Kevin Hugger

Kevin Hugger


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Kevin Hugger

Title
Music blogger, record label owner, PR person, Christmas music writer.
Bio
mp3hugger is my indie music blog based in Dublin, Ireland. I also run a record label called Indiecater (http://www.indiecater.com), did some PR here http://www.huggerpr.com and write about Christmas music all year round for http://yuleplay.com. 

In general submissions will be responded to within 24 hours.
Website
Expertise
artist management, music industry, music promotion, creative writing, record labels, web design, mixtapes, music writing / blogging, music reviews
Interests
indie rock, alternative, indie pop, folk, indie, electronica, music, dream pop, alternative rock, indie folk, synthpop, shoegaze, experimental, post-rock, indietronica, lo-fi, grunge, football, indie electronic, movies, brit-pop
Location
Dublin

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Salwa Azar submitted media.

Floating In Milk by Salwa Azar

Kevin Hugger

2015 is shaping up to be the year of the ethereal girl vocal and Salwa Azar is riding that particular zeitgeist with consummate ease. ‘Floating in Milk’ is lo-fi folk in direction, as quiet as a mouse but possessing undeniable spirit. As such it is just made for lazy summer afternoons when the shape of later events have yet to be mapped out. The song sifts the nothingness for nuggets of reason and it more or less succeeds. Not bad for a girl who shifts between Amos and Newsom before discovering that it’s best to stick to what you know best, namely what’s been inside all along.  

Vizion submitted media.

Vanessa by Vizion

Kevin Hugger

It’s clear that the rain has stopped outside because Vizion’s ‘Vanessa’ is beaming from ear to ear. She may in fact be the sun rising in the East, a slow burning colossus that has the incendiary power to illuminate all around it. And so as noon arrives the rays become more pronounced and send their feelers to every living organism above ground. Such are their searching capabilities however that the darker recesses beneath are also likely to feel her soft caresses. It’s only when the shafts of cloud cover hove into view that the glow diminishes, when all the pointers suggested that the fireball in the sky would be much more than another distant shape in the sky. The west is awake, just.

Tim Kuhl submitted media.

1982 by Tim Kuhl

Kevin Hugger

Given that his day job is as drummer to Sean Lennon it is perhaps not too surprising that the scaffolding present on Tim Kuhl’s ‘1982’ is of broken beats. The memories are truly cast however on the alien synths that lounge about in the distance offering a sense of other-worldliness. This sounds like ‘Airborn’ era Mike Oldfield or Jean Michel Jarre were he to drop the light show and instead concentrate on satisfying an audience crammed into the coolest upstairs venue. You can almost picture the smoke hanging in the air while the patrons creating the same plumes drift in and out of conversations that amount to everything and nothing. It’s that sort of tune, classification is inappropriate. 

Michael Harrison submitted media.

Katapult (Calimba Remix) by Calimba (Original - Andrew Consoli)

Kevin Hugger

What a visceral piece of house music from Calimba, which is imbued with so much character you might need a nap after riding its monstrous peaks. ‘Katapult’ would be ideal as a route to loosening limbs before hitting the weekend dancefloors if it weren’t so short but then you could extend the euphoria by piecing several bursts together. There is no build to climax on this one with the fully formed epicenter throbbing its little heart out from the get go. By stretching, manipulating and generally having his wicked way with it I believe Calimba could have the makings of a number of classic remixes. 

MENDY PORTNOY submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

The Portnoy Brothers are channelling a neatly updated Simon & Garfunkel sound which is quite a feat given how little that classic pairing have been successfully reprised. That said there is plenty of individuality in their acoustic rambles with ‘Memories’ hosting a remarkably solemn disposition with an unlikely brass turn that gives the piece a unique presence. It is soft and lilting without ever falling into the trap of cutesy melodrama. The Portnoy Brothers appear as if they’ve crafted the nuances from genuine emotion as opposed to documenting a feeling that appeared on a Facebook page. In a narcissistic world such authenticity deserves respect, admiration and attention.  

Kenny Gray submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Opening like a monster Mogwai epic this quickly morphed into a lighter shade of MGMT. The effect was exhilarating as the alien backdrop throbbed and reverbed while Ian Aware provided the steady vocal line. About 90 seconds in I wondered how such a bright opening could sustain itself over 6 minutes but there was a constant trickle of fresh ideas throughout so the journey never grew tired. Soon enough the bluster of the opening salvo was replaced by a calm interior that veered towards sun-coming-up Balearic sounds. When the epicentre duly arrived it was as good as the build deserved, psych in nature it filled the room with its off-kilter glory. This is an unhurried gem that I shall return to many times. 

Kenny Gray submitted media.

Right Now by Ian Aware

Kevin Hugger

Such a blunderbuss of an opening, a glam era stomper that even includes the fuzzy distorted vocals so representative of that era. With its contemporary values this could even pass for a Primal Scream issue (or Sigue Sigue Sputnik if you were looking even further back) were it not for the rush of blood that arrives around the 90 second mark. From then on in countless gallons of adrenaline are pumped into an entity that displays all the attributes of a nuclear reactor on the lookout for the escape value. Ian Aware has created a supreme crash-bang-wallop in ‘Right Now’ that will effortlessly spill from indie disco speakers on Fridays nights for the foreseeable future.  

Phil Barry submitted media.

Time To Ascend by Mr Fogg

Kevin Hugger

There is obviously so much going on in Mr Fogg’s head, an explosion of ideas that will ultimately lead to his world domination. In the interim his music will challenge the notion that music in 2015 is not wholly pushing the boundaries. His ‘Time To Ascend’ is artful noise, an emotional well fed from an infinite spring that curates the very best of the human spirit. For all that it is minimal in its approach, a sparse beat, a needy synth, a throbbing bass line and those ever so delicate vocals that appear as if they are on the cusp of disintegrating. Things do eventually soar, to the relief of all, with a brassy aside threatening to pierce those tear ducts you’ve so manfully insulated all those years ago. This quietly unbinds the living spell, to let us dream it like we always hoped we could. 

Sumit Kar submitted media.

Namaste by Wai Lana

Kevin Hugger

Wai Lana possesses one of the most unusual voices I’ve ever heard, on several occasions I had to check whether it was a wooden flute instrument rather that a singer making these soothing sounds. Her song ‘Namaste’ was recorded to celebrate international yoga day and boy does it fit the bill. With visuals depicting show-mo scenes from beautiful locations all around the world this is very much a treat for the eyes as it is for the ears. ‘Namaste’ plays out over several acts, each with its own personality but always exuding a happy demeanour. In fact it would take a heart of stone not to come away from the experience with a smile on your face. Such is the devotion of the participants involved that at certain points the video took on the feeling of a religious occasion. All told this is a reflective delight.

Carly Eden submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

As far as capturing the zeitgeist goes Carly Eden has it down, as the softly tinkled ivories and strong yet vulnerable vocals appeal to a vast Glee/Frozen loving world. There is vulnerability in spades despite the slightly narcissistic request to be immortalised in coloured oils. Where ‘Paint Me’ succeeds, and where others drift away to saturated sameville, is in the beautiful arrangements. This is where the magic begins to emerge, where the creative art becomes a living thing and the clockwork mechanics reveal a beating heart with the power to melt those all around.   

Peter Anderson submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

I’ve heard Filligar before and have learnt from that experience to expect the unexpected. This time however there was no confusion because ‘Established in Baltimore’ is just downright beautiful from the off. It is experimental for sure but there are clear stringed melodies to paint the story of a band’s art. These 3-minutes should be something that all emerging bands should focus on because it is an illustration in the creation of true art. It tells the story of the lifecycle of a sonic-being, relying on nothing else except the workaday pieces falling into place one-by-one organically and not faltering until that something out of nothing suddenly becomes everything. 

Jason Kendall submitted media.

Victorious by Jason Kendall

Kevin Hugger

This sounds like it was recorded live and personally I think it gives the recording a charming aspect. The song itself has a hint of country rock about it with the vocals very much Neil Diamond in direction. This confluence of ideas should ensure that Jason Kendall has a ready-made audience with ‘Victorious’ already fashioned for the live setting. I can’t say that the composition is pushing any boundaries but it is a pleasant listen all the same, put together with care and attention and fitting the classic rock template beloved of millions around the world. 

Courtney Brough submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

This seems like a very clever collective of two. And by this I mean that they are thinking about how to get their music into the right places instead of the traditional approach of bcc it out to all and sundry on a wing and a prayer. Their song ‘The Mountain’ is undeniably catchy, radio friendly and built for the sunkissed loved-up masses. The best thing though is that it is not in the least bit irritating, in fact if I weren’t suffering from football cramp I’d be bouncing on the mattress in the master bedroom such is its frothy disposition. ‘The Mountain’ hits so many melodic bases it will likely have a broad audience but is blessed of an individual personality to ensure it also infiltrates the underground. I’ve only listened to it 3 times and already it is sounding like this summer’s soundtrack. 'The Mountain' is currently a free download so I'd expect the mp3 to go forth and multiply at an alarming rate. 

Valtis Oficial submitted media.

No Queda Nada by VALTIS

Kevin Hugger

Valtis make a loose jangling sound and it matters little that they sing in Spanish because when the good vibes swill around with this level of abandonment it is very difficult to resist. ‘No Queda Nada’ is a free spirit of a tune, high octane and unafraid to issue melodious smiles to all listeners. The chiming guitars are a perfect foil for the harmonising which is simple through but hugely effective in focusing attention on the warmth of spirit in this recording. A glorious summer jam.   

Paul Hale submitted media.

SHE by THE LANDED

Kevin Hugger

It is great to hear a song come out of the blocks like ‘She’ does. I was immediately reminded of several classic Wannadies tracks such are the sweet vocal dispatches, ably tracked by a propulsive instrumental backdrop it must be said. This song is so full of vitality and possibility that I can’t for the life of me see why it shouldn’t be soon in the hands of a salivating marketing dept. willing to put it to good use on their next campaign. For everyone else it has the chops to become an indie favourite on college radio stations as well as the Hype Machine which will doubtlessly embrace it so tightly that it peaks out as one of its most loved tracks. This band have landed on their feet with this one. 

Olan Mijana submitted media.

Hombre Lobo by Monoculture

Kevin Hugger

Any mention of Madchester will have me salivating but in this case as it was set amidst a roll call of a thousand other genres I wasn’t sure what to expect. And so it came to pass that the multi-faceted beast that is ‘Hombre Lobo’ sent me on a journey through several continents, a couple salon’s worth of hair styles and the general feeling that there would be no easy way to guess what was going to come around the corner. It’s quite the ride, an exhausting trawl through what Monoculture have in their armoury. It sounded all the world like a sampler from a number of EP tracks, beautifully spliced to sound like a consistent whole. At times there were flashes of Oasis and other Britpop contenders so this track should prove a boon for those looking to relive those heady mid-90’s days. An undercard pairing with survivors from that time might be a good starting point for getting on the touring ladder though this should only be a temporary course of action as long term Monoculture need to strike out on their own. At the moment they have a lot to offer but perhaps they need to focus on what sets them apart rather than what they remind us of. 

Fili Tha submitted media.

Thaquim's Guitaer by 1. Discoforticut

Kevin Hugger

Songs written about 10 imaginary girls, how quaint and how David Gedge of the pan-European Discoforticut. Let’s park the quaint at this point however as the band’s ‘Thaquim's Guitaer’ is quite the challenging so-and-so. In some ways it sounds ideal for relaxation room turntables but it has an inbuilt capacity to shoot from its eclectic leaning hip. So there are interesting forages in unexpected directions without ever returning to a melodic centre which might focus matters considerably. This particular imaginary girl is obviously aloof and ever so cool but never quite lets any interested boy into her private world. Perhaps he’ll arrive on Discoforticut next long player.

Peter Anderson submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Given their quite remarkable touring schedule it is no surprise that Filligar sound altogether different to 99% of the music being released today. And while different does not necessarily always mean it is any better it does in the case of ‘White Light Rose’ which sounds to me like what Radiohead could have developed into if they hadn’t gone all abstract and unlistenable. The song comes with a thoughtful promo video but even in the absence of such vivid images it has a depth of characterisation which is quite unique in modern songwriting. ‘White Light Rose’ is dark, deep and achieves what every piece of music should, it affects. 

Mel Sound submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

This is unashamedly 90’s house with touches of acid and trance thrown in for good measure. For all those retro stylings however I was still taken in by that alien voice that soundtracked so many ‘Rave Generation’ tapes back in those faraway pre-sweaty night outs. Where Mel Sound has really succeeded is in her ability to take a well-trodden template and infuse it with a sense of the contemporary. ‘Carousel’ is frenetic, displaying endless energy and focused on rooting out the best time possible which should be a boon for its target audience. The weekend truly starts here.  

Todd Michael Schultz submitted media.

Hotel by Todd Michael Schultz

Kevin Hugger

We’ve all been there, a moment of argumentative madness that leaves you alone and thinking how much better it would be if the source of the rumble was beside you. And while the near euphoric nature of Todd Michael Schultz’s ‘Hotel’ might betray the smouldering words of dejection and generally being such an ass it still makes for a jaunty if slightly confused listen. I’m wondering if the anthemic aspect of ‘Hotel’ would be better switched to a hotel on the coast where the action takes place poolside with an atmosphere that is a lot more friendly and contagious. Most people who hear this song will just likely roll with the good vibes however with the result that Mr. Schultz could a very radio friendly hit on his hands.  

Stereodyssey submitted media.

Anomalies by Stereodyssey

Kevin Hugger

With a set of comparable electronic artists to make you salivate quite messily Stereodyssey sure does keep good company. And ‘Anomalies’ is assuredly old skool with Orbital’s ‘Snivilisation’ the precious artefact that most springs to mind as it unfolds before your very ears. Like the British siblings the singular Stereodyssey appears to enjoy lounging about in the abstract which means that ‘Anomalies’ flip flops in plenty of unusual directions instead of settling on a central hook. This style certainly ensures longevity if done carefully so the trick on these occasions is to ensure that the sum of the many moving parts adds up to a meaningful whole. And this is where Stereodyssey takes the laurels because while ‘Anomalies’ breaches the 6-minute mark it feels like half that. This is a glorious rumble in a jungle of computer bleeps and wheezes that has character to burn. I’m off to do it all again. 

Anthony Metcalf submitted media.

'Neptune' by Terrible Sons

Kevin Hugger

‘Neptune’ is so light on its feet it almost defies gravity. So softly focused, demure and effortlessly efficient at locating the bullseye on your slowed down beating heart. The promo vid is similarly assembled, all slo-mo images that hardly mean anything in their own right but are absorbing in their visual impact. Terrible Sons have a lot in common with another husband and wife team called Adam & Darcie who also tend to convey so very much by saying very little at all. I’m also shuffling back to the sweet sounds of Irish band the Harvest Ministers because to become this adept at affecting a listener into the gentle emotions I’m feeling takes a very special talent indeed. This is going straight on my list of favourite songs for 2015.

Kirsten Weißert submitted media.

01 All For The Good by Berlin Syndrome

Kevin Hugger

From the prologue I expected dreamy sequences and melodies that drifted just out of reach. And it was a good call because the sweet jangle permeated throughout this juggernaut. The vocals for their part are unique and memorable, dispatched as if they had just left the last stop at Spoken Wordsville. ‘All For The Good’ is an unusual confection that rarely sits on its laurels, finding dazzling new sequences every half minute to throw the listener into a state of delirious confusion. While it is never experimental Berlin Syndrome throw around enough ideas in less than 4 minutes than most bands would accommodate on an entire album. The many twists and turns form a cohesive whole which means the dizzying randomness adds up to one giant meaningful.  

Matthew Squires submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

I already knew that Matthew Squires was adept at penning a memorable song so I knew that the play action I was about to engage in would reap ample rewards. As it turned out I wasn’t wrong as Squires coaxes melancholy and melody from every second of ‘A Strange Piece’. With the strings adding the requisite sense of forlorn I was reminded of the music from ‘Man of Aran’ by British Sea Power. Irish band the Frames are equally adept at such heart tugging gestures so the Learning Disorders are in good company. With a promo that plays out like an epic romance through the ages that neither party ever gets to engage in, this proves to be a touching reminder that true love is definitely out there but often alludes us. And what a soundtrack this band have engineered to illustrate the point.

Jason Kendall submitted media.

While Your Eyes Are Closed by Jason Lloyd Kendall

Kevin Hugger

Being an avid collector of 7-inch singles back in that media format’s heyday I’m all about making first impressions with a song before I’ve even heard a note courtesy of the sleeve art. So it was with a little trepidation that I pressed play on Jason Lloyd Kendall ghoulishly painted ‘While Your Eyes Are Closed’. And my suspicions were instantly affirmed given Kendell’s ghostly layered vocals and a musical circus that could have drifted out from the basement of the haunted castle on the hill. But for all the bumps in the night there is a fine melody at the core of this song. The unusual delivery turns out to be a nice antidote to a million other songs that all sound the same and spend their time in an eternal reach for whatever the zeitgeist sounds like this hour. ‘While Your Eyes Are Closed’ is theatrical and stagey but nothing can stop a chorus like this that has the wherewithal to hack via comedy-blood-soaked-axe right into your memory nodes.

Vizion submitted media.

Beach Flowers by Vizion

Kevin Hugger

Vizion certainly has a perpetual eastern influence and his music has the effect of loosening the sense of daytime stress whenever it is played. The juxtaposition that is the precise plucked electro strings and the thumping percussion does nothing to puncture the sense of calm reflection. This is an unusual sound and one that might confuse people but this differentiation will get Vizion noticed, especially in the countless music blogs that continually search for the next newest and brightest. 

Ryan Summers submitted media.

Some Humans Ain't Human by Cellophane Superstars

Kevin Hugger

There is a band from Pittsburgh called the Van Allen Belt, an fantastical outfit unrestricted by convention or the wholesome view of what modern music should sound like. I was reminded of this pioneering spirit when listening to Cellophane Superstars ‘Some Humans Ain't Human’ which is about as far from conventional daytime listening as you’ll get. Its closest cousin is probably the industrial sound of 90’s bands such as Sheep on Drugs or a more oblique electro tinged Depeche Mode. Given the iconography and impression of false deities this could well work best as a soundtrack to an adult cartoon or a role playing war based futuristic game. As a standalone piece of music ‘Some Humans Ain't Human’ is at times overpowering and will likely lie in the long grass until BBQ season has been replaced by its cloudier counterpart.  

Matt Eckholm submitted media.

I'M GONNA CHANGE ONE DAY by HOWLONG WOLF

Kevin Hugger

Howlong Wolf doesn’t resort to simple boy/girl theatrics on his reggae influenced ‘I'm Gonna Change One Day’. With a deep thinking lyrical construct that belies the otherwise balmy instrumental theatrics this is never less than an interesting listen and marks Wolf out as one to truly watch out for. Though it plays out for less than 3 minutes the sense of journey and self-discovery is beautifully rendered. The other feeling I took from the piece was the realisation that the song was expanding its horizons as it inched towards the close. Don’t often get this, especially within the confines of a single piece of music, so it took me a couple of repeat listens to gauge what was going on. By the third spin I was badly hooked and upgrading my ‘like’ to ‘true love’.     

Andres Aloi submitted media.

Fountain Of Youth by Robot Garden

Kevin Hugger

Robot Garden certainly go about it the right way in making sure their song has a message beyond the banal. And that sense of yearning is not only present in the lyrics because there is a semblance of melancholy in the otherwise breezy playing. With a vocal performance that is imbued with genuine passion ‘Fountain of Youth’ recalls a time when songs were songs and not just pretty noises overcooked to within an inch of their lives in a studio. Robot Garden do anthemic well and this would be ideal for a set closer such is its arms in the air intensity. Like the synth parts too, reminds me of the Cars best stuff.  

Blake submitted media.

Vinyl Junkie by Blake

Kevin Hugger

Given the rise and rise of the old media format it makes sense that we now have a song to high five vinyl’s reappearance. What Blake achieves in a fine song is a production value that is pure vinyl in its values. Not that it is mono I’m sure but the warmth and purity of his delivery makes for a personal experience that is so often lost on digital recordings. In many ways Blake pulls from folk’s rich history of champions (he even includes harmonica parts) campaigners and his ode to those 33/45rpm beauties will doubtlessly appeal to large cross section of the record buying public. Once we get our portable turntable fixed ‘Vinyl Junkie’ will be playing around the campfire all summer. 

Vizion submitted media.

Tokens by Vizion

Kevin Hugger

‘Tokens’ is an elaborately tailored piece of synth with peaks and troughs and more than a little feel of the orient about it. For that reason it could be ideal for those electronic fans who like to drop their guard sometimes and meditate before the next adventure in bleep land. It is contemplative without ever sounding bland or superior and would find itself completely at home on a retro platform video game. The composition leaves a soft and cosy impression which could be something that will gift Vizion to a large and accommodating audience quite soon.  

Elliott Sencan submitted media.

Seeing What's Next (Preview) by Hollywood Principle

Kevin Hugger

Hollywood Principle certainly have captured the sound of now and by that I mean a blustery Florence & The Machine with electro pulses and a female vocal that could form the centrepiece at any gathering of fun loving beings. It is professionally produced and from the little bit I’ve heard would appear like manna from heaven for most daytime radio schedulers. 

Alex Abel submitted media.

Shooting Star by The Separators

Kevin Hugger

Wow, was not expecting the sound of U2’s the Edge circa their debut ‘Boy’ but the Separators certainly boast that in their armoury. And the surprises keep coming when the singer reveals a voice that belies his tender years. There are elements of the Strokes and Interpol in the direct nature of this band’s pop punk approach which means it is laden with all sorts of pleasing hooks. Such is the driving momentum you just know there are a bag full of indie anthems ready to spring from their collective consciousness. It is refreshing to hear such energy and carefree abandonment for a new band which all bodes well for the Separators. 

Joe WIlcox submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

I immediately got a sense of Lower Dens on ‘Hazard’ with a circular riff and strong female vocals all lending to a hypnotic brew. While the sound from the live performance is muffled in parts it couldn’t dampen the range in the song with stop/start momentum and frequent crescendos, not to mention a big and bold chorus. Quite excited to hear how its studio incarnation turns out. Wasn’t crazy about the extended guitar solos as they lacked a little individuality but once the song had slipped back into its comfortable groove. Performance wise the band seem reluctant to engage the audience and when this happens the audience can tend to reciprocate. The band seemed like they were having fun though. I did think the song petered out a little towards the end, becoming unfocused and while the decibel level rose the charm that had been there in abundance went in the other direction.  

submitted media.

Luna by cheraki

Kevin Hugger

Initially Celtic sounding ‘Luna’ soon reveals a delicate and bare vocal that appears like it was recorded in a quiet wooded area around dawn. As you’d expect from such a setting there is plenty of mood and atmosphere with Cheraki often rendering a scaled back version of Massive Attack. While it is pleasant throughout I didn’t pick up on a central hook which is a shame because ‘Luna’ is elaborately and tenderly constructed. Consequently the song might work best within the environs of an album of like-minded movements. All told there are lots to like on this one and probably more to love from this band as they develop this sound. 

Mandy Gurung submitted media.

BFF by The Rungs

Kevin Hugger

I’ll be honest and say that I already knew that the Rungs had a lengthy ladder pointed skywards to pop heaven. And their new single ‘BFF’ has done nothing to stop that upwards trajectory with Mandy Gurung’s soft and alluring vocals knocking the edges off a soundtrack that is unforgivably retro. Thankfully the sense of 80’s revisited is somehow turned on its head because as the song progresses the synths adopt a more nuanced and flattering approach. But it is this confluence of anomalies (!) that makes the Rungs music so appealing. Why settle for a linear approach when soft experimentation is always guaranteed to have your listeners coming back for lots more exotic treats. 

Drew Forsberg submitted media.

Maybe You Can by Murder Shoes

Kevin Hugger

It is quiet refreshing to hear a beefed up stomper such as ‘Maybe You Can’ from time to time. The fact that it is punctuated by such a beautiful ethereal voice just seals the deal. Beauty and the Beast if you wish, a juxtaposition that works really well even if the percussion might be a bone of contention with a Sunday Morning hangover on board. Throughout the whole piece I was reminded of a Northern Irish band from a few years back called Scheer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w0dBmGENHY – who also had a blistering energy allied with a female vocalist who tempered the wicked anger in the music. ‘Maybe You Can’ is an obvious choice for a single because it will attraction attention for its unstoppable propulsion and that voice that soars majestically above the din.   

KPT submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

KPT just exemplifies why much that is progressive and boundary pushing is emanating from the EDM scene. That’s why the trailer for his new album ‘KPT Alive By Machines’ is akin to the promo for a dark Sci-Fi blockbuster where the shadowy burst of noises ably capture the tension and intrigue about to unfold. The fact that it doesn’t unfold within this short submission makes it very difficult to critique the music but at the very least there is a build-up of tension in the air while we wait for the full feature to reveal itself.  

Jordan Jennings submitted media.

Thunder Lizard by The Hartford Pussies

Kevin Hugger

The artful jangle of the Hartford Pussies is something that is flies close to the epicentre of my affections. The band play with the gleeful abandon of Pavement or the Breeders so their seemingly never ending story to this point has been one that has engineered a band primed with possibilities. And for all that ‘Thunder Lizard’ still sounds like a demo, something that is raw and recorded as if only dreamed up moments earlier. This wide-eyed sensibility certainly marks the band out and I can think of several dozen bloggers who will be salivating from the opening chords of this little gem. Indie discos the world over rejoice for the Hartford Pussies. 

Evan Tyler submitted media.

You're Hysterical Ft. Topless Literati by EVAN TYLER ft. Topless Literati

Kevin Hugger

I love this, a sideswipe at manufactured madness and housed in a simple yet anthemic piece of EDM. With catchphrases a go-go this could really take off in the clubs and on the streets afterwards. Evan Tyler plays his cards craftily with the synth lines squirting forward amongst the voluminous word volleys. ‘You're Hysterical’ is instantly catchy, funny throughout and sounds all the world like an updated legacy piece from the mid-nineties. And by the latter I am merely being as complimentary as possible because this piece of music has the potential to become a future dance classic.  

Starar Official submitted media.

Talisman by Starar

Kevin Hugger

I noticed Starar mentioned Slowdive in the list of bands that take their fancy but for me it’s My Bloody Valentine that they most resemble. And the parallels are most striking in the boy/girl vocals rather than the searing instrumentation which is pretty convincing in its own right. Given MBV’s status you’d imagine that ‘Talisman’ has a ready audience, a group of people willing to immerse themselves in a body of sound that to others could be misinterpreted as mere noise. It’s a skill that Starar appear accomplished at deploying which means that I’ll be keeping an eye out for their upcoming releases.

Owen Duff submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

This is breathtaking and it’s not so much as a result of the Venetian scenery as a perfect collision of monochrome visuals and distilled vocals. How does one sell a 7-minute low-ebbed epic though, not sure but I have to say I was spellbound throughout. As much as Owen Duff’s sweet vocals kept on bringing me to the sunnier side there were plenty of reminders of a ‘Don’t Look Now’ Venice in the visuals (with teal replacing the red vibrancy). The sunken boat, the hunched over cormorants or the central character who doesn’t reveal his identity. And while the threat of murder might not reek through its many acts there is something unhappy unfolding all the same. Don’t want to linger too much on the promo however (though things get unnerving to the point of catastrophic towards the end) as the music is deliciously cultivated. ‘The Resurrection’ has the ring of Christmas as much of Easter and though it is tenderly dispatched there is a healthy smattering of nuance and diversions thoughout. This is a thoughtful and misleading piece of work and I have to say I loved it even though I wish he’d gone below deck. 

Marc Alan submitted media.

Still by FLARES

Kevin Hugger

‘Still’ is comparatively short by post-rock standards but then it does sport the classic characteristics of the genre with a build sprouting from seemingly nowhere. The sting in this case is that the normally inevitable ear-wrenching apocalypse never materialises. In this case this is not at all disappointing especially if Flares have designs on a LP that can offer other distractions that give a well-worn template their own stamp of individuality. 

Evan Tyler submitted media.

My girlfriend's laptop by EVAN TYLER

Kevin Hugger

After hearing the controlled euphoria of Tyler’s ‘You’re Hysterical’ I was primed for more of the same on ‘My Girlfriend's Laptop’. Again social commentary appears to be top of the agenda but this time the sound was altogether 80’s band Trio (I kept on hearing a slowed down ‘Da, Da, Da’). On the face of it ‘My Girlfriend's Laptop’ appears to be a one trick pony but then how many ponies do you know that can do tricks that are this good. ‘My Girlfriend's Laptop’ will pummel you with its ferocious stream of consciousness and if that doesn’t get you the hypnotic and slightly abstract music will whisk you to another dimension. It might even get you to turn away from your web connected screen for a minute or two, which in itself is probably a victory in itself. 

Nick White submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Looking in the rearview mirror he may be but Nick White still doesn’t discard the notion of returning some day. There is a sense of hope in his vocals, they are ripe with the promise of new adventures even if the relationship he describes might be about to fade into oblivion. On the music front I found the percussion a little out of step with the rest of anthemic chords and vocals. It was a little distracting but then it does serve to volley his words skywards so nobody is any doubt as to his state of mind or his next move as a singleton. It is hard to ignore ‘The Part That Doesn’t Heal’ which is to Nick’s credit given that his lyrical theme is as old as recorded music itself. 

Patrick Joseph submitted media.

Setting Sun by PATRICK JOSEPH

Kevin Hugger

A great way of targeting bloggers is to do a search on hypem.com for similar artists to yourself. See who has written pieces about these artists, write to them and use their piece on Artist X as an introduction for your own music. If the bloggers have been receptive to this type of music in the past there is no reason why they won’t give your output some attention. Personally I love ‘Setting Sun’, it is brilliantly crafted and has the lonesome strain that always leaves me floored. I was reminded of Ireland’s James Vincent McMorrow who is also adept at the minimal cinematic approach. If you are looking to reach out to radio stations I’d hit up the late night shows first of all as ‘Setting Sun’ would seem ideal for that sort of audience. For what it’s worth I will be tweeting about this song so hopefully this will snag you some new listeners.  

submitted media.

Wasted Dreams by Nolita View

Kevin Hugger

‘Wasted Dreams’ has a genuine sense of classic song writing about it. For all that it is not exactly linear in its approach. This means a little persistence is required before it can expect to begin filling daytime radio schedules. And by this I mean that the rewards are not instantly attainable, a couple of background airings are necessary to unlock its undeniable charms. So it has all the hallmarks of a grower, the type of tune that slowly infiltrates your affections before holding onto them for far longer than most music today. Nolita View are certainly onto something good here and I'd be confident that their production line of perfectly formed gems will soon be upon us. 

Zaena Morisho submitted media.

ROck The Natural by Zaena Morisho

Kevin Hugger

Zaena Morisho has a good thing going, for one thing she sounds a little like Beyonce which can only be a good route to attracting admiring ears. Her ‘Rock The Natural’ is an anthem in waiting for those into creative dance sounds. With a spindizzy set of vocals and squirting bleeps at its core this has plenty of attitude and a spirited eclectic soul which will mean it should appeal to both the alternative and mainstream sets. On this evidence we be hearing a lot more from Zaena Morisho.   

Shaun Hettigner submitted media.

Young Oblivion by MEMORYY

Kevin Hugger

From the getgo I was onto this softly dispatched piece of Washed Out-esque electro. The real joy however is witnessing ‘Young Oblivion’ grow up and ultimately develop into a full blown widescreen epic. Shaun from Memoryy quite obviously has the art of creating hooks and a sense for listener retention down as this splendid piece reveals itself like a piece of fine art created before our very eyes. And it’s not a one-off as the songs on his soundcloud page reveal an artist in the throes of rampant and joyful creation. Eternal sunshine abounds which ultimately is one of the great gifts that music can bestow on our world weary souls. 

George Ofori- Ampadu submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

At first I thought I had wandered into a relaxation room such was the gentle tinkling of the ivories on show. Before long however ‘Protect Ya Neck’ revealed its true self and what a personality filled opus it proved to be. Lauriana Mae’s wondrous vocals are undoubtedly the centrepiece, a distillation of cool and frank opinion that periodically lets go a tad at chorus time. While this would ideally decorate the coolest drink emporiums in the city it will likely draw in a wide audience from various genres like soul, pop and indie. On this evidence Lauriana Mae and Jack Splash have a good thing going and I’d be interested to hear what else they have in their canon.