Aural Delights – 10th August 2011

On this show…..

  • Choking Susan – You’re So Pretty – Detroit Punk legends with a classic tune
  • The Black Rabbits – Twist – from the new album “Hypno Switch”
  • Evangelista – In Animal Tongue – from the new album which will be released on September 19th
  • Honey – Summertone – excellent band from Scotland who sent me their EP – you will be hearing more of this in future weeks
  • Sen Segur – Taith Duncan Goodhew – excellent band from Wales who sent me their EP – you will be hearing more of this in future weeks
  • Julia Dowler – Ashes to Fire
  • Enceladus featuring Julia Dowler – Daybreak (Love is Music)
  • The Alphas – Sing My Song – another band that sent me their album – but with very little detail so I cannot tell you a great deal
  • Secret Garden Gathering – Station Road – new release from this talented band from Liverpool
  • Evangelista – Artificial Lamb – also from the new album….you can get this as a free download
  • The Ettes – You Were There – from the new album “Wicked Will”
  • Tall Dwarfs – Lowlands – another New Zealand selection from Farley…
  • Late Night Shopping – Doctor Punkenstien – another great band from the Sleepy Music lable – more of them in future shows (radio edit)
To listen click the link below

Aural Delights Overspill #01

The first of a series of one-off mixes (if that’s not an Oxymoron) featuring music that did not get onto the broadcast radio shows – a variety of recent releases from the last few months, or older stuff that has been pointed in my direction, and the occasional classic track.  It’s sad but true that I do not have the time to play on the radio all the things that I would like to. To check these bands out further please follow the links…….

Oathless (free download) (check out the other stuff on there as well! It’s all rather good)


The Suns

Slow Ride Home

Tera Melos

Neil Young

Pyschic Ills

Secret Garden Gathering

Tim Hecker

John Grant

Mother Night


The Happy Fallen

Listen to the show on the link below

aural delights #22 – blimps, eliases and other lovely things….

As the year rolls inexorably on I am rapidly running out of time to play you all the excellent music that has been sent my way. In this show I’ve managed to redress some of the balance by essentially only playing recent stuff – nothing is older than 2009 and most of it is either 2010 or 2011.

You will see elsewhere on this blog reviews of the new Blimp EP and details of how to download it for free so I will not repeat myself suffice to say I think it’s rather fine indeed. There are couple of tracks from the EP on this show.

Like fellow post-instrumental bands named after sports cars (Delorean and Trans Am, for instance), Maserati make galloping instrumentals that are atmospheric whilst also having  lots of energy. The band recorded Pyramid of the Sun over the course of 2009 and 2010, using vintage   Moog keyboards and Roland Space Echoes for an authentic space rock sound. A straight play, from start to end, the album gets very close to Krautrock in parts.

One album I have not had a chance to review is the excellent “Red Barked Tree” by Wire which proves a real return to form. It’s good to see that they can stlll produce great music.

Cloud Nothings is a band put together the music of lo-fi exponent Dylan Baldi  and the “Turning On” album picks up his earliest recordings. I love the way the album develops and the deliberate muddiness of the recording is compelling. In contrast the in your face retro sounds of Causa Sui hark back to the sounds of the late 60s.

I’ve reviewed the TG Elias album on this blog so, again, I will not repeat myself, however I will make the point that I believe Tom to be one of the best blues players round these parts – and I love the way he works a degree of humour into his work.

Breathe Owl Breathe is a Michigan-based trio that plays atmospheric, evocative acoustic-based music, fusing folk traditions with the adventurous approach of indie rock. Their latest album “Magic Central” balances the current trend of folk and electronica well with an emphasis on on folk.

Another unsigned band which approached me through our website is Liverpool based Secret Garden Gathering who are rather fine indeed. By the time the show finishes they will have finished a gig in Liverpool City Centre – so you missed them! Their song “2 Years” is a grower and potentially a classic. Witless buffoon that I am I said they were from Manchester on the show – sorry!!!

I have been very impressed by the three albums by Demdike Stare – they have an exciting sound and were founded in 2009 in Manchester by two well-known characters from the local  music scene. Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. All three albums are stunning – but I would single out the “Liberation through hearing” which I feature on the show.

More retro with Dead Meadow who are channeling the spirits of Osborne, Iommi, Ward and Butler. Its like being in the Great Gibbo’s front room with Black Sabbath 1 on full blast – far too long ago to properly remember of course!

We go to Canada next  the latest album from Stars – who have been around since 2001 – the album is called “The Five Ghosts” and has had some bad reviews oddly as I find it to be rather impressive.

And to close and also reviewed elsewhere on here a special radio edit of the latest single from Dead Sea Apes called “Soy Dios” a marvellous piece of music!

To listen to the show follow the link below

january 2011 overview

The latter weeks of December 2010 and January 2011 have proved to be particularly busy in respect of new music and unsigned bands coming my way. I’m struggling to find space in the radio show to fit them all in and whilst my chums at the 9 O’clock Alliance at Salford City Radio are assisting by picking up on some of the tunes I am still wading my way through a pile of MP3s and albums that arrive on a daily basis. It’s difficult to see how I can fit them all in and I need to give some thought to how some of the better acts can get some exposure.

An opening observation after all this listening would be that “rock is not dead” – I read an article in some inky newspaper somewhere that “comedy” and “wintendo” (Sic) had replaced “rock” as the new “youth” obsessions. This type of narrow thinking tends to obscure the fact that a lot of people over 25 (say) still listen to music and have the disposable income (even in these times of belt tightening)  to spend on it and there are an awful lot of musicians out there keeping the rock sub-culture alive.

So here is a quick canter through the material that has come in the last eight weeks or so (and which has not got a “big” review on this blog) – of which, as I say, there has been a lot….i’ll pick up on the more recent stuff in the February overview.

Skankadelia – from Leicester and Salford play an up tempo pop ska which is immediate and catchy. All excellent musicians and with a front woman with a marvellous voice they have been away for a while but they are back with a plan for world domination and they have the songs to do it. Brimming with great melodies, choruses and hooks they are destined for something great if they get the breaks.

Bill Davro – are from Warrington and play sharp indie pop songs – they have a current sound but they don’t copy the London groups of the moment and have set themselves aside from others of that ilk. I don’t normally listen at length to music which follows current fashion as it all tends to get a bit samey but these guys have a certain something that requires listening.

John Snow Band – are from Norway and manage to meld a great guitar sound with pop idioms which transcends into indie rock. They have good control over light and shade in their songs which gives a great cinematic feel. They are recording an album at the moment which I certainly am looking forward to listening to.

GlassHeads – hail from Wigan and play driven dual guitar tunes – and are well worth a visit to their My Space page to listen to their current single “The Error of Your Ways”.

Andy Hay – sent me a couple of his songs.  He writes beautiful tunes and self produces his stuff at home on “£200 gear”  you wouldn’t know it given the quality of the recordnigs, and he has a great voice and plays well. I am anticipating a CD with some more music which should be good based on what he has sent me so far.

Glass Ankle – have been getting a lot of exposure lately- they were in the Metro paper the other day – not suprising really, marvellous tunes and a good acoustic/folkly/indie feel….

Robin James – has a unique voice and a style which manages to grab elements of early Nick Drake and push them into a dreamy psychedelic landscape…..

The guitar wizardry of Apparently We Fly is right up my street. Somehow they can grasp Marr like picking and put it in a math-rock agenda. Almost like the offspring of a coupling between something post-punk and post-rock with a bit of genetic tampering around the edges. I’m blissfully ignorant of what might have inspired this sound but regardless of that I love their brashness.

Secret Garden Gathering are a 5 piece band from Liverpool formed in 2010.   Their sound is somewhere between the realms of Indie, Folk and Psychedelia. Comparisons have been made to Jefferson Aeroplane, The XX, Fleetwood Mac and The National.

Danny Short has sent me a copy of his limited cassette only release “Darkened Corridors of Winter” which combines his more experimental sonic stuff  with his melodic pop side into something rather special indeed. I aim to play some of this during February.  His new album “Love has gone” is due soon.

Nick Warren sent me the latest single from Spencer Cloud and the Range Brothers an absolutely breathtaking piece of garage rock – with an amazing vocal from Mark Range. Hopefully 2011 will see this band get the exposure it deserves. It’s called “Hypnotise” by the way!

Guile are from Manchester and make a wonderful racket – their “Alone on the West” song is simply marvellous.

Albums which have tentative recommendations and  which I intend to play on the show eventually are listed below. They are in the pile to be listened to again which seems to be growing a little to quickly for my liking:

  • Baton Rouge – Fragments D’Eux Memes
  • Braids – Native Speaker
  • Covenant – Modern Ruin
  • Ducktails – Arcade Dynamics
  • Glassjaw – Our Colour Green
  • Iron and WIne – Kiss Each Other Clean
  • James Blake – Echoes
  • Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die
  • Sey Hollo – Growth
  • Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
  • Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows
  • The Decemberists – The King is Dead
  • Wire – Red Barked Tree

Hopefully I will get round to reviewing these in the next few weeks.