22 Jul 2015

Free Download Roundup - Nuvem Leopardo / Gabe Knox / Sir Robin & The Longbowmen / Mindflowers / Inner Oceans

Reviews by Nathan Ford

I seem to have accumulated quite a number of exceptionally good E.Ps available as free downloads over the last few weeks, so here's a particularly solid free download roundup for you. Take my advice and just download the whole lot of them. There's a world of new psychedelic treats in store for you below.

Nuvem Leopardo "Revolver Mercurio"

This Brazilian trio describe their music as 'gloomy psychedelic rock', a suitable description on paper, but not one that does justice to the music to be found within these grooves. "Revolver Mercurio" is their latest E.P, and it's a hugely enjoyable ride which seems to have found the magic sweet spot exactly half way between the Beatles and Black Sabbath. Beatlesque hooks and psychedelic production techniques blend effortlessly with fuzzy Tony Iommi-esque heavy psych guitars in a way that keeps this away from stoner / heavy rock territory, and firmly rooted in psychedelia.
There's an everpresent seam of Tropicalia laying just below the surface that gives this a playful tinge which compliments the melodic hooks marvellously.

Stream / download on a name your price basis here:

Gabe Knox "E.P:A"

Toronto based Gabe Knox is new to me, and perhaps everyone else too, as this is the first release on his Bandcamp page. That's not likely to be the case for long though, as "E.P:A" is a fantastic slice of vintage sounding Neu-werk. Knox has Neu's motorik beats, and Kraftwerk's vintage synth sounds down pat, and while I'll be the first to admit that there's nothing startlingly original going on here, I'd also venture the opinion that there is no one doing this sort of stuff this well at the moment - and there's no shortage of new Krautrock out there. If you connected with Kosmische Laufer, you're gonna absolutely adore this. Start with "Data Set" and go from there. Totally infectious music for cute robots.

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Sir Robin & The Longbowmen "Sir Robin & The Longbowmen"

The first EP from this Dresden based seven piece is a fantastic piece of big production psychedelia with traces of baroque pop, contemporary indie and vintage progressive rock coalescing to form a very diverse, but distinctive whole. Opener "I Would Like" evolves seamlessly from stomping Tame Impala-esque psychedelia to pastoral mellotron prog. Its successor, "Sunshower", on the other hand is all moody surf - think Allah-Las, the Kumari etc. In lesser hands this genre hopping would sound hopelessly messy and contrived, but Sir Robin & The Longbowmen put their own stamp on everything they attempt, and do so with confidence and a sack of great tunes in tow.

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Mindflowers "///3"

I've raved about Chris Billington's one-man psych-pop supergroup Mindflowers before, and I'm bound to do so again. It baffles me that Billington is still releasing his music free through Bandcamp. Surely the larger indie labels should be battering down his door to release stuff of this quality? In every bit the same league as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen, Deerhunter and the like, Mindflowers is perhaps a little more overtly sixties orientated than his more well known peers, but these arrangements suit his simple, melodic songs to a tee. "Collections" is the best of a very strong batch of songs (ten in all) - a gorgeous psych ballad which I could quite happily listen to on repeat for hours. It's time for people to start paying attention now.

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Inner Oceans "8 Cousins // Everything's Alright"

Aside from its extremely psychedelic approach, the music that Denver's Inner Oceans makes is definently resistent to all attempts at pigeon-holing. This new E.P, created during a month of self-enforced stufio isolation, is a multi-layered, complex, textured beast with all manner of drones, treated vocals and synth layering. It's also full of hooks, which is the part of the equation that's often missing with these adventurous studio types. It all sounds thrillingly contemporary too, even while it references and assimilates lessons learnt from the past. And each track builds up a great head of steam, with a ferocious groove.
Psychedelic, adventurous pop, with an unusual depth.

Stream / download on a name your price basis here:

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