Tracks Of The Week 27.01.14

As well as an acute sense of style and growing fame for their fashionable attire (Matthew featured in Burberry’s Autumn Winter campaign), it would seem that The Heartbreaks are pretty great musicians too. New single, ‘Hey, Hey Lover’ is filled with an inspired spirited energy, grandiose romance and a catchy, life-affirmingly upbeat chorus that will have you reaching for the repeat button (thing on the screen) repeatedly.

Whilst the deep, Northern drawl of vocalist Matthew Whitehouse soars across impressive riffs, effective harmonies and atmospheric reverb, one can’t help but sing along to this delicious slice of British pop-rock whilst detecting traces of some succulent Suede or scrumptious Smiths. It’s simply impossible not to become totally enamoured with ‘Hey, Hey Lover’ upon first listen, proving that Brit-Pop is not dead; far from it – it is fresh and fashionable.

‘Hey, Hey Lover’ is set for release on 17th February, ahead of The Heartbreaks second album, due out in May via Nusic Sounds.

As Gregory Ferreira set out to record his second solo album, ‘Graffiti Of The Young Man’s Mind’ in his Bushwick recording studio back in 2012, it was never his intention to assemble a full band for the project. However, he had soon rallied together a group of local Brooklyn musicians and so The Bushwick Hotel was born. What happened next was the creation of something that can only be described as a truly original piece of gritty rock n roll.

A unique blend of raucous rock, hypnotic, psychedelic blues and blasts of brass, the album’s title track – ‘Graffiti Of The Young Man’s Mind’ – will certainly make its mark on your mind; whether young, old, male or female.

If you fancy some more of this fiery fusion of old fashioned rock n roll with a raw, contemporary groove, then ‘Graffiti Of The Young Man’s Mind’ is available on iTunes now, complete with six more unmissable tracks.

Described as ‘folk noir’, Paul Armfield’s creations are profound, poetic things of beauty. Over the years, Armfield has showcased an array of talents including Musical Saw, Double Bass and French Chanson, and now – with the release of his fifth album earlier this month – he shows no signs of narrowing his repertoire.

A ‘ Headphones Moment’ on Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music show last week, I have only just been introduced to Paul Armfield, but new single ‘Speed Of Clouds’ has instantly captivated me with its charming reflections on growing older and the inner peace one finds in middle age. With heartfelt harmonics a plenty, a melancholic tone reminiscent of the likes of Nick Drake, jazzy undertones and a stream of traditional folk flowing throughout, I would quite happily float along to ‘The Speed Of Clouds’ until the sky becomes clear once more.

Armfield’s latest album ‘Up Here’ is available now, both to download and to purchase on CD.

an·cho·ress [ang-ker-is] noun:
A woman who is an anchorite – a person who lives in seclusion, esp a religious recluse; hermit; one who has retired from the world.

With a name like that, I guess the label of ‘revenge pop’ that appears to have been given to this latest project from multi-instrumentalist Catherine Anne Davies and Mansun’s Paul Draper would not seem too surprising. Perhaps referring to someone who has chosen to retire from the world because of the wrongs done to them? Or maybe the name would imply the opposite… That once living in seclusion, ‘The Anchoress’ would have no cause for revenge on anyone?

Either way, regardless of the name, debut single from The Anchoress – ‘What Goes Around’ – is a sensuous eruption of anger spiked with pernicious lyrics and a fierce intensity. Filled with Davies’ smooth, impassioned vocals accompanied by an uptempo jazzy beat and bluesy riffs, ‘What Goes Around’ is almost reminiscent of – one of my most cherished heroines – Gwen Stefani, whilst retaining its own anthemic originality.

Although not released until 5th May on the prestigious Too Pure label (PJ Harvey, Stereolab), you can listen to this ferocious blast of ‘revenge pop’ here… And probably on Steve Lamacq’s6 music show too (he’s a big fan):

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.