Top Moon Tunes 2019 Volume 5

A bit less than a month on from Volume 4, here is Volume 5 of the monthlyish Top Moon Tunes of 2019. This month it is mostly just straight up Anglo-Saxon or Celtic rock n' roll , with one Scandinavian interloper and a few slices of folky pop/rock.

Three of the featured artists are new bands that have not yet released a debut LP, but have released a few promising EPs and or singles

The album of the Month, from Jeremy Tuplin, is from the month before. It is his second LP but a new discovery to The Moon and, like Orville Peck from Volume 4, he has seemingly arrived from nowhere as a fully formed and accomplished solo artist.

As ever, there is a bit of guff on each artist beneath the Playmoss Playlist along with three mentions of Shane Meadows.

And as usual, it is also on Spotify

1. Siobhan Wilson

Ms Wilson is from Elgin in Scotland, but is now Glasgow based after studying in Edinburgh and then having a 5 year gap year in Paris. Her gorgeous voice has featured on The Moon on the brilliant Cockrow by Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert on Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 3.  I did  belatedly check out her second LP from 2017 and it sounded lovely but did not quite float my boat. However this new LP very much has as it is a lot bolder and more diverse, but also mostly still a very pleasant listen.  This more PJ Harvey like track is one that adds a bit of extra oomph, along with her collaboration with Stina Tweeddale - who is now the one and only:

2. Honeyblood -  She's A Nightmare or The Third Degree

From Edinburgh and originally a duo, with two previous drummers, the multi-Moon offending Honeyblood is now the solo vehicle of Stina Tweeddale. The opening track is on Playmoss, but on Spotify it is the second track - The Third Degree  and my song of the year so far. It can't be added to Playmoss as it is only available via Vevo and is not on Bandcamp. It is the most retro song on the album, but the album carries on in a similar frantic rock n' roll style until the last track. The last LP was very good, but this is another step up.

3 Jeremy Tuplin - Bad Lover

This is from The Moon album of  last month from the month before. He is another case of some great rock 'n roll being brought to my attention by Folk Radio UK (FRUK). He is London based but comes from Dorset in SW England and this is his second LP.  FRUK give this description of his style: "Psychedelic folk? Indie chamber pop? For music nerds (like me) there are lots of references to various indie music to be found on Pink Mirror, but don’t be fooled: this is an album that stands on its own two feet artistically and musically."

4. Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - Desire

Some modern electronic psychedelia from Sweden. They first appeared on The Moon on A Best of 2016 with a track from their second LP which followed from their 2015 debut. This new LP is a bit less psychedelic and a bit more Top Pop, like this track, or  just a bit more just straight up rock n' roll.

5. The Paranoyds  - Trade Our Sins

This is the first top new band discovery of the month thanks to this track being a recent track of the week of God Is In The TV

They come from Santa Monica, USA and this is the latest of a number of singles and EPs they have so far released since 2017 that can make up a 10 track playlist. Their first EP is reminiscent of the early punk of Bleached  but with some great organ sounds, which are brought to the fore on this excellent latest release which is a top Top Pop moment of 2019.

6. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Real's Not Real

The return of the self proclaimed "completely fried theremin wielding psychopaths" from Down Under who have not featured on The Moon for over a year. It could have been a bit earlier but they have kept up their tradition of releasing their worst tracks as the pre-releases for their album  - Cyboogie and Fishing for Fishes, the title track. Thankfully, both tracks bookend the album and the 8 tracks in-between are all very good to brilliant, especially this one, which is one of their finest moments and is  kind of Led Zeppelin meets ELO, elsewhere they are more like just ELO. The album started off  a project to record a "blues" album but then it morphed into something  more substantial that, like other Australian artists at present, was inspired by the climate crisis. There are a couple more blues boogies, but they are superior to Cyboogie. As an album, it is a match for the best of the 5 albums they released in 2017, but not as good as the best of that year and they are yet to match their output from late 2013 and 2014.

Since the album they have also released two climate crises inspired death metal singles, but I still hope that one day they will just decide to take their time to just write a bunch of great and varied songs, without any concept, and just put them out as one brilliant album.

7. Kevin Morby  - OMG Rock n Roll

Mr Morby from Kansas, USA,  has now appeared a few times on The Moon since a best of 2016, with his solo material and as the producer of Anna St Louis. He has followed up his late 2017 LP with a new album that the Guardian describes as "A non-religious religious album." This track is, as the title suggests, the most rock n' roll, but it does break into a gospel choir. The rest of the album is far more subdued, with far less guitar and more space, handclaps and some wonderful backing singers.

8. Mammoth Penguins  - Put It All On You

This band from Cambridgeshire UK first appeared on The Moon with a track from their 2015 debut LP on a best of 2016 part 1. And, as I have just learnt via Wikipedia, they also released an LP in 2017, but under the name Mammoth Penguins & Friends which expanded from their earlier punk-pop sound. It is a concept album about a man who faked his own death, then returned ten years later and obviously confused the Spotify algorithm. My well hidden new release feed did alert me to their latest Mammoth Penguins LP however, and it has a similar punk-pop sound to their debut only one that is bolder.

9. Seatbelts  - Capitalist Confession

Seatbelts are from Liverpool UK and are are another top new band also discovered via God Is In The TV

They have released two 4 track EPs that are rather like a more robust take on Belle & Sebastian. This is the lead track from the EP and has brilliant boy/girl vocals and is a "seesawing trawl through capitalist confessions and the contradiction and allure of advertising and the system that enslaves us into wanting more."

10.  The Leisure Society  - There Are No Rules Around Here

This is the third Leisure Society entry on The Moon after featuring on A Best of 2013 and 2015, plus they provide a highlight to The Moon Yuletide Playlist. In 2015 I said I hoped that they would "make the stunning album they should be capable of" and four years later they almost have, except it is16 tracks and a bit lopsided. Like their last LP it livens up a lot in the second half, with the likes of this track, which really ought to have been a pre-release.

I had thought that lead singer Nick Hemming was from Brighton and first came to my attention as the heartbroken wharehouse worker when they released The Last of the Melting Snow back in 2009  - one of the songs of the noughties. But a look at Wikipedia reveals that he, and his main partner in crime Christian Hardy, are both from Burton on Trent and that Hemmings has a very interesting back story as a member early 1990s indie band She Talks to Angels, which included actor Paddy Considine and film director Shane Meadows and that he wrote and performed music for the Shane Meadows films A Room for Romeo Brass and Dead Man's Shoes.

11. Swimming Bell  -  For Brinsley 

Swimming Bell is Brooklyn NY USA based Katie Schottland and FRUK have described her music as a "hypnotic new voice in the world of alt-folk". It could be described as folk, but also American tinged adult pop. This track is a good representative of a fine LP.

12. Zebra Hunt  - Second One to Know

This is the second entry from this Seattle band on The Moon after an appearance on A Best of 2015 and both due to The Finest Kiss and the release of their new album has managed to bring it out of semi-retirement. Their review has this to say on the band and the new album "a light in the darkness these last five or so years and their beacon continues to shine on their third album Trade Desires. At eight songs, it is economical. The band packs its punches and doesn’t waste time on any feints or diversions. Zebra Hunt continue their janglepop mastery".

13. Body Type - Free to Air

This is the third top new band discovery of this month, but this time it is thanks to the VPME although they have also been recommended by God Is In The TV. They are from Sydney, Australia and they have not yet released an LP but have released an LPs worth of material with a 6 track EP in 2018 and now a new 5 track EP. Both are very promising, but this track is a bit of a step up and as the VPME explains "It’s slightly more reflective than their previous release the spikey jagged glory that was  ‘Stingray’ but proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Body Type can make a huge dent in 2019.  ‘Free To Air’ eddies and flows driven by spidery guitars and gorgeous vocal harmonies. It’s a song tinged with beauty and poignancy and is a perfect example of how to craft artful, dazzling, intelligent evocative indie pop with some style."

14. Laura Gibson  - Tenderness

This is from a folk-pop album released back in October 2018 and was much trumpeted by NPR. She also had a track featured in a tracks of the week on God Is In The TV, but the new LP was strangely  not featured in FRUK, despite the fact previous releases have been. But I did not manage to get round checking it out properly until recently due to being inspired by a track from a previous LP being used brilliantly in The Virtues -  the brilliant new Shane Meadows TV series. This is one of the more straight-up tracks from her 5th LP of grown-up folky pop with a great production, including some excellent strings.

15. PJ Harvey -  In A Crowded Room

A new track from the legendary and multi-Moon offending Ms Harvey. It is the first release from her soundtrack to The Virtues the aforementioned new TV series from Shane Meadows. And, as ever, it is class.


Trending on The Moon