Globetrotting: Matt Townsend - The Proper Ornaments - Kamaliza - The Insatiables

Matt Townsend - Came Down From The Mountain.

Background - The Drifter and the Dream (Part I) is the first installment of a two-part EP series. It features some of Western North Caroli-na’s finest musicians, such as Bill Berg (Drums on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks) River Guerguerian, Kat Williams, Franklin Keel, Jackson Dulaney, Carly Taich, Charles Gately (Doc Aquatic), Ryan Burns.

With his distinctive voice, and a world weary insight, Matt Townsend delivers his original songs, formed in the wells of Folk music, 60’s rock and pop, indie rock, ambient music and the American songwriting tradition.Live, his band flows from high energy rock and roll, to quiet folk tunes and back. Bob Dylan, Neutral Milk Hotel, Neil Young are counted among some of his musical guiding lights.

The Asheville, North Carolina-based musician has been performing across the country since 2012. 2016 marks the anticipated release of Townsend’s latest work, The Drifter and the Dream (Part I), a five-track EP, which is part one of a double EP series. The songs were recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville with producer Michael Selverne (Welcome to Mars Productions), and features Bill Berg (The drummer on the Minnesota sessions for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Cat Stevens, Leo Kottke). The first EP explores the personal relationship to social and political issues, spiritual connection, and humanness in a de-humanizing society. Along with recording and touring, Townsend is also the the founder of Eternal Mind Records, a new arts collective and record label in Asheville, NC. Website here. Facebook here.

The second of five songs on the EP 'Came Down From The Mountain', is a good indicator of the quality to be found on 'The Drifter and the Dream (Part I)'. Mixing lighter acoustic songs with more expansive pieces, the wonderful vocals of Matt Townsend are just a gift for this type of music. The craftsmanship of the musicians and the quality of each song, make this a must have for me.


The Proper Ornaments - Cremated (Blown Away).

Background - The Proper Ornaments – the project of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Veronica Falls) and Max Oscarnold (Toy) – will release their sophomore album 'Foxhole' on January 20 via Slumberland Records (US) and Tough Love Records (ROW). This week the band shares album standout "Cremated (Blown Away)".

James and Max started out writing Foxhole, the follow up to the bands 2014 released debut album ‘Wooden Head’, in January 2015. On ‘Foxhole’ they’ve sliced away a whole stratum of their sound, removing some distortion and lowering the frequency of plectrum strokes to allow more nuanced, piano-led ideas to emerge. The title isn’t a reference to Television’s jaunty proto-punk record but seems to be more of a dark, protective interior, a head space sketched out on ‘Jeremy’s Song’. While their particularly recognisable production style remains, three things stand out as likely reasons for the shift in mood. By the time they got around to recording again in James’ bedroom in Finsbury Park that Summer, the instability around the recording of ‘Wooden Head’ (and the five years before) had slid into a deep and seething acrimony. Second, they both bought pianos. Third, when the band, with Daniel Nellis and Bobby Syme joining on bass and drums went to record at Tin Room in Hackney in June, the pinch wheel on the 8 track machine was broken and somehow no one noticed. All but one recording, ‘The Frozen Stare,’ was hopelessly warped, so they went and did it all again from scratch back at James’. Facebook here.

Tour Dates:
01/22 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club (Games Room)
01/23 Glasgow, UK - Mono
01/24 Birmingham, UK - The Hare & Hounds
01/26 London, UK - Moth Club
01/28 Lille, FR - Le BiPlan
01/29 Lyon, FR - Sonic
01/30 Luzern, CH - Gewerbehalle
01/31 Lausanne, CH - Le Romandie
02/01 Winterthur, CH - Albani Music Club
02/02 Heidelberg, DE - Karlstorbahnhof
02/03 Berlin, DE - Marie Antoinette
02/05 Hamburg, DE - MS Stubnitz
02/07 Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
02/08 Utrecht, NL - ACU
02/09 Rotterdam, NL - V11
02/10 Paris, FR - La Mecanique Ondulatoire.

'Cremated (Blown Away)' has a distinct sound and feel to it, one that has that timeless element. Keeping the arrangement quite simple results in each instrument standing out and the refined vocals are a really good fit. Another fine musical example of  "less is more".  


Kamaliza - Zermatt.

Background - London-based company, Cape & Monocle do a fantastic job of creating a video that is just as mesmerising as the song. Switching between a series of complex visuals that encompass a spectacular world of beauty inspired by Kamaliza's travels through Switzerland.

The visual art of Kamaliza's "Zermatt" mesmerises, its vivid colors encompassing a spectacular world of beauty. Inspired by his travels through Switzerland, Kamaliza describes the simple joy of a holiday with a loved one, contextualised by the natural wonder of Zermatt's majestic Matterhorn. In the video, landscape transforms into abstraction, colors distorted yet thoroughly breathtaking. The music, fittingly, is a contemporary blend between electronic and alternative, as refreshing as the crisp air of the Alps. Website here, Facebook here.

The video is a spectacular collection of creative images, where vivid colours and artistic montages combine to create an intriguing series of moments for the song 'Zermatt'. All that's needed is the right music, and Kamaliza is a natural for that, with a beautifully produced track that comfortably builds around the electronic framework.


The Insatiables - My Dear.

Background - The Insatiables launch summery new single 'My Dear' Following on from their May 2016 EP release 'Impatient Creatures', Perth three piece The Insatiables have wasted no time and are set to launch their wonderfully crafted new single 'My Dear'.

In letter writing My Dear is an opening line used for a more intimate and affectionate approach and the same can be said of the delivery of this slice of indie-pop. A penned letter to a love accompanied by rhythmic guitars, driving sixteenths and commanding vocals, The Insatiables' writing chops step up a level as they channel textural specialists The Jezabels.

Previous single 'I Know My Scars' from the EP 'Impatient Creatures' introduced audiences to The Insatiables and scored community spins Australia wide along with commercial exposure through Perth's Mix FM. As the band prepare for a 2017 EP release, 'My Dear' will be available via all digital retailers from November 24 with a live launch date of December 17 at favourite watering hole 459 Bar in North Perth. My Dear is out November 24 via all good digital retailers. Website here, Facebook here.

'My Dear' has some notable and powerful upfront chord changes that are delivered with vibrancy. The audio production is superb, and whats more the song just happens to be one very fine indie piece.