Co-singer and songwriter for The Figgs, Pete Donnelly has a brand new LP out called Phases of the Moon, and he’s released a video for the first single, “Dr. Richard.” The black and white clip, directed by Geoffray Barbier, has Donnelly and band performing inside and out, and generally looking cool, intercut with the singer yelling agitatedly into one of the world’s last payphones at the eponymous doctor. The song is short and sweet at 2:50, and is very much in line with the kind of tight pop The Figgs are known for. Check it out:
If the Rolling Stones had recorded their classic “Dead Flowers” in 1965 instead of 1971, it might go…a little something…like…this. As a chaser to their recent single, “Falling Out Of Love,” Aloud have released a great cover of the Stones song, along with a video. They’ve upped the beat and subtracted the twang of the original, and singer Jen de la Osa has gone in the opposite direction of Mick Jagger’s lazy drawl with a soulful belt. The Stones themselves released an alternate and more driving version of the song a few years ago, but it still retains the country vibe and the loose swing inherent to most early-’70s Stones music. Aloud’s version goes full mod and stomp, as you’ll hear below. (Check out the Stones’ alternate take at the bottom.) Aloud is currently working their way around the Northeast surrounding the debut of All These Small Things, which features some of their music. See dates here.
We have the premiere of “Fierce,” the brand new single from Manchester duo KAZE (say that like KAH-zay). This exciting and inventive band first came to our attention by way of their first single and video, the startlingly original “Pinned On You,” which became our video of the month in August last year. “Fierce” is just as inventive. Though it begins with a conventional, piano-driven verse, it quickly builds to dramatic chorus, displaying shades of some of KAZE’s chief influences, including Steely Dan and Radiohead.
As the title hints, “Fierce” is an anthem of empowerment. Songwriters Graham McCusker and Amy Webber tell us, “‘Fierce’ is about finding your inner strength to finally stand up to people who intimidate and bully you. It’s about finding your power and your confidence to stand up to injustices.” Fortunately, the song does not fall victim to cliché, reiterating worn sentiments. It is one of KAZE’s great strengths that they can say something new about such a universal subject, just as they had a new approach to what, at its core, was a breakup diatribe in “Pinned On You.”
Despite a compelling flair for the dramatic, KAZE’s songs are streamlined and economical, filtering weighty prog into thrilling pop. Following up the debut EP No Filter, “Fierce” is further evidence of a promising artistic force.
A stellar standout from Late Cambrian‘s brand new LP Sweet Cambrian High Vol. I & II, “Girl Bag Holder” now has a visual companion in the popular ‘musical video’ format. The clip, directed and edited by primary band members John Wlaysewski and Olive Hui, eschews the lyric’s narrative in favor of a stylized study of a young woman simply biding her time with a bottomless candy dish. Great track, fun video, enjoy:
Northern England has launched yet another pristine pop act, a three-piece called TV ME. Led by Thomas McConnell, the band returned to their Liverpool home this past weekent, at the end of a regional tour, just in time to celebrate the release of their four-song EP, A Broadcast From TV ME. At turns breezy and jarring, the EP mixes synthesized and organic instruments in a Harry Nilsson-meets-Brian Wilson-meets-Jon Brion Optigan blur, infused with some extra-modern electronic grooves. Dig it.
Boston-to-L.A. transplants Aloud have released a fantastic new single, “Falling Out Of Love.” It’s a classic soul style ballad, propelled by a tumbling horn arrangement and of course Jen de la Osa‘s belting, plaintive lead vocal. And I would be remiss not to commend unto you the single’s B-side, “Empty House.” Singer Henry Beguiristain takes the lead on this one, and while the style diverges a bit from “Falling Out Of Love,” the vintage feel remains, with powerhouse drums plowing through guitar reverb and a coiling Farfisa organ line (shouts out to drummer Charles Murphy and producer Benny Grotto). Fall out of love this Valentine’s Day, won’t you? Vinyl 45 and digital versions available here.
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