Tropics is Chris Ward (don’t be fooled by the above picture, that’s just him, twice). Blame is a gorgeous, soulful number, with some free jazz percussion, including some key shaking and also the sound of a rattlesnake (disclaimer: probably not a rattlesnake, but you’ll know when you hear it). It ebbs and flows from moments of sparsity to some dense sampled textures, with some jazz flute-y flutters drawing out the biggest waves. It’s the first track on his not-very-soon to be released album Rapture (comes out in February…which is ages away). So lets spend this time massively getting our hopes up for further great things to come.
For stuff what is not of London.
Lyon and Lowe Girlfriend
Music created simultaneously in the UK and USA, apparently. They must have some super fun Skype sessions. Girlfriend is trip-hoppy-electro-future-pop (?!?!), with someone having a load of fun flicking the faders up and down. There’s so much sampled, and distorted in this track that you’ll have a job trying to put your finger on anything, but there’s definitely a guitar break towards the end. I think Pigeons and Planes have got it right likening it to Animal Collective, although perhaps not as in your face.
Mordecai Jones Fast Nights
Sleazy, electronic funk rock (his words) from Toronto. It’s quite Nightmares on Wax, with guitar that sounds like it’s being played in a swimming pool, and steady hip-hop rhythms and ‘heeeeeey’-ing. Oh what’s this? At 2:24, it slows down for a little happy clappy piano section. Was not expecting that. His voice is gruff, more the kind that you associate with harder-edge indie – because the track didn’t cover enough genres already…
Scandinavia seems to be a dream pop hotbed – must be the cold. And the…hills? Who knows. What I do know, is that something right is happening over there, and RHEYA of Swedish fame is producing some really emotive, electronica. It’s as tender as you can get with synths.
According to NME Fantastic Fantastic are so named because, I quote “we are fantastic”. The duo have dipped into some chunky electro pop, reminiscent of the kind of stuff I would have listened to as a wee (and I really mean wee) bopper. It has a Metronomy sheen with funky bass underlying both Houses and Never Enough, but with soft girly vocals that are more like another instrumental layer than a really catchy melody. Keep an ear to the ground for their next release The Night, hopefully coming to their Soundcloud account soon…
London duo HONNE have the perfect formula – soul / R’n'b, without the cliché over-melismatic style of singing that, for me, is an instant turn off. They have all the ingenuity of Prince, but with slightly grubby overtones. The sentiment behind All in the Value is incredibly endearing – a post-split-up song, with the yearning for rekindled romance, but based aroudn ‘value’ rather than slushy abstracts. Lidl love. Warm on a Cold Night is a bit more slushy, but has some great 90s pop drums with some brilliant organ writing in the layers. Baby Please is just magic.
Taken under the wing of Eat Your Own Ears, they’ve sold out the Sebright this arms, so if you want to see them live, get yo self along to the Electrowerkz in February.
(via Urban Outfitters blog)
If Enid Blyton wrote indie pop songs…and wasn’t dead. I give you Twin Hidden Join Hands- it’s very lovely. And not rubbish lovely, actual lovely. The choirboy vocals are incredibly charming, and with such delicate piano accompaniment, it’s all quite moving. I particularly enjoy the minimalist-inspired second verse, contrasting arpeggios with jabby chords – it’s a nice contrast before some swelling.