Welcome to the September 2017 of FrSq, the monthly list that complies some of NFC’s favourite tracks of the month together and gives them a handle little description, and then gives you a few more to check out below them if you’re not completely satisfied.
It’s officially Autumn now, but there still seems to be a bit of a crossover from the Summer bops and more moody, introspective tracks that are more suited for colder months. So we’re at a bit of crossroads here. But, in terms of overall quality, I think this month is a good one. There’s a nice mix, ya dig?
Farm Hand – International Dreams
Mark Daman Thomas is a busy man. Not only does he share his time between being a member of Islet – who recently released the excellent Liquid Half Moon EP – and also running Shape Records and From Now On Festival (all favourites of NFC), Thomas has now officially announced a solo album under the Farm Hand moniker.
Farm Hand is a fairly apt name for the project: Daman Thomas has moved to the rural countryside of Radnorshire, Mid Wales, and brought with him a new sound that wouldn’t have surprised me to have come into fruition from a sylvan cult.
‘International Dreams’, the title track from the upcoming LP out in November, shares the looping layers and ethereal vocal characteristics that made Panda Bear’s solo work such a huge success; yet Daman Thomas employs a thick, heavy aura as a method in building a concoction that is eerie, calming and joyful in varying measures.
Rocheman – Windmill
As the disclaimer at the bottom of this chunk of words will point out, I have a bit of an affiliation with this track and Rocheman in general, which has been a blessing and a curse. It’s been a bit of a tough task keeping this artist’s work to myself for the whole of September, as what I have heard from him has absolutely blown me away, including new single ‘Windmill’ (I would also recommend checking out ‘Parades I & II’).
Rocheman is extremely adept at producing gorgeous, ethereal pieces of work that seem to be carefully considered and free-form at the same time. ‘Windmill’ isn’t the most striking piece of work, but the subtle ambience is stunning and conjures up a hauntingly beautiful world through velvety guitar licks and slowing rising keys. Keep an eye out for Rocheman in the near future, you won’t regret it.
(Disclaimer: I work for Caroline International, who worked on the release of this track.)
Shopping – The Hype
Here’s a challenge: try and not get hyped when listening to Shopping’s new track ‘The Hype’.
Ok, now that I’ve got that shit pun out of the way, I’m more than happy to be a part of the welcoming back committee for London-based trio Shopping back, who have already made a stab at exceeding their wonderful Why Choose record in 2015 with this new single.
‘The Hype’ is a spiky piece of post-punk that centres itself between the instantly striking basslines of ESG and the cross-genre world hopping of Maximum Joy. While Shopping could have existed in that late 70s/early 80s Bristolian post-punk scene, ‘The Hype’ is a forward-thinking track that skilfully intermingles afrobeat, pop, funk and punk into a space that is immediately joyful.
Sons Of Raphael – Eating People
‘Eating People’, the debut track from duo Loral and Ronnel Raphael – otherwise known as Sons Of Raphael – is a short burst of punk goodness that is just weird enough to mark the band as one of the most interesting to look out for in the near future.
Refreshingly and unlike the stereotype of the genre, there’s a slightly muted quality to the production of the thrashing guitars, and they sit slightly behind a punchy drum machine. This is a surprising choice, but it works out in the duo’s favour thanks to the sweet quality of Ronnel’s vocals, that mix neatly into the rawness of it all without overpowering the flavour.
Tree House – Nonsense
It’s often true that those that produce some of the most intriguing work in whatever field they specialise in do so under detrimental circumstances that force them to innovate and stumble across something special and unique.
The potential of a noise complaint due to the thinness of American-born, London-based Will Fortna’s walls in a previous apartment could have derailed his desire to produce music: but in hindsight, this challenge may have helped more than it hindered.
Taken off of debut EP In The Ocean, ‘Nonsense’ is a hazy synth-pop nugget that recalls the rhythmic funk of William Onyeabor in certain areas, and the minimalism of Phillip Glass in others, and then coated with the beautifully hushed vocals of Fortna. ‘Nonsense’ sometimes threatens to break out of its immaculately crafted bubble, but its best kept as an understated spacey gem.
Way Yes – Dead Ringer
It’s been a little while since the world has heard anything from Way Yes, the Columbus, Ohio band that rode upon the tide of enthusiasm surrounding an assorted amount of eclectic pop artists in the 2000s like Animal Collective and Dan Deacon.
Now, the project of multi-faceted musicians Glenn Davis and Travis Hall are back after a 4 year break with an album announcement and lead single ‘Dead Ringer’, a track that continues their track record of fusing avant-pop and afropop with a more straightforward synth-pop foundation. Instead of detracting from their signature take on psychedelic laced pop, this new slight offshoot in direction is a welcoming 6-minute tropical delight that meanders through a landscape of gorgeous guitar melodies and a exotic percussive backbone. Oh, and the artwork is, as ever, very much on-point.
And now, here’s something we hope you’ll really like:
- Art School Girlfriend – Bending Back (Same disclaimer as Rocheman)
- Carla Dal Forno – The Garden
- CCFX – 2tru
- Deradoorian – Nia In The Dark
- liv – Hurts to liv
- The Plan – Pier Party Nerves