Thursday, 16 July 2015

Another play from Gideon Coe, 'Millwall' on BBC Radio 6 Music (and he 'themed' us again!)

Many thanks to Gideon Coe for playing our song 'Millwall' on his BBC Radio 6 show. Once again he managed to 'theme' us by playing in tandem with I, Ludicrous' 'Three English Football Grounds'. Clever stuff, this!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Play for 'Butterfly Morning' on Gideon Coe BBC Radio 6 Music

A big 'thank you' to Gideon Coe for playing our version of 'Butterfly Morning' as part of a 'Ballad of Cable Hogue' two-step in conjunction with Calexico. Rather foxily we're not listed but we are there! Just before Calexico (logically...)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Japanese Press from IndieNative!

Some Japanese press on IndieNative for our Smile Down Upon Us album, due out in Japan in two weekish. Wonder what it says? ;)

Nice and big, though...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Senzor, Dutch Radio x 3

A big 'Veel dank' to Jan Broek for giving us a triple play, Dance With The Silver, Gusano's Travels and Millwall on the latest edition of the Senzor Radio show.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Senzor magazine review, love from Holland.

Ta to our Dutch friends at Senzor magazine for a lovely review of our new album. Keiron has an 'autumnal' voice! Well, he's not getting any younger...

(It's near the bottom of the page, btw)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Texture Magazine, Interview with Keiron

Thanks to Textura Magazine for interviewing Keiron (at some length :)) about Smile Down Upon Us and how to record album with someone you don't share a language with (hint; you can't argue!).

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Powam Song by Smile Down Upon Us and the album

here's the spanking new video for Powam Song:

and there are just a few copies of the Record Store Day album available for you to preorder too

Friday, 24 April 2015

Monday, 20 April 2015

Album of the Week in Music Won't Save You

Multi grazie, to Music Won't Save You magazine for making us 'album of the week'! Subsequent to their radio show, L'Attimo Fuggente, making our song, Millwall, single of the week. The review is in Italian but it's not one of the harder languages, is it?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

From Italy, with love...

Honoured that our song 'Millwall' is given 'single of the week' status by the very wonderful L'Attimo Fuggente radio, in Italy. It's not all about Serie A, then!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Fluid, album review of Smile Down Upon Us 2

Thanks to the lovely people at Fluid for the first (to the best of our knowledge) review of our new album, Smile Down Upon Us 2.

"Anime illustrations tell innocent stories as the music breezes around in the late spring day"

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Monday, 30 March 2015

Magical Breath / Walking Backwards

our single on Kingfisher Bluez (a split the the ever wonderful the Leaf Library) - which also includes a couple of remixes can be bought (or streamed) here

give it a go, sounds lovely

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

And radio...

And still more radio. :) This time 'Magical Breath' which, incidentally is our 7" vinyl split single, in tandem with The Leaf Library on the wonderful Kingfisher Bluez label. Also to be available as download. At some point soon...

Friday, 20 March 2015

what the press thought about Smile Down Upon Us (album 1)

we got some pretty good reviews for Smile Down Upon Us (album 1), so thought it might be OK to show them off!

1. The Wire (no name):

‘Magpie, trans-genre, sensibility. A fluttering zephyr of a record, all warm breezes and shimmering coyness. It sounds like the best sort of commune outfit-with rural squalor and wholemeal worthiness eliminated by technology, all that’s left is joyful experimentation.’

2. Mojo (Andrew Carden):

‘It’s a luxuriant blend of delicate, folk-tinged playing, electronic texture and sweet sing-song. Delightfully warm and lighter than air, throughout.’

3. Time Out (Chris Parkin):

‘Making music with a pen-pal. More organic than a Fresh and Wild artichoke, this is proof that Pro-Tools and email are as natural as a handmade dulcimer.’

4. Q Magazine (Rupert Howe):

‘An of-the-moment virtual collaboration. Delicate in melody and execution, it’s moomLooo’s girlish and slightly unnerving vocals that fascinate most.’

5. Rock-A-Rolla (Oli Marlowe):

‘In essence and in sentiment Smile Down Upon Us is a gorgeous, purpose built, moniker for such an ethereal blend of wandering folk music. The multi-lingual lyricism is playful and always tender.’

Thursday, 19 March 2015

More radio, different radio...

Compiled in Alicante, broadcast from Totnes, our thanks to Richard Cunliffe for playing 'One Feathered Shoal' on the first Spring edition of 'It's Just Music Baby' on Soundart Radio.

(If you're the impatient sort, it's second to last track of the 2 hour show)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Kingfisher Bluez Buddy System

as you know we are lucky to have been asked to be a part of Buddy System, the Kingfisher Bluez singles club, this year

march is OUR MONTH, and you can listen to Magical Breath, and Walking Backwards by the always magnificent Leaf Library, here

and you can sign up to Buddy System here

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Buddy System

Canadian label Kingfisher Bluez has a very special 7" single club this year - they've asked 12 of their favourite indie labels to curate a single each

wiaiwya asked Smile Down Upon Us and the Leaf Library to be on theirs - there's more information below, and you can sign up here:

Every month in 2015 we'll be releasing a 7" curated by one of our favourite record labels. This singles club is a celebration of selection- whether it's DJing, running a label, or making a mixtape. It's the thrill of hearing a great song and wanting to show absolutely everyone you know (and instantly convert them!). It's the reason I started making records with Kingfisher Bluez, and I still love that feeling. These labels are inspired, creative, and run by really fantastic people. The bands are all pretty great too!

By subscribing, you will receive all 12 7"s. You will also receive a complementary copy of KFB050, which will be a very special 7" release. The first 100 subscribers will ALSO receive a copy of KFB060; ("I'm Worried" by Mike Adams At His Honest Weight) on 7" vinyl, chosen by our friends at Flannelgraph Records.
There will be 3-4 mailouts throughout the year. Every mailout will include randomly inserted goodies like stickers, promo-only 7"s, badges, test pressings etc. There will be a strict one-time pressing of /300 hand numbered 7"s, 200 subscriptions will be available in total.

The curating record labels are:
Cloudberry (New York, NY, USA)
Elefant (Madrid, Spain)
Where It's At Is Where You Are (London, UK)
Polyvinyl (Champaign, IL, USA)
Chapter Music (Northcote, VIC, Australia)
K Records (Olympia, WA, USA)
Fatcat (Brighton, UK)
Slumberland (Oakland, CA, USA)
Moshi Moshi (London, UK)
Fortuna Pop! (London, UK)
Flying Nun (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Shelflife (Portland, OR + San Francisco, CA, USA)

and BONUS record (first 100 subscribers) by Flannelgraph Records (Bloomington, IN, USA)

So if you're counting, that's 14 records total!!!

If the shipping seems a bit pricey, it's because we are based in Canada!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

we have a press release!

Smile Down Upon Us release second LP

The second album from UK/Japanese group Smile Down Upon Us is released by wiaiwya on deluxe vinyl, in a delightful gatefold sleeve designed by artist Yuji Maruyama, on Record Store Day, April 18 (a CD version is released in Japan soon after). It’s a delicate, intimate, playful record that’s equal parts Cibo Matto pop, Vernon Elliott soundtrack and animated Marc Chagall painting, its music a perfect navigation between childlike wonderment, impish eccentricity and sophisticated intricacy.

Smile Down Upon Us is the duo of London-based multi-instrumentalist Keiron Phelan (littlebow, Phelan-Sheppard, Silver Servants, etc.) and Tokyo-resident singer/electronicist moomLoo. They are assisted on this album by, among others, guitarist/percussionist David Sheppard (Ellis Island Sound, Snow Palms, and Keiron’s erstwhile partner in renowned UK post-rockers State River Widening), cellist Katie English (Isnaj Dui, Doomed Bird of Providence, littlebow) and nomadic sonic alchemist Tui (Orla Wren).

Brimming with invention and gleaming instrumentation, the album proffers a cavalcade of plangent acoustic plucking, mellifluous woodwinds and head-spinning electronica topped-off with moomLoo’s sweetly exotic, acrobatic vocals and Keiron’s contrastingly declamatory baritone. Fans of Tunng, Psapp, Tenniscoats, World Standard, Lucky Dragons and Contact Field Orchestra will all find plenty to wet their whistles here.

moomLoo and Keiron were first introduced via social media and recorded the entire first Smile Down Upon Us album (which was also eponymously titled) by exchanging files and without ever meeting in person. That album was released in 2008, to much critical acclaim, by Static Caravan in the UK and by Yacca/P-Dis in Japan, since when Keiron and moomLoo have been in the same room precisely twice.

So, while it’s not quite Lost in Translation, part of the allure of the new album is in its own internal mystery and playful inscrutability. Its lyrics are sometimes delivered in Japanese, at others in English, and Keiron, who speaks no Japanese, generally has little idea what moomLoo (who commands only limited English) is actually singing about. These things, however, Keiron knows for sure:

The insanely catchy ‘Millwall’ is about a Japanese girl-gang who live in London and become unlikely football hooligans (while claiming they are no such thing).

‘Gusano’s Travels’ is about the worm in the bottom of a Mexican tequila bottle going on holiday and being too inebriated to build a leaf house(!) – the counting is in Polish (which neither Keiron nor moomLoo speak), and a nod to the Hans Christian Anderson ‘Inchworm’ song.

‘The gorgeous ‘Butterfly Morning’, meanwhile, is a cover of a song on the soundtrack to the Sam Peckinpah western, The Ballad of Cable Hogue.

Ultimately, exact meanings and precise definitions are not what this beguiling, multi-hued album is all about; but for anyone with open enough ears and room in their heart, it’s a record that offers a seductive, dream-like world that is joy to be immersed in again and again.

Friday, 30 January 2015

album artwork ideas

here are some of the rejected ideas for the artwork for the second Smile Down Upon Us album:

first up: 2, 3, 4 and 5 sided shapes

then it became more Record, Play, Stop, Rewind

and then a little more brown