Listening Post #16

by Jed Fletcher

Summer is just around the corner people! I know exams are very real right now but I believe in you – there’s not long left now until we can all throw ourselves into a lovely music-filled summer. So to keep everyone sane during this frustrating time I’ve got another bunch of tracks to satisfy your sonic desires.

1. Every Cell – Arthur Beatrice

Since their very first release, Dalston-based band, Arthur Beatrice, have been a strong favourite of mine. Their songs are very raw and unpolluted by superficiality, the instrumentals are frugal but beautiful, the lyrics cryptic but engaging. Ahead of their second studio album, Keeping The Peace, the four-piece have dropped Every Cell, yet another gem alongside Real Life which was released two months ago.

The clip that has been premièred on DIY Mag’s site gives us a look into the studio for the recording of Every Cell. The energy and passion on display is truly infectious, especially coming from a band renowned for their mellow vibe similar to that of The XX, it makes me wonder if this track may be a signal for a new creative route the band is taking. The typically bizarre lyrics of past work is, however, still in place (the first line is “That mouth is just cut skin, your nose is just cartilage”) which I’m relieved about. Will Every Cell with its jazzy trumpets, gospel choir vocals and pace prove an embodiment of Keeping The Peace? I don’t know, but either way it’s a cool new song from one of the UK’s best indie bands – so I’m happy.

2. 07:41 – Still Parade

I think that 07:41 may well be a harbinger of a great debut album from Berlin based Still Parade. Set to be released in June, Concrete Vision will likely turn a lot of heads due to Still Parade’s apparent mastery of the very in-fashion subgenre of Psych Pop.

Produced in his bedroom, 07:41 is my favourite of Still Parade’s modest portfolio. The simplistic percussion sets up a very relaxed milieu with the help of light electric guitar and synths, over which the Berliner’s faded vocals are gently placed. If ever in the next few weeks you find yourself laying back in the spring sun on a grassy patch, I think this song will prove the perfect soundtrack.

3. Dive – Blondage

After a lengthy absence and a change of name from Rangleklods, Blondage have returned with catchy new single, Dive. As Rangleklods, the duo’s work had a more experimental feel and fell undisputedly under the domain of electro, Dive sees a drastic veering into the realms of dance. Apart from the fact that the production is reminiscent of a summer Calvin Harris record from 2007, what make Dive so incredibly dance to me is how in spite of a quite simple instrumental and somewhat unimaginative lyrical content (the song’s about having fun without money) I still feel myself hitting the replay button each time I get to the end of the song.

4. Falling – Ten Bears

Okay so I really don’t know much about Ten Bears. It appears that just under a month ago this three-piece just exploded out of Madrid with three very cool tracks: Falling, Joaquin Phoenix and Lovers. Falling is my favourite of these three pieces, although they’re all pretty good.

They’ve been labelled before as an electro-pop act, but I’d say they’re tipping the scales significantly towards the pop end of that title. The track starts with high pitch bleeps of synth before darker strokes of electronic production join the composition, the slightly disjointed sound of the synths actually fits really well with a punchy drum rhythm. I like the lyrics too, the song is about a tumultuous young relationship, and despite the fact the song’s subject is hardly new territory, the obfuscated vocals make the listener that much more intrigued by what’s being said.

5. She’s Lost Control – Alive She Died

Did you hear about that shameful Gucci ad that was banned this last week for encouraging an unhealthy image of beauty? There was on plus side to the controversial video, did you hear that track in the background? That track was Alive She Died’s cover of Joy Division’s hit, She’s Lost Control, and it’s pretty awesome.

Combining the skeleton of Joy Division’s minimalistic instrumental with the synth-heavy sound of the 80s, Alive She Died had brewed a supremely enveloping concoction of a cover. Whereas Joy Division’s original utilised a very simplistic, toned down instrumental to instil a feeling of numbness and their signature melancholic vibe, Alive She Died go for a much more sinister feel with the lo-fi production and progressively frantic vocals almost grating on the listener by the end. So if you feel like treating yourself to a high calorie treat, curl up with She’s Lost Control and enjoy the irony.

Listen to the PearShaped Playlist for Listening Post #16 below.