Vinyl Love – Camera Obscura – Elefant Records 25th Anniversary Collection

One of my favourite labels have re-issued singles from one of my favourite bands, be very remiss of me not to bring this to your attention; as part of their 25th Anniversary Collection Elefant Records have released Teenager and Keep It Clean both of which were originally released as CD singles, taken from their second album but are now available on coloured 7” vinyl for the first time, each including two A-sides from Underachievers Please Try Harder and two songs from the CD singles. The singles are up for pre-order now and set for release on March the 3rd, you can order at Elefant UK or Darla (USA), TheStoneRecords (Japan), Elefant (rest of the world)
+ digitally from

‘Teenager’ was their first release as an Elefant Records group. It is iconic within their collection, and accompanied by the doo-wop ‘A Sister’s Social Agony’, ‘I Don’t Want To See You’ and ‘Footloose And
Fancy Free’ on yellow vinyl.

Keep It Clean and Suspended From Class open each sidetone  transparent vinyl,  which also includes the lesser-known songs Amigo Mío  and San Francisco Song.

California Snow Story – Some Other Places

California Snow Story – Some Other Places

Perfect summer evening pop to kick back and watch the daylight fade, laid-back melodies combine with wistful vocals and drift in and around deft instrumentation, lovely stuff.

David Skirving began California Snow Story in 2001 after leaving Scottish band Camera Obscura. David was a founder member and original guitarist of Camera Obscura and he gave the band their name. He wrote four songs on their debut album Rare UK Bird and guitar parts for their album Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. David played with Camera Obscura at the legendary Bowlie Weekender festival in 1999.

California Snow Story first released music on Shelflife Records in the US in 2002 (One Good Summer EP) and released their first album Close to the Ocean in the UK and the Philippines in 2007. This album was the first release to feature vocalist Sandra Belda Martãnez from Spain and keyboard player Madoka Fukushima from Japan. Except for the occasional live show, the band went on hiatus due to other commitments and living in different countries. California Snow Story continued to attract a following and gradually began working on a follow up album.

The new album features the same core members but also has guest vocals from occasional collaborator Melanie Whittle from the Hermit Crabs. Mel originally played drums and percussion for the band’s live appearances. Additionally, vocalist Lupe Núñez-Fernández from Pipas / Amor De Diaz sings on the song “Outliers”. Making the line up more international still, Kristoffer Solvang from Norwegian band The Loch Ness Mouse plays drums on two songs. This album (as with the other releases) was mastered by Jon Chaikin who has worked with bands such as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Black Tambourine.

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Beat Surrender : Best of 2013

It’s that time of year again to try and break down this years favourites into some kind of order, truth be told the #1 choice was the easiest I’ve had to make in recent years, separating #2 through #5 was a little more difficult – they are all great albums, stylistically very different but all have outstanding songs, from #6 onwards the degree of separation reduces and to be honest if I sat down with the final list next week the order could shift significantly, in the tradition of never doing it exactly the same way year-on-year this time around I’ve gone for a more straight forward chart and the number 33 seemed an appropriate choice given the top ten all found their way into my collection on vinyl (no doubt this influenced the final choices). Having already seen a number of fellow bloggers best of’s it evident there are some big name Americana acts missing from the Beat Surrender run down, as ever too much music and not enough time.

1. Jason Isbell – Southeastern

2. Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

3. Danny & The Champions of the World – Stay True

4. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

5. Caitlin Rose – The Stand In

6. Lindi Ortega – Tin Star

7. Holly Williams – The Highway

8. Sturgill Simpson = High Top Mountain

9. My Darling Clementine – The Reconciliation

10. Austin Lucas – Stay Reckless

11. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart

12. Chris T-T & The Hoodrats – The Bear

13. Phosphorescent – Muchacho

14. John Moreland – In the Throes

15. Frankie & The Heartstrings – The Days Run Away

16. Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Dear River

17. Star Anna – Go To Hell

“For Anyone” by Star Anna (official music video) from Coalter Digital on Vimeo.

18. Thee Spivs – The Crowds & The Sounds

19. Doc Feldman & the LD50 – Sundowning At The Station

20. Israel Nash Gripka – Rain Plans

21. Shona Tucker – A Tell All

22. The Lucky Strikes – The Exile & The Sea

23. Laura Cantrell – No Way Here From There

24. Possessed by Paul James -There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

25. Amanda Shires – Down Fell The Doves

26. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

27. MG Boulter – The Water Or The Wave

28 Annie Keating – For Keeps

Annie Keating – All Gone

29. The Handsome Family – Wilderness

30. Paper Aeroplanes – Little Letters

31. Wynntown Marshalls – The Long Haul

32. Slaid Cleaves – Still Fighting The War

33. Lloyd Cole – Standards

Best of the Visuals 2013 Part 1

Here’s a selection of my favourite video performances from the last 12 months, in no particular order.

Camera Obscura – Fifth In Line To The Throne

Frightened Rabbit – Holy

London Grammar – Wicked Game (Live at WFUV)

Frank Turner – Losing Days

KT Tunstall – “The Boys of Summer” (Live – WFUV)

Girl Called Johnny – Heaven Knows

Lindi Ortega – Tin Star Orange Lounge Session

The Fauns – Lights

Lloyd Cole – Period Piece

The Dirty Beggars – Codeine (Jason Isbell Cover)

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