- Music blogger, record label owner, PR person, Christmas music writer, Boys in Green supporter.
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, sob about the Republic of Ireland football team on https://facebook.com/eireguide and written several festive related pieces for the Huffington Post. Find me on https://facebook.com/mp3hugger, https://www.twitter.com/mp3hugger, https://Soundcloud.com/mp3hugger, https://play.spotify.com/user/mp3hugger In general submissions will be responded to within 24 hours.
- artist management, music industry, music promotion, creative writing, record labels, web design, mixtapes, music writing / blogging, music reviews
- 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
A country ramble that wears its heart on its sleeve and delivers a homespun tune that is characterised by a slide guitars, gentle swaying percussion and a singer who reminds me of Luna's Dean Wareham. It all sound inoffensive but we need tracks such as this to warm the cockles of hearts that are primed to reject. This is such a right angle to the previous track you submitted and I have to say I really prefer this as it shows what a tight group you can be. Lovely.
Right from the off there is a giddy sense of indie pop going on, put together in a loose shuffling way that just hangs really nicely together. Nothing feels hurried, this is a song that takes on the feeling of a warm breeze of loveliness. The vocals are soft and reassuring, flitting amongst the jangle, soothing synths and a beat that barely raises above a pitter-patter. And when that brass kicks in it's as if the stars have aligned to form a new constellation. The second composition isn't quite as Belle & Sebastian sounding, a little more tender and unassuming though it does pick up as the seconds drift by. The arrival of the trumpet part lifts spirits as well as the momentum and in the process makes for a performance where each of the moving parts add something different and unique. It's all played at a low-ebb but the combined effect is something that will cheer everyone within earshot.
Don't think I've seen an animated video since Take on Me that's filled me with so much wonder. The craft and imagination is there for all to see and with a soundtrack such as this there is as much wonder in the music. Reminds me a little of the Breeders, that lolloping momentum could be a more rounded Cannonball. And when those harmonies kick in, it really is time to cooalong in unison. As propulsive as it is melodic I will be sharing this across our social pages, not so much because I love it so much but because I want to be seen as the first person in my group to announce this wonderful sound. Bliss.
Oh my, what a smooth number this is. A real retro feeling with a voice that could permeate 10-foot thick walls and a groove so slinky it could likely do the impossible and entice those who’ve retired from the dancefloor back on it. All told it an impressive package that should be a fixture on late night radio shows that are adept at reassuring listeners that no matter how crap the day has been there is music to soothe the soul. ‘Inevitable’ has vestiges of the classic 60’s girl groups but for most of the time it contends with being a contemporary soul classic that has appeal beyond that genre. I’m struggling to believe it actually originated in 2016 such are its classic motown stylings.
This is understated from the getgo but I was entranced by its oddly turned out stylings. It is half a dance tune, half a song that you need a comfy chair to absorb but most of all it is a tune with rare beauty. The oft-kilter momentum will probably throw quite a few people but the linear parts more than make up for the fits of ecstatic rambling. I haven't heard many songs like this in 2016, a tropical event that whisks you along on its multi-coloured approach. Glad I heard it as Christmas approaches because it has the wide-eyed appeal of the season. Brilliant. Can you let me know when this goes up on Spotify as I'd love to playlist it.
Wow what an opening, was not expecting that voice at all. The music sounded like it was setting itself up for a funkathon but then this Bjork like elfin voice emerged from the speakers. From then forward I was entranced at the gorgeous simplicity of it all. There's such a slight backdrop but even at that there is so much to admire, that bass bumble just tiptoeing around the star of the show to create a soundtrack that could even the insects beneath our feet in a state of bug-eyed fascination. This was really a surprise, a gentle and supremely enjoyable treat.
This is just a peachy listen, a real sense of happiness invaded my being as it played. While this not really a genre I would seek out I can see why indie sensibilities really close so many doors. This just clicks into life from the off, the vocals are an understated brand of ecstatic and the music boasts a tropical outlook. Of course it would be at home when the sun is high in the sky and the toll of daily life has been put aside for at least week. I shall set aside this little nugget of joy for that time next summer. Keep on doing what you are doing and many will keep on listening.
What a story, so kudos Patrick on achieving so much in such little time. The result is an intimate listen with vocals that are certainly unique, bubbling along like another instrument in their quietly accomplished way. The whole piece has a beautiful inner calm and the melody is hypnotic in an unhurried and efficient way. The song sounds vaguely familiar but that might be just because Patrick sounds so comfortable dispatching it and I’d hazard a guess that he spent many hours honing this composition before he finally got his time in the studio. This is a stellar achievement and should give this singer all the confidence he needs to continue producing more little nuggets like ‘I Do What I Do’.
Ness are more than just any old band, they actually care which in a society that breeds me-culture it is quite refreshing. But while all that is commendable it’s the music we’re here for and on that score they fare slightly less impressively early one. That was until they laid their hearts bare and all sorts of heavenly sounds emerged. I found ‘Tunnel Vision’ to be quite an odd confection, it has such sweet parts but there are moments when it feels cold and detached. Maybe it is just drawing on each of us and our tendency to blow hot and cold depending on the mood of the moment. Ness are really onto something, they do toy with song constructs and it might take a while to crack their code but I for one am intrigued. Definitely ones to watch out for.
A real future-historic feel to this track but the consummate ease with which it declares its intentions belies the fact that this is a new act. In many ways it’s like a Pet Shop Boys standard, both vocally and structurally. The other thing of note is the confidence in the mix, nothing is added for purely superficial effect and the mosaic of sounds fits into a fine cohesive groove. All told ‘The Perfect Storm’ fits the radio friendly template without ever sounding tired or formulaic and really the only reservation I’d have is that it is perhaps a half minute too long. While it is all good stuff I can’t see shaving this time off as losing anything to the overall effect and given the shortened attention spans it could help retain the more migratory of listeners.
Jasper X deserves a stool, a smoky bar and an audience that hangs around for longer than they had initially planned. That’s because he can make songs like ‘Only Patterns’ that are quite basic in their execution but have a burning little heart that demands that you give them your full attention. I’d hope that his repertoire extends beyond this neat little trick but taken in isolation this is a splendid little ditty that could probably have been stretched a little as it is impossibly short. The other thing where this number could have really excelled is a crescendo or an unexpected change of pace. I felt it was somehow building to an unexpected conclusion but it disappointingly petered out in its sweetly hum-like way.
Great to see a new band with Wolf in the title, been a while. And Wolfkids don’t let the side down with an atmospheric, and at times vaudeville inspired, and mournful number that has at its core a beautiful ethereal vocal. ‘Monster In Me’ has genuine heart but it is one that is damaged, fighting for a time when it can be full again. That the band can translate this note perfect anguish is to their credit and with the biggest fright night on the horizon this could prove a boon for this song and promo vid. This never came across like it was put on or acted out, this is music that felt like it was played as events were unfolding before the participant’s very eyes. Perceptive as songs get.
I can see why JMJ was namechecked because this all the hallmarks, more tour de force than Tour de France mind you. Because of the obvious influence ‘Electro45 (Almost There)’ appears like something from yesteryear but its pummelling nature means that it is impossible not to be subsumed by its skittering delights. So here I am closing my eyes and dreaming up a lightshow that would complement this foray through space and time. If I had one piece of advice it would probably be that the piece might benefit from a slight change of tact now and then, a subtle shift to the left or right rather than hyperspace to a galaxy far, far away. But it is only a small gripe because this effort from Musica Universalis will be lapped up by electro aficionados and could even infiltrate the sunrise crew in the Balearics.
I’m sorry I read the lyrics before I switched on the music because I entered the sonic fray in a mood to jettison this to outer space such were the schoolboy rhymes. I wish I hadn’t because in the context of the chiming music and general wide-eyed atmospherics every word and syllable drops neatly into place. Frankly I love this piece and Charles Luck has a gift for warming hearts where previously no beat existed. Adored the rich visuals too, a vast collection of the finest moving instagram’s. Luck’s rapping is tender and never overbearing, which is a neat ploy given Tino Red’s equally inviting and near cooing pronouncements. ‘Is The Galaxy Pimping Me?’ is a rare thing, a piece of music that is as life affirming as it is charming. I thank my lucky stars it came my way.
They should have drank them pints is all I could think as this song kicked-off in a less than inglorious fashion. Thankfully help was at hand in the shape of a couple of thugs in fancy dress who did us all a favour by kicking our would-be hero out of his dull stupor. ‘Castlebridge’ really is an odd stew, of wanton violence and machine gun lyrics borne out provincial inequality. How this would play outside Ireland’s four walls is open to question but I found myself drawn to its quirky individualism and lack of care for any musical zeitgeist from the last decade. Junior Brother are doing it as they see fit and in the case of this listener it is a near perfect mix of free spirited songwriting. Bualadh bos.
Understated and poppy, sort of like the music you’d find on a children’s TV programmes but then ‘Banyan Tree’ grows up pretty rapidly when the male/female vocals kick in. From then on in it was true love because Darling Hurts have it sussed when it comes to bending folky themes to tug the maximum out of fragile heartstrings. This is delicately assembled, expertly deployed and a totally cherubic experience for the listener. The sort of song that I didn’t think I’d find in 2016 actually, something with genuine heart and wit. And those vocals are so genuinely dispatched it almost feels like I’ve made friends with several people I’ll probably never meet. Utterly bewitching, but in an opposite of Halloween type of way.
SPYFU might be odd moniker but that is where the oddness starts and ends going by ‘Burning Out’, which boasts grand textures and even loftier ambitions. It is easy to see what the band were aiming for and it involves the sky and the stars beyond. With such a broad canvass I’m sure sales of cigarette lighters have shot through the roof (if one was to ditch the much more modern mobile equivalent) in the west of Ireland because that is what this song deserves, as the throngs feed off their anthem in a large field over a sultry summer evening. For all that I wasn’t wholly convinced, not sure why and I’m scratching my head searching for the answer. It’s as if there needed to be more vocals, a twin assault of human fragility to seal the deal. I know I’m been picky in the extreme but in a market flush with like-minded souls you need to be trading in the feeling as much as the undoubted polished structures.
This was akin to watching the sun going down, except it didn’t. Instead it rose again, at near pitch darkness, and gave us the most sunshine day of the summer. Took a while it must be said and Charlie might be best served to clip a little from the early parts because he knows full well what we’ve come for. And it arrives about a minute and a half in. The muddy opening scenes evaporate to make way for the clear distillation of percussion, vocals and eventually a chorus so splendorous it makes you wonder why it was held back for so long. This is quite a magnificent song, but I know in my heart that 90% will have tuned out by the time the treasure chest is unlocked to reveal its wholesome bounty. And surely vanished grace is not enough to sustain an artist as accomplished as this.
Slight avant-garde this one, not exactly out there experimental but definitely left of centre and pursuing a sound all its own making. Reminds me most of Pittsburgh’s finest the Van Allen Belt who have a similar offbeat bent but one that has its basis in wondrous songwriting. ‘Euphio - Noise From The Void’ is equally filled with ambition, firing off in unexpected directions before returning to a slightly more familiar path eventually. The vocals are layered and complex, a mini bohemian rhapsody, which reveals a singer that can easily compete with the beautiful mosaic of instrumental chaos. This has all the makings of a number that will reveal hidden depth with each new listen. There is almost too much to take in at first, but for all that it is not overpowering and never feels like parts were bolted on to give a sense of the grandiose. No, this feels organic and true to itself and really is a grand statement of Susan Hwang’s power as an artist.
Have to say that initially I thought there were was quite a divide between what I saw in this video and the music that came in tow. Was expecting something a little more frantic, edgier and at least a tad more experimental. Or that’s what I thought until things got a lot throatier by the second minute, this is more like it I thought to myself as a cornucopia of sensory delights filled my ears and eyes with the sound of a band not conceived of these times. They are an angry mob but the seething is held in check and broadcast through the daggers in their instruments. By the finish I was smitten, a real band and one that is unconcerned with modern correctness. Admirable.
I can see why Jen Baron called this song ‘Tidal’ because it washes over you with every powerful emotion that she could summon during the recording. Wave after wave of her affecting vocals seem altogether more powerful when the low key piano and tinkling chords spin twinkingly in the background. A song such as this is destined for reality TV drama, the scene where a bucketful of romantic tears are about to spill yet doing so might dampen the coolness of the participants. So up steps ‘Tidal’ to magnificently express the temporary angst that has befallen the champions of modern phenomenon of snowflaking. I’m not completely sold on this type of thing because it seems to be omnipresent but Baron’s peppers the song with enough nuance to mark her out from her contemporaries.
More than a feeling of 80’s influences on ‘Hot Minute’ and you know what that means. Yep, a real song that focuses on presenting the listener with a story that has a start, middle and end. And thankfully ‘Hot Minute’ is a little bit more too, delving a tad into experimental asides that drive the song in unexpected directions. I had been partial to Late Cambrian previously but I’d forgotten how good they were, a band on the margins making great music and within touching distance of grabbing the limelight from less talented artists. This could be the moment when that injustice is reversed however because ‘Hot Minute’ is brilliant.
Be stills my beating heart for I have a tune to help you over the most tumultuous of times. That’s because this boy/girl duo have it within their gift to calm with a sound so lush and soft it’s a wonder they didn’t fall asleep at the wheel. ‘Cage’ tumbles along so sweetly and while such an unhurried approach could be a temptation to drop the dynamics there is plenty to keep your attention from drifting. For one the vocals intertwine so delicately it almost sounds like one pure voice. And if that dalliance of fe(male)ness was not enough there is a sweetly inquisitive tone to the music, a sort of lo-fi rapture that you know harbours grand notions to cut loose but sticks instead to the template as laid out by its singing masters. A quiet delight.
Elay Arson is out there on a different plane, offering bumpy flights of fanciful that have all the hallmarks of a fairground on Mars. In this respect ‘Shiva’ is both futuristic and hard to classify, it is just what it is...a spiralling tunnel of noise that is edgy but never too pointed to turn the listener away. It is circa that sound that played in the background of that cult movie ‘Streets of Fire’, in that it is forever adding to the mood without once stealing our central sensory focus. For that and several other reasons I am quite taken by it.
You’ve got to applaud Nicolás Cóppola for venturing beyond the commoner gardener topics and instead focus his attention on the planets overhead. I’ve always found his music to be an emotional experience and though the focus this time is on a machine traversing a distant dot in the sky you can’t help but get carried along for the exhilarating ride. Again, there are pointers to Jean Michel Jarre but in the main Nicolás creates a beeline for his own creative instincts. ‘A Curious Rover’ is a multi-dimensional composition that sets the scene time and again for the moment it hits hyperspace. Not so sure it will be breaking into radio playlists too soon but this movement could ride on the lolloping emotions of gamers all over the globe. Brilliant.
The closest music I’ve heard that features non-human love was for a little pooch but Giulio Taccon takes it one step further with his undying romance for his sofa. And what a classy piano beginning it proves to be, going all chamber pop before too long and featuring singular vocals that drifts as close to Aled Jones as can be. Have to say I was quite taken by it, not at all what I was expecting and the realisation that Guilio is just 13-years-old makes it all the more wondrous. There is a serious talent at work here and with cute storylines and clever songwriting we can expect big things from Giulio. Genuinely love that sofa of his for inspiring this gem.
Quoting a top notch set of influences is one thing but making good on such solid aspirations is another thing altogether. I noticed the Vellas haven’t mentioned the Strokes but that is where I would have pitched ‘Lost & Found’. And thankfully it is the early vibrancy of that New York collective that the band have embraced, namely a solid riff, build and chorus that will surely worm its way into affections with each new listen. All told it is far from innovative but remains satisfying earporn in a music industry that has seen its guitar-led side slink from view for several years now. Let’s hope the Vellas have a spread of these nuggets to come, if they do they could really be onto something.
Oh wow, ye olde sound of 90’s rock done so well you half expect these False Heads to be at least 20 years older for supplying such pristine retroness. But then I’m sure they had parents with such on the money record collections. ‘Thick Skins’ greatest success however is how vibrant it sounds, never threatening to descend into pastiche instead spiralling out of control into expansive indieness the likes of which should be soundtracking every Camden Friday night bolthole from here to eternity. The vocals ride the slipsteam of crashing guitars and were it not for my pounding feet I might just have picked out my heavily beating heart. Glorious or if I was to be more precise, in a name dropping kind of way, downright Adorable.
Not sure if every experience involving love is tinged with regret but when it comes to songs about the subject it appears that this is nearly always the case. And you can pick up on a real sense of melodrama on the modern country dash of B. Snipes’ ‘Die One Day’. The initial passages didn’t bode well as the tune sounded like a million others but as it unfurled Snipes showed his true colours. And what a vibrant rainbow he possesses as the easy sentimentality in the lyrics shook hands with a sweet chorus that I may well be whistling at this rate of repeat listens. ‘Die One Day’ probably won’t change the world but it is a deeply pleasant experience, a genuine smile inducer which means it surpasses 99% of the music being produced today. Impressive.
I kept on thinking the Ting Tings are back and they are sounding really fresh. Of course it was wishful thinking because Chel is a brand new thing, a playful sounding thing it must be said. That’s because ‘Call Me What You Want’ is as sassy as it gets, an in your face but never really threateningly so. Where the song soars is in a chorus that could become the anthem for lovelorn teenagers the world over, never really liked him/her anyway and the world is a really big place. This is really fun and engaging and that from a listener who is a couple of decades beyond from the target market. ‘That’s Not My Name’ has finally got the perfect sequel.
There is a genuine grittiness to Milo Starr Johnson’s music, the sort that is not manufactured but rather one that is honed from life experience. That said ‘Look Away’ exposes Milo’s soft underbelly in the sweetest of ways. This is considered dream pop, the sort that St. Etienne used to drop at will in their heyday. The instrumentation weaves in and out of beautiful consciousness so that the listener can focus on a voice that squeezes every ounce of passion from a performance that levitates. This is absolutely gorgeous, a break from the incessant noise of modern life and is a recommended tonic for anyone who has paused in delight at the sound of an unknown piece of music.
A rough and tumble of an early 90’s feel to this. Guitar carnage and jangle swinging hand in hand, a little bit Nirvana here and some Sugar there all adding up to an enjoyable retro fix. If I didn’t know better it could actually be from a dusty old mixtape that featured real songs, rather than variations of the same tired old thing. Would sound even better for those who can’t remember back two decades I’m sure. If I had one suggestion it would be to cut the instrumental noodling towards the middle-end, it would probably go down well in a live context but on record it sounds a little superfluous. Stellar otherwise however.
An artist has a rare gift if they can appeal to all generations and Wai Lana is certainly one of them. I guess we are all looking for inner peace but Lana achieves outer peace in tandem. And she does so in that unique way of her, much like Icelandic heroes Sigur Ros do, with an uplifting levity put to music with a genuinely important message. The production is as grand as ever, even approaching cinematic on occasion and together with the colourful visuals ‘Alive Forever’ makes for a feast for the senses. Life’s journey might not be easy, but when we become at ease with ourselves and the point we have now reached it turns exhilarating. And Wai does so much in so little time to highlight this fact. ‘Alive Forever’ is a pocket rocket of sense and sweet persuasion and should be mandatory for anyone feeling like the important things in life have passed them by. By the end you’ll have the soul and confidence to overcome all that life throws at you. Who’d have thought a piece of music could offer all of this within a few minutes. Amazing.
Lazer beams or advanced signals from outer planets, who knows and with Nicolás Cóppola at the helm it hardly matters as he spirits us away to another time and place. ‘4th Movement’ is undeniably Jean Michel Jarre in direction, texture and wide eyed possibility. Whether Nicolás will ever have the budget to conjure a light show that this music deserves remains to be seen but in the meantime the scurrying synths will light up the night sky all by themselves. This is exciting creation, bulbous with possibility and harking back to a sound that will be familiar to many fans of the electro pioneers of yesteryear. Joyful.
Now that Memoryy is a fully fledged chart busting hero for many he won’t need his early followers to continue the praise heaping in his general direction. But with ‘Out of the Dark’ it’s just impossible not to be whipped along in its vibrant aura. This is undeniably slavish in its adoration of New Order and it even draws on the production values of that band’s peak. So how does it feel, well even those with less than true faith will be enamoured with a song that boasts a defined chorus, bridge and instrumental interlude. This is retro gold, with a wicked sense of fun. Most of all however it is embellished with an overriding sense of an artist locked down on a sound that will usher him hurriedly to his gilded final destination.
Aha, good old Bergen. The centre of new music universe for a time and then a lull. An expansive void that may hopefully end with the jangling wonder of Kristian Grostad who has the grandiose palette of Mew but with a good deal less of their prog tendencies. ‘Too Weak’ really is a blockbuster, delving into anthemic U2 before spiralling into a more considered Coldplay. Yeah it produces plenty of rushes, a juggernaut that is just bursting with colour and bright intention. It is standalone but it could be spectacular in the environs of like-minded album tracks. Riproaring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.