As you all know by now, we don't feel it is necessary to blog about every new act we can get our wings onto. We sift through and try to find a broad range of artists that you guys may love just as much as we do, then we blog about it in good time. However, it has come to that time again where work takes over and consumes any spare moment at home, then we allow songs to barrel roll into one huge backlog collection waiting to be blogged about. To play catch up and to get back on track this post will be a quick fly through of a bunch of tracks we are rather fond of. Enjoy you loyal followers.
THE NEW UNION - "WITHOUT YOU"
This Brighton based band have been around for a decent length of time now having thumped their mark on the local music scene with their brand of renaissance indie. Channelling guitar pangs and intermittent drum beats together into a colossal fuzz-space of raucous sound is something these lads do very well indeed. "Without You" is an assuredly safe venture into the indie genre that we have all come to know and love; smouldering vocals flutter between eruptive guitar laden choruses and instrumental dogfights, such roguish dynamism is always going to be a winning combination. The New Union are a breezy collective reminiscent of current acts such as Shields, Satellite Stories and The 1975, bringing a tidal fluidity to their sound. Rousing and capable of getting your Fosters stained winkle-pickers to tap in rhythm, "Without You" has a classic brassy sound produced by wise and gifted young men.
A couple of years ago this hotly-tipped electro-indie outfit burst onto the scene after releasing infectious tracks such as "Lies" and "Stop And Stare", instantly gaining a loyal fanbase. Shortly afterwards lead singer Ben Duffy developed testicular cancer and the group called off touring and promotion. Thankfully Duffy is now fit as a fiddle and the Kings Cliffe quartet have offered up the first single from their second album. Anyone familiar with Fenech-Soler will appreciate their sparkling audio displays and strident bouts of electro-pop charm; "All I Know" sticks to this successful formula even if it does stray the boundaries of commercialism. With a jittery tempo, substantial beats and bedazzling synth architecture this track boulders along with vivacious electro-pop energy. A hooky chorus and effervescent vocal outpourings consolidate "All I Know" as a smashing number sewing indie, pop and electronica together into a fervent package. Fenech-Soler are back.
Touted as the next Lana Del Rey meets Claire Maguire this Danish siren fuses staccato glitch-board noises with ominous hand-clapping and tinkered keys to produce pop that is minimal, slick and above all else, very contemporary. Despite receiving accolades detailing her usage of fresh beats and pristine keyboard utterances there is a distinctively retro feel in places that the Nordic singer has instilled. An almost inebriated eighties journey of swearing and baring flesh runs as a common theme through this latest offering. "Pilgrim" is a typically Scandinavian affair that fuses pop characteristics with stellar electro discourse and indie divergence. With a vigorous chorus generating momentum, this latest offering from the Dane has the perfect amount of drive and energy.
There is something strangely captivating about Goat. A collective of young Swedish adults who reside in the remote village of Korpolombolo which is famed for voodoo practices and all things black and magical. Add to that the band's penchant for diverse musical flavours and sounds that grace all four corners of the globe and you have a band that stands well above the usual majority who claw desperately for professionalism or alternative enamour. Looking beyond the bizarre name "Goatlord" is a track full of tribal beats, guttural mantras and pagan instrumental compositions that begins rather slowly, fooling the listener into thinking this is some ambient back track to a new dinosaur exhibition at your local museum. Wait longer and you are rewarded with a culminating array of musical inputs that destroys genre barriers to the extreme and rumbles along with menacing power.
Does anyone remember that rowdy and tenacious Australian teenage collective that went by the name Operator Please? Well if you do then you will be aware that the group have gone on a temporary hiatus whilst they explore their own musical journeys leaving the vocal talents of Amandah Wilkinson liberated and ready to "do her thing". That "thing" is a techni-colour explosion of pop traits and quirky eighties showmanship. Pouring decadent lashings of synths over bubblegum soundscapes that twitch, frolic and tip-toe makes "Me And You" a lively affair that takes the age-old pop rulebook, splices it apart and injects the perfect dose of modernised music spice into it. Think The Eurhythmics meets La Roux; fantastical and glittery, this is what pop is all about.
In the last twelve months Queen of Hearts has had a pretty eventful year it must be said. Having gigged in America, done an acoustic session for BBC Introducing and garnered the interests of online establishments such as Popjustice, it is clear the sublime talent of Liz Morphew is finally being recognised at last. To end the year on a high the London-based songstress has released an ample slice of blizzardous electro-pop in the form of "Warrior". This latest effort sees Morphew collaborate with Australia's very own producing maestro Diamond Cut to marry organic tribal percussion with computational Italo-pop streams; imagine Madonna's "Frozen" but with a razorsharp lacquer finish and seamless instrumental interaction. Such a diverse concoction saunters majestically along at a decent tempo into each choral overspill making this track feel perfectly segmented and driven. There lies a mythical character to this single thanks in part to whirring basslines, undulating synth vapours and Morphew's emotive vocal detailing, adding a depth to "Warrior" that disassociates it from the usual chart slurry. Sounding like a cross between Grimes, Foxes and Little Boots, Queen Of Hearts defines elegance. Her sincere and contemporary musical excursions offer pop in a new guise; formidable and with tangible layers, there is no denying the girl has a bright future ahead indeed.
Incredibly Night Engine only formed back in January of this year. In that brief period they have already had new music bigwigs clamouring around and making positive comments; think of how The Vaccines or Mumford And Sons became overnight music sensations and you get the idea. The London quartet have fashioned a sound that journalists are interpreting as eighties throwback with the buzz word of "David Bowie" marauding articles left, right and centre. Night Engine's scintillating amalgams are a lively affair; anthemic, fervent and storming, mix The Killers and The Cribs and hey presto! "On and On" is perhaps the least recognised track from the band but it is their most rousing; a mash of creativity with fuzzy guitars, juddered vocal regalia, mammoth choruses and slick drum beats, it has it all. A song like this is designed for a large crowd for it's very structure, each thirsty note played, has the ability to cast aside reservations and ignite an energetic spark. It is therefore not surprising this band has stirred up such a huge interest. Their lively blend of manic indie furores and charismatic scuzzy pop is a welcome sound that transcends genre boundaries and hints to a promising future for the four Londoners.
While we knew all along that DWNTWN had never really disappeared we still very much missed them and their perfectly luxuriant soundscapes. Fear not though, DWNTWN are back properly this time with a dreamy collection of songs for our ears to feast on. The enigmatic L.A. trio of Jamie Leffler, Robert Cepeda and Jerrod Bettis seem to have finally found their feet as their latest four track EP "The Red Room" glides onto iTunes with a selection of songs that feel assured, confident even, of their purpose and with how they sound as a finished product. There is no disputing the fact that the tentative sprinkles of synthesising on their year old debut cut "Transition" have helped to generate a contemporary ethereal sound on "Stood Me Up". Rich in electronic whispers, stuttering bass warbles and watery keys this instalment glides along with magnificent poise right from the first audible note. The beautifully crafted introduction nudges each musical element into a concordant stream of shoegaze electronica and 'States-Pop' frivolities. Uplifting choruses and pristine synths bolster the package together neatly. Although it may seem fluffy and whimsical in appearance "Stood Me Up" is dissected by sharp, honest lyrics that scar the instrumental torso with detailed emotions. The track feels raw. Upfront. We like this candid approach. DWNTWN's dreamy electro-mists and meticulous sound portraits work in perfect unison on "Stood Me Up" and we cannot wait to hear more from the prosperous L.A. collective.
Currently based in L.A. this quintet are making sweet harmonies and celestially inspired day-glow folk-pop creations like there is no tomorrow. They are quickly developing a strong online fanbase as their eponymous debut album drops serene pieces of baroque musings and spectral tones aplenty. "What's The Matter" is a convergence of ushered vocals over tranquil guitar plateaus and trickling key cascades which makes Milo Greene's sound altogether pleasing to say the least. Their docile landscapes of pillow-pop meander along at a relaxed tempo and deliver sincere lyrical openness and a rousing chorus that throws a comforting arm around it's listener, drawing them in. This warm, opaque shoegaze affair is not to be missed.
Well where did this retro droplet of swinging fifties charm appear from with such explosive might? Well if the TV viewing majority of you haven't been hibernating behind your sofa then you will recognise this new-age crooner's windpipes courtesy of the latest iPod advert. A lot like Marmite you will either love or hate this track, although staunch tastemakers will dismiss this as cruddy regurgitations, we happen to like this rambunctious jazzy slab of pop. New Zealand-born London based Moon adds a bashful staccato choral chant amongst an army of stomping beats and slippery instrumental interjection. Catchy and flamboyant "Yeah Yeah" is undeniably fun even if it isn't to everyone's exact taste.
Colour The Atlas are a Swindon band who successfully performed under the guise of the Jess Hall Band over a year ago. They landed a handy string of BBC Introducing performances showcasing the vocal, instrumental and lyrical talents of a then 17 year old Jess Hall. Fast forward to the present and Colour The Atlas are marking a new chapter in their musical career. Their recent single "Snow" is an intimate thoroughfare of keys, guitar, bass and drums that interweave with progressive motion. They serve as the perfect blissful accompaniment to Jess' harmonic vocals, culminating in a track with voluminous choruses and tempo driven energy. Think The XX meets Elizabeth Rose with a little War Paint and Colour The Atlas is the pristine end product. Primed with enchanting indie-pop credentials, Colour The Atlas have a bright future ahead.
If you haven't heard this gargantuan dubstep romper that has assailed the charts with viral proficiency, then where have you been lately? Nick Douwma is fast becoming a staple amongst the dubstep elite joining the likes of Skrillex, Nero and Chase And Status and just when you thought summer was completely done with for another year, bang! Sub Focus unleashes this kinetic slice of brash techtronica that perfectly slips into the cloudy haze that nestles between chart sensibility and alternative individualism; warped basslines, pulsating synth nebulae and shuddering beats, it is a superb mix. Using his musical intelligence for "Tidal Wave", Douwma did his homework and enlisted the haunting vocal presence of Catherine Pockson from Alpines. Her majestic chords resonate perfectly amongst the contemporary soundscapes to ultimately produce a track that is momentous and energetic.
The relentless and dedicated work ethic of the Harlem lyricist and all-out urban legend is nothing short of a miracle, especially so when you think that at only 20 years old Azealia Banks has netted a following so large that her club sizzler "212" is dropped in most clubs if any respectable DJ know's what's good for them. Her 19 track mixtape "Fantasea" has been conveying track after track of slick urban ditties; forward thinking and intrepid, Banks' concoction of frenetic pop, draconian beats and smooth nineties grooves has a vast reaching appeal. "Atlantis" doesn't stray away from this winning formula either, her scatter-gun lyrics are provocative and delivered with serpentine precision into a humdrum mix of eclectic musical inputs that charges synapses to bop and dance to her fiery slabs of chameleon pop. New York's finest keeps this assemblage short 'n' sweet lasting just over 120 seconds but those two minutes prove evermore that Azealia has a dynamic vision for music and she most definitely seems to possess the skills to accomplish it.
When you hear Splashh for the first time there is an overwhelming belief that this band must surely hail from some hazy California coastal town, spilling beer and stumbling around amongst the surf making floozy salt-tinged music. However, that image couldn't be more inaccurate if it tried. Toto, Sasha, Thomas and Jacob are four razorsharp Hackney lads whose escapist channels of sweltering grunge-rock are soaked in indie scuzz and sauntered guitar pangs. There sound is a maniacal assortment of acts like Gross Magic, Childhood and The Vaccines, so standing out is rather important indeed. Fear not, Splashh are musically savvy and audibly forthright. "Vacation" begins as a mellow affair at first, gradually building energy to the song with each additional music element until eventually it storms along; a crushing onslaught of drums and guitars delivered with absolute speed where strumming digits and thrashing sticks meet manmade instruments, bounding down those soundwaves with wilderbeest tenacity. Hollowed vocal drones and the promise of sunkissed vacations are chanted boisterously via a resounding chorus into your ear canals without remorse. This sepia barrage of echoes and indie toxins showcases Splashh at their very best and musically complete.
If a band somehow manages to incorporate all the little nuances of our home city; the sights, the smells, the random activities you get up to on a daily basis without thinking about it for a second, into a music video for a song we already love and are about to review, then said band have got off to a very, very good start indeed. San Cisco are four exuberant young adults with a penchant for making sparkling indie numbers bursting with decadent harmonies and uplifting tempo drive. Perhaps it is the nourishing waters of the Indian Ocean and the spatial isolation of Western Australia that has nurtured the group's sound, that or the fact that Nick, Scarlett, Jordi and Josh all attended the same high school having grown up in Freemantle. We are inclined to think it is most probably the latter. However, this four-piece produce music with unwavering solidarity and foster a type of indie that is enigmatic, bubbly and cute. Their EP "Beach" was released in the UK earlier this month and we cannot contain our juvenile excitement about San Cisco any longer. The land from Down Under is missing a promising musical talent ever since Gypsy And The Cat or Tim and Jean stood aside from the blogosphere limelight, so we can only but welcome San Cisco with open arms; if the mighty Columbia Records can sign this spirited group then surely we can give a full hearted online endorsement.
"Beach" starts off with an undulating circus play of eighties inspired synths that orbit whimsically between each newly introduced musical layer. The encouragement of sound is gentle on the ear generating a milieu of chortling audio pleasantries. The whole composition is something rather delightful; relying on the steadfast approach of guitars, keys, drums and bass, San Cisco seamlessly glide into a choral build-up peppered by the ethereal vocal interactions of Scarlett and Jordi. Their unified harmonies belie a morose and sincere lyrical exposure that points with a sinuous finger to the angst of maturing and emotively numbing adulthood experiences. Casting that somewhat disheartening image aside, "Beach" is a fantastically dreamy track which ambles along at it's own pace, content and assured. Exploiting warming pop acoustica with instrumental facets of indie brings about a song enriched by chillout elegance and glistening electro showers. An invigorating chorus and overall production purged of unnecessary showmanship has allowed San Cisco to draw musical elements together into an enchanting landscape that entices listeners to explore, comprehend and appreciate.