Saturday, 23 July 2016

Genre Wander: Hilary Woods - Slow Down Molasses - Ablebody - The Wolfhounds

Hilary Woods - Sabbath.

Background bio - Hilary Woods is a music and visual artist from Dublin, Ireland. As a teenager she recorded two double platinum selling albums on Columbia Records as bass player in Irish indie trio JJ72, touring extensively in Europe, the US and Japan. At twenty two she hung up her bass for a paint brush, left the band and welcomed the arrival of a baby girl that same year. She enrolled in fine art college just as her friends were all graduating and dropped out midst her first group critique, opting to study English Lit and Film instead. Throughout college she became increasingly restless, suffered long bouts of insomnia and was slowly drawn back to what had stuck; basic piano chords her father had taught her as a child. She started piecing together ideas for piano thru headphones as her flatmates slept and after drifting in and out of various bands around the city, she made a decision to concentrate on her own material, tentatively crafting songs and exploring a sound world which culminated in the making of her debut solo EP “Night”.

“Night” was curated and launched alongside her experimental film of the same title as part of a performance art piece in 2014‘s Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival to critical acclaim. Since then she’s played a handful of underground gigs in Dublin, London, Paris and Berlin, and spent the entirety of 2015 quietly writing and recording tracks at home and in the studio. On June 10th 2016, Hilary released her follow-up EP “Heartbox” on the UK independent label Blood Orange. Her new record has been described as a sonic nordic noir. Far more electronic in sound than her last outpouring, it is a mood-driven lyrical three-track trilogy; part ethereal apocalyptic synth-gaze, layered over bass laden beats.


Over on BeeVids we have the new video for 'Sabbath', on this page we have the audio. Having been into JJ72 since the first song I heard by them, I am always keen to hear Hilary Woods solo work. 'Sabbath' is quite stunning, it has other-worldly vibes, and slowly builds into something quite dramatic, whilst always refined. From a personal perspective the EP Heartbox, is a must have.

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Slow Down Molasses - Moon Queen.

Background - Formed in 2006 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Slow Down Molasses rank among Western Canada’s finest musical exports. Their third album, 100% Sunshine, will be released on September 2, 2016 on Noyes Records, and forges new sonic territory for the band while retaining their unique hybrid of ’90s Anglophilia and contemporary Canadian rock. 

2015’s Burnt Black Cars was hailed as “drug-drenched psych-pop” by Q magazine and “immediately memorable and timeless” by The Line of Best Fit, with the band going on to share the stage with the New Pornographers, Swervedriver, Built to Spill, Preoccupations (fka Viet Cong) and the Besnard Lakes. Veterans of festivals across North America (SXSW, CMJ, NXNE, Sled Island) as well as European (Incubate, End of the Road, Liverpool Sound City, Great Escape, Reeperbahn, Nouvelle Prague), the band are renowned as a euphoric live experience, with Exclaim praising their “huge, stadium-ready sound and colourful presence”. Slow Down Molasses are singer/guitarist Tyson McShane, drummer Jordan Kurtz, bassist Chris Morin, guitarist/keyboardist Aaron Scholz, guitarist Levi Soulodre and keyboardist/singer Jeanette Stewart. Moon Queen is the first single from the bands third studio album 100% Sunshine.

31 August @ Sebright Arms, London, UK
1 Sept @ the Cellar, Oxford, UK
2-4 Sept @ End of the Road Festival, Wiltshire, UK
8-11 Sept @ Incubate Festival, Tilburg, NL
16 September @ Amigos, Saskatoon - record release show


'Moon Queen' is a sonic wall of psychedelic rock'n'roll  mixed with shoegaze and a few other ingredients. With live dates and a new album on the way, they are definately worth keeping an eye on.

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Ablebody - Backseat Heart.

Background - Ablebody is an LA-based duo comprised of identical twins Christoph and Anton Hochheim (members of Pains Of Being Pure At Heart / Depreciation Guild). They've been quietly releasing music under this moniker since 2013, self-releasing an EP and 7" single, crafting remixes and demoing original material as well as a myriad of covers.

Drawing from the raw grandeur of the 60's, the melodicism of soft 70s pop and the sophisticated side of romantic 80s synth pop, Ablebody stand suspended between decades; students of the past but far from retro fetishists. Their musical prowess is evident but the songwriting remains tastefully direct at all times, with arrangements that bend and move in surprising ways but tastefully blanket the overarching sentiment of the songs in a way that we rarely hear in this decade.

The duo have recently taken their sound from the bedroom to the studio, working with Cole M. Grief-Neill (Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Nite Jewel, Julia Holter, The Samps) and Kenny Gilmore (Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti) to craft songs with a more visceral edge than they've explored in the past. Daniel Rosenbaum (Pomar) and Jordan Sabolick (Mt. Ossa) have joined the duo to help bring the songs to life and add new dimension to the live dynamic. Their debut full length record Adult Contemporaries will be released by Lolipop Records on October 14, 2016.


'Backseat Heart' is fresh sounding and a very catchy song. Overall I would describe their sound as indie pop, with a nod to the past, however with their production firmly in the present. This is a bright summers day type song, that brings it's own lift with it.

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The Wolfhounds - Now I'm A Killer.

Background - Thirty years on from the influential C86 compilation, indie-pop pioneers The Wolfhounds are back with their sixth full-length Untied Kingdom (…or how to come to terms with your culture) and are sharing the first single ‘Now I’m A Killer’. The single is a riotous blast of guitar music, maintaining the same expert delivery and charm that has seen them continue to churn out some of the best in indie-rock for three decades. It’s an engrossing mix of the 80s indie they themselves coined, carefree post-punk and anthemic pop propelled by biting, jangly guitars and snarling vocals.

The C86 compilation to this day is seen as a pinnacle point in the history of indie-pop, a cassette compilation put together by NME with the idea of collectively recognising and championing the best in underground music at the time. One of those bands was The Wolfhounds, whilst some of the C86 alumni (Primal Scream, The Pastels, The Wedding Present and more) went on to acquire worldwide success and a cult following, The Wolfhounds maintained their prominence in the DIY community and are an acknowledged influence on the ongoing history of underground guitar music including Nirvana and Manic Street Preachers as well as numerous modern indie-pop and post-punk bands.

Originally formed as teenagers in 1984, The Wolfhounds appeared on the legendary and influential C86 cassette, and released four critically acclaimed LPs and many singles before disbanding in 1990, after touring the UK and Continent extensively, on their own and with The Wedding Present, House of Love, My Bloody Valentine and McCarthy, among others. The band reformed in 2006 at the invitation of St Etienne’s Bob Stanley to celebrate 20 years since their debut release and C86 at the ICA in London, and since 2012 they have been recording and releasing new material.

After last year's recent singles compilation Middle Aged Freaks and the almost simultaneous reissue of their 1986 debut Unseen Ripples From A Pebble,  the band will be releasing their first standalone LP since 1990's Attitude.


'Now I'm A Killer' has something a little frantic and unsettling about it, created in part by the constant beat and surging guitar work. The lyrics demand your attention, in what is a raw and uncompromising piece of genuine rock music. I would not expect anything less, from a band of this calibre.

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