Thursday, 10 August 2017

Playlist: Remy's Best of International Playlist - Issue #013

Basement Revolver Tree Trunks
Basement Revolver - Photo: Yoshi Cooper

Info: It's been over a month since I last put together a playlist of the best independent music from outside Ireland, so whilst not ideal, it does lend itself to a higher quality! Opening with the simply gorgeous tones of Ontario's Basement Revolver and their recent single 'Tree Trunks', it's pensive and lo-fi guitar riff marching determinedly alongside Chrisy Hurn's vocal. It took me a long time to figure out what it reminded me of and finally my Omega-3's kicked in and I recalled Irish ambient act God is an Astronaut's All Is Violent, All Is Bright LP, but with vocals, delicious.

I've had a lot of time for London's Gillbanks since we first reviewed him here a few years ago, and it's great to have new material to enjoy in the form of 'John Wayne' which is part of a double A-Side with 'A Walk In The Park'. An almost dismissive tone pervades the track, it's understatedly groovy and has a very chilled out rhythm, small slivers of Pavement drop into the track's second half and I'm totally on board with what's happening from start to finish.

Gillbanks John Wayne
London's Gillbanks

New York's Mons VI is next with his single 'Divina', which fans of local Dublin act RO GANG will enjoy very much, with its quasi bossa nova intro, the track takes off to trippy strung-out and wonky electro-pop heights, effortlessly enjoyable listening. The latest single from our favourite Danish act, Rainbrother, 'Fat Eggs' comes following an interesting experience frontman Bjarke Bendtsen had ahead of their SXSW performance in Austin, Texas; "Bjarke found himself in a difficult situation as US immigration officials refused to approve his visa after deciding he needed a second interview. As a result, the band played their first gig in Austin with Bjarke still on his living room couch in Copenhagen. Not wanting to let Trump win, the band played the rest of their parts with a pre-recorded projection of Bjarke behind them not missing a single beat and creating a truly unforgettable performance."

L.A.'s Julian Borrego

More lo-fi and trippy juiciness comes via Los Angeles' psychedelic funk act Julian Borrego and his track 'Small Talk' which is taken from his recently released EP, Ourobros. Funkadelic-esque guitar solo ripple around a soulful vocal and 90's Beastie Boys experimentation. The hugely creative output from our Welsh brethern continues apace, one fine example of which is the track 'Tynnu Gant' ('Extraction') courtesy of electro-pop artist Griff Lynch, it's musically light-hearted, however, we've been advised that the lyrics do cover themes ranging from a "cocktail of deaths, break-ups and boredom", nice!

Raveen - Always

Another track from L.A. we're digging at the moment is the chilled-out 'Dead Letters' from Erik Alcock, aka Altar Eagles, who is originally from Toronto, a delightful piece of glowing hammond-led experimental pop. Also from Canada, Queb├ęc to be specific, comes the atmospheric escapism of the excellent Raveen (above video) and the title-track from their recent LP Always. It recalls the visuals and feeling of Amnesiac's 'Pyramid Song', with the vocals tenderly taking a step back and allowing the music to have its impact, an album well worth acquainting oneself with.

From Nottingham, England come the indie-pop sensibilities of Josh Wheatley and his track 'Shiver' which builds on delivering it's energy from the bed-rock of a Bon Iver-esque percussion and Wheatley's well-rounded vocals. Finally, Brooklyn pop maestros Secret Weapons send us off happy with their gratuitously pop groove 'Comeback Season'. There's no such thing as loving music without a heavy dose of pop in your life, yes there are times that chart music can grate and sound too rehashed, but then there are moments when you need to plug in to remember a whole new level of enjoyment. Secret Weapons nail the pop art consistently, and that's why we've liked what they're doing for quite some time now. I'm grooving, dancing and mellowing out to their latest single, and already looking forward to the next one.

Listen to Issue #9 of our best of independent International Playlist right here