"Lo-fi lyrical journeys through a glacial lullaby-blues" purports the Facebook page of Liverpool troubadour She Drew the Gun. It's an accurate description, but don't be fooled in to thinking that lo-fi, at least in this respect, is a synonym for poor production values, far from it; every note, every word is as clear as you could ask for, lo-fi here comes to mean the stripped down and candid nature of the music. Silky smooth vocals are dripped generously over an meticulously plucked and understated acoustic guitar. It's a hazy summer evening personified and the perfect soundtrack to the current climate.
Several months ago, I covered this band and gave them a mixed review, poor production qualities hampered the overall quality of the single I looked at and it was, unfortunately, something I couldn't overlook. I closed my review stating that, in a year, they could make me eat my words. As it happens, in less than half that time, the band have recorded a couple more tracks and given me a severe case of indigestion after metaphorically consuming the last review in a vain attempt to save face. The lo-fi qualities exhibited in their first single 'What A Shame' are still present, but this time they're fully realised and completely on point. The sheer speed that this band have turned around is fantastic, they've embraced a well-trodden aesthetic and dragged it kick and screaming in to the present in the process. This is music in which the talent speaks for itself. Brilliant stuff.
Once again, whilst not technically an unsigned band, Brighton-based Ancient Times nostalgic indie-pop was far too catchy not to include, and prove a perfect accompaniment to the current weather. Jangly indie-pop guitars take precedence with Morrisey-esque vocals providing a rich layer of texture across the board. It isn't music that's going to break any boundaries, but really is this type of indie pulled off with such precision and aplomb, that it really doesn't matter if you've heard it before, chances are you haven't heard it done as well as this. Sure there's almost certainly going to be the obligatory comparisons between the vocalist and "Mozzer", but overlook that and you'll a band who are as musically tight as they are lyrically emphatic.
The Hiding Place
Again, whilst potentially not an unsigned band (I'm yet to confirm either way) The Hiding Place I found completely by accident whilst listening to another band's SoundCloud and they're probably my personal favourite this week. Appealing to my pop-punk sensibilities, the band are of a similar ilk to band's such as You Me At Six, minus the legions of tween girls snapping at their heels. They're a little bit heavy, a little bit emo but ultimately they're just very good at their trade. With vocals reminiscent of Funeral For A Friend's Matt Davies coming courtesy of singer Dominic Webber, and guitar solos with a surprising amount of groove for a pop-punk band there's certainly something here for those who prefer music of the heavier persuasion, coupled with more "Woah"s than an Offspring album you've got an eclectic but ultimately irresistable band who are destined for the pages of Kerrang! It is worth noting that the songs on the band's SoundCloud are fairly old, but that doesn't track from the calibre in any way, shape or form.
Before the Story Ends
These days, it seems, the output of quality music coming from Birmingham has risen massively. One such band are Before the Story Ends, who are joining a wealth of artists from the city enjoying the spotlight on the city's scene brought about by acts such as Swim Deep and Peace. Fusing together classic rock hooks with a attitude flecked with punk snarl, the bands music is a refreshing change to the indie-pop pouring out of the city now. Singer Von has an air of Tsunami Bomb's, Agent M and her effortless vocals bubble with a fierce undercurrent that threatens to burst forth at any moment whilst buzz-saw guitars and pounding drums, form a formidable backdrop.
Check out last week's Top 5 Unsigned by clicking here.