London – Continuing Best New Band’s weekly round-up, we preview some new music that has taken our fancy over the past seven days. Foxygen, the eclectic LA-based duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado, has a new video for the surprisingly brief “Upon A Hill”, a track off the band’s latest album, Hang. The piece works as something of a prelude to the complete album with France channelling the kind of vocal melodrama once traded by Scott Walker while the video shot on 16 mm film sees him acting alongside a cast of nightmarish mechanical dolls, created by artist Yuliya Lanina. Foxygen is touring extensively across the US and Canada over the next three months with a nine-piece band to recreate the album with a somewhat smaller cast than the original 40-plus-piece symphony orchestra employed on each cut.
Over in the UK, Wednesday was the deadline for Round 1 judges’ picks for Glastonbury ETC 2017 to be submitted. Look out soon for an announcement of the long list of 120 acts that made it through to the next round, including our own three choices. Coincidentally Lucy Kitchen, one of our three in 2015 who went on to reach the final and duly played at that year’s festival, is putting the finishing touches to her new album, Sun to My Moon, supported by a Pledge Music campaign. Here is an early unplugged version of the album’s title track to give you a taster. You can pre-order the record via the artiste’s Pledge page via the link above.
Richard Edwards, formerly the frontman of Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, has shared a third track, “Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’” from his eagerly awaited solo debut album, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset, due on 31 March. The long player was conceived during Edwards’ convalescence after a serious stomach illness and following further abdominal surgery. Edwards fashions the kind of personal disquiet and pain you might imagine only experiencing towards the end of your life into engaging music with a surprisingly positive ring to it, as evidenced by this song. Meeting at the convergence of the artiste’s failing health and the breakdown of his marriage, his thoughtful verses are superbly counterbalanced by the swelling, organ fuelled choruses.
Another with an album due shortly is Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter Gayle Skidmore who has hit the road with a 15-date US tour to support the release of The Golden West. Originally a San Diego, CA homegirl, the album documents her relocation from California to Amsterdam, where her fiancé lived. The bright, melodic title track speaks directly about letting go of the physical and emotional ties that bind us in an affirmative way, summed up by the chorus: “Let’s bury all we put to rest in the golden west.” The album will come with an accompanying colouring book with a picture for each song. “I still like to think I started the adult colouring book trend,” the singer claims with a trademark smile.
High Sunn, the solo project of San Francisco’s Justin Cheromiah, began when the artiste was just 14. Over the next three years, Cheromiah seems to have taken a leaf out of Car Seat Headrest’s book with a prolific series of self-produced singles, EPs and full albums. The latest and first studio effort, his Hopeless Romantic EP, will be out on 19 May and meanwhile you can preview it with this dreamy slice of lo-fi pop,“Polaroids”. Cheromiah claims that his inspiration behind the new EP came from his “experiences dealing with love, rejection, and yearning, and having a heart and mind full of dreams and desires.” Well, that seems a fair description of a hopeless romantic.
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Tony’s great passion in life is music and nothing gives him more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. His association with Best New Bands brings great opportunities for this. He also writes for Consequence of Sound and is a judge for Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition.
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