Wednesday, 27 September 2017

MINIATURES - JESSAMINES (Saint Marie Records LP, CD, D/L). CARTA - THE SAND COLLECTORS DREAM (Saint Marie Records LP, D/L). CRASH CITY SAINTS - ARE YOU FREE? (Saint Marie Records LP, CD, D/L). WHEN THE SUN HITS - WITHIN YOUR EYES EP (Saint Marie Records LP, D/L). LOTTE KESTNER - OFF WHITE (Saint Marie Records LP, CD, D/L).

We have had a batch of new releases that we want to tell you about from Saint Marie Records outta Texas………they are one of the more adventurous Noise Pop/Shoegaze/Alt Rock labels that look towards the future (with one foot firmly in the past) and don’t think that when Lush decided to split was the day the music died. Dig it kidz.
Originally from New Zealand but now based in Melbourne Australia, Miniatures have been creating cinematic and emotive soundscapes since 2012 with several EPs already released and their full debut album, Jessamines, hits the racks in October. With an absolute Tsunami of spiraling, twisted, distorted guitars and processed beats, Miniatures drag Dream Pop into the now, layering rich tones, beautiful textures, cascading melodies and angelic vocals, building soundscapes that rise and fall like the ocean tide. Guitars wash over you until the wave of sound sweeps you out to sea, swirling in a reverb riptide and drowning in delay. Infused with a late 80s Indie Pop sensibility (listen carefully and you will hear the influence of The Sundays, Lush, Cocteau Twins, Smashing Pumpkins, even a hint of Johnny Marr’s guitar adventurism), Jessamines radiates with shards of brilliant light where crystalline guitars tumble and cascade over a bedrock of supple bass playing and inventive drum programming as the album slowly reveals a myriad of textures, moods and colours…………simply beautiful. If you are looking for comparisons, the sound of the now defunct The School Of Seven Bells isn’t that wide off the mark. Due for release 06/10/2017, Jessamines will be available on vinyl, CD and as a digital download.


Outta California comes West Coast Psychedelic/Post Rock/Alt Rock band Carta with a new album of mesmerizing songs. Led by guitarist Kyle Monday, evolving from a loose collection of L.A musicians in 2002 to an actual real live band, Carta have released a series of critically acclaimed albums over the years, being favorably compared to artists such as Gregor Samsa, Tarwater, Stars of the Lid, Low and This is Your Captain Speaking along the way. The Sand Collector’s Dream is the fourth release from the band and no doubt their best to date, it’s a beautiful mix of abstract guitars and ambient electronica that is really hard to tie down to just one genre. Flitting from expansive soundscapes to twisted, stripped back Americana and most places inbetween, Carta have crafted a beautiful record of modern American psychedelic music that twists and turns elegantly through two sides of vinyl. It’s a spellbinding record, with most of the band chipping in on lead vocal duties and guest vocalist Odessa Chen, blending with the men in a series of duets, really stealing the show. Their voices blend together like a Lee Hazlewood with more “haze” and a Nancy Sinatra with more “sin”. It’s an album of vast stylistic breadth, the band’s description of their sound as “paranoid inner-vacuum micro-dub and ruminative post-space hypno-drone” doesn’t really do it justice……………. Just say it’s the missing link between Another Green World and tripped out Alt Rock, what the band so eloquently refers to as “the eternal internal struggle” as they trace a journey from entanglement to solitude, from optimism to defeat. It’s that feeling when your mind is clear but everything around you is fog.  This is the way the world ends—not with a bang, and not with a whimper, just beauty & regret. Out NOW on vinyl and as a digital download.

Are You Free? By Crash City Saints has been out for a few months now. It’s a concept album of sorts about growing up in the early 90s in the small American town of Kalamazoo (it’s in Michigan……we had to Google it) and the influence that Shoegaze and Alt Rock had on their outlook on life and their possible futures. As the album is a “journey” of sonic awakening, it pulls in influences from the era mixing up familiar leftfield Alt Rock and Shoegaze tropes to tell a story over the course of twelve tracks that hails the significance of the music as the record unfolds and is housed in a cover that replicates the style of 23 Envelope/Vaughn Oliver’s iconic artwork for 4AD. Crash City Saints have been previously described as “a powerpop band in shoegaze clothing” or as the band says their music is like “a sandblaster spraying sugar” which ain’t far from the truth. Are You Free? Is awash with a sweet Pop sensibility colliding with the squall of Noise Pop guitars overdriven to infinity, showering sparks and blowing minds. It’s a slow burner of an album, taking about half the record to really get up to speed………………however when the Madchester baggy beats and swirling fuzzed out guitars of ‘Spirit Photography’ kick in then Are You Free? hits full velocity and escapes gravity s pull. The second half of the record is a love letter to the early 90s British Shoegaze bands with Crash City Saints at times sounding more like MBV than MBV…………………it’s a cool record. Fans of early Brit Shoegaze will really love this album as it is a distillation of everything that was great about late 80s/early 90s Underground Indie Rock music. It may not be original, but that’s not the point. Out NOW on vinyl and CD, you can check it out/stream it/buy it here………

Calling your band When The Sun Hits takes away any ambiguity about where your major influence/inspiration is coming from straight away…………..however the 5 piece Nottingham band are more that mere Slowdive copyists. Behind the crashing waves of blissed out guitars there is a steely Post Punk backbone and a dynamic propulsive rhythm section. New from Saint Marie Records, When The Sun Hits’ 6 track Immersed Within Your Eyes EP mixes together expansive soundscapes (check the gorgeous ‘Cooper’s Secret’) with grittier songs, such as ‘Lovedead Town’, that evokes the scene from back in the day but sound thoroughly modern. The EP is out NOW and you can check it out/stream it/buy the vinyl here........
https://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/immersed-within-your-eyes-2.

And finally………………Lotte Kestner is the pseudonym of Anna-Lynne Williams, formerly the singer in one of Saint Marie Records most popular signings, Trespassers William, and collaborator with the Chemical Brothers. Off White is a treasure, an album of shadows and silhouettes, songs unbearably moving, so jaw-droppingly intimate, stripped down to minimal piano, acoustic guitar, synth washes backing framing Anna-Lynne Williams’ stunning voice. Dim the lights, spark up a forest of candles and drop the needle on the record for a almost transcendental out of body experience. Out NOW on vinyl, CD and digital download, you can check the record out on Saint Marie Record's Bandcamp site here.

All these records are available on line direct from the Saint Marie Records store and all good local record emporiums…………





No comments:

Post a Comment