There are just four weekly Top 30 charts to go for 2015 as we wind down another great year in independently made and released music (that's what "indie" actually means incidentally).
Beating out more well known artists to lead the five new entries is Port St. Willow, the project of Nick Principe whose new album, Syncope is out in two weeks. The album's single,'Ordinary Pleasure' is far from what the first half of its title suggests as it beguilingly envelops, resting on its four beautiful guitar chords and Principe's amazing falsetto voice. It's at 18.
Canadian pop experimentalist Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, releases her fourth album Art Angels tomorrow and the first cut from it, the urgent pop of 'Flesh Without Blood' is one spot behind at 19.
Don't let your first listens fool you - Savages new track is fucking awesome! The hard hitting smackdown on emotional narcissism 'The Answer' off the London foursome's forthcoming album Adore Life, sits at 23.
The most poignant and relevant of the new entries is from Blood Orange. Devonte Hynes has been putting front and centre how he feels about the rampant injustice that exists in the United States (and other western nations) when it comes to all aspects of the lives of African Americans or people of so called 'colour'. Witness his amazing ten minute opus 'Do You See My Skin Through The Flames'. The life, brutal arrest and suspicious death in police custody of Sandra Bland in Hempstead, Texas (where the fuck is the investigation into that at and we've all seen the brutality?) is the subject of his new single, 'Sandra's Smile'. Just an aside, an African American local councillor from that same town was brutally tasered and arrested in his own front yard three weeks ago. 'Sandra's Smile is at 26.
The final new entry is from Swedish quintet Francis, who we featured last week. 'Follow Me Home' is at 28.
Hazel English remains at 1 with 'Fix' while the Junior Boys hit the top 10 with 'Big Black Coat'. Everything HERE and the sounds up there!
18. Ordinary Pleasure
Port St. Willow (USA)
From the forthcoming album, 'Syncope', People Teeth. Out Nov 20.
Seminal Californian singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist Joanna Newsom released her fourth full length album Divers a couple of weeks back, another first class work of highly idiosyncratic lyricism and exquisitely ornamental musical arrangements to which she enlisted the support of eight musicians including Nico Mulhy, David Longstreth and Ryan Francesconi as well as members of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
The record's realisation took almost two years, reflecting the length of time between this and her last record. Newsom is never going to visit upon us anything less than a work of art that smacks of 100% discipline and effort and yet the results always seem effortless but his record seems even more so than Have One On Me or Ys. Indeed, Newsom has commented on how much fun she had making it and that shows through in its innate exuberance despite the assiduity.
Newsom has just released a second video from the record for the title track and third "single" following on from our Top 30 listed 'Leaving The City' and Sapokanikan'. Divers is out now on Drag City and you can order it on vinyl here. Check out the aforementioned video featuring the cover art work of designer Kim Keever below.
Toronto shoegaze duo Beliefs have released the angular and rather contemplative title track and third single off their forthcoming album, Leaper. It takes things down a notch across its six minutes in comparison to the explosive '1992' which has been in our chart for the past month. You can listen to track below as well as watch some hazy and layered bar action in the track's video directed by Adam Leon. We've also included the first cut from Leaper that first appeared last year, 'Tidal Wave'. The album is out 13th November through Hand Drawn Dracula. Pre-order on translucent green vinyl here. Its limited to 300 copies so get in!
1. Tidal Wave
3. Colour Of Your Name
7. Morning Light
8. Go Ahead And Sleep
9. Leave With You
From the forthcoming album, 'Leaper', Hand Drawn Dracula. Out Nov 13.
We've heard very little of Falun five piece Francis since the release of their EP, This Must Be Blood back in 2012 which heralded a new direction for the quintet. But news of a new album, Marathon set for international release next February, more than makes up for the absence and on the evidence of the first single from it, heralds another new direction from that work. The Swedes have unveiled, 'Follow Me Home', a superbly crafted piece of nostalgic pop where all elements intertwine to form a neatly woven tapestry of hope in the face of an uncertain personal and global future. Marathon is out through Starngers Candy on February 5 next year. Let the five minute wonder effortlessly glide by below.
Follow Me Home
From the forthcoming album, 'Marathon', Strangers Candy. Out Feb 5, 2016.
The four tracks featured on Indie30 in the past week all enter the chart in the following order. Junior Boys is the highest entry at 17 with the title track to their forthcoming album, 'Big Black Coat'. Nao enters at 25 with her new single, 'Bad Blood'. Rats On Rafts debut with 'Sleep Little Child at 26 while Memoryhouse with 'Dream Shake' is at 29.
There is a new number one this week and it comes from Australian expat. Hazel English with her shimmering piece of guitar based dream pop, 'Fix'. Swedes DNKL enter the top 10 with 'Otherside' while New Zelanders Groeni 'Hedre' and American electronic artist Lindsey French's Negative Gemini project is at 9 with 'You Never Knew'.
The four new ones have been added to the Top 30 player while all track details can be found HERE.
Idiosyncratic Rotterdam post punk outfit Rats On Rafts have just globally re-released their latest album, Tape Hiss, after quietly releasing it on Bandcamp back in April. Now in their 11th year, the quartet have produced something special with just their second full length, genre hopping with ease through the eight tracks. From the psychedelic opener 'Sleep Little Child', the noise punk of 'Composition' and 'Rat Poison Face' to the lo-fi musings of 'Seaside Tape Hiss' as well as the garage punk of 'Powder Monkey', Tape Hiss has it all. Listen to the album opener below and grab your copy on vinyl here.
1. Sleep Little Child
3. Powder Monkey
4. Rat Poison Face
5. Seaside Tape Hiss
7. Last Day On Earth
8. 1-6-8 (Machine)
Sleep Little Child
Rats On Rafts (NET)
From the album, 'Tape Hiss', Kurious Recordings / Subroutine / Fire Records
London singer/songwriter and producer Nao has gone very much under the radar around here until a few days ago when we came across her new offbeat soul pop number 'Bad Blood'. This prompted us to delve into her two previously released EP's, 2014's So Good and this years February 15. And suffice to say, we're very impressed. 'Bad Blood' is the first cut off her debut album due sometime in 2016. Explore her two EP's here and here for yourselves. We've included our favourite tracks from both below.
From the single, 'Bad Blood', Little Tokyo Recordings
Hamilton electronic veterans Junior Boys are set to return with a new album, Big Black Coat to be released February 5th next year on City Slang. It's the first new track we've heard from Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus since the brilliant It's All True. Big Black Coat is their fifth record and you can check out the trimmed down title track below as well as their cover of Bobby Caldwell's 1978 track, 'What You Won't Do For Love' which they released a couple of months back. It also appears on the album.
1. You Say That
2. Over It
3. C'Mon Baby
4. Baby Give Up On It
5. M & P
6. No One's Business
7. What You Won't Do For Love
8. And It's Forever
9. Baby Don't Hurt Me
10. Love Is A Fire
11. Big Black Coat
Big Black Coat
Junior Boys (CAN)
From the forthcoming album, 'Big Black Coat', City Slang. Out Feb 5, 2016.
Guelph dream pop duo Memoryhouse are set to follow up their debut full length, The Slideshow Effect from 2012 with a new album Soft Hate, scheduled for early 2016. Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion have announced the first single, 'Dream Shake', an uplifting piece of groove filled dream pop topped by Nouvion's silky smooth vocals. Listen below.
From the forthcoming album, 'Soft Hate', Self Released. Out Jan 2016.
The paucity of quality new tracks from new artists continues unfortunately hence the lack of posts lately. Thankfully, erstwhile favourites like Beach House, Molly Nilsson and Majical Cloudz, all of whom have previously had tracks in our Top 30 countdown in 2015, are still pumping out Top 30 worthy quality. There's never been a two week drought like it, the inbox ain't quite doing it and the regular sources are coming up just short at present.
Which brings us to Beach House who surprised us all with the sudden release of their second album for 2015, Thank Your Lucky Stars just two months after the release of Depression Cherry. The stellar slow burn of 'Elegy To The Void' replete with its steady beat and softly squalling guitar enters the countdown at 21.
At 24 is Molly Nilsson, whose wax version of her excellent new album has been delayed until next month. Zenith was due to hit on September 25 but the all to familiar pressing plant delay has hit the understated DIY pop artist. The latest single (and video) to surface is the emotive swirling synthpop of 'Happyness'. That's at 22 and also replaces '1995'.
Completing the new entries is the new Majical Cloudz track from their new album Are You Alone. True to form, Devon Welsh's unique love ode, 'Downtown' quickly turns into doubt and melancholy as he pleads for his obsession to be accepted. That enters at 25.
Small Black remains at number one with 'No One Wants It To Happen To You'. The three new songs are below and all chart details here while all tracks can be found streaming in the player.
21. Elegy To The Void
Beach House (USA)
From the album, 'Thank Your Lucky Stars', Sub Pop/Bella Union.
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