Tag Archive | "The Android Angel"

Top 20 albums 2017 – Part One

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Top 20 albums 2017 – Part One

Posted on 13 December 2017 by Joe

Welcome to the first part of our end of year round up of the top 20 best albums 2017. In keeping with our ethos of promoting new and diverse music our list contains a raft of independent artists.

Keep checking back over the next few days when we will be revealing who has made it into the Top 10 of our list of  best albums 2017.

20. El Goodo – By Order of the Moose


Welsh psychedelic act El Goodo spent eight years making this pop gem, which puts their own distinct slant on the US garage music scene of the late 1960s.

There’s a cinematic quality too. This makes it sound at times like a cross between a Spaghetti Western soundtrack and the Oompa-loompa songs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the good version with Gene Wilder, that is). It Makes Me Wonder is among many high points. A worthy inclusion in our best albums 2017 list.

19. Warm Digits – Wireless World


Newcastle duo Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis’ third Warm Digits album is an electro gem for 2017. Here they team up with a host of guest stars to showcase their squelchy synth music.

Peter Brewis from their Memphis Industries label mates Field Music excels on End Time. So too does St Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell on Growth of Raindrops.

18. Nick Parker – Besta Venya


This third album from Somerset singer-songwriter Nick Parker blends the two sides of his live shows perfectly, from upbeat, crowd pleasers, such as Down With the Yoof, to poignant numbers such as Guess I’ll Never Know.

The Other Half at the end of this 12 song collection even takes him to Beatles territory, complete with flugal horn. Read our full review here.

17. Granite Shore – Suspended Second


With Brexit approaching we could perhaps all do with listening to this second album from Granite Shore – the musical project of Nick Halliwell, who runs Exeter based label Occultation Records. Here all our fears of the unknown, the anger (well for remainers at least) of the decision and sense of hopelessness are laid bare.

His savviest move though is to channel these emotions through smart 1970s inspired pop, with legendary singer songwriter John Howard bringing added class with backing vocals and piano on tracks such as Buyer Beware and Where does the sadness come from? . Read our full review here.

16. Ralegh Long – Upwards of Summer

ralegh long

On his second album singer-songwriter UK based Ralegh Long has looked to his early inspirations of 80s/90s college indie rock to produce a decidedly more upbeat affair than his debut Hoverance.

Gone are the pastoral folk subtleties of that first album to be replaced by jangly guitars, smart pop hooks and euphoric choruses, such as on Take Your Mind Back. This best albums 2017 entrant has impressed others too, with the album scooping this year’s HMUK and Pledge Music Emerging Artists Award. Read our full review here.

15. Fazerdaze – Morningside


New Zealand’s Amelia Murray (aka Fazerdaze) emerged as one of the best breakthrough acts of 2017 thanks to this highly impressive debut. While it relies heavily on the C86 indie scene for influence it sounds thoroughly modern.

Signed to New Zealand’s esteemed Flying Nun Records label, she played a raft of gigs in the UK this year to promote this May release, which features highlights such as Lucky Girl.

14. Co-Pilgrim – Moon Lagoon


Mike Gale’s Hampshire and Oxfordshire based band Co-pilgrim has been releasing smart melancholic pop albums for years now, always impressing us. Here he’s dusted off his distortion pedal for a first half of belting 90s US college rock tracks. This includes Turn It Around and You’ll Look Pretty As A Picture….When The Acid Rain Hits Ya.

He then shrinks back into the shadows for a second half of introspection and poignancy. Every home needs at least one Co-Pilgrim album.  This is a great place to dive in to Gale’s world. Read our full review here.

13. The Mountain Goats – Goths


Goths get The Mountain Goats treatment in 2017, with singer-songwriter John Darnielle telling tales from the subculture, daringly with a lounge, jazz feel, complete with sumptuous Fender Rhodes keyboards. Gene Loves Jezebel’s footnote in music history on Abandoned Flesh is among man high points.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire’s provincial Goth hot spots are given an ode on Andew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds, as Darnielle cements his role as America’s best story teller in song. Read our full review here.

12. Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum


Since he sent us the debut EP from his band Free Swim back in 2010 Paul Coltofeanu has never let us down. Time and again across Free Swim’s funny and perfectly executed pop he has impressed.

Here, in his other guise The Android Angel he excels again, blending club sounds, soundtrack rock and whimsical pop perfectly on tracks such as Cloudless Sky and West Wind.

11. The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions

The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions

Even with a stronger focus on synths, and the disappointing lack of Dan Bejar, this is unmistakable as a New Pornographers record. The tunes are as strong as ever.

There’s also a couple of “should have been a top 10 hit” singles among them, including High Ticket Attractions. A.C Newman is in fine voice and with the vocal support of Neko Case and Kathryn Calder it sounds pretty great throughout.

Coming soon: Best albums 2017 Top 10.

Compiled by Joe Lepper and Dorian Rogers


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The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum

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The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum

Posted on 31 October 2017 by Joe

Since he sent us the debut EP from his band Free Swim back in 2010 Paul Coltofeanu has never let us down. Time and again across Free Swim’s funny and perfectly executed pop he has impressed.


But there’s more from him as well, via his other, little more serious, guise – The Android Angel. Here Paul’s humour level is turned down a notch, but there is still no shortage of perfect pop, anthemic rock and fine production.

This latest release as The Android Angel is no exception.

Instrumental Cloudless Sky opens proceedings, blending club sounds with Explosions in the Sky style soundtrack rock, before the whimsical pop of The Mirror and Figurine comes in.

In the main the tracks start softly with layers building up into euphoric synth and guitar rock. This is particularly the case on Pictures, Goodnight Starlight and Seasons Made of Stone.

Sometimes the euphoria kicks in from the off, especially on West Wind and Stationary State, which both have some great guitar arrangements at the start.

Is this his best yet?

In terms of musical arrangement and melody definitely, with Love Someone Like This emerging as the track that still rattles around my head long after listening.

To churn out consistently good releases in two different styles for eight years is no mean feat and on present evidence there’s no reason that fine run will stop anytime soon.

The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum is released on Sex Farm Records on November 3. For more information visit The Android Angel Facebook page.

By Joe Lepper



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Free Swim – Transatlantic Tumnus

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Dorian

We are delighted to see the return of globe-trotter Paul Coltofeanu, last seen in his Android Angel guise, as the panda-pop genius that is Free Swim. The new video, below, for the song Transatlantic Tumnus is the first taste of their new EP due out later this year.

By Dorian Rogers


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The Android Angel – Lie Back and Think of England

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The Android Angel – Lie Back and Think of England

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Dorian

The Android Angel is Paul Coltofeanu, probably best known to our readers as the man behind panda-bear themed rockers Free Swim. However, in reality it is Free Swim who are the side project, Lie Back and Think of England is actually the third album to be released under The Android Angel moniker.

The Android Angel

If you are used to his Free Swim work then the able might come as a bit of a shock. The brilliant EPs that he released under that banner tend to be a full-on blast of off-kilter guitar pop, so hearing the atmospheric 23 seconds of opening track ‘Homes’ followed by the gentle acoustic guitars and hushed vocals of ‘Solutions’ is evidence that you are in a different part of Paul Coltofeanu’s musical brain.

To some degree this album can be seen as a logical next step from the forth Free Swim EP, She Dreams In Lights, which already hinted at influences like The Flaming Lips, Super Furry Animals and Sparklehorse in the sound that he was producing. This is a pretty record, full of subtle playing and sweet melodies; beautifully self-produced in in Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany and the UK.

The title track is just lovely, with Sarah Mahony adding some excellent vocals to a duet that is lyrically rather downbeat. Some of the references in the song may date it a little, but they also give the song a place in time that suits the mood.

‘Distant Star’ is even better, a fully formed slice of fuzzy pop that deserves a place on any radio station playlist (and has already featured on Tom Robinson’s 6 Music Show). This is followed by ‘Ability Park’ which is a kind of jazz-folk instrumental that showcases Paul Coltofeanu’s musical skill and mastery of melody pretty perfectly.

One of the things that takes a little time to get used to on listening to this record is adjusting to the less jokey nature of the songs. I’m so used to hearing him sing about growing extra hands or eating a vienetta that a delicate folk song like ‘Foreign Son’ seems at odds with my expectations. This only takes a couple of listens to adjust to though, and it isn’t going to trouble anyone new to The Android Angel who isn’t already a Free Swim devotee.

The only slight criticism I have of Lie Back and Think of England is that the last few tracks seem to break the cohesive nature of the album. ‘Chicago John’ is a fantastic song, I love the instrumentation on the track and it is a lot of fun. It doesn’t seem to quite fit with what has come before though, and sounds much more like a Free Swim track, but it is quite brilliant on its own. Finishing the album with two instrumentals is also little out of kilter with the general flow of the album, although ‘Follow The River’ nicely wraps things back to the opening track.

All told this is about as interesting an album as I expect I’ll hear all year, brilliantly played and written and (despite the influences) like nothing else on record. He’s proved the master of the concept EP with Free Swim and as The Android Angel he has taken it one step further with an extremely impressive album.


By Dorian Rogers

You can listen to the album and purchase it on The Android Angel’s Bandcamp page.


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Introducing… The Android Angel

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Introducing… The Android Angel

Posted on 04 February 2013 by Dorian

Who are they?
The Android Angel is one of the two musical projects of multi-instrumentalist Paul Coltofeanu from Surrey, UK. The other is the acclaimed, surreal pop-fantasy of Free Swim (As heard on Radio 1, 6music and at our gig last February).

The Android Angel

What do they sound like?
He cites Sparklehorse, Beck, Eels, Brolin, Spiritualized and Air, but let’s see what BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson has to say about them:

“Reigate’s most musical son – the startlingly talented and prolific Paul Coltofeanu. Not content with the ever growing success of Free Swim he returns here to his alternative persona as The Android Angel to charm the pants off readers this weekend with this cheeky slice of twee electropop.

It seems to me that Paul’s increasingly assured approach to musicmaking depends partly on a whimsical approach and exceedingly light touch so that he never appears to be taking the importance of his work too earnestly.

Yet also on a real seriousness of execution so that his songs and recordings are all quietly crafted to perfection. Here is an artist to watch in 2013 because – to coin a cliche – whatever he comes up with next, you can always expect the unexpected.”

Or you could take a listen to the brand new track ‘Her Shoulders’ that was released on Soundcloud this morning. Hot off the press.

What have they got to say for themselves?
“‘Chicago John’ & ‘Her Shoulders’ are taken from the Lie Back and Think of England LP, out later this year on Sex Farm Records (R1 Huw Stephens’ “Label of Love” 07/12).

Written during summer 2011 while volunteering on a farm in the Romanian mountains, on a Water Buffalo reserve in the Ukraine, sat on the banks of Varosliget Lake in Budapest and in the squares and parks of Berlin, I spent the following year recording the album in the downtime between writing and touring the first four Free Swim EPs.

The unique story of the album’s creation, and the eclectic, melodic, experimental music thereon ensure that it promises to be quite unlike anything else released in 2013.”

What releases should you look out for?
“Lie Back and Think of England” LP out 2013. Selected tracks previewing at soundcloud.com/theandroidangel

Where can I find out more?
Take your pick from any of these online sources below:



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