Since launching the New Bands Panel a couple of years ago, FFS has featured well over 100 emerging artists and discovered some absolute treats along the way. We do our best to keep up with what a lot of them are getting up to and recently heard from a handful of those who highlighted 2010 for the panel.
New York songwriter Charles Mansfield is back with a fresh EP, Monday Morning, expanding on his dark, bluesy style as he goes for a larger soundscape, highlighted by ‘Rome, NY’, which might be the first thing he’s ever done to approach the term ‘uplifting’. The EP is streaming now via his myspace page.
Matthew Kilford caught the ears with a sophisticated sound when he came to us with his House On The Hill EP. Now he has a short EP, Funeral Circus, which sees his lyrics take a turn for the more macabre, even if the music doesn’t always follow. ‘One More Thing’ asks us “Why did you negate your life?” even as the tune is one of the happier in his back catalogue. ‘Fire On My Shoulder’ is the highlight – a sweet, golden song you can hear below.
Sacramento’s Musical Charis spent much of the summer touring the US but still found time to release Ace of Space, the follow up to their debut album People, People. It’s a huge leap forward as they hugely expand their sound, experimenting with an array of new sounds, and hitting you with the new direction right off the bat on the opener ‘Japanda Underwater’, which uses noise and electronica but quickly builds into an engaging sound. The highlight is ‘Monday’, featured below, but its worth giving the whole thing – streaming on their bandcamp – a listen to see the range of ideas.
Karenin’s Smile were featured a little more recently on the panel when we looked at their debut EP back in March. They’re in the final stages of preparing the follow-up, and have sent us this preview in the form of Occultation. I could waste time telling you how great it is, or I could encourage you to listen yourself.