Friday Five: Wojtek the bear - Twin Graves - Tiergarten - Brooklyn Doran - Ranch Ghost

Wojtek the bear - Dead from the waist up.

Background promo - Glasgow four piece wojtek the bear release their debut single “dead from the waistup” on 17th June. Their debut offering marries quintessential indie pop songwriting with melodies and hooks as big as mountains.

The single was recorded and produced by Chris McCrory of band catholic action and is accompanied by a video shot in the wilds of South Lanarkshire by Beth Chalmers whose recent clients include Low and Martha Ffion.

The band will be playing a number of shows in the coming months to support the release including a launch gig on 16th June at Govanill Baths in Glasgow and 19th August at DF Concerts catapult showcase at the Record Factory in Glasgow.

'Dead from the waist up' is my introduction to Wojtek The Bear. It's a breezy indie pop song and for me it's just a delight. Catchy and with lyrics worth taking in, it's a fine way to get to know a bands music.


Twin Graves - Strife.

Background promo - After emerging last year with debut EP ‘Walk In Circles’ and singles ‘Love You To Death’ & ‘No Future’, Irish/Blackpool duo Twin Graves return with brand new single ‘Strife’ which will impact 17th June.

‘Strife’ is taken from the bands forthcoming second EP ‘Exiled’, produced by Matt Peel (Eagulls, Bad Breeding) and recorded at The Nave studios in Leeds. ‘Strife’ is about reaching a crossroad in life and questioning the choices in front of you but ultimately following your heart rather than head. ‘Strife’ captures the post punk attitude of previous releases but also nods to the avant-garde pop sounds of bands such as Talking Heads.

Twin Graves are: Jeremy Aris Polychronopoulos (vocals/guitar) Zarah Lawless (vocals/bass/synth).

The duo Twin Graves create quite a powerful sound with the new song 'Strife'. Vocals are really good and a key feature, as the song develops they are slowly engulfed by the ever growing soundtrack.


Tiergarten - Der Zorn Gottes.

Background promo - It was late 2013, when Mats Rybø, a songwriter for the girls in the famous band Katzenjammer started to get serious attention for forming the band Tiergarten. His delicate vocals may garner much of the attention but the electronic sound wrapped in an effortless power-perormance is what unifies the sound's entirety.

Tiergarten has refined and perfected their style into a new sound that they feel encapsulates the essence of pop music with a rock dynamic, alternating between moments full of drama and a delightful energy. The Oslo based band members are: Mats Rybø, Anne Marit Bergheim, Odd Kristian Svedal, Stian Sveen and Trine Skullestad Hølland.

The first single, "Der Zorn Gottes", is driven by the two lead vocals and its perfectly balanced synths. The topic concerns megalomaniacs, the driven and twisted individuals who think they act on behalf of higher powers. It fuels a passion within the person that is simultaneously righteous and reviled, a dangerous dichotomy that plays perfectly into the strengths on display within the song.

According to the band 'Der Zorn Gottes' "concerns the megalomaniacs, the angry and twisted avengers who think they act on behalf of higher powers". They then add that "catchy synth pop" follows. Well I completely agree with the song being catchy, in fact it's something of an epic. Very impressive!


Brooklyn Doran - Paper Wings.

Background from Brooklyn - “Paper Wings” is the first single from my forthcoming album “These Paper Wings”. The song began as a poem that I wrote several years ago, that I revisited when writing for the album.

The single and the album were recorded over 2015 and 2016 at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton Ontario. Produced, mixed and recorded by Dan Hosh (City and Colour, Arkells, Rose Cousins) and mastered by Elliott Brood's Stephen Pitkin at Modest Heights Recording. 

The track tells the story of Icarus, but is told from the perspective of the sun. I feel like this song, while still in the realm of indie-folk is a truer representation of where I feel I am musically right now.

A big part of the process for me is creating a conversation through music. And it's something I am incredibly interested in. It's one of the main reasons that I make music and put it out into the world. 'These Paper Wings' is set for release in September 2016.

'Paper Wings' is a gentle song, that demonstrates just what a really fine voice Brooklyn Doran has. Musically it's a quite laid back, acoustic piece, just right and in all a delightful song.


Ranch Ghost - Ragged Mile.

Background promo - Lookin was recorded almost entirely live and produced by Mitch Jones (Fly Golden Eagle, Thunderbitch, Majestico) at his studio in East Nashville. This album was Ranch Ghost's first endeavor into recording the sonic incarnation of each of its member's thoughts, inspirations, and creative energy. The band has been audibly molded by the vibrations of Link Wray and Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, while the influence of Nina Simone, Hank Williams, and Miles Davis remains slightly obscured underneath the murky surface.

Jones helped bring forth into the world a musical apparition, simultaneously bearing the primal growl of The Velvet Underground and the punctured speaker cones of The Kinks. Deliberately injected within this chaos, there lies the necessary space for singer Joshua Meador’s prose to be able to stand comfortably, but with canines bared.

Upcoming Ranch Ghost Tour Dates:

6/18 - Nashville, TN - The East Room (album release show, w/ Clear Plastic Masks and Sun Seeker)
7/15 - Memphis, TN - Mud Island Amphitheater (w/ Alabama Shakes).

There's plenty of energy and rock'n'roll vibes in 'Ragged Mile' a song that thumps along, taking the listener with it. The band do indeed have a live feel about them, and the music is all the richer for that.