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Friday, January 30, 2015Jonnie Common Updates

Jonnie Common’s Trapped in Amber was a bit of a quiet triumph, I think. Partly the response was incredible at the time, but it’s also been nice to watch it continue to creep up on people over the last few months despite the relative limits of our PR resources.

Both Jonnie and Bastard Mountain did really well in the BAMS awards – the Scottish ‘Bloggers And Music websiteS’ vote for the album of the year. The Twilight Sad won it, but Jonnie finished in the top ten and Bastard Mountain just outside, which is really nice. Jonnie has some live shows coming up as well, and we are just in the process of sorting out a London show too – hopefully in late March sometime.

28th Feb – STIRLING – Tolbooth headline show
7th March – EDINBURGH – Limbo headline show
8th March – GLASGOW – Broadcast, supporting R.Seiliog
17th March – MANCHESTER – Gulliver’s, supporting Kiran Leonard

Music Like Dirt also named Crumbs and Shark its joint favourite songs of 2014, which is absolutely great news. Neil even recounts the time I had a misty-eyed conversation with him in a pub in London about missing out on releasing Jonnie’s first album – a conversation I had entirely forgotten until that wee reminder – so I suppose he must have had a wee chuckle to himself when the press release for the new one came out.

We’ll be doing a new single with Jonnie soon, Binary 101, so keep an eye out for some new artwork, some extended and alternative mixes and various other bits and pieces. On the subject of artwork, actually, David Galletly, who did all the art for Trapped in Amber including a fantastic wee looped animation which was projected at the album launch shows, has put together a really nice post on this own site about the work he did. It’s great when a release has such coherent, distinctive artwork like this, and I’m really grateful to David for the work he did for us.

In other news, Nialler9 recently made Crumbs one of its best tracks of the week, and Niall himself played the song on his Irish radio show. Muruch also featured Le Thug recently, and you may wonder why I mention these two particular things, but Niall and Vic from Muruch are two of the very first music bloggers, both well established when I started Song, by Toad, and I was early enough as it is.

We know each other from the now-deceased elbo.ws blogger-only message board, but for all I always got on really well with them there, it’s been a long time since we’ve released anything which has prompted either of them (or indeed anyone else I know from that era) to post about our music. That’s fine of course – contrary to the constant accusations of cliqueyness, just being pals with someone doesn’t mean they will like or feature your music. We’d be on the Vic Galloway show every week if that was the case.

But it is nice to see that people you know still keep half an eye on what you’re doing, and that some fellow internet music loons are still beavering away after all this time. At a time when the hipsters writing for free for the bigger online mags seem to have lost interest in us altogether, it just makes me feel like there are still some nice, reliable things about the universe.

 

Monday, January 26, 2015Supermoon

supe Well first of all, thank you so much to everyone who came down to Henry’s on Thursday. It was a packed show – not our first sell-out, but definitely the first time we’ve had to actually turn people away at the door, which is a bit of a shame, but still feels like something of a triumph nevertheless.

So for those of you who enjoyed the show, and I suppose also for those who missed it, there is now a Supermoon EP available digitally through Bandcamp.

It’s mostly fairly minimal recording, but it showcases the move from orchestral rock, as I suppose you could call the last Meursault album, through a slightly lost phase of being a three-piece Black Sabbath tribute band with which Meursault toured the States but has yet to be captured on record, to something weirder and with a bit more needle.

It’s a welcome direction, from my point of view. You know me, I always like music with a bit more tension and discomfort captured in there somewhere, and this stuff definitely has that. There will be a formal physical release at some point in the relatively near future, although I have no idea how much similarity it will bear to this stuff.

I think a good few of the songs will remain, if not necessarily all the recordings, and Neil’s recent comic drawings will feature heavily (find these on Instagram), but that’s about all I can tell you at this stage, largely because I don’t really know myself until I see the finished article, and Neil tends to play these cards fairly close to his chest.

Nevertheless, in the meantime there is this EP. It’s quiet, a bit odd, and embraces noise and crackle, and until we come up with something physical for you to actually purchase, is a pretty good intro into where the Supermoon project is heading.

moon

Wednesday, January 21, 2015Heavy Drag

Remember Lil Daggers? We did an album, an EP and a split 7″ with them, and they are one of the very few non-Scottish bands we’ve ever released. They were based in Miami, made nasty, nasty swampy psychedelic rock songs (actually, if they were releasing nowadays the Modern British Hipster would fucking love them) and amazingly enough, Mrs. Toad loved them. She doesn’t love much that we release, although she definitely leans more towards nasty sounding guitar music, but it’s rare and rather nice when she pipes up and says ‘this is good’.

Anyhow, given then never managed to get over here and tour – understandable, Florida is a long fucking way away – our release never did much more for them than garner a couple of really nice reviews and give me awesome stuff to play if I was ever asked to DJ. Seriously, try playing Ghost Herd in the middle of a party of any sort, the looks on people’s faces are hilarious (it’s awesome, have a listen).

Anyhow, from the ashes of Lil Daggers springs a new band, one called Heavy Drag. There’s not too much out there at the moment, beyond one song on their Bandcamp page and and digital single to buy on iTunes (the video above is from that), but it all sounds really good so far.

It’s not as rambunctious as Lil Daggers – a bit slower and more shifty – more like the stalker you think you see at the end of your street than the dick picking a fight with you in a bar. It still has the garagey and psychey elements, but it definitely all feels different this time. The combination of the jangly guitar and descending bassline in Tissue is a great example – rhythm and foundation, but still skittery and loose.

This is excellent news. I am glad they haven’t gone away.