china blue

ELEN NEVER SLEEPS. CHINA BLUE EP (independent, 2011)

Elen Never Sleeps comes from Tokyo but also from a dreamy landscape between shoegaze mountains and dreampop oceans.
Soothing, somehow ethereal and with a certain 80s feeling.
China Blue EP was released last June and can be downloaded on bandcamp.


wuts going thru yer head


"You're always telling me all the negative things that I know I could change but it takes a long time to change". When you get a line like that on the opening track of an album from an artist that you've never heard before you simply know you're listening to something -at least - promising.
Little Jungles is lyrically disarming and filled with an honest take on modern angst and agony.
An upbeat mix of shoegaze, reverbs, distortions and electronics only makes the package more shiny and dreamy and sugary and bubbly.
 Ok, the 9-track release has its down moments (why's  Please Put the Knife Away among such a strong collection of songs?) but the overall feeling is just so involving and addictive...
Alongside the sensational opening track Drive Yerself Crazy - did I hear someone say 'song of the first half of 2011'? - the last 4 tracks create a strong tour de force on noise, psychedelia and richness of sound. Old Love Fading is the most accessible with its pop catchiness squirting from the distorted guitars. Blue Heron goes deeper into reverberations and noisepop, delivering a complex construction of sounds, strong bass drums and echoey vocals. New Girl is a beautiful "acoustic" song formed by claps, strummed guitars and Matthew Niemann's voice echoing praising his new girl.

Drilling, affecting and addictive. Matthew, I want more.

(Little Jungles' new album will be called I Would Kill for Some Sunlight and it'll be released on January 1, 2012.)


stand up against heart crime


What will you do with 5 songs of a kraut-synth-pop-wave project from Barcelona, formed by Josep Xortó in 2009?
You will dance, indulge and enjoy. Period.
The solo project is now a 5 piece band (4 musicians + 1 visual artist) and is currently working on their debut album.
Their first ep can be found on their bandcamp. A collection of songs that falls between something dreamy and decadent, minimal and warm.
'I Can't Stand Myself Sober' and 'Coffee and Cigarettes' are gems. And when I mean gems, I mean GEMS.
Don't fight and don't stand up against... just surrender and let yourself be taken by the minimal bliss that is Stand Up Against Heart Crime.

interview (this is fake diy 17.06.2011)

INTERVIEW.49 egil olsen

Egil Olsen is a singer/songwriter. He writes songs and sings. (And I'm practically quoting one of his songs...) And he does it pretty, pretty well.
Egil is from Norway and used to work as a filmmaker before starting his musical career (he spent a few years in California, all very well documented in his songs). Since then, 3 beautiful, clever and heartbreaking albums were released: I am a singer/songwriter (2007); Nothing Like the Love I Have For You (2009) and Keep Movin - Keep Dreamin (2011).
Egil is a storyteller. The kind of musician that has a very simple and almost naive way of expressing ideas and that's exactly what makes his music stands out and kind of leaves you unprepared for moments like "On Saturdays we'll go down to the Farmer's Market / Sundays we could go to church to kill away the darkness..." (You and I (and the dog); or like In the Middle of Norway's last verse "I don't mean to be mean, I mean / A guy like me a guy with dreams has needs you see / I'm not that brave I'm just afraid / To give up and go home / Get a life and a loan and get stuck in the middle of Norway".
Why would you need clever words when you have a sensible guy being sincere with his feelings and showing them in such a delicate and charming way?
He's songs wander around subjects like love, self affirmation, leaving Norway (staying in Norway) and pursuing dreams. Oh, have I mentioned that everything is wrapped around a crystalline indie pop with acoustic guitar accompanied by violins, flutes, trumpets, pianos, banjo, tuba... and Egil's fragile voice?
It doesn't take much to love Egil (I dare you to try and read his bio without smiling) and his music. It doesn't take more than a 2 minute song to relate with his lyrics. Song after song you feel his honesty and purpose.
Beautiful, unique and inspiring.

And read our interview now.

before i go go

DELAY TREES. BEFORE I GO GO EP (Independent, 2011)

Remember that 2 months ago I talked about the new track from Delay Trees and that it would be part of a free 5 track ep? Well, the ep is out.
Delay Trees is one of my favourite bands from Finland (in the past months the list grew quite fast with the release of amazing songs/records/eps from bands like Big Wave Riders and French Films and, of course, Delay Trees).
The EP was recorded during a weekend last May and features more of the cinematic/atmospheric mixture of shoegaze, indie pop and emotional melodies.
About the idea of making the ep, the band says it is "...a THANK YOU to all you wonderful people for your constant support..."
Although it is a digital free release, a limited cassette edition is also available and you can get a copy directly with the band here.

01. Uni15
02. All Black Left
03. Before I Go
04. Owls Go
05. Songs


interview (march, 2011)


GOLDEN BEARS. AVALANCHE EP (Independent, 2011)

So it was very, very late last night when I got my headphones to go through some new bands from bandcamp. Fast forward a few minutes from a very nice selection of bands and suddenly I found the song Kachina Peaks from Wonder Bear. An experimental bedroom pop song that reminded me of the amazing I Guess I'm Floating by M83... both songs do something that I call 'the surround you', which consists on getting an amazing feeling of some sort of transcendence. I'm talking about the response you intuitively give to what you are experiencing at a precise moment and get struck by emotions and/or/from memories that pull you and for some moments you can see yourself from outside and enjoy what you are seeing. Anyway, Kachina Peaks gave me that feeling.
Apart from small variations from one ep to another - sometimes more electronic, sometimes more ethereal - Wonder Bear's music consists of intricate, dreamy, organic and a beautiful collection of melodies and delicate vocals. Ben and Daisy, from NYC, are behind the project. They are a 17 year old couple.
Check their music on bandcamp. All 5 ep's, specially Avalanche, released last June and GALA, a conceptual ep with three songs about teens going into the wood in Alaska and Azul, their first ep from 2009.
My rating is: absolutely stunning.

love & honesty

YOUTH CASTLES. LOVE & HONESTY (Independent, 2011)

...and yet another fuzzy and shoegaze band inspired by My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain from Brooklyn, NYC. And yet another good surprise. It seems that bands from Brooklyn have almost a natural feeling to combine a good pop song melody and cover it by layers of noise and distortion (something like Gothenburg and electronic music). 
Youth Castles started in 2010 as a solo bedroom project to soon evolve into a threesome. Indiepop meets layers of lo fi noise, sometimes flirting with shoegaze, sometimes with dreampop.  
Their first release, an ep containing 3 songs called DEMOS (released last January), is all about noise, indiepop and straightforward melodies.
The single 'Love & Honesty', is new wave with guitar riffs that made think about The Cure and Joy Division.
Their latest single, 'Sight Seeing', goes into a more trippy path, flirting with dreampop and post punk. 

I prefer the first release with it's fresh and speedy tunes a la Jesus and Mary Chain ('Feel' is a noise dream and you should hear it below!).  Definitely a young band to keep an eye on. 

01. Love & Honesty