The Smiths demo's were released on a bootleg (blue vinyl double LP), and last week someone made a really good 320 kbps rip and posted it online. It's everywhere now and it's also here. The tracks sound as if the band are playing live in a studio, if you love The Smiths you shouldn't miss this. The 'Frankly, Mr Shankley' demo is below and has a trumpet!
Aafje Heynis is a Dutch singer that got compared with Kathleen Ferrier. She recorded five British folksongs in 1960 and released it on 7". She won the Harriet Cohen International Music Award with these recordings in 1961. I think this song is really sweet, sometimes I cannot listen to it.
I'm not a fan of making end of the year lists of my favourite records. There are always records I'd like to add after two months. So in this post just some tracks from records I loved this year.
The one that went straight to my heart is Forest Swords' Dagger Paths. With time this record proved to be the most heartbreaking and addictive. Also Women's second LP Public Strain got a lot of spins here, as well as These New Puritans' second LP. I like Halcyon Digest from Deerhunter a lot but I'm more a fan of Microcastle.
Some of the best tracks this year were singles and free downloads. Especially The Neat, Electricity In Our Homes, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and Prinzhorn Dance School came up with the smartest and most original songs. And then there is this beautiful Crystal Stilts 7" that promises a great record in 2011.
Throwing Muses are currently in the studio recording a new record. It's completely funded by fans, there's no record company involved. Kristin Hersh released a new demo every month of 2010. With subscriptions through her CASH Music website, the band came alive after a 7 year hiatus
I've been a subcriber now for 2 years. It's the best bill I have to pay, I actually know the money is going somewhere good, somewhere where my heart is. It's very cool to be involved and see such a talented singer-songwriter go her own path.
Below the stream of the last demo in this series, 'Film'. For the mp3, an essay about the song and more information on how you can support Throwing Muses go to throwingmuses.cashmusic.org/.
Throwing Muses are also releasing free sessions every season with songs from older records getting a 2010 approach. The 'Winter' 6 track session is here. It includes 'Colder' from House Tornado, the great 'Hook In Her Head' and a sharp version of 'Soap & Water' (also streaming below).
Since Around The Sun I hold my breath when R.E.M. releases a new single, but this new track from the forthcoming LP Collapse Into Now sounds quite good, alive. I liked the last album a lot too and it seems like they continue that sound based on 'Discoverer'. Last week I listened to some 90's R.E.M. records, Monster and New Adventures, they are really good, but I'm still more a fan of the 80's stuff.
Frauhaus! from Wetdog is one of my favourite records of the year. You have to check out the great video for the single 'Wyminn's Final', it's here. Below another track from the record and a live video.
Soft Healer are busy with new work, next year they'll release a new 7" plus a full length in spring. Below a video from their performance at Beerland in their hometown Austin with an interview. Also below the b-side from their first single Gentle One, the sweet and carefully built up 'Movie Light'.
Moon Wiring Club's music is spooky, related to the Ghost Box label that recently put out a series of 'study' split singles, with Broadcast And The Focus Group being the most famous entry. The music is close to Boards Of Canada with sampled breakbeats but they add samples from occult children's television and old films. The result is excellent, it really drew me in. And it's also very weird. Something unexpected can happen at any time. They released this album on CD and vinyl, both formats have almost the same tracklist but the music is different on each format.
They also have a cool website with a lot of artwork and intriguing background information about the band and it's members, take a look here. You can order both formats from Moon Wiring Club in a bundle with no postage charges here.
Below two tracks off the CD format, 'Slumberwick Dreams' and 'The Queen Speaks'.
This beautiful EP was released by Red Sea last week. They remind me a bit of Women with less Sonic Youth noise. The songs are nicely unpredictable and intense. On their Bandcamp page you can download the free track 'Cruel Future' from the EP. Listen to 'In Shape' below.
Ofcourse we were happy with last week's announcement of PJ Harvey's new album Let England Shake, but we want to hear something as well. Below the stream of 'Written On The Forehead' plus the tracklist. It's released February 14th. For live versions of the title track and 'The Last Living Rose' go here.
The Rapture released the Insound Tour Support Series Vol.19 EP in 2001. It includes a great version of 'House Of Jealous Lovers' without the electronics. Pukekos wrote a cool article about The Rapture's early days in New York, go here. The Rapture's perfect first single The Chair That Squeeks is also there, with the Psychadelic Furs cover 'Dumb Waiters' on the flipside.
Two tracks from the EP, 'Time' and 'The Return Of Truth And Beauty In American Popular Music', are streaming below, I never heard them before.
The VEGC arerecordinganewalbum and have just toured with Archie Bronson Outfit. Scroll down for some b-sides from the Love On An Oil Rigsingles plus the last single 'A Biting Wind Followed By An Occasional Drift Of Snow (Was No Way To Cure A Hangover)'. It's one of the best singles of the year and it's free, click on the arrow for the mp3. Also a live video of 'Parrot'.
This4thBedroom Databankwasrecordedyesterday, it's not as good as the previous 3. Vol. 4 is more a concept, apparently based on a (fictional?) tape a guy called Tommy recorded in the basement of his parents' house in Winnipeg in 1975. This 'Talent Show Audition Tape, Winnipeg 1975' is the best track, but for some really great Atlas Sound music, check out Vol. 1-3.
Theymakerattlingtweeguitar pop, a bit sweeter and more contagious than Veronica Falls. The lo fi production also adds some charm to the sound. The download is here and their myspace is here. Below the two most striking tracks 'Sunlight' and 'Evaporation'.