Bandcamp Finds, Vol. 1

I absolutely adore Bandcamp. Both the community of musicians that use it and the staff that manage it consistently do a stellar job at making it my favourite place to listen to and read about new music from smaller artists. Simply because of how often I find myself frequenting the website, I thought it might be a fun activity to put together a list of noteworthy albums I find every week or so, giving concise reviews of each, in the hope that people reading might find a new favourite or two.

So, in no particular order, here are my Bandcamp findings for this week:

Lord Bendtner – Lord Bendtner

bendtner

Shimmering, summery dream pop with lavish instrumentation. With the heatwave that swept through the UK this month, it was almost fitting I found myself with this bright, synthesiser-heavy dream pop. A physical version is available on Slovakian label Z Tapes, a site which tempts me with every new addition to their catalogue to splurge on a handful of new tapes.

Listen and purchase here (Lord Bendtner) or here (Z Tapes).

Lake Michigan – Gleaming

gleaming

Another release from Z Tapes, Lake Michigan’s borderline-monotone voice may be a turn-off for some, but the cold and desolate soundscapes his songs create play out like a ghost telling stories from a past life.

 

Listen and purchase here.

Leon – Birdworld

birdworld

Leon’s chirpy (get it?) Birdworld is not merely a musical offering, but the soundtrack to a nonexistent video game, complete with an instruction manual – with character, place, etc. names and descriptions – packaged in the limited edition. Its fun and jumpy melodies will tickle any fans of the music of games like Yoshi’s Island, as well as potentially more IDM and wonky-inclined listeners.

Listen and purchase here.

Secret Cutter – Self Titled

secretcutter

This album isn’t so much a ‘find’ for this week as it is me cleaning out my Bandcamp wishlist; this particular one having been sat there for at least 3 years. Self Titlted is an album raw and misanthropic enough to make the most timid of folk want to throw a chair through a window, and I feel like such a fool for letting it sit in my Bandcamp backlog for so long. For fans of anything remotely heavy and hateful.

Listen and purchase here.

Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness

hellripper

A DIY metal record from Aberdeen that’s a love letter to early black metal and NWOBHM sounds of the 1980’s. Featuring fast, rocking metal with face-melting guitar solos, and track titles like ‘Bastard of Hades’ and ‘Demdike (In League with the Devil)’, Hellripper’s Satanic speed metal bangers will please any fans of Bathory or Venom.

Listen and purchase here.

White Ward – Futility Report

wward

An album with equally powerful black metal and smooth jazz passages. What could have been a messy clash of styles is ultimately a very tasteful and wonderfully executed record. In particular, hearing a saxophone melody accompanying a traditional black metal blast-beat is an incredibly satisfying feeling.

Listen and purchase here.

Good Good Blood – Songs From Where I Live

gdgdbld

Cold, Autumnal folk music from northern England, the sonic equivalent of a cross-country walk on an overcast October morning. Vocals that reverberate like wailing in a mountain valley, sharp acoustic instrumentation and a few experiments dotted here and there, Songs From Where I Live feels personal and heartfelt throughout. Another cassette release, this time via Fox Food Records from the UK.

Listen and purchase here.

Agent Blå – Agent Blå

blå

Gothenburg indie pop with a notable tinge of post-punk and gothic rock, though the band sounds youthful and energetic there’s an overt melancholy covering the entirety of the record; a sense of unease. Tight performances and songwriting for fans of New Order and Joy Divison, or fans of other Gothenburg contemporaries like Makthaverskan (the guitarist of which produced this album). Their Bandcamp store also has some limited vinyl releases for those so inclined.

Listen and purchase here.

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