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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Pop Drop – the stuff that nearly fell through the net

Well, it turns out that being unemployed doesn't actually make it any easier in keeping up with everything pop related. There's still much more stuff falling through the net than any of us would like, but today we'll try and make amends. This is a load of stuff that I've come across in one way or another that fits in with the Keep Pop Loud / indiepop aesthetic, but that I've not had the chance to explore further. In short, all of this is rather good...

Binko Swink

First up there's the unusually named Binko Swink with their debut single 'Patient'. The two piece from London cite American alt. pop groups such as Pavement, The Velvet Underground and The National as influences, their dreamy pop recalls as much Saint Etienne in it's melodic whimsy. Although perhaps lacking in obvious edge Binko Swink's unusual, experiemental sound buries itself nicely in your consciousness thanks to the obvious care that's been taken over songcraft.

Think dreamy, lazy days of a childhood summer spent in fields. Think indie pop of the type that you just don't hear any more. Think of the prettiest vocal of the year. That's Binko Swink.


'Patient' is released on 12th September on Adventure Club Records, but you can pick up a free download of 'Take The Pop' (Live Demo) from Binko Swink's website.


Tiny Birds

This one's more traditionally indiepop. The sort of stuff that yr used to seeing on coloured 7”s. Somewhere between My First Tooth and MJ Hibbett Tiny Birds hail from London and cite The Wave Picture and Hefner as influences. Which sets them in fairly good stock really. On 'The Photographs That You Took' the traditional instrumentation (mandolins and big rattling drums) back the acoustic-lead indiepop nicely and creates a nice individual sound. The flat style of the vocals may put some off, but those that persevere will be rewarded with an earworm of a track that encourages some serious foot tapping.

The band say of the song “Never has the sound of regret been so damn jaunty”, which just about says it all. Great Stuff!



Blood Sport

On the completely other end of the scale now is Sheffield's Blood Sport with the material from their forthcoming debut EP Journal Nº3

They call themselves an afrobeat/noise punk band, but you'll probably be more at home thinking of them as No Age's (sonically) perverted cousins. With rapid rhythms that are bloody hard to get your head around, there is a full out assault on anything that you might have heard before. The afrobeat influence comes forward most on 'Mayan Dance', where there's more of a bounce to the guitars and splashes on the drum kits breakables. Take note of the parping bass sound on this track too for something out of the ordinary.

Largely instrumental and delightfully raw, Blood Sport are frighteningly fresh at a time when lo-fi is pretty much everywhere. Like the aforementioned No Age, Blood Sport have an ability to hit on something really primal in the listener that's at once disconcerting and intriguing. One listen won't be enough to even start to contemplate what this really is.

新 録 by Blood Sport

Cancel The Astronauts

Finally we end on something really really poppy. If some of the stranger acts above aren't yr sort of thing then fear not. Cancel The Astronauts are here for you with a glossy indiepop bounce that'll put a MASSIVE smile on your face.

Which is pretty good for a band from Edinburgh.

I jest of course. I've never been to Scotland, never mind Edinburgh. I'm sure it's lovely.

But back on track. Cancel The Astronauts have two EPs under their belts (2009's I Am The President Of Your Fanclub (And Last Night I Followed You Home) and Funny For A Girl which came out last year) and are gearing up to release their new single 'Seven Vices' which is released on September 12th. Said track is an upbeat pop number with Copy Haho style zinging guitars and a vocal that sounds a little bit like Lloyd Cole. You can listen to that below, but should be aware that it's just about bettered by b-side 'Something Approaching', which boasts a fuller sound that's backed by glistening synthesisers and a soaring vocal. It's all a bit 80's indiepop, but in a great way.



Of their older material there's plenty for you to investigate but I'm going to recommend the title track from Funny For A Girl on the basis that it has a wonderful video to accompany it. The playful and quirky visual creativity on display matches the aesthetic of the band nicely, and like pretty much all of their tracks is a catchy number that'll have you from the first listen. Go on, give Cancel The Astronauts a go, they might be one of your favourite bands very soon...



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