Track Of The Day: th’sheridans – ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’


Following a decade on the scene, indie pop duo th’sheridans have now announced the release of an epic, career-spanning compilation – Piece Of General – combining both old favourites and some newer treats. Accompanying this announcement, they have shared an uplifting new single.

Propelled by scuzzy hooks, jangly drum-machine induced beats and a swirling, danceable energy, ‘Awesome Summers & Kate‘ reflects on the tentative anticipation of possibilities as restrictions start to lift. With shades of the stripped-back hype-pop/dance-punk of Le Tigre, it offers a perfect smattering of effervescent euphoria – something that is much needed in these uncertain times. Oozing a shimmering sense of nostalgia and quirky colourful spirit, ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’ leaves me harking back to certain ‘awesome summers’ I’ve had – floating around the fields of Derbyshire in an enraptured haze, accompanied by the dreamiest of tunes from my favourite bands (at Indietracks Festival).

Of the upcoming release of Pieces Of General, the band comment:

We never expected to be able to give these tracks this kind of treatment. We’re proud of our output to date, but the chance to remaster these songs and put them together as a compilation that works as an album has really been wonderful. This album is who we are, who we’ve been, and a glimpse of who we’re gonna be.” 

Pieces Of General is set for release on 10th September via Reckless Yes. Listen to more th’sheridans on their bandcamp in the meantime.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: all cats are beautiful – ‘thought i saw u in the shop last nite’

thought i saw u in the shop last nite’, the new single from all cats are beautiful, arrived earlier this month on London label 0800-MOSHI-MOSHI. It’s a blissed out track, perfectly suited to the summer months, which drifts along in its own groove – acoustic guitar melded with occasionally glitchy beats, synths and a vocal delivery equally intimate and detached.

The duo (comprised of Elena and Kyle) describe themselves as “two queer best friends making dance music but for sad people”, and the happy/sad dynamic comes across not only in the lyrics – which describe the sense of loss when someone close isn’t there anymore – but in the music and production. The self-produced band use minimal arrangements – the texture of the song is made up of just a few key elements – but still create a rich, warm sound which complements the vocal perfectly.

There’s a touch of early Hot Chip (whose first album was released on the same label) here in the band’s comfort with experimenting with pop, indie and electronica, bending the forms of multiple genres to their will, seemingly at ease. Similarly, the reference within the lyrics to Frank Ocean handily signposts another influence and another musical world that the band draw from. But perhaps attempting to classify this ‘post-pop’ group through comparisons and genres is besides the point. Their upcoming EP, from which this track is the second single, is titled the things we made, and there’s a pleasing simplicity to that which reflects something in the music – it sounds like exactly what you suspect it is: the sound of two talented people who care about each other a lot having a good time making music.

Watch the charming new video for ‘thought i saw u in the shop last nite’ here:

the things we made, the upcoming debut EP from all cats are beautiful, will be released via 0800-Moshi-Moshi very soon…

Gregory Metcalfe
@gregorysparty

EP: Joely Smith – ‘that’s when gd neighbours become gd friends’

thats when gd neighbours become gd friends, the wonderfully titled EP of demos from Joely Smith (usually found playing with London-based indie/pop-punk band adults) seems to have arrived almost by accident. For Smith, the process of recording these demos allowed her to let go of a group of songs which she didn’t feel necessarily fit with the sound of her band and declare them “finished”. For us listeners, Smith’s need to record is a gift – this EP is beautiful.

This might not be a universal experience, but there’s something deeply nostalgic about listening to demos – at least there is for anyone who spent their teenage years trawling through social media/pre-social media fan boards/whatever came before that (tapes passed round the playground?! Delete according to generation) for any sign of ‘lost’ recordings from their favourite bands; scratchy demos of songs which existed in far more polished and famous versions elsewhere. The act of listening to something half-formed, a glimpse into the process of writing your favourite songs, has a magical quality all of its own. That’s not to say that any of the songs in this EP sound unfinished or half-formed – quite the opposite is true – but that the aural aesthetic of demos carries an inherent warmth and charm. When that aesthetic is married to the down-played charisma of song-writing like Smith’s, the end results are rather magnetic.

Though the music here differs distinctly from adults, the same sense of humour and warmth runs through both projects. The EP opens with ‘Womankind’, a lofi hug of a tune. A fuzzy guitar and voice are joined, after the introduction, by bass, drums and a second guitar line (all played by Smith) and the whole thing comes together in a manner reminiscent of Graham Coxon’s solo work – a punk sound distilled through a warm and unassuming persona; the edges taken off, aggression stripped out, but the heart remaining very much in place.

Smith has explained the EP as consisting of songs which “didn’t fit within the adults sound“, and the evidence of that is in the eclecticism on show here. ‘Notice’ is filled out with a lengthy synth-led instrumental passage in the middle (which is not nearly as ‘prog’ as that description makes it sound), and there’s shades of ‘80s alternative bands like Beat Happening to songs like ‘Pale’ and ‘Light’. There’s something distinctly ‘90s about the EP as a whole, though – the guitar fuzz and mellow vocal delivery recall Pavement, the song ‘Light’ earns comparison to some of Pixies’ more melodic and less frantic work (‘Hear Comes Your Mind’ comes to … err … mind), and the melodic sensibility of Brit-pop bands like Elastica and Blur (the latter in their less pop moments) is present throughout. 

Smith has declared no intention whatsoever to perform these songs live, and no ambition to work further on solo material once she’s able to resume playing regularly with adults. So, we’ll have to be grateful for what we’ve got: a six track EP which manages to be both ambitious and lo-fi, varied but cohesive in sound, funny and sad (sometimes simultaneously). 

Listen to that’s when gd neighbours become gd friends on bandcamp now:

Gregory Metcalfe
@GregorysParty