Not Nordic - featuring Wang Wen, Amber Arcades, The Dowling Poole, Peaness, Oeil, Knifeworld and Off
We promise we're not going to bombard you with lots of non Nordic stuff, but just occasionally we want to highlight some of our favourite non Nordic music, and give some credit to some of the excellent blogs / websites we read which have music from around the world. So here's 7 recommended bands / artists, literally from all 4 'corners' of the globe:
Wang Wen from China fit within the 'Mogwai' mold, expansive mostly instrumental music, which you can get utterly lost in. There is a significant back catalogue of albums to get your teeth into, and they have just recently completed a collaboration with cinematographer Cheng Ran to produce a soundtrack to a nine hour film he's created. This is now featured in a special vinyl boxed set of EPs entitled 'In Course of the Miraculous' which will be released on September 9 via Pelagic Records, along with a whole package including Photo Book and DVD (and If someone would like to get it me for my birthday in September that would be lovely ta.... ). Anyway i believe there's a new album later in September from Wang Wen too. https://www.facebook.com/wangwencn
The creation of Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf, Amber Arcades have recently released an album entitled 'Fading Lines', which is a beautiful shimmering Indie delight. Yes it will probably remind you of some of your favourite 90s indie bands, and that's a good thing, so go and track it down if you can.
THE DOWLING POOLE
If truth be told I've been meaning to write about The Dowling Poole for ages, and even promised to do so around the time their recent album 'One Hyde Park' came out - their claims to be 'Swedic' seemed genuine enough to me (and totally understandable, i think many of us are trying to deny being from the UK in these troublesome times...). The Dowling Poole are particularly special to me because they feature none other than Willie Dowling (from the splendidly brilliant Jackdaw 4, a huge favourite in my house) and Jon Poole, legendary former guitarist from the greatest band of all time, Cardiacs.
Anyway both their albums (Bleak Strategies and One Hyde Park) are worth checking out, with One Hyde Park a riotous offbeat pop album, packed full of complex instrumentation, big tunes and interesting lyrics. I turn to this album almost weekly, and completely love tracks such as 'When She Knows, She Knows', where the word 'quirky' simply doesn't do it justice. Its an extra special album, try and check it out for yourself.
Thank you to our friends at the 'Walker & Williams Radio Show' for this one, Peaness are a 3 piece band from Chester who play melodic indie music with great tunes and who debuted with an EP called 'No Fun' almost exactly one year ago in August 2016. Their more recent track 'Oh George' is particularly worth checking out.
'Oeil' are an excellent shoegaze band who hail from Japan, and who have some brilliant tracks available online. They've been going for a good few years, so it's pretty sad we've only just come across them, but they still seem fairly active. If you like your MBV / Lush sounds, you'll probably like Oeil. Check 'Strawberry Cream' in the first instance.
Ok so 2 bands featuring ex Cardiacs members (Kavus Torabi this time) may be self indulgent, but Knifeworld continue to impress with their brilliant psychedelic progressive view of the world. Their recent album 'Bottled Out Of Eden' is outstanding and bewildering in equal quantities, and we still hope to see them at the Arc Tan Gent festival in August when they're playing directly before Agent Fresco late on the Friday afternoon. This is possibly my most listened to non Nordic album of 2016, and i continue to hear new and wonderful things in it every time i listen. www.knifeworld.co.uk/
We gave a few mentions to Officer on Twitter last year, as ever since I saw his first video 'The Waters', I've always felt that his music is worth of a wider audience, and it was great to see his debut album 'Myriads', which was released last year, get such a positive response. The Glaswegian born songwriter has a really personal and powerful songwriting style, and his thoughtful lyrics are always interesting to listen to. Anyway as we're SO far behind on writing about this, we'll try and stay fairly relevant by including his most recent video 'Officer, Can We Talk'. 'Myriads' is an album I've kept coming back to in the last year, and DC Logan (Officer) has this lovely ability to write songs that are both fragile yet hard hitting at times too, try and have a listen if you haven't come across him already..