Saturday, 29 June 2013
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
We Came From the Sea
I initially found this Scottish three-piece a few weeks ago after trying and failing to find another band. And I'm more than thankful I did. Merging dynamics together effortlessly, Edinburgh/Glasgow based We Came From the Sea are a band with a firm knowledge of music and the intricacies of composition. Melodic and tempestuous, there's certainly something for everyone at play here.
While not unsigned in the strictest sense of the word (the band are signed to an indie), Middlesborough based quartet Mondays Company are making an infectious brand of melodic indie-pop that's far too good to overlook. A wealth of influences afford the band a varied sound that ranges from the Arctic Monkeys-esque of 'Wrong Way Darlin' to the jangly 'Through the Night' which is destined for a wider audience. Their music isn't game changing, but when it's this good, it doesn't need to be.
Death to the Strange
Band's such as Manchester based five-piece Death to the Strange are almost impossible to pigeon-hole with a particular sound, genre, or aesthetic. Switching between genres, the band effortlessly blend together traditional indie with melodic folk and blues and tie it off neatly with politicised lyricism that doesn't preach some much as educate. It's clear that three years together as a band has allowed them to hone their sound and perfect it, with it finally becoming the fully realised end product it is now. I dare you not to dance.
The New Ages
Birmingham-based four-piece The New Ages who have the benefit of at least half their members having played together for several years, however they only became the full band they are now after the inclusion of a bassist and drummer their sound became more full and their music more purposeful. Now with their Piper Man EP under their belt the band are looking to bring their indie-blues-rock fusion to wider audience. The New Ages are note perfect and as tight as you could ask a band to be.
Why not check out last week's Top 5 Unsigned?
Monday, 24 June 2013
Friday, 21 June 2013
Fidel & the Castros
Alternatively, you can check out last week's Top 5 Unsigned here.
Thursday, 20 June 2013
Monday, 17 June 2013
This article was originally written for Ears On. To visit their site, click here.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Friday, 14 June 2013
Thursday, 13 June 2013
This article was originally written for the June issue of U&I magazine. To read in full, click here.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
First up are Oxford-based shimmery minimalists The Sea The Sea. Knowing exactly when to play and when not to might seem like basic musical comprehension, and in a way, it is. However not many bands's manage to pull it off with the same aplomb as The Sea The Sea. Huge sounding moments of pure instrumentals give way to understated and insightful sections of lyricism in which the vocals take precedence before exploding in to walls of complex instrumentals that are too delicate to be considered noise. This is a band who knows what they're doing.
Potentially future up-and-comers in the B-town scene are Birmingham's Faith. Utilising the traditional four-piece format, the band are drawing on influences such as The Enemy and The Courteeners while managing to keep their own distinct sound. There's uplifting elements at play throughout their music while a distinctly snarling vocal from Jason Payne drags it kicking and screaming back to the streets. Great stuff.
In keeping with a coincidental maritime theme are Portsmouth's Shores. A quaint and candid duo whose insightful and understated acoustic aesthetic will appeal to fans of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. The band's inherent understanding of tempo and dynamics makes for some seriously compelling listening in which Ben Hardicre's clear and emotive vocals only heighten the experience.
Freedom of the City
Currently jockeying to be Manchester's next biggest export, Freedom of the City are a band whose sound is instantly relatable and utterly irresistible. Eschewing the guttural grime that so many indie bands opt for, this four-piece are making music that's as eclectic as it is ambiguous, with some songs merging genres effortlessly. It's unusual for an indie band to encompass such a clean and polished sound but Freedom of the City benefit from it massively.
Monday, 10 June 2013
Album review: Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record (2013)
This article was originally written for Muso's Guide,. To read the full review, and more, click the link above.
Friday, 7 June 2013
While it’s certainly true that many band’s these days claim employ influences from genres such as jazz, r’n'b and blues, it’s rare that a band will allow such genres to envelope them the way The Sleep Wells have. That isn’t to say they sound like everything one’s heard before in fact it’s refreshing to hear such a contemporary spin on a tried and tested formula something which Mellor’s vocal work helps exponentially.
Their most accomplished track comes in the form of ‘In Paris’, which also sees itself as the most contemporary sounding song. Here a picked guitar part couples itself with Mellor’s vocal part and entwines itself around it during the verses while some nice cymbal and bass work swells and subsides throughout the chorus as Mellor repeatedly asks “Does it wear you out?”. While an infectious yet simple bass riff forges it’s own path and asserts itself as the backbone of the track.
Thursday, 6 June 2013
Forming in 2007 after the break-up of two previous bands, little known London outfit Palace spent several months honing their sound and adding additional members to their line-up. Two years on and having been joined by baritone’d vocalist Lewis Bowman, they play under final name, Chapel Club, and release their début single 'Surfacing', earning them airplay and critical acclaim alike – despite the brief copyright lawsuit that followed. Six years down the line however much of the band's previous outings have been discarded. Gone is the spatially aware yet ultimately brooding aesthetics of their début album; instead, sophomore effort Good Together sees the band harbour a much more optimistic and electronically driven vibe that proves to be utterly irresistible.
This article was originally written for Little Indie Blogs, to read the full review, and more, click here.
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Forget Daft Punk and their trite and formulaic eurodance rubbish, UK electro duo AlunaGeorge are quite possibly the biggest breath of fresh air that UK electro-pop has seen in a while. Following on from the success of Canadian artist Grimes last year, the pair have been nominated both for the BBC Sound of 2013 award (they came second) and a Critics Choice Brit Award (in which they were just nominated). That said though, the duo have come a long way in a short space of time since it wasn't until September of last year that they released their debut single entitled 'Your Drums, Your Love' reaching Number 50 in the UK charts. Since then though, the duo have gone on to collaborate with Disclosure on their seminal single 'White Noise' earning them a Number 2 spot in the English Chart. Not bad for a band whose first single isn't even a year old! Despite earlier speculation that their debut album (entitled Body Music) was due out towards the end of June, it has in fact since been confirmed that the record is due out at the end of July which gives fans plenty of time to see the tracks live before it's release.
One such opportunity comes by way of Lucozade Energy who have teamed up with Vevo and the ecclectic electroites in order to bring you a competiton which allows you and a mate to see the duo at an as-of-yet undisclosed location in London. Tickets for this show are only available from the Lucozade Energy website and all you have to do is enter your email address for a chance to win. Not only this but a few select attendees will also be in with a chance to meet the duo! The competition is only open until June 14th so anyone interested would do well to enter sooner rather than later if they wanted in with a chance to win tickets to what promises to be a fantastic night. If you do miss the deadline, however, keep an eye on the Lucozade Facebook page for more opportunities to win tickets and more.
Finally Lucozade and Vevo are offering even more great prizes by way of The Yes Project which gives away daily prizes and music exclusives to those who pick up a promo pack of Lucozade and enter the code on the Lucozade Energy website.
What are you waiting for? Check the band out and enter! If you win, you won't be dissapointed.
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
16 Hole Boots
Like fellow Mancunians Sonic Boom Six, Stretford-based The Naughtys are a ska-punk fusion band whose lyrical delivery has as much in common with hip-hop as it does punk, and while Manchester isn't a city often synonymous with Punk despite it's burgeoning underground scene, more and more bands seem to be rearing their head which suggests hope for a scene often overlooked. The Naughtys will undoubtable appeal to fans of the aforementioned Sonic Boom Six as well as The King Blues and even The Specials or The Clash. Punk has never sounded so Summery.
Check Out Last Week's Top 5 Unsigned
Though the band consider themselves to be ‘alt-pop’, that to me is just a catch all term that simplifies all the things that Social Potion are doing. Though the band are shrouded in a pop veneer, upheld impressively by Toth’s sugary vocal talents, there’s far more to it than that. ‘Minishka’, for example, is somewhat evocative of a more accessible Amanda Palmer if in nothing but the off kilter melody of the verses.
Conversely ‘Come Out and See Me’ shows a rougher quality to Toth’s vocal not shown in other tracks. The instrumentation in this track is also somewhat different to the rest of those featured on their self-titled début EP. Perhaps the best example, or at least a personal favourite, is the first track from that EP, ‘Drive Myself Home’. A Mountain Goats inspired guitar forms the backbone of this track, endearing me instantly, while the flesh comes in the form of some fantastic vocal harmonising and layering which provides textures aplenty.
Social Potion aren’t a band who are out to break boundaries, their music is catchy, it’s accessible and it’s Summery. It doesn’t need to have a political message or a dissident nature to appeal because the appeal lies within the quirks and the nuances of both Toth and Jones alike. There’s a certain degree of nostalgia about it too, a back to basics approach that can be exhibited in the band’s reliance on the coupling of guitar and vocal harmonies; it isn’t that it’s musically primitive, far from it. It’s just that more often than the simplest of structures can create the most impressive music which is precisely what’s happened with Social Potion, instead of hiding behind a façade, the duo have embraced their pop persona, let it run riot and are just about having fun with their music.
This article was originally written for Ears On. Click here to check out their site.