Leeds quartet, Battle Lines’ latest offering seems to signal a slight change in direction from earlier this year when they had just changed their name from ‘Alvin Purple’. Comparing the bright, slightly funky Foals-esque ‘Trust’, it seems that Carly Humphries and co have decided to focus more on their dark side. And this is a side that suits them well.
Their latest single, ‘Colonies’ is both emotive and engrossing, filled with heartfelt lyrics matched by sombre, ominous instrumentation. The second the song starts with the sound of the deep, booming kick drum, you know that you are in for something hauntingly dark and beautiful. As Humphries sings sincere lyrics such as ‘His dreamy eyes lay into me, blistered me with insecurity’ with her emotion-filled vocals, reminiscent of Karen O or even the wonderful Beth Gibbons, I feel sure that she means every word, which makes this angst-filled song all the more spine tingling and wonderful.
If you are lucky enough to be at Reading or Leeds festivals this weekend, and fancy a break from the energetic crowds of teenagers, then you can take a trip to the magical, eerie world of Battle Lines on the Festival Republic stage on Saturday in Leeds, and Sunday in Reading.
Following their catchy and eerie single ‘Jimmy Jammies’, Peckham lads, ‘Filthy Boy’ continue their lyrical storytelling with the equally eerie and ominous ‘That Life’. With dark lyrics, filled with a sense of apathy and doom, Paraic Morrissey, along with twin brother Michael, seems skilled at observing the imbalance and complacency of society, and poetically putting together engrossing and appealing songs.
With the dark undertones of Nick Cave along with the storytelling ability of songwriters such as Alex Turner, Filthy Boy’s latest offering is definitely my track of the week; and it seems I’m not alone, as they have recently received acclaim from 6music’s Steve Lamacq on his ‘Rebel Playlist’. And ‘Rebel’ seems a fitting term for these young lads, skilled at creating such appealing, dirty Indie, with a ‘Filthy’ name and songs such as ‘Naughty Corner’.
‘That Life’ and it’s intimate observations, however, would imply that this band are wise beyond their years. With a lyrical sentiment reminiscent of Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ (images of a perfect life – ‘I wake up one morning… look at myself in the mirror and think how fantastic I look on a day like today…’ – juxtaposed with the somewhat disturbing stories of the life of a vagrant), the Morrissey brothers have succeeded in creating a cool, yet thought provoking, song. With serious subject matter, and an eerie tune, intertwined with Doherty-esque whistling and la-ing, one is left wondering what the song is really about – are two stories being told in parallel to one another? Or is it simply a tale of a tragic demise? Either way, this clever and catchy tune is a great feat for this young band. And I seem to be addicted, much like the protagonist may be to his ‘Frothy, white cidery feast’…
Filthy Boy’s debut album, ‘Smile That Won’t Go Down’, was recorded at the inspirational Edwyn Collin’s West Heath studio, and released earlier this year.
On first seeing the sweet and youthful looking Sivu back in April, supporting The Staves, I became immediately captivated and enthralled by his hynotising, high-pitched vocals and pretty alt-pop. And, a few months on, it seems he is getting the recognition he deserves, having been featured in the likes of NME and continuing to support popular folk bands, such as Stornaway. Maintaining the enchanting melodies and thoughtful lyrics of previous releases such as ‘Better Man’, ‘Over and Over’ is yet another powerfully emotive creation, ‘Over and Over’ filled with tenderness and beauty. However, whilst being emotive, Sivu resists slipping into cheesiness, instead his latest offering is both irresistible and majestic; it certainly pulls at the heart strings, yet leaves one feeling chilled out and at ease with the world.
London indie-folk outfit, Goldheart Assembly, have released their latest single ‘Into Desperate Arms’. With a gentle, flowing melody interspersed with intense and dramatic interludes, this song is a beautifully surreal glimpse of what this band are capable of. Despite remaining largely unknown until relatively recently, Goldheart Assembly have once again caught our attention with this epicly evocative track. Apparently inspired by Tom Waits’ ‘Goin Out West’, ‘Into Desperate Arms’ is full of hazy harmonies and sweeping guitars, succeeding in showcasing Goldheart Assembly’s uniqueness and willingness to experiment with a variety sounds, whilst remaining a perfectly sweet and wistful accompaniment to a summer’s day.
‘Into Desperate Arms’ is taken from the Goldheart Assembly’s second album, ‘Long Distance Sound Effects’.
Unsigned Tip of The Week: Fishdoctor – ‘Seasons’:
“We drink tea and make music” says Jared Lindbloom of his band, Fishdoctor. Sounds like the perfect combination to me. And this chilled out vibe is certainly evident in the band’s latest single, ‘Seasons’. Lindbloom and his Brooklyn sextet excel in creating catchy, sunny tunes with a surfer garage-rock feel. Starting out as simply a bedroom studio project, Fishdoctor consists of a group of lifelong friends who have now gone on to achieve international acclaim thanks to their memorable live sets, and have succeeded in developing their energetic sound, with blissful harmonies and inspired, cheerful melodies reminiscent of some of the products of the ‘90s Shoegaze era.
It’s hard not to smile and sway along to Fishdoctor’s light-hearted and uplifting summery songs, and upon listening to the twinkly tones of ‘Seasons’, I almost feel inspired to get out my dusty old body-board and ride out a few waves in the sun. Or, if I don’t quite have the energy for that, I will certainly be adding this delightful tune to my summer playlist, alongside the likes of Best Coast and Real Estate.