Album Review … Lucy and the Wolves from Martha Tilston

Martha Tilston
Lucy and the Wolves
Squiggly Records (2010)

Listen to “Wild Swimming” MP3

Martha Tilston is a deeply imaginative English singer-songwriter whose latest album Lucy and the Wolves is a collection of eleven seductive modern folk songs. Martha’s poetic lyrics unfurl vivid environments, her vocals crisp and wonderfully unaffected. 
Throughout the album, the feeling of the outdoors remains tantamount through imagery and field recordings (such as the a capella “Searching for Lambs” recorded in a Somerset wood). Stylistically, songs range from more traditional folk (“Lucy”, “Tom Cat”) to the more elaborately instrumented (“Wave Machine”). Each track remains richly organic, lending this album a warm and intimate coalescence.
Joining Martha on this latest release are members of the Woods, including bass player Jon Thorne (ex-Lamb).  Martha’s stepmother, the Irish singer Maggie Boyle, adds flute and harmonies to the standout track “Wild Swimming”, a celebration of the exhilaration of the world outside.
Lucy and the Wolves is out now on Martha’s own label Squiggly Records.  Watch a video for the track “Lucy”, recorded in a wagon nestled in the woods.
Be sure to catch Martha at La Maroquinerie (Paris) on 30 June with Fredrika Stahl.
“The Cape”
“Who Turns”
“Wild Swimming”
“350 Bells”
“My Chair”
“Searching for Lambs”
“Old Tom Cat”
“Wave Machine”

Official | MySpace

Album Review...Well Done Europe from The Chap

The Chap
Well Done Europe
Lo Recordings 2010

Listen to “Few Horoscope” MP3

North London based group The Chap might be named after a magazine on how to be the perfect modern gentleman but the songs on Well Done Europe are not your standard gentile pop songs. The group has crafted an intricate and evocative album that really starts to move on “Few Horoscope”. It’s a simple track filled with funky breakbeats and sexy squeals of delight.

Also check out the track “Gimme Legs” which is a sweet sauce of samples and “Neverless, The Chap”. The latter is filled with cool distortion and is a serious, flat out challenge to all electro-pop comers.

The rest of Well Done Europe is coated with sleepy, artistry that bathes in a hook-heavy, electronic rock feel. The Chap shows off its massive talent on this sizable and fun album.


1. We'll See To Your Breakdown
2. Even Your Friend
3. We Work In Bars
4. Obviously
5. Gimme Legs
6. Well Done You
7. Nevertheless, The Chap
8. Pain Fan
9. Torpor
10. Maroccan Nights
11. Few Horoscope
12. Chalet Chalet

Official | MySpace

Track of the Day …“Bye Bye Cellphone” from 1973

“Bye Bye Cellphone” from the self-titled album
2010  Blonde Music Publishing

Listen to “Bye Bye Cellphone” MP3

1973 is the French trio of school friends Nicolas Frank (vocals and guitars), Thibault Barbillon (from Nouvelle Vague on bass, keyboards, guitars) and Jérôme Plasseraud (guitars and keyboards).  With their first album Bye Bye Cellphone, 1973 have created a loving homage to the collectively imagined sound of California folk-pop and Beatles infused melodies.  The album was recorded in Thibault’s home studio in the French countryside over the last remaining weeks of summer. A soundtrack to that romanticized late afternoon in summer – the barbeque fired up, faces pink from the sun and the lingering light.
The tracks on Bye Bye Cellphone rise in wistful choruses, with lyrics often speaking to reminiscing, escaping or being set free.  In this vein, the title track speaks to suddenly becoming un-tethered with the loss of a cellphone and the freedom to reinvent.  Settle back and enjoy.
“Bye Bye Cellphone”
“Sexy Plane”
“Little Sis’”
“Simple Song (For A Complicated Girl)”
“Little Thing To Take Away”
“Late Night Call”
“We Are Nowhere”
“You Say You Will”
Official | MySpace | Blonde Music

Track of the Day… “I Can’t Feel” from Matthew Dear

Matthew Dear
“I Can’t Feel”
from Black City
(to be released August 2010 on Ghostly International)

Listen to "I Can’t Feel" MP3

Musically, Matthew Dear is many things: artist (under various aliases including Audion), producer, keenly sought after remixer and DJ, label co-founder (of both Ghostly International and Spectral Sound).  And he is back this summer with his fourth album (under his own name) Black City, his follow-up to 2007’s Asa Breed.  

The title track from Black City “I Can’t Feel” is spun from darker stuff.  The track begins with an afro-rhythmic clip, a hypnotic bass loop, organ chords and restrained effects.  This off-kilter groove is joined by Matthew’s distinctive baritone croon, gliding fitfully forward, until the track simply dissolves.  Enjoy the sexy darkness.
As a sidebar, check out the Ghostly International’s free ‘Discovery’ App to stream full tracks from the Ghostly International and Spectral Sound catalogues (with it’s mood-based tool).
You can sign up for updates about the new album at and a get a download of "I Can't Feel".
Below is the tracklisting for Black City:
“I Can’t Feel”
“Little People (Black City)”
“Soil to Seed”
“You Put A Smell On Me”
“More Surgery”
Official | MySpace | Ghostly International 

Track of the Day…“How The Game Is Played” from The Redwood Plan

The Redwood Plan
“How The Game Is Played”
Racing Towards the Heartbreak
Fish the Cat Records 2010

Listen to “How The Game Is Played” MP3

The Redwood Plan bust out of speakers and headphones. On the track , “How the Game Is Played”. lead singer Lesli Wood just plain rips it up like few of her peers.

Is it true that the Seattle band has finally perfected the groove-heavy sound that they have promised? This hook-laden charm is immense and is the answer.

Official | MySpace | Twitter

Track of the Day …"Schoolin’’’ from Everything Everything

Everything Everything
From the band’s debut album to be released in 2010

Listen to “Schoolin’” MP3

Everything Everything are a pick-n’-mix quartet hailing from Manchester, crafting smart, catchy and unconventional pop harmonies. They have come a long way since there first gig in 2007, having since released multiple singles including the excellent track “MY KZ, UR BF” (“My Keys, Your Boyfriend”) in 2009 (watch the video).

Everything Everything has since signed to Geffen, and the band’s debut album to be released later this year is already being pegged as one to watch.

The upcoming album’s first genre-melding single, “Schoolin’” will be available to download from 13 June, and out on 7" and CD on 14 June.

Also, check out the Visions of Trees (who will soon be featured on What’s On The Hi-Fi) blissful and tribal remix of “Schoolin’” on the Visions of Trees MySpace page

The band will be hitting the festivals this summer (Glastonbury, Latitude, Reading).  Check here for dates.

Official | MySpace | Twitter

Track of the Day...“Second Guessing” from Eddy Current Suppression Ring

Eddy Current Suppression Ring
“Second Guessing”
Rush To Relax
Goner Records (2010)

Listen to “Second Guessing” MP3

“Second Guessing” from Eddy Current Suppression Ring is a rollicking, punk infused romp in the tradition of X, The Cramps and The Troggs. On the track the Melbourne-based four-piece spark a high energy, slow burn rocker that is highlighted by lead singer Brendan Suppression’s rambling, nasally but ultimately cool vocals.

Check out the band here in their video for “Which Way To Go” and catch them live at the Cake Shop on June 18th in NYC.

Official | MySpace | Goner Records

Album Review… Laukinis Suo Dingo from Alina Orlova

Alina Orlova
Laukinis Suo Dingo
MetroMusic 2008 / Fargo 2010

Listen to “Vaiduokliai” MP3

On her debut album Laukinis Suo Dingo (translated as The Wild Dog Dingo, taken from the title of a Russian book on adolescent love), the young Lithuanian artist Alina Orlova captures the spirit of playful Baltic folk pop.  Her sound provides an extension of the likes of Regina Spektor and the wonderful Swede Frida Hyvönen, lending proceedings her unique twist.  The album features tracks sung in Lithuanian, Russian and English, all set to the seemingly unstudied accompaniment of piano, glockenspiel, violin, strings, banjo, tuba, accordion, bass, percussion.  Nevertheless, the heart of each song is the same – Alina’s voice and piano.

Tracks like the album opener “Lovesong” tumble on nostalgic strings and piano.  “Ligo” and “Žeme, Sukis Greitai” which ebb and flow with a darker urgency contrast with the altogether sweetly sad refrains of tracks like “Paskutinio Mamuto Daina”, “Utomlionnoe Solnce” and “Po Tiltu” (the latter being one of our favorites from the album).  Other tracks like “Transatlantic Love” and “Vaiduokliai” are simply sunny toe tapping affairs. “Slėpynės” sees the rare introduction of the non-organic, if only for a brief mid-song interlude.

Check out beautiful footage of Alina performing a few tracks for the folks at La Blogothèque.

Laukinis Suo Dingo, originally released in Lithuania a couple years back, is now available in Europe on the French label Fargo Records.

“Paskutinio Mamuto Daina”
“Žeme, Sukis Greitai”
“Po Tiltu”
“Transatlantic Love”
“Utomlionnoe Solnce”
“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

MySpace | Facebook

What's On The Hi-Fi...ITunes Podcast Relaunch

As of today, all 10 of the What’s On The Hi-Fi podcasts are now available on iTunes.  Unfortunately, with the latest relaunch, you will need to re-subscribe to the podcast series (sorry for the inconvenience!).  It couldn’t be simpler: just follow the link What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi, enter your iTunes account details and subscribe.  While you are there, please take a  minute and rate / review the What’s On The Hi-Fi podcast.  We appreciate the feedback!

Track of the Day..."Knock On Wood" from Halsted

“Knock On Wood”
From Life Underwater
Ashbury Records (Due in July 2010)

Listen to “Knock On Wood” MP3

Sometimes being a songwriter and performer can be strange roller-coaster ride. One moment you feel all the golden promise that you worked so hard to attain turn to lead and the idyllic strength you once depended on seems gone in an instant. And sometimes the better of these fallen dust themselves off and try again better than before.

Ryan Auffenberg is the latter of the two scenarios. After a promising debut LP, Marigold, and a subsequent tour the singer-songwriter returned home to find his label had folded amidst the recent financial collapse. Rather than dwell on what could have been, Auffenberg turned to friends and in the process put together a group to support his new material.

Out of these collaborations Halsted was born. The group, named after the first street Auffenberg lived as a musician, has created an inspired and exciting sound on their debut LP Life Underwater. Built around straightforward, passionate and poignant songwriting and playing, the songs on the album remind me of the best parts of Wilco, The Church and Paul Westerberg.

“Knock On Wood” is a driving, melodic track that feels like it snakes and bounces down a lonely country road at night. Filled with fine guitar riffing and Auffenberg’s plaintive vocals, it’s just a small sample of a great debut album.

We can’t wait to experience the trajectory of this band and look forward to checking them out live.

Official | MySpace | Twitter

What's On The Hi-Fi...Podcast Ten

While you listen to the podcast click here or on the image above to go to our podcast artist gallery to find out descriptions, links and more. You can also subscribe to our podcast free at What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi

Listen to "Podcast 10” MP3

Artist - Track Names
1) ANA TIJOUX - "1977"
5) JJ - "LET GO"