Video Premiere – Spectral Index by Jewel Scheme

 

itm? is delighted to be able to bring you an exclusive – the video premiere of ‘Spectral Index’, the debut single from new Scottish/Cypriot outfit Jewel Scheme.

Whilst the name will be new to most, the band is the latest project involving Martin John Henry who took the time last week to introduce the band and the video to us.

“Jewel Scheme is a new band consisting of Chris Connick, Allan Carroll and me. I’m the ex-singer of the indie band De Rosa and the other two used to make sleazy electronic music as Knockout Ned. 

“We all write and play a bit of everything but I do most of the singing. We met as school friends in Bellshill, Lanarkshire but now we have two members in Scotland and one in Cyprus. 

“We recorded most of the album on a visit to Paphos, Cyprus last year, during which we visited many sites of the ancient world and I saw a centaur although that might just have been two goats mating.”

‘Spectral Index’ may be the debut single from a new band but the song itself originated well before the band as Martin recalls.

“‘Spectral Index’ came from a demo I made in the 2000s that was instrumental and never found a home until Jewel Scheme started.

“I had wanted to make a song that used minimal chord changes and let the voice and drones do the work. A bit like some of the Blue Nile stuff on ‘Hats’. 

“The demo was pretty sparse with piano etc so the Jewel Scheme treatment has added layers of texture and electronics. There’s also a sample of the waves at the beach in Mandria near Paphos which makes me miss the pints of beer at the beach bar.”

For the video for the single, the band turned to someone that Martin has collaborated with before.

“Our new album cover uses imagery of shop mannequins and our friend Kris Boyle directed a video that took that theme and developed it into a collage of automatons and wondrous colour. I think he’s captured the song’s themes of layers and memory in his own unique way.”

The single is a taster for the release of the debut album in the autumn and Martin hinted at some of the band’s plans after the summer:

“We’re just starting a couple of months of promotion for the album ‘Jewel Scheme’, coming out on Gargleblast Records in September. So there will be another two singles and some video stuff too, hopefully including a live streamed performance nearer the release. 

“Getting us together in the same country is tricky but we’ll definitely be playing live in September. We’ll be announcing news of that soon.”

There’s plenty to look forward to from Jewel Scheme but in the meantime here’s that promised first look at Kris Boyle’s video for ‘Spectral Index’:

Video of the week – Sweeney Straddles The Sun

The first new album from Jason Sweeney since 2018’s sophomore effort ‘Tarantula’ is imminent, and the second taster from it, ‘Catharsis Dies’, is, as he describes it, “another brazen foray into hiphop/rap, via 80s electropop… about our obsession with stock narrative and points an ironic finger at those who push them.”

Album #3 from the side project of the sometime member of The Just Joans is as-yet untitled, and due in late June. The first single from it, ‘On The Surface‘, appeared in January, and both tracks do indeed show what he describes as an “upscaling of the overall recording sound whilst maintaining the home-recorded ethos and catchy, synthpop melodies that garnered the previous releases some good attention.”

Although the previous two long-players were collaborative affairs, this release is more of a solo and DIY effort – despite attempts to get his live band onto the recordings, only Rosie Stilloe provides backing vocals on the latest track, although Amanda Brown aka Jigsawtiger will, hopefully, rejoin the fray towards release time. Her absence does account for the rap on the new track – “I’d been watching ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ and listening to ODB and just loving his sort of brazen, sing-songy approach to rap and lyric construction,” Sweeney reveals.

If your appetite is whetted but you can’t wait until June or thereabouts, also available on Bandcamp are 2010 debut ‘Erect‘ and 2018’s ‘Ducks At The Moon’.

More at linktr.ee/sweeneystraddlesthesun.

Video of the week – How To Swim

‘Straight White Men’ is the first track to be taken from the Glasgow act’s forthcoming ‘Bars ‘n’ Loners’ compilation album, consisting of three EPs recorded in Barcelona over the last decade.

The band play a festive show – their first gig in the city in seven years – at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on Tuesday 20th December, with guests Razatickets available now.

More (including umpteen years of back catalogue) at howtoswim.bandcamp.com.

Video of the week – Mathias Kom / Toby Goodshank

Mathias Kom and Toby Goodshank, of Canadian heroes The Burning Hell, have recently paid tribute to Roger Miller with ‘Miller Time’ – their album of covers of songs penned by the American singer-songwriter.

The band recently toured the UK with Goodshank and Kom ‘supporting’, and when they stopped in Nottingham, visited the National Justice Museum. A Miller song, ‘Not In Nottingham’, features on the album as well as their live set, and attendees of Burning Hell shows will now know that not only did Roger Miller write The Proclaimers’ hit ‘King of The Road’, they will also have been educated fully in the eccentric singer’s career – including the fact that he wrote several songs for the soundtrack for the 1973 Disney animated movie of ‘Robin Hood’, and ‘features’ as a lute-playing cockerel.

The video for ‘Not in Nottingham’ was filmed by bandmate Ariel Sharratt with assistance from Amy, Alex, and of course, Judge Becky.

‘Miller Time’ is available now from The Burning Hell or Toby Goodshank or from the label BB*Island.

More at theburninghell.com.

Flux Velociraptor

The exclusive video premiere for their new single ‘3000 Fists’ – read on for the full story behind the single and its animated short…