“Step by step eternity, infinite amenity.”

“Sand” by Yeah But No | This will begin on a slightly gross note: I have, as a doctor once said, “wet” earwax. This means I can’t easily clean my ears, because the wax would block the holes and not budge, meaning I would hear less on one ear than another. It’s not serious – you only need to visit the doctor to have the thing cleaned with something that, err, sucks – but it is a pain. I had that done this early this week, which means my ears are, for now, more… pristine than before. And then I get this on the inbox and my ears are fed this trippy, bouncy electronica – and it bounces even more, punches its way in, keeps it minimal and complex at the same time. The band is called Yeah But No (memories of Little Britain?) and is composed of Douglas Greed and Fabian Kuss, a project that blossomed from a bedroom thing into a full-fledged band. Must be the simple complexity that underlines “Sand”, which comes with their upcoming eponymous debut. Berlin, you have done it again. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)


“I will go until I find you.”

“Spaceman” by Francois Klark | Still on the inbox, and a track that gets slinky, and gets slinky quite nicely. Francois Klark, as his name suggests, has a bit of a cosmopolitan background: born in South Africa, based in Canada (Toronto, to be exact). Well, that says little about his music, really, but then that’s emblematic of how everyone borrows from everyone else these days. But “Spaceman” – a new single which dropped this week, ahead of his debut album next year – shows him off nicely: a smooth voice, production that kicks in at the right time, overall a song that could, would, grow on you. Let it. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“Hold me ’til I break.”

“Ropes” by Titus Makin | Well, this one’s a slow burner. Sometimes I’m in a mood where I want to really scrutinize whether a song deserves to be written about. I wasn’t feeling this one, to be honest – but that’s until the chorus kicked in again. Second chorus, and things changed. Meet Titus Makin – singer, actor, Arizona guy transplanted to Los Angeles. His name was a bit familiar to me, and turns out it’s because he was on Glee. Sure, he’s a minor character – he’s one of the Warblers – but he was a minor character during the show’s good years, or in my case, the years that I covered. (Spot him in this clip from the Michael Jackson tribute episode. Look, it’s the Flash!) If you make it on Glee you’ve got it, and it’s nice to see he’s done both acting and singing. “Ropes” – not really swinging in a retro sense, but a groover anyway – dropped last week, and it’s an opening salvo to a tranche of new music, with another new single and an EP on the way. So consider this your head’s up. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“You take me down below the streets.”

“Killing Time” by Crying Vessel | The history goes like this: Crying Vessel – yes, another Swiss act – began as a trip-hop act, only for Slade Templeton’s 80s influences to seep through. The connection isn’t flimsy, but the sound is different, and like our post yesterday, it all manages to remain accessible. Admittedly I thought I was in for a relatively difficult listen when I first hit play on their upcoming record, A Beautiful Curse, which drops tomorrow. But then you realize how the group wears their influences on their sleeve: there’s a fair amount of Gary Numan and Joy Division on the record, territory that has been trod in recent years from newer acts like Editors and the Horrors. It’s a driving record that evokes more images of long drives and neon – but also of a need to get away.  [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

Things without words #26: Soundtracking the prelude to the big fight

“Flake” by Egopusher | The band is called Egopusher: they’re a duo – Tobias Preisig and Alessandro Giannelli – halfway between Berlin and Zurich. Yes, it’s another one of those weird things from that side of the world that I get from the inbox. But this one’s fun, and surprisingly, quite accessible. On Friday they’re dropping a new album, Blood Red, filled with instrumental tracks that don’t feel out of place in a film sequence where the Good Guy prepares for the Prelude to the Big Fight – you know, the one he inevitably loses, only to get better at the end. It’s not fast-paced – in fact, it takes its time, all the tracks – and almost always ends in a nice build at the end, when things swoosh in and the Good Guy realizes he has the formula. Well, of course he doesn’t, so he tries again. Blood Red is an album of just that: attempts, feelings of euphoria, and a constant quest for improvement, with a hint of failure nestled in between. It’s an interesting record. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)