So, May pretty much turned out to be a damp squib in the end didn’t it? Ridiculously cold temperatures and rain aplenty lashing down from the skies above. Joy. But wait a second, is that a beacon of light trying to break through? A bright glimmer desperately trying to usher in summer and bring us warmth and a feeling of happiness and well being?
It is you know, but it damn well isn’t coming from the sky above. Oh no, instead it has been left to a new four-piece from Los Angeles to bring us some of their year round sunshine and chase away the darkness and the cold. “Dreaming” is Smallpools first track and while the subject matter may be confusion, panic and no small degree of horror at something that has gone entirely pear shaped, the music is devilishly upbeat and full-on technicolor brightness. It is the kind of track that requires sunglasses. Brash and in-your-face funky and poppy, it is beautiful people laughing, standing arm-in-arm with beers held high, singing and dancing in the sunshine.
Produced by Captain Cuts, “Dreaming” is a euphoric statement of intent, a dazzlingly confident and a debut single that should chase away the blues and bring joy into the lives of all who hear it. The weather may still be awful, but summer is here so slap on the factor 15 and get on down to the sound of Smallpools. It’s free, grab it below.
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Set phasers to ‘fuzzy’, Alphabet Band members The Disraeli Gears are back with another slice of deliciously hazy, prog-injected indie rock. Featuring the now trademark guitar jangles and blurred lines, “Mother, I” also comes with additional world-angst and greater urgency than we are used to from the London/Leeds/South African quartet.
Teia Fregona’s vocals float out once more but in a dark, confessional and eerie mood. The track flickers and dances like candlelit shadows on the wall but as it builds so does the tension. On “Back of my Eyes”, the band played with drama that rose and fell like the tide, here it climbs like a tower of blocks just waiting for a toddler to send it crashing to the floor below. Crash it does too; frustration, desperation, anger and the feeling of hitting rock bottom all come wailing out as the song builds to a great Jackson Pollock painting crescendo of sound and emotion.
Read More: ‘D’ is for The Disraeli Gears
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It’s been a year since Sameblod released their debut album and rocked our world (it was #5 in our albums of the year countdown) and now, after quietly slipping a couple of tracks and remixes online, they are back with a brand new release and once again, we are in love. ”I love the way you make me wait” they sing, which is exactly how we have felt while patiently awaiting their return.
Featuring trademark swirling Sameblod synths and carefree breeze like melodies, “Norwegian Summer” reprises the kind of cool summer evening sound that brought the band into our hearts in the first place. A bit more frenetic than previous offerings, it is no less infectious and enjoyable. Mikael’s vocals echoe around this deep valley of electronic wonder; synths tumble and cascade over synths while the beat clatters along underneath, sweeping forth all that exists around it.
“Norwegian Summer” is taken from the forthcoming ‘Swoon’ EP which is released on 31 May by Riot Factory records.
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It was always going to happen. We said when anointing them as ‘One to listen out for’ this year that Waylayers exquisitely craft “a sound that blends underground cool with mainstream popularity” that is sure to lead them to great things. Their last single, “Magnets” (with its superb video) hinted at what was to come and now, new track “S.O.S” is taking them on to the next level.
In the interests of full disclosure we should note that “S.O.S” was floating around online for a bit early last year (as “S.O.S (Leave Alone)”) but the band have been away, working hard, re-tooled it and now it sits atop a forthcoming EP, Fault Lines, which is due in late June/early July time.
If “Magnets” was set to fill stadia, then “S.O.S” could go even further. Its epic and suitably atmospheric synth sounds stretch out to the horizon and beyond. Sprawling and spinning like a Galaxy above, they extend out beyond the reach of mortal man. There is something otherworldly about the depth and breadth of their gorgeous electronica, it expands out like a new world just waiting to be discovered.
It’s not all soaring synths though; there are driving, club friendly rhythms, Harry’s soft, radio-friendly vocals and another big, built-for-festivals chorus. Big things surely await.
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So there we were, at home on a normal Friday evening like any other. The junior Alphabet Bands were asleep and all was quiet but for the sounds escaping the inbox and various media players on the laptop. Then, all of a sudden Chvrches popped up with a ‘check out what we did’ type message and our ears and minds were in heaven.
Their remix of MS MR‘s “Hurricane” is something else entirely, not just thumping beats and wompah- wompah bass added to the original. Oh no, not even slightly. So taken aback were we that we had to spend the whole weekend listening to it to be sure it was truly as good as we thought. It was, so we listened to it again all Monday as well.
Like the reveal of garish technicolor in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy goes on her glitter injected, rainbow covered killing spree, the remix is a move from the darkness and into an altogether more bright and bouncy fantastical world. While the lyrics and content remain the same (if ever so slightly speeded up) the tone has shifted. Where once there was glitchy noir-pop there is now a full on 80′s disco banger. It’s sugar-rush introspection and we bloody love it.