I found WOOL via Zach Oden, former guitarist with Annuals. I should probably explain that Annuals were a definitive band in my musical timeline: When I first moved to Manchester I was a small town boy obsessed with Joy Division and whose only real access to music was HMV and NME. Now living in an environment with Piccadilly Records on my doorstep, music venues down every road, and access to the internet at home (myspace!) the discovery of new music was an everyday adventure. Comparable to early Arcade Fire, Annuals played Night & Day on a tour promoting debut album Be He Me and I went away transfixed with wonder.
WOOL is the vision of Raleigh (North Carolina) songwriter Troy Brian Hancock and along with the aforementioned Oden, bassist/keyboardist Johnny Hobbs and drummer Raymond Finn, they have created a full bodied sound that balances the playful vocal elements of dream-pop with the patient build of a post-rock outfit. Bulletin Air is beautifully crafted arrangement that brings to mind Explosions In The Sky fronted by Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum. Its quite simply one of the best songs I’ve heard all year, with its finale soaring like a bird through a sun kissed sky.
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It wasn’t so long ago that a band called Embers emerged in Manchester. Embers are about to release stunning new single ‘Part of The Echoes’ to universal acclaim, and headline a sold out Now Wave show – their progression to this level seems to have happened overnight but the reality has always been that they worked very hard behind the scenes and deserve every bit of success they go on to achieve. It leads me to wonder if they might have opened the gates for a band like Edits to burst through? They certainly share similar visions, both creating noise that pounds against the ear as much as it tickles.
Standout track Where Nobody Elses Goes taken from EP Dusk/Dream/Dawn is as beautiful as it gets: it’s hard not to think of Regine Chassagne and the early brilliance of Arcade Fire. High praise indeed.
Edits are an intriguing proposition right now, they have so much potential but need to push themselves, be brave – because their dark and brooding post rock deserves a wider audience. This is a band that needs to reach for the heavens.
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Of all the amazing sounds emanating from Japan at the moment (and it is a veritable hive of amazingness), I’m especially enjoying this latest cut from 5-piece Haisuinonasa on Tokyo’s Zankyo Record (the lack of pluralisation there is completely intentional by the way, just relax). Grammatical nervousness securely placed to one side, this is I think about as fresh and un-generic as a slice of math-rock-electronica can possibly be without becoming obnoxiously pretentious or overbearing to listen to. Let me try to explain.
This track really resonates with me on some peculiar level that it has taken me the best part of a week to fully comprehend and appreciate. From the cut & paste glitch (like a more rhythmically apprehensible Venetian Snares); breakbeat drums stirringly juxtaposed with counterpoint piano; to the Cornelius-like intention to harmonically soar which begins about a minute and a half in, this is clearly music designed for travelling. Really really fast. Maglev train, space shuttle, human cannonball – your choice. The more ergonomically appealing the blur of landscape the better. I promise you, it will be exhilarating.