Pawws – “Sugar”

20 Apr

Pawws Sugar

We were a little late to the Pawws party last year, but once we heard “Slow Love” we hightailed it straight over just in time for cake and champagne. We imagine the champagne will be flowing for Lucy Taylor once again as, having been tipped for great things this year she has just signed up to Best Fit Recordings for the release of her debut EP, Sugar.

The title track has just been unveiled online and is a digital waterfall of cascading synth pop, all majestic and beautiful. Like a Jean Michel Jarre lightshow, the keys twinkle and glow, creating magical patterns across the night sky as Lucy’s soft and sweet vocals gently bewitch and entice all who hear her. ”I need to taste a little sugar” she calls out to a lover she can’t let go, the one she desperately needs to stay, ”Just pretend there is nothing wrong” she begs. How could we resist?

While Lucy may well be singing to the one that got away, we are certain that her pop stardom will not prove so elusive.

The ‘Sugar’ EP is out on 16 June via Best Fit Recordsings and can be pre-ordred here on limited edition vinyl or CD. Before that, Pawws plays a show on 12 May at The Lexington in London, tickets for that are available here

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Humbug – “Danced All Night”

19 Apr


Never in our lifetime did we think that we would associate a group of teenage lads from Essex with Julie Andrews, but when we saw the title for the latest single from Humbug our oddly wired brain kicked into life and connections were made. Of course, “Danced All Night” is neither a cover nor homage to La Andrews giving it the full Fair Lady (though we imagine that could be a lot of fun). No, it is a rather a wonderful slice of indie rock from four young guys that not only belies their youth, but points to rather an exciting future.

Hailing from Southend, the quartet of Ben, Dale, Ferghal and Matt say that they are inspired by the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and The Killers but it’s the emotionally charged indie of The Airborne Toxic Event that sprang to mind as “Danced All Night” kicked in. Though, as we’ve said, we do have a weird brain.

The guitar and synth lines are entwined like ropes around your ankles, a concrete block of doubt and dark thoughts, ”Baby I’m suffering, wondering where you’ll be”, pulling you down into a world of anguish, fear and anxiety. Ben Rotherham’s vocals are rich with heartache, deep and mournful they are world worn and wracked with questions, with answers that he has to know but doesn’t want to hear, ”Do you still care?”.

It’s a remarkably assured piece of song writing for a band so young, both in members’ age and longevity (they’ve been together little over a year) and one that bodes very well for the future. We expect to hear a lot more from Humbug over the next few years.

”Danced All Night” is available as a free download from the soundcloud player below.

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Day Joy – “Bone and Bloody” (video)

18 Apr

Day Joy Bone and Bloody

We’ve never really given any thought to what music would form the most appropriate soundtrack for a novel or for an author. Why would it? Despite this, when Orlando five piece Day Joy got in touch and told us that their new video for “Bone and Bloody” was inspired by the Haruki Murakami novel, Kafka On The Shore, our reaction was an instantaneous ‘yes’. Whilst Murakami’s novels themselves are filled with jazz and 60s and 70s pop culture, we cannot think of another band whose sound is better suited to the fantastical-normality of his work than Day Joy.

Taken from their debut album, Go To Sleep, Mess (which was in our top 5 albums of last year), “Bone and Bloody”, like its counterparts, has a spectral quality to it. There is a dreamlike blurriness to its melody as swirling vocals melt into gentle, probing banjo plucking and hazy harmonicas. Like Murakami, Day Joy create distorted worlds of realistic wonder and magical mundanity, they just do so with music and sounds rather than words. None the less, there is a distinct correlation between the imagination and creativity found within both artists spheres and there are perfectly complementary and suited to one another.

Here, in the Geoff Levy directed video, Day Joy’s soundscapes and Murakami’s mind are brought together with accompanying visuals and the result, whilst at least as confusing as the source material (fans will appreciate that Kafka On The Shore is not known for giving explanations or tying up loose ends) is quite breathtaking.

’Go To Sleep Mess’ is on Small Plates Records and can be ordered here.

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Manou – “Loving You”

16 Apr


Ahh pop music, you cunning and magnificent bastard. We do so love how you can just sneak up and surreptitiously infiltrate our brain like some kind of stealthy synth ninja. Without even realising they were in there, we find lyrics, melodies and rhythms bubbling away in our mind and boiling over at random moments during the day. Humming or singing while washing up, or while we’re supposed to be paying attention in a meeting. The kind of thing that happened to us with the latest from 17 year old Anglo-German pop wunderkind Manou.

Out on the fast rising and already ridiculously hip Duly Noted Records, “Loving You” is the kind of effortless pop music that just sounds so deliciously simple and perfect. Written following a heartbreak it’s a multifaceted gem that manages to skip along frivolously whilst simultaneously gliding gracefully like a cloud across the sky.

The beat pops and bounces as the vocals jump from the quickfire rat-a-tat of the verses to the smooth soulful lament of the chorus. And there, not really hidden away is a gentle guitar lick, an almost wail if you will, a Knopfler-esque silver lining to the cloud of this failing relationship, the hope that something can be salvaged.

It’s damn catchy too, as you may have guessed from our introduction, and quite something. The future certainly looks bright for this young pop ninja.

”Loving You” is out now on Duly Noted Records and available to buy from iTunes.

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Vuvuvultures – “Arty Party” (Video)

11 Apr

vuvuvultures Arty Party

They’re back! Just when we were sitting here bemoaning the lack of dark, skittish and sinister electro, pop rock sounds in our lives, Vuvuvultures have returned like a musical Batman throwing out beats, riffs, warped digital glitches and attitude from within their utility belt.

After last year’s fantastic debut album, Push / Pull (which made into our albums of the year long list), the gizmo crazy foursome are set to release four 7” AA side singles in 2014. The first of which, “I”, will feature “Arty Party” (the video for which you can watch below – stay ’til the end btw) and “Song Bot”, a track the band say is ”delightfully sinister”. Coming from the group that gave us the outstandingly menacing, ”I’ll Cut You”, that’s saying something.

As evidenced by the video, “Arty Party” is more balls to the wall fun and frolics, meant for dancing, jumping and bouncing around to like a loon. After some very grand and cinematic videos, director Fiona Garden has opted for a more back to basics style, featuring the band doing just those things we mentioned, jumping about, having a laugh, rocking some super Prince-style ruffles (Nicole) and pumping iron (Paul). It is perfectly Vuvuvultures and we love them for it.

Since we first featured them back in March 2012, their reputation has soared and more esteemed publications than ours have been lining up to sing their praises and that trend should only continue over the next 12 months. Hell, they’re even playing with Adam Ant at the Hammersmith Apollo soon, a man who Mr Alphabet Bands was named after (true story). And we thought we couldn’t love them more than we already did.

Watch the video, stay ‘til the end for some post credits japery, let yourself go and have a good old jump around the living room.

”Arty Party/Song Bot” is out on 19 April via Energy Snake Records/Cadiz Music.

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