In creating sounds and music that are difficult to categorise, to pigeonhole, bands run the risk of alienating their established fan-base, or worse still, failing to establish that fan-base to begin with. Fortunately for the London-based, Lake District’s Acre Tarn, their esotericism is what makes them so utterly irresistible to begin with.
Saturday, 13 January 2018
It’s difficult to know where to begin with Norwich’s Wooden Arms. Self-described as ‘genre-fluid’, and with as much disregard for convention as such a label justifies, the five-piece craft seemingly effortless arrangements that veer from fragile and introspective, to sprawling and optimistic, often within a single track. And while ‘Trick Of The Light’, the band’s latest album, feels more sombre than the chamber pop of their debut, it still retains all the nuance, beauty and varied influences that made said debut so impressive.
With a name like Beans On Toast, you could be forgiven for assuming that the music of Essex-born Jay McAllister would be light-hearted, upbeat and perhaps even somewhat frivolous. And you’d be partially right. The fact remains though, that while the music of Beans On Toast is certainly delivered with humour and a smile, much of it also carries a message we’d all benefit from listening to.
Monday, 11 December 2017
Forming in Tel Aviv, Document are a post-punk four-piece who banded together following a shared love of ’80s bands such as The Fall, and Wire, as well seminal ’90s artists such as Fugazi and Dinosaur Jr. Their tracks explore themes of dis-connectivity and digital addiction, the individual dealing with bureaucracy,corruption and the repeating void of the modern life, oscillating between moments of anxiety and outrage to moments of hope and ecstasy. Louder Than War caught up with the band following on from the release of their most recent single, Hustle.
It’s often said that those bands you discover in your formative years are the ones that stay with you forever. And while this is certainly true, if the bands themselves were also in their formative years, then it’s something that runs even deeper. Discovering Los Campesinos! on late-night radio almost exactly a decade ago was something of a revelation for my sixteen-year-old self, and while the production was crude and the writing a little on the nose, its frothy, poppy nature and made-for-Myspace lyricism spoke volumes.
Soft, subtle and at times even skeletal in its composition, Playing House, the debut album from New York born, Montreal raised Common Holly is an album hinged on the uncertainties and inevitabilities of growing up, and as such, “contemplates the notion that it is conscious thought and deliberate action that defines and cements maturation from child to adult”.
Ambient music has always been a difficult one to put your finger on. Lacking the immediacy of your more traditional genres, its appeal is that of nuance and of subtlety, and the almost insidious way certain melodies or refrains permeate ones’ thoughts, as if they’ve been there all that time. The same is true about Finding Shore, the new collaborative album between pianist Tom Rogerson and ambient royalty, Brian Eno.