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Posts Tagged ‘Shoegaze

Suffused with a deep neon glow, as you drift softly in to other worlds; tracks from @officialdido @wearevillagers @whiteblushh and Devendra Banhart

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Dido is gearing up to release her first new material in almost five years, with the announcement of fourth studio album ‘Girl Who Got Away’ (set for release on March 4th, 2013).

Dido was the success story of the early 2000s, with her first two albums – ‘No Angel’ (1999) and ‘Life for Rent’ (2003) featuring amongst the best-selling albums in UK chart history. ‘No Angel’ has sold over 21 million copies worldwide to date. If you turned on a radio at any point between 2000 and 2005, you would more than likely have been greeted by a Dido track. Indeed if you saw me at any point during that period you would have been forgiven – and then hugged ever so tightly – for mistaking me for the lady in question; Dido was very much my style icon. In comparison to some of her contemporaries, Dido’s star didn’t wane, she simply chose to step out of the spotlight for a spell after releasing third album ‘Safe Trip Home’ (2008) and began working on tracks for her next record. I see Dido as the metaphorical swan; perfectly poised and at peace, whilst working feverishly hard below the surface.


The first single to be released from the album is ‘Let Us Move On’, featuring U.S. rapper Kendrick Lamar. The track is trademark Dido; a soulful piano-based melody overlaying trip-hop beats which Massive Attack would envy. The track and album in general marks a purposeful genre shift for Dido, who has expressed her intention to produce a record with an electronic approach, in an attempt to take her work in a notably different direction to her previous albums. After hearing this, I look forward to the other ten tracks to come.


Devendra Banhart releases his eighth studio album ‘Mala’ on March 12th, 2013. The ever-intriguing and experimental folk singer-songwriter has released the album artwork and a new track entitled ‘Fur Hildegard von Bingen’. The track is about a Catholic saint from the 12th century who was also a composer, writer and theologist – who isn’t? No biggie…The backstory is suitably and obligatory bizarre but is also rather wonderful, as is the track.


Villagers are set to release their second album {Awayland} on January 14th, 2013. The album is the follow-up to the Mercury Prize-nominated, Ivor Novello-winning debut, Becoming A Jackal’. Conor J O’Brien can’t do much wrong in my eyes and this album is set to stun the critics all over again. {Awayland} features the tracks: My Lighthouse / Earthly Pleasure / The Waves / Judgement Call / Nothing  / The  / {Awayland} / Passing a Message / Grateful Song / In a Newfound Land You Are Free / Rhythm Composer.

White Blush Bandcamp

White Blush has released a debut, self-titled six-track EP. ‘True Luv’ is a particular favourite of mine from the LA-based ambient electronic artist Carol Rhyu. ‘Mirror’ bears more than a lyrical passing resemblance to Lana Del Rey‘s ‘Video Games’; this is perhaps the reason that I was so drawn to the second track, as well as its ability to make the atmosphere around you suffused with a deep neon glow, as you drift softly in to other worlds. An impressive debut from Rhyu. / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

January 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

m83 completes his sci-fi music video trilogy with the post-apocalyptic wonders of ‘Wait’

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I’ve been a little lapse of late in my reviewing duties, primarily due to the fact that I’ve re-entered that great and slightly intimidating world of academia. Most of my passing thoughts now revolve around critically reflective learning, the student, the student-learner and the student-teacher; know the difference? Nope, neither do I but hey I’ve just started and have 24 months to convince myself otherwise, or at the very least convince my tutor.

I did however recently come across a rather epic, in every sense of the word, music video which I would like to share.


‘Wait’ is the final installment or episode if you will, of the sci-fi music video trilogy which was the result of a collaboration between m83 and Fleur & Manu. The episode follows on from ‘Midnight City’ and ‘Reunion’, which both feature on m83′s sixth studio album ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.’ The band was named after the spiral galaxy Messier 83; the predilection for astronomy-inspired artwork therefore coming as no great surprise. The band was also originally a two-piece but is now largely the sole work of French electronic artist, Anthony Gonzalez. If you would like to view the trilogy in full, – it is the season after all – click on the link below to directors Fleur & Manu‘s official website. You can also view other collaborative efforts as part of The Creators Project below.

The third installment of the trilogy puts me in mind of one of my favourite and most referenced fantasy adventure films of the 80s; The Neverending Story. The mildly terrifying child in the video bears a striking resemblance to the Childlike Empress…had she been transported to a post-apocalyptic world via a flying sterling silver triangle and a couple of grey wolves. Material for a fourth film perhaps? If so, I definitely think Fleur & Manu should be on board, with m83 providing the soundtrack.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

December 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

No need for a pommel horse; tracks from Purity Ring, Labyrinth Ear, Queen of Hearts, Mikky Ekko and Mumford fly through the air with the greatest of ease…

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Purity Ring is a future-pop duo made up of Montreal, Quebec natives Corin Roddick and Megan James. The duo released their debut album ‘Shrines’ on July 23rd, 2012 (UK) and July 24th, 2012 (US & Canada) and are signed to British indie label 4AD. In just a couple of weeks the album has collected countless favourable reviews, including a 9/10 from NME and 8/10 from Drowned In Sound.

The band appear at first listen to be a sublime contradiction in terms; Roddick’s hip hop-inspired percussion flying through the air with the greatest of ease, never losing its grip on James’ ethereal and lyrically vehement vocals. Roddick and James have earned themselves an enviable fanbase amongst their peers since the album’s release, with Mikky Ekko and label mate Grimes posting favourable comments about their work. I was especially drawn to ‘Obedear’ and ‘Fineshrine’ on my first listen of the album. Purity Ring should achieve great things this year.



Labyrinth Ear have released a new track, ‘Urchin’, which has been made available as a free download at:

The band are currently recording their debut album and this is the first track to be released from the record. If you have heard their first EP ‘Apparitions’, you will understand my justifiable excitement at this revelation.


Queen of Hearts has released a cover of Ben Howard‘s ‘Only Love’, no doubt to tide fans over whilst she finishes work on an EP of new material, set to be released in September 2012. Being a fan of both artists, I can only live in hope of a future Howard cover of ‘Neon.’


Mikky Ekko has posted a new track, ‘We Must Be Killers’ on his social networking pages and a link to a video which is rather wonderful. The track is played against a backdrop of scenes from The Fox and the Hound; I love foxes, I love hounds and I love Mikky Ekko – what’s not to love about all of the above?!


Last but not least; Mumford and Sons have released an audio version of the first single to be taken from their upcoming album ‘Babel’. ‘I Will Wait’ is a noticeably more fast-paced folk offering than we have become accustommed to from the Mumford boys. Perhaps the merger of marriage with a frenetic life on the road has provided some welcome songwriting inspiration for Marcus? / / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

From ripples to waves; a groundswell of approval is forecast for Echo Lake’s debut album ‘Wild Peace’ @echolakeband

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Echo Lake are a five-piece ambient-pop/shoegaze band based in London, UK. The band formed in 2010 and are about to release their debut album, ‘Wild Peace’ on June 25th, 2012 (UK/Europe, via No Pain In Pop) and June 26th, 2012 (North America, via Slumberland).

The band recently supported another of my current favoured shoegaze bands, 2:54, for a gig in London which received rave reviews. I really like the style and vocals of lead singer Linda Jarvis and as the tracks below indicate, this band’s star is firmly on the rise. If you like Beach House, 2:54 and Sharon van Etten, you should also love the sound of Echo Lake.

Listen to ‘Wild Peace’ and ‘Even The Blind.’



Full album tracklisting: Further Down / Another Day / Wild Peace / Even The Blind / Monday 5AM / Young Silence / In Dreams / Last Song Of The Year / Swimmers / Just Kids

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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The astral and all-embracing debut album from 2:54 @twofiftyfour

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I cited 2:54 as a band to watch back in January of this year and if airplay this week is anything to go by; I wasn’t half wrong.

2:54 are an electronic/shoegaze band from Bristol, centred around siblings Colette and Hannah Thurlow. Their self-titled debut album will be released on May 28th, 2012 in the UK and it is certainly shaping up to be one of the most anticipated records of the year. The band took their name from their favourite moment in a Melvins track, which happens to take place 2 minutes and 54 seconds in. I like this logic. If I were to use such a method for selecting the name of my imaginary band, it would be 3:21 (‘Run’ by Snow Patrol).


I first came across the band upon hearing their track , ‘Got A Hold’, then went on to discover the likes of ‘Scarlet’ and ‘Creeping’, each track equally astral and all-embracing. You can pre-order signed copies of the album at the following link:


I’ve included a live version of ‘Circuitry’ above. This is my favourite 2:54 track at the moment; very similar to School of Seven Bells, which is my current favourite find of 2012. I think 2:54 are going to achieve great things this year and I look forward to a full tour of the UK very soon.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

May 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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