Recent Church Road Records signees, OUTLANDER have announced their upcoming EP Sundowning / Unconditional – due for release on June 25th. The Birmingham based quartet’s latest release follows their well received 2019 debut album, The Valium Machine, and expands upon their established slowcore foundations with richly layered shoegaze and doom. Today, we’re giving you one of the new tracks called “Sundowning” and a special list of top 10 other artists worth listening to!
Recorded and mixed over a four day period by Neil Kennedy at the well revered The Ranch Production House and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden, Sundowning / Unconditional shines in it’s chameleonic shifts between alt-rock sensibilities in the vein of Nothing and the languor of Hum and Holy Fawn at their most oppressively dreamlike.
The marriage of shoegaze and doom has proved fruitful in recent years, in part due to it’s fatalistic capturing of 21st century ennui, and Outlander have undoubtedly added themselves to the burgeoning list of exciting new acts that are tapping into the zeitgeist’s current listlessness.
Top 10 Albums worth a check, by OUTLANDER
Sprain – As lost through collision
The perfect marriage of unwound esque post-hardcore and bedhead style slowcore, this record is absolutely sick front to back. Super gloomy with winding, angular guitars and walls of screaming feedback, the track “everything” is our pick as it slowly devolves into 15 minutes of fuzzed out doom madness.
Modern Rituals – This is the history
One of my favourite albums of last year from the most underrated heavy band in the uk. Absolutely crushing and so intimate/beautiful at the same time with some wild instrumentation and really amazing songwriting. “You can’t tell a man by the song he sings” is my pick from the record, it’s one of their more melodic tracks, but a rager nonetheless..
Spirit of the beehive – Entertainment, Death
An off-kilter shoegaze gem filled with weird warbly textures and warped hooks that sounds kind of space age and nostalgic at the same time. “Give up your life” is my standout track but the whole thing is listless and beautiful.
Mutes – Dreams of being cornered (may release)
Our practice space roommates and great friends Mutes specialise in driving, expansive guitar driven post-punk with the angularity of women and the lushness of deerhunter. They have a new LP coming out on May 7th which is killer and the first single “modern waste” showcases most of their best bits.
Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark
The most refined record yet from the inimitable Arab Strap, filled with wonderfully candid monologues about sex and woe set to lo-fi drum machines and straight-to-desk guitars. Compersion pt. I is my standout but the record needs to be heard in full.
Helvetia – This devastating map
Beautifully experimental fuzzy lofi from Jason Albertini of Duster and Built to Spill fame. Filled with tape hiss, blown out compression and strange playing artefacts throughout, the whole record feels so personal, organic and loose. Inverted is the highlight for me.
Social Contract – Buzzards Wake
Great South London band with a sound that borrows from post-punk, shoegaze, indie and post-rock but doesn’t really sit comfortably in any one genre. There’s a real intensity to their music which is at it’s absolute best when they really jam it out like at the end of “waterside mews”.
Alfa Mist – Bring Backs
I caught wind of Alfa Mist after a friend recommended his 2017 release ‘Antiphon’. Excellent jazz from East London.
Stand out track for me comes in the middle of the album – ‘Run Outs’ love the electronic spacey details in the production, great musicianship all round – the drums are killer throughout.
Little kid – transfiguration highway
Gorgeous folk-infused indie from Toronto, Canada. I’ve loved everything this band has put out. Dark, introspective religious imagery and pastoral instrumentation mixed in with lofi, bedroom production has been a major part of this bands sound, and this record is no exception. The title track is our pick.
Jesu – Terminus
Master of gloomy, slowcore infused shoegaze and fellow brummie Justin Broadrick is on absolute top form with this drifting new record. The title track is our pick.