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'
If you're frustrated right now because you're stuck in work while it's sunny outside, we're in the same boat - I work three days a week in an office (on stuff that isn't related to music at all, sadly), and definitely wasn't a fan of being trapped inside some place hot and stuffy. I really would much rather have been outside, but thankfully I'm able to make up for that this weekend. [read more]
What did you do this week? Much of my week was spent in the sun, dealing with 38-degree heat. (That's Celsius, American readers.) When I wasn't doing that, I was rediscovering my love of swimming; I hadn't been in any sort of swimming pool for a few years, but my technique is still basically flawless. [read more]
I seem to spend half my life on trains. That's the major drawback to living somewhere where things don't happen. So I'm headed to Dublin again for another gig, to cap off a week in which - even by the usual standards - there's been a veritable avalanche of new music to get through. I work three days a week (at a non-music-related job, sadly), so it's a wonder how I handle it. [read more]