The Guardian Indie

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. (Marathon Artists/Matador/Milk!)

    Related:Courtney Barnett: ‘It’s easy to feel hopeless and lost in this weird world’

    A collaboration between these two singer-songwriters makes for an intriguing prospect, Vile’s melodic nous and J Mascis-worthy hypnopompic drawl seemingly the perfect complement to Barnett’s pin-sharp observational lyrics. And so it proves on opener Over Everything, a conversation between the two about songwriting set to gently meandering guitar that gradually builds momentum and is as insightful as it’s lovely. Let It Go and Continental Breakfast follow a similar vein, and are almost as good. However, there are lapses in quality control (Jen Cloher cover Fear Is Like a Forest is especially leaden) and they’re rather less sure-footed when they cover each other’s songs – or tackle Belly’s Untogether together. Not the triumph it could have been, then.

    Continue reading...
  2. Matt Mondanile’s indie project will not be playing multiple US tour dates following accusations

    An upcoming tour by Ducktails has been cancelled following allegations of sexual assault against the band’s founder Matt Mondanile.

    The New Jersey outfit – helmed by former Real Estate guitarist Mondanile – had been due to play 11 dates across the US this autumn. Nine of those shows have now been cancelled. The dropped shows follow an article published by US music website Spin on 16 October, in which seven women accused the musician of sexual misconduct.

    Related:Flying Lotus apologises after defending the Gaslamp Killer over rape allegations

    Continue reading...
  3. Shacklewell Arms, London
    The self-professed ‘weird black girl’ of the DIY rock scene charmed a swaying crowd with songs of heartache and identity crisis

    ‘Run and tell everybody that Laetitia is a small fish … and you’re a shark that eats every fish,” sings Laetitia Tamko, aka Vagabon, on The Embers, the punky shebang that resonates more strongly than any other song of this short show. It’s certainly the one that has the audience most vigorously indie-dancing – swaying from the waist upward – and singing along. Of the eight tracks on Vagabon’s debut album, Infinite Worlds, The Embers is the strongest (and catchiest) expression of feeling small and overwhelmed; the fans’ response feels like a gesture of solidarity.

    Tamko is a Cameroon-born 24-year-old who moved to New York at 14 and gravitated to Brooklyn’s DIY rock scene, where she wondered why there weren’t more “weird black girls” involved. Vagabon offers encouragement to anyone else who feels institutionally marginalised and might be minded to make inroads into a traditionally white genre, but it’s also Tamko’s own story. Backed here by a drummer and a bassist, who heighten the raw sound she produces with voice and guitar, Tamko faces her songs head-on.

    Related:'My identity is not your fad': how indie got woke

    Continue reading...
  4. (XL/True Panther Sounds)

    Archy Marshall manages to cram the spirits of Tom Waits and Mick Jones into his undernourished frame. His unusual, atmospheric music is infused with jazz and the smoky paranoia of dubstep. King Krule’s second album under the name (Marshall has a few aliases) makes good on the murky promise of his debut, 2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. Over 19 tracks some focus is lost, but focus isn’t really the point of Krule, whose moods make for an immersive listen. The slower songs are this album’s great strengths: the magnificent Czech One, Lonely Blue and Logos all deal rivetingly with relationships (“her solvent’s dissolved”), while more guitar-oriented tunes such as Dum Surfer recall Jamie T.

    Continue reading...
  5. (Matador)

    Although the pairing of these two wonderfully languid singer-songwriters could have ended up too hazy, their mutually dreamy, drawling styles complement each other perfectly. The way their guitars jangle and chime together reflects a longstanding friendship. They sing on each other’s old songs: Barnett’s Outta the Woodwork or a joyously upbeat version of Vile’s Blue Cheese. They turn in a harmony-soaked take on Belly’s Untogether and Barnett leads a Crazy Horse-style blast through her wife Jen Cloher’s Fear Is Like a Forest.

    Five new original songs showcase a similar kooky charm as they rattle through random subjects. Vile sings about decibel-induced hearing impairment in six-minute opening duet Over Everything, while the pair drawlingly celebrate their long-distance bond in Continental Breakfast (“I cherish my intercontinental friendships”). Laughter in the studio punctuates songs that sound as much of a delight to record as they do to listen to: Lotta Sea Lice is at least the sum of its two talented parts.

    Continue reading...