Tuesday, March 28, 2017
This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.
This week's panel: emerging Preston teen songstress Pip Hall; booker with Lost In The Manor, Giedre Zaveckaite; Little Indie contributor Danny Shackleton.
BLOODY BEACH - YOU'LL BE FINE, SISTER
Nordic indie surf punks Bloody Beach release new album ‘Boys’, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album, ’Bloody Beach Pirate Radio Presents’, via Brilliance Records in May. Ahead of the album release, the band reveal this lead single that fuses psychedelic pop, surfrock, dub and afrobeat.
Pip Hall: I instantly feel like it's a combination of The Growlers and Alex Turner. I like the raw vocals too. 2/5
Giedre Zaveckaite: Perfect for the forthcoming summer, very beach-like. Love the energy. 4/5
Danny Shackleton: The same melody throughout doesn’t really reach out to me but the vocals are good. It’s like something you’d hear on the next Fifa soundtrack. 2.5/5
Total score: 8.5/15
EAT FAST - SCRAMBLED EGG
The Newcastle fuzzy noise outfit, newly signed to Cannibal Hymns, are to release their second EP, 'Immortal Kombat' from which this sharp bruiser of a lead single comes.
PH: I love the lo-fi sound they have, it's really easy listening for me as this is the kind of stuff that I brought myself up on. They remind me so much of FIDLAR or Dead Ghosts and I can't get enough of distorted guitars. 4/5
GZ: To be fair, not the biggest fan of grunge/garage like tracks, but lovely production on this one. I’m sure they’d blow my mind live. 3.5/5
DS: Breezy vocals make it quite an easy listen and I like the chorus, but the guitars need to be louder in the mix for me. The screaming in background is subtle but a good addition. Gets better with every listen I’ve found. 3.5/5
Total score: 11/15
LUPA J - PUT ME BACK TOGETHER
"Australia's answer to Grimes", aka 19-year-old Sydney artist Lupa J, put out this latest single on March 17. Driven by bold, electronically inspired beats that meld with her angelic vocals, the lyrics explore themes of relationship dynamics, and emotional expression.
PH: The vocals immediately grab me with their dreamy echoes. Being a lover of synths I can't fault their appearance here. 3/5
GZ: Not something I usually listen to, but after a few listens, it definitely grew on it. Dance track, yet very emotional and dark. Reminds me a bit of Fever Ray and Röyksopp. Love the violin in the end of the track, gonna give half a point for the strings touché. 4.5/5
DS: She creates a relaxed atmosphere with her almost whispered vocals, but doesn’t get going as much as you’d expect after the intro. Not the type of music I’d usually listen to, but it’s not unlistenable by any means. 3/5
Total score: 10.5/15
GRACES - SMILE
Self-produced new single from ex-Over and Out member Steve Harrison, who Little Indie first featured back in 2015, then as a solo Grace. Since expanded to a quartet, based in Sheffield, here producing cinematic indie pop, combining ambient soundscapes, distorted guitars and recognisable pop sensibilities.
PH: The slow build up intrigued me and I wasn't disappointed. Love the lyrics, vocals, and crunchy guitars. 4/5
GZ: All helter-skelter like. Very energetic, yet very chaotic at the same time. I remember Grace as a solo act, so wasn’t expecting anything like this. 3/5
DS: After the slightly too long intro, it really gets going into a happy sound which grabs you as soon as you hear Steve’s vocals; when the drums kick in, it makes for a really good song. One to be added to my playlist that’s for sure. 4/5
Total score: 11/15
KUDU BLUE - SUGAR LEMZ
Brighton-based quartet release their self-produced debut EP ‘Shaded’ on April 28. This single cut highlights singer Clementine Douglas's rich neo-soul, jazz-inflected vocals over brooding, expansive electronics. "Sugar Lemz is intentionally something a bit different from the other music we have put out. We wanted to make a chilled track that you could put on in the living room at 5am after a heavy night.”
PH: Very chilled and current with a slow burning pulse. 3/5
GZ: Loooove this. Feel-good R&B paired with sexy electronic vibes. Really enjoying Clementine’s voice. Looking forward to hearing more of them. 4.5/5
DS: Certainly a song for the end of a night - which is what they set out to do, so I can’t fault them for that, but I like a hook in the songs I listen to and this just doesn’t quite have that. 3/5
Total score: 10.5/15
Words: Richard Cobb
Scottish alt-rock duo Pyro return with their second single ‘Green’ which delivers a shy on subtle, more full-blown steel toe-capped boot into capitalism.
Guitarist Cameron McLean powers the track with a frantic Royal Blood inspired rampage leaving a ferociously incensed Connor McCarthy (vocals/ drums) to belt out a dramatic Biffy Clyro infused chorus of: “The rich are rich, the poor don’t get paid / the kids are starving while the rich get laid.” Such is the venom and overwhelming feeling of unjust in this track, it wouldn’t surprise me if at the completion of this song he proceeded to throw a TV with Sky News on it out of his Bathgate window.
Little Indie featured Pyro back on January 10 with their debut single ‘Money’, and this latest song feels like another positive step in the right direction for this young pair, both just 17 years old. Since then, they’ve gained more traction as a result of being selected by DJ Jim Gellatly to appear at Stereofunk festival in April alongside Scottish festival favourites Indigo Velvet, Mickey 9’s and Vladimir.
Knocking on the door of politics is a popular route for bands just now as we’ve seen recently with the successes of Vant and The Blinders who have favoured this approach. It paves the way for more open and honest song writing and it’s satisfying to see a young band have their say on these important topics and going against the grain of perhaps what is expected of young bands to be writing about.
06 La Belle Angele Edinburgh
30 Stereofunk Festival Strathclyde Country Park
Words: Ellie Ward
Something of an apt title from San Francisco duo Cathedrals, 'Don't Act Like A Stranger', as we haven't heard a great deal from them lately after their 'OOO AAA' and 'Harlem' releases of 2014 and self-titled debut EP.
Now producer Johnny Hwin and vocalist Brodie Jenkins reemerge after two years in self-imposed hibernation with a song, they say, "about yearning, and hope—even in the midst of heartache. It's about exploring the beauty in that uncomfortable space between where we are and where we aspire to be. For us, it's a re-emergence, and a new beginning."
Thankfully, the Cathedrals trademark style of soulful R&B merged with electro-pop ambience is as firmly in place as ever.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Words: Sam Geary
Barnsley psych-rockers Heavy Suns lay just the right amount of rock and psych-shoegaze elements combined on new single out on April 14.
The self-released 'Hide' shows the exhibiting a fine flair for atmospheric sonics, with layers of fuzzy riffs and psychedelic groove.
25 Doncaster Social Bar
06 Manchester Aatma
26 Liverpool The Magnet
01 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
08 Leicester The Shed
19 Leeds Verve Bar
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Words: Ellie Ward
Hailing from Fife, the four-piece Oskar Braves come out with 'Broke', a new track which certainly doesn't sound as if it needs 'fixing' (despite this being a demo).
Trading on influences such as Kings of Leon and The Gaslight Anthem, they opt for a big sonic wall of sound on 'Broke'. Opening on simple, yet haunting guitar, before David Stevens brings in a resonant vocal against a steady build up of drums and bass, it is three-and-a-half minutes well worth a Iisten.
Oskar Braves play Clarks on Lindsay Street in Dundee on March 30, followed by King Tuts, Glasgow on April 1 supporting King No-One.
Credit: Ellen Offredy
Words: Ellie Ward
Out on March 31 via Gold Tooth Records, 'Always' marks the debut from Sheffield newcomers Purest.
Recorded at Manchester’s Eve Studios and produced by Gethin Pearson (The Enemy, Jaws, Clay), the five-piece strike out with a lush and impressive three minute sonic wall of shoegaze-post-punk woozy guitars in the manner of My Bloody Valentine, soaring synths and a coating of fuzzy reverb and fierce percussion.
The band play The Rocking Chair, Sheffield on March 28.
Purest are: James Rollings (vocals,guitar), Richard Bithrey (guitar), Danny Davidson (bass), Ashley Platts (drums).
More info: FACEBOOK