September 27, 2011

Today's Hotness: Fanzine, Yuck, Whirr, Saint Solitude

>> Fat Possum is doubling down on UK guitar bands, as it disclosed today it will release the debut single from Fanzine, an act vigorously touted by London-based indie phenoms Yuck earlier this year. Yuck, of course, issued its debut self-titled LP via Fat Possum early in 2011. On Nov. 22 Fat Possum will deliver Fanzine's double A-side single "Roman Holiday" b/w "My Stupid Brain" in a limited edition of 500. The single will be available as a traditional vinyl 7" as well as a CD-R packaged with -- surprise, surprise -- an illustrated fanzine. Fanzine's previous self-released EP1 similarly packaged music in a 'zine, although that was distributed as a PDF with an embedded URL pointing to MP3s. "Roman Holiday" has higher production values than the music on EP1, but continues to rely on fuzzy vocals, big guitars and bigger melodic hooks, not unlike the aforementioned Yuck. In case you didn't get a chance to download EP1, it looks like this link is still live. And speaking of Yuck, the quartet continues to ride high on the success of its self-titled debut, and last week launched yet another in a rapid succession of U.S. tours with a stirring performance at TT The Bear's in Cambridge, MA. Yuck has gone over so well that Fat Possum is issuing a special double-CD/vinyl version of the collection whose second disc contains a half-dozen B-sides, including "Soothe Me." The band put the song, recorded a few months ago in London when the band had some down time, up on its Soundcloud earlier this week. Stream the mid-tempo space ballad via the embed below.

Roman Holiday by Fanzine

Soothe Me by Yuck

>> Hat tip to Sonic Masala for bringing to our attention with this item that Northern California-based shoegaze sextet Whirl has re-branded itself as Whirr. The change was apparently due to some sort of legal issue having to do with the use of the name. But more importantly, Whirr has a new single, June, out today on New York-based Tee Pee Records and it is AMAZING. The song "Junebouvier" from the single was premiered elsewhere earlier this summer and we missed it, but we've dropped a Soundcloud embed below so you can bask in the swirling, guitar-y gloriousness. June is available in a limited edition of 250 Coke-bottle green vinyl 7"s, and the single sets the stage for a full-length that Whirr was scheduled to begin recording last month. Back when the band was known as Whirl, it self-released the EP Distressor in 2010, which we wrote about right here. June sounds like a big step beyond Distressor, and we are commensurately beyond-excited to hear the planned full-length; there's no word yet as to when it will be issued.

Whirr-Junebouvier by Not Enough Recognition

>> Today is a big new release day, in case you didn't know. In addition to the Whirr single mentioned supra, The Hush Now's sparkling third record Memos is officially out. Also now available is folk-rock (now-)foursome Saint Solitude's enjoyably breezy sophomore set By Some Great Storm. Think early, more acoustic-oriented Small Factory and you are in the ballpark. Asheville, NC-based Saint Solitude mastermind and one-time sole proprietor Dup Crosson has galvanized a band around him, and, based on a couple listens, it sounds like Mr. Crosson is letting the dynamic of the band take a central role, as opposed to adding sonic flourishes and overdubs like those that filled out 2009's Journal Of Retreat. Crosson mentioned somewhere recently that he'd been feeling a Smashing Pumpkins vibe of late, and we hoped that influence would find its way into By Some Great Storm. The new rocker "Lifted" certainly does lay on the Corgan guitar fuzz and its drums hit a little harder than Crosson's typical jams, but by and large the new record continues Saint Solitude's mapping of rootsier indie pop. Buy By Some Great Storm from Alive And Well Records here or Bandcamp here, and get out to support the band when it comes to your town on tour next month. We wrote about the Saint Solitude's standalone single "Deliverance" right here last month.

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