January 23, 2021

Magnetic Ghost: The Long Winter

Minneapolis based multi-instrumentalist Andrew Larson is the driving force behind one-man band Magnetic Ghost, a project that gives him ample opportunity to delve into shoegaze, post-punk, freak folk, noise and a bunch of other genres that are close to his heart. For his new single The Long Winter he picked psychedelic rock and mixed it up with Nineties college rock, the kind of music that has frat boys and jocks heading to the nearest exit after hearing only a few bars. It's dark and foreboding, with wall-to-wall guitars and stacked vocals.

» magneticghost.com

Phenomenal Cat: Pop Wasteland

Concept albums and rock operas are not en vogue anymore, but that did not stop English sextet Phenomenal Cat from releasing one in 2017. As they prepare themselves for their next album, it is high time to have a listen to their previous record, the sprawling Sci-Fi extravagaza Pop Wasteland, a double album set in an alternate version of their hometown Folkestone in Kent: dystopian, pastoral, and first and foremost the work of a band that put their love for the music by The Kinks (they named themselves after a song from their The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society album) to good use to create a truly captivating story. Ray Davies strived to expand the basic rock format by adding brass and woodwinds, and they followed suit, enabling them to use a wide array of textures. As this album follows the classic 2LP format each side starts with a narration read by actor Kenneth Colley, best known for his portrayal of Admiral Piett in the Star Wars movies. Recurring themes act both as linking pieces and as a means to give the listener a hint in which setting the tale is taking place at any given time. And if the story line isn't exactly clear the accompanying B&W graphic novel by the band's drummer Ben Day will set the record straight.

Pop Wasteland, written by the band's singer and lead guitarist Samuel Carney, tells the story of one Albert Blood, a guy who is stuck in a dead-end job in a dead-end town, working 16 hours a day for a company called the Factory. For entertainment he only has really bad TV-shows, sketchy betting shops, and of course the music sucks. He is plagued by headaches and the pills don't help at all. He wants out, hoping for a revolution of some kind. A flooding knocks out the power, leaving the people in a flux, not knowing what to do when their regular, numbing programming grinds to a halt. The powers that be rely on diversions to keep the workforce at bay, with vague promises of a better life - in Welcome To Suburbia materialism acts as a surrogate for happiness with a brand new German car on the drive. But at night patrols roam the streets to round up anyone who is not spending the night in his lumpy bed. Behind the facade is a system that is dead set on keeping control.

January 22, 2021

Cover Me: You're So Vain

Watch Belfast based rock trio Dea Matrona tackle the Carly Simon classic You're So Vain. They have shit load of great classic rock covers on their YouTube channel.

» deamatrona.co.uk

Evripidis and his Tragedies: "Melancholia" video

Evripidis Sabatis has made a video for his latest single Melancholia, seeking closure after being the victim of a homophobic attack in his hometown Athens in 2014: "He turned this traumatic event into an instrumental piano piece, putting his classical training to good use. Realizing the parallels with the subject matter of Lars von Trier's movie Melancholia, he started writing the lyrics and six years later he has reworked it as a brazen synth pop anthem. Now living in Barcelona he invited his friends in the Catalonian capital to provide the backing vocals and act as classic Greek choir, just like in the plays of old".

January 21, 2021

Favourite Daughter: Long Distance

Canadian singer Julia Kennific who goes by the stage name Favourite Daughter wrote a song about her crumbling relationship with her then-girlfriend. Long Distance is her debut as a solo artist. Despite the bleak subject matter it sounds rather upbeat, with indie guitar flourishes galore and synths emulating strings.

The video was directed by Sasha Khalimonovar.