Wartime Tapestry – Storms

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Dense, noisy drone that really benefits from a good set of headphones. Wartime Tapestry makes excellent use of subtle loops and layering, creating the sort of music that you notice something new in every time you listen. A little tense at times, but it is very easy to get sucked into the dark, enveloping sound on Storms. The chimes on Veteran Flying Saucer are particularly brilliant. Whilst it is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, ambient and drone fans will not be disappointed. You can also check out Wartime Tapestry’s previous stuff on his Soundcloud page.

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New Dark Age – BEAT2

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A few months back I posted New Dark Age’s album 2002, an epic beat driven sci-fi concept album. Last month he released BEAT2, the follow up to his earlier release BEAT1. On these seven tracks you can hear some of New Dark Age’s signature brooding beats alongside a more bombastic, funky sound. Awesome use of vocal and music samples (Toto’s Africa is always a worthy addition).¬† Just give the incredibly catchy opening track a listen and try not to keep on through the whole thing. Highly recommended.

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Shields and Lopatin – Shields and Lopatin

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Finally we kick off 2012 posting with a self titled release by Shields and Lopatin. Droning, synth heavy electronica that swells and sinks over the 20 minute run-time. Has an incredibly thick sound that really fills your head, especially if you’re listening through ‘phones. Manages to pull off a great sense of atmosphere despite the short length. This is amidst the evolving ambience, subtle guitar sounds and penetrating synth melodies. Definitely an artist I want to hear more from in the future.

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Polar Sunspots 2011 Round Up

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Hey guys, since it’s somehow 2012 tomorrow (where did the time go?!) I thought I would post a Polar Sunspots 2011 top ten. These are the albums I’ve posted and found particularly impressive this year. This will give you a chance to grab some great music you might have missed out on since the blog started. You can click through the artist names to more in-depth description. Enjoy!

10) Music For Your Plants – Music For Your Plants

Gorgeous experimental, instrumental rock with a synth twist.

 

9) Heavy Strife РSynthétiseur

Upbeat synthpop with an occasionally moody undertone and well placed guitar.

 

8) New Savages – New Savages

Experimental indie rock with post-punk elements that moves between melodic and aggressive.

 

7) Ripple’Field – Hypernebula

Spaced out, textural synthpop from one half of the experimental rock duo Airs.

 

6) Technicolor Lenses – New Eyes

Brilliantly produced hip-hop album that successfully draws from a wide range of genres.

 

5) Le Chevalier – Dancer

Experimental indie pop with brilliant depth and variety.

 

4) Underwater Seacreatures – EP

Beat driven chillwave with a dark, punchy edge.

3) Strangelets – Summer Forever EP

Mellowed out Los Angeles shoegaze release with brit-pop influences.

 

2) Carloman – Carloman

Medieval themed folk with a wonderful synthy touch – it just works.

 

1) Holobody – Riverhood

Wonderfully eclectic album that spans folk, pop and gospel. Gorgeous male/female harmonies. Consistently surprising. Has a charm that makes it more than worthy of the top spot for 2011.

 

Well, that about wraps it up for 2011. Here’s to a new year filled with even more great music!

Snailhead – The Image

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The Image is an album inspired by the 1976 film of the same name. Whilst I have not seen the film itself, this rock driven British release does more than enough to keep you listening regardless. Snailhead puts forward synthpop alongside almost anthemic rock and also utilises a range of other artists in this album. The most surprising of these is the final rap track. A little too short unfortunately, but still a worthy download.

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Seasons Greetings from Polar Sunspots!

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Whilst I’m generally not someone who gets hugely into the Christmas spirit (bah humbug), I felt like a seasonal update was necessary. Those who check the blog regularly have probably noticed the hideous month long lack of posting. Unfortunately I’ve really been far too busy with work and university, but you can expect a return to reasonable regularity with the coming new year.

For those, like me, who get increasingly sick of hearing the same terrible Christmas tracks every year, here is something a little different. The Followers of Otis have released a poppy folk track with real Irish charm, which you can check out below:

Richard There – If The World Calls, Please Leave A Message

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Richard There makes music that is closely related to his cartoon work. Both are somewhat out of the ordinary, and many of the cartoons have a certain bleak and wistful feeling that is reflected to some extent in the music. The album itself is filled with pensive folk/neofolk and experimentation. This is in addition to narrative spoken word lyrics. A dark, melancholy and often rewarding release – give Silence Train a listen for a taster.

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