Following on from 2016's "Wordless Wonder" LP and 2017's "Frank Infatuation" single, Minneapolis' Real Numbers are back with a brand new EP entitled "Brighter Then." In the interim the combo has expanded to a 5-piece, adding Sophie Durbin on keyboards. "Brighter Then" was recorded over winter 2019/2020 and shows the band journeying deeper into late 80's indiepop than ever before.
The lyrics on the EP see Eli Hansen take a more personal and introspective tack revolving around relationships, shifting perspectives, and memories. The title track, which has been crafted slowly over the last few years around its circular lead, tackles the subject of evolving friendships - losses, gains and the acceptance of the present - and channels Sarah favorites The Wake and Brighter.
"Old Cross" and "In The End" were co-authored by Eli and Cameron Soojian and feature Cam's distinctive lead guitar, while "Darling" is nothing short of a pure pop gem. The EP's production finds the band at their most crisp thanks to Matt Castore and his A Harder Commune studios, and the 45rpm 12" vinyl pressing showcases the tunes at their best. While never straying too far from their scrappy DIY roots, Real Numbers have broadened their sound with assurance, and fans of Felt and the Field Mice will be pleased with the results.
Watch the video of lead single "Brighter Then":
The EP is available for pre-order now on digital and limited to 600 x Black 12" Vinyl.
Following on from 2016's "Ocean Blue" EP and 2018's "September Love" LP, Stockholm's five-piece Stephen's Shore are back with a brand new EP entitled "Brisbane Radio", arriving on January 22nd !
Stephen’s Shore started out as a two man project by Viktor Sjödin and Erik J Undéhn in 2011. They had both been playing in other bands before but when they started to write songs as Stephen’s Shore they felt that their musical expressions was a perfect match.
When P.A Blomqvist, Johan Dittmar and Jimmy Ottosson (now replaced by Mattias Berqvist), joined the duo in 2014 Stephen’s Shore became a full band. What joins these five together musically is the love for jangly guitar, moody pop songs, skateboarding and if there was a musical anthem for California it would be a perfect description for the inspiration that drives Stephens Shore in their songwriting and musical atmosphere.
The lead single is "Brisbane Radio", three minutes of jangly guitars and infectious vocal harmonies in a pop song about streets of Stockholm.
The EP is available for pre-order on digital and limited to 300 x Black 7inch Vinyl.
Today, instrument-swapping London/Margate trio Wicketkeeper releases debut album, "Shonk". Fourteen tracks of DIY outsider guitar-pop with nods to Pavement and Sebadoh, Shonk was recorded at the Gun Factory in Homerton with producer Lindsay Corstorphine (Sauna Youth, Primitive Parts) and captures the trio - comprised of brothers Simon (vocals, drums, guitar) and Alex Morley (bass, drums, guitar), and Ryan Oxley (bass, guitar) - at the peak of their insouciant powers.
Drawn from a collection of over 50 (!) songs written during a few years of Wicketkeeper loosely identifying as a band, Shonk offers a snapshot of their charmingly upbeat indie-rock recorded live in two days with Corstorphine. It includes the previously-released singles 'The Side', 'Spin', 'Feeling', 'OK' and 'Night Night (Whatever)', which have seen the band play across our fair isles alongside Cloud Nothings, Squid, Spielbergs and Japanese Breakfast, as well as releasing a split 12" with Car Seat Headrest (via Luau Records, UK) and the Wicketkeeper EP on cassette (Reefers Records, US).
As Oxley explains: "This
was always about three friends with no songs, getting into a practice
room in North London and seeing what came of it. The only caveat being,
it had to make us smile. None of us could play drums, there was no
conversation about 'what should we sound like?', this is just how we
sounded when we all plugged in and played together. Over a few years we
got together when we could, and even played a few gigs here and there,
and then came Shonk. Yeah, sure, by the time it comes out it will have
been years since some of these songs were written but it’s still those
same three friends, those same three smiles, just now with 14 songs (and
some). From the practice room to the, well, practice room.”
Fort Not is a Gothenburg based band, emerged out of the fumes of gin and tonic during a west coast summer night. The band, consisting of two friends, Fredrik and Robert, is a musically odd couple that found common ground in catchy pop songs and their equal love for Pavement.
"Both me and Robert love pop-songs, which is about the only thing we have in common musical vice. I have a mix tape that Calvin Johnson (Beat happening) made called ”U.S. pop underground - whimpy/ power pop 1976-1980”. I played it one summer for Robert and he instantly loved it. We always seem to come back to it when we are recording in the studio. It’s such an inspiration for us. Maybe not so much for the sound as for the love of a catchy churus”
Taking inspiration from that very mix-tape and the indie-pop golden Era of the 80s and the 90s they recorded ”the club is open”. The album was recorded by Emanuel Hallongren in his studio in Gothenburg. He is a special member of Fort Not, making all those songs into what they are; distorted, breezy, emotive, heart melting and slowshaking songs with beautiful melodies.
Fredrik writes most of the songs on different keyboards that he’s got at home. In the studio those songs get new life from the hands of Fort not ”One of my favourite is a kids toy keyboard. I just love to see how my songs evolve to a new creature in the studio.”
The LP is available now limited to 150 x Black Vinyl and 100 x Piss Yellow Vinyl.
Today, instrument-swapping London/Margate trio Wicketkeeper return with 'A Lot To Lose', the second single drawn from their debut LP, Shonk, which lands October 16th via Meritorio Records. Fourteen tracks of DIY outsider guitar-pop with nods to Pavement and Sebadoh, Shonk was recorded at the Gun Factory in Homerton with producer Lindsay Corstorphine (Sauna Youth, Primitive Parts) and captures the trio - comprised of brothers Simon (vocals, drums, guitar) and Alex Morley (bass, drums, guitar), and Ryan Oxley (bass, guitar) - at the peak of their insouciant powers. It follows hot on the heels of last month's single, 'The Side', which picked up plaudits from Clash, The Fader, DIY, So Young, Loud and Quiet, The I, Dots & Dashes and many more.
'A Lot To Lose' is Shonk's effervescent opening gambit, three and a half minutes of buoyant fuzz-punk with a carpe diem attitude. As Simon puts it: "Lyrically, it’s written from the perspective of a dead advisor. It’s a pretty simple message: when you’re dead you can’t do anything. So you might as well do a bunch of stuff before you’re dead. Don’t fucking hang around not doing anything, looking confused".
The LP is available to pre-order now limited to 200 x Black Vinyl and 100 x Double Mint Green Vinyl.