October 20, 2010

Today's Hotness: Captain Polaroid, The Answering Machine

Captain Polaroid
>> Devotees of lo-fi stalwart Captain Polaroid likely weren't expecting a shimmering shoegaze ballad with a convincingly Death Cab-esque vocal layered over it when they downloaded the Birmingham, England artist's recently issued Beat Nostalgia EP4. But that's what they got with a newly recorded version of "Jigsaw Of Planet Earth." Add in a spoken vocal track a la Michael Stipe in R.E.M.'s "Belong," and Captain Polaroid has turned out one of his most stirring tracks to date. All the more surprising because Mssr. Polaroid's brand of scrappy, home-recorded guitar pop tends to be more direct and dynamic. On "Jigsaw Of Planet Earth" a simple melody and punchy drum groove lay back and let the gorgeous guitar tone and tremelo effect breathe out and in and out and in, buoying the vocals on a dense curtain of guitars. We've embedded "Jigsaw Of Planet Earth" below; the original version -- a devastatingly sweet, whispery acoustic ballad -- appeared on Captain Polaroid's Pro Action Replay EP released in 2007 [stream it here]. You can stream the entire Beat Nostalgia EP4 here or download it here; it was released October 1. Captain Polaroid is now taking pre-orders for the Beat Nostalgia Surival Kit, a physical release that gathers two tracks from each of the five Beat Nostalgia EPs (there is as yet one more forthcoming) together with demos, a lyric book, badge, t-shirt transfer and various oddities, all for 10 pounds. Full details here.

Jigsaw of Planet Earth by Captain Polaroid

>> We've been waiting and waiting to finally have the time to tell you about the new single from Manchester, England-based indie rockers The Answering Machine. The tune is called "Animals" and it is available for free download from a Bandcamp page the quartet has erected here; a Soundcloud stream lurks below. A far cry from the scritchy, Strokes-channeling guitar pop of The Answering Machine's early days, "Animals" sounds as if it could have been lifted from the catalog of Swedish indie pop sensations Shout Out Louds. Although there is precedent for the soulful synth-pop in The Answering Machine's catalog: the closing track from the band's debut full-length Another City, Another Sorry [review here], "You Should Have Called," was more reserved than the rest of that album and drew heavily on '80s roller rink pop sounds. "Animals" will apparently be issued as part of a planned EP that will include a song rescued from the dustbin of the Another City, Another Sorry sessions called "A Courtyard;" the EP will likely be available through ITunes, according to this blog post from the band. As we reported here in August, The Answering Machine intends to issue its sophomore set Lifeline worldwide in early 2011. The band launches a short strand of tour dates across the U.K. tomorrow, and takes to the road in Europe next month. View all the tour dates here.

The Answering Machine - Animals

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