Singles round up – September 2014
Including new releases from Garden of Elks, Rozi Plain and Rachel Dadd, Baio and Night Noise Team
Something of a Glasgow rock supergroup with members of Bronto Skylift, Paws and the late Dananananaykroyd in their number, Garden of Elks release an EP which is pleasingly not at all what might be expected from a combination of those three. The title song is a clattering, breakneck rocker all right, but the mood soon switches to no-fi acoustica on ‘Super Glue’ and ghostly, barely there minimalism amid the sparse piano chords of ‘Asleep on the Stairs’. ‘Cleveland, Ohio’ is a weird and downbeat hip hop riff, a strangely satisfying end to a package which bears a little of Sonic Youth’s early days experimentalism.
Garden of Elks play Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow, Thu 18 Sep with John Knox Sex Club.
(Lost Map) ●●●●
Sharing the love with Plain’s label ahead of both their new albums, Bristolian friends and modernist folkie compatriots Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd split a single here for Eigg’s Lost Map. Plain’s ‘Jogalong’ (from her forthcoming album Friend) is the more relatively out there of the two, a reserved pulse of guitar, keyboards and mantra-like vocals which suggests it really has been designed for running, while Dadd’s ‘Strike Our Scythes’ is the more traditionally folky, boasting a vocal which echoes Beth Orton and a melody which reminds of Rotary Connection’s ‘I Am the Black Gold of the Sun’.
Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd play Cowane’s Hospital, Stirling, Sat 20 Sep; Glad Café, Glasgow, Sun 21 Sep.
Baio – On&On&On&On / Missive EP
(Club Mod) ●●●
In a career move which surely ranks at least mid-table on the list of oddest musical choices ever, it seems Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio (second cousin to Scott ‘Chachi from Happy Days’ Baio, a fact it’s hard to tire of) has quit New York for London and set up as a club producer under the wing of Modular offshoot Club Mod. This EP isn’t his first release under his own steam, and it’s a mature, melodic collection of house grooves, although perhaps it’s not one to get a dancefloor moving so much as a pleasant stay-at-home listen. Imagine, if you will, Four Tet with finely-chopped Balearic house vocals and a side order of generic disco grooves.
(Permwhale Recordings) ●●●
Acting as a preview to Edinburgh-based, French-Irish production duo Night Noise Team’s upcoming third album Rever Electrique, ‘Days’ is possibly the first song in living history to borrow lyrically from Philip Larkin (‘Days’, of course) and musically from early-90s New Order / the Smiths offshoot Electronic. It sounds great, a louche, casual swirl of indie-funk and piano house fused together in a manner that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Hacienda dancefloor in ’89, and while admittedly it overstays its welcome a bit (although it’s barely four minutes long), 12-inch mixes were all the rage in those days anyway.
Launch gig at Limbo at Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 20 Sep.