Six Of The Best: The Last Exposure - Uncle Lucius - Parlour Tricks - Soft Ledges - Anna Atkinson - Scott Taylor

The Last Exposure - Human.

Background - The Last Exposure releases their brand new single ’Human’, following the success of their debut ‘Echo’, ’Human’ is an uplifting song about not feeling as though one belongs in their body and does not in fact feel human. The Last Exposure offer an early 90’s alternative rock punch fronted by sassy and powerful vocals. They take pride in their performance - its rock, it’s loud and it’s fierce.

The Sydney band has been playing gigs in the city, non-stop since it’s inception in 2015, in that short life span supporting the likes of Hands like Houses, L-Fresh the Lion, Columbus, Camp Cope and Philadelphia’s Cayetana. The band met while studying their music degrees at university, travelling up to two hours each way just to rehearse and write together. With finishing their courses, they decided to take their original material and continue as The Last Exposure.

Chelsea Barnes, singer, says, “It’s a song about getting to the bottom, feeling that low and really hating yourself for it! I wanted the song to be uplifting. I wanted it to say ‘Well hey, you may feel low but you’re not alone and you’re beautiful’.”

The band recorded and produced the single with Australian record producer Lachlan Mitchell at Parliament Studios (formerly Jungle) in Leichhardt, Sydney. Facebook here.

Mixing power and passion 'Human' is a fine rocker of a song. There's a video for it (here), for me however the audio stands on it's own, in a fine alt rock piece.


Uncle Lucius - Don't Own The Right.

Background - Following the success of their recent single ‘Age of Reason’ and the response to its cinematic video, Uncle Lucius have confirmed the next UK/Europe single from their latest album ‘The Light’ (Boo Clap/Thirty Tigers) as a double A-Side: ‘Don’t Own The Right’/‘Flood Then Fade Away’. The band have also confirmed a full list of European tour dates in October & November including seven UK dates, with support from Curse of Lono:
31st Oct - Greystones, Sheffeld 
1st Nov - Fat Lils, Witney (nr Oxford)
2rd Nov - Maze, Nottingham 
3rd Nov - Academy 2, London
4th Nov - Prince Albert, Brighton
6th Nov - Hug & Pint, Glasgow
7th Nov - Musician, Leicester  

In their own words: “We are beyond psyched about our return to the UK. After touring relentlessly in the states for the better part of a decade, we have become a bit jaded with most of the American audience. It seems the majority of people here have fallen victim to the blatant pandering and watered down lyricism of popular music that has, by design, taken over the mainstream. Our first foray into Europe earlier this year showed us that there is an audience that actually listens to and ‘gets’ our intentions. We are thankful for another opportunity to meet and perform for this crowd.” Website here.

'Don't Own The Right' has a fine if slightly surreal video, but oh boy! I just love the song. Vocals are naturally good and the band just buzzes with raw rock energy!


Parlour Tricks - (what i think about when i think about) Bodies.

Background - Saying Farewell to Parlour Tricks, NYC act debut final EP: (what I think about when I think about) Bodies.
Described as "a sonic fusion of HAIM and Lucius", and with a knack for creating impossibly infectious harmonies layered over building drum lines, Parlour Tricks captured the hearts of audiences in their hometown of New York and beyond.

This week, they arrive with their new EP, (what i think about when i think about) Bodies - a bittersweet collection of tracks that marks the final release for the band who have announced that they will be disbanding.

"I want to tell you about those nights in the studio, in Nashville and in New York, when everything gelled beautifully, when we felt the enormity of making something good.   I want to explain these things, but even then it wouldn’t paint a full picture.  You had to be there. We were lucky enough to be there." - Parlour Tricks frontwoman, Lily Cato. Website here.

So it's a fond farewell to Parlour Tricks, it's been a while since we featured them and you can listen to the full EP below from what is was a consistently good source of beautiful songs. Enjoy '(what i think about when i think about) Bodies'.


Soft Ledges - Seven Stories.

Background - Chicago's Soft Ledges make dark, angular, delicate music with the belief that the secret to lost is found and the only way in is through. Formed in 2015 by songwriter Shelley Miller (vox/piano/guitar) and Chris Geisler (bass), the band (joined at live shows by drummer Raul Cotaquispe) is set to release their self-titled debut album November 18.

Miller and Geisler, both veterans of the Chicago music scene (Miller as a singer/songwriter, Geisler in the Hamburglars, TAFKAV and several other punk bands), started Soft Ledges with a mission to make brave, honest music beyond the bounds of genre...and to challenge the self-perceived limits of what they were "allowed" to do as musicians and people. 

The result?  Miller's fevered, urgent whispers and screams on La Niña and Seven Stories.  Geisler's bowed electric bass, awash in reverb, on Highlight Reel. Fingerpicking and distortion pedals.  Last call, last chance lullabies.

Soft Ledges recorded their debut album spring 2016 at Kingsize Soundlabs (Chicago, IL) with engineer John Abbey (who also mixed and mastered). On it, Miller sings and plays drums, guitar, piano and several other instruments, while Geisler plays bass, plus guitar and drums on a couple tracks.

'Seven Stories' is just one element of the debut album due soon. Soft Ledges explore different themes, sometimes potent and feisty, sometimes in a more understated manner, with moods shifting from song to song. It's one of those albums where it's hard to predict whats to follow and I like that, especially if the quality is there. In this case it's there in bucket loads.


Anna Atkinson - Snowshoe.

Background from Anna Atkinson - 'Sky Stacked Full' is an album about possibility. Musings on childhood memories, human connection, anxiety, the joys and perils of solitude, death - what it means to be in the world.

The songs were written over a span of ten years. There is a song I wrote for my father seven years after he died. There is a song I wrote for my mother three years before she died.

I'm fascinated by endeavours that take a long time. Slow moving, sometimes imperceptibly slow. Like quilting, writing a novel, making an album. Things for which there is no virtue in hurrying. Baking bread, snowshoeing up a mountain, knitting, gardening, growing up. In fact, they are processes we cannot hurry, try as we might.

The album was recorded over a period of five months at CBC Studio 211 in Toronto, and features the playing of co-producer and guitarist David Occhipinti. Facebook here.

Earlier this month we featured 'When We Were Young' by Anna Atkinson stating at the time that "the forthcoming album is eagerly awaited".  First track on the album is 'Snowshoe' and it is beautiful, as is the whole collection of songs. Vocals are wonderful, the song arrangements allow every element to shine through, and the creativity is there in each melodic piece. Well worth checking out.


Scott Taylor - Tennessee.

Background - Born in Washington DC and raised in Virginia, Scott Taylor plays the true blues; stirred up in Motown hot sauce, simmered in funk and seasoned with southern soul.

The singer-songwriter has spent a life entrenched in music. After years spent with his youth choir, Taylor began his professional career backing headlining artists who toured the Northwest and has also collaborated with Cover Girls, Joyce Sims, Little Louie Vega, and Barbara Tucker of Strictly Rhythm Records. He bounced around several notable blues labels as he honed his solo style, finally hitting the UK dance charts with his 1991 single “Not So Far Away” on Back Beat Records.

Most recently Scott has found a home at Fetal Records out of Annapolis where he is putting the finishing touches on his first album for the label, a collection of songs he describes as “unfiltered and strait from the gut”. The bluesman has been laboriously tracking his new material, collaborating with blues guitar virtuoso Tony Fazio with Charlie Sayles playing harmonica on several tracks, while still finding time to play piano at Church on Sundays. Facebook here.

If you like your blues natural and with all the vital roots and passion then 'Tennessee' gives a flavour of what's in store on the first album. Scott Taylor is the real deal, and well worth keeping an ear out for.