Patrick Wolf, The Maccabees, Lucky Soul, These New Puritans, Los Campesinos! - GIITTV zine Tips for 2007, Part Two.
Seven for Two Thousand and Seven.
Yes you're right you've heard that name before, He's not “new” he's actually got two albums worth of material behind him and a growing cult fan base. At the forefront of a group of artists who ploughed the “Folktronica” furrow, Wolf's work married the folk (violins, guitars, organs, pinao) to his increasing sense of experimentation with beats and tape loops, it all culminated in his best album “Wind in the Wires” a gloriously wistful set of dark, gothic, literate, folk numbers, that brought to mind the country scenery of Cornwall, and the text of Wuthering Heights. In late 2005, Patrick Wolf signed a record deal with Loog, a subsidiary of Polydor, in a Pitchfork interview some time ago Wolf talked of his desire to make a Pop album, his new work “The Magic Position” is that album, featuring collaborations with Marianne Faithfull and Edward Larrikin of Larrikin Love.
Preceded by the creative, twitchy electro of 'Accident And Emergency' late last year. The Magic Position will be released in February, it's a whirling dervish of carnival ride electro pop, that still retains Wolf's ability to open up his ribcage to show us what's going on in his still beating heart. Despite initial unfavorable reviews, The Magic Position is a brave leap, Wolf hopes it will see him smash through the “cultish” glass ceiling of his career to date and into the arms of wider appreciation. Wolf is the kind of artist the mainstream needs, creative, visually striking and a talented songwriter.
Dowload: The Libertine, Accident and Emergency, The Magic Position.
If there's any band that's nailed on to “make it” in 2007, its Brighton based five piece the Maccabees, (South London born). Tight, Taught rhythms, twitching scatter gun guitars and vocals that dance around the Arctic Monkeys precipice before struggling their way upwards into Futureheads territory. But it's the songs dammit, that make them stand out, and lead me to believe that they have the sound to fill that Bloc Party circa 2005 hole in our lives. The Maccabees have an irresistible way with a melody that mixed with Orlando Weeks' anxiously introspective lyrics, and head bobbing danceable rhythms that might make the Maccabees unstoppable this year. Their new single “About Your Dress” is released on the 26th Of February.
Download: Lego, First Love. Precious Time.
Doing it the old fashioned way are South London Six Piece Lucky soul. Last year saw them release their gorgeous heartbroken, debut single “My Brittle Heart” it sold out in advance all over the country and was awarded single of the week in The Guardian Guide. While the delicious shake shimmy melodies of 'Lips are Unhappy' went into the indie chart at number 12, sporting an impressively HI Fi sound(given their obvious financial restrictions) jangling guitars, delightfully unobtrusive strings, Spectorish rhythms, and frontlady' Ali's achingly beautiful, bittersweet delivery.
Lucky Soul's first album, The Great Unwanted, will be out in March '07, and they released a single last week(15th Jan) featuring the songs "Ain't Never Been Cool," "I Gots the Magic," and "Struck Dumb." Lucky Soul stand apart right now with an individual style: that applies the best melancholic mascara of early nineties female fronted indie(Catatonia et al), to their foundation of a smart widescreen Fifities and Sixities style, think Dusty, Think Motown, in 2007 think Lucky Soul.
Download: My Brittle Heart, Lips Are Unhappy, Aint Never Been Cool
These New Puritans
Southend quartet These New Puritans are a breath of fresh air in some ways, dismantling the hard and fast rules of “indie” verse/chorus/verse/chorus, their sound owes more to the existential electro punk of Public Image Limited or the scrambling angry stream of consciousness vocals of Mark E Smith. Yet their sound retains a fiercely independent taint, a reassuredly English driving lofi industrial tech- punk, rhythm that burrows its way into your head through your eyeballs rather like the brainwashing scene from Kubrick's “A Clockwork Orange.” Earnt great plaudits all round for their debut EP Now! Pluvial EP, and developed a fearsome live reputation in the capitol with a series of incendiary performances, 2007 might just be the year that These New Puritans earn a bit of attention, just a bit mind you, they're too busy marking out their own raw, angry creative sonic canvas, to care about the charts.
Download: En Papier, 16 Century, Chamber
The Black Tulips
Brighton boy /girl four piece The Black Tulips have demanded our attention in the last few years, from their self titled, debut EP that bristled with primal post punk ferocity, to the sedate fuzz of their anti anthem “We The Lonely Ones” of this year, and the genuine extravagance and sonic expression of their latest ep The Dogs home, that is inhabited by the ghosts of Hammer Horror, Kate Bush and Siouxie and the Banshees, Currently holed up in a studio bunker working on their debut album, expect the unexpected from a band who seem determined to create their own unique, dark artistic visions in sound.
Download: The Dogs Home EP, I Just Keep Coming, We The Lonely Ones.
Ten years ago Newport was in some quarters dubbed the Welsh Seattle, bands like The Sixty Foot Dolls were making waves, and ten years on Newport is more sin ominous with The GLC. So it came as quite a pleasure to hear From Mars' new ep moving from a three piece to a four piece definitely pushed them up a notch, producing new powerful melodic slabs of noise. Reminding me of the ferocity and dynamism of the Pixies, the sheer energy of At The Drive in, what was most impressive was their ability to switch in the final Track to twitching gang of four art rock. They've recently signed to Booby-trap records, and are definitely a band to watch out for.
Download: 1st May, Fallout
Los Campesinos are an outrageously young Cardiff-based seven piece playing twee indie pop bursting with the excesses of youth and the glee of harmonious gluttony.
This is summer music. By the next time the grass is green instead of yellow-brown, Los Campesinos will be the name everybody is buzzing about. “You! Me! Dancing!”, their 6 minute slab of orgasmic pop, will soon be hurtling out of Radio One every minute of every day; MTV2 will have their happy little student faces on a continuous cycle until your telescreen implodes, leaving your smile muscles aching and exhausted.
They stomp and they shout, they play the glockenspiel, they have lyrics like “If only there was clothes on the floor / I'd feel certain I was bedroom dancing / It's all flaming limbs on the front line…” they've got male/female vocals, they've got colour and talent, they've got nice names and an even nicer approach to life in general. What more could you want?
Los Campesinos! Recently signed to Wichita records, and release the double 'A' sided 'We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives'/' Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)' in late February. You can get on a CD, a limited edition seven-inch and a download.
All acts tipped by Bill Cummings, apart from Los Campesinos tipped by David Segurola.