Bicep – Rain

Bicep have dropped a new digital EP titled Rain this week on Ninja Tune. Get it here.

Bicep’s Rain EP comes backed by a new video for Rain – or, “video mulch”, in the words of director Luke Wyatt, AKA Torn Hawk. A producer, DJ and NTS host, his video uses old film footage, edited together and overlaid with glitching VHS and computer generated images. Snakes and mazes repeatedly crop up, nodding to a complex web of allusions which – including the concept of kundalini, whose roots are in eastern spiritualism – tie together the disparate source material composing the video. “As we ditch our snake legacy and find a way out of the maze, eureka moments fall down in a constant soft rain,” further explains Wyatt.

Rain is backed by a new track Helix, which pairs warm synth brushstrokes with terse, bleepy modular sequences. Helix also receives a vinyl release as the B side to the excellent Four Tet remix of Opal.

Boys – That Weekend

Boys, the solo project of Stockholm based musician Nora Karlsson, releases her debut LP Rest In Peace on May 11 via PNKSLM Recordings.

Originally from Umeå in the north of Sweden, Nora Karlsson started working on her own songs at age 17 but it wasn’t until three years later that she finally shared them with others, urged by her bandmates in fellow PNKSLM signees HOLY, where she contributes guitar and backing vocals. Those first few home recordings were released in September 2015 as the Kind of Hurt EP on Stockholm label PNKSLM Recordings and immediately got the attention of music journalists around the world, hailing her as one of Scandinavia’s most exciting new artists.

A second collection of home-recorded tracks, the Love On Tour EP, followed in the spring of 2016 to praise from the likes of Stereogum and The Line of Best Fit and was followed by her first UK shows and touring around Scandinavia, before retreating to record what would become her debut album. Struggling with a writer’s block while reacclimatizing herself to life in the Swedish capital, the writing and recording of Rest In Peace took its toll and moved slowly forward, until the summer of 2017 when things finally got back on track. Working with producer Hannes Ferm (also the leader of HOLY) in Studio Cobra in Stockholm, “Rabbits” was soon finished and released as a teaser track in October 2017 as part of a split 7″ with friends and label mates Magic Potion, while Nora was finishing up the recordings of Rest In Peace.

An honest and intimate album as well as her first studio recordings, Rest In Peace is a huge step forward for Boys, filled with both the pains and joys of life. Retaining the broad indie pop template of her previous EPs the album shows great ambition, both in its songwriting and arrangements, going from grand string arrangements, to garage pop to synth pop and back to intimate singer-songwriter pop in the space of 8 tracks, while still remaining a singular being. While lead single “End of Time” is one of her oldest songs and has its origins back when she was 17, other parts of the album were written last year. Rest In Peace is a voyage through the last 5 years of Nora’s life it’s a universal story of growing up and struggling to find your place in the world, of shitty jobs and death, of love and friendship, of life itself simply.

J Colleran – bERA

Irish producer J Colleran, formerly known as MMOTHS, has announced his forthcoming album Gardenia is scheduled to be released on June 29 via Because Music.

Following the previously shared O + SOH, J Colleran has unveiled the Christopher Gray-directed accompanying visuals for latest track bERA. The video was inspired by the photography series by Anton Polyakov who documented the people of Transnistria, an independent state affected by the constant intimidation of military conflict.

Recorded at The Meadow Studios in Wicklow with a string quartet, the album’s neo-classical direction takes much of its inspiration from Colleran’s home in The Curragh Plains, Kildare.