February. Rubbish isn’t it? It’s famous for a day when you are encouraged to make pancakes and a day you are encouraged to spend lots of money on flowers or chocolate. That’s it. But if anyone can help drag us all through it then we can. And why? Well, we have lots and lots of musical treats for your delectation. For example you should see the special vinyl edition of Father John Misty’s prepost-a-folk treat ‘I Love You, Honeybear’. Open the gatefold and it plays a song. We also have the LAST EVER copies of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s ‘Live at L'Étrange Festival 2004’ and this week sees a plethora of further new releases. Here is an easy-on-the-eye countdown of best of them...
- Lightning in the Twilight Hour is the latest missive from ex Field Mice leader Bob Wratten and look who he’s brought with him: former Field Mice bassist Michael Hiscock. And yes, it’s great….as you might expect.
- Vision Fortune do some weird shit in a kinda Liars-like, all over the place style. You should check it out.
- Tuff Love are two lassies from Glasgow making some severely catchy grungy pop music on Lost Map.
- Manchester gloomsters Last Harbour give us another slice of their cinematic sweeping sound on Gizeh.
- Blond bombshell Tim Burgess gives us a 12” of remixes from his much admired ‘Oh No I Love You’ album (celeb pals Peaking Lights, Grumbling Fur Carter Tutti and others help out).
- Kath Bloom poses alongside a horse on her first album in five years of veteran folk pluckings.
- Yoko Ono turns up twice: once with a collaboration with John Zorn, which will have ears everywhere running for cover, and once for a comedic yet heartfelt Phil-baiting collab with Antony.
- Former Tarentel lad Jefre Cantu-Ledesma gives us plenty of timely romantic abstraction on a new 9/10 album on Mexican Summer.
- Dubby metal sludgers Om have made another album recorded live in concert. Booming bassing and pinging snare drum overload.
- Nasal Jonathan Richman like outsiders The Wave Pictures unleash yet another album. Their best yet reckons Hayley.
- Francois and the Atlas Mountains went all the way to Africa to record their new 12”. All you have to do is click the internet once to reward them with a purchase.
- Live kraut psych meanderings from scousers Mugstar appear alongside legend of the genre Damo Suzuki.
- Accomplished and sophisticated indie-pop from Tigercats.
- Oh look, Peace have a new album out.
- Hey Colossus throw caution to the wind and make some prepost-a-riffage...and why not?
- Father John Misty -- he’s a one isn’t he? From chubby Fleet Foxes drummer to suave peddler of grand folk, his much triumphed new album is in.
- Ff aren’t the shoegaze band FF but Ff, a band comprising of a White Hills guy and ...er...someone else.
- The God in Hackney make cold propulsive kraut rock.
- Two ridiculously limited albums by Mauricio Bianchi sit alongside a new record from Masonna on Urashime. All of them limited to just 99 copies.
- Phil REALLY likes the sleeve to this new The Aquadolls LP.
- Duke Garwood slowly unfurls some drifty Mark Lanegan/Tom Waits style desert-friendly drifting.
- Das Sombreros make eerie dynamic sound collages that straddle the line between comfortable/alien.
- Midaircondo make beautiful electro-acoustic compositions in front of a live studio audience.
- Vanessa Amara are two men, neither of whom are called Vanessa, making ghostly Richter/Hecker flavoured ambience.
- Brendon Moeller releases three different flavours of ambient techno on one 12” on Echocord Colour.
- Radiophonic folk via the Darlington and Stockton railway by Donald Frazer.
- Ena make “bass music” somewhere between techno and dubstep. All killer, no filler says Laurie.
- Bass deities Shackleton and Pinch get together for an album of floor-shaking beats.
- Seven Davis Jr makes some fresh sounding jaunty soul-tronics on Ninja Tune
Not many this week. If you like the vibrant French indie of Phoenix you can now pick up a few of their albums re-issued on vinyl. If you don’t you could try Semool from the 1960s who sit in the exact sweet spot between Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, or avant collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, who count a young and fresh faced Ennio Morricone amongst their number. Or you could buy nothing if you wish? Don’t worry -- we won’t be too upset.
Fans of small records should really think about the Scottish Enlightenment 7” where 4 slow moving Scottish indie songs are housed in an amazing 7” pack with debris. Or you could buy the new Johnny Marr single. Your choice.
And now the time has come to wave goodbye
We ask just one thing before we fly,
Promise us there’ll be no tears.
That’s your lot, we’re gone. Cheers.
Clinton has been your host. Everyone else has been your hard-working team.
Best records this week
According to our review team at least...