‘The Lab: One’ (Various Artists) - Out Now
Very ltd letter pressed art work CD - £6.99, and digital download.
“Combines lo-fi, wonder and quirk in equal exciting measures. Enjoyably varied, this is the musical equivalent of a darn good yarn”
“Ten compelling, majestic songs…with Snowden muscling up alongside the jaunty Panda Band from Australia and Toronto’s The Wooden Sky. Marvellous - 8/10”
“Indie kids keen for a scoop… check it out!”
The Lab: One is the first release and eclectic sampler from The Lab, available on ltd artwork CD and digital download. The Lab loves all things creative, and tries to reflect this in everything that it does. It’s a happy coincidence that The Lab’s first physical output is a CD sampler. It started under a simple and perhaps naive notion that good music will prevail, an ideal it stands by. Not caring for hype, The Lab focuses on facts. Scouring high and low for quality music (not hype), The Lab selected a shortlist of 10 acts, each submitting a track that begs to be heard. No made up stories, just good music.
The Lab: One kicks off with New York based, Filter Magazine and Woxy.com favourites Soft, with ‘Higher’, a surging anthem sure to perk up any 7am start. Just home from touring Japan with Maroon 5, Soft are busy continuing to promote their album ‘Gone Faded’. Keeping up the pace is Secret Broadcast with the urgent and defiant ‘Big Bad Man’ from their debut EP ‘Plastic Fantastic’, gaining them invitations to CMW, NXNE, Vans Warped Tour and highlighted as ones to watch at JunoFest, Canada.
Originally from South Wales, Rod Thomas has gained radio plays aplenty for his recent sell-out single ‘You Get Goodbyes’, and is set to play Glastonbury after reaching the final stages of New Talent 2008. He can often be found busking on the London Underground (his favourite station is Liverpool St.). Forget dreary ramblings, ‘Good Coat’, is disco-folk-pop with loops and magic.
What can be said about Snowden that hasn’t been reported already? Not a lot. These indie sweethearts are loved by everyone from SPIN to Pitchfork, KCRW to DiS, and…Kings of Leon, who they toured Europe with last year. Heady vocals, fuzz and echoes, hand claps and drums, ‘Between the Rent and Me’ coerce even the most pretentious into tapping toes.
Perth natives The Panda Band released their critically acclaimed album ‘This Vital Chapter’ in Australia, winning friends in high places (Rolling Stone, Sydney Morning Herald, The Melbourne Age, etc.) before venturing across the water to Filter Recordings (US) last year. They also played the sold-out 20,000 strong Southbound Festival alongside bands such as Modest Mouse, The Bees and Basement Jaxx. ‘Ghosts Have the Best Time’ brims with gorgeous lush sounds, melding old and new, the result is unmistakably the mark of The Panda Band.
The Wooden Sky are a young Toronto band not to be missed if you’re into your alt. folk rock. ‘North Dakota’ flawlessly captures Gavin Gardiner’s vocal control and power, as well as the band’s capacity to rock out with tangible vigor. Vandaveer aka Mark Charles hails from Washington DC, where he’s acquired repeated comparisons to Donovan, Dylan, Tom Waits, and Nick Drake to name but a few. ‘Crooked Mast’ is a modern folk song, just one of many highlights from his record ‘Grace and Speed’.
Brooklyn’s Dirty on Purpose are on everyone’s lips in the US right now, sweeping the nation with a track from their current EP ‘Like Bees’ on a Virgin Mobile TV ad, and winning fans on RCRDLBL.com. ‘Back to Sleep’ builds delicate harmonies before reaching a grand wall-of-sound guitar meltdown. Occasional partners in crime The Jealous Girlfriends are wrapping up touring duties with Nada Surf before heading out with Sea Wolf, and grace the ‘Grey’s Anatomy 3’ soundtrack, offer ‘Roboxulla’, a perfect three and a half minute indie nugget showing Holly Miranda’s vocals at its best; dreamy and enticing throughout.
London quintet New Adventures have garnered great praise in recent months, most notably from the lips of Steve Lamacq on his 6Music show. NA played a sold-out headline show at The Luminaire, London, to a fervent crowd, ticking yet another box on their CV. ‘How I Got My Devil Back (Part One)’ is intensely intimate, about global feelings on a personal scale, filled with sweeping strings and soaring vocals.
The Lab hosted a release launch party and day event as part of Eurocultured Festival ‘08, Manchester (Sunday 25 May).