CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
British dark folk guitarist Matt Elliott is the subject of the documentary What a fuck am i doing on this battlefield, which you can now rent online.

The music of the British folk guitarist Matt Elliott (of the Third Eye Foundation Fame) has always been unrelentingly bleak. His Eastern European-influenced style, which he refined over the course of his “Drinking Songs” trilogy, reached its apotheosis in 2011’s spare and brutal The Broken Man, a gorgeous and depressive collection that foregrounds Elliott’s superb fingerstyle guitar playing. In 2013, Elliott brought a full band on board for his most sophisticated recording to date, the cheekily titled Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart. His shadowy music is equally met by his reticent public persona. Although he gives out few interviews, he is the subject of the 2013 documentary What a fuck am i doing on this battlefield, which filmmakers Julien Fezans and Nico Peltier have now made available for rent via Vimeo.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Featuring what might become the official surf rock jam of Brooklyn, Sarah McGowan's Indian Summer is an EP filled with ebullient sing-alongs and hooks aplenty.

No, you’re not mistaken: on “Williamsburg Boy”, the opening track of her new EP, Indian Summer, New York City-based songwriter Sarah McGowan is indeed singing about the ever-bourgeoning Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg and not the California coast. Such a mistake is forgivable given the tune’s sunny surf rock vibes, in addition to its well-placed Valley Girl-ism (“I would literally fucking die”). Although this sonic isn’t repeated throughout Indian Summer, the rest of it does match “Williamsburg Boy”‘s elating handclaps and effortless hook, resulting in a brief yet undeniably catchy collection of indie pop numbers. McGowan is a singer that fans of twee pop best keep their eye out for.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Low-key bluesiness defines "Beginning of the End", a track by the Canadian folk project Astral Swans, which arose from a disturbing case of seagull cannibalism.

The Calgary, Alberta-based singer/songwriter Matthew Swann, who goes by the artistic moniker Astral Swans, declares on the title of his new LP that All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson. Though that influence does crop up throughout the record, it’s also hard to imagine that legendary country singer warbling out lines such as, “Who told the kids in the yard that they¹re mostly dust? / Now they just stay drunk / Keep getting more fucked up”. Such cynicism about the world is an undercurrent throughout All My Favorite Singers, particularly on the song from which the aforementioned lyrics come from, “Beginning of the End”. The track, built on a basic blues structure, incorporates scratchy bits of distortion amidst Swann’s bleak musings, which derive from an act of violence within nature. To hear more about this morbid story and to stream “Beginning of the End”, read and listen more below.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Dark and brooding, "By the Waves" finds the Swedish collective Baron Bane playing off the grim sonic world of bands like Massive Attack and Porcupine Tree.

“By the Waves”, the latest tune by the Swedish outfit Baron Bane, is described by the group as “a dark and dreamlike story about losing your grip on reality and being pulled out by the waves into the unknown.” Far from the kind of flowery language music writers—this one included—often lean on, this description gets right to the brooding heart of “By the Waves”. Opening with a dark, pulsating cloud of distortion and bass drum reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, the band then brings in a moody piano chord progression that frames the song. Then the march-ready drums enter, matching the rhythm of the piano. This builds an intensity that doesn’t let up until the track has reached its last second—when, one would imagine, the unknown has finally been reached.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
After teaming up with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, the reputable singer/songwriter Andy Kim reinvigorated his musical passions with his new LP, It's Decided.

You might now him as Baron Longfellow—or just Longfellow—but no matter the name changes he’s undergone, Andy Kim ( Andrew Youakim) has never shed his distinctive songwriting voice. Having been active in the music world since the early ‘60s, Kim has a musical pedigree that is beyond reproach. Most famously, he cut the number one 1974 single “Rock Me Gently”, as well as the classic Archies tune “Sugar, Sugar”. It’s been quite a long time since those years, but Kim hasn’t lost any of his verve, as evinced by his latest studio affair, It’s Decided. For this record, Kim teamed up with Broken Social Scene founding member Kevin Drew, who proved to be a boon to Kim in the recording process. One of the fruits of this artistic union, “Longest Time”, can be streamed below. The track is indicative of Kim’s impressively young-sounding voice and his knack for effervescent melodies.


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