Friday, 18 January 2013

The Growlers - One Million Lovers

Though their name has popped up on a few feeds recently, my knowledge of The Growlers' has been pretty limited - but all that is about to change. They've won me over with their far-out
slacker psych sounds, and are the much-needed winter warmer to what's been a pretty grim British January. Formed in Long Beach, California, way back in 2006, The Growlers blend surfing and experimentation, both in music and lifestyle. Now, with several moon cycles and a couple of hundred tunes behind them, Hung At Heart marks their latest release.

Having only occasionally tripped it across the ocean, it might come as a surprise to find out that this is The Growlers' third full record, and despite initial dabblings with high-profile producers it's as homegrown as they come, recorded by the band with no outsider input, in Costa Mesa.

After all sharing a warehouse right by Newport Beach, surfing, putting on bands and throwing parties, their shambolic sound and extravagant showmanship naturally took shape. These are warped pop songs; an occasionally unsettling circus of psychedelia, surf-rock and hints of country, fed with cryptic lyrics.

Check out 'One Million Lovers', taken from Hung At Heart --

Hung At Heart is released on 25th March via FatCat Records & the band are coming to the UK in April! By all accounts, things are gonna get freaky...

24th April - Shacklewell Arms, London, UK *just added*
25th April - Shacklewell Arms, London, UK
26th April - Green Door Store, Brighton, UK

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Verity Susman - To Make You Afraid

I can never quite put my finger on why, but Verity Susman's voice always makes me well up a bit. In a similar way to Trish Keenan's delicate delivery, there's something in the tone that feels as though her voice is plugged directly into the inner self, with nothing constructed or manipulated; open to all of the elements.

After Electrelane's many reunion shows eventually petered out, her work as a solo artist has meant that their presence is still very much felt. Now fully exploring the importance of the visual as well as sound in her live performance, Verity credits Laurie Andserson and Meredith Monk as the main influences that have shaped her transition into an audio-visual artist. In a recent interview, she described her new venture:

"I’m using quite a lot of spoken word... and I wanted the visuals to enhance and sometimes also distort or contradict the things that are being spoken about. Film is also a way to illustrate some of the things I’ve been thinking about recently, like how it would be if your instrument was a part of your body, which is quite a visceral thought for a wind instrument player because you are breathing in and out of something in a way that can really feel like it’s a part of you."

Having supported Atlas Sound last year and played shows in Berlin and Paris, 'To Make You Afraid' marks her first official release of new material. While on the first few listens I felt it recalled Molly Nilsson, having listened further, the depth of sound continues to spread, with bursts of shining synths and wails that transcend the dark, glittering interior.

Verity will be playing two shows this month - one in London on the 24th January, and THIS one in Brighton on 25th, at the Green Door Store. It's free, and a Friday night, so no excuses.