Friday, May 27, 2016

Exciting Summer Releases From Fika Recordings

If you're a regular reader, the following two bands will already be quite familiar to you, and I hope this news puts a little kick in your step as we head into the holiday weekend.

'Oscillations,' the debut long player from Cosines, made my top 10 albums of 2014 because, in large part, Alice Hubley's vocals remind me so much of one of my all-time favorite singers, Lena Karlsson of Komeda. Like the defunct Swedish band, Cosines also have an aesthetic fans of Stereolab and Saint Etienne will find attractive. Put another way, when I dream about knowing my way around a dance floor, the DJ is often spinning Cosines. We found out this week there won't be a new LP from them until 2017, which is a little disappointing, but to satiate our hunger, Cosines have a little appetizer to hold us over before the main course.

The four-track 'Transitions' will be out as a 10" on July 15 via London-based Fika Recordings. There aren't any streams for public consumption just yet, but I have been listening to the EP (over and over) for the last couple of days because, well, I just can't stop. Nor do I want to. "Let's Start It Over" is the indie-pop masterpiece of this lot, but I really identify with the rage found on "Dunbar." It's about a small London music venue close to the band's heart that was forced to shut its doors due to property development and gentrification. I immediately thought of my favorite record shop that's now a Chase Bank. If you identify with this one, you'll find screaming along to the chorus "all you guys with the money should leave our shit alone!" quite cathartic. "Ra" is a dreamy space-age jam. EP closer "Chaos Theory" surprised me with some Bowie-esque sax. We might only get four songs, but this EP is a filler-free affair. While we are waiting for Fika to stream something from the EP, let's enjoy one from 'Oscillations.'

Here's another alumnus of past top-10 lists on these very pages. When we last heard from Math and Physics Club, I was lauding them at No. 6 on my best albums of 2013 countdown for 'Our Hearts Beat Out Loud.' If you're a fan of these indie-pop pupils, then you know not to hold your breath between releases for fear of turning blue, but as Stephen Morrissey once sang, these things take time, and two-and-a-half years later, wa-lah, we are about to get one new song from the Pacific Northwest band. Yes, just one, but no long faces though because "Coastal California 1985" kicks off a must-have collection called 'In This Together: EPs, B-Sides, Rarities, and Unreleased Songs 2005-2015.' The album is chock full of those exclusive EPs and vinyl-only singles Matinée Recordings did such a fine job releasing to the world the past decade but are now so tough to procure.

Fika is releasing 300 copies of 'In This Together' on cream-colored vinyl with gatefold sleeve on June 24, but you had better hurry. As of this writing there are only about 50 left for preorder. If the clock expires on you, don't fret. It looks as though Matinée will be releasing it on CD in June as well. As with the new one from Cosines, there are no songs from the label for public streaming just yet, but let's listen to "Do You Keep a Diary" from the 2007 EP 'Baby I'm Yours' while we wait. Why that one? Because there is a wonderful acoustic version of this electropop classic on 'In This Together,' and if that doesn't get you excited for this compilation, I don't know what will.


George said...

Brian, serioulsy, The Cosines and The Maths ANd Physics Club?? I would say you're making those names up, but as you know I am a big fan of that Cosines album. By the way, have I told you that there is town on the Portuguese coast call Sines? (And that's true, look it up).

Brian said...

George, You're gonna love the EP. Wish I was in Sines right now. Typical Seattle rain expected most of the weekend. Not sure if Math and Physics Club is up your alley or not. Sounds funny saying that to a former mathematics teacher.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered, and fell in love with, Cosines this past week. Disclosed Stories and Misguide Me, were the culprits. Bloody great.

Brian said...

Way to go. If you found Disclosed Stories then you probably already know of the two 7" singles that came before Oscillations. All worthy of a purchase. Don't forget Hey Sailor Boy! too. That's the one that brought me into the fold. Something about Alice singing she's a girl pirate that is such a smile. Now go walk the plank and pick up that sucker.