Music In Brief – Singles Roundup Part 1.

Some things get caught in a Rats On Run limbo while others just slip through the net. Others get bumped because lead time was zero and some things, well I blame myself.

In a bid to dig deep in through the not-yet-replied-tos, the earworms, the not-so’s, the burgeoning inbox of wonderfully wacked-outs, here’s a roundup of un-sung submissions. Keep sending, keep pushing, keep pressing the e-flesh… I did say I will consume everything.

Headclouds – ‘Marmalade’

Out on the impressive These Bloody Thieves Records, this retro-fit tangle of pre-Brit Pop breeze swings a cool air of effortless calm. There’s no rush to add weight to the weave of lose vocals, they swarm to the warm hearted heat. The La’s and a first album Stone Roses ease meets suburban kaleidoscope haze, there’s a even a tangible tack back and forth from Strawberry Wine era My Bloody Valentine to Pains Of Being Pure At Heart dream pop.        

It’s a soft summerdelica, a northern daydream in shades, in a shimmer of danger-free jangle and swirl. It’s a quietly expanding self assured stretch of forlorn introspectives and love. Addictive and slick ’til the very last bars, where we hear there might be more to come… A darker side just ’round the corner maybe? Let’s see how this slick thickens up.

‘Marmalade’ is out now on These Bloody Thieves Records. Download and stream single here.    

Juniper Nights – ‘Birth Right’

From a humble and sweetly unassuming beginning, we slip into sleek awkward angles. Stop motion rhythms of guitar scratch and drums start to work out like a crisp webs of frost. Shallow ice builds and thaws on repeat, there’s a comfort way off in a distance; close enough to still feel but too far off to see, like the threat of some half happy memory.

In the abstract and perfect production that keeps every sound half lit and settled, there’s a vocal that sits just a little too clean to truly belong to the song. Although heartfelt and smooth, with a free-feeling range, it shines just too bright and untextured. As we flow and add tension, as we jitter and glide, there’s an expected post-rock progression. But instead of a constant up-ramping we’re treated to a tease and release that stays gladly and curiously, lovingly calm. It’s restraint holds it back from a scrawl, we retain that lost comfort throughout. It’s an intriguing mix of disquiet and anxiety that maintains a tender composure.

‘Birth Right’ is out now, find it on Spotify. Or find Juniper Nights news right here.  

El Toppo – ‘Stig Of The Dump / Ogglet’.

Loops formed of densely picked scattered guitars mount up and give way to fuzz blasted stabs. Dripped atmospherics and feedback start sprawling, and section after section of intimate aggression take turns to ratchet and twist. In one movement we’re open, inviting and calm, in the next we see chaos and tumultuous tones come on crashing down over our senses.

This instrumental concoction of post/prog/math rock is a harsh exploration of texture. From silk satin swirls to judders and jilts, we get hurled through this joined double single; ideas get crushed, crammed and explored, and shrugged off at untraceable speeds. As soon as I’m used to a sound or a groove it gets yanked from beneath like a sheet. But the sweetness or meanness that follows, the shoegaze of Slowdive or soft lilt of Ride, the jagged of Kyus or the warm scratch of Iceage, or even a twee snatch from Vampire Weekend, they all fly by wanted and welcomed. If there’s any complaint aimed at lack of distinction, or a case made for extra layers wanted… they get laid down to rest once you breathe in the fact that the full 13 mins was made live; right down to the loops and impeccable memories, right down to the pitch perfect drums.

El Toppo’s first single ‘Stig Of The Dump / Ogglet’ is out now on Spotify and Bandcamp.

As always these highlights and other featured artists are right here on Rats On Run Radio.