Elephant’s never forget and electro duo Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck aka Elephant return and prove they haven’t forgotten how to write gorgeous sweeping pop tunes. Back in 2011 we interviewed them and described them as sounding like “a softer more emotionally connected Dubstar, a more carnal St Etienne ” producing “music that is full of languid, sensual beauty and haunting elegance.” We’d stand by that description and their latest offering ‘Skyscraper’ assimilates dreamy fifties Doo-wop refrains with a modern synth sound.
Black Black Hills.
Comparisons can be a pain in the arse, so prepare to shield your buttocks because this dark tender lullaby from Brighton’s Black Black Hills sounds more like the National than the National. ‘Far From My Arms’ is available now for free from: http://emailunlock.com/blackblackhills/far-from-my-arms and the band are also giving away last year’s critically acclaimed ‘The Celebration’ on their facebook page: http://facebook.com/blackblackhills, Actually we’ve just released we’ve previously featured the band when they were called Pope Joan and we again used the “the comparative method” approximating them to Nick Cave, which is of course infinity more preferable than being compared to, say, The Goombay Dance band surely? (who as we know was fronted by ex footie star cum blokey commentator Alan Brazil)
Two Sunsets (Phil Bridges / Sean Butler) have just released their début single double A side Venetian Skies / Sandunes. The pair are from Merseyside and they describe their sound “as over exposed, slightly out of focus pop music. Like mercury melting downstream to canyons of colour.” Which it probably is, it also sounds like Neil Hannon on acid channelling the spirit of Joe Meek, which of course by definition can only be a very good thing.
City Calm Down.
Chiming Bunnymen guitars, Simple Minds ‘New Gold Dream’ era synths and the darker pop hooks of OMD, all make for a soaring pop juggernaut from Melbourne’s City Calm Down (had they hailed from Liverpool they would of course have been named City Calm Down, Calm Down! ) ‘Pleasure & Consequence’ is taken from the band’s EP ‘Movements’ and is available below as a free download.
What can we tell you about Barbarossa? Our initial goggling yielded little information other than he’s signed to Memphis Industries. His website bio is currently a blank canvas, which may be apt as judging by the photo on said website he looks a little like Vincent Van Gogh caught on CCTV. Luckily the PR peeps had rather more info “Barbarossa AKA London based James Mathé has previously released music via the Fence Collective and toured as part of Jose Gonzales’ live band.” Whatever his background this song ‘The Load’ is a beautifully judged, engaging slice of soulful electronic pop.