East India Youth | Gullivers | Thursday 30 January

1419768_10151987868760874_1866089285_nEven before the release of debut album Total Strife Forever in January 2014, William Doyle has a story to rival most. Upon seeing The Quietus’ John Doran at a Factory Floor gig in late 2012, he passed on a CDR containing some tracks he’d worked on under the name East India Youth – tracks which were good enough for The Quietus to start a record label just to facilitate the release of his debut EP, Hostel. Compared to Liars, The Horrors and Fuck Buttons by Pitchfork, Doyle works with electronic loops and samples, his songs dealing in foreboding, texture and richly deserved climax.

East India Youth – Looking for Someone on YouTube

Having toured with These New Puritans and Factory Floor, January 2014 sees the release of East India Youth’s debut LP Total Strife Forever through Stolen Recordings. Using Tim Hecker, Brian Eno and Estonian composer Arvo Part as some of its touchstones, the record builds upon the charm and bombast of those initial tracks , crafting a warped form of pop in its wake. 

Tickets are £6 and are available through SeeTickets

 

Shearwater | Deaf Institute | Thursday 1 May

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Having already earned critical acclaim through his work with Okkervil River, at the turn of the millennium Jonathan Meiburg decided he needed a sonic output for his own musings, so began working with fellow Okkervil member Will Sheff. Working under the name Shearwater, Meiburg has spent the past 13 years weaving his own oeuvre over the course of 9 studio albums. Though the style is often broad brushed as ‘indie rock’, Shearwater has taken on various different forms while working with labels such as Misra, Matador and, more recently, Sub Pop, going from the bombastic and epic to the intensely personal and meditative.

Shearwater – I Luv The Valley, OH! (Xiu Xiu Cover) on YouTube

Though early LPs The Dissolving Room, Everybody Makes Mistakes and Winged Life were strong, it was with Sheff’s decision to depart that Meiburg really came into his own with 2006’s Palo Santo. Named as one of Pitchfork’s albums of the year, it marked a rebirth for the band – follow-up Rook was declared “one of the best albums for years to come” by PopMatters, while Slant Magazine noted of 2010’s Golden Archipelogo “that rare kind of great album: tackling big ideas and attempting chancy things while delivering a product that feels flawlessly and decisively whole”. Most recent album Fellow Travelers has been called “wonderful stuff, partly because Shearwater’s renditions are lovely enough to make you want to seek out the real things” (Alternative Press, 8/10), “an intimate, nostalgic affair” (Best Fit), and “it epitomises everything that’s endearing and admirable about Shearwater” (Drowned in Sound).

Tickets are £10 and are available from SeeTickets

Forest Swords – Thor’s Stone (Lee Scratch Perry remix) | Deaf Institute show Saturday 8 February

forest_onlineOne of Now Wave’s favourite records of the year, the stand-out track from Forest Sword’s Engravings has had a new spin put on it by seminal reggae producer Lee Scratch Perry. Stereogum had this to say about the collaboration:

One inspiration might stand above all the others: Dub reggae, especially in its most mythic, uncanny state. So it makes sense that Lee “Scratch” Perry, the eccentric architect of the dub reggae sound, has made a powerful remix of the Engravings track “Thor’s Stone,” adding a titanic digital skank and chatting mystic nonsense all over it. Read More

 

The remix certainly adds a new dimension to what was already one of 2013’s most interesting listens. Sample it yourself below.

The stage name of Matthew Barnes, Forest Swords has remained elusive since his surfacing in around 2009. Live shows remained sporadic after the release of his stunning Dagger Paths LP in 2010, though the release of 2013’s Engravings has seen him lift the veil of secrecy slightly. Following from his stunning performance at St Philip’s Church in May, Forest Swords will play The Deaf Institute on Saturday 8 February, with support from GNOD. Tickets are £11.50 and are available through SeeTickets

 

Fanfarlo | Deaf Institute | Sunday 9 February

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Named after a Baudelaire novella, Fanfarlo formed in 2006 and have spent much of the last 7 years crafting a unique sound, bringing together their individual passions for folk, post-rock and indie pop to create something entirely different. Having worked with esteemed labels such as Fortuna POP!, Moshi Moshi, and White Heat for their early singles, the band put out their debut album, Reservoir, through their own imprint, before quickly being picked up by Atlantic Records for a reprint. NME gave it 8/10, comparing the record to Arcade Fire, Beirut, and Grizzly Bear, while The Skinny awarded 4/5, noting “Every track ceaselessly builds and falls with undulating care, stuffed tightly with strings, glockenspiels, clustered pianos and churning basslines.”

Fanfarlo – A Distance on Youtube

In 2012, the band released their second album, Rooms Filled With Light, embracing their experimental side and adding more depth and texture to their signature sound. Now Magazine (8/10) commented that “They’ve still got a way with grand, sweeping crescendos and haven’t forgotten that the build is as important as the payoff”, something backed up by DIY (8/10) who wrote “There is intelligence and creativity on display here that other bands would do well to pay attention to”. The band have since put out a new EP, the SEA, on their own New World Records imprint, a path they plan to tread with their third full-length, Let’s Go Extinct, due February 2014.

Tickets are £9 and are available through SeeTickets

Parquet Courts named Piccadilly Records album of the year | Academy 2 show Saturday 15 February

1392867_10151984725135874_2131630598_nHaving forged a strong reputation in their native Brooklyn and the wider US underground punk scene, 2013 has truly been the year that Parquet Courts haven taken their frantic, energetic fuzz to the wider audience it deserves, largely thanks to their incredible LP Light Up Gold. Originally released on singer Andrew Savage’s own Dull Tools label in the US last August, it finally hit shelves in the UK this year through What’s Your Rupture? records, becoming one of the most sort after vinyls in the country in the process. Of the many to have fallen in love with it are the 12 members of Piccadilly Records staff, who have named Light Up Gold as their album of the year. In her notes on why it made such a worthy winner, Laura from the shop had this to say:

Parquet Courts have melded all the best bits of guitar music from the last 40 odd years into a fresh, frantic, thrilling ride that’s won over just about everyone in the shop. To quote frontman Andrew Savage in a recent interview; “Light Up Gold is like this unnamed feeling, or sensation that we all have—it’s the thing everyone is looking for.”

Having played a sold out show at Gorilla last month, the band come back to Manchester on Saturday 15 February for an Academy 2 show that is already selling fast. Tickets are £13 and are available from SeeTickets. Piccadilly Records are selling a special tote bag version of Light Up Gold to commemorate their win, which you can buy here.

Several other stars of forthcoming Now Wave shows featured in the top 100, too – tickets and what Piccadilly Records had to say about the records below.

#4 | Factory Floor – Factory Floor | Gorilla | Saturday 7 December | Tickets £10

Factory Floor have moved beyond direct influence and pastiche to create electronic dance music that is totally their own. Raw, brutal, intense, this is EDM Factory Floor style. Read More

#5 | Bill Callahan – Dream River | The Ritz | Monday 3 February | Tickets £17.50

‘Dream River’ sees a mature Callahan at his best casting a musical spell that only breaks when the needle hits the centre. Read More

#19 | Kurt Vile – Walking on a Pretty Daze | Academy 2 | Saturday 14 December | Tickets £12.50 Sold Out

He doesn’t like to edit, just slowly paint pictures, and when you think he’s got there, round it goes again. It’s mesmerising. It also makes ‘WOAPD’ a proper, old-school grower. Read More

#21 | PINS – Girls Like Us | Deaf Institute | Friday 13 December | Tickets £8

Energetic, focused, and ruthless, Girls Like Us is the album PINS wanted to make and for us to hear. Read More

#46 | Forest Swords – Engravings | Deaf Institute | Saturday 8 February | Tickets £10.50

‘Engravings’ is an expansive and truly original fusion of rattling dub rhythms, chiming guitar, blunted hip hop beats, and vocals that sound as if they’re emanating from decades old gospel recordings. Read More

#61 | Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister | Deaf Institute (with Speedy Ortiz) | Sunday 16 February | Tickets £7

An incredible debut from Cardiff based Joanna Gruesome. Fantastic indie-pop full of hooks and tucked away in there is everything you need from fuzzy pop melodies to hardcore blastbeats. Read More

#73 | Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in the Wild | Academy 2 | Friday 6 December | Tickets £11

The local lads are back with their third album & it’s an incredible one! Clever math-pop with intricate, intertwining melodies underneath solid indie-pop songs and intelligent rhythms. Read More

 

See the full Piccadilly Records Top 100 Albums of the Year List 2013 here