Monday, 20 February 2017


Claire – Friendly Fire
Claire - Friendly Fire

Release Date: Out Now

If what you’re lacking in life right now is some cool, sophisticated alt-pop with crisp, clean vocals and a driving rhythm then you’re in luck – I’ve found you Claire to fill that hole. New single ‘Friendly Fire’ could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Clean Bandit, Sia and Angie thanks to the slick production, dance floor filling choon building and a beat that just makes you want to move. Without seeing the band promo shot you could be forgiven for thinking that this is the work of a producer and guest vocalist but it’s not, this is five-piece collective who work together to make sweet, perky dance music with a real touch of class about it.

Watch The Video: 


Empty Lungs – Don’t Get It (Hidden Pony Records) 
Empty Lungs - Don't Get It

Release Date: Out Now

Belfast trio Empty Lungs are pissed off and, by their own admission, this new single is a massive “fuck you to a culture that warps young people into thinking that self-image and selfishness are the core values of our modern society”. ‘Don’t Get It’ is a blistering punk-pop track that comes in at under two minutes and is the bratty bastard son of the classic ‘Man Don’t Give a Fuck’ by the Super Furry Animals and Liam Lynch’s ‘Whatever’. There are handclaps, buzzsaw guitars, great vocals harmonies and a sense of breathless confusion and bewilderment at what the world is becoming. Maybe they’re getting, maybe they’re getting angry. Either way, it sounds great.

Live Dates:

14th March – Marr’s Bar, Worcester


Tears For Piers – Songs…..of sorts 
Tears For Piers 

Release Date: It’s out there

I don’t normally go much novelty songs but there is a special place in hell for certain people and those people deserve to have novelty songs written about them. Donald Trump, Michael Gove, Katie Hopkins – they’re all there drinking some horrible cocktail and, oh look, who’s this? It’s bloody Piers Morgan. Fortunately, we now have an appropriate soundtrack provided the self-professed foremost UK based Piers Morgan tribute band (probably in the world although there may be a superior act in Luxembourg).

This collection of songs includes the direct onslaught of ‘Everybody Wants to Punch My Face’ which features the strangely desperate and confused line “everywhere I go people just want to punch me in the face…”. Then there’s ‘Flout’ (aka ‘Shout’), a song dedicated to how the wobbly faced outrage-spout likes to blatantly ignore the laws of whichever country he happens to sucking his living out of. And then there’s the uber-poignant ‘Swallowing the Seed of Trump’ that would be more funny if it wasn’t to utterly fucking terrifying. Musically this isn’t the best thing in the world but at times like this we need protest and we need satire so these things need sharing.

More information: Oh hell no

Watch The Videos:

Everybody Wants to Punch My Face:

Swallowing the Seed of Trump:

Saturday, 18 February 2017


Michael James – Tomato Sauce 
Michael James - Tomato Sauce

Release Date: Out Now

I feel like Scotland hasn’t been sending me much music lately and I’m not sure what I’ve done to upset my Northern cousins (literally, I’m like an eighth Scottish) but I’m glad to have received this peace offering in the form of Aberdeenshire lad Michael James. This latest demo, ‘Tomato Sauce’, is a rippling acoustic number with a soft, shuffling beat and then there’s a voice that just leaps out at you from behind the curtains. Michael James’ voice is part Belle and Sebastian twee-indie and part 1930s novelty crooner which, surprisingly, really works as a delivery method but also as an attention grabbing calling card. There’s a jaunty melody that’s hard not to love despite the Bond-esque instrumental section and overall this has a personality all of its own which is a rarity these days. Let’s never fall out again Scotland… was probably your fault anyway.


Auction for the Promise Club – Moonlight 
Auction for the Promise Club - Moonlight

Release Date: Out Now

From the wilds of North Cornwall comes one of the most hotly tipped bands on my radar at the moment so I’m delighted to be able to share their music with you. Auction for the Promise Club hail from St Agnes but new single ‘Moonlight’ has a much more urban vibe about it. Vocalist Zoe White Chambers has one of those voices that seduces whilst setting you on edge as our nerves jangle along with the furious, garage inspired guitars. What is most appealing about this track, however, is that within just over 3 minutes Auction for the Promise Club take on a whole range of tempos and styles. The indie-rock core runs throughout but there are grunge elements, hints of garage and a pop sensibility the likes of which I haven’t heard since that first Sleigh Bells record. Then there are tender, delicate moments that ought to be ripped apart by the heat and intensity of the guitars but, like a Chinese lantern*, this song just soars in the night sky like a guiding beacon of hope.

*seriously though, don’t use them – they mess up the wildlife.


Hunck – Little Woman 
Hunck - Little Woman

Release Date: Out Now

It’s hard not to love Hunck, they just sound like they’d be fun to hang out with. The band seems to be expanding from two devilishly handsome gents to a gaggle (or 5 to be precise) and new single ‘Little Woman’ chimes out with some deliciously poppy guitars before the moderately sinister vocals kick in. The uniqueness of the band’s sound is such that the only comparisons I can make are to relatively obscure bands such as Stages of Dan or Holy City Rollers but that’s no bad thing at all. This is indie, this is pop, this is melody and this just the kind of tune to make you dance with pure euphoria in your Converse trainers with your best mates all locked arm in arm together. The sound track of the good times, that’s what this is.

Live Dates:

23rd February – Thousand Island, London

24th February – The Winchester, Bournemouth


Sarah Klang – Strangers (Pangur Musik) 
Sarah Klang - Strangers

Release Date: Out Now

This is one of those songs that you have to put on again as soon as it’s finished just to check that it’s as lovely, heartbreaking and luscious as you thought it was. ‘Strangers’ was apparently written when Klang was living in Gothenburg but just about to move to Stockholm and that sense of a chapter closing and another opening up is writ large on the walls of this alt-country tune. This is First Aid Kit but darker, Johnny Cash doing ‘Hurt’ but with a sweeter voice or the perfect song to leave town on a Greyhound bus to if your head tells you to leave but your heart is hanging on to the bus stop with every last beat. The guitars are warm and inviting, the drums subtle and the organ rich and smooth but it’s Sarah Klang’s stunning voice that sells it. In fact, the only blemish on this otherwise perfect release is the press photo that looks like a reject from a 70s wedding but at least it’s an original and unusual image.

More information:


Shaefri – Rabbit Hole
Shaefri - Rabbit Hole

Release Date: Out Now

Previous single ‘Pixelate’ was a breath of fresh air from London based Irish-Egyptian artist Shaefri so expectations are high for new single ‘Rabbit Hole’. There’s a mellow soul to this tune with stuttering, scattered beats twitching in the background as velvet smooth keys ease the mood. This is somewhere between Sunday morning chill out and Saturday night staying in with your beau music. Something to relax to but something to intense and ‘in the moment’ to as well. The song builds gradually, progressively and intensely but never quite reaches a climax so open a bottle of wine, grab your loved one and put this on a loop for a long old kiss and, well, the rest is up to you. Shaefri can’t do all the work!

Watch The Video: 

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Booty Feet – Booty Feet EP 
Booty Feet - Booty Feet EP

Release Date: Out Now 

Firstly, great name. Booty Feet suggest indie but also cuteness and that’s a tough combination to pull off so bravo for that. Still, cuteness is probably not what the Texas trio were after when they put this EP together. Kicking off with ‘Scotty Pippin’ and immediately I love the lo-fi, Dick Dale inspired guitars which layer up to create a nice beachy vibe that, for two and a half minutes, makes you forget that these guys come from landlocked Texas. ‘No Dad (Simple Song)’ is a grungy little number to start off with but once that groove settles in there’s a more post-rock vibe going on with a satisfying guitar chug being tempered by some delicate keys and perky, cymbal heavy drums.

One can only imagine that old George is a huge influence on the music of Booty Feet as the jazz influenced, Incubus-esque noodling of ‘Clooney’ swings in to view in a sharp suit that smells of cigarettes and infidelity. ‘Birdhouse’ has a similarly complex structure that shows off the band’s technical ability like a less aggressive Biffy Clyro or At The Drive-In cutting lose and not stressing out so much. On ‘Foxtrot’ there’s a bass sound that puts me in mind of early Veruca Salt but the expansive Math-rock is more progressive and mind bending.

This collection closes out on ‘Lungs’, the most subdued of all the tracks to begin with but at seven and a half minutes long there is plenty of room for this tune to meander, change form and change direction which it takes full advantage of. Booty Feet are a hard band to pigeon hole or classify which is a rare and beautiful thing these days. Crucially, though, they have two key ingredients in talent and ideas. Keep those two at the forefront and they’ll always make good music, no doubt about that.


BAIT – Push The Elephant (Cool Thing Records) 
BAIT - Push The Elephant

Release Date: 24th February 2017

For once I am genuinely struggling to type something meaningful here that will add to what I’ve been listening to on a loop for the last 10 minutes. BAIT is an elusive audio-visual artist from the UK (I think, information is scant) and this single is his (I think) latest release. ‘Push The Elephant’ is 165 seconds of unforgiving, relentless and churning indie-art-rock that channels the Killing Joke, Death in Vegas, the Chemical Brother and the Prodigy at their most brutalist. Throw in some punk vocals and a real sense of clenched teeth anger and you’re getting close but I wouldn’t get too close – this song will bite you if it gets the chance. I’m hooked on the circular riff and football chant of “push the elephant” which is now burrowed deep in to my brain like the earworm that tequila couldn’t kill off. A strong contender for single of the year already.

More information: There Is None


Bleeker – Erase You (Five Seven Music) 
Bleeker - Erase You

Release Date: Out Now

I’ve been waiting for what feels like an age for Canadian trio Bleeker to release this album and the anticipation has been making me crazy. Luckily, debut LP ‘Where’s Your Money’ hits hard and true from the get-go so all that waiting was worthwhile. ‘Highway’ kicks things off with huge rock chops but also the pop sensibilities of a chart topping hit as the guitars bounce, the drums ping and those vocals swagger and swoon just enough to make you want to break in to a carefully choreographed dance routine. The swaggering continues on ‘Free’ as they sing of the freedom of breaking away from that relationship that drags you down – this is the tune to walk out of your shitty, dead end office job to while you flip over the in-trays and smash the computers.

There’s a theme of escapism and of breaking free on this album and ‘Getting Out’ is another example of this as those classic rock riffs kick hard and Bleeker channel Reef and Jet in all their pomp and posturing. Title track ‘Erase You’ takes things to a harder, more 70s place as the influences of metal, prog and rock hit you square in the face and suddenly you want to be right in the middle of that sweaty mosh pit, swaying with the masses, part of something bigger and better than you could ever be on your own. The guitar work is excellent and that voice just rasps and roars so a bill with Wolfmother and the Foo Fighters would be entirely natural. ‘I’m Not Laughing Now’ the band take a more indie-pop ballad approach which is a fine song but I came here to rock so I’m pleased when ‘Still Got Love’ kicks in with a grinding, hypnotic circular riff that is perfect driving music and a real head bobber.

Bleeker - Sexy beasts
There’s an element of surprise when the next track turns out to be a punked up garage version of Elvis Costello’s ‘Radio Radio’ but it still sounds so fresh and relevant that it kinda works. Scratch that, it totally works. And then, well then it’s time to rock. ‘Where’s Your Money’ combines the campness of the Darkness with the chug of ACDC and it completely works so just strap it on rock out with your cock out (or other genitals, this music does not discriminate). ‘Emergency’ is slick indie-rock with a stop start rhythm and some cave singing while ‘Close My Eyes’ is a relatively run of the mill rock ballad with a piano riff and a bit of a nod to Bon Jovi.

The album closes off on ‘Every Time You Call’ which keeps the rock motif going well and underlines the band’s ability to rock hard whilst keeping an eye on the melody to keep you hooked in. All in all, totally worth waiting for although if you made this an 8 track album and lost the last three tracks you wouldn’t be missing out on much. Bleeker, I suspect, will be one of those bands that just need a cross-over single and some hard touring to make it but it will all come down to their live shows and from what I hear they are pretty legendary.

Live Dates:

3rd March – Maxwell’s Concerts & Events, Waterloo
4th March – The Pheonix Concert Theatre, Toronto w/Luke Austin
14th May – Somerset Amphitheater, Somerset

21st May – Rock On the Range, Columbus

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Vaarwell – YOU
Vaarwell - YOU

Release Date: Out Now

Something a little different all the way from Portugal now. Lisbon trio Margarida, Ricardo and Luis – aka Vaarwell – have a new single out under the simple title ‘YOU’ and it is a little bit special. The delicate, early morning keys are matched by the delicate vocals of Margarida and that combination already puts you in a dream like state and we’re only 30 seconds in. This is the kind of music that soundtracks your loneliest moments, the darkest moments before the dawn but there is a sense of optimism here that tells you that day will break any minute now if just keep staring at that horizon. File this under the XX but with more soul or Sia but more blissed out. Sumptuous stuff. Oh, and there’s a person dressed as a giant Polar bear in the video and you can’t hate that, can you?

Watch The Video:


DYLYN – Mimosa (Home Music Co.) 
DYLYN - Mimosa

Release Date: Out Now

There’s a lot of great, fresh music coming out of LA at the moment and the latest on that eclectic conveyor belt is the vowel averse DYLYN. New single ‘Mimosa’ is alt-pop in the mould that the Swedes have been using so well recently. Brutal beats, ‘whatever’ vocals and mingling electro melodies all lead up to a party anthem chorus where DYLYN sings “I’d rather swim in my Mimosa” – an anthem of decadence and the quest for a good time in the same vein as Angie’s ‘Housewife Spliffin’’. The only snag is that to make this work in the UK, DYLYN is going to have to rename this tune ‘Bucks Fizz’ which loses a little in translation.

Listen Here:


Big Lonely – Dream Boat 
Big Lonely - Dream Boat

Release Date: Out Now

Canadian winter plus a pool party and some big vibes equals a great single from Ontario’s Big Lonely. ‘Dream Boat’ is like the harder edged big brother of Tennis who has been listening to the Beach Boys, Rooney and a load of Mersey Beat songs on scratchy vinyl. A gloriously prominent bass line and some simple but punch drums keep things swinging while the smooth vocals and harmonies keep those twitchy, jerky guitars well in line. This is a summer anthem with a tinge of regret and a fine line in guitar solos so strap on your best Hawaiian shirt, pour out a daiquiri, ignore the grey skies outside and let’s have a little fun.

Watch the Video: 


Beach Riot – B.A.D. 
Beach Riot - B.A.D.

Release Date: Out Now

This is what I love about doing this blog. Brand new bands still shitting in their nappies coming to me with their quivering songs, still learning how to breathe and scream. London quartet Beach Riot (great name btw, really great) are shiny and new and their debut single is ‘B.A.D.’ and it. is. glorious. A grinding, relentless grunge-pop riff comes burning in to view like a flaming motorcycle straight from hell with a beat that is straight out of the Keith Moon school of drumming. I’m reminded of Cable, the Dirty Nil, Kerbdog early Nirvana and really early Feeder due to the retention of melody along with the dirtiness of the riffage. Gritty, angry, melodic and sub-three minutes. Like I said, glorious!

Watch the Video: 

Monday, 13 February 2017


Trapdoor Social – Never Stop Listening
Trapdoor Social - Never Stop Listening

Release Date: Out Now

There is so much to be angry about right now as the world burns with every turn so it’s important to remember the individual injustices as well as the bigger picture. LA troupe Trapdoor Social have focused their latest single, ‘Never Stop Listening’, on raising the profile of the protest at Standing Rock and battle between history, heritage and corporate greed. The message is noble, for sure, but the delivery of that message is also glorious. In the style of Incubus, Trapdoor Social put forward an impassioned Westcoast indie-rock message with some haunting harmonies blended with some urgent, agitated guitars that burrow and persist like the insistent protestors forcing their message on to the ‘powers that be’ through any channel possible. This is anthemic, rousing and emotion filled – all the things music should be if you want to get a message across without any confusion.

Live Dates:

13th February – Springwater, Nashville
14th February – The Open Chord, Knoxville
16th February – Rake’s End, Cincinnati
18th February – Wilbert’s, Cleveland
20th February – Teavolve, Baltimore

Watch the Video: 


Justin Currie – This Is My Kingdom Now 
Justin Currie - This Is My Kingdom Now

Release Date: Out Now

According to the press release, Justin Currie lives in Glasgow, collects beer mats and makes his own cushions. Of course, the PR company weren’t to know that Currie’s ‘Always The Last To Know’ was one of the formative songs of my childhood when he was then fronting Del Amitri so he’s a little more than cushion making Glasgow dweller to me. The new single from Currie, ahead of a new album, is the intriguingly titled ‘This Is My Kingdom Now’ which comes with a strikingly odd and unnerving video. The soulful acoustic strum is met by Currie’s distinctively gravelled voice and smooth delivery and the subtle click of a snare rim to keep us in time. There’s a bleak, funereal feel to this tune but with the optimism of someone who’s about to end it all and, with it, end all the pain they’ve been living for as long as they can remember. This is shit or get off the pot music where you decide to roll over and give up or stand up and fight. There’s a trumpet solo and an element of resolution to the song but that video is might weird.

Live Dates:

26th May – Concert Hall, Perth
28th May – Picturedome, Holmfirth
29th May – Arts Centre, Pocklington
30th May – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
31st May – Hangar 34, Liverpool
2nd June – Junction 1, Cambridge
3rd June – Assembly Hall, Islington
24th June – Northern Roots Festival, Inverness

Watch The Video:


Goose – Call Me (Safari Records) 
Goose - Call Me

Release Date: Out Now

I’ve always had a soft spot for Belgian electro-nutters Goose and felt that they weren’t given enough respect so now is my chance to help redress the balance a little. New single ‘Call Me’ comes ahead of a new album and it has the feeling of something big about to happen with its ominous tones droning at the beginning before a skittish, itchy melody starts to bleed in with huge portent. Soon enough the tune starts to build up with the atmosphere and tension of an Above & Beyond floor filler – all class and melodies designed to make your spirit soar. The subdued vocals give this a dream-like vibe that would go down perfectly in the midst of a massive high in Ibiza or just as the sun is coming up and you are coming down. Glorious.

Live Dates:

18th February – Generiq Festival, Besancon
16th March – Snowcase, Wiehl
13th April – Camden Assembly, London
2nd June – Gladiolen, Olen
8th July – Rock Zottegem, Zottegem
9th July – Cactus Festival, Bruges

Watch the Video: 

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Ben Marwood – Baby You’re a Mess (Xtra Mile Recordings)
Ben Marwood - Baby You're A Mess

Release Date: Out Now

I’m always intrigued to get new releases from Xtra Mile Recordings as they have a strong track record of unearthing excellent songwriters and tunesmiths. Although Reading’s Ben Marwood may not be brand new on the scene but he’s new to me and he’s pretty special to boot. New single, ‘Baby You’re A Mess’ has a touch of the Frank Turner’s about it but with less of that anger and a little more confessional introspection as the song grows from delicate acoustic tones to a strummed full band romp in direct correlation to Marwood’s confidence in the message he’s delivering. If you like you’re folk impassioned and with a touch of Americana about it then this might just be up your street, idly strumming a guitar in the corner of an Irish bar with a half drunk pint of Guinness on a stool.

Live Dates: 

6th April – Brunswick, Brighton w/Helen Chambers
7th April – Monarch, London w/Helen Chambers
8th April – Southsea Sound, Portsmouth w/Helen Chambers
10th April – Crofters Rights, Bristol w/Helen Chambers
11th April – Bodega, Nottingham w/Helen Chambers
12th April – Fulford Arms, York w/Helen Chambers
14th April – Opium, Edinburgh
15th April – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
16th April – Gullivers, Manchester

Watch the Video: 


Martyn Crocker – Favourtism 
Martyn Crocker - Favourtism

Release Date: 24th February 2017

I’ve been aware of Mr Martyn Crocker for quite a while now, in the periphery of my awareness like one of those floaters you get in your eye that you can’t quite focus in on. Nevertheless, like a persistent eye disease, Crocker has forced his existence (and music) in to full view and after some scratching and swearing I’m incredibly pleased to have him in focus. This new album opens with the feisty ‘Abacus’ which is driven by a passionately strummed acoustic guitar and a sense of pent up energy, frustration and genuine need to say something which is always a good place to start. Instantly, the precision of Crocker’s vocal style is apparent, coming across like a slightly more melodic Jake Morley (huge praise round these parts as Morley won two LWM awards in 2016). ‘Out Of The Dark’ is up next and the acoustic energy continues with a West Coast American vibe in the polished indie-rock that could easily be accompanying a moody video on MTV sometime soon.

We might be talking about a solo artist here but there’s a full band backing him and that comes in to full force on ‘Wishful Thinking’ as the guitars become more electric, the bass grumbles menacingly and the drums beat on relentlessly with military force. Crocker has a dark side we now discover but this is still presented with superbly crafted melodies and well placed power. ‘The Places That We’re From’ is a perfectly poised tale of small town frustration with hints of Del Amitri and Rooney mixing folk, indie and pop as we hear a story that will be familiar to millions the world over – surely a hit in waiting. On ‘Hope’ things are stripped back to just Martyn and his acoustic and while the song is still well crafted it lacks the edge of some of the others here and feels more like a B-side than anything else.

Martyn Crocker - in a hat
Things get back on track with ‘If Only He Knew’ with some furious and creative percussion below a flamenco inspired acoustic riff and Biffy Clyro-esque chanting harmonies. In terms of arrangement, ‘If Only He Knew’ is the most interesting and progressive track on the album as different melodies and instruments all vie for space without sounding cluttered or directionless. There’s a gritty edge to the indie-rock of ‘Stick Around For Good’ as Crocker’s voice delivers the lyrics in his inimitable smooth but impassioned vocal style that is surely destined for bigger audiences. The eight track album closes on ‘Hold Your Hand’ which is the first tune that gives away our hero’s Westcountry roots with the folky acoustic picking sounding like a Crazy Arm tune lifted from an old Cornish sea shanty but with melody that would easily grace more mainstream airwaves. Martyn Crocker currently resides in Plymouth, a city renowned for looking out towards the rest of the world and sending explorers to the four corners – this music deserves to be heard the world over as well so maybe it’s a fitting place to start.

Live Dates:

21st February – The Hub, Plymouth w/The Sherlocks
25th February – The B-Bar, Plymouth
4th March – Unit 23 LIVE, Totnes
11th March – The Wharf, Tavistock w/Nova Grey

18th March – Studio Bar, Penzance

Saturday, 11 February 2017


We Three & The Death Rattle – (Hail Mary) Sister Six (PAW//PURR) 
WTATDR - (Hail Mary) Sister Six

Release Date: Out Now

London trio We Three & The Death Rattle have been regularly and consistently producing ear bleedingly good singles for a while now so the pressure is on with this new release. ‘(Hail Mary) Sister Six’ is, thankfully, yet another storming release with the band’s trademark raw power and energy coursing through its veins. Opening with some spoken word about computer viruses, we soon kick in to a grungy, ballsy and snarling beast of a tune all full of distorted guitars and gun-riff drums. This is perhaps more lo-fi, more raw than previous releases but that rawness and energy builds like the relentless approaching thrum of a motorcycle belonging to the grim reaper. There’s a nice little organ interlude and then the guitars drive this through to the climax. This is sassy stuff, dressed in skin tight leather trousers and a matching jacket so I’d clear a space at the bar if I were you.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


Taffy – DD (Club AC30)
Taffy - DD

Release Date: Out Now

They say the way to man’s heart is through his stomach but while I enjoy that route, you can’t go wrong with a fuzzy guitar and a load of distortion if you’re trying to win my affections. Japanese quartet Taffy, therefore, are well on the way to the centre of my heart in the opening ten seconds of ‘DD’ as the furious drone of the guitars burrow through your ears before the delicate, barely audible vocals chime in with some sweet melodies. There is something utterly delightful about the relentless, circular nature of the riff ‘DD’ that some will find massively annoying but I could listen to it all day with glee and excitement like listening to a garage rock icecream van circling the neighbourhood.

Watch The Video: 


Brodie Moniker – Push Play DJ (Extra Credibility Records) 
Brodie Moniker - Push Play DJ

Release Date: Out Now

Dapper Canadian gent Brodie Moniker might just be my new best friend. I mean, firstly, just look at him!? Who wouldn’t want to hang out with this dude? He’d get you in to all the best parties, for sure. Then there’s this song, ‘Push Play DJ’. It comes in like ‘Tell Me Something Good’ by Rufus and Chaka Khan but played by Lynyrd Skynyrd. But then it swings in to Weezer territory and the wall of organs, distorted guitar and sleazy, snarling assured vocals make this a real rock’n’roll wonder. It’s over four minutes long but oh that riff? I could listen to those fuzzy, scuzzed up guitars all night long and with an album due out in March I might just get the chance. I wonder if Mr Moniker would hand deliver me a copy?


Love Ghost – Chimpanzee
Love Ghost - Chimpanzee

Release Date: Out Now

I love these guys. Straight off the starting line, I love them. LA teens Love Ghost have drawn influence from the 90s Grunge scene and turned it in to their own 21st century sound whilst retaining that raw, exciting energy of grunge. Latest single, ‘Chimpanzee’, starts with a forlorn violin lament before swinging in to a Smashing Pumpkins-esque sway with distorted guitars and tight drums. The strings add something fresh to this sound but even without them this would still be a step on from the likes of Silverchair as the chord progressions, structures and lyrics are less obvious. There’s a suitably lo-fi video to go along with this as well but you don’t need that – it’s just such a strong star from the California quartet that the song alone is enough.

Watch The Video: 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


I AM OK – A Winner You Are (Dudes of Mayhem) 
I AM OK - A Winner You Are

Release Date: 10th February 2017

Swedish label Dudes of Mayhem have a real talent for picking up bands with little or no discernible online presence. Uppsala singer-songwriter I AM OK is another of these artists and new single ‘A Winner You Are’ is an adorable slice of indie rock that deserves a bigger audience. The optimistic guitars and triumphant drums that open the tune are lifted from the late 80s like something the Cure might have written on a good day when they’d listened to lots of Springsteen. I AM OK’s vocal is semi-drawled and sort of incomprehensible but it’s also hugely endearing in a kind of Wayne Coyne way. Any video for this really ought to feature plenty of colour and a lot of movement – probably a car driving through a neon city at night, something like that.


Cellar Door – War Paint 
Cellar Door - War Paint

Release Date: 17th February 2017

Geordie boys Cellar Door are back and they mean business. From the get go, ‘War Paint’ comes out snarling and swirling like a hungry dog on a leash. Guitars come like a hurricane of My Bloody Valentine proportions while the vocals are pitched somewhere between Grinderman and The Fall. There’s something a little bit Wild West about this and you can just imagine the Cellar Door Gang riding in to town on black horses dragging a dead body or two behind them – the ladies of the whorehouse will be scared and excited in equal measure. There’s a B-side too (always an excitement) by the name of ‘Fugue’ which picks up the baton and keeps the solid chug of the home fires burning with relentless ambition. It’s time to get myself some leather, a kick ass American car and go cruising with this loud in the speakers. Real loud.

Live Dates:

18th February – The Green Room, Stockton

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Childcare – Kiss? (Lost In The Manor Records) 
Childcare - Kiss?

Release Date: Out Now

These guys have set the bar high for themselves by getting the LWM vote for single of the year in 2016 so it’s going to be hard for them to continue at that level of artistic achievement. Nevertheless, along comes ‘Kiss?’ and, well, they’ve only gone and done it again. A wire strung guitar riff, some neurotic vocals matching the rhythm and tone, smoother male vocals, a driving beat and some soothing harmonies. As opening minutes go, this has got everything you’d want and the energy of a hyper-introvert on the verge of breaking out and busting some moves at the office Christmas party, spurred on by one too many Eggnogs. There’s that quirky energy and creativity of Young Knives but with more soul, or the most English of indie sensibilities but with a rocket under it. “Never forget this, I’ll never forget. Never ever be the one to not be upset” – a strong message delivered in hypnotic fashion.


Griff Lynch – Don’t Count On Me (I Ka Ching)
Griff Lynch - Don't Count On Me

Release Date: 10th February 2017

When you look at Welshman Griff Lynch, I don’t think your first thought is ever likely to be to expect perky, quirky electro-pop. But that’s what ‘Don’t Count On Me’ is. Layers of synths and electro beats bounce like the rubber balls in Lynch’s press shot – erratic but full of energy. Think Temposhark, Super Furry Animals, Jim Noir or David Kitt with a sense of the theatrical applied. Temper all that perkiness, though, with a sense of gritty realism and a wry smile as Lynch sings “Don’t cry for me, I wouldn’t cry for you if I had feelings too” in direct contradiction to the normal sentiment in modern pop songs that seem to suggest all pop stars are dependable creatures – not a fact that’s borne out by celebrity death rates, I might add.

More information:

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Monday, 6 February 2017


Amea – Vaycay/MTV Cribs Edition 
Amea - Vaycay/MTV Cribs Edition

Release Date: Out Now

Here we have an artist who was born in Oklahoma, raised in Ohio and educated in Texas – or so says her Facebook profile. That journey to this point in Amea’s life has helped her to create a sound infused with a whole host of influences mixing around in a kaleidoscope of sound. ‘Vaycay’ is soulful, that’s a given, but there’s pop style, R&B cool and the experimental edge of the likes of Kimbra and Florence + The Machine. Gently throbbing bass, undulating melodies and a steadily infectious groove all work in Amea’s favour as her gentle, sultry vocal weaves like a political Kelis through the night air. The uniquely title ‘MTV Cribs Edition’ is a more left-field piece with a beat that feels drunk and melodies that stagger as much as they meander, only held together and on course by the singularly superb voice and flow of Amea. A unique talent that I expect (and want) to hear more from.

Live Dates:

11th February – Ripley Neighbourhood House, Houston

12th February – Limelight, San Antonio


Salt Petal – Telephone 
Salt Petal - Telephone

Release Date: Out Now

If I wanted to be in a band, I think I would definitely want to be in a band in LA. That’s not because there’s necessarily a thriving scene there, it just seems like the kind of melting pot of a city that would be a cool place to make music. And the weather looks good. Salt Petal have the privilege of making music in LA and new single, ‘Telephone’, is drenched in LA sunshine from the first note. Perky guitars, the tight bikini clad buns of a rhythm section and the kind of voice that could only drift in on a summer’s breeze. This is music to drive down the coast to with the top of your car down and no particular destination to aim for. Think the Long Blondes if they were American and happy or Best Coast with a bit more energy and you’re in the right ball park. Oh, and there’s a funky little guitar solo on top of some lush keys as well. It’s pretty much got it all.


Jake Alder feat. LKA – Chasin’ Time 
Jake Alder feat. LKA - Chasin' Time

Release Date: 17th February 2017

This is the second tune I’ve reviewed from Brit producer Jake Alder and I continue to be impressed. ‘Chasin’ Time’ features the vocal talents of Finnish songstress LKA and has a moody piano opening that promises more in the kind of way a huge pop ballad would. By the time beat joins in you realise this is no party anthem floor filler but more a thoughtful, soulful and lovingly created piece of electro-pop with a groove that gets under your skin. Perfect for the end credits of a tense thriller with a romantic interest as LKA’s pure voice speaks with sadness and regret albeit a hint of hope and optimism.

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Sunday, 5 February 2017


Brooke Candy feat. Sia – Living Out Loud (RCA Records)
Brooke Candy feat. Sia - Living Out Loud

Release Date: Out Now

OK, so Brooke Candy is a great name for a pop star but we need to address that cover art before anything else happens. I mean, it’s classy and stylised but there’s a mouth on her motherflippin’ forehead, what’s that all about? And more importantly, what would be the advantage? I suppose you could eat and hold a conversation at the same time or create your own two part harmonies. Anyway, enough of the cover, let’s read the book. Brooke Candy is a London based talent who has roped in the help of Sia (she’s so hot right now) for a little help on ‘Living Out Loud’ which is a certified hook laden pop stunner. Musically, there isn’t a huge amount to write home about – beats, clicks and some low synth drones, but it’s the dual power of Candy and Sia’s voices that make this the epic tune it clearly is. The countdown lyrics work really well as a motif and the chorus is full of uplifting messages of power like “nothing can stop me now, got to live out loud” that are pitched somewhere between Lady GaGa and Katy Perry but with that undoubtedly Sia sound. Expect to hear this all over your airwaves and probably on a few montages before too long.

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Naomi Pilgrim feat. Sa-Roc & Yugen Blakrok – Racist Friend 
Naomi Pilgrim - Racist Friend

Release Date: Out Now

So I’ve been lamenting the lack of protest songs and it appears that people have been listening as the protests are coming thick and fast – some new and, as in this case, some reworkings of a particularly apt classic. The Specials first brought us ‘Racist Friend’ in the mid-80s but talented Swede/Barbadian singer Naomi Pilgrim has brought this right up to date with a little help from Sa-Roc and Yugen Blakrok. Musically, this is almost brutalist with some mechanical beats combining with some unapologetic synth melodies taking front stage. “If you have a racist friend, now is the time for your friendship to end” sings Pilgrim and it couldn’t feel more relevant as the world stands at a fork in the road between the path of equality and acceptance or the path of hatred and division. I know which I’m walking and now I know what the soundtrack will be too.


Cajsa Siik – Talk to Trees (Bird Records) 

Cajsa Siik - Talk To Trees

Release Date: Out Now

There has been a veritable landslide of new music coming out of Sweden recently and the vast majority of it has been excellent – poppy but excellent. Umea resident Cajsa Siik has more of a singer-songwriter element to her indie infused and piano led offering, ‘Talk to Trees’. There’s a slinky, sliding bass line that could come from a Breeders song or a Sheryl Crow tune but Siik’s sweet and pure vocal gives this a more mature, breathy vibe which is really appealing. Considering this only lasts about two and a half minutes, ‘Talk to Trees’ manages to work its way in to your affections and worm its way in to your ears very effectively.

Saturday, 4 February 2017


Karma Club – Timelines (FUNNEL MUSIC) 
Karma Club - Timelines

Release Date: Out Now

Karma Club are from Bath and their debut single is ‘da bomb’ (as the kids say) which has had me searching for a joke around Bath Bombs but then I gave up under the excuse that I don’t want to get on one of Donald Trump’s lists. Anyway, ‘Timelines’ is an utterly gorgeous slice of Afro-pop indie with hip-hop rhythms and the heart of an 80s smash – sounds mental but it totally works (like peanut butter and Bovril, trust me). The guitar sound is sumptuous and the melodies weave like fireflies at a hormonally charged lake party in an American teen movie featuring impossibly ripped kids all ready to bone like the world is ending. Which, if it’s a new American film, it might actually be. Regardless, this is a gorgeous slab of indie-pop which has but one fault – a slightly overblown instrumental section towards the end that takes the song over four minutes. It’s still a strong 8 though.

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Salt Cathedral – Fragments

Release Date: Out Now

New York duo Salt Cathedral (cool name btw) have a new single for your ears so give ‘em a clean out and wrap ‘em round this. ‘Fragments’ open with vocals that could surely have only been recorded in an actual Salt Cathedral on the coldest day of the year before a slow, low slung beat and scattered keys join in to give this an unexpected and unlikely groove. The vocals are like Tori Amos at her ethereal best while the melodies are sporadic, sparse and, if they’re like anything, it’s somewhere between Kimbra and Bjork on the prowl for a one-night stand. New York has always been a yard-stick of cool and this duo have raised the bar (what do you mean I’m mixing my metaphors?).

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Live Dates:

3rd February – C’mon Everybody, New York w/Sulene + Slow Sugar

23rd February – C’mon Everybody, New York w/Anna Wise


LGM One – Out of the Blue EP 
LGM One - Out Of The Blue EP

Release Date: Out Now

Devonian indie-rockers LGM One have named themselves after the pulse that is thought to be the first extra-terrestrial communication ever received on planet earth. That’s fairly lofty sonic company to keep so you’ve got to hope the band’s penchant for novelty hats and oversized glasses (check their website, it’s disturbing) doesn’t influence their sound too much. The Out of the Blue EP opens with ‘Against Us’ and the hypnotic synth refrain has a sinister edge that is soon given energy by an urgent beat and some early Britpop vocals – think something between Space and Inspiral Carpets with a little Bluetones thrown in for good measure. ‘Can’t Breathe’ starts like a mellow Muse number with those prominent keys duelling with a low slung bass line before settling in to a slow groove that has shades of the Doors about.

The third track, ‘Bully’ feels like Young Knives, the Kaiser Chiefs and Maximo Park having a battle for indie supremacy in a sweaty working men’s club somewhere on the outskirts of Daventry. The EP closes up with ‘Travelling’ and again the bass and keys take the front seat, creating an atmosphere for the rest of the band to creep in to and build a sound that doesn’t stop evolving for the entire song. LGM One are a band that wears their influences strongly on their sleeves but they also create a sound that is something intriguingly unique about their sound. A genre that I can only describe as indie-prog-pop, if you can imagine such a thing.

Live Dates:

25th February – The Barley Sheaf, Liskeard
1st April – The Attic, Torquay
14th May – Lostfest, Lostwithiel
23rd-24th June – Summer Moon Festival, Kingkerswell

24th June – The Albion, Liskeard