I am marking October 2nd on my calendar and set alerts for it to notify me because that is the release date for Spunsugar’s new album Drive-Through-Chapel.
Until then, I am content to listen to their newest single, Run.
It seems like it was forever ago that I posted a favourable review of their then-current single Happier Happyless, it was actually on June 5th of this pandemic year that has completely messed up my sense of time.
Here we are on August 13th, barely two months since my last review of their music and just when I think they can’t get any better they release a new single that blows me away, again. Run to listen to it. Run to pre-order their new album. Run, because it is good for you.
I won’t give too much away because I am waiting for the whole album to spin on my turntable, but I can tell you that if you enjoyed Happier Happyless, you would most likely enjoy a good Run.
I have to admit that before I read the bio or listened to the music I had already for an expectation based on nothing but the band’s name, ‘Hey Elbow’. I quite imagined another “Macarena” dance craze sweeping the globe, which would be a sweet deal for the Hey Elbow, getting that kind of exposure. I suppose it could still happen; however, after listening to the song a couple of times, I don’t think it is quite as catchy as Macarena and not a dynamic in the dance part. You can decide for yourself, start the song playing, and dance along to it. How is the Hey Elbow dance done?
– Hands-on each shoulder, lift the elbow towards the sky and yell: HEY ELBOW!!
I like the music of ‘Nurture/Aptitude‘, Hey Elbows latest offering, which is a single off their forthcoming album, “WE THREE’, arriving on the 18th September via Adrian Recordings. Nurture/Aptitude’ will be available everywhere from Wednesday 17th June 2020 via Adrian Recordings. I don’t know how many times I have listened to Nurture/Aptitude, but I have not once got up from my chair put my hands on my shoulders and lifted them while shouting ‘Hey Elbow’. Perhaps we are getting in early on the dance craze of the summer of 2020, the Hey Elbow dance party.
Nurture/Aptitude opens with an interesting sound bite. I’ll let the band explain it. Speaking about the new release, the group said,“‘ Nurture/Aptitude’ is a somewhat catchy track coming from us. The song is based on a loop that we recorded by mistake in the rehearsal place. It was a vocal harmony that by accident was cut to a super short segment at the same time as a coffee cup crashed into a microphone. We can’t really remember, but the loop disappeared, and we panicked. A few months later in the studio, the loop suddenly appeared, and we could include it on the recording. It is a pop tune but needed a frame. We did a longer intro and an ambient outro. So it became a Hey Elbow song. For the impatient listener, we also did a convenient but lazy edit.”
So there you have it folks, a catchy pop tune that has potential for the band to use in live venues with the Hey Elbow movements. That would be a sure-fire way to get played over and over; at every wedding, grad party and bbq. I wish you all the best. In the meantime, I am practice in front of a mirror while playing Nurture/Aptitude over and over, and I am sure glad that it is a song that I like so I quite enjoy listening to it over and over.
I have an affinity for anything Swedish since that is the land of my maternal family. I was pleased then to review new releases from two Swedish groups and their music.
Following on from the release of their breakthrough debut EP ‘Mouth Full Of You’ last year, a collection that cemented them as one of the finest emerging shoegaze outfits of the moment as well as garnering support from Steve Lamacq at BBC 6Music, Swedish trio Spunsugar now return with their latest dose of forlorn industrial electronics on ‘Happier Happyless’ through Adrian Recordings.
With a strong affinity for post-punk, noise-rock and dream-pop, this genre-bending new offering sees the group deliver one of their hardest and most impactful releases to date. With a Robyn-Esque direction, filled with the atmospheric vocals of frontwoman Elin Ramsted, the group look to emulate the warm and driven sound of acts like Cocteau Twins and Slowdive with their pulsing aesthetic.
Speaking about their new single, the band said, “‘Happier Happyless’ is a sour and sweet song, tackling subjects of pining, happiness and revenge. Having a fittingly slower pace than former Spunsugar singles, this song is also a homage to the shunned 2001 slasher movie Valentine, released a little too late in the post-Scream era. Written to have “a memorable hook, a thumping synth bassline and a shoegazer chorus” this is an excellent introduction to the band’s debut album, because of the constant switching of emotional tonality.”
‘Happier Happyless’ is set to become the band’s first taste of their long-awaited debut album ‘Drive-Through Chapel’, set to later this fall via Adrian Recordings.
Bottom line. I really liked the blend of styles and the vocals are mesmerizing.
Swedish synth act Kite is made up of singer Nicklas Stenemo and keyboard player Christian Berg. The pair combine an adventurous nature with pop sensibilities, throbbing beats and an early nineties aesthetic. Their lean approach to songwriting – a methodology of ‘cut the fat’ results in tight, focussed songs that never outstay their welcome. Produced together with Blanck Mass (Benjamin John Power), new single ‘Teenage Bliss’ has shades of New Order, Chairlift and Superorganism. It conjures up mental images of half-remembered nights out, sweat-soaked gigs with friends and the naivety of first experiences.
The pair tell us that “When we started Kite the band F*** Buttons were a big source of inspiration to us. Since then we have been following Benjamin John Powers brilliant music as Blanck Mass. We are now extremely excited to announce that we are working on the production of two new Kite tracks with him.” The band have brought their projection filled, brain-melting visual live show to audiences in Scandinavia, Germany, the US, Canada and China.
If Kite ever comes to Canada again, I will be there. The driving bass and the lush arrangement grab me by the seat of my pants and didn’t let go.