These are the tracks we were digging this week at New Moons HQ. Check out our New Moons Weekly Mixtape playlist on Spotify, updated every week with our favourite new music.
VILLAGER ’24TH JULY’
I’m going to rant today about something I hate. Something I would absolutely put into Room 101 without hesitation. That thing is printers. I can’t stand them. They never work. I’ve spent far too many hours in my life trying to print out things, each time going in with a naive sense of optimism (surely this time it will work?), only for my hopes and dreams to be crushed by catastrophic technological ineptness, leaving me a whimpering foetal husk of human, curled up around the legs of my desk chair. The printer has no regard for deadlines, for library closing times, or for my state of mind. It is a callous and cruel master that has caused me no end of misery since my first encounter with its boxy Microsoft-beige ancestor. It astounds me, that whilst we have the ability to make computers tiny enough to fit into our pockets, we still have yet to make the humble printer work properly – we’ve even managed to print things in 3D before being able to print a word document without issue. Anyway, I’m feeling a little better now. That was cathartic. Now let’s have some cool new music in the form of a new single ‘July 24th‘ from San Fransisco based artist Villager, who has just released a wonderful little EP called ‘Interim‘. Featuring an intriguing pastiche of spoken word, samples, and acoustic guitar, this track plays like a collage; close up it is intricate and chaotic, yet when view from afar it comes together as a cohesive whole. Chant like vocals tie the track together as it ventures through acoustic and electronic spheres, taking the listener on a journey through different genres without ever feeling confused or disjointed. Similarly, the use of similar timbres and tones throughout the track furthers this sense of unity from chaos, something which is echoed throughout the entire EP. Essential listening from those recovering from a printer-induced heart attack. Enjoy.
THE VENISONS ‘HEART’
As I approach my Killing Moon birthday, I’ve been reflecting on my first year in the music industry – how every day is different, yet many aspects are completely how I imagined they would be. Take being a girl (a very young looking girl at that) in the music industry. Whilst I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of brilliant female musicians, producers, DJs, executives, PR’s, agents, and creative directors I have encountered over the last year, I have also at times been disheartened by the way I am perceived by others in the industry. Whilst the vast, vast majority of people I have met are respectful and understanding, there have been more times than I can count when men in the industry have introduced themselves to every one of my male colleagues, bar me. Or the number of times I have been called ‘love’, or ‘darling’ by well meaning (usually older) men. The times when I have been mistaken for a personal assistant or those outside the industry have assumed my role is of a receptionist. I am under no illusion however, about how my own hangups have a role in creating these situations – I know that I am not the most assertive figure, something that I’m trying to work on with AIM’s workshops in public speaking aimed at women in the music industry next month. I don’t think sexism is excusable, but I have come to realise that I need to make changes to my approach if I want things to change. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but girls still feel under pressure to work that little bit harder, to perform that bit better to command the same respect as their male counterparts, as I’m sure many BME people, people with disabilities, LGBT people, and neuro-atypical people do. One day, I’m sure we will live in a feminist utopia, where femininity, and gentleness are not seen as negative traits and are instead celebrated. Until then, girls like me will pull up their bootstraps, get a little mean, and learn to play with the big boys. Anyway, now that I’m done ranting, here is a charming little slice of lo fi Americana to see in the first day of spring. ‘Heart‘ is taken from California natives The Venisons‘ debut EP, and features lazily strummed guitar played in a relaxed rhythm, following the subtle tempo changes in the lead vocal. The vocal itself is stunning, with folk-style lilting and crying, enhancing the simple melody. Enjoy.
LARKS ‘TIRED EYES’
Did you know that in order to gain a visa to the US you must disclose any physical or mental or disorders or disabilities you may have (or had in the past)? Me neither. To gain entry to the US with a mental health disorder, you must be able to demonstrate that your illness does not put you at risk of harming yourself or others, which of course makes things difficult for those who have self harmed or made suicide attempts in the past. If you have been sectioned, had a run in with the police as a result of your mental illness or alcohol/drug addiction, this puts you at further risk of your visa request being denied, as does having communicable diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis, placing further stigma on those with sexual transmitted diseases. Whilst government sources state that having a mental illness on it’s own is not grounds to deny entry to the US, it’s pretty scary that people who have struggled with their mental health (which is around one in four of us in the UK) could struggle to travel to or begin a new life in America. Once you add this to the list of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries that are now barred (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen), it looks like it’s getting harder and harder to gain access to the USA, due to misconceptions about mental health and religion. Anyway, cutting through the doom and gloom of international relations is today’s Track Of The Day from LARKS, the exciting new project from Fiona O’Kane. Fiona cut her teeth in the local music scene fronting the critically acclaimed Runaway Go and formed LARKS from a necessity to progress and to push the boundaries of her musical horizons. Her latest release ‘Tired Eyes‘, is a sumptuous four minutes of assured songwriting, featuring O’Kane’s hauntingly fragile vocal over delicate piano playing. Released as a live session, the stripped back recording will definitely leave you wanting more, and here at Killing Moon we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
PUZZLE ‘BABYLON EP’
Your new favourite pop star PUZZLE today announces the release of his debut EP, Babylon, out on the 3rd March. Having showcased a smorgasbord of influences (from the Pet Shop Boys to Kate Bush to Bronksi Beat to Depeche Mode) on those early singles, the Babylon EP – led by the undeniable pop rush of Little Black Book – is about taking those influences in a darker and more experimental direction. The EP is also loosely based around the theme of relationships in the modern, hyper-connected world. “The EP’s a commentary on human interactions, both emotional and physical, in the digital age,” PUZZLE says. “Through the characters I tell a story of how digital over physical is changing the way we deal with each other.” We recommend ‘Kamikaze‘.
JESSICA MOSS ‘GLACIERS I (PT. 1)
Jessica Moss is best known as violinist, backing vocalist and co-composer with the acclaimed cult chamber-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, the avant-klezmer group Black Ox Orkestar, and for her involvement in multiple records by Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista and two albums by Vic Chesnutt. Her latest album, ‘Pools Of Light’ is elegiac durational music at the intersection of neo-classicism, soundtrack, electronic, art-punk and avant-folk – a decidedly organic, non-academic, profoundly searching and emotive work, guided by Moss’s liner note mantra: “FEELING LOVE IN A MELTING WORLD”. We can’t stop listening to ‘Glaciers I (PT. I)’, a transportive six minutes of manipulated violin, flitting between soaring highs and growling lows, with violin samples made to sound like the human voice. Taking inspiration from current events including climate change and the refugee crisis, Moss flirts with both minimalism and maximalism, to create an expansive and all encompassing sound world, that sounds both classically familiar and alien all at once.
Stayed tuned for next week’s picks!