On Pins and Hot Sand

The last time I saw Fever Fever, it was 3AM, the waning hours of Canadian Music Week and the end of a long day including a wake for the White Stripes and more coffee than should ever be consumed by any reasonable human being. And though I’ve been pretty much useless since I left them in the narrow cramped corridor backstage at Toronto’s Rivoli nightclub, with major festival appearances on both sides of the Atlantic and a new album in the works, the band have been anything but. I said a while back that I was really excited about some stuff coming up on new Norwich label Gravy Records – well, this is what I was talking about.

‘Pins’ is the first proper single to be lifted from the Fever Fever’s upcoming album and, like the free single (‘Teeth’) released earlier in the summer, finds sees band in the studio with producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey; Anna Calvi). It’s a formula that seems to be working, because ‘Pins’ finds the Norwich trio in top form. It’s the sharpest thing we’ve heard since ‘Monster’ broke out and bashed our faces in 18 months ago. Have a listen and maybe you’ll begin to understand why I ran halfway across downtown Toronto at 2AM to hear them. Just be careful you don’t hurt yourself.

‘Pins’ is available as a digital download and a (very) limited screen printed CD single.

Speaking of big things from tiny labels, Hollows (from my old home, Chicago) have put out a couple of domestic releases – a 7-inch on Trouble In Mind and an LP on Addenda (good luck getting your hands on that one) – but now they’ve taken their organ-driven pseudo surf across the pond to Soft Power Records (indiepop offshoot of online record shop Soft Power UK). Now the kids at Soft Power have been making a valiant go at it since the label launched about a year ago, but imagine my surprise last week when I learned they had managed to release a single by one of my favourite bands from here in the good old Midwest without me noticing.

However it happened, I’m glad it did. They’re an ideal pairing (this from a guy who’s spent the last week caught in a C86 vortex). The recent disintegration of The Like has left a gaping hole in the 60s girl group sound. They’re some pretty big shoes to fill, but, for my money, Hollows are the band to do it. And with another dark December looming ahead of us, the summery sounds of Hollows are just what we all need to keep us warm through those grey Scotland days and frigid Chicago nights (not to mention, ‘Hot Sand’ is the perfect soundtrack for that ironic midwinter beach party I know you’re all planning).

The single, ‘Hot Sand’ b/w ‘Shapeshifter’ (limited to 300 copies) is available from a handful of retailers, including Soft Power UK (naturally).

More bands for your CMF schedule

If you missed part one, read it here. Or, if you’re on the homepage, just scroll down.

There are over 800 bands playing at CMF this week. Did you honestly think that I would be able to keep all my recommendations confined to a single post? Of course not. Here are some more. Get these on your schedule. Now.

Maylee Todd & Pegwee Power
Toronto, ON
Performing: Revival, Friday @ 8:45PM
Supermarket, Friday @ 1:00AM

Part of a strong lineup of early sets at Revival Friday night, Maylee Todd and special brand of indie soul promise to deliver one crushing set on Friday night. Just look at that promo photo. How could you ever be disappointed with that. And if you can’t make the early show, she’s playing again in the wee hours.

Vidulgi OoyoO
Seoul, South Korea
Performing: Clinton’s, Thursday @ 12:30AM

Some breathtaking Korean shoegaze that hearkens back to the early days of My Bloody Valentine. Those who find themselves at Clinton’s Thursday night are liable to have their hearts stolen. Just don’t swoon too much. I can’t promise anyone will have the presence of mind to catch you.

YUNIOSHI
Nottingham, UK
Performing: Painted Lady, Friday @ 1:00AM

YUNIOSHI are the whole reason I’ll even be in Toronto this week. It’s not everyday one of Britain’s most exciting robofunk bands plays a North American show. And when they do—if you’re me at least—you make sure you’re in the audience. I wrote about how much I love YUNIOSHI a few weeks ago, so you can go back and read that if you want more details. And if you’re not the reading type, well, just watch the video. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

The Zoobombs
Tokyo, Japan
Performing: Bait Shop, Saturday @ 3:30PM
Comfort Zone, Saturday @ 1:00AM

The Zoobombs have, apparently, been around for ages. Long enough, at least, that I am ashamed to say that this is the first I’ve heard of them. But their psychedelic hyper-rock has got me hooked.

White White Sisters
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Performing: Painted Lady, Saturday @ 1:00AM

Another one from Japan. And another one I’ll be sad to miss. Hovering somewhere in between metal and electronica, White White Sisters are high on blistering technique and breakneck speed—something I can only characterise as musical sublimation. I can’t say I know for sure how that would physically present, but the metaphor sounds pretty bang on to me.

Fever Fever
Norwich, UK
Performing: Rivoli, Saturday @2:00 A.M.

Another one of my UK favourites. Art punk monsters from one of my favourite little labels, Cherryade Records, Fever Fever are tearing a path through North America on their way to SXSW leaving a trail of burning stages and broken hearts in their wake. It’s a late show, but I reckon you’ll have forgotten all about that by the time you’ve heard this.