There have been several albums and EPs released by The Raft since 2003, but few have sounded quite as much like a glorious love letter to the 90s as 2017’s ‘Orion EP’. Its four songs of haze and jangle pull influences from the usual suspects in shoegaze and dreampop – you’ll hear a dose of The Cranes here; a pinch of The Sundays there – but no matter what the ingredients, this musical recipe serves up a consistently feel good sound.
In 2016, Kent based psych/dreampop band Tokyo Tea Room made underground waves with their live shows and debut cassette. Drawing influence from lots of early 90s artists, their sound showed great promise, with vocalist Beth Plumb’s angelic vocal style in sharp contrast to the drone of the guitar lines. In a handful of tracks, the band set themselves up as one to watch – a rival to Ireland’s Elastic Sleep for dreampop/shoegaze goodness.
At the beginning of 2017, a new track began to circulate. This, too, very much cements TTR’s place as bright lights on an underground scene. You can hear ‘World’s Away’ in full via the Soundcloud link provided below. [Watch the video clip for ‘Sleep’ here.]
In 2016, Real Gone celebrated it’s seventh full year online. This year also marked the sixth year we’ve given away new music at the end of the year. Now a staple of the RG catalogue, the free album-length download is looked forward to by a core of our supporters and in turn helps bring new readers and listeners to our site.
2016 hasn’t been quite as notable for new music compared with a couple of years previously, but that’s not to say it hasn’t thrown up some great stuff. On the first of Real Gone’s free compilations for 2016, we take a look at a broad selection of tunes from punk, country, singer-songwriter fare and more… [a selection of metal oriented artists can be found over here]. If you’ve been paying attention to our website over the past twelve months, a few of these names will be familiar. If not, it’s time to say hello to new music. If you find a couple of things to love, our work here is done!
Combining elements of shoegaze, dreampop, drone and a touch of post-hardcore noise, Montreal’s No Joy have carved out a career as part of the alternative underground, making music that can be both darkly captivating and brutal, yet retain some kind of mystic beauty within that general dystopia. Previous full length releases have featured a broad range of retro sounds and huge echoes of an alt-rock past. From the 90s throwback loveliness of tracks like ‘Wrack Attack’ and the pure dream pop of ‘Moon In My Mouth’, to the Jesus and Mary Chain ugliness of ‘Still’, there’s very little to link the tracks with being the same band, yet at the same time, their unsettling qualities suggest they’re all the product of No Joy. Each record is home to buried treasure – it can be laborious to find that gold, but rest assured it’s there.
“Welcome to our faceless lives” implores The Foreign Resort’s frontman Mikkel Jacobsen during ‘Suburban Depression’, a neo-gothic, downbeat look at the dark side of the modern world. Set to music conjured through a remoulded sonic image of the 80s and released as a standalone track via the Danish band’s Soundcloud account, this is both the perfect introduction to The Foreign Resort for unfamiliar ears and an equally perfect homage to the sounds of some thirty years previous. The recycled sounds of a Peter Hook-esque bassline placed against the measured rhythmic pacing of The Cure’s classic ‘A Forest’ forge ahead, as the tale of “your own private hell” unfolds. With the repeated refrain and suggestion that “everybody’s empty now” being bandied around with sheer abandon, some may experience knee-jerk feelings that the track itself is depressing, but nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s a sense of knowing within this band’s gothic throwback of a sound. As the track builds, never ever shifting from the basic rhythm – pulsing, pulsing – and the guitars increase, the bass holds firm and despite the familiarity, The Foreign Resort strike musical gold.
It’s not a fluke, either.