Archives for posts with tag: Cocteau Twins

Here’s a fabulous brand new slice of 21st century post-shoegaze guitar-pop from Christchurch musician Annemarie Duff flying as T. G. Shand.

Following on from two excellent singles earlier this year – “The Ease” back in February, and “Lemony” in July – “Seats” here is the most arresting and sonically complex of the three.

It’s a little bit off kilter, in a very good way, rocking a mesmerising electro-clash of Curve-style crunchy drum-heavy layered guitar rock, clattering post-punk bass, Cocteau Twins-style liquid guitars and a hyper-melodic chorus of layered heavenly voices.

What’s ahead in 2022 from T. G. Shand? Download these songs and follow the T. G. Shand Bandcamp and you will find out directly as soon as something new is released.

Last month PopLib went off on a Dystopian music theme. Or, to be more precise, soundtracks associated with escape from Dystopia. The first post mentioned Grangemouth’s oil refinery and petrochemical plant with flare-offs lighting up twilight journeys in Scotland as a personal visual reference for “Dystopia” with the added paradox of being the town Cocteau Twins grew up in, developing their extraordinary musical imaginations, before escaping in the 1980s.

The quest for soundtracks for an escape from Dystopia lead logically to curiosity about Robin Guthrie’s current musical whereabouts, and whether he had a presence on Bandcamp. By happy coincidence he released his first new music in years last month (the EP “Mockingbird Love”) and is set release his first full length album in 9 years very soon, from which “Les Amourettes” here comes:

“Les Amourettes” is from “Pearldiving”, Guthrie’s first full length instrumental album since “Fortune” in 2012. Guthrie has released several albums in the years following the 1998 break-up of Cocteau Twins, most notably collaborations with American minimalist composer Harold Budd, who had collaborated in 1985 with Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde on the album “The Moon And The Melodies“.

“Les Amourettes” is instantly recognisable as the music of Robin Guthrie. Over 40 years of experience coaxing extraordinary time-stretched sounds from guitar and effect pedals has refined the shimmering depth and atmosphere of his music. His association with Budd has perhaps also focused him on making more from less.

“Pearldiving” is released on Guthrie’s Soleil Après Minuit label on 12 November 2021. A significant chunk of Guthrie’s post Cocteau’s releases are available on his Bandcamp, including the collaborations with Harold Budd, so dive in and float in the sea of tranquility…

Star Horse

Replacing Psychedelic Sunday with Shoegaze Sunday today for Swedish dream-pop/ shoe-gaze band Star Horse and “Pickle Plum” from their “You Said Forever” album released in August 2019:

You might automatically assume that a dream-pop/ shoe-gaze band naming a song “Pickle Plum” would sound a bit like Cocteau Twins, and, if you did assume that, you would not be disappointed.

However as well as the apparent nod to later Cocteau Twins influences on this song, the album also does a very fine Swedish take on the more expansive guitar-effect sonic haze of Slowdive as well, particularly on the epic 8+ minute “Albatross” or “Serpentine”.

Star Horse are from Stockholm, Sweden and consist of Maja (guitar/vocals) Andreas (guitar/vocals), Samuel (drums) and Viktor (bass).  The historic shoe-gaze reference points aside, there is much that is very much their own contemporary sonic landscape on “You Said Forever” that makes the album well worth taking time with to make it familiar.

CCFXLast post of 2017 and it’s a song from a band called CCFX from Olympia, WA in the US, sounding like some lost masterpiece from the UK New Wave from the 80s or early 90s fusion of post-punk and dance music, which caught the ear from a Paris music magazine playlist of 50 indispensable songs for 2017.  “The One to Wait” is glorious:

The song is from an EP released in October on the DFA label. CCFX is a fusion of synth-pop duo CC Dust and Trans FX.

The chorus bass (a crafty combination of Cocteau Twins atmosphere and New Order solidness) and crystalline delay guitar has the hallmarks of that post-punk 80s era while the drum-machine breakbeats takes it into 90s territory (Curve perhaps a reference point here).  The thing that sets the song apart though is Mary Jane Dunphe’s distinctive and glorious vocals – a deep resonant voice with the ability to shift tone and pitch.

Dear Time's Waste - Still from the video for HEAVY/HIGH

Dear Time’s Waste – Still from the video for HEAVY/HIGH

Day 12 of May’s month of NZ music madness comes from one of my very favourite NZ artists, Claire Duncan, who operates under the name Dear Time’s Waste.

‘Strings’ is from the album ‘Some Kind of Eden’ released late 2012.

I rate that album, and the earlier Dear Time’s Waste album ‘SPELLS’, right alongside my much-loved Cocteau Twins albums. That good, maybe even better…

Where ‘SPELLS’ was bold, expansive and lush, ‘Some Kind of Eden’ is more introverted, personal and intense.

It may require a little more close attention (let me recommend headphones in the dark here) but the reward is getting lost in songs perfect in every detail.

There’s as much care and attention put into the words here as the sparse atmospheric music.

Dear Time's Waste, CPIT, Christchurch, November 2011

Dear Time’s Waste, CPIT, Christchurch, November 2011

Here’s my New Zealand Music month Bandcamp purchase for 5 May. It’s wet, cold & grey out-side on this Dunedin autumn Sunday and the music of Claire Duncan, in the guise of the ever-morphing Dear Time’s Waste, is always a perfect escape in the cold and damp. It was hard to find something to buy via the Dear Time’s Waste Bandcamp page as I already have everything. But this ‘SPELLS’ album out-take ‘Tethys’ had escaped my attention until now.

I’ve been a huge fan of Dear Time’s Waste since this Dunedin show in 2009 and buying the ‘Room to Rent’ EP afterwards. The opening song ‘Clandestine’ from the EP is one of my favourite songs still. Hearing the first two tribal drum beats here still causes a rush of excitement and anticipation.

The album ‘SPELLS’ from 2010 is perfect too. Lush, literate and ambitious, it captures the 4 piece band iteration of Dear Time’s Waste.

Last year’s ‘Some Kind of Eden’ is a stripped down, personal and, at times, claustrophobic album of dark beauty too.