn't make her last two London shows and I'm extremely excited about the chance of seeing her perform tracks from her stunning self-titled debut. Her detached, dubby take of some classic tracks delivered with her nonchalant vocals and pulsating electronic throb gives an eerie, paranoid feeling, I love it. Yes I'm looking forward to Anika

Anika has recently announced a whole host of American dates, go and see her.

Anika - Terry

Connan Mockasin // Laneway Festival Stage // 13.50

I can't remember why but I missed Connan Mockasin at Primavera and will certainly try to correct that on Saturday. He has a distinctive, unique and undoubtedly strange style. I'm interested to see how his psychedelic / spaced-out / weirdo tracks translate on-stage, if nothing else it's going to be a little bit out there.

Don't believe me? Check out the video:


Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (The Line of Best Fit session) from The Line Of Best Fit on Vimeo.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti // Village Mentality Stage // 14.45

From one leftfield and creative artist to another, with Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti whose combination of 70's funk, hippy psychedelia and pop melodies provided one of last years most critically acclaimed albums and it should be an intriguing listen.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Can't Hear My Eyes

Electrelane // Main Stage // 16:30

When Field Day was originally announced with the return of Electrelane at it's forefront a thousand indie-boy's had good dreams that night, I missed their sold-out Scala show, so this will be my first time catching them since their re-form.

Encompassing weaving guitar riffs, breezy vocals and swirling organ, Electrelane will be on stage showing why everyone got quite so excited when they announced the comeback. I  cannot wait to here "The Valley" and "To The East" live.

Electrelane - To The East

Zola Jesus // Bloggers Delight/Lanzarote Stage // 16:50

One of the most annoying clashes mean I could well end up missing half of the Zola Jesus set (thankfully I'm due to see Nika at both End of the Road and her headlining London show in September), the introduction to her forthcoming album "Vessel" was simply incredible and I can't wait to hear the rest of 'Conatus'. One of the most striking voices in the industry and such a prolific and exceptional songstress. If this is your only chance to see ZJ, don't miss out.

Zola Jesus - Vessel

Visions of Trees // Do You Come Here Often? Stage // 17:40

Visions of Trees released "Sometimes It Kills" back in February, a track I really like and probably should have blogged in its own right, after the initial hype in all honesty I forgot about the duo until I was looking through the Field Day schedule and saw their name.

I'll definitely go and check them out, the atmospheric, ethereal dreaminess of "Sometimes it Kills" should translate perfectly, some of their other tracks like "Sorrow" have a darker, late-night club feel - should be interesting in an East London park then!

Sometimes It Kills by Visions of Trees

Still Corners // Do You Come Here Often? Stage // 18:30

Still Corners aren't to be missed, the days until their debut pass by slowly but surely, it's going to be one of my favourite albums of the year without doubt. Everything the London based group have done so far has been to die for, from the kaleidoscope soundscapes of "History of Love" to the fleeting beauty of "Wish" and ambient, shimmering wash of "Cuckoo". To die for I tell you.

Still Corners - Cuckoo

Warpaint // Main Stage // 18.55

Warpaint appear to be at every festival I've been to this year, I think that says a lot for their intensive touring schedule since probably early last year. I've seen them eight times now I think and I'm anything but bored, I'll probably have to miss the first ten minutes walking from SC's but once I'm there I won't be moving for anybody. I don't need to explain who and what Warpaint are again but if you've been living in the mountains this past year, get ready for your jaw to hit the floor.

Warpaint by warpaintwarpaint

Veronica Falls // Do You Come Here Often? Stage // 21:00

One of my initial tips for 2011 spent the first half of the year in relative silence before announcing that they'd signed to Bella Union and were releasing their debut LP in September, it's going to be a cracker too.

This is what I said about them in December 2010 and it's stand's almost true today "Found Love in a Graveyard" is one of my songs of the year, it's a lovely little ramshackle of infectious and basically bloody brilliant indie pop and one song which sums up the mood of Veronica Falls very well. Fast paced, lyrically dark and to coin one of my most used lines on this blog; gorgeous ethereal vocals. "Starry Eyed" a jangly sugary-sweet pop song shows them in a slightly lighter frame of mind, but one equally good (impressive)."

Veronica Falls - Come On Over by Bella Union

Factory Floor // Shacklewell Arms/Lock Tavern Stage // 21:20

Last but by no means least ending my day (unless I go to an after-show but after ten hours on my feet who knows how likely that is) will be Factory Floor, whose industrial sounds built around metronomic, hypnotic pulses are repetitive and utterly compelling.

Lying by Factory Floor