Well, It's been a while but after a prolonged Christmas break I have returned, eager as ever to share the cream of the crop of the music to emerge during the past week. Being a little more lenient with tracks that I may have missed over the last few week's, I've got some big tracks from St. Vincent and Liars and interesting new turn from Wild Beasts And the first track from Dean Wareham (of Galaxie 500) first solo record amongst a whole host of other delights.
Wild Beasts - Wanderlust
The new single from the articulate British band sees them put aside their guitars for something more upfront and electronic. Synthetic choirs and bass lines are powered forward by a simple by mesmeric drum beat as singer Hayden Thorpe delivers lyrics like “don't confuse me with someone who gives a fuck” that would be abrasive and confrontational if it wasn't for his soft voice. The groups fourth album Present Tense is out on Domino on the 24th February.
St. Vincent - Digital Witness
You might have already heard , the first single from St Vincent's new self-titled album. Where as that sound was wild and restless Digital Witness, the second single from that album, settles straight away into a funky and assured groove carried by a triumphant horn section, before taking you into a big and clear chorus by Annie Clark's standards. The album St. Vincent will be out Feb 24 on Loma Vista.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing)
So song's title may be a little convoluted, especially when the most discernible lyrics from the American dream pop band are the straightforward “Sometimes I feel so happy I'm in love with you” but it's hard to deny the groups knack for writing a good songs, especially for some uprising touches like the twisted and filtered vocals that sound straight out of some EDM forming one of the biggest hooks. The group are promising a new record this year following a successful Kickstarter campaign and if it is half as joyous as this track we're in for a treat.
Liars - Mess On A Mission
Liar's last album, the hard to pronounce WIXIW, saw them wholeheartedly embracing electronics and bending these instruments to fit into their dark and uneasy world. This first track from their latest record sees the three piece continuing down that same rabbit hole, with an almost motorik dance beat holding together disparate blips and bleeps amongst some frantic vocals. It's new, but still unmistakably the work of Liars. The new album MESS will be released on 24th March on Mute.
Angel Olsen - Hi-Five
Hi-Five is the second single from Angel Olsen's forthcoming sophmore record Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Whilst the song rolls along at a mid-tempo country shuffle, Olsen shows off her voice as she strains “All I need is someone whole believes/Sometimes” a positive, or at least accepting, take on finding someone who shares your feelings of loneliness. The album is out Feb 18 on Jagjaguwar.
Dean Wareham - Holding Pattern
The one-time front man of Galaxie 500, has racked up a considerable discography with a bunch of bands over the years but it has taken him this long to put out an album under his own name. The record was produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and on this track Holding Pattern Wareham still keeps some of the intimacy of his first group with this track alongside some humorous referencing of 80's rock groups. His self titled solo album will be out on Sonic Cathedral on March 10.
Marissa Nadler - Was It A Dream
Marrissa Nadler has been quietly putting out her own brand of dreamy folk for some years now and shows no signs of slowing down with a new record on the way next month. Was It A Dream sees her in fine form, accompanied by a string section creating a slow building momentum alongside a spectral vocal line that floats about through the chorus. Nadler's new album July will see the light of day on February10th through Bella Union.
Bibio - Down To The Sound
I'm gonna finish up this week's column with some lush stripped back folk from electronic producer Bibio. His use of electronics take a back seat on Down To The Sound as the gently picked guitar and soft vocals that create a pastoral effect that could have come from a decades old English folk record. The track shows up on The Green EP, which follows the release of his album Silver Wilkinson last year. The EP is set for release on 27th January via Warp Records.