It’s a wonder that The Young Sinclairs and 13 O’Clock haven’t created magic together yet. But here is the band’s first single of 2015 and it’s one of their best yet. Available from 13 O’Clock since two weeks if one’s to believe their website. Also streaming on Spotify since December.
Posts Tagged The Young Sinclairs
One of the most anticipated releases of the year, here’s The Young Sinclairs’… 8th (?) album. It’s called This Is the Young Sinclairs and is out now on Ample Play. As completists will know, the Sinclairs have had a habit of repeating songs over several releases. The new LP is no exception, with the a-side collecting single tracks from the last five or so years. It’s a fantastic chance to own signature YS tracks like “You’re Tied” and “Mona Lisa”, that have only been available on tape before. The devout fan will even also have heard the beautifully languid “Never Uneasy”, a demo of which was posted a few years ago.
The biggest surprise may be the inclusion of a track from singer Sam Lunsford’s self-titled debut album on the a-side. “I Just Wanted to Help” was one of the best of that set of West Coast soft psychedelia. But in fact, this number sets the tone for the rest of the LP – as you flip it over – the Young Sinclairs sound even more like the one-man-band it’s more or less become the last few years. It is less jangly, more stripped but at the same time laden with studio finery. Just like on Sam’s solo LP these bare-bones arrangements really highlight his prowess with a melody. “That’s All Right” could a been a long lost Dylan demo sung down a phone line. There are echoes of Colin Blunstone and Emmitt Rhodes here and there, and the standout track is “Dead End Street” with its shuffling drums and tugging vocal sounding like it could have drifted in through the window on a San Francisco street in 1968. It will no doubt be interesting to see what Lunsford/YS can churn out in this vein in the future. This stuff here is already timeless.
Today I was going to celebrate my birthday, cause it’s the 28th and I’m turning 28 on Monday. But since my friends seem to be either sick or away I spent the time making a new podcast instead. If you’ve checked out the spotify playlist I posted yesterday you’ve only heard some of the records I mentioned in my Top 15 lists. Here are 20 more tracks, that you can’t find on spotify, most of them released during the second half of the year. As I was pondering what the best record cover of the year has been, looking through some lists of mostly mediocre choices, I concluded that there haven’t really been many iconic record covers this year, Kanye West and Bowie getting bonus points for trying though. This Energy Gown 45 I have used above, is probably my favourite though, especially since it’s not plastered all over the web, and I couldn’t even find a high-res file.
Tandyn Almer – I Get High
The Young Sinclairs – Mona Lisa
Energy Gown – Diamond Bun
Mozes and the Firstborn – Peter Jr.
The Fighting League – Bad Surprises
The Squids – Drag
Drags – Sense
Thee Goochi Boiz – Something’s Missing
Geese – Love In All the Wrong Places
Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel – I Heard Her Call My Name
The Tone – Don’t Wanna Go
Slushy – Sunny Pair
Las Rosas – Black Cherry
Neo Boys – WWII
Habibi – Far From Right
Mane – Bloodstone
Gestapo Khazi – CA
Endless Bummer – Such a Drag
Adam Widener – Fake Flowers Never Die
Beach Party – Can’t Surf
Once again, it’s time to round up and get ready for another year of great releases. You might have already checked the great lists from Styrofoam Drone and Tiny Grooves, and I’ll definitely have a few repeasts. I’ve had some catching up to do though over the last few weeks, but I’m now ready to present my list of the best 45s and extended plays of 2013. It’s been a good year for several artists, who will appear both here and in the albums list: Jacco Gardner (who was also on last year’s list), The Frowning Clouds, Warm Soda, and of course The Young Sinclairs who have 2 singles making the cut (out of a total of 5 this year).
The Thanes make an incredibly strong comeback in 2013, and also their new Dirty Water 45 should be in the shops any day. The biggest surprises may come from powerpop knock-outs Chain Letters, new US garage group The Neumans, and the Jacco-produced debut from Miri May. Fergus & Geronimo have evolved into Parquet Courts and The Keepsies, the latter of which is my favourite, on here with their second single (which doesn’t seem to be available on vinyl yet?). Another couple of off-shoots Winter Bear (ex-Cave Weddings) and Las Rosas (ex-Harlem) round out this list which is organised in a 5+10 fashion, with no particular order within the groupings.
The Thanes – She’s Coming Back to Me State
The Neumans – Fuzz Filled Dreams Wild
The Young Sinclairs – Hurt My Pride Requiem Pour Un Twister
Miri May – You Are My Angel Saturno
The Frowning Clouds – Gospel Sound From the Church of Scientology EP Saturno
The Keepsies – She (Was My Baby) Chrome Waves
Chain Letters – Bad Reflection Pogo Time
The See See – The Rain & the Snow Sundazed
Warm Soda – Tell Me In a Whisper Goodbye Boozy
Jacco Gardner – The End of August Trouble In Mind
The Young Sinclairs – You Know Where To Find Me EP Planting Seeds
Winter Bear – Jump In the Fire Hozac
Las Rosas – s/t EP Burger
Energy Gown – I Watch the Sun EP self-released
Endless Bummer – Ripper Current EP In the Red
Others that at least deserve a mention are brilliant releases from Straight Arrows, Drags, Beach Party, Fuzz, Temples, Cold Warps’ tour tape, Los Wallas, Vacations, Ketamines, The Raw Nerves, Unwed Teenage Mothers, The Higher State, Plateaus and Nightmare Boyzzz. Look out for the albums list coming soon, as well as a podcast of tracks from both lists and a spotify playlist. Plenty to come!
It’s been a great year for The Young Sinclairs. After last December’s solo album from Lunsford (which would have been in my Top 5 for 2013 had I heard it in time), I’ve reviewed three new YS singles. But there have now been two more. One is a cassingle on Treetop Sorbet, the other is this four-track ep which is their most substantial release of 2013, available from Planting Seeds (also in a digital version with a 13th Floor Elevators cover added). You Know Where to Find Me is sourced from the same 2006-2011 bulk of recordings that the first two singles of the year were lifted from. Both “Hurt My Pride” and “New Day”, along with three of these tunes actually got a digital release last year on the Culled From the Link odds-and-ends compilation. But of course it’s much nicer to have them on 45s. The fourth track is culled from the group’s 2008 album Tough Face, and might be the best of the bunch. “Remember This Song” is short but has a brilliant moody fuzz-guitar riff. And of course “Too Young” is an incredibly sweet ballad which reaches that casual greatness hardly any songwrites achieve these days. On the majestic title track we get the trademark 12-string YS sound, this time closer to The Hollies than The Byrds though.
The cassette-only “You’re Tied” seems, like the “Engineer Man” single from earlier this year, to consist of new recordings. The a-side floats along lightly with memorable chorus and a perfect powerpop break. It will definitely grow on you, but while “Mona Lisa” is more laidback it will grab you instantly with it’s Neil Young vibes. In many ways it reminds me of the material Sam presented on his more introvert solo release. The tape is still available.
While you’re trawling through the YS’s bandcamp, you might want to linger on the psychedelic beast that is Ceto’s Return. It’s the oldest record by the band to be made available, and I’ve definitely never heard it before. Recorded between 2004 and 2006, it sees them in their original fleshed-out mode with a harder more droning sound. The 12-minute opus “Castle Songs” finishes the affair off with some sitar-like sounds and far out guitar-playing. MMOSS or Thee Oh Sees would have killed for being able to sound like this.
Last but not least, spare a moment for the EP the band members released under the Sun King! moniker. Also only available on tape from Eat Tapes, Dreamy of the Sunchildren sees drummer Daniel Cundiff (also one half of Eternal Summers) come to the fore. Singing what we can only assume are his own songs, his soft voice and the rather cheerful pop-psych arrangements with jangly guitars can’t keep me from thinking of early Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci albums. And that’s always a good thing, my favourite here being the pedal steel equipped “Grass”. You don’t have much to lose for just five bucks anyway, give it a try.
It’s not long ago since I wrote about Sam Lunsford and The Young Sinclairs. Now he’s back with another single under the Sinclairs moniker (still just Lunsford mainly). “Engineer Man”, set for release next month on Paul Messis’ label Market Square, is a new recording of a track from the group’s 2007 debut album Feel Bad (available in full on spotify). The new take features superior harmonies and guitar solo, making one of their best numbers even better. The flip “Problems” is less psychedelic and more folky in a classic Byrds fashion, with interweaving guitars and a fragile but crisp melody carrying the song. It’s great to see two of the most interesting musicians of today come together to make this release possible. Did The Optic Nerve ever get this good? I don’t think so.
Jacco Gardner has been getting some well-deserved attention this year, after his debut LP Cabinet of Curiosities came out. Hopefully the same will apply to Sam Lunsford, who I’ve already featured with his band The Young Sinclairs. Around Christmas last year however, he too released his first, self-titled solo album. Available digitally and on cassette from his own label Mystic Fortress, it’s an incredibly strong release from both a song-writing and a recording techique perspective. 10 out of the 11 songs were recorded by Sam in his own analogue studio, and the production sounds every bit as refined and perfected as on an Emitt Rhodes album. On this album he gets more experimental than on the Young Sinclairs material, incorporating elements of light psychedelia, soft-rock and some allround good Zombies-vibes. Lengthy opening track “All About the Love” impresses, as well as the single choice “Just Wanted to Help” which you can watch a video for over at his website. Listen below, to the gently haunting closing track “Haven’t Got the Time” on which Lunsford manages to sound like Richard Ashcroft if he’d been a Nick Drake enthusiast, and then stream the rest on bandcamp.
One of my favourite groups are back, with two new singles. Well actually that’s a half truth, since the majority of the songs are solo recordings by Samuel Jones Lunsford done between 2010 and 2012. The year of release says 2012 as well, so I can only assume they’ve been delayed to the current release date of January 21. These twin 45s are a unique collaboration between two French record labels. One is Croque Macadam, from whom we’ve previously been able to enjoy singles by French Kissing, Triptides, Les Guillotines etc. The other, Reqiuem Pour Un Twister, ventures into the record label business for the first time after six years of excellent music coverage on their blog.
One track from each 45 was revealed in December, and my immediate reaction was that “Hurt My Pride”, one of the oldest compositions, is the strongest Young Sinclairs song to date. Taking a credible step from folk-rock into garage or even freakbeat territory, the vocal is delivered with real attitude. It’s a straightforward and no-nonsense track and with that we already have a contender for single of the year 2013. The first b-side “Someone Like the Hawk” veers straight back into gentle folk, bathed in 12-string picking that sounds like it was laid down after many listens to comps like Byrds Won’t Fly Today (Misty Lane). It sounds unfinished almost, wrapping up just after the solo, it leaves the beautiful melody with unfilfilled potential. The last track “Nothin’ to Say” is the biggest departure for the group however, with its crude frat-rock sound. It works very well, perhaps the closest they’ve come to something with enough of a beat to play to a dancefloor. The Kingsmen would be a good reference point, but it also reminds me of “Night of the Phantom” by Larry & the Blue Notes.
“New Day” is the second 45 and both sides here are very similar to their latest album Chimeys, from 2010. Since the chugging a-side lacks any kind of riff, it is the flip “Turned Around” that steals the show this time. The vocal is as impressive as The Rain Parade at their best (“What She’s Done to Your Mind”) and the simply stunning break would be befitting of The Byrds. So even though this one doesn’t come on purple vinyl it’s definitely worth getting both. Check out their affordable package deal.