Aside, that is, from the bonus post I shoved up on a whim to celebrate the release of Weirdo by Carla J Easton.
I am very conscious that the strength of this particular blog is that it has an almost exclusively retro feel, but there is sometimes a need to draw attention to contemporary music. So, here are two videos for singles lifted from albums I’ve really enjoyed this year.
Neither are new bands.
Dream Wife, a London-based trio consisting of Rakel Mjöll (lead vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals), and Bella Podpadec (bass, vocals) have been together since 2016. Their eponymous debut album, released in 2018, was a frantically fabulous mix of punk, indie, and pop, and I’m delighted to much report that it is much the same on the 2020 follow-up So When You Gonna….
I’m told they are an explosive live act, akin to the sorts of shows the bands you would enjoy from the bands who were lumped under the Riot Grrrl ‘movement’ in the early 90s. I was busy at the football last year when they turned up for a day long festival in Glasgow and so had been hoping to catch them this time around, but COVID-19 has put those plans to one side. All being well, they are due in Glasgow next April and I’ve a couple of tickets on order.
Hinds have been around for even longer, forming in Madrid back in 2011 (initially as Deers before being forced, via legal action, to change their name). Another all-female line-up with Carlotta Cosials (vocals, guitar), Ana Perrote (vocals, guitar), Ade Martin (bass, backing vocals) and Amber Grimbergen (drums). Their first studio album, Leave Me Alone, appeared in the shops in January 2016, and its follow-up I Don’t Run, was released in April 2018. Aldo and Comrade Colin are among those who have been raving about Hinds for a number of years and it has been remiss of me not to have featured them before now.
Hinds are less obviously confrontational and punky than Dream Wide with the music occasionally veering into the charming territory of The Modern Lovers, and at other times the spiky and punchy material of early Libertines seems to be a close cousin, especially on the first two albums. There’s other times they remind of early We’ve Got A Fuzzbox….., probably from the way the harmonies pan out as Carlotta and Ana share lead vocal duties.
The new record, however, leans much more towards pop, recorded in New York with producer Jennifer Decilveo, who has worked with Bat for Lashes, and The Wombats among others. It’s a short album – its ten tracks take under 33 minutes to listen to – and is packed with all sorts of hooks, riffs and melodies that stick with you. It’s certainly been on heavy rotation in Villain Towers in this strange summer of 2020.
Here’s a couple of the older songs, both of which were released as singles
Finally, here’s one that Hinds did, initially as a song for a flexidisc for a limited edition version of the new album, but has since been made available in digital form.
Yup….. it’s a cover, and a good one at that!