New Music Friday: 7th December 2012
The internet has essentially been conspiring against me this week. I've had to deal with multiple power outages and random connection dropouts, the vast majority of which have occurred whilst doing research for this week's edition of New Music Friday, so that's why my column this week is rather last minute. Even as I type this, I am on the train home from college and doing battle with some dreadful wi-fi. It's just as well that the quality of music in this column is so high as to make all these setbacks entirely worth it.
Those of you who have been keeping up will know the format by now, but newcomers should note that I've spent time scouring the web for my 15 picks - as usual, they come from around the world. As time goes on, I may do special editions of NMF that highlight a particular scene or focus on a particular country, but for now, I'm thinking global, and I have to say that there are one or two tracks this week that come from potential world-beaters. Let's begin, shall we?
Track of the Week: Bear//Face - 'Taste My Sad'
My highlight this week gets bonus points for its title being an Arrested Development reference; I reckon its creator's reward should be a whole thing of candy beans. This 19-year-old Belfast beatmaker goes only by Ciaran, or Bear//Face, and his latest track coasts along on a brilliantly simple melody, augmented by pitch-shifted vocals and a sound that practically drips atmosphere. It sounds simultaneously intimate and expansive, the kind of track that is insanely difficult to listen to just once. Ciaran has been keeping rather busy - 'Taste My Sad' is taken from the Beat_Tape EP.
Dolfinz - 'Yeah Right'
Ooh, Dolfinz - there's a name we haven't come across in a while. If you're wondering just where the hell they've been, the answer is that they roped in a new bassist (an ex-Copy Haho member, just by the way), and are probably squirrelled away in a recording studio working on new material. If it's anything like the 2:27 of grunge-pop brilliance that is Yeah Right, they need to get their skates on and put out some more stuff as soon as possible. The Stonehaven-based band walk a line between pop smarts and a don't-give-a-damn flippant attitude that is rather endearing. They know their way around a hook, too.
Two Jackals - 'Arrows'
As much as I'd like to take credit for coming across this myself, this sublime song was a late addition to the lineup this week; Jamie Milton over at This Is Fake DIY deserves a hat tip for bringing this to my attention, and I'm rather glad he did. This bunch of 17-year-olds go under the collective name of Two Jackals, and this dark and ambitious song has been knocking around for the guts of 9 months now, but it really should be on your radar - the band display a sense of confidence that's well beyond their years. Sure, it's a little rough around the edges, but the seeds of something quite impressive have been sown; here's hoping 2013 is the year Two Jackals really make an impact.
Los Encantados - 'ZZZZ'
Spring has sprung! Happy February to all of my readers - you're lucky I can't do the whole 'pinch, punch, first of the month!' thing over the internet. You'll just have to imagine it instead. I couldn't do it anyway, because then I'd get fired, but still probably livetweet the whole ordeal. People do that now, apparently. [read more]
That sound you just heard was me finally crawling out from beneath the mountain of stuff that I've been buried under for much of the last few weeks. Having essentially uprooted my life, I've moved to Dublin and started college and begun getting used to what will hopefully be my base of operations for the next three years. [read more]
I don't know if you heard, but apparently the royal baby was born this week. Did anyone see this widely reported on any news channels or anything? Seriously, though - I followed the story on Twitter, and from the sounds of things, the coverage from elsewhere made social networking sites look like they were trying to keep things quiet. [read more]
A year (and two days) ago, I got my first review published on the 405. It was this. So to commemorate my one-year anniversary as a member of the writing team, and also to mark seven months of this column in its current guise as New Music Friday - nope, not six, because I completely forgot to do something last month - there's a larger helping of new music coming this week. [read more]