Noctorum - Beans on Toast - Wovoka Gentle

Noctorum - Piccadilly Circus In The Rain.

Noctorum recently announced the impending release of their fourth album 'The Afterlife' - the duo's first long-play in seven years, which will be released exclusively on CD and gatefold vinyl to PledgeMusic contributors in November 2018. The general release of this album will happen in February 2019 via Schoolkids Records.

Noctorum is guitarist/singer-songwriter Marty Willson-Piper and producer Dare Mason. The duo present their new single 'Piccadilly Circus in the Rain', following up the first single 'A Girl With No Love'.

Named for the village Noctorum, located near to their childhood homes on The Wirral (near Liverpool), Dare and Marty liked its association with night and its Latin derivation. This collaboration has an eclectic focus, making the quiet loud and vice-versa, singing words that might be spoken and playing indoor instruments that should be heard outside. It has to be imagined to exist.

"Perhaps city-living is by definition a difficult slog - high rents, a constant pressure to earn, an uphill battle that traps you in a vicious circle that has you so focussed on the job of survival that your aspirations, your dreams, are swept aside, pushed out of reach as all your waking hours are spent treading water, your imagination drowning, your ideas lost in the rush hour," says Marty Willson-Piper.

"Piccadilly Circus In The Rain addresses the struggle and questions the romantic notion of London as a cultural melting pot - music, galleries, nightlife, history, energy, red double decker buses, unarmed friendly Bobbies, the cover of Abbey Road and the Queen. Singling out this city is purely coincidental but in truth, for most people with artistic tendencies "London brings you to your knees". WEBSITE.

'Piccadilly Circus In The Rain' explores the reality that London is not such a romantic and creative place to be as an artist. Having lived and worked there for many years in the past, I can see where this is coming from and can't really argue, the song itself is beautifully crafted and quite touching.

Beans on Toast - Alexa.

British folk/indie singer-songwriter Beans on Toast is debuting his new single and video for "Alexa." The track and it's accompanying animated video (created using discarded Amazon boxes) is a commentary/cautionary tale that examines the future of voice-activated Internet and oncoming Amazon world domination.

Kicking things off with this spoken interlude from Beans: “This one’s got an intro that goes “ALEXA play Beans on Toast... ALEXA” so nobody can listen to it on their Amazon Echo", the track is funny but thought-provoking-- one of Beans trademarks. "Alexa" appears his 10th studio album “A Bird In The Hand,” set for release on December 1st.

For "A Bird In The Hand," Beans got back in touch with Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, who had produced his first album a decade ago, and together they hatched a plan.

Utilizing the hospitality of Lovett (whose band were spending much of their time at London’s legendary Church Studios making their next record), Beans found himself enjoying the same incredible facilities during off days and late nights, to lay down "A Bird In Hand," along with with the help of in-house engineer, Riley MacIntyre.

Calling in mutual friends, Ben and Beans arranged a team of incredible musicians, including Mumford & Sons’ live drummer Chris Mass and Dutch artist Christof van der Ven on guitar. Ted Dwane offered bass on a couple of tracks, and Ben himself took up piano and production duties to bring a clear, contemporary, and unique vision to the Beans’ songs. The result is arguably Beans on Toast's finest album to date. The album is diverse, easily switching between folk ballads, punk bangers, and swing numbers without ever losing sight of itself or it's listener. WEBSITE.

'Alexa' is a gorgeous and timely song, with some sharp and witty lyrics that anyone familiar with voice activated web devices might quickly identify with. For those more cautious about allowing such devices into their lives then the song might put you off even more. Me, I'll just play around with other folk's Echoes, I'm still coming to terms with Hal in 2001 A Space Odyssey - "I'm sorry Dave - I can't do that".....


Wovoka Gentle -  Peculiar Form Of Sleep.

Following the release of the wonderfully titled single '1,000 Opera Singers Working in Starbucks', which was included in the official soundtrack of FIFA 19, London trio Wovoka Gentle have now shared new track 'Peculiar Form of Sleep', out now on Nude.

 "It’s something to do with that moment between being awake and asleep, where thoughts bleed into dreams and everything seems to make both no sense and perfect sense", the band says. "You’re sliding between these contrasting, dense passages that still feed off one another and congregate around some kind of narrative, which maybe is the whole narrative. The title is from an E.E. Cummings poem: ‘to exist being a peculiar form of sleep’.

Wovoka Gentle are an experimental three-piece from London, comprised of William Stokes and twins Imogen and Ellie Mason. Taking its root in folk and Americana songwritng, the Wovoka sound draws upon the psychedelic soundscapes of the late 60s as well as contemporary experimental, pop and collage music; marrying classic instrumentation with sampling, analogue synthesis and sound manipulation. WEBSITE.

Back in September we shared '1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks' and described that track as "upbeat, creative and oozing charm, this is a touch quirky and a whole lot addictive". Now we can follow up with their new piece 'Peculiar Form Of Sleep' where the bands creative charm and knack for merging musical styles and instrumentation is all apparent again.