It was a tough choice between this and PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ for this week’s top single – both are intelligent pieces about the fallacies of war, both stunning – but Joanna wins out purely on aesthetics.
Have One On Me sleeve painter Becca Mann lends her talents once more, not only to the evocative portrait of an American Civil War soldier on the cover but also to a beautiful birds-and-flowers etching on the B-side of the vinyl (it only plays on one side). It’s an absolute treasure, and a gorgeous way to give this relic from The Milk Eyed-Mender era a well-deserved release of its own. Available on 12″ vinyl.
Here’s a video of Joanna playing ‘What We Have Known’ way back in 2004 at the Crocodile Café in Seattle. Listen to the original Yarn & Glue EP version from 2003 here.
Also out this week:
It’s been ten years since Drugstore released the sorely underappreciated Songs For The Jet Set, but Isabel Monteiro returns with a revamped lineup this September for another bite of the indie-pop cherry. This double A-side release features the two songs that bookend the new album, Anatomy, and represent two very different sides to Drugstore. ‘Sweet Chili Girl’ has a moody Americana feel (stream a 50-second clip below), while ‘Clouds’ is an orchestrated, smoky piano ballad. Available on MP3 and CD.
STREAM: Drugstore, ‘Sweet Chili Girl’ [clip]
Echo Lake’s debut EP sold out within a few days upon its release in February, so if you want to own a copy of their latest single, we’d advise you to be quick off the mark! ‘Another Day’ is another fine slice of psychedelic fuzz-pop that finds singer (and sleeve artist) Linda Jarvis thrust to the foreground where her airy tones are finally allowed to shine. Available on MP3 and 7″ vinyl.
STREAM: Echo Lake, ‘Another Day’
Echo Lake launch the single tomorrow night at White Heat @ Madame JoJo’s in London, supporting the wonderful Puro Instinct. They’ll also be playing an in-store acoustic gig at Flashback Records in Islington on July 29. For a full list of tour dates visit their Tumblr.
This second single from the duo of Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck is a tranquil, drifting follow-up to the sweetly catchy ‘Ants’, a dreamy piano-led ballad with barely-there guitar. Available on MP3 and 7″ vinyl.
New Zealand’s Brooke Fraser has been picking up some regular Radio 2 airplay with her latest album Flags, and second single ‘Betty’ even made it as their coveted ‘Record of the Week’. No such luck round these parts – sorry, Brooke – but there’s no denying that ‘Betty’ is a gorgeously produced, mature pop offering with a decent, thumping chorus. Available on MP3.
Arriving in the week that should see Polly named among the Mercury Music Prize nominees for the fourth time in her career, as well as performing at the Portishead-curated ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror festival, ‘Let England Shake’ is the fourth single to be lifted from the album of the same name. Available on MP3.
This opening track from Cape Dory, the addictive debut album from Denver trio Tennis, is full of summer yearning for a sweet escape. Short and woozy, it’s eminently repeatable. Available on MP3.