The Leisure Society: Alone Aboard The Ark

The Leisure Society

The Leisure Society, who are soon to release their third album

The Leisure Society will be releasing their third album Alone Aboard The Ark on 1 April.

 

 

The band – initially formed by musical pros such as Nick Hemming from She Talks To Angels (which also featured Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Christian Hardy – has already received a hefty amount of critical acclaim, with two singles being nominated at the 2009 Ivor Novellos.

And, before the album’s release in a ‘try before you buy’ move, the band are giving away a free download of album track The Sober Scent Of Paper, which is as pleasing a piece of folk rock as you’d expect from the band. Cheerful guitars reminiscent of a traditional folk ditty with melancholy vocals are effectively juxtaposed to give a fantastical feel to the track.

 

The first single to be released from the album will be Fight For Everyone on 25 March.

 

fyfe: Solace

f y f e

fyfe official artwork

Many-spaced artist fyfe has released a new single, Solace.

 

The 23 year old Londoner is releasing the single ahead of his debut EP, which is due in March, and – fairly impressively – the track has already been picked up by the likes of Radio 1 and NME magazine.

 

However, on giving the tune a listen it’s fairly easy to see why people are taking an interest. fyfe’s general sound is comparable to the corner of folk occupied by alt-J, and synths in this single almost echo those on a loop in Atoms For Peace’s Default. But it’s when the track has really eased into its stride that the catchy hooks take hold, making it instantly likeable and memorable.

As for any other trivia about the man behind the music? Other than his age and location, fyfe isn’t giving much away – as you can see from the picture above, not even his face. One to listen out for, even if it’s just to investigate the enigma.

 

 

Keaton Henson: Lying To You

Keaton Henson

Singer songwriter Keaton Henson

Keaton Henson is releasing a new single, Lying To You, which is the first single from his forthcoming album Birthdays. Both will be released on 25 February.

Henson came to prominence last year with his debut album Dear, but is said to have struggled with his success so far, due to his fear of meeting people – he’s suffered with panic attacks since childhood. His bio on his website states that “Keaton Henson spends his time alone, writing songs or sometimes drawing, he doesn’t like to talk about himself”.

It’s no surprise, then, that his creative subject matter is not exactly brash and happy-go-lucky, but it is irrefutably beautiful – the more so for the genuine feeling behind it.

Lying To You displays Henson’s admiral ability to convey emotion through his raspy vocals, making this stripped-back set up with a tune that could have come straight out of a folk ditty into something altogether more complex and moving.

It’s a similar school to Damien Rice, but without all the bells and whistles – or, rather, overly dramatic violins.

You can now watch Henson’s new video for Lying To You below:

Ninetails: Slept And Did Not Sleep EP

Ninetails

Ninetails: Slept And Did Not Sleep artwork

Four-piece band Ninetails are releasing a new EP Slept And Did Not Sleep on 26 November as a ‘pay what you feel’ download.

Based in Liverpool, the band is made up of Jordan Balaber, Ed Black, Jake King and Philip Morris, and it seems people are reluctant to categorise their work into genres, as to list one would mean you have to list about ten more.

Their five-track EP, a follow-up to Ghost Ride The Whip, sort of floats into consciousness with the lo-fi, ethereal Maybe We that doesn’t even see the soft vocals introduced until three minutes in. This is followed by Body Clock, with an interesting use of layering and a number of tempo shifts that essentially give you about three songs in one.

Rawdon Fever, with its infectious beat, catchy hooks and tribal vocals is instantly likeable, as is Mama Aniseed – both tracks are broken up by the brooding and abstract Boxed In, which is such a stark difference it could be by a different band. If there’s anything you can’t criticise Ninetails for, it’s monotony.

A truly refreshing and challenging EP, filled equally with eccentricity and brilliance.

Maia: Pepper Stars

Maia band

Four-piece band Maia

Maia will be releasing their second album Pepper Stars on 26 November.

The four-piece band from Huddersfield combine a range of instruments for a somewhat more exotic sound than their Yorkshire roots might suggest.

Their quirky, pop-infused tunes, that often have a hint of psychedelic folk about them, are achieved with the use of a ukelele, cajon, trumpet, banjo and mandolin – to name just a few.

Their latest release is a rather weighty 14-track album, with highlights including the inescapable earworm-like nature of Zuma Aluma, the glorious folk-fest (including some excellent trumpeting) of More Strangely Than The Moon, and their already-released track The Grandfather Plan with its plucky guitars and falsetto group vocals creating an unsettling and compelling juxtaposition.

It’s an upbeat, inoffensive, foot-tapping record perfect for anyone looking for something a little bit left of the more standard formulaic ‘alternative’ fair.

Watch the video for their single The Grandfather Plan:

Bear Cavalry: Puryss EP

Bear Cavalry

Bear Cavalry Puryss EP

Bear Cavalry are releasing a new EP Puryss on 5 November.

The band, who have previously featured on Beat The Static when they released Maple Trails, are originally from the coastal town of Gosport. While the EP isn’t out for a few days yet, they have already released The Word ‘Canoe’ as a taster track.

Maintaining their fresh sound present in their former EP, the Vampire Weekend parallels remain in The Word Canoe, but leaning to the more indie pop end of the spectrum. The track builds towards a pleasingly chaotic conclusion via group vocals, several tempo changes and some melodic twanging, getting better with each listen.

You can also listen another EP track – the jaunty, upbeat Aubrey Plaza, which has been released as a split with Crushing Blows for the bands recent live shows.

If you like what you hear, the EP is available to pre-order from iTunes now.

The Rebel Light: The Rebel Light EP

The Rebel Light

Three-piece band The Rebel Light

LA based indie band The Rebel Light are releasing their debut EP on 30 October.

The EP features three tracks: My Heroes Are Dead, Goodbye Serenade and Wake Up Your Mind (which also has a radio edit) and – in true DIY style – was recorded in the guys’ bathroom and a wooden shed. Not that you could guess this by listening.

Opener My Heroes Are Dead is almost Britpop-esque in its anthemic quality and melancholy theme, but has a lightness to it that presumably comes from living in sunny California rather than a cold, drizzly Manchester. The more upbeat Goodbye Serenade bursts with repetitive, catchy hooks and Wake Up Your Mind’s heavier dance-inspired beat shakes the atmosphere up once more.

If recording vocals in a bathroom can sound this good, it’s time to start singing in the shower again.

Check out for the video for Goodbye Serenade below: