This guy continues to impress us with his soulful antics. Shivum Sharma‘s latest, produced by Liam Howe (FKA Twigs and Tom Vek) ‘All These Years’ is a touch more on the electronic side, creating a richer soundscape to his previous stark tracks. I love his melismatic wails, they definitely set him apart from other soul artists. And the key switches and unexpected harmonies make for a really magic number.
Having given their latest EP Rehearsed in the Mirror the once over, The Old Border, I get the impression these chaps really know how to nail a good, hyper indie track. The softer stuff may be a bit too much on the bed-wetting side of indie for me, but tracks ‘All Over’ (video below) and ‘Past Caring’ are crackers. Fingers crossed forthcoming stuff steers towards spunky.
Remember those Olympic Games? That opening ceremony with all the marching people and the enthusiasm? WELL, when I listen to Italian (but london based) producer Soul Island‘s latest (and possibly only…) release Mother, you’ll know why I’m making you dredge up these memories. Underworld provided some pretty spectacular soundscapes, with their seismic shifting soundscapes, and well, this is clearly what Soul Island is good at. And good at it he is. The sound is very distinctive from those gods of looping, more blurry and very clearly phasic, with something still a bit earthy in it. Dare I say it, it’s dance music how it ought to be.
This week’s Monday Music is sponsored by Scandinavia. And not London
Thea & The Wild Heartattack
Thea & The Wild is punchy indie pop – it’s a fairly simple formula throughout, with some crystalline synths in the chorus. Now, maybe this is just crazy, but I struggle not to envisage stereotypical Scandinavia when I hear this. Those synths? Icicles. The ploddy piano part? Fjords. What I love the most about Thea, and in fact most Scandinavian female vocalists, is the voice – anyone not from Scandinavia singing like this is a total fraud. It must just be the way they speak, and the inflections from the language, but there’s something quite gutsy and raw, yet a bit fragile and whimpering. All in one. How do they do it? No one knows. But I’m impressed.
Communions Love Stands Still
Apart from the mostly intelligible lyrics, I would not have though this had come from Copenhagen, Denmark. A bit like Peace or Palma Violets, or dare I say it, The Libertines, this is upbeat psych indie rock. I just love the echoey sheen.
Banana Beach Trouble
DID NOT EXPECT THIS. With its surf-y guitar opening, you think ‘oh great, another shoegazey number’. But NO, it’s so much more pop, with cheeky synths. If it were a paintbrush, it would just be dipped in two pots – just two. And the colours wouldn’t be mixing, they’d just streak. This crap analogy doesn’t really help explain how great this track is, if anything, just because it’s being different. Music aside, the lyrics might have been written by a 5 year old. If that 5 year old got drunk in a basement. But you know what, I can’t speak Swedish (their native tongue) so I am not going to criticise.
Sorry for the silence new music fans, I have been ill. But I am alive.
The troupe that is Orlando Seale and the Swell are back in action, launching a live recorded album at the Lexington this Sunday. Now, having seen these chaps perform on a number of occasions, I can say with conviction that this gig will most likely be a big music explosion in your face. Why? Take your standard band set up, get them making some intoxicating indie. That’s great, but what really packs the punch (and is probably a bastard to fit on stage) is the orchestral instrumentation – seeing so many musicians diving in and out with their individual lines adds to already dramatic music, led by its charismatic thespian frontman Orlando Seale. The latest offerings from the troupe are a lot darker and dirtier than their formative work, with some Near Eastern hues – it’s very chilly chocolate.