[album] The Orielles – Tableau

Get ready for a real surprise from The Orielles. With their new release Tableau, this young British trio brings listeners a truly epic album of 16 experimental and innovative tracks spanning over one hour.

It feels like musicians treated the record like a big canvas and approached the production as if it was a long sound collage, using different recording techniques and various sources of inspiration. There are pop hits here, long improvisations, and elements of such genres as jazz, neo-psychedelia, ambient and techno.

In the end, we get one of the most interesting releases of the year, and definitely another step forward in the band’s discography. Is extremely interesting what they will do next.

Listen below and buy the album here.

[album] Gilla Band – Most Normal

Gilla Band (ex-Girl Band) needs no long introduction. This four-piece from Dublin was formed in the early 2010s, and consistently pleases listeners with uncompromising, loud and absolutely unique music. Their new LP Most Normal is out today via Rough Trade.

It makes no sense to allocate the group’s releases to any particular genre or look for similar bands since they really are absolute innovators. Nearly never using musical instruments in a conventional way, Gilla Band manage to create both long super hits with huge drops (as they did on their The Early Years EP & debut full-length Holding Hands With Jamie), and claustrophobic, creative experiments that can be described roughly as a horror noise (as on their second LP The Talkies).

Most Normal is probably their most carefully crafted and detailed work to date. There is absolutely everything here that we love about the group, but also a lot of new things. It is almost impossible to predict the moves here, surprises await the listeners at every turn. But still, there is some order in the overall chaos, and new tracks are brilliantly adding up to the already-released singles and completing the whole picture.

All songs deserve equal attention, but the wonderful “The Weirds” stands out in the middle of the release, a long no wave number that truly hypnotizes. Also noteworthy is the new approach to lyrics writing, Dara Kiely is as open and direct as he was never before (“Post Ryan”), but at the same time he masterfully maintains a high degree of familiar Gilla Band madness (“Backwash”, “I Was Away”) and dark humor (“Eight Fivers”, “Bin Liner Fashion”).

The only minus of the record is that it is a bit short (almost 10 minutes shorter than The Talkies). However, it is worth appreciating what we already have from the Gilla Band: three perfect albums. If we are lucky enough, we might get a fourth one too.

Listen below and get the record here (it is Bandcamp Friday today, so it is the best source to purchase it).

[album] No Age – People Helping People (Remixes)

Last month noise rock veterans No Age returned with a wonderful and experimental new release, People Helping People. If it was not enough for you, then there is one more gift from the duet — they released a whole remix album of songs from the disc.

It is out now digitally on Bandcamp, and physically it will be available in the form of a limited CD on the group’s upcoming tour.

Listen below.

[album] The Big Pink – The Love That’s Ours

It’s been a full ten years since the release of Future This by The Big Pink, but as soon as you press play on their new album The Love That’s Ours, it immediately feels like they never left.

From the very first second of the record, the trio immerses listeners into the atmosphere of their own vintage shoegaze, with active use of pop music elements, electronica and new wave.

The album is very diverse: there are both experiments and classic The Big Pink sound, but one fact is for sure — each song sounds like a hit single that remains in the head for a long time after listening. A brilliant release. Just don’t wait till 2032 to make another.

Stream below and get the record here.

[album] Sports Team – Gulp!

The drive and speed with which Sports Team broke into the music scene surprised everyone and could not go unnoticed. Despite the global pandemic, the band’s debut album Deep Down Happy generated a lot of buzz, received great reviews, a Mercury Prize nomination, and also peaked at number 2 on the UK Official Charts Company albums chart (they lost first place to Lady Gaga’s Chromatica).

With such a crazy start, it’s easy to imagine that releasing a second album was quite a challenge for the group. Unfortunately, maintaining such a level of hype is close to impossible, and the same might apply to charts/general reviews. However, we are not really interested in that. What is important, the band really managed to gather a truly dedicated fan base around them. And Gulp! won’t disappoint those.

On the new LP sextet is even more chaotic, but now they don’t even try to make the sound clean or polished. The album is filled with loud, noisy distortion, wild guitars, and, as usual, vocalist Alex Rice’s firm manic delivery.

No matter how “uncool” indie rock is in 2022, Sports Team are excellent representatives of the genre. Gulp! sounds like Spector on speed, like the more obsessive and controlled Palma Violets, like The Libertines without too much drama. It’s definitely not a groundbreaking release, not an album of the year, but it is very catchy and super, super fun.

Check it out below and purchase the LP here.