Track Of The Day: Happy Accidents – ‘Grow’

Having first fallen in love with Happy Accidents seeing them live at Indietracks Festival two years ago, I was excited to hear that they’re set to release a brand new, self-produced, album this week.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Grow’ is lead by Phoebe Cross’ honey-sweet vocals alongside Rich Mandell’s swirling jangling melodies and a heartfelt, gentle emotion. Building with luscious harmonies and the reflective, relatable honesty of the lyricism, it’s perhaps a more mellow, but equally more-ish, offering than some of the band’s uptempo previous releases. And I can’t seem to stop listening; forever seeking soothing catharsis in Happy Accidents’ shimmering indie-pop.

Of the upcoming album, the band explain:

Sprawling is an album about getting out of your head and allowing yourself to connect with others on a fundamental level, both in close quarters and with those you’ve never met – with everything in the state it’s in, it feels pretty relevant right now.

Watch the homemade new video for ‘Grow’ below and listen on Spotify now:

Sprawling, the new album from Happy Accidents, is out this Friday 29th May.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Jono Ganz

Track Of The Day: All Cats Are Beautiful – ‘wishin i cld fit in ur backpack’

Ow, my heart! If, like most of us, you’re missing someone, All Cats Are Beautiful’s ‘Wishin I cld fit in ur bckpck’ could be the song you need right now. Written at the start of the pandemic about how the band were “already missing each other wildly” after quarantining separately, it’s a beautifully dreamy song about love, longing and friendship.

Clips of personal calls, as well as chopped up drum samples, field recordings and sounds from previous sessions, punctuate the band’s confessional, lo-fi vocals and slow, woozy beats. The result is intimate, immersive and utterly authentic – kind of reminiscent of Coco Rosie.

The wonderfully imaginative chorus, about taking a ride in your friend’s backpack so you can go wherever they go, is even cuter than the band’s name. And what makes it even richer is knowing that the harmonies were actually recorded in isolation by the band and their friends. Melancholic and totally beautiful, it shows that you can create wonderful things together, even when you’re apart.

 

‘Wishin I cld fit in ur backpack’ is out today on Peapod Recs.

Vic Conway

ALBUM: Duck – ‘There Are No Normal Conversations Any More’

Reading Duck‘s description of themselves on their Bandcamp would make you think they were trying to eschew any sense of artifice. And, okay, “wonky DIY synth/guitar queer noisepop” might give you some sense of where the group are coming from: after all, they did call their first EP sLaCk gOb. But, whilst sophmore effort, There Are No Normal Conversations Any More, does demonstrate elements that could be termed wonky, it’s a far more well-rounded piece than that sobriquet suggests.

For a start, in the vein of many of the great long-players, its tracks all mesh, following directly into each other like some kind of orchestral suite, rather than sitting as disparate moves in one direction or another. Sure, they all feature synths – but there’s range, in the squelch of opener ‘R*ck St*r’, the lightning strike electropunk of ‘C/Rage’ and the cold clinicism of Millennial torch song, ‘Meta’. The guitars too, can give you C86 on ‘New Super Power’ with its overdrive and squealing, the driving post-punk of album standout ‘Rabbit Hole’ or the surf rock of the album’s title track.

The only thing that doesn’t really change here, and arguably Duck’s not-so-secret weapon, is Sarah Griffith’s Moyet meets Corin Tucker harmonies and heft. Sometimes the voice sticks out – the double-meaning pun of ‘Sirens’ is a case in point – and at others it’s allowed to drop back into the mix. There are screams and hollers on some tracks, but by the time the album hits an ’80s power-pop stride on ‘I’m Alive’ and ‘Sweetheart’, the vocals come encased in honey.

Perhaps the most unexpected element to the album is its outwardly pop sensibilities. There’s bits and pieces of DIY, but also aspects that wouldn’t sound out of place on records by Cocteau Twins or Soft Cell, not least the hand-claps in ‘New Super Power’, the Vince Clarke-y electronic harmonies found throughout and the occasionally sombre tone to the album’s slower songs.

Duck make extensive use of found sounds too: applause and giggles at the end of ‘New Super Power’; the garbled speech on ‘There Are No Normal Conversations Anymore’ (which makes a sort of sense in the context of its title) and, most prominently, the crowd noise on ‘Mouths Move’ which was recorded at Fuck It Why Not, a DIY festival in Leeds’ Hyde Park. For a release on a tiny indie label, this is stunningly well-produced and put together.

In a Sound Sphere interview from 2018, Duck list their band’s ambitions as “to work with people we want to work with, play with bands we want to play with, to a fun, appreciative audience, free of dickheads. Also, to never be part of an otherwise all-male line-up again…”  Having just spent some time listening to this bravura effort, it’s almost strange to see that two years ago, Duck were merely happy to have a space to play. It probably says a lot about the times we’re in that, all of a sudden, self-described ‘wonky queer noisepop’ is the best response. Thank fuck, then, for Duck.

 

There Are No Normal Conversations Any More is out now via Hell Hath No Fury Records.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Track Of The Day: Blóm – ‘Toxic Dependency’

Comprised of former members of Tough Tits and Yume Hayashi, Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Blóm fuse together genres to create their unique DIY Queer Feminist anthems. And, having recently released a split EP with Leeds band Thank, they’ve shared an emotionally charged, rip-roaring track from the EP with us.

A raging cacophony reflecting on toxic relationships, ‘Toxic Dependency’ blasts out a furious, seething energy and angst-driven power, as the genuine fiery passion of the band bursts out of every screamed note. Of the track, the band explain:

Part of the lyrics are about toxic relationships and being co dependent on people who are damaging. When you are trapped in these relationships you feel like you are submerged and it is hard to find people to support you to leave…  Other lyrics are pulled straight from passing comments toxic people have said to me, and regularly say to people presenting as female. The tone and delivery of these comments can shift the sincerity, knock your confidence and breed insecurities.”

 

Listen to Blóm’s split EP with Thank on Bandcamp now. And catch them live supporting Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on the following dates:

5th April – The Haunt, Brighton
6th April – Esquires, Bedford

Mari Lane
@marimindles