Ferns : On Botany (Fruit Records)
Long time foreseen, never forgotten, Ferns’ "firstest debut" album knocks at our doors and it was about time…A really arty object actually, with a piece of golf course glued on top! The Malaysians already have good press in their home country and there is no reason for the rest of the planet to snub them! A bit like the Pale Saints, but without any noisy side, they’re Masters in ethereal and atmospheric pop with superbly “strumming” guitars and angelic male vocals. Let’s initiate a dialogue with them:
All this greenery ! Is "Ferns" an ecologist band ?
We're not ecologists by any stretch of the imagination, just mere city-folks who have a keen appreciation for foliage.
But are you sure this charming "On Botany" packaging is 100% biodegradable ?
You know how they say you should stare at the colour green from time to time, to soothe your eyes? Well, the packaging's meant to do that for you. We did try planting real grass seedlings on the cover but figured that waiting a month for the darn things to sprout would be too much for most people!
Warren's voice is very aerial, almost unreal, is he human ?
Oh he seems human, alright. Except for the green thumb. So we surmise he's at least 85% human and 15% venus flytrap. You'd be surprised to learn that he was also responsible for lots of unearthly growling noises when he was fronting his old metal band.
Why has the release of the album been so many times delayed ?
Life got in the way. Juggling day-jobs is no easy thing, but making music is sometimes the only thing that keeps us sane. Plus it gives us something to do on weekends :)
How do you see the recent Asian infatuation with twee & guitar pop in countries like
To be honest, we're probably the only band in
Are you interested in touring European countries ?
We're very interested in touring
Big thanks to Ferns and Isman
Butcher Boy : Profit in your Poetry ( How Does It Feel To Be Loved)
This summer hour-switch is a horrible thing, weakening my delicate biological stability... Is the purpose to gain a bit of energy or to participate to continued development? Well I’m not in an energetic mood at all and my brain has never been so underdeveloped than tonight!
Let’s forget those pure self-centred considerations and have a look at what springtime is bringing us from the Glasgow shelf again…10 songs, 30 minutes, more than enough to realize – after many listens - that Butcher Boy has this kind of acute pop vision, this fine songwriting supported by razzle-dazzle jangling guitars, fantastic lyrics and such a unique eerie voice…...Lloyd Cole! Remember? Are you ready to be heartbroken? Profit in their poetry!
==> "Profit in your Poetry"
Cats on Fire : The Province complains (Marsh Marigold)
Our new fave Finnish band -since their unsurpassed 2006 EP « Draw in the Reins »- (pleaaase Ultrasport, don’t be offended, still deeply in love with you too!!) has released its debut full length!!!! To be dead right, it’s ABOUT to be soon officially released but already available through Marsh Marigold shop and Indiepages.
The 3 first EP songs are attending, in a slightly revised arrangement, more polished, more gentle but not too much, with weightless guitars and cleaner-cut organs, as far as “The Smell of an Artist” is concerned. The rest of the bunch is surprisingly more down-beat, alternating between blooming ballads and deep poignant melodies…the more you dig, the more you want to stay in the hole…Let’s bury ourselves!!!
Perfect Zebras : Zebra (Polydor 1983)
Perfect Zebras made two albums. They were just another haughty "synth-pop" band amongst many many others. Nobody wants to remember them. However Paul Robertson, like Mark Hollis, was a prodigious and exceptionnaly gifted songwriter...I'm claiming a compulsory rehabilitation !!!
The Sproutts : "Plutons" (Auto-produced)
Planet Pluto is no more: that was one of last year’s saddest news! But planet Sproutts is there for us!! Discovered two years ago with their shining debut “Flying out of the Machine”, New Zealanders’ reappearance, with this freshly auto-produced album “Plutons”, is a 90° turning in their career orbit : vintage instruments on the rocks, vocal harmonies à gogo and ready-to-eat creamy melodies…a truly exciting identified object, somewhere between Weezers’ catchy hooks and a convulsing Pinback…
Small talk with singer / multi-instrumentist Chris :
-How do you explain less than 50 persons attended some of your recent N-Z gigs?
NZ is quite small and the population is quite spread-out. So, sometimes it can be difficult to get a following in a city other than where you live. If there's another similar, more prominant, band playing the same night as your gig, it can eat into your audience numbers. There weren't many people at our
As an auto-released band, how difficult is it for you to get played or hosted on N-Z radio shows?
Plutons has been doing quite well so far. We've been quite luck really. Most student radio stations have been supportive. National Radio and Kiwi FM have also been fantastic. We don't tend to bother with mainstream radio.
-What has changed in the N-Z indie scene today and where the hell is that golden nunesque paradise gone?
-Your sound has clearly evolved to a richer synthetic texture. Which vintage keyboards did you bring over?
We have a Korg microsynth, various Yamaha portasounds from the 1980s, a Casio CT-70 from the 1980s. We've also got a Lucidtone Optical Theremin pedal, which makes most of the crazy space-ship type sounds on Plutons. It's hard to say at this point whether the new direction in our sound is permanent or temporary- I guess we'll find out in a year or so.
-Now you reached the Plutons, didn't you again neglect to ensure you had enough fuel for the back flight?
We didn't carry fuel for the return journey. However, I am starting to write some snippets in my tiny one-bedroom spaceship. I figure that if I can generate about 40 snippets, that will be enough to get us back to Earth, by which time the snippets will have evolved into songs and we'll be ready for another album.
Finally, I'd like to say hello to all your bloggers in
Thanks to Chris and Charlikiwi
=> Get "Plutons" from Powertool Records
Airport Girl : Slow Light (Fortuna Pop!)
Going through the first 2001 album “Honey I’m an Artist”, I had the feeling the band really sounded great despite not having a recognizable style, a little like a multi-fruit tart…with highly-selected fruits! This feeling is reinforced today with the very long awaited 2nd essay “Slow Light” released early 2007 on Fortuna Pop! (actually the label – one of the best around for sure- is owned by bass player Sean Price).
Although the whole taste is quite homogeneous and self-sustaining, with a very present alt-country stamp, each tune on its own is like a revised cut-and-paste extract of your own discography : Pastels, Felt, the Loft, Comet Gain, Always, The Hit Parade…with really really enchanting moments... Highlights are “Don’t let me down again”, “The Weather Song”, “Twice around the Bay”, “Show me the Way” and “Bullfighting”. Need to be a part of YOUR discography! Buy it HERE or HERE.
Everything is in this gem : piercing voice, contagious beat, straight-line Hammond chords, cathartic shriek , twangy guitar solo...
Liechtenstein : Stalking Skills 7" (Fraction Discs)
After the splendid "Draw in the Reins" EP from Cats on Fire, this is the third proper release for Fraction Discs as a label, officially out on 7th of March. Liechtenstein is an all-girl swedish band comprised of Renée, Elin, Teresa and Naemi. Renée has done some live shows with Swedish indie-tronica act Compute, playing the synthesizer and singing. Teresa is also making electro together with Otur, and Elin, the drummer, has played in various punk bands in the past...They've played together for about a year now, and Elin only joined the band in the early autumn 2006, so it's Tammy (playing with Jens Lekman) who has recorded the drums for the single.
The very C86 "Stalking Skills", which must be in everybody's favourites' lists by now, is a true smash hit, but the 2 other songs are beyond all my expectations : "Cravings" is recalling the best Aislers Set' songwriting and "Fallen Heroes" is so...Heavenliesque...