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), write about Christmas music all year round for http://www.christmassongs.me, engaged in some music PR here http://www.huggerpr.com, and sob about the Republic of Ireland football team on http://www.eire.guide 

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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Joel Rekiel submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

This is quite an effort, the sound of an artist who should already be straddling the upper reaches of his chosen chart. Put simply it offers a quantum more than what passes for commercial gold at present. The winning elements are plentiful, from the fragile lyrics to the R&B backdrop which is totally digestible for those not into R&B (like me). The real triumph of ‘Anything’ however is the way it handles itself, a frail entity that boasts an inner spirit that could overcome any challenge. This is inspirational stuff, all wrapped up in a memorable tune that is both touching and uplifting. Quality. 

Phillip Scott submitted media.

Think B4 Sound (3DM Deep Remix) by Phil Loft Feat. 3DM

Kevin Hugger

Know your audience is one of the maxims of a true artist and the same could be applied to everyday life. An off the cuff statement could have far reaching effects on those within earshot and this is something that Phil Loft mines on his old skool ‘Think B4 Sound’. This reminds me a lot of ‘Everything But The Girl’ when they drifted from acoustic to fantastic dance remixes. Phil obviously has a deep well of life experiences and it shows in the feeling that pervades through this song. Of course it will also attract those on the lookout for something more superficial and spontaneous. Yep, he knows his audience, and its one that crosses the usual boundaries for this kind of music. 

Antonio Anzaldua submitted media.

Two Ways by Wander Daze

Kevin Hugger

Wander Daze is just the perfect moniker for sunny strolling audio such as this. It has a rambling, shambling nature but at its heart is a tropical outlook which will appeal to both the mainstream and alternative sets. With summer about to kick-off this off-kilter delight could well go down as easily as a million ice-creams melting in the evening sun. Only towards the end does the mosaic of layered instrumentation get a little overbearing, you know about having too much of a good thing and all that. All told this is spirited stuff however, bright and breezy and signalling a fresh and thoughtful mind at the controls. 

Phillip Scott submitted media.

WEAR MY HEART by Phil Loft

Kevin Hugger

Some things are best kept hidden in the attic but Phil Loft doesn’t think that love is one of them and he does so with great purpose on ‘Wear My Heart’ which possesses a genuine dancefloor swagger. Because the snippet was short it is hard to fully grasp how everything works out but from this distance it doesn’t look like his affections are going to go gently into the night.  

Mike Chung submitted media.

Wolves' Clothing by SUNSLINGER

Kevin Hugger

Oh wow, this sounds so like something indie from the 80’s – not exactly C-86 but something fey like Heavenly all the same. With vocals that are fragile and often out of kilter with the pretty music this is a sound that is more than a little contrary to contemporary times. Needless to say I was pretty smitten, even more so when I abandoned a half-hearted attempt to makes sense of the lyrics. Wolves' Clothing came close to falling apart on several occasions but it take trues craft to make aural disarray sound so appealing.

Nicolás Cóppola submitted media.

アルマジロ, Pt. 6 by Nicolás Cóppola

Kevin Hugger

It can be a risky plan to offer little or nothing in the way of signposts to prospective fans. For the most part I enjoy the sense of adventure that this course of action affords and ‘Arumajiro’ certainly is a piece of out-thereness that works best when approached blindfolded. This is like something that could have being imagined during the ‘Snivelisation’ sessions by Orbital, a space hop that does its best to avoid a pitstop on the green and blue planet in the distance. Why do so anyway when the greater expanses of space offer the latitude and freedom to let the imagination run riot. Like a free spirit that doesn’t have anything sitting on either shoulder to warn of the risks involved. I could listen to this piece of hypnotic electronica all day long and for that matter most of the night. Nicolás Cóppola weaves an enthralling ramble and he shares across the universe for all celestial beings and the odd human. The chilled out end of Ibiza should be waking up to this over the next few months. 

Kristaps Locmelis submitted media.

Rover by Kristaps Locmelis

Kevin Hugger

This is both eclectic and utterly tunesome but I could see it passing over lots more heads than it enters. Shame too because we need music like this, that doesn’t play by the rules and instead makes up its own. Short and sweet never seems so apt in a confluence of latino influenced rambling that will hopefully find a home amongst similiar headstrong shimmers. 

grado submitted media.

Curtain Call by Grado

Kevin Hugger

There is always room in my heart for pastoral music and right at this moment ‘Curtain Call’ is occupying a substantial corner. In short it is Elliott Smith were he still shuffling around this mortal coil, so beautifully rendered and note perfect that any perfectionist would be proud. The only sense of disappointment comes from the fact that at 5:20 it is perhaps too much of a stretch, especially given that much of the jewels have revealed themselves in the first 90 seconds. But it is a small gripe and Grado have lots of potential and should plunder a seam of buoyant indie pop fans. 

Steve Benjamins submitted media.

The Infidelity Of Language by Steve Benjamins

Kevin Hugger

If spoken words fail us imagine how a generation communication through social media are missing out on the vital unspoken human experiences. This is much of what Steve Benjamins explores in his ‘The Infidelity of Language’ which starts out in a slightly perfunctory manner. That is until he reveals an impressive falsetto that pulls at the heartstrings and brings into sharp focus his earnest sentiments. This strikes me a little of a song that is 80% there in being a magnificent thought provoking opus but needs a little tightening up so the undoubted highs are surrounded by an equally hypnotic build. At things stand it is still mightily impressive. 

Martin Tillman submitted media.

Zero Gravity by Martin Tillman

Kevin Hugger

Songs that are borne out of life experiences may not be all that rare but the percentage that truly capture the essence and emotion involved certainly. So it is to Martin Tillman’s great credit that his ‘Zero Gravity’ conjures a genuine feeling that we are all floating in space. So much so that I can’t wait to hear how it has been snapped up by a director looking out for a perfect piece of audio to soundtrack a visual so arresting it will make your heart melt. In short this is beautiful music, I almost cried on a couple of occasions, and it’s obvious that the path that lead Tillman to engineer such wonder and awe has shaped his life as well as his undoubted gift. 

Evan Tyler submitted media.

So Nuanced by EVAN TYLER + topless literati

Kevin Hugger

I love the way Evan Tyler and partner in grime Topless Literati are so proficient in mining the ordinary and turning into something much more palatable. That they sound like a greatest hits package that has yet to be released is perhaps their most admirable gift however. ‘So Nuanced’ is like Daft Punk were they to unshackle themselves and lose the helmets. Yeah it has a sense of real abandonment, like it exited their creative minds with the minimum of resistance and sounding exactly like it had in the fab dream from the night before. It’s this whirligig of spontaneity that makes this duo such an endlessly fun prospect.   

Tzili yanko submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

A fresh and bright outlook is one thing but it helps a great deal when the music that accompanies the words is equally life affirming. Tzili Yanko delivers a polished country approach with strong vocals and neat instrumental quirks and flourishes. ‘Get Ready’ comes with an endearing video promo, beautifully shot and reminded me of a Sigur Ros short, which really seals the deal on a neat little package. I’d have this set aside for family occasions because this is this song’s true audience. It also made me smile.

morland gryder submitted media.

Feel Free by Clast

Kevin Hugger

That’s a band name from the 90’s if ever I heard one and much of the electro dalliances produced by Clast wouldn’t have sounded out of place in that decade. In truth they recall scenes from back even further with a distinct Ultravox/Human League feel to their grainy output. The music has a hint of industrial and the vocals are pleasantly distorted but for all the zig-zag dynamics there is a real song at ‘Feel Free’s core. How potential audiences will respond to such strange eeriness is anyone’s guess but it could have producers of crime dramas opening their cheque-books with rampant eagerness. I like this and I’ve only heard it once, god knows how much my heart will be pounding by the third go.   

Max Green submitted media.

Homebody by Max Green

Kevin Hugger

It’s a soft and cuddly sound but then I began to doubt myself as the lyrics steamrolled over the general homeliness. But the confusion was quickly put to one side as the arrangements and Max Green’s tight vocals made for a ravishing experience. This is music to floor you and even if it doesn’t achieve that the words will pull the carpet from beneath you. ‘Homeboy’ couldn’t be classified as experimental but it exhibits such a free flowing stream of consciousness it feels like a liberating exercise for both the artist and the listener. We need more of its ilk. 

Prisca Philogene submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Wasn’t sure what to expect here with little or no bio but it’s to safe Prisca let’s her singing do the talking. With little or no background sound her vocals are hypnotic, a voice that could have come from an era of great female singers containing Mahalia Jackson and Aretha Franklin and latterly Whitney Houston. I thought ‘Remember’ might explode at some point, because let’s face it the light show was in place, but it retained its sense of self-assured containment to fully expose Prisca’s range and power to infiltrate the word with artful expression. 

Nicolás Cóppola submitted media.

Event Horizon Part I by Nicolás Cóppola

Kevin Hugger

What these fruity loops, these springy dollops of tinkling keys that were designed for the unicorn from your childhood imagination. It’s not quite Mike Oldfield although the guitar parts give that impression. If this is the intro then what follows is likely to be an opus to serenade a water display at a Barcelona fountain gathering. From hence we’ll get the light show and no amount of background chatter will disturb us from an evening of orchestrated romance put to music.     

Evan Tyler submitted media.

Lounge Lords (with topless literati) by EVAN TYLER + topless literati

Kevin Hugger

If I ever meet Evan Tyler the first thing I am going to say to him is You’re Hilarious. That’s because under the guise of really strong dance tracks Tyler, along with Topless Literati, is throwing us plenty of giggles by way of sardonic social commentary. And ‘Lounge Lords’ is no different, it has the cut and dash of an early to mid-nineties dance track but the theme is very much set in the contemporary. This is particularly appealing to a listener like me, who lives in the now but remembers the way back when. A thumbs up, once that’s not something the lounge lords would throw up their cocktails on reading.  

Noah T submitted media.

Runaway by Noah T

Kevin Hugger

Well Noah T has effectively imagined the sound of rain in all its glory, or perhaps in all its beautiful humdrumness. Is there any better sound than that of water falling from the sky at night while you’re wrapped up in bed, and Noah has this comfort blanket down to a T. In many ways it’s kinda incidental, arriving as it does without vocals and relying on a circular acoustic ramble that skips gently by without the slightest murmur of a sonic selfie. It’s rare that music provides companion pieces but in this case you can get your well-earned rest off to the best possible start.  

Stephen Molina submitted media.

Tickets, Please by Scuba and the Tanks

Kevin Hugger

Stephen Molina makes the prettiest of noise, it took me quite by surprise in fact on the back of listening to a batch of unremarkable music earlier today. To my ear ‘Tickets, Please’ sounds a little under produced (sounds clearer on Soundcloud) but it hardly affected my enjoyment of a song that comes and goes in an instant but leaves an indelible impression.  If I was Stephen I wouldn’t get too caught up in the CD thing for the moment because help will arrive organically once positive word starts doings the rounds about his songs. So hit up a raft of blogs on hypem.com and see what they say – I’d be surprise if some don’t extol the virtues of this tune. I’d also remove the pop email address catcher on the website, it is a little annoying to be asked for this before you even read/listened to a single line. A brilliant little number with so many grand flourishes in less than 90 seconds. Just listening to ‘My Own Thing’ now and it seems equally impressive, both sounds like the Thrills at their peak. All told this is ever exciting. 

jeffery morrison submitted media.

King Of Diamonds by Horace Holloway

Kevin Hugger

Horace has got a pretty eclectic line-up going on but that wouldn’t matter that much if his music wasn’t up to much. Thankfully his ‘King of Diamonds’ is both classic and instantly endearing, and by that I mean it sounds like all the best country records your parents stored in that dusty vinyl rack by the fireplace. You know the pile, all majestic and proud and for many years near unloved. That is until a new generation begin to realise that all the best music styles have already been invented and the best we can hope for is clever twists on an aging original formula. Horace achieves this feat and then some, the warmth is genuine with the male/female vocal interplays akin to a log crackling invitingly in the hearth nearby.  

Patrick Joseph submitted media.

Don't You Know by Patrick Joseph

Kevin Hugger

What I love about ‘Don’t You Now’ is the way it achieves a sense of intimacy, as if Patrick Joseph was in the room with you. There is a crispness to the production which highlights all the instrumental tics employed and there are plenty of them to pick out as the tune steams along. Joseph’s vocals are grizzled and hoarse, as if still in awe of a marathon smoky bar-room performance the night before. It adds up to a cinematic effort, just waiting for the right scene to be committed to celluloid.  This is vibrant and alert and bursting with intention. 

Twinkles Twinkles submitted media.

Blithe by Tw*nkles

Kevin Hugger

Not sure if Tw*nkles is aiming to be a little star but on this evidence she could become a whole lot more. ‘Blithe’ is a big statement of intent with equal dashes Cocteau Twins, Gary Numan (synths) and Aurora but it never steers from its individual persona. This song just demands summer festivals in big meadows with a chilled out audience in need of sonic refreshment. If Tw*nkles can find the wherewithal to bind a handful of similarly focused songs together then the sun, moon and atmosphere will be hers to lose. 

Jacob Faurholt submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Jacob Faurholt probably took some time to find the people who liked his music, I know this because the same thing happened to me when I was growing up. He clearly decided that he was going to make music that was true to his own beliefs, rather than what was the sound of the moment. So that’s why ‘Floating in Space’ sounds so alive, so singular and true to itself that you can almost pick up on its tiny beating heart. Pitched with a psychedelic dream of a video it makes for an impressive couple of minutes that achieves what the majority of music fails to register, namely it leaves you thinking how great music is really music that originated in the soul rather than on the back of a matchbox. Leaves a lasting impression and for that I am most thankful. 

Dashal Beevers submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Life is really about being true to yourself but embed a respect for others in the pursuit of that goal. And that is something that Inspired have as a cornerstone on their ‘John’s Song’, a gorgeous singalong that could work as easily around the campfire as it would at church. It helps that there is an immediacy to this song, the preaching from the pulpit is never overwhelming but the message that is put forward certainly stays with you. Around the sloganeering is a lovely vocal sway that is so tender and soft all that you’ll be left with is bundles of gratitude that it has entered your day at the precise moment you felt like smiling at our wonderful world. Happiness promoting and ultimately succeeding, a rare thing. 

Lydia Luce submitted media.

Love You True by Lydia Luce

Kevin Hugger

Sometimes there is a thin line between earnest and maudlin but thankfully Lydia Luce has come out on the right side with her ‘Love You True’. The reason is clear from the very first moments of this acoustic tune, which undoubtedly wears its heart on its sleeve but has such a crystallised and genuine persuasion it is impossible to dislike. 'Love You True' is accessible folk country for a wide audience with beautiful playing throughout and Luce’s vocals have a gorgeous homespun quality to them. An gentle Sunday afternoon listen and one that will reward further inspection later in the week. Impressive.    

Jason Kendall submitted media.

Jason Kendall by Make Big Plans

Kevin Hugger

Jason Kendall has written looking for advice on how he can be better at his craft and while this is often a noble expression of intent I often worry that the wrong advice could spoil individuality. And Kendall certainly has a singular view, though there are flashes of Bowie in his widescreen vocals, a vigour and controlled intensity that is plainly absent from artists who are merely playing from the what-is-already-selling-millions-of-records template. ‘Make Big Plans’ really cheers me up, it’s a bundle of delight and a clear illustration of an artist who is progressing nicely under his own inspired tutelage. 

Nicolás Cóppola submitted media.

Warp Gate 1039 by Nicolás Cóppola

Kevin Hugger

I’ve always thought that the relaxation room wing of a health spa was undernourished from a pipped music point of view. It always seems incidental, forever unchallenging and with seemingly no purpose but to kill the sound of silence. Pointless in other words, silly really when the lazer guided melodies of Nicolás Cóppola are much fitter for purpose. Cóppola’s ‘Warp Gate 1039’ has a softly focused yet engaging demeanour that will do wonders for those wishing for a inner mind that wonders beyond the drudgery of modern homogeneity. Forget the shopping that still needs to be done in time for Christmas and instead pick the presidential suite in a 21st century Millennium Falcon that has been specially commissioned for star gazing and new world discovery. Let the synth pulses massage your every electro brain wave, ironing out the kinks until the tunnel vision that emerges leaves you a better person, or at the very least someone with ideas and creativity to offer the world. Don your robe, gulp that exotic fruit drink and let ‘Warp Gate 1039’ take you to another dimension. 

Ricardo Temporao submitted media.

Never Fade by BRUTUS BEGINS

Kevin Hugger

Brutus Begins don’t appear to care how other bands sound or what this hour’s zeitgest is because they are led from their own internal machinations. Now that is refreshing, despite a production that might be a little away from pristine, and something to be cherished in an increasingly homogeneous music world. ‘Never Fade’ is calm, cool and collected and chooses the right moments to burst forth with incandescent melody and ever so lovely chorus. That it sustains itself for almost 5 minutes just illustrates the confidence this band possess. Pretty exciting all told, a band with oodles of potential that will likely unveil a canon of winning numbers before too long. 

Jordan Prince submitted media.

Parade by Jordan Prince

Kevin Hugger

Jordan Prince’s take on a life of endless possibilities consigned to a pile of broken dreams is one he chooses to dictate in a manner akin to the warm expanses of a sirocco breeze.  As such it a dichotomy of easy acoustics versus the harsh realities of the psychedelic prism as viewed from the end of a bottle. I’d wager you’ll think of Simon & Garfunkel who were masterful in similarly pulling the rug from beneath a mirage of soothing sounds. Prince’s playing is the star turn here and things really flower when he harmonises. But for all that I get the creeping feeling that he could have sprung a surprise or two more to help guide the narration into the darker recesses of the chief protagonist’s downward trajectory.  

Bobby Lewis submitted media.

The Clause by Mustardmind

Kevin Hugger

Given the proximity to Christmas I was half thinking that ‘The Clause’ was going to be a homily to  Santa. I certainly knew better within a couple of seconds of Mustardmind’s serrated jangle and outwardly baggy experimentalism. This is a stare at the floor type of effort, all cool swerves and musical acumen along with a frontman who leads the line with swaggering detachment. Like what New Fast Automatic Daffodils used to do, pummelling us with all manner of interesting sounds before serving it up on a cold plate without cutlery. Naturally it goes down very well in these parts but whether Mustardmind can continually return to the same dark and eerie well is open to question. Stellar as these things go.   

Zack Anselm submitted media.

Somehow Part I & II by !mindparade

Kevin Hugger

Experimental doesn’t sell, it’s a plain and simple fact. What it does do however, every now and then at least, is attract critical love and offer a sense of sonic inebriation to a cohort of rabid fans. And I can hear that quality in !mindparade’s music. It will probably inhabit the fringes and be untroubled by the gaze of the masses but it is so refreshing to hear an artist telling it as he hears it in his own head. There is a Beatles influence at work here, especially in the drifting vocals and slaloming stereo pulses. Could also pick up on a nod to Screamadelica era Primal Scream, but whether such a lofty comparison might mean anything to !mindparade is open to question given that that album is almost a quarter of century old (try Jagwar Ma for something more contemporary). All told this is an enjoyable trip, perhaps not entirely cohesive but with enough highs to make it an entirely memorable experience.  

Amy Kress submitted media.

Iceland by Amy Kress

Kevin Hugger

Not really sure if Amy Kress is referring to the island of Iceland or just the situation she finds herself in, probably the latter since it is her other half that appears to inspired the piece. And what a pretty little thing it is. There is emotion spilling from every word but Kress somehow stands adrift of the sentiments by delivering a note perfect sense of the chanteuse at work. The video is really pretty too but is probably at odds with the narrative which features two souls rather than a comfortable gathering of friends and family (during a warm evening as opposed to a frosty one). No matter though because the listener/viewer will soon become immersed in the gentle flow of velvet sonic and pastoral scenes. Not quite a successor to ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ but cut from the same cloth all the same. And radio friendly to boot, a soft breeze of gentle dynamics.    

Alex Gordon submitted media.

LAUGHING by !A!

Kevin Hugger

Though unusual I must say I do like approaching a song with little or no background info. It’s the sense of discovery, that at any minute my favourite new song could be about to appear from nowhere. And this is how !A!’s experimental bout of ‘Laughing’ entered my sphere of noise, a strange concoction that might have jettisoned in from the outer atmosphere such are its alien charms. That it settles down into something slightly more earthly is only half successful because the song initially emits a rather industrial sound that is devoid of charm. But then the strangest thing happens and ‘Laughing’ plucks heartfelt atmosphere from seemingly nowhere. Suddenly I’m thinking that this band deliberately set out to confuse us, to lull us into a false sense of hopelessness before emerging like the heroes they are with an epic save. !A! are not British Sea Power but they could potentially be as good.     

Mike Fullarton submitted media.

In My Arms by The Breathing Room

Kevin Hugger

With the seasons changing, the leaves already shorn this song so reminded me of a barenaked tree. Still imperious but without its outer clothing it seemed timid, alone and in search of something that would offer amiable company. The chords tugged like tiny rustling branches and a vocal trunk that struggles to get itself heard makes for a collective of sounds that just demand devoted attention. If anything ‘In My Arms’ gets more delicate as it progresses but it also signal a stronger voice, made possible by the slowly emerging blanket of snow that convincingly turned this structure into fine art, albeit as delicate as porcelain. 

PUZZLE submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Really nice name for an artist and for lots of reason the music that drifts from his mind is equally arresting. Though the vocals have an R&B quality this is firmly in the electronic arena, though with that chorus it could be the pop charts that see most of the action. Could see ‘Godlike’ working well on a drama, Scandinavian or closer to home it probably won’t matter because there an earthy feel to what is going on here. I’m reminded most of a contemporary artist working in the same space called Slow Magic who also has a gift for colouring his sounds with something altogether visual.

Ralina PR submitted media.

I Saw Momma by Emii

Kevin Hugger

It’s not quite a brave move to cover a tried and tested Christmas standard because recognition is half the battle, at Christmas it is probably a little bit more in fact. So EMII is to be commended for adding a genuine contemporary twist to a song that the Jackson 5 perpetually own each December. And suddenly I realised that ‘I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus’ is probably in fact a completely tune altogether, a song with vim and plenty of dash to kickstart any holiday gathering. There is a country twang to EMII’s presentation but I’m suitably impressed to return to her song at a later stage this Christmas. Well done to her for not throwing out the old but instead ushering in the shiny, bright and new. 

Bo Haan submitted media.

Undefined by Bo Haan

Kevin Hugger

More verified funk from Bo Haan that channels a Scritti Politti/Michael Jackson hybrid. The one thing that really stands out on Bo’s music is how assured it is, both production and songwriting wise. This genre of music is not really my bag but if I heard this on the radio I’d be convinced it was from a million selling artist such are its splendid arrangements and the wonderful layered vocals. The biggest compliment I could make is that it sounds like a fully functioning old school song, the one that you can remember long after it has made its presence known.  And what a voice Mr. Haan has, a falsetto from heaven. 

Orouni music submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Orouni quite obviously don’t go in for obvious musical constructs which means they are ahead of the competition straight away in my book. ‘The Peanut Specialist’ is an odd confection that forever exhibits a loose and freewheelin’ spirit but then it does tend to reach for melodic asides intermittently to sugar the experience. There is a grand build too that reaches its logical conclusion before falling off a cliff and petering out in the splashing waves below without little or no struggle. All told I am a little confused, it’s as if Orouni just let it flow without adhering to what their marketing team have whispered in their ears about what makes a winning pop song. Good on them for that though it may take a little more focus before a wider audience pricks up their ears. 

Silvia Nikoletti submitted media.

Loving You (Official Video) by Celeste Buckingham

Kevin Hugger

This is a classic love song and the last time I checked this genre of music still have a world of fans out there. With lyrical poetry it means the readers (and the watchers too going by the sumptuous video) are onside but what about the listeners? Well Celeste Buckingham can certainly create theatre with that precious voice of hers, doesn’t even take a huge amount of instrumental backing to ensure a haunting atmosphere. I know she doesn’t mention Heathcliff but this is of a similar ilk, so much so that I can imagine the marketing suits beating a path to offer a tasty reward for the use of ‘Loving You’ on their flashy new game or handheld device. It’s beautiful and I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone else who would think differently. 

Holly Drummond submitted media.

The Edge by Holly Drummond

Kevin Hugger

It’s easy to see why Holly Drummond’s music has already made it on youth programming because it is immaculately produced, hear a needle drop kind of stuff. The real gift however is her vocals which have the purest quality, the expression is genuine and her annunciation makes it sound like she is in the room with you. Like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ for music that ushers you into the scene that Drummond colours so vividly. So crystal is the sound you’ll probably hear your own heartbeat, that is before it gets whisked away by this captivating chanteuse.     

Shaun Hettinger submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

‘All My Love’ certainly has history on its side, mostly owing to its late 20th century cross decade appeal. Specifically there are flashes of dayglo electro 80’s numbers from the likes of Erasure, electro Depeche Mode and even Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. So now we established that there is a big audience is it any cop? The answer would have to be in the affirmative but only after you’ve broken it down and put it together into a meaningful whole in your head. This is a real grower, the way those A-ha tracks used to first confuse before taking you over like an alien lifeform looking for an earthy host. Memoryy’s are indeed made of this.

Roly L submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Atmospheric post-rock with a celtic twist, now there’s a new one on me. Or at least it was until What If Elephants showed us that they also had a singer in tow. A pretty good one as it happens, one that can emote as well as reach those high notes. That ‘Getaway’ was recorded live and still manages to sound intimate is some achievement by the band, especially as every instrumental part syncs so perfectly. In fact the band take risks trying so many things within the space of one song, without any sense of being unnecessarily overloaded. At times it felt quite emotional, something that strings are sure to bring to any piece. With an emotional narrative arcing skywards I put aside any misgivings I had been harbouring about this song being a little too manipulative and just went with it. At the finish I was kicking myself that I wasn’t at McGill University Studios that special night. 

Michael Ige submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

There is a huge market for nostalgia and Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz seem primed to corner it on their sweet ‘My Old Stompin' Ground’. This is something for the stereo at reunions or journey’s back home and it is inevitable that listeners will well up such is the tenderness in the memories that are evoked. The soft acoustics, layered harmonies as well as a vocalist who proffers gentle cooing means that ‘My Old Stompin' Ground’ is irresistible. With a bit of marketing and getting into the right ears it could yet start making its own memories.  

Jan Ciganik submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

They could be channeling their inner Daft Punk but ‘A Scene Like That’ owes much to the dancefloor fillers of yore. At various parts I was reminded of other greats like Basement Jaxx because this song has the funk for a room full of drunken move makers. This is a song that is constantly evolving, rolling out new sounds at every turn, and stripping it back to the basics like an early 90’s A Guy Called Gerald. Inevitably it eventually coalesces into a blazing crescendo that would surely whip the masses into a sweaty version of their former selves.  

Ben Whitfield submitted media.

Good Feeling by Benjimanji

Kevin Hugger

Friday night love eh, much more quirky than Saturday night love and with a pinch more authenticity.  And now there is a soundtrack to highlight the event, and what a jumble of cute noise it is. From the Doors like synths to the blazing brass this is a loose and freewheelin’ homage to events that happen after we drop our 9-to-5 guard and become what we are inside. No surprises that it comes from an artist called Benjimanji, the name itself just conjures fun and frolics. Who cares if the vocals are a little thin in places because this is the real world and we want to feel it in all its glory. 

Darren Vincent submitted media.

Next Train Home by yaya club

Kevin Hugger

I can see where man’s best friend comes into the art for Yaya Club’s album (as if the album title was enough to give the game away) because this is music as a companion. Never intrusive but always comforting tracks like ‘Next Train Home’ are so easy on the ear they are to be welcomed at any time. Once again the music is a delight, a ramble of soft noise that skips along with the consummate ease and an air of glee. It’s a simple formula that Yaya Club appears adept at mining for charming nuggets. No home should be without one. 

Darren Vincent submitted media.

Snakes And Ladders by yaya club

Kevin Hugger

It is with a bit of trepidation that I prepared for a second track from Yaya Club. My first brush with them had been a close to faultless occasion so I set myself up for disappointment. Thankfully ‘Snakes and Ladders’ was another delight, even if the vocals took a second or two to find their calming inner selves. The acoustics were beautifully arranged, autumnal and colourful they offered a delightful frame for the words. This is a serenity to Yaya Club’s songs, a rest assured mentality which means an album of like-minded sorts could be the best possible thing for your addled head. 

Darren Vincent submitted media.

Down At The Bottom by yaya club

Kevin Hugger

With not a scrap of bio to guide one I was instantly put at ease by the low slung acoustics of ‘Down at the Bottom’. The first influence that seeped through occurred when the male/female vocals cut a mighty fine Low dash. For the rest of the time it sounded like this could have easily sat on any number of Mojave 3 albums, country for people that don’t particularly like country. The soft jangling guitar parts meant that the song never flags, shimmering through several minutes of late evening gorgeousness. This is dreamy stuff, executed in a languid style that could become utterly addictive.