New Albums This Week (20 Nov) - The Grand Gestures, Bill Wells
The best new music this week, featuring albums from The Grand Gestures, illustrious jazz stalwart Bill Wells, returning French ensemble Steeple Remove, and Swedish psych wizards Sudakistan
The Grand Gestures – Happy Holidays (Chute)
Close the curtains and light the fire – Christmas with The Grand Gestures is a chilly, downbeat business. Utterly devoid of sleigh bells and seasonal cheer, Happy Holidays’ sombre, ambient electronics are more likely to remind you of a budget This Mortal Coil than Slade or Darlene Love.
Sudakistan – Caballo Negro (PNKSLM)
Had enough of repetitive tonal washes? Splashed in sufficient puddles of droned-out acid rock? Used words like ‘motorik’ to the point of irritation? And yet there still seems to be more essential psych wizardry out there. Take Swedish-based South Americans Sudakistan and the unrelenting energy of their distinctly doolally grooves.
Bill Wells And Friends – Nursery Rhymes (Karaoke Kalk)
Joined here by the likes of Deerhoof, Yo La Tengo, Isobel Campbell and Teenage Fanclub, Wells’ arrangements are gorgeous, falling majestically into the space between Amy Allison’s doleful rendition of Shoo Fly and Bridget St John’s unexpectedly sensuous Ding Dong Bell. Some marvellous performances here.
Steeple Remove – Position Normal (Gonzai)
Originally available digitally or on import, the French experimentalists’ fifth long player – out in their homeland at the beginning of the year – receives its physical UK release amidst a mélange of Motorik grooves, power-pop persuasion and measured (if occasionally feisty) atonality.
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