Into Music Reviews: New Music July 2022

Well, we’ve had unprecedented weather over the past few days in absolutely baking conditions. It was so hot, hot, hot that there was not much you could do really … apart from listening to music. Result! So Into Creative have done exactly that and we now bring to you some top tunes from great artists. So do read on……….

Artist: Hefner/Marine Research/Hurrah!
EPs: BBC Radio Sessions                                                                                     Label: Precious Recordings of London

Into Creative have been long time admirers of Nick Godfrey’s record label Precious Recordings of London going back to their first releases from The Jasmine Minks and BMX Bandits which we reviewed here

Since then, the label has gone from strength to strength with a number of BBC radio session releases by the likes of the Weather Prophets and Blueboy. It’s a great concept, unearthing past radio sessions recorded by bands and played on BBC radio shows by the likes of John Peel, Janice Long and Steve Lamacq and then bringing them out on vinyl. 

The latest batch sees releases by Hefner (Steve Lamacq session March 1999), Marine Research (John Peel session May 1999) and Hurrah! (David Jensen session December 1982). These are not only filling the gap created by the demise, years back, of the Strange Fruit label which issued hundreds of Peel sessions on vinyl but also taps into sessions by other BBC DJs. It will appeal to fans of these bands and those completists who love their vinyl, but also to new fans and given the detail on each release, I can see fans buying up everything Precious release. Believe me, the quality is that good. 

Each record comes in a gatefold sleeve, 2x 7″ vinyl contained within, cool artwork and a set of stand-alone postcards dedicated to each band. The sleeve notes not only cover the tracks here but highlight if the band played other tracks at the session, who played on the record plus detailed commentary from a band member on the session/background etc. Personally, I buy quite a bit of vinyl each month and I can’t think of any other label (with exception of LNFG) who produce such quality. They get it

But what of the music? Hefner‘s session is consistently good, The Weight Of The Stars starts with a bass-led beat before the guitars come in, singer Darren Hayman’s vocal not too dissimilar to Pete Shelley, whereas To Hide A Little Thought is a more gentle, acoustic based track which slides along nicely, Hayman’s harmonies a real stand out. The four tracks on offer retain a cool wonkiness about them and really capture the band’s sound at that time. 

Marine Research need no introduction to fans of the C86/indie pop sound, containing ex-Talulah Gosh/Heavenly members in their line up. I Confess has it all – swirling keyboards, jangling guitars and a matter-of-fact vocal from singer, Amelia Fletcher, which is offset by Cathy Rogers backing vocal. The two go back and forth in perfect harmony. Angel In The Snow is much more adventurous from a musical perspective. The track’s musicality is deeper and more experimental. Elsewhere, David Gedge from The Wedding Present sings dual vocals on Bad Dreams, the band’s stab at a Sinatra and Hazlewood duet. It works … and then some. The closing Capital L was the single that never was and for me, the pick of the bunch. 

Hurrah! recorded their session with David Jensen in December 1982 and on first listen you are immediately reminded of that time, of bands like Orange Juice, The Bluebells and Aztec Camera, the latter of which, Hurrah!, supported a few times. Any band that has that Postcard Records sound is good enough for me. The melodies are there in abundance, most notably on Hip Hip which would be a future single release and on the bubbly fizz of Lonely Room. The Newcastle band however, could also mix it up somewhat as illustrated on Saturday’s Train, a more layered track with a contemporary feel. The bass of Dave Porthouse and drums of Damien Mahoney are predominant in the mix.  

To order any of the Precious Recordings of London back catalogue and to keep up to date with new and future releases, head over to their Bandcamp page here

 

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Artist: The Murder Capital
Single: Only Good Things                                                                                          Label: Human Season Records

Dublin’s The Murder Capital burst onto the in 2019 with the release of their debut album When I Have Fears making number two in their home country and hitting the Top 20 in the U.K.

Since then, nothing. But fear not. The post punk outfit are back with the hypnotic new single Only Good Things. James McGovern’s vocal is on top form, quite reminiscent of The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser, but better. 

On production duties is the Grammy award-winning John Congleton who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business such as Bono, Debbie Harry, Eddie Vedder, The Killers and also the aforementioned, The Walkmen. The result is a great mix, the guitars stand out, the drums are big and they are the ideal accompaniment to McGovern, who said of the single: 

This track for us has been an exciting evolution for the band. It’s so bright. It’s so colorful. This is a part of the narrative of the overall record that we feel reaches a real place of inner calm, inner peace but at its core, it’s a love song. You get a song like this where, the protagonist in this song is quite simply asking – not pleading – just willing to ask their counterpart to rid them of their intrusive thoughts, the devils on their shoulders and to be truly vulnerable. We’re so excited to go to a place like this because perhaps it’s not what is expected of us. It stood out to me during the creation of this record that it is more about the friends that are still here and celebrating those connections, those relationships and being unafraid of life and it’s many seasons. Where ‘Only Good Things’ stands within the record is at a moment where the sonic and the lyrical narrative especially, are of newfound joy.

Having returned to live shows recently included support to Pearl Jam and a set at the Primevera Festival, the band are out on the road over the coming weeks with more festival appearances across Europe. Let’s hope for a Scottish date soon for one of the great live acts who are definitely back with a bang.

For details of new music and tour dates, head over to The Murder Capital‘s website here

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Artist: Beth Orton
Single: Forever Young                                                                                                Label: Partisan Records

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton is back with her first new release in years, her last long-player, Kidsticks, came out in 2016. Forever Young is a strong return for the the singer known for her folktronica sound.

At times, languid, leisurely, haunting and spacious the song comes in just shy of 6 minutes with Orton’s voice evoking a vulnera, courtesy of Dustin O’Halloran. 

Having already released the title track single, Weather Alive, from the new album of the same name, Orton has built on that eternal flame with a song layered in complexity but so simple in its delivery. Orton’s voice is wrought with emotion and she is known to have one of the finest voices in the business. It’s clearly evident here. 

The new album will be released on 23 September followed by a U.K. tour including a date at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on 13 October. You can keep up to date on the music and tour via Orton’s website here

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John Welsh
@welshjb

Links:
@PrecRecs
@darrenhayman
@HeavenlyIndie
@MurderCapital_
@prescriptionpr

@beth_orton

@SonicPRMusic

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