After a surge of internet scribblings that threatened to make him 2009’s latest buzz-band-fatality, Wolf Gang has played it calmly and slowly, and is now enjoying the benefits of that approach. Yesterday, new track “Something Unusual” surfaced, another track from debut album ‘Suego Faults’ (out 27th June). And it is actually far more unconventional than most hyped artists dare to attempt, stretched out with a languid chorus, before diving into a verse more similar to his usual glam pop theatrics. It may not quite stray into Panda Bear territory, this is, after all, a pop song, but you’ve got to hand him some credit for not writing “Pieces Of You” a dozen times, slapping an album name on it, and letting the record label do their marketing tricks.
The trouble is, many hyped artists are written about solely on the basis of one or two songs, so, for them, where is the incentive to step out of that comfort zone and try something else? Blinded by what seems like success just around the corner, an enormous amount of these artists end up releasing completely lacklustre albums with no depth and variation. By playing things slowly, Wolf Gang’s allowed some time for his sound to develop, managed to avoid the apparently enticing lights of the spectacularly average indie-artist’s lifestyle, and is instead poised to deliver an album that stands a far better chance of justifying the hype than many, many of his contemporaries allow themselves.
After all of that… ‘Suego Faults’ had better be bloody amazing.
Watching the way that Trophy Wife have been blowing up since the beginning of summer has slowly been convincing us more and more that when we originally posted about them and declined to declare that they would be “huge within months” because it was too early, we probably should have just said it. In June 3 or 4 blogs had covered them. Nowadays, you’d struggle to find a major UK-based music web site that hasn’t fallen for them.
Forget digital media, record labels have rightly been showing a lot of interest – and the legendary launching pad of singles label Moshi Moshi is releasing “Microlite” backed by “Take This Night” on November 8th, and you should pre-order yours here. Not that I want to get anybody excited or anything, if you read back our original post you’d understand how uncontroversial and grounded we usually are, but it’s worth mentioning that Moshi Moshi released early singles by Bloc Party, Florence & The Machine, Hot Chip, Friendly Fires*… To be clear; they’ve an immaculate reputation so it probably wouldn’t be too far off the mark to suggest that labels with slightly more money might be having a look and wondering if they can get Trophy Wife to sign… But I’m still not going to speculate any more than that, so I’ll say no more. In fact, I’ll stop altogether and instead leave you with this pristine acoustic rendition of “Microlite” that replaces the melancholy disco groove of the original with a forlorn orchestral substitute. And we quite like it. You know, it’s ok like. (Are we still avoiding hyperbole?) This band are going to be important.
The surprisingly actually-worth-watching-video is below and how’s this for some useless trivia – my mate ran into them in Oxford when they were shooting this, and apparently they mentioned this here website, and I’m not going to pretend I’m not slightly surprised/pleased. I guess you could call it smug, but in the best possible way, of course.
*PS, if you’re in need of being brought back down to earth, they’ve also released singles by Team Water Polo and Yeti.
The other day I did a piece for The Line Of Best Fit for their Song of the Day feature about Gauntlet Hair’s forthcoming 7” on Mexican Summer, “Out, Don’t..” which will be released, and I quote… “soon”. So keep your eye on that Mexican Summer pre-order page because these won’t hang around long. Original is found here.
“There’s always a sense of terrifying suspense when a band with a reputation as rightfully immaculate as Gauntlet Hair’s release new material at such an early stage of their career. Their apparently psychotic love of the delay effect married with yelped pop hooks and a crushing mélange of drums has so far swivelled the heads and widened the arteries of both the most adored blogs (Gorilla vs Bear, mostly) right down to the mainstream media which often tries so hard to resist so called “blog bands”. Yet with the announcement of their next single “Out, Don’t…”/“Heave” on Mexican Summer comes another chance for the band to put a foot wrong and disappoint those who had placed so much faith in first single “I Was Thinking…”.
I’d love to get stuck in straight away with the usual excited hyperbole, but I won’t this time. The truth is, without exploding into their enormous potential, Gauntlet Hair are simply going to keep expectations high with the frustrated restraint of “Out, Don’t…”. Unarguably, it’s far less accessible than “I Was Thinking…”, opting for a densely layered and abrasive production that won’t be penetrated by those who were only impressed by the hooks of the previous single. Arguably, though, there’s far more on offer here for our slightly pretentious muso. The swell of shimmering guitars giving way to echoing vocals is almost vitriolic in intensity, and comparisons to No Age or Japandroids can now extend beyond the meaningless fact that all bands involved are duos. Their fixation with delay is ever present, but it’s also starting to win us over and “Out, Don’t…” also demonstrates a variety and versatility to their sound that confirms that we need not worry about the quality of their music the next time they announce a new release; Gauntlet Hair have more than proved themselves as a truly experimental talent.”
I’m still finding new nuances to “Out, Don’t…” but catch the infinitely more terrifying b-side “Heave” below. It’s an absolutely thrilling piece of music – like the industrial edge of those early scratchy Sleigh Bells demos mixed with the attitude of No Age. In love.