Exclusive: WATCH ‘Pencil Case’ – The brand new single from Fauxchisels

We are extremely pleased to bring you the blistering return of Birmingham based art punks Fauxchisels. ‘Pencil Case’ is the first single to be lifted off the trio’s forthcoming second album and will be released to stream/download from this Friday 29th January. However, because you all deserve it, we have an exclusive preview of the single and its accompanying video!

Driven by a tight post hardcore groove, ‘Pencil Case’ is an uncharacteristically restrained rant that proves the idea that a whisper can be just as loud as a scream. This intensity is only upped by an up close and personal video starring vocalist and guitarist Paul Broome matching the thrilling, knife edge atmosphere the track exudes.

The album in which this track is taken from is entitled ‘EDUCATION OR CATASTROPHE’ and will be released through DIY collective Die Das Der on 30th April 2021. The record was written largely during the first lockdown of 2020 and recorded over three days in October at Giant Wafer Studios in the heart of Wales, with regular collaborator Jimm Zorn at the desk. Two years in the making, the band cite this as a concept album about self-improvement, openness and reflection.

The album is available to pre-order from Bandcamp on a choice of two limited vinyl pressings, CD and download. There is a promise of more tracks to be released in the run-up to the albums release but to whet your appetite further, the single will also feature two B-Sides exclusive to the release. Don’t say Fauxchisels don’t treat you. But until then, get this down your lug holes.

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WATCH: Field Music get animated in new video for ‘Orion From The Street’

Words: Andy Hughes
(Photo Credit: Christopher Owens)

Having recently revealed new single ‘Orion From The Street‘, today sees Field Music accompany it with a vivid music video, animated by the band’s own Kevin Dosdale and pieced together by Peter Brewis.

Orion From The Street‘ is – as expected from the Brewis brothers and co. – a wonderful piece, one that feels like it could make your heart grow three sizes and forget for a minute that you have been and seemingly will forever be confined to your living quarters…

Taken from a new studio album pencilled in for release later in the year, it follows their last studio album ‘Making A New World‘, released in 2020 and one that seemed to follow us throughout the year (as evidence here in our ‘Top 50 Songs of 2020‘ countdown – We even managed to interview the Brewis brothers around the time of release!)

Alongside the single announcement, the outfit have also rather hopefully announced (one assumes with every finger and toe crossed) a run of UK tour dates for Autumn 2021 – ticket information and all the rest can be found here.

You can find the new single sounding delightful in our playlist for the forthcoming 12 months, sitting comfortably with the likes of Sleaford Mods, Shame and Jane Weaver!

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Hey, have you heard about…Paul Jacobs

Top shout to Montreal native Paul Jacobs, using his time during lockdown productively rather than putting out a bedroom ambient project (don’t @ me, folks…)

Last seen on these very pages as part of a team effort putting out one of our Top 50 Songs of 2020 (‘Hot Like Jungle‘ from the tremendous album ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel‘), we’ve since been hypnotised by a solo effort from 1/5 of favourites Pottery.

Unbeknownst to us, drummer Jacobs has been ripping it up as a solo entity alongside Pottery all this time and he’s just announced details of his new album ‘Pink Dogs on the Green Grass‘, due April 30th 2021 on Blow The Fuse Records.

A cool little number that goes down smooth, lead single ‘Half Rich Loner‘ brings with it notes of The Fall, Frank Zappa, Fat White Family and – yes – solo Lindsey Buckingham here and there. It comes with a video produced by Jacobs himself – A colourful dose of mind-expansion that feels very much like leaping off the diving board and sploshing down into his brain. Sure enough, the artwork is super duper – the style previously plastered over all of Pottery’s stuff.

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Album Review: Lande Hekt – Going To Hell

November 2019 saw Lande Hekt, guitarist and vocalist of Exeter formed trio Muncie Girls, step out on her own. Her debut EP ‘Gigantic Disappointment’ was the exact opposite of its title, wistfully mixing acoustically driven hooks with 80’s pop sensibilities, building on the heart on sleeve lyricisms of her bands last LP ‘Fixed Ideals’. Little did we know that at the time of releasing the EP, Lande was already preparing a full length. Heading out on a solo tour of Australia at the start of 2020, Lande also managed to knuckle down in the studio with touring buddy and friend Ben David to lay down her debut solo album. Having released some wonderful teaser tracks over the last few months, ‘Going To Hell’ is finally ready to be unveiled.

Whiskey’ was the perfect choice to introduce this project both as a single and as an album opener. It begins with driving acoustic guitar chords before bursting into a crescendo of soaring guitars and reverb heavy drums. It is already at this point that we understand the nature of this record; it’s intimate and personal but also honest and true with a lot of lyrics based on Lande’s experience of coming out as gay. To me, this is an album about relationships; from looking at humanity’s relationship with the planet or taking an inward look into personal relationships with love, sexuality and even religion. There has always been an honesty with Lande’s lyrics, but never have they landed as directly as they do here.

What makes it all the more interesting is how she blends this gut wrenching honesty with some particularly pleasant indie pop sounds. ‘Stranded in Berlin’ takes on a sunny guitar pop melody reminiscent of early Best Coast, but lyrically deals with mental health struggles whilst on tour and the want to be back home with loved ones. ‘Undone’ on the other hand has a sprightly punk rock vibe that isn’t a million miles away from Muncie Girls, but with lyrics that detail a relationship breakdown, you feel that this is the most upfront and open Lande has ever been in her songwriting. I’ve always enjoyed the bluntness of her lyrical delivery but with this album there seems to be a fragility in her openness, which sometimes feels like you’re swimming around her head.

Lyrically this definitely goes through a range of emotions and you can get some warm, saccharine moments amidst deeper, introspective thoughts, all beautifully bound together by a very realised sonic palate. On the EP there definitely felt like an obvious split of stripped back moments and these more driven rock songs and although that does happen on here, the flow is structured perfectly leaving room for some extra flourishes (the strings on ‘Candle’ are particularly lovely, suiting the candid sweetness of the song).

Gigantic Disappointment’ felt like a stepping stone for Lande, which is why ‘Going to Hell’ is exactly what good debut albums should be; the most accurate and honest representation of that artist and in this case an individual. It has its own separate identity to that of her other projects and very much feels like a solo record. I love the fact that this has a lo-fi feel sonically that only adds to the intimacy of the songs, but at the same time you cannot deny the pop sensibilities that are brought in with hooks that are sure to swirl around your head for days. Although there is a certain immediacy to the songs, it still reveals itself on multiple listens making this an incredibly triumphant and ultimately touching debut.

(Photo Credit: Gingerdope)

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Hey, have you heard about…Lynks

Words: Andy Hughes
(Photo Credit: Laura Alice Marcus)

Keep your ‘recommended by DIY‘, ‘recommended by The Guardian‘ bollocks. If we’re not discovering them by ourselves, we want our measuring stick to be bespeckled pop mega-stars and in the case of Lynks, the artist has been hotly tipped by Sir Reg Dwight. That will do for us.

Following the release of debut EP ‘Smash Hits Vol.1‘, TAFKA Lynks Afrikka – now just Lynks – has sights set on its follow up, the aptly titled EP ‘Smash Hits Vol.2‘ (due 27th January). Featuring ‘Pedestrian At Best‘, a drastic reworking of the Courtney Barnett favourite – one which Lynks has gone on record to suggest inspired them to start writing music (Barnett herself even giving her blessing for the cover) – today sees another single announcement in ‘Everyone’s Hot (And I’m Not)‘.

A hypnotising dance banger, it’s punctuated by splendid wordplay throughout, each line just as hilarious and memorable as the next. Written on the top deck of the 185 bus one night, it was inspired by a night out where our narrator felt entirely out of place having been “pretty violently rejected by a guy I wrongfully assumed was gay“.

Filmed in LDN performance space BOLD Elephant, the one take music video reminds me of the brilliant immersive arts show ‘Party Skills for the End of the World‘ as part of Manchester International Festival a few years back. A wild, self aware oddball dance-a-thon, it breaks the fourth wall expertly – moving from a Metronomy-esque slow-jam vibe one minute just prior to its manic, high-energy off-your-nut ending.

Don’t just take our word for it – Listen to Elton.

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What’s On Michael Portillo’s iPod: Albertine Sarges

Here at Birthday Cake For Breakfast, we like to get to the heart of what an artist is all about. We feel what influences them is just as important as the music they make. With that in mind, in the run up to releasing her debut album, we’re delighted to have Berlin based artist Albertine Sarges talking us through a host of things that helped shape and inspire her.

Words: Andy Hughes
(Photo Credit: Steffi Rettinger)

Agnès Varda

“The nouvelle vague filmmaker Agnès Varda continues to fortify in me the playful whimsical. But she is also a sage. Her definition of happiness as explained in this video, makes a good dish, a good life, a good song.”

Joe Frank

When I encountered the work of legendary radio artist Joe Frank I was so excited! One of those discoveries that change you. I often wondered why his surreal storytelling is not more famous. Probably he is a little too „noir“? It carries a wicked meta humour! Something in it endlessly inspired me and helped me find my spoken word style.”

Anthony Bourdain

Probably the chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain was sometimes an asshole. A rock’n’roll personality of the old school, aggressive behaviour and leather jackets. But he was also incredibly humane and beautiful. When he dove into his curiosity and love for people and their food, I loved him. I was so sad when he took his life in 2018. I actually made an excel sheet of my favourite Bourdain citations and originally planned to hide one of his phrases in every song on the album. I ended up not doing it. But he remains a driving factor in my phantasy and life.”

The B-52s

“I didn’t know The B-52s before I started playing with The Sticky Fingers. Then, after each concert, people started to reference that rock band from Georgia with their beehive hair-dos and fun attitude. I love it! „Hurry up and bring your jukebox money!

Betty Davis

Pure dynamite funk. A life-giver. She seemed to have it all: divine talent and courage, stunning beauty, connections (hung with Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, was married to Miles Davis). But her three albums didn’t break through. They said she was too graphic for American audiences. Oh how I hate these double standards against women!”

Itaca

I have an alter ego, her name is Ossi Viola, she is from Rome and she likes to open her arms really wide open and sing with vibrato. Oh wait, there is a male singer coming from the other side, he seems to really feel it. He is so beautiful… My Italian synthwave band Itaca!”

‘The Sticky Fingers’ is due 29th January 2021 via Moshi Moshi Records! Pick up a copy or two here!

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William The Conqueror announce new album ‘Maverick Thinker’ – WATCH the new video for ‘Quiet Life’

The enjoyment of certain songs really can sometimes boil down to a mood, a time, a place. Sure that noise-rock sounds good when you’ve had a few tins, but first thing in the morning when you’ve just opened your eyes? If it catches you at the exact moment though, it can sound exquisite. Such was the case when I initially heard ‘Quiet Life‘, the new single from William The Conqueror. Mildly irritated over the little nothings of day to day life, it all soon faded away as I let it all wash over me, sitting in near peace alone whilst outside the rain hit hard.

Moments later someone started hitting something hard with something else hard in their back garden and the moment was gone… But before that – bliss.

We first picked up on William The Conqueror around this time last year, with the invigorating heart-stopper that was ‘Looking for the Cure‘. Sure enough, we were hit right in the heart with what they were laying down such is their knack for penning such a tune.

Quiet Life‘ is taken from their forthcoming new album ‘Maverick Thinker‘ (with its exceptional artwork), due for release March 5th 2021 via Chrysalis Records. There’s even a podcast series to coincide with the release of the album if that’s your bag, said to be like reading the novel alongside watching a film.

The video captures the trio out and about in LA, the very place the new record was put together with producer Joseph Lorge at the legendary Sound City Studios. Just prior to the initial lockdown of 2020, the band found themselves performing in the same spot as the likes of Nirvana, Johnny Cash and Fleetwood Mac in decades gone – Hear the results below!

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This One Song… Albertine Sarges on The Girls

Tell you what – we love hearing from artists when things go right. We equally love hearing from artists when things go dreadfully wrong. A song that was a piece of piss, written in 20 minutes? Or years in the making and a bastard to write?

Whether it’s a song that came together through great duress or one that was smashed out in a short amount of time, we’re getting the lowdown from some of our favourites on the one song that they can’t stop thinking about – in their own words.

In the run up to the release of her debut album ‘The Sticky Fingers‘, Albertine Sarges talks us through ‘The Girls’ (as featured in our Top 50 Songs of 2020). Take it away, Albertine

It was a dull summer depression day and I didn’t have much to say, to a point where I couldn’t stand myself. But I was lucky and my friend Harriet called me from Finland. And she told me of a picnic she had with a girl friend, and how in between the layers of roughly cut eggs, cream cheese and radishes, along a fine line of bread crumbs on the picnic blanket, a magnetic field opened up. A feeling that was more than friendship.

Harriet’s story fuelled my fantasies! She said, why don’t you go to the rehearsal room right now and write a song about it, send it before midnight. I took my new guitar, a gibson sg, and rushed over to the former post office building, down into the wet cellar, closed all doors behind me and came up with the bass riff right away.

I looped everything, added pitch effects to it and turned it up real loud, danced to it, laughed about my own jokes. Then I recorded it with my phone and sent it to my friend and she turned it up real loud on her hifi – a story becomes a feeling becomes a song within a couple of hours. The album recording doesn’t differ much, I kept it basically like it is, a bit more polished.”

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Release Rundown – Sleaford Mods, Shame, Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou

Words: Ben Forrester
(Photo Credit: Sam Alexander-Gregg)

We return, for the first time in 2021, with our release rundown for the week, reviewing some brand new records ready for your aural consumption. As we always like to gently remind you, these releases are available to buy on the artists web stores as well as online at your favourite record shop.

Sleaford Mods – ‘Spare Ribs’
(Rough Trade)

If there was ever a band that weren’t going to let a global pandemic stand in the way of their productivity, it would be Sleaford Mods. 2020 saw Andrew and Jason release a compilation of big hits and rare cuts, broadcast a live show, make it onto prime time US TV and also find the time for a new album. ‘Spare Ribs’ was written and recorded in the space of three weeks at DIY institution JT Soar in their hometown of Nottingham. Conceived in the haze of lockdown easing last summer, you bet this is drenched in piss and vinegar.

Sleaford Mods have always had a magic formula when it comes to their distinctive sound, but there’s always been an evolution within each record that keeps us on our toes. For their sixth album however, they seem to look back in order to look forward, reapplying some of the grit present on earlier material. ‘The New Brick’ is an intro of jittery synths and clattered drumbeats with Jason instantly hitting out; “we’re all so Tory tired and beaten by minds small”. The fact that this is followed up with a track called ‘Short Cummings’ based on the actions of the piss taker of the year brings out their political side with immediate effect. I wouldn’t necessarily call Sleaford Mods a political band, but they’ve always had well weighted bursts of anger towards the so called people in charge and never have they felt more cathartic to shout along to.

There are always subtle nuances within each new Mods release, but an altogether new factor for this record is the inclusion of guest vocalists. You may have already heard the ridiculously catchy hook Billy Nomates provides on the ice cool ‘Mork n Mindy’, but we also get Amy Taylor from Amyl and the Sniffers providing her second collaboration of the month on ‘Nudge It’. Coming in with a bouncy beat filled out by sharp post punk guitar stabs, Jason brings in another infectious chorus that is sure to be a big hitter. And then Amy adds this wonderfully snarled, almost rapped verse that only elevates its attitude firmly filing it in the banger section.

I’ve always loved the unpredictability of Andrew’s production, you never fully know if you’re going to get abstract electronics or just a straight up bass riff belter. I do feel like there is a lot more clout to the beats on the record, which definitely builds on the tension and general wariness of the times in which this album was made in. ‘I Don’t Rate You’ is a proper wobbler, ‘Spare Ribs’ is a full on bopper and ‘Out There’ is as gritty as it gets. Again, it’s the subtle switch ups that always keep me coming back and musically this feels like an amalgamation of everything that is great about this band.

It’s clear that Spare Ribs’ was written in a time of unrest. Ultimately there is a forward moving momentum that runs through this record that I find a lot of comfort in. Sleaford Mods inject humanity and humour to break up the frustrations and aggression. It’s the perfect balance. It’s what we need right now. This is super strength Mods and possibly their finest set since the unstoppable ‘Key Markets’. Chug it down.

Shame – ‘Drunk Tank Pink’
(Dead Oceans)

It was this time three years ago that I was hearing Shame for the first time. Their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Songs Of Praise’ showed a lot of promise with its sprightly mix of punk, indie and Britpop. As is usually the case, the band went on a never-ending tour to promote its release, an often make or break situation for any young band, but in their case one which only made them hungrier. The fact that indie producer extraordinaire James Ford has been brought in to help steer the ship for album two just goes to show the level of ambition the South Londoners have undertaken in such a short space of time.

Drunk Tank Pink’ is a tighter, more focused record that concentrates on delivering authentic post punk with hard-hitting dynamics and in your face hooks. ‘Alphabet’ is a blistering statement of intent, guitars screeching through amps, drums at full pelt and a vocal spitting with urgency. Something that grabbed me when I first heard this band was the punk spirit behind frontman Charlie’s vocals and here the personality and confidence of his voice is superbly paired with the musical backdrop. Whilst before they toyed with breezy summer pop melodies or Match of the Day friendly indie, this time they hone in on wonky hooks and angular riffs to provide a flamboyant, infectious take on all that is good in the alt punk world.

Influentially I can hear the ambition of early Preoccupations and Ought on tracks like the sprawling ‘Snow Day’ or the frantic ‘6/1’, while the jerky pop melodies of Talking Heads come out to play on the brilliant ‘Nigel Hitter’. It’s pretty much hit after hit while still allowing enough room to move around from peppy pop hits to atmospheric moments of introspection; ‘Born In Luton’ even manages to do this in the same song. But it’s ‘Station Wagon’ that ups the intensity, closing the album on a 6 and a half minute cliff-hanger with Charlie moving to spoken word centred around a slinky bass line and lilting pianos. It’s such a beautifully chaotic way to finish an album, confirming my initial thoughts of this being the sound of a band realising and subsequently reaching their full potential.

There is still a youthful exuberance and an undeniable energy that flows thick through ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, but it’s so clear to see how much this band have evolved since ‘Songs of Praise’. Sure, Shame aren’t the only young band busting out the post punk jams right now, but they have more than delivered on the promise of their debut and you can’t deny how strong the songs are here. They’ve knuckled down, tuned into each other and have come out with a very consistent and genuinely solid sophomore effort.

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – ‘The Helm Of Sorrow’
(Sacred Bones)

It was October that we saw the unfathomable talent of Emma Ruth Rundle team up with sludge heroes Thou to release one of the best metal records of the year. ‘May Our Chambers Be Full’ was as beautiful as it was crushing, so it’s quite the treat to be able to hear more material from the project. ‘The Helm Of Sorrow’ was initially available as part of a limited deluxe edition of the record, consisting of four tracks, three of which were lifted from the original album sessions. Thanks to the good people at Sacred Bones, the EP is now being released as a stand-alone release for those that missed out the first time round.

It seems like these songs take on a much more dynamic approach, especially on opener ‘Orphan Limbs’. For the first half of this track we hear ethereal guitars and the beautifully haunting vocals of Emma Ruth Rundle. As soon as a tribal drum rhythm comes in midway, the gear is immediately shifted and explodes into a cesspit of sludge with the bludgeoning vocals from Thou. ‘Crone Dance’ and ‘Recurrence’ tend to focus on the initial dynamics heard on the album with these soaring clean vocals towering above thick layers of doomy distortion, the former building to a catastrophic breakdown while the latter brings in overlapping guitar lines for an almost classic metal spin.

But what really takes this release to the next level is its closing track, a cover of ‘Hollywood’ by The Cranberries. Originally a jangly 90s grunge pop tune, the track is transformed into a stoner rock banger, Emma’s vocals as powerful as ever as she hones in on her 90s influences. Not only have they made the main melody into a proper crushing riff they’ve wacked this fully soaring guitar line over the top that elevates it to a whole new realm. It’s one of those rare covers that pretty much eclipses the original.

The Helm Of Sorrow’ shows a darker, more versatile look into this incredible meeting of minds. It’s really interesting to see the project explore different avenues, whether it’s focusing on quiet to loud crescendos or completely ripping into a grunge classic. I get the feeling that Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou have unfinished business and I really hope this isn’t the last we hear from this dreamboat of a collaboration.

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Home Counties get synth-happy on ripping new single ‘Modern Yuppies’

We’ve said it time and time again ya know – embrace soft and/or daft 80’s music that’s heavy on the synth. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Last year we introduced you to Bristol based outfit Home Counties, who gripped us with their blinding debut ‘Redevelopment‘, out via our friends at Alcopop! Records (the single soon finding its way into our Top 50 Songs of 2020).

Today sees them release ‘Modern Yuppies‘, the first of two self-produced singles penned and recorded in the November lockdown (when they were unfortunately unable to access main production man Theo Verney). Being unable to record their second EP, they chose instead to favour the 80’s sound and buy a second-hand analogue synth and a drum machine off the internet. Makes sense.

Ripping it up with their razor sharp blend of up to the minute post-punk, here they’ve chucked 70’s-cop-drama themes into the mix too for a heady and invigorating dance-heavy concoction. That instrumental flourish towards its end sounds like a cross between something you might have heard on the untouchable ‘Stop Making Sense‘ and a boss battle from bloody Crash Bandicoot (an absolute plus, make no mistake!)

Find the new single sitting pretty in our playlist for the forthcoming 12 months, sitting pretty with the likes of Sleaford Mods, Shame and Jane Weaver!

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Exclusive: Another New Thing share new single ‘No One Cares What You’re Thinking ‘Bout’

The current pandemic (the first of many?) has no doubt left you with the realisation that time means nothing and you can do everything from your living room. Do we really need to be in the same room as one another? For ‘newcomersAnother New Thing, the answer is a resounding NO.

The trio, split between Pennsylvania (US) and Sheffield and Preston (UK), combines the talents of novelist and musician Don Himlin, modular synthesizer bod Paul Nagle and Dean Honer, known to these pages from International Teachers Of Pop, The Moonlandingz and Eccentronic Research Council. ‘Newcomers‘ indeed, the band name is a nod to the fact that the three workhorses have lots on their collective plates and this is yet ‘Another New Thing‘.

Off the back of their birth into the world via first single ‘A Message‘, we’re pleased as punch to be featuring their brand new video for second single ‘No One Cares What You’re Thinking ‘Bout‘.

This moody little synth-tastic dance number reminds us a little of Iggy Pop on the vocals, with its video complimented quite nicely by pieced together original Public Domain footage from 1973 film ‘Munchers: A Fable‘, produced by – who else – the American Dental Association. The song itself can be found on their forthcoming debut album ‘XYZZY‘, due for release on February 19th via Dipped In Gold Recordings.

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Hey, have you heard about…Gustaf

(Photo Credit: Adam Lempel)

I’m not one for resolutions as one year fades into the next (especially given the year we’ve just had), but I have made a conscious effort to listen to more 6 Music from the BBC this year. When I was hopping out 2 – 3 night a week to go to shows, I still gave it a good go to try and listen to Marc Riley before popping out (he himself no stranger to finishing his show and scooting over to the very same gigs on occasion!)

Today I’ve been rewarded for sticking to the plan and persevering with the radio, thanks to the discovery of Brooklyn, NYC outfit Gustaf. Late last year saw the quintet announce their signing to Royal Mountain Records (known to us via the recent METZ record) with the release of their debut single ‘Mine‘, followed up swiftly by the joyous ‘Design‘.

Formed in 2018, they’re said to have built up a bit of buzz back home via word of mouth alone (even opening up for Beck at a secret loft party), now finally letting the rest of the world in on what they’ve got to offer – infectious art-y post-punk with a knack for getting your hips moving, that’s definitely got New York blueprints within its workings.

Put together with producer Chris Coady (Future Islands, TV On The Radio), their first two tracks are a great indicator that they’ve hit the ground running and whatever follows next is sure to be swell.

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