Svelte – “Time (Put It All Together)”

1 Oct


Continuing their trip down down One Track a Month Boulevard towards Album Release Town, Svelte have released their fourth track and it is the best one yet. When we last featured this electronic pairing from Bristol, we described their smokey electronics as being a ”gentle caress of 3am beats” and while there is still a distinct late night, chilled feeling to “Time (Put It All Together)”, it’s very different and very, very good.

The melody swirls softly over sharp digitised rhythms while the vocals drifts in and out of shadows, rising like a bird, buffeted on a trance like breeze. It’s bathed in some aural haze of fantasy and surrealism as the simultaneously smooth and jagged edges melt into one like time dripping off a Dali clock. There’s a subtle mechanical whirring to it, a wobble of industry amongst the organic fragility of the keys and aforementioned effortless and smooth vocal. There’s a reasonable amount going on as layers of sound weave and swirl as one.

Stalk Svelte: Facebook / Twitter

Transviolet – “New Bohemia

22 Sep


Taken from Transviolet’s eponymous debut EP, “New Bohemia” is the third track from this remarkable young pop act (following on from the stunning “Girls Your Age” and “Bloodstream”) and is perhaps the best of the lot.

Anthemic. We’ve thought about and if we had to use just one word to describe it we’d use anthemic. Except we’d also want to use rousing, stirring, invigorating and other such synonyms. One word is not enough, it’s too darn big. Thankfully we don’t have to choose just one word.

It’s a bit Lorde like in the verse but the chorus stirs something else.  Something primitively patriotic. It could easily be used as the backdrop of some sporting montage. Something like when Tinie Tempah’s “Written In The Stars” was used to sell the (relative) importance and grand theatrics of Wrestlemania a few years ago. It’s got that edge to it, that sensibility and power that soundtracks and conveys the magnitude of something, hell if you wanted to remake Les Miserables with modern pop songs, this is your rousing battle cry right here.

As we’ve already used all options from our thesaurus we now turn to the band to offer some context; they explain “New Bohemia is a mindset. It’s the belief that each individual has the power to change the world”, which is spot on. It conveys power, emotion, defiance and attitude. Like we said, It’s anthemic and just a superb pop song.

”New Bohemia” is taken from the ‘Transviolet EP’ which is out now on Epic Records and available from iTunes.

Stalk Transviolet: Facebook / Twitter

Rope Store – “All Of You”

15 Sep

Rope Store

We live in a world where technology is developing at a remarkable rate. Advances come and go in the blink of an eye as the world turns ever faster in a digital spin. We live in a time now where people are making whole albums on their phones, where you can programme a kettle to boil when your alarm goes off in the morning (and keep the water warm if you hit the snooze button) and where even a pencil is digital. It might sound odd then to hear that there are some living amongst us who are shunning these technological marvels and are making their music very much the old fashioned way.

We don’t know exactly why Norwich based duo Rope Store have chosen to use only analogue equipment to make and record with. Perhaps they were traumatised by The Terminator as children and fear the machines will soon rise up against us? Perhaps it’s that using old style equipment fits the retro sixties aesthetic they have lovingly crafted for their sound? Perhaps they just like recording in an abandoned nuclear bunker?

All good and plausible reasons we’re sure you’ll agree (especially the first one, though it’s probably worth noting that one of the pair does run said nuclear bunker recording studio) and while we can’t be sure which is the real reason, it has helped give them a fantastically old school sound.

“All Of You” swings throughout the 60s, most noticeably towards The Mamas & The Papas with a similar retro vibe that Slow Club had on Complete Surrender. The drums cascade with a gently insistent urgency and the harmonies call out with a warm autumnal hue. It’s rather lovely stuff and the analogue recording gives them a kind of distant fragility to the sound, very much like listening to an old vinyl record with its warm crackle and energy.

There are more tracks to settle down with and download for free (if you are so inclined) over at the Rope Store Bandcamp page. Once there you will find “That’s Not Good Enough” (streaming below) a track the band themselves say is like ‘Hendrix playing the Grange Hill theme’ and it is, with a bit of Sesame Street thrown in for good measure. What’s not to love?

Stalk Rope Store: Facebook / Twitter

Lionface – “Vampire”

7 Sep


After the luxuriant calm of last week, when we shared gorgeous new tunes from Lyla Foy and Oh Wonder, we thought it best to ramp things up this grey and dreary Monday. So, shake those fists energetically and set adrenalin levels to ‘pumped’ as we start the week with a bang courtesy of Bristol based Lionface.

Long-time readers may be familiar with the band as we have featured them a couple of times in the past, always being very excited by their energy, attitude and general rawwwwr-ness. They’ve been through a few changes and evolutions since we first featured them back in February 2013. So much so that we now refer to Lionface as a ‘them’ whereas back then it was as a ’she’. Originally a solo project for Kat Marsh, Lionface is now a four-piece, augmenting Kat’s vibrant energy and aggression with a more rounded, richer but no less explosive sound.

Beginning with footsteps of sinister reverb, new track “Vampire” soon ignites into a frenetic cacophony of intense electronics, dangerous angular guitars and tumultuous percussion. Given its title it aptly feels like an excited and terrified escape down tight, dark corridors, from an unseen but lethal assailant giving chase and intent on exacting gleeful terrors upon the protagonist. Buffy this ain’t.

The unyielding cascade of energy, rhythm and vocals is infectious, exuberant and leaves us, like its titular predator, ravenous for more. Good job there’s an EP coming out at the end of the month.

“Vampire” is taken from the forthcoming ‘Battle’ EP which is due for release on 25 September. You can catch Lionface live on Fri 25 September at The Louisiana, Bristol (get tickets) and on Sat 26 September at the Sebright Arms, London (get tickets).

Stalk Lionface: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Oh Wonder – “Heart Hope”

3 Sep

Oh Wonder

Where oh where has the year gone? It what seems like the blink of an eye, 12 months have passed and the once mysterious Oh Wonder have become one of the most talked about, blogged about and exciting bands around. 12 months, 13 tracks and (tomorrow) one album, their rise has been remarkable and with sold out shows in the weeks to come it should continue. They’ve already recorded a live session for Radio1 and no doubt there is much more to come.

So what of the last of their monthly releases, “Heart Hope”? It is, as you would expect, delightful, emotive and enchanting. While the vocals, melody and well, everything, is as wonderful as you would expect, while it can just wash over you like a pleasant warm summer rain, there is (as ever) a subtle, probing undercurrent.

There is a threat of hurt embedded deep within the opening piano, something more than heartbreak in the vocals. It’s an ache of the soul, a wistful, forlorn despair or wish for something else, a simpler time maybe. It’s the silent torment of watching a child’s letter to Father Christmas go unread on the mantel, the threat of a Christmas wish going ungranted, there’s an ache for hope to find its way through the crust of hurt.

Thankfully Oh Wonder have granted many a wish over the last 12 months with their music and, with two songs (“Without You” and “Plans”) yet to be unveiled (and you thought you had heard them all!) on the album, there will be more wishes granted, we’re sure.

Oh Wonder’s eponymous debut album is out on 4 Sept and can be ordered on iTunes or you can get signed CD and vinyl versions direct from the band.

Stalk Oh Wonder: Website / Facebook / Twitter


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,595 other followers