Siv Jakobsen - Tomten - SUEP - Allie Crow Buckley - Wookalily - Bad Pelicans
Siv Jakobsen - Gardening (Album).
Acclaimed Norwegian songwriter Siv Jakobsen today releases her highly anticipated third album Gardening. Jakobsen will embark on a European tour in support of the album this February, including a newly announced London headline at The Social on 23rd May.
The first seeds of what would become Gardening arrived in Siv Jakobsen’s mind unexpectedly – unwelcomely, even. Returning to a city she once called home, her mind and body were overcome by memories – both physical and emotional – that pulled her back into a time she had thought was long buried. As she walked through her old haunts, memories of a “destructive and difficult relationship” rose up from her past like a monstrous weed. Its roots had not been exterminated and it suddenly poked through the cracks of her consciousness, five years after the fact.
She headed back to Oslo as the pandemic took hold, lockdown allowing her even more time and space to unpack and untangle her knotted thoughts. In the verdant Norwegian capital she was able to take walks in the forest just five minutes from her home, tend to her patio garden and occasionally see friends. All the while, her mind continued to process the spectre that had reared its head, words coming out onto the page, revealing a cutting new depth to her candid writing style.
Gardening is at once Jakobsen’s most emotionally intimate and her most musically expansive record. The title comes from one of the album’s flagship moments, the “crazy jungly sounding” track “Gardening” – but is a thematic link throughout the album. “This record is me doing an intense amount of emotional gardening,” she says. “I was just raking through my mind and pulling stuff out, and then it grew back again, so I pulled it out again.”
Early highlight “Romain’s Place” sets the scene for the start of this process. Jakobsen puts us into the place where she first felt the past encroaching, staring out the window of her friend’s house at the place she once called home, envisioning her ex standing there on the sidewalk; “I swear that you look just the same / You haven’t aged at all.” Unrepressed memories of anger and being screamed at float up, unbidden but undeniable; “How am I back here again, afraid again,” she sings, speaking of a place that is both literal and mental.
======================================================================Tomten - Grapefruit Sea.
"I always wanted to write a kind of nightmare music hall song of some sort, a misadventure song that is still foolish and lighthearted. I had the main acoustic part of this tune and no lyrics and we got together at the Unknown and decided on a form and recorded the whole thing almost the way it is now. All the lyrics came later, I used to sit in the bleachers of the baseball field near my apartment during the beginning of the pandemic for hours into the night and work on songs and these lyrics came from that and perhaps some wine and sleep deprivation. It's like our version of "Sloop John B" with black mold poisoning, maybe a little inspiration from Eno's "Backwater" too." -Brian Noyes
Tomten are a baroque pop quartet based out of Seattle, Washington. Brian Noyes (vocals, keys, guitar) and Lena Simon (bass, vocals) (Kairos Creature Club, formerly of La Luz) met in 2008 and began demoing each other's songs at Cornish College of The Arts.
Tomten started playing shows and rearranging their sound and lineup by 2010, after Gregg Belisle-Chi (guitar) and Jake Brady (drums) joined the band. Tomten's debut, Wednesday's Children arrived in Summer of 2012 shortly before Belisle-Chi left the band. Tomten recorded their sophomore record The Farewell Party (2014) with Jason Quever of Papercuts in San Francisco and Sacramento, CA. Dillon Sturtevant (bass) joined the band as Lena departed.
The Unknown recording studio in Anacortes, WA started by Nicholas Wilbur and Phil Elverum (Mt. Eerie) has become the go to spot for the band's more recent recordings - the lush piano driven Cremation Songs (2017), and Synth Pop informed Viva Draconia (2018). Tomten's newest album Artichoke (out April 28) is a collaborative foray into psych folk, power-pop, and glam country, a balance between songs by Noyes, Sturtevant, and two co-written with Brady. Artichoke is a warm pastoral daydream, with inspirations drawn from the Madcap folk rock of the Incredible String Band, to the syrup soul of The Delfonics, the country tinge of Happy End or Gene Clark, with the gentle guitar picking of John Martyn or Bridget St. John.
======================================================================SUEP - Just A Job.
Fresh for being BBC 6 Music playlisted and announcing a UK tour for Independent Venue Week’s 10th anniversary, the London (via Brighton) indie supergroup SUEP drop fresh single ‘Just A Job’, the final track taken from their debut mini album ‘Shop' following on 27 January, Memorials of Distinction.
‘Just A Job’ is a firm fan favourite at their live shows, and the closest SUEP have come to writing an anthem. Simultaneously evoking plodding despair and stoic acceptance, it’s described by the band as “A lament and an ode to outsiders, late-risers and lost souls and a protest song against having to do the arduous tasks that tend to pile up in life” to a backdrop of 80’s Yamaha synth and drumbeat and fronted by a playfully dour Josh Harvey with backing vocals from Georgie Stott.
SUEP is led by Georgie Stott (Porridge Radio, Garden Centre) and Josh Harvey alongside George Nicholls (The GN Band, Joanna Gruesome, The Tubs), William Deacon (PC World, Garden Centre), and Ollie Chapman. Together they make oddball car-boot-sale pop songs with a sprinkling of theatrical storytelling inspired by a mutual love for Paul McCartney, Jona Lewie, the B-52s, Devo and other performative freaks enjoying themselves.
‘Just A Job’ is the third single taken from SUEP’s debut album ‘Shop' following the now BBC 6 Music playlisted ‘In Good Health’ and last years’ ‘Misery’ and ‘Domesticated Dream’, both championed heavily by Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley with the latter inviting them in to record a BBC 6 Music session on 26 January, with press coverage in Independent, Fred Perry Subculture and Clash (among many others).
SUEP have built up a strong live following playing countless gigs over the last couple of years, with their first ever headline show at London’s Stag Head selling out immediately. They’ve toured with contemporaries such as Garden Centre and Ex-Void as well as performed at 2022’s The Great Escape. SUEP are now embarking on a UK-wide headline tour as part of Independent Venue Week’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
======================================================================Allie Crow Buckley - Greatest Hits.
Los Angeles indie songstress Allie Crow Buckley recently announced her new album ‘Utopian Fantasy’ will be released on May 19th via Nettwerk. She has also shared a new single and video ‘Greatest Hits.’ With her rollicking new single ‘Greatest Hits’, Allie describes the psychedelic and euphoric track as, “Riding top down through purgatory - resigning to whatever is. The feeling of leaving your body - as one does when chaos ensues. A psychedelic laugh!”.
Video director Jeanette Getrost adds, “The forest was an important setting for this video as much of Allie’s writing of this record involved being so close both in proximity and her relationship to nature. I referenced a lot of imagery from Greek myth and Czech fairy tale films, as well as some time in the English countryside where Allie and I spent one evening watching Rock and Roll Circus and Zeppelin performances. What derived from this was essentially a narrative on inspiration and the mystery and wonder of the creative process—the result being a wild trip in the forest.” In addition to Jeanette, Buckley enlisted renowned cinematographer Micah Van Hove (Weyes Blood, Tim Heidecker) to bring their vision to life.
Allie Crow Buckley’s music is a world unto itself. A journey from deep within the forest to the coastal cliffs. She is known for her balance of ethereal, soaring melodies, strong rhythmic elements, and heavy, rooted low end. This balance, coupled with her allegorical sense of lyricism, lends itself to being both beautifully meditative and unsettling at times.
She draws inspiration from numerous sources - from Black Sabbath to Joni Mitchell, and Todd Rundgren, to painters, and poets as well as mythology and her love of classical music from her years of formal training as a dancer. Following the release of her acclaimed debut 2019 EP ‘So Romantic’, she released her debut LP ‘Moonlit and Devious’ in 2021 to praise from The New Yorker, NPR, Under The Radar, Paste and more and has opened for Jenny Lewis and Maggie Rogers on tour.
======================================================================Wookalily - Old New Mill.
With awe inspiring four part harmonies, low bowed double bass, flutes, trumpet, banjo and more, Wookalily create a masterful and sweeping sonic tapestry that will leave audiences rapt with wonder, and wanting more.
Their debut album, All The Waiting While, and the subsequent gloriously uproarious gigs, tantalised and secured lifelong fans in Ireland, the UK and beyond. Recorded on traditional analogue equipment by the award winning producer Julie McLarnon (The Vaselines, Jeffrey Lewis, Lankum, King Creosote) Wookalilys second album, Everything is NormaL Except the Little Things Inside My Head, explores the gentle nuances of cathartic melancholy whilst retaining that essential and unforgettable Wookalily sound, five women, ten instruments.
This is an ambitious folk music. Daring to dissolve musical and generic boundaries. Irreverently intertwining the disciplines of blues, rock, punk and more to create a unique and singular musical menagerie that must be witnessed to be truly experienced.
======================================================================Bad Pelicans - Dance Music.
The Bad Pelicans release a clip for ‘’DANCE MUSIC’’, second single of their upcoming début record ETERNAL LIFE NOW to be released March on Géographie Records.
Starring cult actor from the french avant-garde Walter Shnorkell, this video embodies the raging ennui that fueled the band’s inspiration for this record. Never nostalgic, but confidently timeless, and hungry for change, Walters charismatic personna allegorizes the juvenile pulse that will perpetually push this band.
Little quote from the band about the song : The Bad Pelicans new single Dance Music has a metamodern intention, encapsulating an 80s new wave tinted approach allied with urgent Post-Punk, feedback-pilled production, portraying the "blasé" apocalyptic sound that defines their new record, Eternal Life Now coming out February 24th via Géographie Recs.