Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Clara Clara: Comfortable Problems LP

Admittedly, our updates on the various music projects of Lyon, France based multi-instrumentalist François Virot have been scarce in recent years. With an original review of his solo material in December 2006 and follow up for today's long-time collaboration in October 2007, our last mention happened back in April 2008. History out of the way, there is now a recent development and good reason for close listening to report. Clara Clara is the French trio of Charles Virot (bass), Amélie Lambert (bontempi keyboard) and, of course, François Virot (drums, vocals) who have released a new collection of eight impressive songs, titled Comfortable Problems, through Paris label Clapping Music just last month. Evolving from the lo-fi sounds of their earliest recordings, Clara Clara now seems to cast a vaudevillian atmosphere where distressed, travel-worn musical instruments leap from dusty cases to frolic through the night in raucous celebration. Guided by varied stiff beats and surrounded with Mr. Virot's familiar vocal warmth, the band continues to maintain every ounce of beautiful chaos we first became smitten with. The next live performance will take place December 3 at Limoges cafe/venue La Fourmi. And now the music along with matching videos for you...

MP3: Under The Skirt
MP3: Paper Crowns

Clara Clara - Under The Skirt from Clapping Music on Vimeo.

Clara Clara - Paper Crowns from Aurélien Durand on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Le Futur Pompiste

Today marks the brand new full-length album from a wonderful Helsinki/Turku, Finland based six-piece we've been fawning over for quite some time. Le Futur Pompiste is primarily the music project of songwriter Einar Ekström (guitar, vocals) along with vocalist Jessika Rapo (from Burning Hearts, who we featured in December 2008), Ville Hopponen (drums), Axel Ekström (keyboards), Johann Höglund (bass) and Janne Koskinen (flute). As a follow up to their 2004 debut release, Your Stories And Your Thoughts, Le Futur Pompiste have now completed a new self-titled collection of 10 songs which were just made available through our friends at Portland, Oregon label Shelflife Records. Given our adoration of music from this region of the world, our bias might be more than slight, however, the understated retro-pop loveliness involved here is more than enough to have us rearranging our list of favourite 2010 LP releases once again. Perfectly content with a cloudy afternoon while secretly dreaming of an evening in a long-abandoned rollerskating-rink. The sound for you now.

MP3: Five Hundred Heartbeats

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quilty: Black Hole Single

Brooklyn, New York trio Quilty returns with a pair of new songs in digital single format, titled Black Hole, which were released through NYC label Cooling Pie Records this past Halloween weekend. Barreling rhythms are once again guided by the fuzzed-out guitars and unmistakable vocals of Sarah Dupuis for a brief yet signature A-side track Lizard Queen. Visit the Quilty Bandcamp page for an equally impressive B-side in Chris On The Beach, and also have a listen to the band's debut full-length release Clover/Coriander from previous MML features in October 2009 and February 2010. One minute and nineteen seconds of lo-fi goodness from a band we love to follow.

MP3: Lizard Queen

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love Culture

Following our collective ear for all things shoegaze-related often finds us visiting distant cities, on various continents, for any relevant evolution of this particular music style we both happen to adore. This time, however, our only need for travel involves a return to my very own hometown for an outstanding new development in a local music scene that is ripe for the taking. Love Culture is a Columbus, Ohio based five-piece consisting of musicians Raleigh Swan (guitar, vocals, keys), Tristan Swan (vocals, guitar, keys), James Levesque (guitar, keys), Sky Cunningham (bass, morgana) and Robert Fischer (drums) who are heavily influenced by music falling within a three year radius loosely surrounding the year 1989. As a result of their ongoing efforts, the band has a pair of impressive releases, the latest of which, having just been completed, is titled Drag EP. Before continuing any further, let's jump right in with a listen from the upcoming extended-player.

MP3: Ocarina

A slow-burning tension in mood and sound, which many other like-minded artists neglect entirely in their attempted interpretation, is exactly what Love Culture delivers so beautifully with the track Ocarina. Luring, and then holding captive the imagination while an undercurrent of restless energy simmers steadily into spectacular flashpoints. The completed Drag EP is set to be launched at the very beginning of next year with a release party to coincide as Love Culture takes to the stage at local Columbus venue Skully's Music Diner on January 1, 2011. As an added bonus, the band has also decided to put a few more coats of varnish on their early-2010 debut release Aquamarine EP and make it available once again as part of a double-EP package. Have a listen to one of our favourite songs from it...

MP3: Karolyne

If ever a reason involving music was needed for a return trip home to my beloved Columbus, I cannot even begin to imagine a better one. Such a lovely and promising band you might just want to keep a close eye on. We now leave you with a brand new video for the song Ocarina. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

AC Berkheimer: We Tell Them Tonight LP

A week spent away from the blog, winterizing our our little nest, but it now seems possible that we only needed visit our friends at Groningen, Netherlands label Subroutine Records once again for a fix of warmth and energy to surround us. We originally featured Rotterdam four piece AC Berkheimer well over two years ago, in June 2008, with their full-length album In A Series Of Long Days. Since this time, the band completed a follow up with EP offering First in Line By Accident, and now there happens to be another welcome update to fill your ears. We Tell Them Tonight is a brand new collection of 10 songs which were just released a couple of weeks ago for October 2010. As a highlight, the lead track Slow Down will serve as a gentle opener for a series of unique and varied turns in song structure, influenced subtly (sometimes heavily) by an undercurrent of shoegaze hints that will certainly find genre purists raising a positive eyebrow. Wonderfully enough, the overarching sound remains a footprint we can only associate with AC Berkheimer and a new LP that deserves serious consideration for best full-length release of 2010. For those who have skipped ahead for a listen, you can also preview the entire album by visiting this 3voor12 stream. The band will also be performing live on November 11 @ Den Haag (The Hague) venue Het Paard Cafe. Enjoy this one...

MP3: Slow Down