Yes, I’ve been away – though in the interim there have a been a couple of Quiff mixtapes to sate the appetite. A sort of summer holiday that seems to have mainly involved sweltering heat and the heavy rumble of traffic overwriting the tinny sound of my increasingly unhappy car stereo. Anyway, last week I finally got around to unpacking my shit and thinking that I should send out these tunes while the sun is still, just about, shining.
This first epistle is all about the songs that have relentlessly re-appeared in my daytime rotation. They lay down in the tall grass and let the insects cover them. They are hot and unbothered as they drink achingly cold Long Island Ice Teas. They have taken all the drugs and lost their friends at the festival.
The Accidentals are the sort of band that blind you with so many hooks that it’s only belatedly that you release that they’re not just clever but ambitious, both musically and commercially. I came across them when they put their latest EP, Parking Lot, up on Noisetrade as a freebie and fell in love with this little summery gem:
While the EP is now going for $10 (very reasonable, frankly) you can also pick up this track for free from their bandcamp page.
I dare you listen to this Peaness track more than once without singing along to the chorus. I double dare you. The 3 piece from Chester have created so perfect an indie pop single that it defies logic that it isn’t making your eardrums bleed with radio overplay. Also, I believe it may be about the evilness of George Osborne, which always get you a bonus point in my book:
You can pick the single up for the pricely sum of £1 from Peaness’ bandcamp page.
I’ve raved about Star Parks a bit already, I’m sure. I must have done. Don’t Dwell is one of the best records of recent months. It’s classically 60’s chamber-pop done with charm, a modern sensitivity and some great, great song writing. Right now, I’m stuck between a couple of songs for a summer favourite (goodness, Loose Ends is a tune) but I’m leaning towards the tongue-in-cheek bravado of Egotist:
You can buy Don’t Dwell through Papertrail Records. The blue vinyl is rather lovely if you can stretch to it.
And so to London for the next tune. I caught Forty Elephant Gang supporting Patch & The Giant a few weeks ago and, as with a lot of stuff on Folkroom Records, they blew me away. They remind me a little of various bluegrass bands that have brothers in them including The Avett Brothers (before Rick Rubin ruined them) and The Punch Brothers. It’s the perfectly poised harmonies and razor-sharp mandolin work, I guess. Who couldn’t love Joan of Arc?
The band seem almost proud of their lack of online presence but you can grab their EP from Itunes, if nothing else.
Lastly, and because I’m cool and happening and down with the kids I got into this song randomly about 3 months after it was the number one tune in the states. I can’t exactly remember where or how but it’s sounds like it should be used ironically in a Todd Phillips movie (imagine Jonah Hill slo-mo dancing to it) and that is good thing:
I really don’t need to tell you where to find his stuff, right?
All these tracks have featured on the last couple of Skewed Quiffs, which deserve your attention. Especially since they cost no more than a little of your time: