With Christmas at our door step, cult punk troubadour Patrik Fitzgerald has teamed up with Norwegian ensemble LEMUR to release a fitting single for the season. Entitled ‘No Santa Clauses’, the single is out now through Crispin Glover Records and is backed by B Side ‘With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm’, an old music hall song from 1934. Both dark and delightful, ‘No Santa Clauses’ depicts the horrors of poor small children who were forced to sweep chimneys, a prominent practice in England in the late 18th and 19th century. The track is offered with a brilliant animated video made by The Branch and you can watch it below.
Last month saw the release of Poppy Ackroyd‘s Pause, her magnificent fourth album comprising 10 solo piano works that came to life during the pandemic, following the birth of her first child. The extraordinary multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd has shared a new single from the record called ‘Suspended’. She had this to say about the track:
“It’s about the eerie quiet of a city in lockdown. Walking through Brighton in the early hours of the morning, often with the streets to myself, I found myself imagining what the bird’s eye view of the city would be like. Everything was so still, time almost felt suspended. This track was my attempt to capture that feeling. It is performed with both hands inside the piano, using the instruments strings rather than the keys. The left hand gently hammers the strings repeatedly from above, while the right picks out a plucked melody that floats over the top.”
‘Suspended’ comes with a gorgeous video by videographer Jola Kudela, who comments:
“I knew about the genesis and Poppy’s intention when I started working on the video – empty quiet city, deserted by covid. But I live in London, not in Brighton, so I was experiencing anxiety rather than quietness created by this artificial state of suspension. That’s why I imagined a mysterious presence walking through the city, something that had taken the ownership of our space. But what at first seemed menacing became salvation and escape.
From a technical point of view, I shot the video in the post-lockdown era so it wasn’t easy to find empty streets anymore. So I based most of the process on still images that I projected into simple 3D forms and moved the camera in that space. This process is called camera mapping. The clouds where generated based on VDB objects (OpenVDB is an open-source library comprising a hierarchical data structure and tools for manipulation of sparse volumetric data discretized on three-dimensional grids). It required 3 weeks of rendering at a render farm of 8 computers. It was quite a technical challenge for me, working on my own, but it was very fulfilling to achieve the final result.”
Just in time for the festive season, acclaimed drummer and composer Mark Guiliana dropped a treat in the form of a new single called ‘Song for Making Things Right’. With a new full-length album arriving in January through Colorfield, ‘Song for Making Things Right’ serves as the first taste of what’s coming. “While introducing the album”, as the press release describes, “it is but one side to a multifaceted structure of sound presented throughout the LP.”
We can´t wait to hear more. For now, listen to the single below.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Rob Burger is as prolific as he is inventive, counting among his accomplishments various collaborations with artists like John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Beth Orton and Iron & Wine, to name but a few. As a solo artist, Burger is gearing up to release Marching With Feathers, his new full-length album which follows 2019’s The Grid. “Where that album braided the joviality of mid-century exotica with the controlled exploration of krautrock and kosmische”, desribes the press release, “the new album Marching With Feathers further reveals Burger’s command of mood and texture without the need for stylized referentiality.”
Marching With Feathers will see the light of day on February 11th through on Western Vinyl and Burger had already enticed us with the opening track ‘Figurine’. Now he has shared a second beautiful single called ‘Hotel For Saints’. Listen to both below.
Yesterday saw the release of Rival Consoles‘ new album Overflow. It follows 2018’s Articulation and was originally composed as a soundscape for a dance production of the same name by choreographer Alexander Whitley. Overflow ties into themes of the human and emotional impact of our current digital life, “echoing the concept of social media, advertising, marketing companies and political factions exploiting our data to gain wealth, political advantage and sow division.”
Earlier in the week, Rival Consoles shared a video to accompany lead single ‘Monster’. Speaking about the track, Ryan Lee West, the man behind Rival Consoles, explained it “has a kind of drunken madness to it, highly repetitive to mirror the repetitive nature of how we as humans engage with technology such as social media. It’s sometimes edging towards chaos but yet always returning back to the same starting point, but eventually giving way to exhaustion. I wanted to create a bold opening piece for Overflow.”
Dan Medhurst directed the video and you can watch it below.