Sunstack Jones release new single How It All Went Down

The ever dependable Mai68 Records have come up trumps again with their latest release, the latest single from Sunstack Jones.

How It All Went Down has one foot in a fairly conventional, almost country-ish song, but the other foot is firmly in the camp marked ‘guitar hero’.

Make no mistake, despite How It All Went Down’s loose groove, note perfect harmonies and heartfelt lyrics, it is the lead guitar that is the star here. It stands proud, high in the mix and adds several extra layers to what could be quite a simple but effective song.

Both Simon Jones and Nick McCabe from The Verve are fans, and you can see why. I first stumbled across The Verve as an unknown band supporting Spiritualized at Liverpool’s Krazy House and I can quite clearly remember thinking that a) they were fucking brilliant and were quite clearly going to be famous and b) I loved the way that the guitar ripped through their songs and lifted them into something very special. I get the same feeling here with Sunstack Jones, on both of those points.

Sunstack Jones already have three albums to their credit. I am going to be honest here and say that until How It All Went Down I hadn’t actually heard the band at all. A short while later I am now the proud owner of these albums and I have a new band to fall for. Don’t you love it when that happens?

How It All Went Down starts calmly enough, lulling us into a false sense of normality. The opening line “said you know me, well I’m sorry I don’t even know myself” starts off an introspective set of lyrics and all seems well. Slowly though, the guitar takes the basic structure and uses it to transport the song into uncharted territories. Lorcan Moriarty is surely the next wunderkind guitarist to appear on the British music scene.

As the song nears it conclusion, you notice that it has grown, slowly into a shimmering wall of beautiful noise.

How It All Went Down completely restores my faith in new music. If there are bands out there that are new to me who are making music that is this good, the world is a better, more wonderful place than it was a few short hours ago.

Sunstack Jones have a new album out on October 9. Personally I can’t wait to hear more of this. Until then we can content ourselves with this magnificent single.



Ex-Easter Island Head: Lodge – “an ambient, cascading wall of sound”


Tropical Fuck Storm release new single “Legal Ghost” – listen here

The Aussie miscreants return with the latest single from their upcoming third album.

Singles seldom appear on my radar. Music should be consumed holistically, and when I say that I mean by waiting for a new album, as opposed listening to a strand of it prior to its release.

Like everything, though, exceptions are made and with Tropical Fuck Storm that very much applies.

Tropical Fuck Storm defy many things. They deconstruct the mould. Their boundaries a peerless, undefined.

Legal Ghost, the band’s latest single from their forthcoming third album is yet another portion of weirdo proto-rock that the band have mastered spanning over their two albums and various singles in the wake of singer/guitarist, Gareth Liddiard, and singer/bassist, Fiona Kitschin‘s former band – the glorious hellraisers, The Drones.

With Legal Ghost, a track picked from the ashes of a discarded campfire of Liddiard’s 90s project with initial Drones co-founder, Rui Pereira in Bong Odyssey, it’s Tropical Fuck Storm sounding, shall we say, content?

Not in a nostalgic way; this band is too young and too smart to fall into that poisonous trap.

Legal Ghost sounds more like a band honing in on their sweet spot.

Don’t mistake us here, it’s distinctively TFS, without question. It’s just something that you can tap your foot to instead of completely losing your mind to the band’s usual frenzied chaos. No bad thing at all.

Lyrically, once again Liddiard‘s brooding honesty is on show as he sings, “It doesn’t really matter who you sleep with now, you’re just a legal ghost/It doesn’t really matter who you talk to now, you’re just a legal ghost.”

Yes, we’re all dead on our feet…

It’s hideously cynical but that’s the world we live in and, once again, with Legal Ghost Tropical Fuck Storm tell us how it is, showcasing their unbridled talent for the truth.

Legal Ghost is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings


Campfire Social release new single Awake in the Wake of a Wave

Campfire Social released their new single Awake in the Wake of a Wave recently, on Mai68 Records.

Having worked with the Mai68 folk, I felt it only right that I should give their latest release a good listen. After all that’s what friends are for right.

Sometimes when placed in this position, the best reaction we can summon is one of forced politeness, trying to find something good to say about a record you may feel isn’t really that great. You know the kind of thing I’m sure; we’ve all listened to a friend’s new song, read their prose or admired their art with words that are kind but insincere.

But one play of Campfire Social’s new single made all of these concerns evaporate. Awake in the Wake of a Wave is an understated gem of a record.

My first thought is that the band are well named, as I can imagine myself sat around a campfire in the woods listening to this, its pastoral beauty perfectly suiting this setting. There is a summer air about Awake in the Wake of a Wave that conjures up images of unspoiled days and warm nights.

Scratch beneath the song’s surface though and we reveal the melancholia beneath, the lyrics pointing towards possible emotional turbulence with the opening line “I can see some trouble up ahead

The mixture of buoyant music and sad, introspective lyrics make this a song that gains more significance with each play.

The definition of introspective is given as “characterized by examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings, thoughtfully reflective” and that, admirably, does apply to the lyrics in spades.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, I haven’t really had the time for anybody else” the song continues, before adding “I believe it’s time I should be leaving, and it won’t be long until I’m gone. I don’t belong

Awake in the Wake of a Wave is a heartbreak that comes wrapped in a velvet bow. As the song progresses, we realise that the music is sympathetic to the theme and the whole thing is beautifully executed.

Echoes of Belle and Sebastian could be made, but Campfire Social have a sound all of their own. To hear Awake in the Wake of a Wave is to fall in love with a new band. Try it yourself and you will feel the same.

A wonderful song from a wonderful band.