Tag Archives: album

Warbly Jets: Neuer Song, Album & Tour

Wer in letzter Zeit einen Mangel an guter Rockmusik in seinem Leben verspürt, sollte sich den Namen dieser neuen Band aus Los Angeles merken: Warbly Jets haben gerade mit Shapeshifter die vierte Vorab-Single aus ihrem kommenden Debütalbum veröffentlicht, und auch diese kann mit den ebenso rotzigen wie melodiösen Vorgängertracks 4th Coming Bomb, The Lowdown und Alive mühelos mithalten. Brooklyn Vegan verglich Warbly Jets bereits mit den frühen Primal Scream und Dandy Warhols. Mit ungetrübter Lässigkeit, Verspieltheit und Spot-On-Songwriting erfindet das Quartett zwar nicht gerade das Rad neu, aber Spaß macht das Ganze auf jeden Fall und ist eine willkommene Erfrischung in der zur Zeit sehr gitarrenarmen Musikszene.

Das Debütalbum Warbly Jets erscheint am 20. Oktober. Zuvor spielt die Band diesen Monat zwei Konzerte in Deutschland:

29.09.2017 – Berlin – Privatclub w/ Amazons
30.09.2017 – Dortmund – Way Back When Festival

Fotocredit: Moni Haworth

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Neues Album: Bosco Rogers

Passend zum lang ersehnten Sommereinbruch ist es endlich da: das noch länger ersehnte erste Album Post Exotic des anglofranzösischen Duos Bosco Rogers. Und – quelle surprise – es ist natürlich eins der Debütalben des Jahres.

Schon auf den beiden EPs Googoo (2014) und French Kiss (2015) schafften es die beiden Bandmitglieder Barthélémy ‘Barth’ Corbelet und Delphinius ‘Del’ Vargas (ja, die heißen wirklich so), zwischen verträumter 60er-Psychedelia, Garage-Geknarze und süchtigmachenden Popmelodien etwas gleichermaßen Altbekanntes und doch zu keiner Sekunde Langweiliges zu kreieren. Von den insgesamt acht bärenstarken Songs der beiden EPs hat man die schnoddrigen Googoo und In Stereo, das melodieverliebte French Kiss, mit dem die Band mich damals augenblicklich überzeugte, den 700k-Spotify-Plays-Hit The Middle mit seinem markanten Gepfeife und den 1:40-Minuten-Reißer Buttercup mit aufs Album rübergenommen. Außerdem mit am Start ist die aktuelle Single True Romance, ein zukünftiger Nr. 1-Hit aus der Retorte, den man mit seinem tausendmal so oder so ähnlich gehörten Refrain (We wanna love / We wanna dance …) wohl entweder lieben oder hassen muss. Viel mehr sagt mir dagegen Drinking For Two mit seinen Beach-Boys-Reminiszenzen zu. Insgesamt bleibt die Qualität das Album über durchgehend hoch; Bosco Rogers variieren ihren Sound genug, um abwechslungsreich zu bleiben, ohne dabei ihren Wiedererkennungswert zu verlieren. Was ihnen außerdem geling, ist eine kohärente Stimmung zu schaffen, wie ein heißer Sommertag, den man halb dösend in einem verdunkelten Zimmer verbringt. Aber nicht ohne zwischendurch zum Feiern rauszugehen.

Neues Album & Tour: DIIV

Vier Jahre lang war es ruhig um Zachary Cole Smith und DIIV, die Nachfolgeband von Beach Fossils. Ob er einfach nur mit Freundin Sky Ferreira ein Haus bauen wollte oder ob es an seinem Drogenentzug lag, wollen wir jetzt nicht weiter erörtern, schließlich ist das hier ja ein Musikblog. In Vorfreude auf die im März kommende Tour haben Edgar Storch und Belle Brummell ohne jeglichen Weinkonsum das neue Album “Is The Is Are” ausführlich diskutiert.

Edgar Storch: Wie soll man diese Musikrichtung am besten bezeichnen? “Dreamy Indie Rock” finde ich ganz gut, dreamy ist es auf jeden Fall, auch wenn du dir die Musikvideos anguckst: auf 8mm-Film geshooted, Mädchen mit langen Haaren in American Apparel Hotpants … dieses Feeling, das schwimmt auf so einer Emotionswelle, die nicht direkt traurig ist, aber auch nicht gut gelaunt, eher so ein bisschen desinteressiert.

Belle Brummell: Es hat mich ehrlich gesagt überrascht, dass DIIV in New York wohnen, weil ihre Musik eindeutig diesen Surf-Einfluss hat, dieses kalifornische, und dann auch noch der Name, “Dive”, wie auch schon Beach Fossils. Diese Welle ist einfach nach New York übergeschwappt, wortwörtlich. Als es damals losging, mit DIIV und anderen Bands wie Swim Deep, dieser ganze Lo-Fi-Surf-Wave-Kram, hat mich das nicht besonders interessiert, aber jetzt mit dem zweiten Album kam man ja nicht mehr daran vorbei.

Edgar:  Ich habe das erste Album auch nicht so wirklich gehört, dabei mochte ich schon Beach Fossils gerne. Aber dieses 17 Song starke zweite Album hat mich total überzeugt. Es hat die ganze Zeit etwas monotones, es wiederholt sich und baut eine Stimmung auf, die um dich herum wabert, sodass du dich darin verlieren kannst wie in einer analogen Traumwelt.

Belle: Ich stelle mir das live sehr geil vor, weil die Lieder dieses repetitive Element haben und auch nicht sehr vocal-lastig sind, obwohl Vocals da sind, aber die Hook wird immer von der Gitarre gespielt. Dadurch funktioniert die Musik auch, ohne dass man konkret auf die Lyrics achtet.

Edgar: Das stimmt, die Stimme setzt sich gar nicht ab von den Instrumenten, sie wird selber zu einem Instrument und fügt sich da komplett mit ein. Es ist fast schon Instrumentalmusik.

Belle: Für mich hat Dopamine von Anfang an sehr rausgestochen, weil es als einziges Lied sehr prominente Vocals hat. Die anderen Stücke ähneln sich für mich sehr, sie sind eher instrumental, zumindest die Haupthook. Und Dopamine hat diesen sehr repetitiven Gesang. Eins von diesen fiesen Liedern, die nie zu einem Punkt kommen, sondern sich in einem ewigen Zirkel bewegen.

Edgar: Für mich funktioniert es als Gesamtkonzept, ich könnte keinen Titel herausheben, eher als wäre alles ein großer Song. Es erinnert mich an eine Art modernen Indie-Krautrock, da hat man auch 20-minütige Tracks. Da geht es nicht um einzelne Titel. Solche Musik verstehst du erst wirklich, wenn du sie fünf mal gehört hast. Und wenn du ihr irgendwo außerhalb von diesem bewussten Hören begegnest, ist es wie ein Deja vu, das du nicht richtig zuordnen kannst, aber irgendwie hat es etwas in dir ausgelöst. Dadurch kann ich gar nicht sofort sagen “Das ist jetzt DIIV”, wenn ich einen einzelnen Song herausgerissen aus dem Ganzen höre.
Außerdem hast du bei diesem Album die ganze Zeit eine Spannung, die durchgängig erhalten bleibt und dich zum Weiterhören zwingt. Ich habe das Album morgens auf dem Weg zur Schule gehört und mich von meiner Umwelt total abgeschottet gefühlt. Ich wäre fast mit dem Ring einmal komplett rumgefahren. Es hat mich voll reingezogen.

 

DIIV kommen im März/April für vier Konzerte nach Deutschland:

30.03.16 – Köln, Gebäude 9
31.03.16 – Berlin, Lido
10.04.16 – Hamburg, Uebel & Gefährlich

01.04.16 – München, Orangehouse

 

New single & video: The Libertines

libs anthemsEven the last skeptic has to admit it’s happening: Yes, we are indeed getting a new album from The Libertines. Named after a World War I poem, Anthems For Doomed Youth will be the band’s third longplayer and the first since 2004. The release date has now been revealed to be September 4th of this year, along with the album cover, and most importantly, a first single and video. Gunga Din picks up surprisingly close to where The Libertines left off eleven years ago. “It feels like nothing’s changed”, sings Carl Barât, and indeed the four members seem just as prone to rowdy nights out as ever, if one is to believe the new video. Filmed in Thailand, it shows Barât, co-frontman Pete Doherty, bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell tumbling through the streets of Pattaya, Thailand, drinking, passing out in hotel rooms, as if they weren’t ten years older now than in the prime of their career. Luckily, the youthful exuberance has not gone missing from their music; The Libertines still know how to write a huge sing-along chorus, and still spit out their lines with as much vigour as ever. Gunga Din definitely gives us high hopes for album no. 3, and we’re looking forward to their Lollapallooza Berlin performance in September, which we will be covering for you as well.

(Our visitors from Germany can watch the video on VEVO)

Album Release & Tour: Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe

tessanton3Tess Parks mit der rauchigen Kratz-Stimme aus Toronto sagt, sie sei mit der Musik von Bob Dylan, Nirvana, den Beatles, Rolling Stones und Led Zeppelin groß geworden. Mit 17 zog sie nach London und hing dort während ihrer Studienzeit mit The Dandy Warhols und Alan McGee ab. Zusammen mit Anton Newcombe von The Brian Jonestown Massacre entstand ein ganzes Album mit dem Titel ‘I Declare Nothing’, das die traditionellen BJM-Sounds mit impulsivem Psychedelic-Rock vereint. Nachdem am 3. Juli die Platte über Newcombes Label A Recordings erschient, geht’s auf Tour durch Deutschland.

06.07.2015 Berlin – Magnet

09.07.2015 München – Strom

10.07.2015 Köln – Luxor

https://www.facebook.com/tessparksmusic

Album review: Cayucas – Dancing At The Blue Lagoon

cayucas-coverIf you’re a fan of sun-drenched, dreamy indie pop, you may have come across Cayucas already. The twin brother duo, made up of Zack and Ben Yudin, have named themselves after their sleepy Californian hometown, and already had a hit with namesake track Cayucos off their 2013 debut album Bigfoot. Their new longplayer Dancing At The Blue Lagoon (released on June 19 in Germany) continues in the tradition of the first by skilfully delivering the soundtrack to lazy summer days. This does not mean, however, that the album was monotone or forgettable: songs like the first hit single Moony Eyed Walrus or Hella will make you stir up the sand between your toes as your chilled out beach day turns into a dance party.

With the euphoric strings on Champion or opener Big Winter Jacket, Cayucas prove they can add original ideas to the slightly overdone genre of ‘tropical indie’ while also bringing a welcome melancholy into their songs which lends them depth as well as a thick sense of nostalgia. Even if you’ve never been to the town of Cayucos or the mythical Blue Lagoon, you will probably feel some sense of a place, real or imaginary, while listening to this album. It is also one of those records that start revealing their layers with time, and are therefore worth listening to several time to fully grasp them.

Upcoming album release: Rathborne – Soft

Luke Rathborne seems to be a man who enjoys the contradictory. “I get soft” he croaks on the title track of his new album, while a wall of distorted, grungy guitars rise around his snarly vocals. Soft (out 16 February), despite its title, is an unpolished piece of garage rock, refined with a bunch of pop melodies that can be hummed along to at the first listening. Tracks like What More and Wanna Be You (listen below) get stuck in your head immediately while the delicate Little Moment comes pretty close to radio-pop perfection. There is plenty of songwriting goodness to be found on the album, and with its up-beat, energetic attitude, Soft is a feel-good record with an edge.

Since moving from his native Maine to New York City to fully start his career, Luke Rathborne has won some famous fans, including Devandra Banhart and The Strokes’ Albert Hammond jr., who co-produced the new album. After his debut album After Dark, which he recorded at age 16, and an EP, Soft has got the potential to make Luke Rathborne the next garage rock prodigy.

Luke Rathborne plays in Germany supporting Guster on the following dates:

09.03. Hamburg, Prinzenbar
10.03. Berlin,  Privatclub
12.03. Cologne, Blue Shell
13.03. Frankfurt, Nachtleben
14.03. Munich, Orangehouse

Check back for our review of his Berlin gig to see whether Luke can make the audience “soft” as well…

Kaiser Chiefs: Build a record, boys!

Personally, I think the crash of the music industry was the best thing that could happen. What else could have rendered labels and artists this inventive?

For instance. Who would have thought, just ten years back, that each fan would one day be able to create their own personalised record, choosing 10 out of 20 songs and designing their own album artwork?* Exactly.

So the above scenario is what the Kaiser Chiefs thought of to generate some media attention preceding the release of their fourth longplayer. They even thought of a witty title: ‘The Future is Medieval’.

Even if you hate the Kaiser Chiefs (which I assume most people do), the page is worth looking at for the cute flash animation alone (which will appear after clicking on ‘create album’). I for one liked their first two albums at least, so I clicked on some of the neat little symbols and listened to about five snippets, but what I heard sounded even less interesting than their failed third release, ‘Off with their Heads’. So yeah, guess the idea is good, but I’d say, ‘something for fans’.

* I learnt at university that there once, long ago, were sellers who would sell you tapes of your self-made playlists. I mean you could technically do that at home, which I guess is why the business idea eventually failed. Of course, the Kaiser Chiefs aren’t exactly offering something you can’t do yourself at home either … but as I said, it’s a nice way of trying to sell the fan something a little more original than just a plain old album.

Festival Season 2011 (1): Dot to Dot, Manchester (GB)

This afternoon I have been able to leave my bed and the house for the first time in two days. My legs still refuse to use stairs without putting me through remarkable pains. All this is thanks to my early festival season start at Manchester’s Dot to Dot Festival, which took place on May 30th. In my case, it equalled a 12-hour marathon of 15 gigs in six venues. Starting in the early afternoon with minor, presumably local acts in the Academy’s smaller concert halls, I interrupted gig-going only to conduct an interview with the band Colourmusic, later attending shows by The Naked & Famous, Guillemots, Cults and Wolf Gang, successfully avoiding the headliners (namely Hurts, Darwin Deez and We Are Scientists, all of which I had seen before), until my final breakdown around 2 am at Sound Control’s roof terrace, where I had a slightly more informal conversation with the singer of Dom …

I have previously witnessed less successful attempts at SXSW’ing, namely the Reeperbahn Festival in my cherished hometown of Hamburg. Luckily, Manchester is even more well-structured for events like these, possessing three venues in the University’s Students’ Union building alone and another one, the Academy 1, right next door. With the remaining two participating clubs, The Deaf Institute and Sound Control, only two and four bus stops away, long walks were not necessary, and until 12 am I never experienced any trouble getting into the desired venue, which cannot necessarily be said for Hamburg’s counterpart. I can’t speak for the people who tried to see headliners though, because I personally am of the opinion that you don’t go to these festivals to see headliners, you want to breathe in the fresh air of something new and surprising. And the Dot to Dot line-up was crammed with things supposedly new and surprising, the advance ticket price of 25 quid being more than fair.

I hit the Students’ Union at about 2.30 pm, obtained my blue plastic wristband and joyfully threw myself into the performance of a band called Stagecoach. Although I had labelled them worthwile in my prelistening sessions, faced with their live show I found myself not in the mood for punk-pop, as I’ve got horribly high standards when it comes to punk-pop, with so many awful bands around in this genre. Luckily again, the booking of Dot to Dot did not allow for too many unsigned, local or [insert other insulting adjective] artists, which was proven by the next act whose show I attended.

Veto: pretty in flannel.

My attitude towards the Danish group Veto was mixed: Whereas their name was well known to me, and I knew people who liked them, their music had not quite sparked my enthusiasm yet. So it was quite to my surprise that I found myself dancing like a spastic throughout their set, although it consisted of pretty average indie-electro-rock of the sort you’d expect from a Danish band; the band itself consisting of pretty average, flannel-shirted beardy men of the sort you’d expect to be in a Danish band. Thus, they did not disappoint, but did not make themselves remembered either.

We made our way back upstairs to see a band called Swimming, who had pleased me last autumn opening for Carl Barât, only to find their gig had been cancelled. The only other band performing at the same time was Frontiers, who were quite amazed at the packed venue, not knowing, obviously, that the crowds had little other options than seeing them. We were positively surprised by the two songs we could catch before the gig was over, and immediately wished we had come earlier, as the neatly dressed lads on stage convinced with some mercilessly catchy indie-pop tunes. And obviously they also knew what a cool band name these days is. I mean, in the Dot to Dot lineup alone, we had, besides Frontiers, bands called Alpines, Braids and Cults. Along with up-and-coming acts such as Tribes, Mirrors and the amazing Battles who I’ll see on Saturday, I can definitely see a trend there. A trend that suddenly makes me wish someone brought the good old ‘The band’ back.

Niki and the Dove: pretty with face paint.

Following the advice by a Swedish friend, we returned to the downstairs Club Academy to catch Niki and the Dove, a Swedish group previously unknown to me. Whereas my American companion was utterly pleased with their exotic electro-folk, I only enjoyed their flutes and funny face paint to a limited degree. Not that they were bad, let alone unoriginal, but spheric sound layers with a high female voice chirping over it is obviously not everybody’s thing, I can say from personal experience.

Foreign Office: pretty with nerd glasses.

To get away from the Swedish folk fairy, I lured my friend into coming up with me and attending the performance by Foreign Office. Actually, it was him who had suggested we see them, which is why I take no responsibility for what followed. As soon as the band had come on stage and started their set, I said: ‘Why am I thinking of Weezer?’, which I think nobody in the audience didn’t. My American friend, though, had one more band in mind: Devo and their 80s trash hit ‘Whip It’. And yes, what Foreign Office played was certainly catchy and well-crafted, but it was so painfully 80s that after the second song, it made you want grab the keyboard player and shove his instrument down his throat. Maybe it would help if their singer lost those Buddy Holly glasses and they actually came up with some ideas of their own. Later that day I met the band at a fastfood place, but I didn’t dare say anything in case they asked whether I’d liked their set.

Anyway, I had to hurry over to The Deaf Institute to engage in a conversation with Colourmusic, a band that’s way friendlier than their teddy-bear-mutilating videos suggest. The interview is up now at hivemag.com; so I expect you all to head over (after finishing this lovely article, of course).

Wolf Gang: pretty in pretentiousness.

The guys in Colourmusic recommended I see Braids, which I did, but only for a track or two, which is probably not long enough to actually judge a band of their complexity. But I had made plans earlier to catch up with my friend and see a much less complex band – the properly hyped new heroes of gay pop with addictive hooklines: Wolf Gang! Having teased those in the know with singles on end for a couple of years, word on the street is they are actually set to release an album in July. We were early enough to sneak up front and to my surprise, the person setting up the stage was wearing a Fall of Troy t-shirt. In case anyone missed out on these great guys, they played amazing pop-infused mathcore, before breaking up like every obscure US band I have ever liked. Anyway, the mystery of a person presumably in a merry happy hipster gay pop band wearing a shirt of a no longer existent American mathcore act was soon solved when the five-headed Wolf Gang entered the stage and the Fall of Troy fan turned out to be nothing but their roadie whore, because Wolf Gang were apparently so very famous and signed and the like that they could not be arsed to tune their own instruments. Looking back on such a long-lived career as theirs, I can surely understand their arrogance. The same arrogance also largely kept me from enjoying the set, meaning that I danced, but at the same time secretly despised the people in front of me making me dance, due to their enormous amounts of pretentiousness.

The Naked & Famous: pretty with clothes on.

After their gig, I headed straight to Academy 1 for the first time of the night, finding The Naked & Famous already two songs into their set (the timetable had not been designed to please hipsters, with Wolf Gang and The Naked & Famous technically overlapping, if only for a few songs). When I came in, the New Zealand band sounded more hard rock than I had remembered their debut ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’ to be, but soon the airy electro pop that had made them big took over. From what I could see, they looked extraordinarily good and delivered one of the best performances of the night (that includes those taking place during the day).

Cults: pretty in lace.

And still we were not allowed to catch breath: Cults were on next, in the good old Club Academy, my favourite of the four university venues, as it has sofas instead of a warehouse appeal, and is the only one that’s usually well-lit. Officially a duo, Cults came on stage with five musicians, basically all of them having long dark hair and beards, except the woman singer, who only had long dark hair. While on their smash hit ‘Go Outside’ she employs a feeble fairy voice, the girl can actually sing. Really fucking sing. When she eventually did, their slightly anaemic performance finally caught fire. But what clearly impressed me most was their amazing fuck-you-all stunt of playing ‘Go Outside’ – and then actually playing two more songs! While two thirds of the audience had taken the song title literally and gone outside before the next song had even started. To their defense I could say that Darwin Deez were about to start at the Academy 1, but for not having seen Darwin Deez yet there are no excuses, I’m sorry. (Although wanting to see them again is pretty fair I guess.)

Colourmusic: pretty with beards.

At this point my friend had to leave and I had to go see Colourmusic alone. Although to me, they were one of the most uniquely sounding bands of the festival, the fourpiece from Oklahoma had to perform at a near-empty Deaf Institute due to clashing with Darwin Deez and a few others, as by now all six of the venues were being played at the same time, the 18+ clubs Sound Control and Deaf Institute having started later. Plus, the generous seating area in the back of the Deaf invited tired feet to take a rest, leaving half of the crowd immobile and far away from the stage, whereas Colourmusic’s energetic set would have demanded mosh pits of epic size. (According to the singer in The Naked & Famous, people had even formed mosh pits during their set.) Besides, I doubt that most of the crowd was able to appreciate music this loud and inherently aggressive, which, played live, definitely bordered on post-rock. I am not an outspoken fan of post-rock myself, but as with most types of music, I’m able to appreciate it to some extent. Then again, Colourmusic are just as much not post-rock as they are not industrial, not stoner, not psychedelic, and not britpop. Meaning they are a lot, and being nothing purely is exactly what makes their music so utterly fascinating. Even without the live executions I expected their stage show to involve.

I met up with my Swedish friend to have a long overdue pizza break. However she was sort of desperate to see Get People, who we ironically had missed on purpose (!) when they were supporting Crystal Fighters a couple of months back, so we eventually returned to the Deaf – and saw one of the best bands of the night. From this point on I was seriously so tired that I couldn’t be bothered to take photos anymore, and we spent their set sitting on the aforementioned benches. After all, the band had a small but loyal following that danced crazily right in front of the stage, from where the London trio shot cannonballs of tasty electro sing-along tunes that reminded one of the usual suspects (Friendly Fires, Delphic, Fenech-Soler), but in a good way. (I mean, how could you possibly remind someone of Friendly Fires in a bad way?)

Then I committed a major mistake. There was a near two-hour break between Get People and the next act I needed to see, Guillemots, who were scheduled to play the Deaf Institute as well. We fatally killed the time by travelling back to Academy 2 and watching one and a half songs by We Are Scientists, a band whose relevance I refuse to see, until my legs expressed an undeniable desire to rest. Following the advice by Colourmusic’s promoter, we hit the Club Academy, where The Phoenix Foundation played melodic and incredibly relaxing alternative pop. I lay down on a sofa, shoes off, gathered some energy, and then bugged my friend until we went back to the Deaf.

As she preferred to see SBTRKT at Sound Control, I had to cope with the shock of the night on my own: the queue for Guillemots. I had failed to consider that nobody was playing the Academy venues after 12, leaving only two clubs for the (few) festival goers over the age of 18. Thus: People queuing up till Oxford Road. I tried to stay calm by telling myself that nobody would stand here longer than I would, because everybody would eventually get tired of waiting and go elsewhere. Unlike me, who had been looking forward to seeing Guillemots play since the first time I’d heard their new single ‘The Basket‘. And I was lucky to be alone. Everybody else had to give in to complaining companions sooner or later, and everyone who hadn’t yet was sent away by the bouncer with the words: ‘We’re not letting anyone else in.’ Apparently, people were queuing all the way down the stairs leading up to the Deaf’s music hall. I prepared myself for seeing only the last bits of the show, if any. As soon as everybody had vanished, I crept up to the three staff members hanging out in front of the door, pretending to pretend not to weep, and exclaiming how I had only bought the ticket to see Guillemots (which is not true, but they were a major reason). As they were among the few bouncers in Manchester who have a heart, one of them eventually took me inside, where only about six more people were actually still queuing, and as people kept leaving, we were finally let in. I don’t think I missed more than a couple of songs, and I swear I have never walked into a show happier than that moment. Being still too exhausted to bother taking photos, I simply enjoyed the set and the singer’s beautiful voice and fine piano play. Unfortunately an alleged doctor of neuroscience started talking to me during the show, which decreased my enjoyment quite a bit, as he got a little too obsessed with me and I literally had to flee the venue.

I pilgrimaged to Sound Control, where my friend was attending the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs set. To my surprise, I was led downstairs, and not to the upstairs music hall where I had seen Friendly Fires some weeks before. The basement was previously unknown to me, and so crammed I failed to find my friend. I merely caught a glimpse of the performer standing behind a laptop with Indian face paint (I wonder if that will make its way to the high streets), but was too tired to care, although I had a feeling that under different circumstances their electronica would have been highly enjoyable. The few single chairs standing around were occupied, so I decided to explore the roof terrace, where I also found a seat. Seconds after I’d sat down I was joined by a young man with blond dreadlocks, facial piercings and glittery nail polish, who started talking to me. His name was Dom and he was American. So far, so good. Only when he started talking about bands he were friends with and he’d tour with, I noticed his green AAA wristbands, as opposed to the blue wristbands of myself and the ridiculous hipster fanboys surrounding him and loudly approving of his wish to consume a substance that reacts with a base. It turned out that Dom played in a band called Dom, and besides the aforementioned wish he also expressed other wishes, which involved me, leading to my second escape from undesired male company within half an hour or so. I finally managed to find my friend, and although it broke my heart that we could not attend the afterparty, with the music being great and the people beautiful, my feet made the decision for me once more, and we caught a bus.

Out of Oblivion (1): Michael Trent

I still find it hard to stomach the relative unsuccessfulness of a band called The Films. Not to mention the hiatus they are apparently on. I blame it on the fact that they signed a record deal at a time – namely, around 2006 – when the market was just fed up with frantically retro guitar bands. Not to mention the fact that their lead singer sported a trilby, this fashion no-go stigmatising the wannabe drug rocker.
So in this ocean of faceless indie rock’n’roll bands, The Films went down in style, gracing us, among others, with one of the most on-the-spot, yes-one-might-almost-say-perfect two-minute dancefloor killer songs, titled ‘Being Bored’. (If anything has ever reached this level of perfection since, it was probably The Vaccines’ ‘Wrecking Bar’, but then again I have obviously not listened to every guitar album released in the past five years in its full length, though God knows I tried.)

Michael Trent, performing with The Films at an unplugged in-store gig in Hamburg, 2009 (not visible: the trilby in question he wears on the backdrop photo)

However, as I waded through the ruins of this band that never quite made it, I noticed that there was, in fact, a vital sign coming at least from one of their members: the man who I’ve just blamed to have charged himself with connotations of crack consumption and cohabiting with Amy Winehouse. I am glad to say that these days Michael Trent does not carry the heavy load of that unfortunate British gentleman’s hat anymore. Instead he plays quite lovely folk songs on his guitar, and has done so on two solo albums released in 2007 and 2010. Both can be listened to in full here, and I would highly recommend doing that. After all, Trent is still a skilled songwriter and I must admit I am also a bit in love with his voice. And if anyone but me actually still likes The Films, this is the closest to new material you can unfortunately get (and it is quite close in fact, musically).
His current project Shovels & Rope, a duo consisting of Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, plays a more classic, country-esque folk than what Trent attempts on his solo albums. On these, you find a bit of everything: country, singer-songwriter, chamber pop, highly Films-y rock’n’roll (‘Bad Luck’). As a starting point, consider downloading the free track ‘Daily Routine’ from his Facebook page. And if you like it, but dislike the iTunes Store (or however prefer actual CDs), I suggest you keep your hands off Amazon’s overpriced imports and head here.