Slow Club, a pair who are much revered by us all at FFS, have finally announced the release date for their début album, Yeah So. Now, don’t get too excited just yet. We do have to wait until 6th July to explore the pleasure trove that Charles and Rebecca have doubtless put together for us, but luckily they have a bit more brilliance stuffed up their plaid sleeves.
Listening to Rachel Harrington sing tales from her second album, City of Refuge, is akin to being sat in front of the fire by your great aunt Bess and told the stories that made her a woman in a time when wagons rolled and the fiddle and the banjo were played without a hint of retro irony.
Building up layers of synthesiser and creating an engagingly ethereal – by which I mean otherworldly but without being atmospheric like Sigur Rós – sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow are as unexpected as their name.
London via Sweden’s Fanfarlo have been steadily bringing out a single a year for around three years now. Their debut album, Reservoir, has finally been unleashed and as expected, it has been more than worth the wait.
The rather wonderful Fanfarlo have been beavering away to make 500 limited edition copies of their forthcoming album, Reservoir. We love a bit of a DIY ethos her at FFS (which is why our HQ is only half painted…) so were delighted when we saw this picture of the band mid-make.
Communion has announced a corker of a line-up for its first festival. The London – and now Brighton – night organised by Kev Jones of Cherbourg and Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, has curated a folk stage at Bloom in Bristol.
In their second album Cats on Fire display their finely honed good taste with a selection of songlets which evoke the likes of The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and Kings of Convenience. They’ve been criticised for this elsewhere, but it’s hard to question the combination of influences that are woven into the silken fabric of this album. Listening to it is like coming home to find that your beloved record collection’s had a bonkfest and produced a beautiful baby in your absence.
For those Londoners going stir crazy this bank holiday weekend we’ve got a last minute gig suggestion for you. My Latest Novel are launching their second album Deaths and Entrances at Bush Hall tonight, with support from It Hugs Back, Left With Pictures and Stars of Sunday League.
Members from the likes of Beirut, The Arcade Fire and Belle & Sebastian have played a role in creating Flare’s (aka Flare Acoustic Arts League) diverse and brilliantly produced third album Cut. They lead on from the likes of The New Pornographers and The Hidden Cameras in showing that good pop music does not have to be formulaic. In fact, each of the songs on Cut manages to stand out as unique. This diversity accounts for a lot of its charm but equally accounts for its few flaws.
Oxford’s indie music society (ISOC) have announced a party to be coveted by any discerning birthday girl or boy. ‘Imstock’ will celebrate 20 years of indie music appreciation, with a line-up that’ll blow even the finest Pizza Hut birthday bash out of the water. The event will take place at the Jericho Tavern, Oxford on June 14th.
Lovely folkette Alessi has recorded an off-the-cuff cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic ‘Simple Man’, which is available to download free.
Sad Day For Puppets are Scandinavia’s latest contribution to the UK music scene. With thoughts of Aqua, Alphabeat and ABBA, I approached them with unnecessary caution, as on the strength of this album, Sad Day For Colours have cemented their place on my summer’s playlist.
A Mouthful is a master class in marvellous, unadulterated eclecticism. The record is a mad-sounding melange of all things beautiful – there are recorders, harmonicas, hand-claps, glockenspiels and swirling strings. There is ostentatious, borderline gypsy brass, playground chanting, mc-ing and piano. Melodies swing from sweet and bluesy on tracks like ‘Searching Gold’ to electro-tinged late 1970s nostalgia on ‘Aha’. Too much, you would think? Not for a minute. All of this put together works bloody brilliantly. This album is – my well-documented Francophile over-enthusiasm aside – a work of sprawling genius.
Malcolm Middleton, once half of Arab Strap along with Aiden Moffat, denies being a grump, but his website is adorned with wee unhappy faces and he wants to start a miserabilist girl band in which “a bunch of young lookers with great voices sing all the black shit that comes out of me during my worst depression”. Sounds pretty good actually… here he answers our “above average bunch of questions”.
Jo Legg conducts a friendly interrogation of super busy genre-hoppers The Dø. This duo make fantastic pop songs, and here FFS finds out exactly how they do it.
Celtic darling Cara Dillon was barely out of her teens when she was invited to replace Kate Rusby in the Warner-backed folk supergroup Equation. Cara didn’t stay long with the group, preferring to breakaway with fellow band member Sam Lakeman whom she married and has recorded with ever since. After three albums on Rough Trade, Cara’s latest album Hill of Thieves was recorded at home, produced by Sam and put out on their own label. It finds the couple returned to their folk roots with simple acoustic versions of traditional songs. Cara talked to FFS about breaking free from major record labels and the challenges of touring while being a mum, but only after she had put the twins to bed.
Isobel Morris and Jim Kimberley began their music careers in folk clubs before meeting and forming alt-rock duo Bruise. After years of jamming folk songs with friends the couple have returned to their roots, teaming up with Nottingham based guitarist Gary Southwell to form A Murder of Rooks. FFS caught up with Jim and Isobel in The Pelton Arms in Greenwich at the monthly Sunday afternoon folk session which they host.