Tuesday, 13 November 2018

NUSONIC002: Current Affairs 'Breeding Feeling' b/w 'Draw The Line'

Has it really been 2 years since Not Unloved Records released 'My Sentiments' by Vital Idles? Unbelievably, yes. It's high time, therefore, for a second release:

NUSONIC002 has been in the works for a while now so it's no secret that it's by Glasgow's mighty Current Affairs. Current Affairs sprang from the ashes of the wonderful Seconds (Soft Power Records) in summer 2016, playing their first show at Jim Lambie's Poetry Club when Night's School's CC Dust memorably swept through Glasgow. That first gig was a real blast. Since then they've developed into one of the most powerful live groups around. January 2017 saw the release of 'Object' (Comidillo Tapes) which showcased a group with a deep affection for the darker sounds from the turn of the 80s (think Magazine/The Cure/Siouxsie) but with the skill to take that music somewhere new. 'Breeding Feeling' will be the group's vinyl debut and will be released in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on the Not Unloved bandcamp page!

Current Affairs are:

Joan - Vox & Keys
Josh - Bass
Sebastian - Guitar
Andrew - Drums

You'll love them!

Listen to samples of both songs here:

The Kick "I Can't Let Go" (Countdown, 1986)

25 years ago, during the white heat of the lo-fi era,  I would've despised this: a polished, major label-sounding 80s rendition of the cherished Evie Sands (and many others) stormer. Now, however, it sounds vital and the studio sheen isn't off-putting in the slightest. I guess that's as a result of buying a bunch of power pop reissues in the intervening years. The singer has a fine voice and, really, the only thing I would change is to tone down the Beach Boys-y falsetto backing vox just a touch. Unplayed copies are really cheap so what ya waitin' on, punk?

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Torquays 'Harmonica Man (From London Town)'

The smallest things can elevate a record. In the case of The Torquays' 'Harmonica Man (From London Town)', for me, it's the line "He's a lovely lad" sung in a raspy American accent and the glorious jangling guitar that blooms 12 seconds in. I'll take that one moment over the entire careers of most groups. Details are important, I guess.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down!


A few lovely things: Michael O, Art Sick, Jan Bradley & Knit Separates

Michael O (Olivares of pop heroes The Mantles) recently released a fine new 7" on the dependably ace Fruits & Flowers. The second song on the A-side is 'Haunted'; a shy-voiced delight with a pleasingly hesitant lead guitar which spirals upwards in a flurry of Paisley patterned petals. Shame I didn't post this on Hallowe'en, eh?

Before Wednesday this week I hadn't heard of Oakland, California's Art Sick. By Thursday morning I was obsessed with their adorable brand of Chickfactor-friendly guitar pop and was cheerfully breaking my hard and fast (yeah, right!) no vinyl from the US rule for fear that to dither might mean missing out on securing one of only 100 copies pressed of their debut 7".  As with the Michael O single, the song that I've played the most (on bandcamp, the vinyl hasn't arrived yet) isn't the lead track, 'Going Down', which I do love (sweet vocals, handclaps and a Tiger Trap-style rumble - *swoon*) but 'No Clue'. It's a real heart-stealer that would've made a lovely addition to the magical Four Letter Words discography. Get on it!

Speaking of songs with handclaps, a recent soul purchase has them in spades. Jan Bradley's 'Back In Circulation' has led to a serious amount of kitchen dancing of late (sorry downstairs neighbours!). Sure it's heavily indebted to The Supremes, but Jan's voice is so charming and the rhythm so perfect that it's nigh on impossible not to move when it plays. Now, when's the next soul night in Glasgow?

The Knit Separates were active in the years 1996-2001. They existed entirely without my knowledge which is a shame as they were peculiarly wonderful. Thankfully, for us latecomers there's a new cassette retrospective on Brave Mysteries Recording Co.. There's nothing I can write about The Knit Separates' music that would be more insightful than the wee paragraph on the 'Dream No Evil' release page. It's ideal music for listening to on dusk-time walks round Glasgow University's deserted cloisters.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Breathers "Did You Think"

Lately, the song that has popped up like a cheesy-grinned meerkat whenever my brain has the time to idle is "Did You Think" by Breathers. It's the only song I've heard so far by this Florida, USA group and it's a smashing example of early '80s US power pop (yeah, I know yr bored of that genre definition but it gets the message across) from its Beatles-indebted intro to its sunbleached guitars and supremely catchy melody. I'm sure I'll be singing (and clapping) along for a good while yet.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Not Unloved presents: Real Numbers / Vital Idles / US Highball @ The 13th Note (31/08)

Not Unloved presents a soiree of boss POP! sounds featuring:

Real Numbers (Minneapolis, USA/Slumberland Records) bring their DIY spirit and pristine jangling guitars to Glasgow for the first time. Their Wordless Wonder lp was released through Slumberland Records; if they're good enough for Slumberland, that's recommendation enough for us. Television Personalities/C86 fans: be there!

Vital Idles (Glasgow, Upset! The Rhythm) are longtime crushes of Not Unloved and brilliantly inaugurated our label at the very end of 2016 (more on what's next for the label very soon!). They just released their ace debut lp, Left Hand, on label of the moment Upset! The Rhythm: 14 urgent blasts of art!pop! joy. Hell, yeah!

US Highball (Glasgow) are Calvin and James formerly of The Pooches and the best band Captured Tracks never signed, Water Wolves. This will be just their second gig. Expect melodies you’ll sing for days!

Doors: 8pm
Entry fee: £5 (all pop fans welcome - nobody turned away for lack of funds)
The Facebook event is here