Echo Lake – Another Day
No Pain In Pop
London 5 piece Echo Lake show no sign of slowing their ascent with a new 7”. They’re releasing it through No Pain in Pop like they did with their last ep, the now sold out and utterly brilliant Young Silence, and it’s a continuation of the music we heard from them then. Apparently it’s “about being in a shitty job and weird state of mind and drowning in the boredom of the same old day to day routine”. While there is a melancholic edge to the music, that description belies the beauty of it all, the word “ethereal” seems to crop up in relation often enough with Echo Lake’s music that it feels tired to trot it out again but it really does fit. The fragile beauty of Linda’s voice and the warm fuzzy tones of the guitar mean it’s a tag they wont shake with these songs. Slightly unrelated but if you’ve not watched Dan Nixon’s kinnect hacking video for the last single, you really ought to go back and do so. http://vimeo.com/19356569
Stairs To Korea – Small Fractures ep
Now…No NOW Records
This release sees Will Vaughan step away from the excellent Brainlove records to start his own label, the slightly bizarrely named, now…Now NOW Records. Well, I say step away pretty loosely, 3 of the 4 tracks you get on this were released as 7” by Brainlove, but if you didn’t get them then it’s well worth picking them up in one nice little package here. If you’re ordering from the Stairs To Korea website, you can also get the record with a short run zine that Will made and a home made demo cd featuring some brand new songs. A lovely if slightly twee offer, the zine even includes a crossword. When was the last time you got a record that came with a crossword? OK, I’m easily swayed by novelty but the best thing about the release is obviously the music so it doesn’t matter if you’re not. Will’s complexly layered indie pop is truly astounding, especially when you consider all these harmonised vocals and instruments appear to be the work of one man. Small Fractures E.P – 4 Track 7″ Vinyl & CD Available 18th July 2011 by stairstokorea
S.C.U.M – Amber Sounds
It feels like it has taken forever for S.C.U.M to get to this point. The debut lp is finally ready, as in it’s been recorded and got a release date and everything. They first arrived on the scene a couple of years ago, part of that whole loosely post punk/spend too much time on your appearance and not enough time on your music thing that unfortunately gripped the capital for a while. Thankfully, most of those bands don’t even exist anymore. And for a while you could have been forgiven for thinking the same was true of S.C.U.M, instead they seem to have decided to take a step back from the spotlight till they were ready. While they have maintained a strong visual aesthetic; there’s a Matthew Stone directed video for the single, they have also been working away, crafting music of greater scope than you’re likely to expect if you saw them the first time around and haven’t caught any of their more recent shows. If the single is anything to go by we’re in for something of a grandiose album.
Seams – Focus Energy
Seams is James Welch, a young producer who has been building an impressive level of momentum behind himself of late. Partly through a seemingly reasonable level of internet fervor, partly through a relentless tour schedule which seems to be taking him through different countries more often than I go to different post codes, but mainly through just making very very good electronic music. This is the follow up to an ep called Tourist that was the result of James moving to Berlin for the summer. I’m not sure if this record had a similar geographical inspiration. It’s out on Pictures Music, a really brilliant label, who are releasing some of the most interesting dance music around at the moment from their base in South London. The music is a confrontation of digital and dance cultures, synthetic game like bleeps arranged into futuristic glitchy brilliance.