I Hear a New World - November, 2008
Unusual and innovative music from Scotland and beyond.
Herman Dune - Try To Think About Me
Herman Dune are an anti-folk band based in Paris/Berlin/New York. They embody that genre's international elasticity - they are pop, folk and indie rock - at once everything you could possibly want from a band and at the same time there's nothing you can put your finger on to define them completely. From new album Next Year in Zion, this is a melodious pop song pure and simple, but the lyrics hold layers of meaning and emotion that will fill your heart with love, longing, loneliness and lust.
Pumajaw - Horseshoe Nail
Pumajaw describe their sound as "ancient melodies mutating into psychedelic laments and ecstasies." Whilst many try to raise the buried pagan gods and goddesses of folk's past, few do psychedelic fervour as convincingly as Pinkie Maclure and John Willis. Listening to this passionately psychotic track from superb new album Curiosity Box, you're almost persuaded that the duo have lived through some serious medieval shit and magicked themselves into the future to make sure we hear all about how profoundly dark and terrifying it was.
Major Matt Mason USA - Rockstar
Following on the alternative/anti-folk theme, New York's Major Matt Mason USA is the perfect embodiment of anti-folk's refusal to pander to the cliches of rock and roll posturing. Hell, he doesn't even want to be a rock star anymore - but as this lyrical lament shows, he really can't help it, even if he does sound a bit like Kermit the Frog on downers.
Les Enfant Bastard - Michael Jackson
Here, Edinburgh based lo-fi genius Les Enfant Bastard is trying to convince us that although he appears to be a skinny white bloke, he is in fact the facially-challenged post-black moonwalking nutjob who refers to himself as the King of Pop. By the end of the song you'll be convinced of one thing at least - he is equally insane - but thankfully for us, in a way that results in this piece of perverse brilliance, instead of the turgid excuse for an audio-turd that was Earth Song.
Amusement Parks on Fire - Alafoss Exit
This is a leaving song, a goodbye song, a 'moving on to greater things and not looking back no matter how much you want to' song. This is Amusement Parks on Fire - their name itself a stunning visual image, this particular track being the musical equivalent. The past, the well-trodden path, is up in flames, and there's only one way to go - forward into the unknown.
Pumajaw play the Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh on 4 Dec.
Major Matt Mason USA plays the Music Club, Aberdeen on 1 Nov and Forest Cafe, Edinburgh on 2 Nov (supported by Les Enfant Bastard on the latter date.
Hear all the tunes featured here on the podcast at www.theskinny.co.uk or subscribe to future episodes via iTunes.