Spector – I’m Not Crying You’re Crying

Spector’s third studio album, the appropriately titled ‘Now or Whenever’, has been delayed for months after its original October release date, with blame laid firmly at the door of the current vinyl shortage, but to keep us attentive the London lads have been drip feeding us a stream of classic singles.

Keyboard led ‘I’m Not Crying You’re Crying’ is the latest instalment, a sense of foreboding hangs about as the group adopt a Tame Impala flair. Fred Macpherson’s singing approaches Flaming Lips vocalist Mark Coyne pitch during the levitating chorus, as the lyricist considers the end of a seemingly doomed relationship in the haunting couplet “I’ve been having nightmares/ wishing they’d come true”.

The brilliant video for the track is a happy leap from the song’s solemn sound with Macpherson and synth/guitarist Jed Cullen appearing with puppet doppelgängers (created by Evelinka Puppets) in scenarios and tourist spots about the capital, including eating an eggs benedict and iced coffee breakfast, travelling about on an open top bus and getting squiffy on bottles of Asahi.

You can find the video below and, hopefully, ‘Now or Whenever’ will be released on 7th January 2022 via their own label, Moth Noise. If you want to pre-order a copy in a range of formats, bundles and a host of other merch you should definitely click here.

Horsegirl – Billy

Chicago noise-pop trio Horsegirl make shoegaze indiepop music like Kevin Shields writing songs for Belle & Sebastian. Billy is a largely uncomplicated record with rolling drums, a fuzzy, repeating guitar chime and Penelope Lowenstein’s simple, lazy backing vocals. Yet Nora Cheng’s deliciously impassive vocals flip the track into a filmic dimension when she tells us about a day in the life of a misanthropic character named Billy, a story that the band, who have an age range between 17-19 years and are fanatics of underground 1980s and 1990s alternative music, have said is “a love letter to past music scenes we wish we could have witnessed”.

Photo Credit: Todd Fisher

Billy is Horsegirl’s first release on new label Matador records and only the fourth song of their gradually expanding collection. Watch the single’s homemade video below:

Turtle Park & Drego G – Peace of Mind

Pittsburgh, PA via Manchester, UK grunge pop maestros Turtle Park have bestowed on us their new EP, Peace Of Mind, this time specifically the creative work of members Addy P and Chicago’s Drego G. Addy P takes care of the complex beats and sings, as Drego G lends his distinctive, conscious rap to each and every solid pop gem, none of the songs clocking in over the three minutes fifty mark.

The songs mix into each other without a millisecond of inter track silence, taking off with ‘Casting’, a speedy, celebratory number recalling making it out of their home town and manifesting success. ‘Tell Me What To Do’ is some brief breathing space respite, slowing down proceedings before ‘Remember When’, the collection’s shining jewel, eases us back up with a softer, partial love song, as Drego observes the rhyme “I devised a perfect plan for you and I to touch the sky/ feel like Kanye in his prime” and Addy delivers a brilliant emotionally lilting verse “clearly you see/ I can’t be a reject/ I want you so badly/ but you will not have me” over incessant, shuddering deep bass beats.

‘Til We Could Drive’ takes us back to their early teens in Pittsburgh, a sparser track about getting out of the city, even if only for a while on a bus. ‘Peace Of Mind’ is led by Drego G, bleaker but the EP’s central focus, with sped up vocals and an atmospheric classic rock guitar break. The following track considers the rough and grind of life before collapsing into a rage filled diatribe of “fuck that, fuck that, fuck that, FUCK THAT”, as ‘I’m a Stone’ tops off the record with ice cold pitched up vocals, seamlessly merging hip hop, grunge and pop.

As proven on Peace of Mind, Turtle Park are becoming ever more accomplished and adventurous with each release, so right now is an essential time to get onboard.

The band finally have a couple live shows lined up over the next two weeks: Blues Kitchen, Manchester, Sunday 5th December and Below The Bridge X-Mas Sprecial all-dayer at The Thirsty Scholar, Manchester, Saturday 11th December.

Check out our interview with Turtle Park from earlier in November and hear the Peace of Mind EP below.

Evan Williams – When The Shutters Rise Again

Strap Originals Two-Parter: Part 2 – Last Friday, 26th November, Strap Originals released two fantastic new singles – Vona Vella – Rainy Days and Evan Williams – When The Shutters Rise Again, and we’re bringing you reviews of them both. In the second instalment, we bring you Evan Williams – When The Shutters Rise Again.

During the not-so-long-ago depths of COVID-19 lockdown, one meager optimistic hope was that some bloody good art might come from it. ‘When The Shutters Rise Again’ is one such creation.

Described by the label as “space-age cowboy punk”, East Kent singer-songwriter Evan Williams’ lyrics are a poetic outpouring of frustration and hope, both in the overt chorus encouraging the listener to love their neighbour a bit more when society gets back on track and the shrouded verses, containing theatric imagery of ballerinas with sore feet, dead colonels and blinded regiments. Williams sounds as if he takes his cues from The Libertines, Billy Bragg or The Smiths, with a catchy as fuck chorus and rampant guitar flourishes straight out of a classic spaghetti western.

Watch the song’s brand new lo-fi video right below:

Vona Vella – Rainy Days

Strap Originals Two-Parter: Part 1 – Last Friday, 26th November, Strap Originals released two fantastic new singles – Vona Vella – Rainy Days and Evan Williams – When The Shutters Rise Again, so we’re bringing you reviews of them both. First up, Rainy Days by Vona Vella.

Vona Vella’s second single, Rainy Days, is an expressive piano melody documenting the dying embers of a relationship. This time around the duo utilise harmonies in The Staves fashion with stripped back keys and Dan Cunningham’s haunting Nick Drake vocals take the lead. The words and melody imbue the song with a melancholy sadness, observing of an estranged partner “there’s no light in your eyes, you’re more like a rainy day”.

The austere video highlights Davis and Cunningham’s remarkable talent, with the pair performing in a vast music hall filled with grand pianos and nothing else. The video’s available to watch below.

Coming up tomorrow – Strap Originals Two-Parter: Part 2 – Evan Williams – When The Shutters Rise Again

K.Flay – Outside Voices EP

K.Flay writes gritty, genre-bending, alternative hip hop indie and ‘Nothing Can Kill Us’ is a life affirming, ecstatic pop song about loss and looking back, driving fast and feeling invincible, with bass that will have a good attempt at shattering your speakers.

It’s the lead track from her new ‘Outside Voices’ EP, released November 19th. The rest of the EP covers an equal amount of ground. ‘I’m Afraid Of The Internet’ is a deep dive on the perils of the darkest unforgiving depths of cyberspace over breezy, bouncy melodiousness, ‘Maybe There’s A Way’ is an electronic acoustic ballad about self-redemption and self-acceptance, ‘Weirdo’ is sludgy outcast rock and ‘Caramel and Symphonies’ is grunge with layered harmonies, fuzzy guitars and a fast, heavy drum track. See what we meant about genre-bending?

The Wombats – Everything I Love Is Going To Die

Ever have those moments of complete abandon? When you remember everything and everyone is transitory and you could do whatever you liked because nothing has a modicum of meaning in the grand eternal universe, really? Well that’s what Murph is singing about in ‘Everything I Love Is Going To Die’ and he’s singing about it over an upbeat, toe tapping, radio worthy pop song.

The Wombats have moved a little way on from their early Joy Division hailing guitar band era, these days making sure their songs are packed with bouncy keyboards and several layers of synthesiser, but lyrically they remain funny and endearingly weird, in this song taking that aforementioned nihilistic sensation but using it to dare to reach the sun where Icarus failed and try not to lose that crystal clear moment of clarity in order to get there.

The Wombats

Everything I Love Is Going To Die is the fourth single from The Wombats imminent album ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’, due on 7th January 2022. To accompany the song the band have put out this snazzy lyric video, available to watch below:

Miles Kane & Corinne Bailey Rae – Nothing’s Ever Gonna Be Good Enough

Miles Kane has come back with another piano and brass fiesta, a bold, jaunty, northern soul single about beach dates and nervously innocent love, this time a duet – ‘Nothing’s Ever Gonna Be Good Enough’, with Corinne Bailey Rae. On paper, the ‘Put Your Records On’ R&B songstress may not be an obvious feature for one of indie music’s current golden boys but the soul slant of Kanes’ handiwork ensures this is a confident match.

If The Last Shadow Puppets ditched the irony and the need to be overtly credible then this is the kind of record they would put out. Thankfully, the self-assured frontman uses his solo career to chuck out the rulebook and bash out massive hits like this.

The video and single are both out today. You can see the new video, set on both the seaside and in a working men’s club, below:

Harri Larkin – Beach City

Sheffield newcomers Harri Larkin are made up of Cornwall’s Harri Tape and Sheffield boys Danton Laromani on drums and Oscar South on bass. Their debut album, Beach City, is the aural equivalent of laying back on sand, headphones in, eyes closed, as a beaming sun hangs high up in a clear blue sky, feeling every bit inspired by Tape’s Cornish beach-bum roots.

Harri’s voice is sunkist saccharine over a world of slacker-punk of styles, from No Doubt-ska opener Pennywise, Libertines pub-rock with a bit of Green Day on Roma, Dashboard Confessional meets Lit punk-pop on Medicine, Candycained’s perfect sugar pop over funk guitars, Out My Mind is a calm acoustic track with added heavyweight hooks. You would think a track called Calm Down would be a subdued slow point but it’s covered in whoops and hollers with the rhythm section lending backing vocals, shining through as one of the record’s bubbliest moments. Prior single Sugar Rush is a Red Hot Chilli Peppers inspired party jam.

With lyrics focussing on being skint, hangovers, drugs, looking out for mates going through some horrible shit on Saving Aimee, it’s a collection that explores some sobering issues but its buoyant character stops proceedings ever getting bogged down and heavy.

Harri Larkin

Originally released as a 200 physical CD limited run, Beach City flew out of Harri Larkin’s mail box in under 3 months and is now long sold out. Never fear, as the album receives a full digital release on 28th November with singles Pennywise, Saving Aimee, Tumbleweed and Sugar Rush, along with bonus tracks Sunburn and Moon Pie still up on the streaming sites.

The group have announced a free entry Album Launch Show at The Washington in Sheffield on 28th November and have recently been confirmed as openers for Tramlines festival at Hillsborough Park, Sheffield, on Friday 22nd July 2022, if you’re looking to catch them live.

Find the official video for Pennywise below and place 28th November in your diaries now:

The Pagans S.O.H. – Emergence Of Forgotten Power

Thousands of years ago a prophecy was made that a hip hop band would be born with a pure funk groove, revealing all manner of suppressed mystical hermetic secrets. The Pagans S.O.H. (That is The Pagans (Shepherds of Humanity)), know they are the foretold harbingers and on new single Emergence Of Forgotten Power they’re on a mission to make the whole planet aware they are the real Second Coming.

Revelations abound as the West Bromwich four-piece hip hop outfit fuse together a range of styles on the track, taking in rap, jazz, metal and reggae to ensure their assertion is heard.

A video appears to be in the making, we’ll let you know on the socials when it arrives. Until then, listen to the track on Spotify below: