Entries tagged with: Girls Names
by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis & Amanda Hatfield
photo: Kendrick Lamar at Day For Night 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Every year is a good year for new music, but 2015 felt like the best one in a while. It was an especially great year for major label rap, after 2014 was an especially slow one, but it was good for plenty more than that too: folk, post-punk, indie pop, noise, art pop, punk, etc. We only have one metal album on our list, but there's a lot more where that came from at our metal sister site Invisible Oranges, who posted individual writer lists over the past few weeks. 2015 birthed excellent newcomers, and gave us crucial returns from artists who have been doing it for decades. This year, BrooklynVegan crowned a #1 pick for album of the year with the rest of our top 50 listed alphabetically. Some of the records have songs you couldn't leave your house without hearing, and others flew pretty under the radar, but we truly love each one.
Read our top 50 below...
It's part two of our 2015 wrap-up where BV editors Bill Pearis, Andrew Sacher and site founder Dave play more of their favorite songs of the year, and discuss such topics as favorite live bands, overused words in band names, comebacks, and what we're looking forward to in 2016.
Like all "Spotify in Residence" shows, you need to be a Spotify subscriber to hear the host segments, but anyone can listen to the full playlist of all songs. Follow that link to subscribe and stay tuned for another new episode in January.
by Bill Pearis
Ireland's Girls Names have made a video for "Reticence," the opening track on their fantastic album from this year, Arms Around a Vision. Again working with director Matthew Reed, the video uses found footage to explore the connection between machinery and the human form. It's an ace song too, deftly melding anger, dissonance and melody -- one of the best on one of my favorite LPs of 2015. Watch it below.
It's been three years since Girls Names have been in North America. While they haven't announced a tour here, they will be over for SXSW so let's hope they play some non-TX shows while here. All dates, which include a European tour in February, are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Girls Names' new album, Arms Around a Vision, is out today (10/2) via Tough Love. The record is a big leap for the Irish band who are still drawing from post-punk influences but really make it their own here. It's snarling, bleak but also tuneful, with inventive arrangements and a big beating heart. It's one of my favorite records of the year (to date) and perfect listening for a chilly, rainy day like the one we're currently having in NYC. You can stream the whole album below.
by Bill Pearis
Girls Names forthcoming album, Arms Around a Vision, is easily the best thing they've ever done and, in my opinion, one of 2015's best LPs. They've come a long way from being the Irish analog to Crystal Stilts, and while they're still endebted to early '80s post-punk, they've really made it their own -- snarling, bleak and very compelling. The band also have a good sense of humor, too, as seen in the new video for "A Hunger Artist." Directed by Matthew Reed, it's a dead-on parody of '80s-era UK music shows with a hilariously awkward band interview followed then a mimed "live" performance in a white room. Stay till the very end for a tip of the hat to one of my favorite YouTube videos ever. Watch it below.
Girls Names Arms Around a Vision is out October 2 via Tough Love. No word on North American dates, but the band will be on a UK/European tour this fall and those dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Irish band Girls Names will release their third album, Arms Around a Vision, in October via Tough Love. The band's gothy, postpunk sound has both lightened and hardened. The album's first single, "Reticence" is both memorable and overflowing with sneery attitude. Their ambition is also apparent -- in May they released the soaring 11-minute single, "Zero Triptych," that pretty much earns every second of its length. It won't be on the new album but you can stream it below.
Girls Names haven't played the US since 2013 and there are no shows in this part of the world on the horizon. Let's hope that changes, but they do have a few European dates scheduled and all are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...
by Bill Pearis, Fred Pessaro and Andrew Sacher
Savages @ CMJ 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
SXSW gets underway today (3/13) in earnest, with 83,207 bands* playing SXSW this year. Trying to figure out who to see can be an overwhelming feeling. (Actually, just standing on 6th St. on Friday night is an overwhelming feeling.) Hopefully this post will give you some inspiration if you're among the throngs of people. Or maybe just some new stuff to listen to if you're not there.
Of course you could just hang out at all our day parties (our first starts at noon today!) and evening showcases, as we're really proud of our line-ups. But there are bands who we are pumped to see who aren't playing too. So here are 40 bands we're genuinely pumped to see in Austin this week. We made a Spotify playlist of all the bands (at least the ones on the service) you can stream below.
Check out our list below...
*not the actually number of showcasing bands. But it feels accurate.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, Belfast's Girls Names' new album, The New Life, is out March 12 via Slumberland. They owe a sonic kinship to their labelmates Crystal Stilts and the new album has a clear, ringing sound -- not to mention some excellent basslines -- and you can stream the whole album below.
The band are making their way across the Atlantic next month for the music swap meet known as SXSW and on their way there they'll stop in NYC for at Cameo on March 10. They'll play with Lazyeyes and the very Felt-ish Sapphire Mansions. Tickets are on sale now. It seems to be their only non-SXSW date over here, but their current tour schedule is below.
by Bill Pearis
When last we wrote about shambolic UK janglepoppers Golden Grrrls, we knew there was going to be a NYC show on April 3 but we didn't know where or with whom. Now we do. The show happens at Glasslands and their Slumberland labelmates Sea Lions are also on the bill. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Golden Grrrls' self-titled debut is out February 26 and you can stream a few tracks from it below.
Somewhat confusingly, for those who don't follow this sort of stuff closely, on the same day Slumberland is also releasing The New Life, which is the new album from Irish band Girls Names. Sonically, the two bands don't have much in common, with Girls Names playing a much gothier strain of indie that has more than a little in common with Crystal Stilts. You can stream a track from that album below.
And while I'm using terms like "shambolic" and "indie" I would be remiss to not mention that the elder statesmen of shambolic Scottish indie, The Pastels, will release Slow Summits at some point this year via Domino Records. Not counting the collaborative album they made with Tenniscoats in 2009, this will be The Pastels' first album in 16 years. You can watch a trailer for Slow Summits below.
Lists of dates, streams and Pastels album trailer below...
Girls @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
San Francisco's Girls, who just played the Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend in Austin and next roll through NYC January 14 for a show at Terminal 5, have announced a new single, "Lawrence," to be released via True Panther on December 6. The song, which isn't on Girls' album Father Son Holy Ghost, was "written and recorded as a gift to Lawrence Hayward" who fronted cult bands Felt in the '80s, Denim in the '90s and Go-Kart Mozart currently. Christopher Owens explains in an open letter:
I wonder who will be writing me in twenty years, and what they'll be looking for. Don't worry, I'm not writing to talk about the things I'm looking for in life, I'll spare you that. I'm writing to FINALLY be able to send you a song that I wrote in 2008. When I wrote this song I was the guitarist in a band called Holy Shit, Matt Fishbeck (our fearless leader) was the one who turned me on to Felt. I fell in love with your songs, I wouldn't stop listening, I loved you and Maurice.
To make a long story a shorter story, I once wrote this song and wondered what you would sing to it, I could sometimes hear your voice but I didn't dare write down any words. I never thought for a second you would ever hear it, I wondered if you would like it, all that. I called it Lawrence, after you. To send it to you now is incredible for me, I want to show you I'm thankful. You gave me something to love, or in other words you gave me love itself. You took something that can sometimes feel so common and dull and brought it back to life with so much beauty and verse. You gave me happiness, and you still do.
Anyway, I'd just like you to have it, it's yours, take it as yours. Do anything you want with it. I hope you enjoy listening to it. And all the best to you forever and ever.
With love- Christopher Owens
This is not the first Girls/Lawrence interaction, as French website Magic RPM managed to get the somewhat reclusive singer to interview Owens and Chet White on video two years ago and all three parts of that exchange are watchable at the bottom of this post, along with more pictures from Girls' FFFF set.
Coincidentally, Scottish group Girls Names also have a song called "Lawrence" which is about the Felt/Denim singer too, and can be found on their Slumberland LP Dead to Me from earlier this year. Weird, huh? Maybe somebody can work out a split 7" with both versions.
There's more Lawrence-related news. Paul Kelly's long-in-the-works documentary Lawrence of Belgravia finally made its debut, premiering at the London Film Festival two weeks ago. Reviews have been positive... maybe it'll get American distribution. And First Third Books is putting out a coffee table book of rare photographs of Felt from Lawrence's personal archives with a forward by St. Etienne's Bob Stanley. Only a 1,000 copies are being printed, each signed by Lawrence himself.
If you're unfamiliar with Lawrence's oeuvre, you should start with Felt who released ten albums and ten singles in ten years for Cherry Red and Creation, and whose influence can be heard in Pulp, Belle & Sebastian, The Tyde, Crystal Stilts among many others. It used to be hard to get your hands on the albums but pretty much all of Felt's work is in print now, and available digitally. Felt's sound ranged from uber-jangly indie, to organ-driven pop and even instrumental jazz, so a good place to start is with compilation Absolute Classic Masterpieces which you can listen to on Spotify if you have it.
With his 10-year-plan for Felt complete, Lawrence then formed Denim whose glammy sound was a 180 from everything his previous group stood for. Denim's 1992 debut, Back in Denim, is a classic and still get-able (and Spotify-able), but 1996's Denim on Ice (and the b-sides comp Novelty Rock) is not. Denim's career was derailed in the summer of 1997 when their single "Summer Smash" unfortunately coincided with Princess Diana's death. The single was banned by the BBC and the subsequent album, Denim Take Over, got shelved indefinitely.
Lawrence then formed Go-Kart Mozart with a novetly-ish bubblegum sound, a direction Denim were already heading in. Some of the songs meant for Denim Take Over ended up on Go-Kart Mozart's 2005 album Tearing Up the Album Charts. Lawrence claims to have a new GKM album in the can and ready for release.
Click through for that Lawrence/Girls interview and a live version of Girls Names' "Lawrence," plus some Felt and Denim videos, more pics and all upcoming Girls tour dates.