Even cutting-edge, ice-cool publications like Snipe go weak at the knees for a well-timed, sentimental Xmas ditty. Our pick for ‘least likely to be featured in a top fifty list of Xmas bangers curated by a third-rate celebrity on ITV2’ is this gorgeous piano ballad from Seattle songwriter Damien Jurado. When he sings ‘I will never see Christmas’ you almost want to grab the nearest relative around the dinner table and engage him or her in a warm, tender embrace, before you realise you hate said relative, they’re kind of racist and their breath stinks.
Damien Jurado’s 12th album Maraqopa is out now on Secretly Canadian.
We very rarely miss a trick here at Snipe. Unfortunately, with the sheer volume of excellent music whizzing around the online universe, occasionally an amazing song of indeterminate vintage passes us by, like two potential soulmates unwittingly brushing shoulders in a busy city bar.
Night Panther is brought to you by three former members of Philadelphia lo-fi gods (in our eyes at least) White Birds; today’s MPFree was released in May – sorry guys – but it’s so good in an early Billy Joel barroom kind of way we couldn’t not bring it to your attention.
There’s also a Chris Powell (Man Man, Spaceship Aloha) remix available here.
Fans of Nordic music will be flooding down (no pun intended) to the Old St Pancras Church this evening for a first glimpse of Morten Myklebust, a hotly-tipped emerging artist. He’s apparently been working behind the scenes with Norway’s best and brightest for several years now, and if the rather beautiful track below is anything to go by, his self-titled debut album will see him doing justice to his talents as a newly-fledged solo artist. Lost hovers between Kings Of Convenience and Elliot Smith perhaps, at once soothing and sad.
Montreal’s The Luyas have just signed to the wonderful Paper Bag Records (Austra, PS I Love You) in Canada. This is the superb first single from their forthcoming third album, Animator, out October 16 on Dead Oceans/Paper Bag.
Something for the weekend? Here’s a new mixtape from Snipe’s music editor, featuring various bands that have been covered in the magazine this year like Sleep Party People, When Saints Go Machine and Enjoyed. Listen and download below, and subscribe to further podcasts on Mixcloud or Soundcloud.
You can always rely on Josephine Foster for a bit of fresh-spirited, feel good folk music that sounds like it wafted in from the corn fields of middle America. This one is about god, but let’s overlook that, because it’s a nice song, and who knows what it’s about. Foster’s voice has a wobbly vibrato to it that makes decoding the lyrics quite hard to these atheistic ears.
After three years of silence, Japanese dream-pop princess Cuushe is back with a new EP. Girl/You Know That I Am Here/But the Dream, out now via Flau, inhabits similarly dense and dreamy sonic territory to her lauded debut Red Rocket Telepathy. It is, in parts, like diving into a giant bowl of uncooked meringue. It also features a host of remixes, including work from Julia Holter, Teen Daze and Blackbird Blackbird. Download the Botany mix of Summer Night Sketch below.
DJ/producer/remixer and Metronomy man Olugbenga has made his debut release available as a free download from today. Epic & Blues is a collection of re-workings of some of his best remixes, plus two original tracks. Download the entire set below.
We first introduced you to Alt Altman, aka Toronto’s Digits, this time last year. Since then Alt has relocated to Berlin via London, released a critically acclaimed mixtape (Death and Desire) featuring LA lounge-pop chanteuse Nite Jewel and also found time to put together another brilliant EP of silky, minimalist pop. He’s devised a rather novel way of distributing the digital version of his new EP: send him a photo or a screenshot of an album by another artist you’ve legitimately purchased over the past two months and he’ll send you a link to a free download of the Where Do You Belong? EP in return – open to abuse of course, but an interesting idea. Download the title track below and catch him live at 93 Feet East tonight (July 20).
Today’s MPFree is a none-more-aptly named track from Canadian five-piece Mode Moderne. It’s a pulsating, barely disguised ode to the likes of OMD and assorted other early 80s synth pop giants and it unfolds at a thrillingly breakneck pace. Foul Weather Fare is taken from their second album Strange Bruises, out September 3 on Light Organ records.