Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Katie Malco - Tearing Ventricles

Music that makes us feel sad, or expresses a sad emotion is often used as an easy trick, because it creates an emotional response in the listener very quickly, but Katie Malco isn’t using any cheap tricks on us here.  This EP is a true revelation of feeling, “leave the past where it belongs” she asks in an absolutely angelic, powerful, yet unnervingly delicate voice, backed by simple piano in a manner that Perfume Genius would be proud of.

Put simply, this EP transports you to a quiet space where all that matters is the words being sung, and the notes being played. It’s utterly captivating.
Tearing Ventricles is still going to be a jaw-dropping, heart-wrenchingly beautiful work if you buy it and only listen to it through your laptop speakers, or on the bus, or wherever. But on vinyl, or at least through ‘good’ (whatever that means) speakers, something seems to happen to an already magical EP - it’s worth noting that It is technically only available on vinyl, although that comes with a download code as well as a postcard with said code on it to send to a friend (another brilliant idea from our favourites Alcopop! Records).
It’s rare that I finish a review simply by saying “just buy it” because it’s kind of my job to tell you why you should do that, and it’s even rarer to come across a work that I think will appeal to almost everyone. But Katie Malco clearly has a rare, charismatic talent and has achieved in only 2 EPs what many never do in a career - to create something real and beautiful and wonderful.

Monday, 5 August 2013

What I’m Listening To This Week:

A selection of things I’m enjoying at the moment, new and old.

Fresh - Summer Camp; more slick pop from a band that roll out well crafted indie hit after hit without any difficulty. It’s got the hint of 80s and a strong hook that marks their sound; "do you remember the first time?" Sankey asks sweetly over a beat made for bopping about to in front of your laptop. It comes with a band made lyric video too.

Default Blues - Frightened Rabbit; this one builds a bit more slowly than what you might be used to with FR but once it hits the euphoric chorus it’s clear this is another gem from an astoundingly consistent band.

Aside - The Weakerthans; Not a new track by any means, but one of those painfully good angst-fests that sometimes gets forgotten about, but sounds better with every listen.

ONSIND - Sweet and Tender Julian; one of my favourite bands; a Durham based acoustic group with heavy punk influences but a very strong talent for hooks that you won’t even realise exist until a few days later when you’re singing. Lyrically they like to make a point and the single from their latest album ‘Anaesthesiology’ includes the fantastic chorus " “never trust a tory, they’ll betray you when it matters / They will scramble to the top and then they’ll kick away the ladder", as well as numerous
references within the album to current events (but never in a way that feels jarring, it fits perfectly).

The Pastels - Secret Music; perfectly executed dreamy, woozy summer pop

Runaround Kids - A Way That Works; another favourite band at LBW; joyfully noisy and achingly melodic in turn, a lovely track from a very good band.

The Front Bottoms - Peach; it is funny at first, but The FBs are a really really badly named band, they get away with it though. Their second album ‘Talon of the Hawk’ is as enjoyable as their first, if not more so. It’s aggressively affectionate and addictively emotional, every line feels like it needs to be shouted very loudly in a sweaty room of teenagers or scrawled in a diary. Peach is a sweet but somehow heartbreaking love song, every line that speak of happiness or love is followed by a painful truth.Only the FBs could craft with this level of mastery such a bitter-sweet song in the name of love.
 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST (not including the FR song)