Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last Time Around

The Cave Weddings were one of the brightest hopes of 2009. Now they have split up and released a posthumous single on German label Bachelor. The a-side "Last Time" sounds like a rough demo, but it's really the b-side "Never Never Know" that makes this record truly amazing. Erin takes the lead vocal over 2010's catchiest guitar riff yet! Get your slab of pastel green vinyl now. You should also pick up The Elektras only single ever, one of few Bachelor back catalogue items still available. The cover reads "Rare girl garage trash from Munich 1963!", which is mostly true except that a more correct date would be 2007. Sadly The Elektras have also split up since several years ago.

The third single on my kitchen table is the latest racket from Oxnard's Maria. "Love Is Something I Know Nothing About" came out on their own Yay! label last year, and it's their best effort to date. I picked up my copy from the Fraction table at Copenhagen Popfest, but you can also order directly from Yay! of course, perhaps when that Watercolor Paintings/Sea Lions split-12" finally comes out? Up on the Yay! site now, is also details for an upcoming Tartans single that is going to feature my two favourite Tartans tracks "West of La Brea" and "Tarmac". Yay.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cloaked Clocks

Another great band from France - Alan McGee should reconsider! After hearing The Limiñanas a few weeks ago, it didn't take long until Brogues tipped me about Young Michelin, who just supported The Wake in Paris yesterday. Couldn't have imagined a more suitable match really! Young Michelin released a single on digital label Holiday last year, but for some reason you can't get to it now. Anyway, the a-side is also included on their first 7", which is available now from Bulle Sonore Records.

The latest (and perhaps greatest) release on Holiday is a new outing for The Metric Mile, who seem to have busied themselves recording new material and apparently have yet another ep coming up. "Since April Left" is a perfect spring single and puts them into a slightly more synth-pop mode, especially on the b-side "Stephen and Me" that approaches They Go Boom!! territory.

Band of the month at Don't Die On My Doorstep last month was The Soft City, a British band started by Phil Sutton of Kicker (and Comet Gain). They sound similar to Kicker (but even better!) and it seems my previous confusion of them with The Soft Set seems justified aurally as well as literally. Their first album is out now on Plastilina and includes ten fantastic songs, and my favourites are the jangly "Cold Hearts" and the almost Velocette-sounding "Capital Soul".

I just got a copy of Peter Parker's new single, which is a split with The Sexual Objects (ex-Fire Engines), and it is definitely the Peter Parker side that makes it a worthwhile purchase. "Pretty Living" sees the Lung Leg/Miss the Occupier outfit hone the hooks of their first single, which was also released by Glasgow-based Say Dirty. I just wish I won't miss another Peter Parker gig next time I'm in town!

The Ruth Ellis Swing Band stood for what was probably the most unlikely indiepop re-appearance of last year. They were kind enough to send me their new album, but unfortunately it's slipped my mind to mention it repeatedly. What is remarkable about it (except for a virtually unknown band with one flexi to their name doing a 'comeback') is how similar it sounds to their 1989 incarnation. Phil, or Fil, is now the only member of the band, and he once also played in James Dean Driving Experience. The album, called Swinging In the Rain can be had from the man himself here. If you haven't heard the two songs from the flexi "The Antichrist of Love & Hatred", you can do so here. (I played "Burn Your Books and Join My Life" on the radioshow/podcast last year.) Among the new songs, the standouts are the opening track "Can I Tempt You", which languidly jangles in nostalgia for those long lost indiepop compilation tapes (that they were occasionally on), just like "Like My Heart Still Shines", while "Too Near" sounds more like am angry mod beater filtered through The Jam, and songs like "Love's Got a Hold of My Heart" makes you think of a tinfoil Spacemen 3, even. A pleasant surprise to say the least.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beyond the Tee

As this is almost finalised, I though I'd post it here. A Smile and a Ribbon are heading over to North America for the first (and maybe last) time! We've got eight gigs as you can see, and we're playing with some great bands. We feel very privileged to start off our tour at the popfest in NYC, and I want to see virtually every single band. One of the gigs is the farewell gig of one of my favourite bands: Pants Yell!. It feels very special to play with them since both me and Kajsa hung out with them a lot on their only trip to Sweden, before A Smile and a Ribbon existed as a band.

To coincide with the tour, Cloudberry are releasing our new single and Roque will supply us with some copies for the tour, so empty your band accounts. We are also on the next volume of The Beautiful Music's Television Personalities comp, which is out soon.

Our friends from Malmö, Leaving Mornington Crescent are accompanying us to NYC Popfest and it feels weird that we will be playing next to legendary Swedish groups like The Embassy (whose mediocre live capabilities are as legendary...).