Francis Albert Machine – I Love You And I Don’t Want You To Die

Frankie Machine’s first US release (on Chocolate Hearts) is a collection of all the songs from the three singles released by Artists Against Success and numerous tracks taken from compilations released on a variety of UK labels. Unless you are the most hardcore of hardcore fans who has been particularly hardcore in your fandom it is unlikely that you will have heard the majority of the songs on this release and British enthusiasts will be glad to know that there will be a limited domestic distribution of this compilation.

Frankie’s songs are soft and melodic acoustic that are always beautifully written with perfect lyrics that deal with love, loss and problems in the open and honest way you wish your friends would open up to you and you wish you could speak to them. Lyrics like ‘She told me again she preferred circumcised men/Why is loving her always such an operation?’ (Either Or The Both Of Us) are typical his style and tendency towards the slightly strange.

This record is so perfect it’s hard to believe it’s a collection of songs recorded over five years and not a proper album. I’ve been listening to it continuously since I got it and I think I will continue to do so for a long time to come. This is the album I’m taking with me to my desert island.

Frankie’s second proper album, Re-Unmelt My Heart, will be released in August.


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Label: Chocolate Hearts

Websites:

www.frankiemachine.com
www.chocohearts.com
www.artistsagainstsuccess.com

Release date: 31st May 2004

Tracklist:

  • Why Are You #1
  • Nineteen Seventy Three
  • Johnny Is Throwing A Ball
  • Don’t Be A Robot
  • The Struggle
  • I Invented The Walkwoman
  • No Good Charming A Broken Snake
  • I Didn’t Understand It So I Gave It A Name
  • The Cause Of Hysteria
  • The Clue Is In The Question
  • Just Because I Am
  • Either Or The Both Of Us
  • The Film I Never Made
  • Rhumba For The Mainframe
  • Happy/Sadistic
  • St. Agnes Day Epilogue
  • The Smoking Gun
  • Commercial Zenith
  • Tragic Love. Easy Listening
  • No Love Boat
  • Every Sunday Morning
  • The Sun Behind Clouds
  • Animated Still
  • The Equal & The Opposites Attract
  • Howl Girl Catch
  • 54th & 3rd (Single Version)

Aberfeldy – Vegetarian Restaurant

If Aberfeldy were from America then they’d be alt.country and automatically inherit all the cowboy romance from the genre. But they are not; as they come from Scotland they seem to be getting lumped, unfairly, into the pop folk brigade. Although, naming themselves after a Scottish seaside town probably didn’t help.

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This is a shame because they are more akin to the Nick Drake/Belle & Sebastian/Mojave 3 school. ‘Vegetarian Restaurant’ is a light and gentle song of longing that is very easy on the ear. Aberfeldy make music to melt into. They are perfect for the warm summer nights and the even warmer summer days.

You can catch Aberfeldy live at one of the following gigs in June –


Book tickets through ticketmaster.co.uk

  • 4th – North Edinburgh Arts Center
  • 10th – London Bush Hall (supporting Sufjan Stevens)
  • 11th – Glasgow Stereo (supporting Sufjan Stevens)


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Label : Rough Trade

Release Date : 31 May 2004

Website : www.roughtraderecords.com

Tracklisting

  • Vegetarian Restaurant
  • What You Do

Aberfeldy are Riley Briggs, Ian Stoddart, Ruth Barrie, Sarah McFadyen and Ken McIntosh.

The Features – There’s A Million Ways To Sing The Blues

High on the success of their single ‘The Way It’s Meant To Be’ and it’s aptly titled predecessor ‘The Beginning EP’, The Features are setting out their stall to wow us all with ‘There’s A Million Ways To Sing The Blues’.

The title is a bit of a misnomer. This is not at all a blues record. The Features are instead an energetic guitar pop-rock outfit. They have taken heavy rock riffs and lightened them with sixties style keyboards and a jaunty vocal. The result is an immediately catchy tune that grows on you even more as you listen.


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Label : Temptation/Island

Release Date : 31 May 2004

Website : www.thefeatures.com

Tracklisting

  • There’s A Million Ways To Sing The Blues
  • See You Through
  • There’s A Million Ways To Sing The Blues (Video)

The Features are Matt Pelham (vocals/guitar), Roger Dabbs (bass), Parrish Yaw (keyboards) and Rollum Haas (drums).

Emma – Crickets Sing For Anamaria

Taken from Emma’s latest album ‘Free Me’, ‘Crickets Sing For Anamaria’ is a reworking of a sixties hit by Marcos Valle. As a bona fide sixties pop hit the lyrics are fairly nonsense, but undeniably catchy. The tune is a blissfully happy salsa, it is incredibly infectious in an Austin Powers sixties style.

Emma also covers Paul Anka’s ‘Eso Beso’, and Asrtud Gilberto’s ‘So Nice’ to complete the mood. The latinisation doesn’t stop there as you can get a very nice remix of ‘Maybe’ and a mash up of the title track with the classic ‘Tequila’.

This is frankly the best thing I have heard Emma Bunton do, it is fantastic fun.


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Label : 19/Universal

Release Date : 31 May 2004

Website : www.emmabuntonofficial.com

Tracklisting CD1

  • Crickets Sing For Anamaria (Original Radio Edit)
  • Eso Beso
  • So Nice (Summer Samba)
  • Crickets Sing For Anamaria (Elements’ Crickets Dance On Tequila Booty Mix)

Tracklisting CD2

  • Crickets Sing For Anamaria
  • Maybe (Latino Mix)

The Duke Spirit – Dark Is Light Enough

London based rockers The Duke Spirit, following on from their debut single ‘Bottom Of The Sea’ and the mini-album ‘Roll, Spirit, Roll’, are releasing ‘Dark Is Light Enough’ from their (as yet nameless) debut album proper. They are rock in a raw and driven blues style that they carry off in an infectious and unstoppable fashion. Leila’s vocals sit somewhere comfortably between Martina Topley-Bird and Karen O; they are undeniably rock, but unconventionally gripping.

If there is any justice in the world ‘Dark Is Light Enough’ will be a massive hit.

The Duke Spirit are touring with The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, catch them both at the following venues –


Book tickets through ticketmaster.co.uk

June

  • 2 Brighton Concorde 2
  • 3 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
  • 4 Stoke Sugarmill
  • 5 venue tbc London
  • 14 Kerrang FM launch Birmingham Academy
  • 27 Glastonbury second stage, late pm

July

  • 6 Switzerland Montreaux Jazz Festival (with PJ Harvey, BRMC)

August

  • 28 Reading, Radio 1 stage
  • 29 Leeds, Radio 1 stage


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Label : Loog

Release Date : 31 May 2004

Website : www.dukespirit.com

Tracklisting

  • Dark Is Light Enough
  • You Were Born Inside My Heart
  • Boot Hill (Demo)

The Duke Spirit are Luke Ford (guitar), Leila Moss (vocals), Dan Higgins (guitar), Olly ‘The Kid’ Betts (drums) and Toby Butler (bass).