Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Midweek Muse: Thrushes - Day One - Tiger Choir - East Of Here

Thrushes - Joan Of Arc.

Background (with bird facts) - Thrushes; part of the Passerine bird family. The songs of some species are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world. Baltimore's Thrushes bring a similar beauty to the human world with Exposing Seas, their first full length in 5 years. 

Formed in 2005, the band's previous efforts (2007's Sun Come Undone and 2010's Night Falls) garnered the kind of glowing praise most indie acts could only hope for. Now, with Seas and its swirling, reverb-drenched guitars and dreamy, yet plaintively delivered vocals, the album brings to mind a mix of the classic shoegaze era-gone-by, Hounds of Love 'Bush-isms' and a splash of 90's emo-progenitors Rainer Maria resulting in Thrushes most focused work to date. 

On the band's approach to this new album, singer Anna says "Exposing Seas is an album that shows our growth as a band. We worked so hard over the past few years to create songs that were larger and louder than before without losing the ethereal mood (of the band's previous work)."  Lyrically, she says "a lot of the songs have a dark feel, or a hint of longing.  I guess that's just where I end up when I write even if the words aren't autobiographical." 

Recorded and produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office of Future Plans) at Magpie Cage Studios (Baltimore, MD), Exposing Seas was released around a month ago, on Florida's New Granada Records.

As the music gradually builds, the vocals add another layer, that blends beautifully within this shoegaze anthem. Whilst some seek to turn the genre into a harder 'wall of noise' sound, Thrushes demonstrate that there is plenty still to be explored on the melodic side.


Day One - Eon (Ft. Isabel Higuero) [EP Version].

Background - Day One, who was one of the first artists to release with Monstercat back in their early days, has just released an EP as a comeback with SectionZ Records (his first new material since 2013). The EP is called 'Serenity,' and explores the softer, more beautiful side of electronic music.

Featuring gorgeous vocals from Isabel Higuero and Aloma Steele, respectively, the two vocal tracks "Eon" and "Serenity," find Day One using lush piano, bell backdrops, a driving backbeat, and some subtle basslines to create breathtaking backdrops for both of these talented vocalists. The instrumentals "Moonburn" and "Antarctica" take on more dancefloor-friendly sounds in the realms of house and drum and bass, respectively.

Day One has played shows with artists like Katy B, Krafty Kuts, and Fox Stevenson, and his last few releases in 2013 reached the Top 10 Overall on Bandcamp and the Top 25 on Beatport's Dubstep  chart, along with breaking into the Top 100 on Beatport DnB. This EP is meant to represent, in the artist's own words, "a one-man journey through space, with 'Eon' being the launch of the spaceship from Earth (depicted stunningly in the artwork), the two middle tracks 'Moonburn' and 'Serenity' being about travelling through space (Serenity is also about memories of Earth whilst in deep space) and the final track, 'Antarctica', about the homeward journey and arrival back on Earth."

'Eon' demonstrates just how 'natural' electronic music can be. On the featured track Isabel Higuero delivers stunning vocals, if you like this as much as I do, then this EP is a must. On 'Serenity' Aloma Steele is equally delightful, you can't really go wrong with this one.


Tiger Choir - Interstate.

Promo Words - When life gets hectic, the stress of work shoots way past boiling point, and everything feels like a mammoth effort, we all turn to the same four words to comfort us: "I need a holiday". But if you don't have the time or funds to actually take off someplace different, Tiger Choir has the next best thing: their hazy, jubilant anthem to getting the hell outta dodge, 'Interstate'.

Enveloped by a comforting blanket of muffled reverb, the harmony-driven track sports a decidedly retro vibe that makes it essential summer play list fodder. Following the success of indie pop gems 'Shani' and 'All Time', it's the third single from Tiger Choir's second LP - to be released in the very near future.

Recently wooing crowds at Bigsound, Tiger Choir have also shared stages with the likes of Courtney Barnett, The Preatures, The Drums and Deerhunter. They've shown their worth on the festival circuit too, scoring spots on the lineups for Falls Festival, Camp A Low Hum (NZ), Dark Mofo and A Festival Called Panama. With a hat-trick of feel-good singles now under the belt, album number two is promising to be one well worth the wait - and Tiger Choir show no signs of slowing down.

As the song unfolds the vocals at first reminded me of Mark Burgess from UK band The Chameleons, well until the chorus, when they go places Mr Burgess can only dream of (or keeps to himself). Seriously this is unpretentious, upbeat indie pop, with enough natural, mood lifting energy, that professional miseries will struggle not to submit to.


East Of Here - Don't Need You.

And we quote - "Youth is wasted on the young" - this is the sentiment portrayed by Sydney duo East of Here in their latest single 'Don't Need You'. The track lunges straight for the heartstrings, invoking aching regret and melancholy with erratic percussion and tortured vocals. It's a tale that hits all too close to home, inspired by what is popularly referred to as "hook-up culture". Raw, honest and stunning 'Don't Need You' is a song that you definitely need.

After a stint earlier in the year at Mountain Sounds Festival playing alongisde the likes of Safia, The Kite String Tangle and Northeast Party House, and later a support show for Gordi, the dynamic duo are ready to take matters into their own hands. East Of Here will launch 'Don't Need You' in a not-to-be-missed performance at The Oxford Art Factory on the 29th of October.

As 'youth is wasted on the young' if it can be passed on, I'm up for any going spare. Actually it's surprising how easy it is, to forget the angst of younger times. Leaving that aside this is a really good song, whatever the background.


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