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).

Follow An Indie Band Wednesday: The Best Day of the Week!

Hello and welcome to Follow An Indie Band Wednesday highlights!

First, some “housekeeping” that isn’t really housekeeping.  Tonight, Eric is too pissed to write (Do we listen to indie music because we are depressed, or are we depressed because we listen to indie music?  I don’t know, John Cusack, I just don’t know) so I am bringing you some fantastic bands to become obsessed with.  Also, if you listen to my mix from Monday now, even though it is Wednesday, I will not harass you about it next Monday.

Anyway, back to Follow An Indie Band Wednesday!  Last week, due to Malta Mayhem, we had to give up our routine and fill our day with Maltese music; today, we are back on Twitter listening to tons of free tracks and myspace pages of great indie bands, and there’s pretty much something for everyone!  You can check it out here, and if you don’t feel like blindly listening to everything posted or if you just really value our opinions (can’t blame you for that), here are some highlights:

We here at The Indie Handbook have multiple musical personalities, and while sometimes I just need some delicious girlie twee, I can be pretty badass.  And Transfer is for when I’m needing something badass.  I’m tempted to call them rockabilly, but that’d be way too extreme…they’re western rock with a bit of grunge.  I like the mellow feel of “Like a Feather” and the build on “A Bitter Pill,” so those are my recommendations for this fine Wednesday evening.  Also, the vox on “Sinking Sailing” remind me vaguely of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” which is always a good thing.  Transfer comes from San Diego, so if you’re a local, I suggest you go find them and be friends with them.  At the moment, I’m begging for an east coast tour…

Now for something completely different…The Aquamen, because all their songs are named after drinks!  But seriously, they are, but also seriously, you’ve been looking for your fun summer music, and I am giving it to you now.  Thank me.  Or better yet, thank the Aquamen.  You know that song “Tequila” where the only thing you do is dance around and then yell “Tequila” in the middle of it?  This is way better.  As San Francisco natives, these guys have learned to capture the beach in sound–it’s a tiny bit garage and a lot of sassy guitar, with very few lyrics, but you don’t care.    Think of a more drunken Ruby Suns.  The Aquamen are playing your quintessential surfing summer drinking tunes and you will listen to them and you will love them.

POPPOPHEADERAlright, I may have been seduced by his precious myspace page.  The adorable picture, the explanation that “Pop plays the six string while Pop plays the blues”…I’m just cute-ed out.  Maybe Pop Pop just started this project recently and joined myspace less than a month ago, maybe Pop Pop is what some people call their grandpas, I don’t care. The Indie Handbook is about what we like, and I like this, and you very well may like it as well.  It is lo-fi, acoustic, the lyrics are lovely, and Alex Thraikill has a voice bursting with character, almost reminiscent of The Mountain Goats.  It’s just so adorably likeable.   You can follow him on Twitter, too.

While you’re listening to Pop Pop, check out his friend Oberhofer.  This is why we like Follow An Indie Band Wednesday…everyone’s got friends!  Oberhofer’s wildness reminds me of the Born Ruffians…the vocals on “I Could Go,” for instance.  It’s very free, kind of dancey, and the lyrics are sassy, and as we all know, sassy lyrics (think Dear & The Headlights) are some of my favorite things in the world.  I could go on, but this post is taking me forever to write and I wish you would all just listen when I tell you to!!  And I’m telling you to!!

Thanks for reading and hopefully listening to our highlights!  This blog is worthless if you do zero listening.  Also, we want to emphasize again that we adore your comments and want to hear all your thoughts!  Seriously.  Just go for it, tangent in our comments.  We’ll love it (or at least I will, and it’s mostly my opinion that matters.  Eric just does badass interviews.)

Much love, my dear musical friends!