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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Kevin Hugger

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. 

Jen Baron submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

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.   

John Wlaysewski submitted media.

Late Cambrian by Hot Minute (Official Music Video)

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Katie Schottland submitted media.

Cage by STILLS

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Daniel Larson submitted media.

Shiva by Elay Arson

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Nicolás Cóppola submitted media.

A Curious Rover by Nicolás Cóppola

Kevin Hugger

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. 

gloriano taccon submitted media.

My sofa by Giulio Taccon

Kevin Hugger

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.

. . submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

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.

False Heads submitted media.

THICK SKIN by FALSE HEADS

Kevin Hugger

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.

Brandon Snipes submitted media.

Die One Day by B. Snipes

Kevin Hugger

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. 

leslie sgro submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Milo Starr Johnson submitted media.

Look Away by Milo Starr Johnson

Kevin Hugger

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.  

Vinay Kathuria submitted media.

Act One by ANTEHERO

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Wai Lana submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Nicolás Cóppola submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Shaun Hettinger submitted media.

Out Of The Dark by Memoryy

Kevin Hugger

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. 

Lars-Ingar Bragvin Andresen submitted media.

Too Weak by Kristian Grostad

Kevin Hugger

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. 

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. 

ANIGO submitted media.

Kevin Hugger

Not exactly a cheery theme but then a voice like Anigo’s is quite capable of making those feelings redundant such is its gravitas. There are plenty of rough edges on this tune, befitting a demo, but there is an ingrained haunting quality throughout which makes the idea of the finished product an intriguing prospect. I kept coming back to Nico as a possible inspiration because it sounds like Anigo is untroubled by what people think of her music, with the prime motivation being to exorcise the demons from within. In the right time of lounge, with the smoke hanging thick in the air there’ll soon be a captive audience gripped by the sonic tension all around.  

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.