Posts Tagged ‘British Indie’

Comet Gain – “Mid 8Ts”

I’m always gonna be a sucker for Comet Gain. The UK janglers have long been holding up the legacy of C86 and jangle-pop with a biting wit and a constant sense of evolution on the sounds that built a sizeable indie enclave in the UK. The band last left us with the pillow-soft sensibilities of 2014’s Paperback Ghosts. It’s clear that they’ve had a bit of hardening up since then. The songs on Fireraiser Forever! are distinctly angrier in spots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t leave a little room for a swooning stomp on nostalgia as well. While the band’s admittedly ‘60s derived outlook might not seem like its primed to poke holes in the past, the new single begs otherwise. “Mid 8Ts” takes a few jabs at the rosy glow that’s placed on the past, giving themselves a bit of the lash as well for placing that kind of soft-focus fascination on the ’60 when they went through the ‘80s. As they say, “Your heart plays tricks on you, forgets the shit on your Beatle boots.” But in the end, they come around to the notion that “My punk rock damage is done. I’m here and its where I belong.”

The new LP is out on Tapete on October 11th. Gonna want to write that down.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Proper Ornaments

There has been quite a shift in sound on The Proper Ornaments second album for Slumberland. They’ve wiped away much of the thick, bilious clouds that previously wafted into their jangle pop, giving them a bite of shoegaze among the bittersweet strums. On Foxhole, constrained by a necessary move to a home studio and and 8-track setup, they pare down their sound finding a core cleanness that’s drawing off of classic melancholy pop records, with flecks of everything from late period Big Star to Elliot Smith’s piano purr circa Figure 8.

The piano actually plays a key role in the shift made by songwriters James Hoare and Max Oscarnold, as both acquired new instruments prior to the recording of the album and let the keys lead them into a more serene headspace on Foxhole. As such, the album tends to have a more contemplative mood than their previous outing. Though that’s not to say that they’ve chucked their guitars in the bin, they still know how to weave a softly gnarled jangle around a melody and both artists’ penchant for the rosy hues of ’60s pop still colors the album. Its hard to imagine a band named after a shared love of soft psych band The Free Design wouldn’t hew a bit close to the jangles that built Britain’s stronghold on guitar pop. Though its evident here that they’re not really mining the poptimism of the ’60s beat set as they are the dour, more reserved notions of say Nick Garrie or the soft shimmer of Food.

The album winds up as a rather nice counterpoint to Hoare’s darker undertones on last year’s Ultimate Painting highlight, Dusk. Its a mature and misty album that’s finding solace in ennui and a comfortability in contemplation. The mood suits Hoare and Oscarnold well, and while it doesn’t always have the fuzzy bite of their debut, its an undeniably well-crafted album of drizzle-coated jangle.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Ultimate Painting

Three albums in Ultimate Painting have proved that they are not a band who burnt their wick in the short term. Refining their melted horizon vibes over the last two albums, they come fully into their own on Dusk. James Hoare has always been a secret weapon in Veronica Falls’ roster, with a beyond-his-years aesthetic that’s given pathos to his own songs and seen him pair up recently with luminaries like Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets). Now, along with Jack Cooper, he’s creating a bummer vibe that’s picking up pieces of The La’s, Dios (tell me that “Song For Brian Jones” doesn’t have a bit of “You Got Me All Wrong” in its bones and I’ll call you a liar), The Free Design and Heatmiser. Where they earned their VU fan club card on the first album and traded it in for a Teenage Fanclub badge on the second, they’ve come fully into their own on the third, synthesizing their love of pop both contemporary and on the dour side of the ’60s cannon this time ’round.

They’ve found a bittersweet comfort in pop’s arms, never showy, never overplaying their hand. There are scads of indie bands that will fill you full of bright strum, jangled choruses and twee notions but what’s great about Ultimate Painting’s realization of character is that they know they’re not a bolt of sunshine and they couldn’t care less about your reaction to their vibe. James and Jack have created a constant comedown, a space of perfect sighed bliss and reticence. I’ve been waiting for the band to find this balance, this refinement, and on Dusk they become the band they’ve always threatened to be. They’ve longed to be your resigned exhale into the cold air, the musical equivalent of frosted breath on a November morning, curling ever into the ether. They’ve left in the imperfection of tape hiss, giving the album a feeling of confessional beauty, frayed, but at the same time obviously pored over with a meticulous comb and ordered by two songwriters who have spent years finding their voice. This is the best that Ultimate Painting have presented and its one of the most autumnal records to slide out this year, fully formed and hugging the listener like a friendly shoulder.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments