Way back in September, Daniel Sheron of Balto wrote to announce the arrival of Monuments, the band’s follow-up to 2011’s October’s Road. In his letters, Daniel stressed that the album was a new direction for Balto – a step forward for him and the band. Given how much I loved October’s Road, this was certainly intriguing. In one e-mail, he wrote:
Walking over cobblestone under the eyes of stone statues, Veronica Falls find themselves in the spring idyll of Porto’s Cemitério de Agramonte. Once the London-based band comes across the first snoozing cat, they are taken by these serene graveyard creatures. The bassist Marion Herbain is especially fond of them and goes stalking for more moggies. Roxanne Clifford, the band’s singer and guitarist, swarms out to take some more analog photos. In this picture-perfect setting of infectious tranquillity Veronica Falls perform their brand new single “Teenage”.
Check it out:
To commemorate reaching 40,000 Twitter followers, John Darnielle has gifted us with a new song entitled “All Devils Here Now.” The track is actually a demo, recorded sometime between Tallahassee and We Shall All Be Healed. The song, Darnielle notes, features “actual Iowa bugs” and shares “psychic and geographic space” with other material from those albums. Indeed, it’s hard not to be struck by the subdued tone of the entire recording, as recent Mountain Goats recordings have tended towards larger, more polished arrangements.
Whatever the case, it’s a great track, and a wonderful gift for Mountain Goats fans. Have a listen:
Out this week is a new video for “Breaking Down” from Florence + The Machine‘s Ceremonials album. Directed by Tabitha Denholm, who also directed the considerably more dramatic “Cosmic Love” and “Never Let Me Go” videos, the lighthearted, retro “Breaking Down” uses Super 8 to evoke the summers of the ’60s and ’70s. It’s a beautiful, perfect-for-Summer, video which is sure to make you nostalgic for all those backyard gatherings and road trips of years gone by… Have a look!
Founded in 2006, Funeral Club is the stage name of husband and wife duo Jenny and Joseph Andreotti. The band – whose sound evokes memories of Nick Cave, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the best parts of early-80s Cure – completed their magnificent third album, In the Fire, in Spring of 2011.
As the band tell it: “In The Fire was influenced by the idea of paying homage to experimental film makers Maya Deren and David Lynch, film composer Ennio Morricone, and to Pulp’s wonderfully sleazy film-noir inspired This is Hardcore. ” An eclectic set of influences, to be sure, but not surprising from a band that says its beginnings were inspired by “their grandparent’s journey from Oklahoma to Bakersfield, California during the great Dust Bowl migration, 1960s spaghetti westerns, David Lynch soundtracks, and the late 70s punk movement.” All of these diverse influences combine with haunting lyrics and sinuous, sensual melodies to produce an album that is both atmospheric and enveloping.
The band’s considerable talent for creating dramatic canvasses shines on “A Soapbox Serenade,” which crackles and moves with a sense of danger. It’s like stepping in to the climax of an obscure, foreign art piece. Beautiful and mysterious… have a listen:
Since the release of In the Fire, the band have kept busy, and have recently released a new EP – Waves & Waves – on Pale Noir. The eponymous “Waves & Waves” is a gorgeous, brooding track that features a superb combination of saxophone, ethereal vocals, and an arrangement that reminds me of Disintegration-era Cure. Why not have a listen?
If you’d like to learn more about the band, I strongly encourage you to visit their website, or check them out on Facebook. (It should also be noted that they’re lovely people who never once yelled at me for holding on to their music for an eternity… So, thanks, Funeral Club!)
I’ll leave you with the video for “Shadows” from the Waves & Waves EP: