Friday, 20 October 2017

HYPOPHORA - SINGLE REVIEW

Hypophora – Headlines 
Hypophora - Headlines (photo: @craigtaylorbroad)


Release Date: Out Now

When I look down the list of Hypophora’s ‘Artists We Also Like’ and it includes NARCS (RIP), Cousin Buzz, Forever Cult, Allusondrugs and Patrons I can only surmise two things; they have excellent taste and they really want a deal with Clue Records. Musical taste aside, however, what can we glean from the Cornish quartet’s new single, ‘Headlines’? Well, they know how to rock hard but in an incredibly tight and controlled manner akin to Biffy Clyro, Incubus, Reuben and anyone of the aforementioned excellent peers. In Katie McConnell they have a frontwoman who possesses power, grace, a fierce presence and no shortage of melody in a voice that would rival Hayley Williams. Also, Hypophora are not afraid to mix it up, take time out for a feedback solo or just explore a bit of a jazz in the middle of an ambitious 4 minute single. Finally, we can deduce that their video budget extended to a few fairy lights and a cameraman/woman with the shakes. So, give them a stage (or a series of stages, like a tour) and a bigger video budget then these guys have got the chops and the tunes to back it up. Blistering stuff.


Live Dates:

28th October – Halloween Rock Night @ Bar Socio, Newquay w/Kernuyck + 50 Year Storm
12th November – Crowndale Club, London
16th November – MONO, Falmouth w/Knave + Sunbruise
19th November – The Crofters Rights, Bristol w/ Last Hyena + Hamartia

Watch The Video: 




ROSIE THE CROW - SINGLE REVIEW

Rosie The Crow – Lungs 
Rosie The Crow - Lungs


Release Date: Out Now

Cornish one woman song maching Rosie Crow is turning a whole lotta heads with her latest vehicle, Rosie The Crow and new single ‘Lungs’ is justifying all that head turning. Heading things up with bass, keys and her classy alt-pop vocal, Crow leads her trio in to battle sounding like a Venn diagram of St Vincent, Kimbra, LadyHawke, Lordes and the XX on a really positive day. The satisfying proto-80s beats provide the perfect foil for the moody guitar notes while that vocal has a steely confidence about it that is impossible to resist. Along with Auction for the Promise Club, Rosie The Crow are leading the way in classy/glassy Cornish alt-pop which is niche, for sure, but then who ever thought K-Pop would be so big and look what happened to Psy?



Watch The Video: 


REWS - SINGLE REVIEW

Rews – Your Tears (Marshall Records) 
Rews - Your Tears


Release Date: Out Now

The fact that Rews are comprised of pair Shauna and Collette makes them sound like a pair of 50s backing vocalists but this duo came here to rock out so don’t be fooled. ‘Your Tears’ is the last single from Rews before their eagerly anticipated album drops in November and it’s probably the last time I’ll be able to describe them as ‘hotly tipped’. The buzz around Rews is growing to a point of distorted feedback and this track does nothing to detract from that as the riff driven rock surges and grinds like some kind of unstoppable machine with all the force of Royal Blood, Turbowolf or Band of Skulls. Then throw in those pop melodies and vocal harmonies that make this sound like Skunk Anansie in their prime and you know there’s not stopping this particular steam roller so you may as well lie down in the road and let it roll over you*. Here come Rews.
*Don’t actually do this, it will probably kill you.


Live Dates:

8th November – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford
9th November – Epic Studio, Norwich
10th November – The Soundhouse, Leicester
11th November – Esquires, Bedford
15th November – The Greystones, Sheffield
16th November – Fibbers, York
17th November – The Met, Bury
18th November – The Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe
22nd November – The Horn, St Albans
23rd November – The Forum, Kent
24th November – The Face Bar, Reading
25th November – Actress & Bishop, Birmingham
29th November – Old Blue Last, London
30th November – Gwdihw, Cardiff
1st December – Mr Wolf’s, Bristol

2nd December – West End Centre, Aldershot

DEADLEG - SINGLE REVIEW

Deadleg – Chinese Floats (Black Bleach Records) 
Deadleg - Chinese Floats


Release Date: 21st October 2017

You know when you hear a song and it feels like it’s been rummaging around at the back of your consciousness forever and a day? Step forward ‘Chinese Floats’ by Deadleg. Fronted by Paul Bardsley ex of Molly Half Head and Wireless, Deadleg combine the angular indie of Orange Juice with Northern Soul and the mass appeal, rightly or wrongly, of Britpop. The guitars are suitably shuffling and jangly while the drums keep things perky beneath the understated vocal style of Bardsley. Incorporating the everyman indie-pop melodies of Lightning Seeds, Badly Drawn Boy or Teenage Fanclub means this has a strong chance of showing up on a Match of the Day goal of the month montage and worming it’s way in to your subconscious as well so, you know, watch out for that.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/deadleguk/

THE RIGS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Rigs – The Hunted 
The Rigs - The Hunted

Release Date: Out Now

Picture the scene. A post-apocalyptic, barren landscape from which emerges a rag-tag group of Mad Max-style hunters, gatherers, warriors and thinkers. This is the year 2200 and the fall-out from Trump’s nuclear war-games has finally been dealt with by Mother Nature so tribes are starting to emerge from their generations of hiding. This is the opening scene of a film not yet even conceived but, luckily, LA duo The Rigs have already written the perfect opening tune; ‘The Hunted’. Dystopian, industrial and sparse to begin with, Caitlin Parrott’s elfin vocal soon adds the green shoots of hope and optimism to a tune that builds through the electronic pulses and trills. By the time the song fades out (to start the first scene, of course) we are left in no doubt that our group of unlikely heroes might be running from something (or someone) but they’ll be ready for a fight when they find one. Now we just need a script writer and some plucky young actors. And Morgan Freeman to do the narration.

MELANIE CREW - EP REVIEW

Melanie Crew – Midnight Sounds EP 
Melanie Crew - Midnight Sounds


Release Date: Out Now

I’ve been deliberating over this opening sentence for a while but I’m just going to say it; I think Melanie Crew needs to move. You see, this isn’t my first time listening to her work and she has such a gentle, comforting, home-spun sound that it always amazes me when I see her current location as London. Don’t get me wrong, I had 10 mostly wonderful years in London but I feel like Melanie must have Rhino thick skin to have survived in that city with such a seemingly gentle demeanour. Nonetheless, survive she has and grateful we must be for that fact (sorry, started channelling Yoda there for a minute).

This new five track EP begins with the end-of-the-day lament of ‘Evening Light’ that is full of poise, sadness and the gentle regret you get when you know you’re having a great time but, right in the middle of that great time, you realise that it will have to end at some point. On ‘Visions’ Crew strips things back even more to the raindrop pitter-patter of guitar notes and her soft, vulnerable voice calling out in the twilight hours. ‘The Place I Knew’ is strangely reminiscent of ballads by the likes of REM and Foo Fighters in its key changes but that voice is so very English this might as well be Mary Poppins at an open-mic night making the audience fall in love with every practically perfectly pronounced word.

Melanie Crew
Things take a turn towards the minor notes on ‘Out of Sight’ which allows Crew to expand her vocal range and create a song that would fit in perfectly on an album by LWM favourites Sound of the Sirens. The EP closes with ‘Stay All Night’ which switches things up to a more electric guitar sound and Crew sings “I don’t know anything about but I know I’ve spent too many minutes thinking what if we could begin again tonight”. Lyrically this EP is full of sadness and laments but with a real sense of enjoying that emotion – not quite wallowing but certainly finding comfort in it. Only one of these songs comes in at more than three minutes and I think that’s the key to Melanie Crew’s tunes is that they might be gentle and vulnerable but they get to the point, they are engaging and they aren’t self-indulgent. That said, I do feel the urge to put an arm around this EP, buy it a drink and tell it that everything will be OK if it just hangs in there.


Download the EP: https://melaniecrew.bandcamp.com/

SAINT RAYMOND - SINGLE REVIEW

Saint Raymond – Night Crawling 
Saint Raymond - Night Crawling


Release Date: Out Now

There are a lot of self-appointed saints in music these days which is no bad thing as long as they are behaving in a saintly way which I somehow doubt. Anyway, regardless of behaviour, Saint Raymond (Callum to his mum) is the latest saint on the scene and his new single, ‘Night Crawling’, is devilishly good…ironically. The pop vibe is strong with bouncing melodies and a steadily driving beat that pitches this somewhere between Harry Styles and LadyHawke – not a bad sandwich to be the filling in. The uplifting, sweeping chorus is primed for festival season next year so expect this to be ploughed in to every radio playlist you can cock an ear to. Delicious stuff which leaves you feeling uplifted and ready to take on the world so there is some saintliness in there I guess.


Watch the Video: 


Thursday, 19 October 2017

MOSQUITO CABARET – SINGLE REVIEW

Mosquito Cabaret – River King 
Mosquito Cabaret - River King


Release Date: Out Now

It’s no surprise to see Gogol Bordello high up in the list of influences of Virginia collective Mosquito Cabaret as this single, ‘River King’, has that gypsy vibe from the very first accordion note and rusty cymbal trill. Soon enough, that familiar bouncing rhythm kicks in and the dramatic, moustachioed vocals of a circus ringmaster. This kind of music can be heard through the ages and across multiple cultures but wherever it is heard it will incite dancing and good times in all those who hear it so it’s always worth pausing to appreciate a timeless and lament filled piece of folk music.


Live Dates:

19th October – NEON Festival, Norfolk
2nd December – Hipnotic Bellydance, Chesapeake


Watch the Video: 


SOPHIE MORGAN – SINGLE REVIEW

Sophie Morgan – Hey Annie 
Sophie Morgan - Hey Annie


Release Date: Out Now

At only 19, you might expect Cheshire songstress Sophie Morgan to have a relatively naïve sound with minimalistic ideas. Then you might tune in to her new single, ‘Hey Annie’, and any preconceptions you have about age or music will surely just melt away. The soft piano notes and Morgan’s warm breeze of a voice would be enough on their own but with the swell of a band to flesh this bitter-sweet tale out a bit then this is a genuine delight. Morgan has a laconic and, dare I say it, world-weary vocal style that wraps around you like your favourite old blanket on a cold Autumn day so, like she sings, “come in out of the rain” and let this song warm you up. Everything’s going to be alright, it’s that kind of a song.


Live Dates:

21st October – London Palladium, London w/the Waterboys
22nd October – Opera House, Manchester w/the Waterboys
23rd October – The Sage, Gateshead w/the Waterboys
24th October – Sec Armadillo, Glasgow w/the Waterboys
26th October – 3 Arena, Dublin w/the Waterboys
9th November – Laiszhalle, Hamburg w/the Waterboys
11th November – Munchenbruggeriet, Stockholm w/the Waterboys
12th November – Sentrum Scene, Oslo w/the Waterboys
14th November – Theater am Marientor, Duisburg w/the Waterboys
15th November – Afas Live, Amsterdam w/the Waterboys
16th November – De Roma, Antwerp w/the Waterboys
18th November – Murcia Auditoria, Murcia w/the Waterboys
19th November – Barts, Barcelona w/the Waterboys
20th November – Nuevo Teatro Alcala, Madrid w/the Waterboys

Watch the Video: 


MALKA – ALBUM REVIEW

Malka – Ratatatat (Tantrum Records) 
Malka - Ratatat


Release Date: 20th October 2017

So here it is. A bit like Christmas. I’ve been waiting a good long time for this album by Scottish song-weaver Malka and her it is all shiny, colourful and full of promise. Like I said, a bit like Christmas. ‘Ratatatat’, love it already, starts delicately with ‘Fell for You’ creeping out from the shadows with the child-like vocals channelling Kate Nash but with a more elfin whimsy that is hard to resist, despite the lyrical content being in complete juxtaposition. Recent single ‘No No No’ has had a lot of love from the likes of BBC 6Music due to its clickety-clackety rhythm that builds in to the kind of dance beat that feels super-contemporary but also as though it could be played around a large, Pagan fire. By the time we get to ‘Wonder Why’, you can see that rhythm is a real theme of this album with the melodies being teased out from Malka (aka Tamara Schlesinger) in her delicate, lace-like vocal and bolstered by those beat and bass combinations.

We hit peak tribalism on ‘Get Out (The Jungle)’ as Malka’s voice is layered up like a solstice chant on top of a rhythm that comes from somewhere inside a translucent pool of water reflecting only the moon. ‘Freedom’ has a real sense of optimism about it between the notes that bounce like slow motion rain drops and the bass pulse that is almost comforting. Meanwhile, ‘Breakout’ has a dreamlike quality as those vocals and beats intermingle yet again. It’s at this point that you realise what Malka has done in presenting a style of music that feels very modern and as though it is pushing some boundaries yet simultaneously this music is wrapped around the basic and most primal musical core of voice and rhythm. It’s a difficult balance to strike but there is a poise to this record that leaves you in no doubt that the balance has been achieved.

Malka ..... winning that staring competition
Having said all of that, ‘Gold’ takes things in a slightly darker, more subdued direction that has some 80s inspired moments in among the sprinkled magic. The nursery rhyme vibe comes back on ‘Falling’ which feels like it was written in Malka’s playful mind whilst playing hop-scotch or just generally skipping around a market buying flowers. As we approach the end of this collection, ‘Don’t Need Anyone’ slides in from stage light to steal the show as my track of the album with it’s hypnotic, Middle-Eastern background melodies mixing with the whispered vocals and those persistent beats. Closing out with ‘Circles’, Malka seals the deal with a triumphant climax that builds and releases like a bird being let out of its cage in to a new bright world full of promise and confusion. This is a stunning collection of intricately woven songs that have a solid base in their tribal rhythms but a very modern twist that means these songs stand up to repeated listens. Like gourmet versions of standard recipes, a real eye-opener and palate cleanser.


Live Dates:

1st November – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh w/Chuchoter
2nd November – Hug & Pint, Glasgow w/Chuchoter
13th November – The Walrus, Brighton w/Charlie & The Villas
14th November – The Lexington, London w/Alessandro Ciminata

15th November – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham w/Danielle Cawdell

SON OF DAVE – SINGLE REVIEW

Son Of Dave – Pow Pow (Goddamn Records) 
Son Of Dave - Pow Wow


Release Date: Out Now

Son of Dave is a one many show with, presumably, a dad called Dave. Or David to you. This new single, ‘Pow Pow’, is childish in the best possible way. Whistling, kazoos and/or harmonicas with the addition of casual beatboxing and what is possibly a tea-chest bassline. This is the kind of music that should be the theme tune of an off-kilter kid’s TV show but is more likely to end up as the soundtrack of the next big Ikea advert campaign. The energy is infectious and if you can’t get your boogie on to this then you may well have been shot in the legs by one of the myriad cowboys in the charming, accompanying video.


Live Dates:

3rd November – The Louisiana, Bristol
4th November – The Railway, Winchester
8th November – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow
9th November – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
10th November – The Green Room, Stockton on Tees
11th November – The Actress & Bishop, Birmingham
15th November – Gullivers, Manchester
17th November – John Peel Arts Centre, Suffolk
18th November – The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
23rd November – Centre des Arts et Loisirs, Buchelay
25th November – Sunset, Paris
29th November – The Bodega, Nottingham
30th November – Face Bar, Reading
1st December – Hope & Ruin, Brighton
3rd December – The Borderline, London

Watch the Video: 


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

AKIVA – SINGLE REVIEW

Akiva – M.O.D. (Kurb Records) 
Akiva - M.O.D. 


Release Date: Out Now

It’s not often that I agree with the description given by the Press Release that accompanies a new tune but Lost in the Manor have it spot on with this one; “think George Orwell meets the Killers”. Bedfordshire boys Akiva’s new release ‘M.O.D.’ is tense and dramatic but with a sense of driving cool that comes with the likes of the Killers, Gary Numan or Muse. The electro throb is industrialised by the pounding drums and then given a purpose by the assured vocals. You can hear the preaching confidence of Reverend & The Makers coming out of the vocals that speak of the brainwashing of war and the pawn-like use of human beings in the war games of the rich. This has film-montage written all over it but the animated video does that job superbly so maybe, just maybe, this song has the full package.


Watch The Video: 


GOOD BOY – SINGLE REVIEW

Good Boy – Fishing With A Shotgun (Badly Dressed Records) 
Good Boy - Fishing With A Shotgun


Release Date: Out Now

Brisbane punks Good Boy jumped feet first in to my heart with the opening bars of new single ‘Fishing with A Shotgun’. The riff that opens this track is reminiscent of the start of Everclear’s ‘Electra Made Me Blind’ but with much more fun at its heart before it settles in to an unsettling pace and unapologetic lyrical message. There’s a hypnotic video that goes a long with this but even on its own Good Boy have created the kind of tune that should have indie and punk clubs bouncing with enthusiasm across the world. The repeated lyric of “what do you fear?” is eminently shoutable by crowds and the clatter of the drums makes this two and a half minutes of pure joy that I would thoroughly recommend you make time for.


Live Dates:

8th December – Brighton, Mandurah
9th December – Mr Lonely, Fremantle
14th December – The Workers Club, Fitzroy
15th December – The Lansdowne, Sydney
16th December – Crowbar, Brisbane
22nd December – Cats, Adelaide


Watch The Video: 


THE PINK DIAMOND REVUE – SINGLE REVIEW

The Pink Diamond Revue – Go Go Girl (Acid Dol Records) 
The Pink Diamond Revue - Go Go Girl


Release Date: Out Now

London botherers the Pink Diamond Revue sound like they could double as a seedy Gentleman’s club in everything from name to the scuzz pouring out of their amps. New single ‘Go Go Girl’ is dirty from the buzz-saw guitars to the saucy beat that drives this one along but the fact that this duo look like a young Christoper Walken and Henry Rollins makes this both and enthralling and slightly unnerving experience. This is the Stooges and Death in Vegas in a Soho nightclub having the time of their lives but being completely indifferent to the experience because they are just that cool. It’s hard not to love a tune that feels awkward and raw but overtly sexual and supremely confident at the same time so why bother resisting? Just give yourself over to the fun.


Live Dates:

Watch the Video: 



COSMO SHELDRAKE – SINGLE REVIEW

Cosmo Sheldrake – Come Along 
Cosmo Sheldrake - Come Along


Release Date: Out Now

It feels like the superb Cosmo Sheldrake has been knocking around for a while now without every making that incisive move in to the mainstream consciousness but with an album due in the Spring of 2018 and this new song he might just be on the cusp of something. ‘Come Along’ is, as ever, wonderfully eccentric as our multi-instrumentalist hero tackles 10 different instruments to create a tune that should adorn the soundtrack to Stranger Things or some Christmas Special adaptation of a fringe Roald Dahl piece as directed by Tim Burton. Walking in the staggering footsteps of Gilbert, Lemon Jelly, Gideon Conn, Malka and Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, Sheldrake is an absolute master of the theatrical and mixes modern, up-tempo beats with more classical instruments to create a swirl of notes and emotions that is sublime. Alt-J have done well this kind of eccentricity but do they write songs about catching Heffalumps and attaching arm-bands to your legs? I think not.



Live Dates:

30th October – Melkweg, Amsterdam w/ Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit
1st November – Luxor, Koln w/Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit
2nd November – Ancienne, Brussels
3rd November – Café De la Danse, Paris
17th November – Mick’s Garage, London
23rd November – Rosis, Berlin
24th November – Stall 6, Zurich
25th November – 1. Stock, Munchenstein

30th November – Le Pop-Up du Label, Paris

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

TURBOWOLF – SINGLE REVIEW

Turbowolf – The Free Life (So Recordings) 
Turbowolf - The Free Life


Release Date: Out Now

This is a beast of a tune. There’s no doubt either way on this fact. Turbowolf’s new single ‘The Free Life’ opens with a murderous bass line that is somewhere between the slickness of Royal Blood, the menace of Grinderman and the biker cool of Queens of the Stone Age or Les Anges. When that slow approach starts to speed up after a minute and a half, however, you can see the red eyes of this particular beast light up. The drums drive forward like a pile-driver, the guitars keep a tight rein on the melody and then the falsetto vocals sew it all together with black silk. With varying tempos, a bass line the size of Donald Trump’s ego and a running time of nearly six minutes this is an ambitious release but it works on every level and at every turn.


Live Dates:

24th October – Cavern, Exeter
25th October – The Cookie, Leicester
26th October – The Sugarmill, Stoke
27th October – Moles Club, Bath
29th October – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
30th October – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
31st October – The Old Blue Last, London – FREE ENTRY


Listen Here: 


SARA DIAMOND – SINGLE REVIEW

Sara Diamond – Stay A Little 
Sara Diamond - Stay A Little


Release Date: Out Now

I’m literally (and I use that word advisedly) running out of words to describe the wondrousness of the music that continues to pump out of Canada like the endless refills of a slushy in Pizza Hut. Sara Diamond is a Montreal resident and also a quality musician with a knack for woozy, classy pop. ‘Stay A Little’ blends Lana Del Rey vibe but with a more overtly sexual tone in between the carefully placed beats and intermingling string stabs. There is more than a little Dua Lipa in this track and the orchestral breakdown followed by Diamond’s exemplary vocal solo just takes this one to another level. This is a pop mammoth and could, no should, stand shoulder to shoulder with the queens of the pop world. Props to the production of Noah Barer and Austin Tecks too, just adding another layer of class to an already imperious track.


FELIX HAGAN & THE FAMILY – SINGLE REVIEW

Felix Hagan & The Family – Attention Seeker 
Felix Hagan & The Family - Attention Seeker


Release Date: Out Now

One of my new favourite bands of 2017, the glorious Felix Hagan & The Family, are back with another superb single and some wonderfully understated artwork. ‘Attention Seeker’ begins with a defiant beat and an itchy, impatient melody that’s just waiting for the chorus so it can explode in all its inherent gloriousness. The chorus is a veritable glitter cannon of energy that draws together the indie-pop energy and fun of the likes of Scissor Sisters, Mika, My Life Story and Queen with a raw, almost punk energy. This song is the embodiment of those people we all know who work Monday to Friday in a job that does nothing but pay the rent and have enough left over for their real passion, whether it be dancing until they pass out on a Saturday night or cross-dressing and singing show tunes in a basement bar on a Saturday afternoon. “I don’t like to show my soul to strangers but show me yours and I’ll show you mine and we’ll dance together one more time” sings our heroic frontman Felix Hagan and if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of an anthem being dragged kicking and screaming in to a world that is crying out for anthems and good times.


Live Dates:

26th November – The Borderline, London

28th November – Band on the Wall, Manchester

Monday, 16 October 2017

ALEX HEDLEY – SINGLE REVIEW

Alex Hedley – This Life 
Alex Hedley - This Life


Release Date: 20th October 2017

It always intrigues me when you come across musicians who have ‘gone solo’ but you’ve never heard of the band in question. It’s like introducing yourself to women as divorced. Nevertheless, Alex Hedley was once in a band called Saturday Sun and that might be helpful context for some but for me, ‘This Life’, stands up on its own merits and should probably just get itself on Tinder. Opening with a lazily strummed acoustic riff that speaks of end of film credits and deep, satisfied sighs as you turn out the lights. There’s an interesting blend of thoroughly English sounding vocals with melodies that come from a place that the Lemonheads usually occupy. Stir in a building intensity and rawness of instrumentation and you’re on to a heady brew that will surely help you sleep tonight. Hedley has more than a touch of class about him and certainly a hint of the cinematic about the way his arrangements build. In short, he’s an excellent song-writer and doesn’t need anyone else’s help to make good music.


Live Dates:

28th October – Vinyl Grove, The Hague
4th November – Hawthorns Hotel Bar, Glastonbury

Watch the Video: 


Y.O.U.N.G. – SINGLE REVIEW

Y.O.U.N.G. - Exposure 
Y.O.U.N.G. - Exposure


Release Date: Out Now

There is one reason I write this blog and one reason alone; the pursuit of exciting new music. During that pursuit, I come across a lot of good bands, some awful musicians and the occasional moment of gloriousness – Manchester collective Y.O.U.N.G. fall firmly in to that last category. This is my first time of hearing the group and this single, ‘Exposure’, got my attention within seconds using a riff that sounds like the young Arctic Monkeys having a go at a Rage Against the Machine cover and then the rest of the band kick in and things just kick off. The bass snakes in, the drums go directly for your rib-cage and the fierce spitting starts like Zach de la Rocha is back in the house with all that youthful exuberance. Then, just when you think you know where this is going, they throw in a chorus that sounds like Years & Years mixing with the Streets. This is agitated, melodic, danceable and entirely addictive so I am, of course, hooked. I expect the live show is insane and I’m going to pin my colours to the mast to say that 2018 could and should be a big year for Y.O.U.N.G. if there’s any justice. They’re a bitch to Google though.


Watch the video: 


Sunday, 15 October 2017

AREA RESIDENT – SINGLE REVIEW

Area Resident – Riverside 
Area Resident - Riverside


Release Date: Out Now

Now I get a lot of music sent to me from a lot of different weird and wonderful corners of the world and that is something that I get a kick out of. This, however, is the first time I’ve received any recorded material from an Ottowan traffic reporter who has won awards for journalism and I have to admit, it’s thrown me slightly. Anyway, Area Resident is the assumed name of this lone reporter and his new single, ‘Riverside’ is certainly a fresh sounding tune. Take the scuzzy guitars of Weezer or the Dandy Warhols in their early days but the laid-back vibe of Midlake or the Lemonheads and you’re getting close to the sound Area Resident creates. The accompanying video is virtually a tourist board promotion piece for Ottowa but with our hero pretty much the only person left so it has a slightly strange post-apocalyptic feel (every indie guy’s dream of being left alone in a beautiful landscape with a studio and a bunch of records). This is perfect music for a sunny Sunday afternoon as the Summer starts to depart and I feel like I could easily have a beer with Area Resident – or at the very least trust his traffic reports implicitly.


Watch The Video: 


PHILIP WHITEHEAD – SINGLE REVIEW

Philip Whitehead – The Paper Man’s Blues 
Philip Whitehead - The Paper Man's Blues


Release Date: Out Now

West London lad Philip Whitehead is back with another single and the rejoicing should surely begin – not too loud though, this is a delicate number. New track ‘The Paper Man’s Blues’ is barely two and a half minutes of delicate guitar notes and confessional vocals that are perfect for a rainy afternoon in England. There’s a whole record collection all bundled up in this song from Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ to Ryan Adams, Evan Dando, Badly Drawn Boy and David Kitt in each soulful melodic slide and warmly fingered guitar string. If you told me this was on the soundtrack of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ then I would entirely believe you and I love that film so take that as a compliment. More please.


Live Dates:


28th October – Luna Lounge, London w/Mia Riaz + Mark Matthews + Eva Jacobs

Saturday, 14 October 2017

TALITHA RISE – SINGLE REVIEW

Talitha Rise – Bloodfox 
Talitha Rise - Bloodfox


Release Date: 20th October 2017

There is something simultaneously creepy and comforting about the eerie piano notes that open up ‘Bloodfox’, the new single from Devon based singer-songwriter Talitha Rise. As the vocals sleepy drift in to the song on that soft cloud of piano notes the song takes on a dream-like quality and it’s hard not to just sink back in to your chair and take a deep breath. The percussion is minimalist to say the least while a bass drone creeps in and I’m reminded of the work of LWM favourite Seaker and the more isolated moments of the likes of Feist and Bat for Lashes. There’s a fairly distressing video to go along with this which has a slightly Kate Bush feel to its production quality and the same could be said of the closing vocals as Talitha Rise sings “Oh I’ve seen enough to last a life time”. Haunting, beautiful, engaging and deeply unsettling – just in time for Halloween then or the soundtrack of the next series of West World.


Live Dates:

15th October – Russell Hills’ Country Music Show, Portsmouth
21st October – Lewes Con Club, Lewes

Watch the Video: 


MATILDA GRACIA – SINGLE REVIEW

Matilda Gracia – Player (Dreamscope Media Group Ltd.) 
Matilda Gracia - Player


Release Date: Out Now

Matilda Gracia is half-Irish, half-Spanish and has a penchant for a bit of Janis Joplin. This is not a woman that you want to cross so I’m really hoping that I like this new single. ‘Player’ opens with a Santana inspired acoustic vs electric guitar riff that has a bit of funk about it and Matilda Gracia’s vocal is fierce, full of attitude and a sense of bitterness that is, frankly delicious. This feels like a modern-day version of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ in terms of the attitude but it’s far more energetic and frenetic which would allow you to dance to this more effectively than Simon’s more moody classic. Smooth, angry and delivered with clenched teeth and a sneer – like I said, not a woman to be crossed.


Live Dates:

22nd October – Stoke Newington Festival @ Mascara Bar, London

LOVER – SINGLE REVIEW


Lover – Fallen Famous 
Lover - Fallen Famous


Release Date: Out Now

Firstly, how has the name Lover never been used for a band before? Strong work. Anyway, on the London outfit’s new single, ‘Fallen Famous’, which has recently been getting some love from no less than Lord Lammo. Opening in a hedonistic squall of feedback, the tune soon settles in to a pulsing rhythm before the sultry vocals slide in a red dress holding a cigarette in elegant style. This is the kind of sophisticated electro-pop that only the British can produce in the same vein as Dubstar and St Etienne but, more importantly, the Human League and Alison Moyet. What I really love about this tune is the electro wig out and decent in to loops that the live drums keep pushing forwards. This is the direction Ellie Goulding should have gone in but she opted for shampoo adverts and skimpy clothes instead.




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Thursday, 12 October 2017

SALLY CAITLIN – SINGLE REVIEW

Sally Caitlin – Take It All 
Sally Caitlin - Take It All

Release Date: Out Now

Manchester’s Sally Caitlin is not your average singer-songwriter and ‘Take It All’ is not your average track. The synth tones that open this new single wouldn’t be out of place at the start of a Rudimental or Above & Beyond track and then the clattering beats that kick in are more at home in a Drum and Bass club than anywhere near your traditional preconceptions of what to expect from a singer-songwriter. Lyrically this is empowering stuff about standing up to the bullies in your life and that message is delivered by powerful pop-dance vocal that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Robyn, Sia or Ellie Goulding on any Radio 1 playlist. In a week where we’ve celebrated the importance of girls and those surviving mental health issues, this seems like the right song at the right time.  


Live Dates:

18th November – Eagle Inn, Salford

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