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Up From Below #9: Blur, Squeeze and Molly Burch
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In this week’s Up From Below, there’s no gig report. I’ll be seeing Bombay Bicycle Club at Leeds’ newest venue - Project House - later on this week, so it’ll be back to our regularly scheduled nonsense next Monday with my thoughts on that. For now though, you can make do with a few things I liked this week in an extended Discovery Corner.
The Ballad of Darren
Big discovery this one lads, keep it under your hats. The bloke from Gorillaz is back with his original band making tunes, and this new album is really really good. It reminds me quite a lot of Spoon, which is a big compliment.
The Narcissist stood out immediately from the singles and then Barbaric is a really great tune (and particularly Spoon-like), and all in all though the whole album feels really tight, there’s not a wasted second across the 36 minutes. It’d be easy to complain that a “legacy band” who leave a fair old gap between albums (it’s been eight years since The Magic Whip) that it’s not longer, especially since most of their albums are around an hour’s worth of songs, but I think this shorter format serves them really well. In their middle age, they’re embracing keeping just the good shit committed to record, but you’re left feeling satisfied nonetheless. Big recommend.
I found myself listening to Squeeze quite a lot this week. I first came across them when Cool For Cats appeared as part of the soundtrack for the video game Rock Band 2, which informed a ridiculous amount of my current music taste (the available songs on that game include Float On by Modest Mouse, PDA by Interpol and Today by the Smashing Pumpkins, which all set me off down an indie road).
The album of the same name is absolutely class back to front and has a song which references the gentlemanly conduct of the game of cricket, it’s unbelievably Joe-coded.
This week’s proper Discovery Corner is Molly Burch, a pop dynamo from Austin, Texas. Her last album from 2021, Romantic Images, contains some really great dance-pop songs, particularly Emotion, which features Jack Tatum from Wild Nothing. He’s also gone on to produce this new track and the album it’s preceding, Daydreamer, which comes out in September.
Molly’s done it all in the indie world, starting out making folk-rock tunes that just scream Angel Olsen, but with her own unique voice layered on top. The pivot over to something a bit more #vibey has been a great one in my humble opinion. There’s a bit of Carly Rae J and a bit of Tennis in there for me. It’s just warm, inviting pop music but with anxiety-laden lyrics, and I think you’ll like it.
Bombay Bicycle Club at Project House, Wednesday 26th July - sold out, soz, see you there if you’ve got a ticket!
Jeanines at Wharf Chambers, Thursday 27th July
Nubya Garcia at Project House, Friday 28th July
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