31 August 2011

Top Tunes To Blog About 11


Atlanta born MC and singer Nikkiya is the latest female solo sensation that America has to offer. Growing up in a strictly Christian family within the harsh confines of inner-city living and then delving into a rebellious adolescent bout of drugs, partying and general street life culture, her eventful past has now firmly cultivated a brash and well meaning sincerity in Nikkiya and that has determinedly flowed through into her exciting music. Nikkiya quotes her music as "hardcore and vulnerable" allowing her to "push outside the box" and tell her story. Such blunt honesty and truth is absolutely what this sector of the industry desperately needs whilst vacuous and mind numbingly dull commercial urban music so heavily dominates national charts. By working with MC Lyte and Enimem's inspired new protege Yelawolf, the trio have been in the recording studio honing Nikkiya's debut EP "Speakher" before unleashing her vociferous and red-hot tunes onto the public and all the signs suggest she is definitely the real deal.

"Cheater" is a thumping slab of emotive hardship and anguish, detailing the story of a jilted girl seeking well-deserved revenge on her unfaithful man. The lyrics are bold, fearless and almost menacing, "I know about the lover he has been screwing and pursuing...put that cheater in the trunk...I think he's gotta learn a lesson". This firework of a tune starts off with a dizzying combination of anxious instrumental jabbing and skittish whimpers spliced apart and shoved eagerly together with a cataclysmically frenetic and walloping back beat. The metallic clunking is almost grotesque and maddening, reminiscent of prison doors slamming shut; yet these titanic thumps mould the overall song into a restrained composition that generates an efficacious urban anthem full of energy. Stitching together elements of hip-hop, soul, R'n'B and subtle electro means this song and indeed Nikkiya's musical experimentation are highly unique. She holds down traits similar to the UK's own Ms Dynamite and echoes the actions of a more aggressive and alternative Nicki Minaj prior to her mass commercialism over this last year. "Cheater" carries on with the same bashful energy that starts the song off. Bouncing beats, jagged clonks and verses oozing aggression and attitude fuel the song with juvenile verve. Nikkiya is one talented lady and with a stomping track like "Cheater" in her back pocket, the urban streets will never be the same again.

Check out the interesting and edgy music video below and show the girl some beautiful Facebook love.


James, Jack, Ed and Nick are three Englishmen and an Australian who all got together last year to form this Guilford four-piece. Since then they have been making increasingly larger ripples during their short existence having already garnered the support and backing of radio heavyweights like Steve Lamacq, and quite rightly so. This raucous band mix masculine energy with composed sophistication that sits charmingly amongst the UK indie scene. Sissy And The Blisters clearly have knowledge on how to carve out the fine grains that make successful and absorbing indie-rock; their songs come with lashings of bustling movement, sleek instrumentals and delightfully greasy underground club drama. Their sound is an amalgamation of various bands; think along the lines of a more mellow early-career Horrors, restrained Courteeners, passive Dirty Pretty Things and the grace of The Last Shadow Puppets. From that you get Sissy And The Blisters.

"Let Her Go" is the first 'proper' single from the Guilford-based lads; this effort has already been getting positive acknowledgements from the behemoth that is NME, so surely it won't be long before this band start filtering through the radio waves. The track starts off with stereotypical indie vibrancy tumbling straight into a frantic and excitable drumming that encourages the song along. The humdrum of collective noise between tautened skin and organ happy movements keeps at a respectable pace; typical of any well-honed indie-rock band. The vocals of James Geard are undeniably typical and ossified like any front man within this genre; tailored, with a middle-class London waft of cultural intellect, yet at the same time rather lackadaisical and subdued, complimenting the song sufficiently overall. Lyrically "Let Her Go" is somewhat confusing; the words are there and carry the song zealously onwards, but they feel dysfunctional; something about a cage, something about letting her go. It is rather hypnotic, casting an air of amnesia-induced disorder; however, the lyrics, the vocal output and the backing instruments surprisingly fuse together well. The chorus builds into a vagabond racket of industrious chants, cheerful guitaring and sturdy drumming, ploughing forth with boyish irreverence and fashioned drainpipe charm. This super little track carries on with sustained momentum till the last note. Energetic and boisterous; it is tracks like this that should earn this band an NME award or two in the near future.

View the music video below and 'Like' the Facebook page for these awesome guys.

30 August 2011

Top Tunes To Blog About 10

Firstly apologies for the month long delay in spewing forth trusty new music posts; this owl has been minus the internet since moving from a damp, mouldy dwelling to a lovely flat in which to nestle. The lack of cyber-time has felt like a wing amputation through and through. In the last month, Brighton and Owlbynight favourites Rizzle Kicks have been soaring into the UK top 40 charts both with their own material as well as their collaboration with the pop savvy Olly Murs, Metronomy have stamped their mark on unique British electro-indie with their impressive album "English Riviera" and to top it off, this owl has a wealth of new material to show you all. Getting back into the swing of things has taken a fair bit of time but this owl is ready to spread his wings and hunt out some tasty lumps of new music prey. Expect more actual single reviews in tighter and neater digestible chunks for your eager beaks. WINGS OUT, FLYING HIGH, EARS OPEN, SOUND WAVES IN. ENJOY. Simple.


Vanbot is the unsigned sparkling synth-pop siren Ester Ideskog. Residing in Stockholm, she is clearly the robust and formidable challenger to Robyn's unanimous and widely accepted title as Sweden's electro-pop angel. Inspired by bike rides around Stockholm at night and labelling herself as driven by "determined purposefulness" and "DIY Spirit", there is absolutely no denying this charming young artist has the right ingredients for eventual and deserved success. Working diligently in a little studio with producer Sebastian Forslund, Ester has constructed a polished piece of fantastical music inspiration. The debut album "Vanbot" dropped forth into download territory back in mid-April and was met with a gentile reception. Now, Vanbot needs to fire a powerful volley of sublime electro-pop tunes from the album to target as many avid music lovers out there as possible, piercing bodies hard, enlightening them to the Vanbot name.

"Lost Without You" has been around as long as the debut album's release and is indirectly recognised as one of the more popular songs so far. The track starts off with substantial energy and a hooky chain of sultry synths. The reliable back beat ceaselessly keeps the entire track at a mellow tempo that is reminiscent of stereotypical nineties electro-pop; with almost indistinguishable tinges of Madonna-esque seduction, Ellie Goulding-style youthful exuberance and loaded emotional outpourings that dither and lull about in the background of Ester's overall vocal ensemble. Like Robyn, Vanbot can converge powerful and weighted lyrics together with a glacial cold tone that punctures the auditory senses with precision and efficiency. The song is extremely resourceful and doesn't overindulge in fanciful electro eclecticism that some artists so often fall foul of. "Lost Without You" trickles onwards with humble enthusiasm and simmering energy that culminates into a series of grandiose choruses. The musical composition is frosted with a climatic haze of glistening synths, technological bleeps and wallows met with a plucky beat and haunting vocals making this a perfect track before heading out clubbing; icy puddles on the pavement, neon signs, warming spirits in opaque glasses. Either way, such an excellently sculpted piece of electro-pop perfection can only but conjure up images of Ester, riding around Stockholm on her bike under the clear Nordic sky, stars a-plenty, numbing cold; now that makes "Lost Without You" all rather pleasant, doesn't it.

Check out Vanbot's website, Facebook page and Youtube account and show a little support for this Swedish beauty and her musical prowess.

SPARK - "CRAVE"Next up is another domineering young female solo artist who has the verve and pugnacious attitude entrenched into her music ethos that will surely aid her in chart supremacy soon enough. Spark is the delightfully ferocious Jess Morgan who hails from Walthamstow, North London. Her music credentials are both solid and well revered; winning competitions from all angles of the young musician spectrum. Spark's debut album is crafted by industry maestro Starsmith (Ellie Goulding, Kylie Minogue) and is highly expected to cause a stir amongst critics and experts alike once the Spark movement gets some steam behind it. "Crave" may of been released way back in February as the third single off of the debut album, but this song packs a concrete laden punch, and needs further blog love in order to highlight its masterful work and the genius brains behind it.

"Crave" kicks off with a very Middle-eastern medieval vibe that feels almost disjointed from the rest of the song, but the plethora of musical influences works together with diligent poise and enchanting rapture, excellently subverting the audio expectations associated with ballsy youths in the urban city-scape. Rolling into a droning back beat with intermittent and unnerving wailings from Spark herself that peep through the musical notes, curious donks and grinding thuds, the introduction to the song is constructed with a refreshingly adventurous recipe of pop infused with dubby-electro and urban zest. Morgan's voice is pitch-perfect, vibrant, luxurious and dynamically stable, stealthily weaving between dysfunctional beats and thunderous undertones. The whole package is very LDN-Jessie J-Clare Maguire-Lily Allen-Marina And The Diamonds; which is perfect. Spark unquestionably nabs numerous qualities these fellow professionals possess and moulds it into her own individualistic direction. The chorus has a resounding and emphatic drive, cemented together with a tremendous splattering of bass, empirical drumming and a towering set of vocals laced with honest and succinct lyrical wit. "Crave" feels dark, adolescent, angsty; full of vigor it sets a decent base layer for an eventual piece of well produced music from start to finish. Spark will soon be igniting dancefloors across the country, it's not a matter of if, surely only of when.

Check out the music video below and show this girl some cyber-love on her facebook page.