Monday, March 30, 2015

Boyhood : When I'm Hungry

Wow wow wow.   This record from Boyhood came out at the tail end of last year on Bruised Tongue and I’m kind of obsessed with it.  It’s hard to find out much on Caylie Runciman’s career so far other than she’s from Ottawa, has one other EP/Tape out on the same label and ‘When I’m Hungry’ appears to be her first full length album.   Comprised of swampy pop and noise explorations these 12 songs are shrouded in psychedelic weirdness.   ‘When I’m Hungry’ is predominantly an electronic record however,  ‘Heat’ allows guitar to the fore in the closest thing this album comes to traditional indie, and a song that could be considered straight up indie on here still exceeds expectation by delivering something adventurous and electrifying.  Runciman’s vocals get filtered through chewy haze alongside a freely ambling melody line pitting loud and quiet arrangements against each other, and if you think you’ve heard this all before just give it a listen and see how her treatment moves the goal posts of where these sounds can go.  As the album progresses it reveals songs made from pimped subterranean beats, blissed out vocals and spooked guitar work.  Runciman wrote/performed all the songs on here and the interplay between drum machines and a drum kit gives the album different grains to latch on to, checking out ‘Maintaining My Uncool’ followed by ‘Cheddar’ is a great example of that.  ‘Where I’m Going’ fittingly shows how Boyhood captures an immersive pop sound that is sunny as it is sunless , and closer ‘Post Poc’ best describes these shady undertones intermittently emerging throughout.  ‘When I’m Hungry’ is an intimate search of the curiously twisted parts of bedroom pop.  It’s this creeper slant touched by saccharine glamour that makes the LP prevail as a blood-tingling debut release; executed with a forward thinking approach ‘When I’m Hungry’ is effortlessly unpredictable, exuberant and captivating.

Bruised Tongue's Bandcamp is here where the album has a few more track's on it than Boyhood's personal page, copies of the LP are still available too!

Monday, March 23, 2015

SAUNA YOUTH : Distractions

Sauna Youth have always been a great band.  Exerting pulse racing punk rock in every bar, basement and house party in and outside of London.  Sauna Youth’s insatiable energy for playing shows has only served to refine their sound, and once it took shape there were no limits to where their songs could go as this new album attests.  When it comes to DIY in this city Sauna Youth have been a pivotal fixture in the scene for some years now, recording and releasing their own material up until debut ‘Dreamlands’ (Faux Discs/Gringo, 2012).   ‘Distractions’ (Upset The Rhythm) is the follow up to that album and it’s not just a follow up, it’s a game changer.  In approaching things from a new angle Sauna Youth’s song-writing has been elevated by experimenting with composing the album together in one room.   If it sounds different that’s because this is their first time in a recording studio, utilising Homerton’s Sound Savers with Mark Jasper documenting the 3 days Sauna Youth spent there in July 2014.  Desire, repetition and distractions are central to Sauna Youth’s impetus on this new record.  No polite po-going happening here, these tracks fully spin out of control with a beer can or two flying over-head.  Once “Transmitters” sinks its teeth in ‘Distractions’ doesn’t let go for 14 songs incorporating spoken word, experimental noise and undeniable punk joy.  Jen Calleja and Richard Phoenix’s vocals bring a brilliant androgyny to record - especially on ‘Monotony’.  Lindsay Corstorphine’s crunchy blown out guitar and Christopher Murphy’s rubbery bass come in from all directions with thrilling melodies channelling all kinds of rock greatness… and those beats!  Richard's immense rhythms are the backbone to it all along side Jen's howling sampler work.   They haven't ended there either, Sauna Youth re-arranged themselves as Monotony in a new project - where they switch instruments and song-writing duties which you can listen to here.    It's a voracious momentum that Sauna Youth has which sets them apart and shows how they keep going from strength to strength.  Sauna Youth have never stopped writing incredible songs, they’ve never stopped playing incredible shows, They've never stopped supporting London’s local music scene – I hope Sauna Youth never stop.

You can pre-order the album here