Sure, she’s not so new, but it feels wrong that she hasn’t had a mention on this little blog. Lead singer of Ultraista, Femme as a solo project has been nominated for AIM Independent Music’s Hardest Working Artist Award in the past, and no wonder considering the shite load of music she’s churning out. Her hefty back catalogue includes covers of Aretha Franklin’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T and Anita Ward’s Disco classic Ring My Bell, as well as more recent releases High and Fever Boy all smothered with Femme’s industrial pop sound.
So..to the sound…it’s kitsch, glitch, dirty pop, with the kind of inventiveness that was a Gwen Stefani trademark a while ago. Denver-based producer Muta has chopped and screwed with her latest offering to produce something entirely complimentary to her sound, exaggerating her combination of glitch and gleam.
Oh wow Oh Wonder. Some low key glitch-hop from lady and man writing duo, formerly Wonder Wonder. Their sound is suitably sparkly, soulful like AlunaGeorge, but slightly muted. I hope the high-low unison vocals are a trademark – it works so well, and having the lower really brings out that slightly fragile, airy female voice. Bloody love it. They’re releasing a new single every month, so we’ll be due for a December soon – well worth following on facey b to see what they come up with next…It’s very impressive considering the time scale they’re working to.
Stuff not of London
Bruce Springsteen pre-prozac. Leeds-based Eaves‘s latest release Timber has all the ingredients of an epic rock ‘n’ roll song, but stripped and stretched leaving nothing but a stark and emotive song about “dreams, death, the idea of home, old jobs, and of where I want to be and working out how to get there”. He has a tinge of rusty Americana in his voice, adding something wholesome yet whistful to some sentimental piano chords. He’s currently supporting Nicky Mulvey and Chris Garneau on the continent…if you fancy a trip.
Lilting indie from Bristol-based Bridges. There’s some great sitar-like guitar inflections twinned with falsetto ‘ghosty’ vocals, all working incredibly well together. Particularly enjoying the subdued breakdown at 1’48″ that is dwelt upon for a good 30 seconds. It’s a cracker, although the line “If I walk you home, can I stay?” makes me want to ask whether they have far to travel back, because I’d be quite alright walking home alone.
Now that Linkin Park are back, it seems to be ok to slip into an early 00′s angry metal pop coma. Bellus Bellum (not a fan of the name…bit pretentious innit) are the kind of guilty pleasure that anyone who went through that phase will love. The bass synths at 2’12″ are a bit clumsy…but otherwise it’s seamless, dark and mellow music.
Danny L Harle came recommended to me by my predecessor – I’m not one to ignore the wisdom of my fore-editors. Another classically trained musician-cum-producer, this stuff is unashamedly saccharin electronica, but hell it’s addictive. In my Dreams employs the Clean Bandit winning formula of vintage house with female vocalist and some marimba, but better balanced and with a cracking quick modulating harmonic sequence (not your standard chord progression shizz). Construction 1.6 is sparse, hip-hop-esque and really quite random. I will be following Danny, in a non-stalkery / arrest-able way.
Time for some meaty minimalist, two-step electronica from Bearcubs. The vocal line is low key and minimal effort, to compliment a really busy texture from the heavily produced beats. The odd rhythmic opening raises expectations of something a bit more unusual, but when the rhythm settles into something regular, it’s less crazy than expected. Not disappointing, just not crazy.