MPFree - April 2015
Shura – 2Shy (Warpaint Remix)
Thursday 30 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree comes from Moscow-born, Manchester-raised singer Shura. Pitchfork says that she “sings for that soul searing moment when hearts are not breaking, but broken”. Powerful stuff, and getting one of her favourite bands to remix track 2Shy is an absolute coup for everybody involved, and everybody listening.
The track remixed by 6 Music stalwarts Warpaint, and it’s good to see them back so quickly after last year’s self-titled album. They’re on great form and this reworking sees them hitting us with a pounding slice of doom-electro disco…one for all of you late nighters out there. Catch Shura at Field Day, Latitude and Festival No.6 festivals this summer.
And speaking of Russia, check out our session today with St Petersburg's finest shoegazers Pinkshinyultrablast...it's going to be really, REALLY special.
Maxime Dangles – Sughar
Wednesday 28 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
It may only be Wednesday people, but we’re building up to the weekend BIG style! Today’s free download comes from French producer Maxime Dangles and he knows a good 4/4 when he hears it.
Maxime is readying his debut album Résilience, a 13-tracker to be released through Skryptom on 11th May. He first came to the attention of the Kompakt label in 2006, which led him to remix the likes of Moby, Röyksopp, Miss Kittin & the Hacker, and Simian Mobile Disco. So, this album has been some time in the making. If you like hard, if you like it crunchy, Maxime is your man.
*Click through, ignore the Soundcloud embed, just look for the downwards facing arrow to download
Heidi Gluck - One Of Us Should Go
Tuesday 28 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree comes from a singer songwriter from Lawrence, Kansas who goes by the name of Heidi Gluck. Download her new track One Of Us Should Go below.
Heidi has previously worked with the likes of Juliana Hatfield, as well as playing on records such as Margot & The Nuclear So And Sos and Lily & Madeleine, but now she’s decided to step out of the shadows and go it alone. Taking the falling-in-love-innocence of the Moldy Peaches, mixed with the song-writing strengths of the aforementioned, and you pretty much have it. Her debut album The Only Girl In The Room, was released yesterday. They also make some nice t-shirts as well.
Yucatan – Angharad
Monday 27 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree evokes the isolated, mountainous beauty of Sigur Ros, the loud jumpers of Scandanavia, and the language of Wales. It’s a mixture that just cannot fail. Plus Sigur Ros and Tim Burgess are fans.
This single is taken from their new album Uwch Gopa'r Mynydd released mid-June. That’s easy for you to say, but it actually means Above the Mountain Summit. This single sees a couple of weeks before the album, but you can actually download it now for nought but he cost of your time. Recorded in the shadow of Mount Snowdon, it follows 2010’s self -titled debut, which was mastered in Sigur Ros’ studio. There’s a theme developing here. It’s their first release since 2010’s Enlli EP, recorded at a time when frontman Dilwyn Llwyd became friends with Sigur Ros. See! And Tim Burgess declares: “There's a magic to Yucatan's music.” Yucatan will follow Tim to the Kendal Calling Festival and Festival No 6, with more dates to be announced around the release of the album. Almost wistful beauty at its best.
Candide – See You Believe Me
Friday 24 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
Seeing as it’s Friday we always like to lighten the mood ever so slightly, ready for weekend happy times. Today’s MPFree comes from dup Candide, a collaboration between the cities of Brooklyn and Berlin. How could that ever be a bad thing?
Brooklyn-based Adam Brodsky and Berlin-based Candice Strongwater met on a trip to Berlin in 2012. The two then started sending live percussion, stems, and vocal cuts to each other and then worked individually on said parts. You can almost hear the two parts working together: one the lush synths with ethereal vocals; the other creating a moodier drone and those strings at the end of the track (which are just magnificent!). Ah the modern world hey? Their newest EP, Detract, will be self-released on 19th May via the group's Bandcamp page, and follows last year’s Don't You Go EP. But get one of the tracks today.
Groves - Send High
Thursday 23 April, by Ashley Clivery Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree comes from a London-based five piece who hark back to the halcyon days of chill wave and late night grooves for the mind. All hail Groves.
Groves were born out of a series of parties in London before setting up properly and getting in the studio with producer Richard Formby, who’s worked with the likes of Wildbeats, Darkstar, and Spacemen 3. Think Nicolas Jaar remixed by Nightmares On Wax, sung through the prism of some unlikely indie-band collaboration. The band say: “We definitely prefer playing late at night” and good job as well as they run their own club night aptly titled Late Night Grooves. An interesting collective that we’re going to keep our peepers on. This single sees the light of day properly on 18th May, but download for free now. They also play their 'Late Night Grooves' night at London’s Arch 269 on this Saturday.
Rumble – NVR Surrender
Wednesday 22 April, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s MPFree evokes the cinematic delights of Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang, before strolling into 60s girl-group Motown complete with strings and glockenspiel. You simply cannot beat it.
Rumble is LA-based duo Kaylie Schiff and Richie Follin, formerly of Guards. Despite only releasing their debut album In Guards We Trust a couple of years, and touring with Queens of the Stone Age, they obviously felt it was time to bump a member, and create something different. And Richie Follin may sound familiar to a few of you as the leading light of music’s most underrated band, The Willowz. Check out their self-titled debut in your own sweet, sweet time.
Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
Tuesday 21 April, by Frank Team Laverne
Yesterday we delivered the very exciting news that king of the grandiose musical gesture, Sufjan Stevens, is bringing Carrie & Lowell to our shores this summer. Today, we’re happy to offer you a devastating and beautiful song from that record for free download.
With a back catalogue that includes the bold, proggy electro of The Age of Adz, two geographical concept albums, a symphonic and cinematic exploration of New York City's infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and a song cycle inspired by the animals of the Chinese zodiac, it might seem strange to suggest that Carrie & Lowell, ostensibly a stripped back folk record, is Sufjan’s most impressive work to date – but there you have it, that’s exactly what it is. Built around the exploration of his recently passed mother’s life – the eponymous Carrie – the record is at times almost unbearable dark, yet it is punctuated by moments of pure joy, as is the case in ‘Should Have Known Better’, where Stevens’ feelings of abandonment are balanced against the closing image of his brother’s daughter and ‘the beauty that she brings, illumination.’ This is truly a record to be overwhelmed by.
Battle Ave – Aleph
Monday 20 April, by Frank Team Laverne
We kick off another week of free music with a moody jam from Hudson Valley’s Battle Ave. Somehow dark and optimistic all at once, it’s a powerful piece of guitar-driven indie.
Battle Ave were formed in 2009 in upstate New York. In 2011 they released their debut, War Paint – an album filled with low-key, fuzzed out tunes that harkened back to the golden era of American indie. Now, they’ve emerged from a long period of hibernation with ‘Aleph’, the first taste of new album, Year of Nod, released on Seagreen Records on May 5th. We can only hope the rest of the record lives up to the standard of this quietly anthemic suburban soundtrack.
Theme Park – Something Good
Friday 17 April, by Frank Team Laverne
It’s a pleasure to welcome bombastic synth-pop trio, Theme Park, back into the fold with buoyant new single, ‘Something Good.’ You can download the sun-soaked groove for free, just in time for the weekend.
Currently recording their second album with producer Fryars, ‘Something Good’ is the first new track to emerge since Theme Park’s 2013 self-titled debut. “The longer you work on something the more you want it to be perfect,” says frontman Miles Haughton. “I think on this album we kind of want to avoid that trap and just let things happen. So in that spirit we thought we’d put this track out, we’re really excited about it and the album we’re making. We hope you feel it too.” The bright, catchy, and thoroughly danceable track is certainly enough to whet our appetite for the as-yet-untitled album. Whenever you’re ready, guys.
Coves – Shot to the Wall
Thursday 16 April, by Frank Team Laverne
Free music lovers rejoice – psych-rock duo Coves have followed up last year’s cracking Soft Friday with new EP Spectrum, and you can download the whole thing for absolutely nada.
Coves is the project of John Ridgard and Beck Wood, born out of a live-in-studio in Leamington Spa. ‘Shot to the Wall’ is the first track from Spectrum, and it perfectly establishes the mood for an EP of part-kraut-part-surf jams, or, as they put it, ‘a classic psych-garage aesthetic vacuum-sealed forever in one time, one space.’ Yep, that about covers it.
Frøkedal - I See You
Wednesday 15 April, by Ashley Team Laverne
Today’s free download comes from Norwegian singer-songwriter Anne Lise Frøkedal. You may recognise her oeuvre from former bands I Was A King and Harrys Gym…think Fleetwood Mac getting on pretty well with Joni Mitchell.
Anne says: “I realised that whatever I think I write, I write pop songs. Even if it feels like I’m writing something that’s a bit far off what I normally do”. Touching on subjects on the know-it-all exuberance of youth and the optimism of tomorrow. It’s a lovely, heartfelt track, so download now. Frøkedal's debut EP is expected sometime later this year and she plays her first UK gig on 26 May at London’s Waiting Room.
*just click through, head to the bottom of the webpage and enter your details to get this free track. Believe!
Tricky – Something In The Way
Tuesday 14 April, by Ashley Team Laverne
So, yesterday’s MPFree came from the debut release from singer Francesca Belmonte. Heavily supported by Tricky and his False Idols label, he’s now giving away his own music for free download.
Adrian Thaws has had a busy few years of late. As well as the spate of recent albums he’s toured non-stop, celebrated 20 years of Maxine Quaye, and still found time to set up two record labels. This track originally appears on his Adrian Thaws album, released last year, but this free download is to celebrate a recent run of South American dates he’s performed. The track features Brazilian vocalist Mallu Magalhães and is a late night, minimal dirge, and quite affecting listen.
Francesca Belmonte - Stole
Monday 13 April, by Ashley Team Laverne
You may recognise the voice from today’s MPFree; she’s the first artist to be signed to Tricky's False Idols label and her name is Francesca Belmonte. We’ve played her on the show several times before, and now, as a preview to her debut album Anima, you can download three tracks for free.
You’ll find it in your record shop on 1st June, so keep your ears peeled. Speaking of Tricky, he’s been busy of late what with label matters and touring South America and giving away free music he made with Mallu Magalhães. Actually, maybe that’s an MPFree for another day.
Chromatics – In Films
Friday 10 April, by Frank Team Laverne
It’s fitting that Chromatics’ neon-lit soundscapes make for a perfect nocturnal soundtrack, since, as far as we can tell, Johnny Jewel never sleeps. There is simply no other explanation for the constant stream of perfectly crafted pop songs that he is responsible for.
Offered as another taster of the perpetually forthcoming Dear Tommy – the follow up to 2012’s excellent Kill For Love – ‘In Films’ finds Chromatics at their most euphoric. The title is a fitting one for a band so closely linked to film scores – Jewel’s work for Drive and Lost River has already demonstrated his ability to capture the loneliness of late-night cities, but there is something more optimistic about this bright, almost anthemic, song. It has left us pretty much desperate to hear the new record in its entirety.
Daryl Waller – Take Me Anywhere
Thursday 9 April, by Frank Team Laverne
As we clamber towards the end of another busy week, see today’s MPFree as an opportunity to step back and take a moment. Daryl Waller’s beautiful and melancholy ‘Take Me Anywhere’ is a song that deserves your full attention.
Music isn’t the go-to medium for Daryl Waller, who made a name for himself as a visual artist, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was – the striking intimacy of 'Take Me Anywhere' feels like the product of a lifetime of confessional songwriting. Yet Daryl's foray into the world of music began when the recession forced him and his partner out of their home and into his studio – an old factory building with no hot water, heating, shower or washing machine. In the wake of a failed solo exhibition, Daryl was forced to reassess everything he had taken for granted, and he found himself in creative crisis. His partner bought him a 4-track and an old microphone, and he tentatively began to craft songs about the direction life had taken him, filled with worry that he would never be in a position to begin a family. The debut album, released on Monday, is fittingly titled The Baby Blues, but we’re happy to report that its release date coincides with the due-date of Daryl’s first child. Now how’s that for a happy ending?
Button Eyes – Tell Me I’m Wrong
Wednesday 8 April, by Frank Team Laverne
Continuing our theme of sun-soaked tunes to suit the weather outside, today’s MPFree is a luxurious dub jam from collaborative project, Button Eyes, featuring Silvertongu3 and Peggy Sue’s Rosa Slade.
Button Eyes is the project of South London producer, Lewis Lindgren, also known as 184. The aim of Button Eyes is to bring together diverse musicians and explore how ostensibly conflicting styles might complement one another. It’s an aim that is fully realised on ‘Tell Me I’m Wrong’ – with its slow, swooning, almost oriental groove, it’s fair to suggest that both Silvertongu3 and Rosa Slade might be out of their comfort zones here, but the song only sounds more interesting as a result.
Valet – Nature
Tuesday 7 April, by Frank Team Laverne
With the sun shining outside 6 Music HQ, today’s MPFree sounds particularly great. Valet’s ‘Nature’ is a dreamy piece of psych-folk, and you can download it for absolutely nothing.
Valet is Portland-based Honey Owens, and ‘Nature’ is the title track and first glimpse of her new LP, to be released on May 25th via Kranky. As is often the case with label-mate (and fellow Portland musician) Grouper, Owens’ melody hides fairly deep beneath a wall of ambient, shogaze-y sound, but there’s no mistaking the pop sensibility that lies at the core of the song.
Cherushii – Wild Abandon
Monday 6 April, by Frank Team Laverne
On a typical Monday morning, we aim to ease you into another working week, perhaps with something gentle and strummed, maybe with something shimmering and ambient. Today is not a typical Monday morning, though – it’s Easter Monday, which means it’s still the weekend, which means we are offering up a huge old school banger from Cherushii as your MPFree.
Cherushii is San Francisco house producer, Chelsea Faith. ‘Wild Abandon’ appears on Nobody’s Fool – the first in a series of three Bandcamp EPs that she will release this over spring and summer. Faith is clearly keeping busy – she also has a 12” EP coming out on uber-cool electronic label, 100% Silk, slated for release this summer. With that sleuth of upcoming releases, it’s pretty easy to imagine Cherushii’s hard-hitting house finding a very devoted late-night following as we head into the warmer months.
Moonbabies – Pink Heart Mother
Friday 3 April, by Frank Team Laverne
It may be Good Friday, with most people cosied up at home, but free music never takes a day off. Enjoy a bold electro-pop tune from Sweden’s Moonbabies, on the house, because we’re just that nice.
Moonbabies are husband-and-wife duo, Ola Frick and Carina Johansson Frick. ‘Pink Heart Mother’ is taken from their upcoming album, Wizards on the Beach, which sees release on April 28th. The single takes the perspective of Ola’s mother: “It’s about keeping on with the struggle because you are a fighter. Someday you will find peace and reach your goals.” It’s a message that is reflected in the song’s shifting tone – an ominous, moody, verse turns into the euphoric, synth-laden, chorus, and suddenly everything doesn’t seem so bleak anymore.
LA Font – Whisperer
Thursday 2 April, by Merrily Team Laverne
Thursday’s instalment of free music comes from Los Angeles rock group – LA Font. We are enjoying front man Danny Bobbe’s OK GO like vocals on this wonderful song that builds into a bit of a ruckus. The band are about to embark on a US tour.
Whisperer is taken from their album teaser EP ‘Hangtime Vol. 1’ released 28 April on Fleeting Youth Records. The band are also planning their third album, due out later this year.
Northeast Kingdom - Nomatter Where You Go
Wednesday 1 April, by Merrily Team Laverne
Northeast Kingdom is the project of Jay Kineke from Bennington, Vermont. Kineke’s vocals range from the harmonious to a part wail, and this track has a joyful momentum with a bounce.
The EP it's taken from was recorded by Phil Hartunian of fellow Vermont band ‘Follies’. Hartunain created in low fi sound, with a dash of atmospheric distortion yet still being able to remain clear and crisp. “Nomatter Where You Go” is the debut song from Northeast Kingdom, and is on his first release: 'EP'. It has been self released on bandcamp.
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.