Sunday, October 11, 2009

FROM THE INTRAY: Friska Viljor, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club & Martin Heslop

A round-up of some recent(ish) singles and songs sent my way.

Friska Viljor are back this month with a new album "For New Beginnings" and the ever dependable Daniel from the band (and head of their record label Crying Bob records) sent through this song to share 'Wohlwill Strasse'. It is "a tribute to the people living at the street Wohlwill Strasse, situated next to Reeperbahn in Hamburg. Me and Joakim (the other half of the band) spent a week there a couple of years ago and fell in love with it". It's a jaunty pop travelogue complete with swinging horn section and 'whoo-hoo-hoo' chorus; and suggests the new album (pre-order here to receive a signed copy) is another must-buy from the excellent Swedish folk-pop duo. Friska Viljor are on tour in Oct and Nov across Europe (and hopefully at some point the UK?)

Friska Viljor
For New Beginnings [BUY]

And in case you need reminding, here's Friska Viljor performing the first song from previous album "Tour de Hearts" on Swedish TV.

I reviewed elsewhere last month, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club single 'Watching The Burgulars' and loved its "ringing, jangly art-pop with an African rhythm that could easily find a home on either Abe Vigoda’s “Skeleton” or XTC’s “English Settlement”". Here is B-Side 'Polish Man' and the video for 'Parrot' both also from the album "Love On An Oil Rig".

The Victorian English Gentlemens Club
Love On An Oil Rig [BUY]

An mp3 of 'Parrot' can be yours in return for your email address at the band's website. And if none of this is enough to persuade you to buy that album, try this great review on The Line Of Best Fit. It did it for me.

And finally Martin Heslop. His record label Shipyard was in touch offering me a copy of this EP (and their first release) "As The Stories Burn". I replied (OK several weeks later) but heard nothing further from them sadly/annoyingly so no song to share here. But you can hear the whole EP on Martin's MySpace page.

My first thought before I heard a note given his name and knowing he was from Newcastle-upon-Tyne area was 'Northumbrian Folk', probably with lots of fiddle. But I was wrong - sort of. The five songs display quite a variety but they are at heart folk - but more alt than trad. 'As The Stories Burn' is a Waits-ian stroll down the wrong side of the tracks with spooked guitar and creepy, crashing percussion. And 'Mince and Potatoes' is a luckless, self-loathing take on Conor Oberst despair. Well worth a listen. But keep the lights on and a happy thought in your head.

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