Thursday, 6 August 2009

Soft Hearted Scientists - Scarecrow Smile, Home Demos: Volume 1

The artist is : Soft Hearted Scientists
The album is : Scarecrow Smile, Home Demos: Volume 1
The format is : CD and Download
It will be released on : 28th September 2009
The label is : My Kung Fu Recordings

Following 2008’s Take Time To Wonder In A Whirling World, Scarecrow Smile is the latest offering from Wales’ Soft Hearted Scientists. Featuring 16 lovingly–crafted nuggets of bedroom folk-pop and psychedelia this collection provides a recognisable yet new insight into a band termed “a new legal high, 8/10” by NME .

Soft Hearted Scientists rarely sleep untroubled. Disturbed by nightmarish audio visions of pan pipe 80s power ballads and rapidly turning tides, the lonely calls of neglected songs from the band’s first two albums should have come as something of a pleasant shock. But then the band listened to the songs…

What came back at them was a collection of creepy ditties with eerie atmospheres all of their own. As if, in all that time stored away and forgotten about, the songs had grown twisted and weird. And only now were they powerful enough to unleash their dark powers.

Take The Strangest Scene for example. Full of bright melody and shimmering sounds, it should be sweet but it’s not. It’s spooky. Elsewhere, the claustrophobic wobbling synths of Manta Ray On Main Street and the woozy, swirling organ of Return Of The Black Dahlia make for a heady collection. There are cracks in the darkness though, particularly in the classic Soft Hearted pop of Effervesce and the jolly shuffle of Man Overboard!

If you want a review copy of the album, a photo, an interview or a radio session with the band, please contact

Listen to Effervesce

Soft Hearted Scientists play live:
Moseley Folk Festival, Moseley Park, Birmingham, Friday 4th September

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Martin Carr - Ye Gods (and little fishes)

The artist is : Martin Carr
The album is : Ye Gods (and Little Fishes)
The format is : Download (distribution by State51)
It will be released on : 13th July 2009
The label is : Sonny Boy Records

As leader and chief songwriter of The Boo Radleys, Martin Carr had a mega-hit in Wake Up Boo! and a UK no.1 album Wake Up! in 1995. Ye Gods is the first record to be released under his own name and is his most commercial work since the demise of his former band.

After a decade exploring the more experimental waters of electronic music under the Bravecaptain moniker, Ye Gods sees Carr return with 10 tracks that hark back to the layered melodies, timeless stylings and complex arrangements of his most well known days. The rumours are true, Martin Carr's got his pop boots back on and he's running free...

Ye Gods
kicks off in fine style with perhaps the most radio-friendly track Carr's released since Wake Up Boo! The Dead Of Winter is a foot-to-the-floor pop piledriver with a forceful beat, typically distorted guitars and brass flourishes. Equally upbeat is Orpheus Lament, a tale of strong friendship bonds backed with a wonderfully summery, organ led tune with glorious harpsichord and trumpet embellishments.

Coming in on a different track is Bear Lake, a more contemplative effort with melodic bass, two-part harmonies, lap steel and electric piano that gently mutates via electronics and a meaty dose of fuzz bass into something of an epic ride. Goldrush 49 tells a coming-of-age tale to a sun-drenched folky backing and is neatly counterpointed by the darker leanings of Pontcanna Stone and Tired And Broke And Black And Blue.

Ye Gods is a return to the kind of pop tunes and multi-layered styles Martin Carr is best known for. If you want a review copy of the album, a photo, an interview or a radio session, please contact

Here is the lead track from Ye Gods, The Dead Of Winter...

He plays live:
Green Man Festival, Glanusk Park, 21st - 23rd August 2009

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Swn Festival 2008

Swn Festival are excited to announce that the full band line-up for this year's event is almost complete. As chosen by BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens, the line-up is packed with eclectic artists that span indie, rock, hip hop, electronic, drum 'n' bass, folk, leftfield, dubstep and just about any other genre you can imagine. Bar a dozen or so acts to be confirmed in the next week, the full line-up is below, along with news of two exciting Swn Seminars, free to wristband holders (below).

Among the line-up are:

The Pipettes - The super-huge, all-singing, all-dancing, all-girl band (featuring Wales' own Gwenno and her sister Ani) return to Welsh shores for the first time since a tiny show at the Barfly many, many moons ago.

Young Marble Giants - Influential Cardiff post-punks and one of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands return to their home city for the first time in almost 30 years! This follows the re-issue of their seminal debut, Colossal Youth, on Domino Records last year.

Genod Droog - One of the greatest live Welsh language acts of all time bow out with their final show ever, at this year's Swn Festival. The Welsh hip-hoppers know how to put on a show and are sure to go out in style.

Chipmunk - At 17 years old, Chipmunk is one of THE brightest hopes of the year. Already nominated for Best Newcomer at this year's MOBO awards, expect the unmistakable lyrical prowess of this grime MC to sweep the nation any time soon.

Amazing Baby - Following closely in the footsteps of fellow Brooklyn-ites, MGMT, Amazing Baby are a band set to take indie kids by storm, ooh, around about NOW! The NME and practically every other trend spotter are currently dribbling over this lot.

Goldie Lookin Chain - A rare live show from the Welsh pranksters. Expect tracksuits galore at their Point show. Safe as...

Skinnyman - Anyone who knows about hip hop knows about Skinnyman. A true British hip hop legend.

King Cannibal - Rising star of one of the UK's most exciting genres, dubstep. Signed to the world famous Ninja Tunes label.

High Contrast - Another Cardiff hero returns to his birthplace in the shape of drum 'n' bass master, High Contrast playing what's sure to be a belter of a show
as he makes his debut appearance at the legendary Cardiff venue - The Point.

The full band line-up for Swn Festival is as follows:

James Yuill
Golden Silvers
Martin Carr
Voluntary Butler Scheme
The Big Pink
It Hugs Back
Amazing Baby
The Boy Least Likely To
Rolo Tomassi
The Pipettes
Young Marble Giants
Cats In Paris
Indian Jewlry
Pete And The Pirates
Thomas Tantrum
The Chapman Family
The New Tea Party
Agaskodo Teliverek
The Lovely Eggs
Jay Jay Pistolet
Peggy Sue
Serafina Steer
Stephen Fretwell
Das Wanderlust
Ox Eagle Lion Man
Connan Mockasin
Pixel H8
Broken Records
Johnny Foreigner
Chew Lips
Eugene McGuiness
John Head
Pete Greenwood
King Cannibal (Ninja Tune)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
SJ Esau
Thomas Truax
Jamie And The Lionhearts
Truckers Of Husk
Sweet Baboo
The Last Republic
Rod Thomas
Euros Childs
Future Of The Left
Gwyneth Glyn
MC Saizmundo
Little Eris
Derwyddon Dr Gonzo
Eilir Pierce
Picture Books In Winter
The Ash And The Oak
Butterflies With Beards
Friends Electric
Random Elbow Pain
Lifting Gear Engineer
Pagan Wanderer Lu
Hemme Fatale
Georgia Ruth Williams
Alex Dingley
High Contrast
Little My
Joy Formidable
Fred Jones
The School
Goldie Lookin Chain
The Muscle Club
John Mouse
Valley Lines
The Hidden Persuader
Acid Casuals
Frederick Stanley Star
Attack + Defend
Genod Droog
Nia Morgan
Lindsey leven
The Afternoons
Y Diwygiad
Yr Ods
MC Mabon (DJ Set)
Cate Le Bon
Klaus Kinski
The Stilletoes
James St James
The Fuzz Birds
Yellow Moon Band
Richard James
Radio Luxembourg
Blue Wall
Right Hand, Left Hand
Jen Jeniro
Metabeats (DJ)
Beatbox Fozzy
Dead Residents
Chrome Kids
Silence At Sea
Mr Huw
Telegram From The Queen

Swn Seminars :

Swn Festival will also feature two days of seminars on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th November at The Atrium with a bundle of music industry experts, movers and shakers, and will include BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens interviewing the band Scouting For Girls ahead of their sellout show at the CIA. Stephens will quiz them on their meteoric rise from nowhere to becoming a chart-topping act.

Information On Swn:

Swn Festival is the brainchild of BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens. Featuring bands, DJs, conferences, art, film, workshops, Scrabble and exhibitions, this is the festival's 2nd year.

Swn buses will operate throughout the festival, allowing wristband holders to get from venue to venue with ease. Swn Festival also gives free programmes and timetables to all.

Wristbands cost £45 and allow free entry to all events on a first come, first served basis. Each event at Swn will also be priced individually for cash payments on walk up, however priority will always be given to wristband holders. The opening party on 13th November will be for wristband holders only.

Swn wristbands are now available from the following outlets:
The Gate, Roath, Cardiff, buy online at or by phone on 02920 483344
In person from:

Spillers Records, 02920 224905, The Hayes, Cardiff
The Point, 02920 460873, Mount Stuart Square Cardiff
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Swn Festival -

Rivulets - You Are My Home

The artist is : Rivulets
The album is : You Are My Home
The format is : CD
It will be released on : 11th August 2008
The label is : O Rosa Records

It’s cold, sparsely populated and often stunning in Alaska. Rivulets is one Nathan Amundson, who spent his formative years living in the US state. On You Are My Home all of these qualities come through in an album of great, quietly magnificent beauty.

Amundson left Alaska when he was 16, which was when he began writing songs. Since then, he’s spent almost all of his time travelling non-stop across America. Along the way, he’s released records with Important and Acuarela Records, worked with Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low and has shared a stage with Daniel Johnston, Mark Eitzel, Cocorosie and My Morning Jacket.

You Are My Home
is a record that relies on simple things to make its impact. Amundson’s fragile voice, a softly strummed guitar and some aching melodies are its main components. Add in occasional piano notes, yearning strings and some reverbed electric guitars and you have an album that occupies a similar lonely comfort zone to that of Bon Iver, Low or Bonnie Prince Billy. As a single piece of music, You Are My Home is a release to be treasured.

Although Rivulets is Amundson’s solo project, You Are My Home also features contributions from Jessica Bailiff (Kranky), Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come), Bob Weston (Mission Of Burma, Shellac) and Christian Frederickson (Rachel’s).

You Are My Home will be released on O Rosa Records in the UK on August 11th. News of a European tour will be announced soon.

Here is the title track from the album, You Are My Home.

Rivulets –
Rivulets Myspace -
O Rosa Records –

Truckers Of Husk - Physical Education EP

The artist is : Truckers Of Husk
The EP is : Physical Education EP
The format is : CD
It will be released on : 17th March 2008
The label is : My Kung Fu

"a rhythmically thrilling web of twisting motorik grooves," Clash Magazine

"(they) release their debut EP shortly, at which point fans of Battles and Tortoise can get their bone on," Rock Sound

Physical Education
EP is an informal introduction to Truckers Of Husk.

Truckers Of Husk are Rod, Hywel, Ben and Jimmy. Any description I may attempt to apply to Truckers Of Husk will most likely be defied by their future work. But for now, they play an intricate, fascinating kind of rock which involves guitars, cello, heavy volume and off-kilter rhythms in various time signatures. There are some vocals at the very end of this EP sung by Hywel.

During their brief yet exciting existence to date they have torn up selected live shows – notably support slots for Lightning Bolt and Battles, plus the opening night of Sŵn festival in Cardiff, curated by Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1.

Listen to Panther Party here...

Truckers Of Husk Myspace -
My Kung Fu -

Felicia Atkinson With Sylvain Chauveau - Roman Anglais

The artist is : Felicia Atkinson With Sylvain Chauveau
The album is : Roman Anglais
The format is : CD
It will be released on : 10th March 2008
The label is : O Rosa Records

Felicia Atkinson is an artist, poet and songwriter from Paris. Her work is inspired by the Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy (the aesthetic that describes beauty as imperfect, impermanent and incomplete) and lo-fi folk music. In her work, she explores the poetry of small things in which are hidden the deep questions of existence.

Sylvain Chauveau is one of Paris’ most prominent modern composers. He’s released music with Type and Fat Cat Records, toured with Sigur Ros and has worked with Christian Fennesz. He has composed film soundtracks and has worked with choreographers and writers. He is also a member of the bands Arco, Zero and the improve duo, ON.

Roman Anglais
is the first fruit of their collaboration.

Combining Atkinson’s whispered, French/English spoken word poetry and Chauveau’s haunting attempts to stay as close as possible to the abstract beauty of silence, Roman Anglais is a record that flickers into a still, slow-motion life before serenely fading back into nothingness.

features Felicia’s gorgeous voice breathily repeating the names of cities around the world over a soft blanket of shimmering guitar. On Dans La Lumière, Chauveau backs Atkinson with a stunning backdrop of gentle electronics that recalls Labradford or Stars Of The Lid.

Listen to Aberdeen here...

Felicia Atkinson -
Sylvain Chauveau -
O Rosa Records -

Cymbient - Out On The Waves

The artist is : Cymbient
The album is : Out On The Waves
The format is : CD
It will be released on : 21st January 2008
The label is : Surk Recordings

Cardiff is seeing the kind of musical resurgence that only comes around once in a blue moon. Bands, promoters, festivals and events, all with a refreshingly eclectic background, have been emerging from Wales’ first city like wildfire over the last 12 months or so. The latest in that line are Cymbient.

The 5-piece have a background in Cardiff’s arts scene, playing experimental gigs at art events around the city, at Bristol’s Cube Cinema and The Green Man Festival. Gradually, through these experimentations, a band comprising members from places as far flung as Trinidad and Merthyr Tydfil, was born.

Out On The Waves is Cymbient’s 2nd album and sees the band indulging their love of late 60s, West Coast pop, Captain Beefheart and The Beach Boys. Despite being recorded in four studios (including Tox Box with their legendary vintage 70s desk), Out On The Waves has a remarkable consistency and is best consumed as a whole. It’s an album that exists happily out of kilter with any current scene, lost in its own laid back, harmony-heavy world.

The album opens with the slightly schizophrenic prog of Dress The Salad, which marries impossible falsettos with wandering harmonies, blues-y jams and angular work-outs. December Song’s pastoral, feel-good pop and Funky Little One’s playfulness lead into the immaculately stoned Byrds-style ballad, A Different Love, which takes Out On The Waves to new levels of horizontal loveliness. Why Are You Still Sleeping follows - a breezy, melodic ode to getting the best from life. Other highlights include the title track’s glittering 3-part harmonies, Truculent’s crunchy riffs and closer, Insightful Sound’s string-laden drama.

Cymbient is an easy world to get into but once you’re there, you won’t want to leave!

Listen to A Different Love here...

Cymbient -
Cymbient Myspace -