15
Oct
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 56

BIRDS & BATTERIES

This West Coast five piece’s EP was lovingly posted through the letterbox at Recommender towers this week, or as it’s more commonly known, our email’s inbox. It’s a piece of work that follows not one but two debut albums by this band. Two debuts!? To explain, the first attempt, Nature Vs Nature, was the solo work of Michael Sempert, which got re-recorded once he relocated to San Francisco and recruited the rest of the band. The second attempt, I’ll Never Sleep Again, was the first release of work written and recorded in 2007 by the completed line up. So we now turn to a new EP, Up To No Good, which works as a fore runner to their expected new album, which is due out in Spring 2010. If this EP teaser is anything to go by then you can get ready for a new favourite band. There’s the mellow and totally brilliant basslines you used to locate on a Bowie album, mixed up with the kind of gorgeous vocal harmonies Super Furry Animals had at their most Beatles-esque peak. Throw in the dark funk and atmospheric song structures you link with TV On The Radio and you get the picture. They’ve done away with all the alt-country fluff you often found on their previous work and this new fuzzed up electricity moves them in a wonderful direction. So different is their new work that we list a couple of tracks for you to consider. The only drawback is that it’s the start of Autumn here, yet I’m already thinking of Spring next year!    (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       BIRDS & BATTERIES – LONELY GUNS ysi
Hear them here:       BIRDS & BATTERIES – THE VILLAIN ysi

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

GRIZZLY BEAR

We have begun work on our blog’s Best Tracks Of 2009, an annual project that’s lovingly undertaken by most of the established blogs out there. So we’ve started to lovingly scan through all of this years posts to plunder the highlights. Amazingly we noticed that Grizzly Bear have somehow been a horribly glaring omission which we can’t quite believe has been missed! We fully intended to post about the Brooklyn four piece around the time of their third studio album, Veckatimest, released in May, but they managed to get left off. Rather than simply forget about them and move on, we feel it is our duty to finally and belatedly include them in our halls. So strong is their magical and beautiful album that they absolutely make The Recommender’s grade. It’s atmospheric indie that forms in the background of your mind as you listen. Fans of those bearded woodsman Fleet Foxes, or those other hirsuted Americans, Local Natives, will appreciate the similar, layered vocal harmonies and haunting, mulit-instrumental dreamscapes that are found here. Although it was launched at the end of May, their album is actually better suited to an Autumn backdrop, so there’s no better time of year to re-visit them than this. They are planning a tour around the UK around the start of November, so we suggest you take the chance to see them in the next few weeks.     (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       GRIZZLY BEAR – SLOW LIFE (ft. VICTORIA LEGRAND) ysi

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

BOY CRISIS

Today’s final subjects are one of the latest acts to have been born out of the (in-) famous college fraternity, The Eclectic Society, which has previously spawned such acts as MGMT and Amazing Baby. Getting touted as “the next best new age electro funk band to come out of Brooklyn” is something worth taking note of, however, they’ve also been described as “the absolute worst band in the world right now”, so that came as a swift leveller as we stuck our noses in. It’s easy to see why there’s a certain amount of camp-splitting, as there’s rather a surreal foundation in the way they approach their music. As we dig further we uncover the cause of this, as the lead singer is found to be Victor Vazquez, one half of the stoner rap duo, Das Racist, whose biggest hit so far has been Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell! Hmm. Alongside a handful of sweet tracks, such as Dressed To Digress (listed below), it was actually their tune,  Fountain Of Youth, that finally convinced us of their quality, bringing to mind a familiar MGMT sound. As the track’s complexity unfolded it became clear, for all their absurdity this is a band that actually makes fantastic, instantly catchy pop songs. Who cares if they’re actually being serious or not?    (MH)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       BOY CRISIS – DRESSED TO DIGRESS ysi

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

We recently completed a few photos in a shoot with the band Yes Giantess, so look over to our Flickr page for the results of those real soon. We are currently chasing Ellie Goulding for the next shoot so with a little luck we can bag her up too.

<p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”aligncenter” src=”http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u92/odelaybradford/REDLINE.jpg?t=1254493193&#8243; alt=”REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford” width=”612″ height=”7″ /></p>
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10 Responses to “THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 56”


  1. October 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks Mike. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the EP. And I was thrilled to read the Super Furry Animals reference- one of my favorite bands! Especially the albums Guerilla, Rings Around the World and Phantom Power. Such creative production, big inspiration.
    Keep in touch,
    -Mike Sempert
    Birds & Batteries

  2. October 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Inspirations all round then.

    Good luck with your future work. We will definitely keep an ear out for you…

    Regards
    Mike

  3. 3 enid
    October 21, 2009 at 2:40 am

    what?! veckatimest was grizzly bear’s THIRD studio album. the first one was admittedly a little unlistenable, but I can’t believe you somehow missed the beauty of 2006’s “yellow house”.

  4. October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve taken my sources around the back and shot them for this error Enid. Many thanks. Not quite sure how that happened, but it’s now been corrected. Too much writing, not enough researching. We pride ourselves on quality, so we’re very sorry for this. One slip up after recommending nearly 200 bands ain’t that bad I guess, but no excuses.
    Mike

  5. October 27, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Hey Mike, been digging TR ever since you dropped a line over at TBE some time back. Keep up the jams. Just a heads up about the Boy Crisis Z-Share link. It’s bunk, file size is 0.0 mb. And the YSI link is expired. Thought you should know. Also, the test I am typing in this box is near impossible to read, so tiny and pixellated. I am using Safari FYI. Ok, enough whining from me. Seriously, keep up the good work and delete this comment from the post if you want.

  6. October 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Brandon. I’ll sort out the link and look into Safari’s comments box. It seems fine on Firefox, which is what I use, so I wasn’t aware until you helpfully pointed it out. We appreciate your help…

    All the best,
    Mike

  7. 7 Matt
    November 10, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I love the new EP! Just saw Birds and Batteries in San Francisco with a 9 piece ensemble. Amazing! Can’t wait for the whole album.

  8. November 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Yeah we would love them to play at our showcases in Brighton, but will have to wait for a tour. It’s one of the finest EPs we’ve heard in a long time.
    Mike


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