It’s Saturday so it’s time for another rummage in the inbox for some musical gold from the past seven days. Yes, we’re as surprised as anyone that we’re back for the second week in a row, especially as the day job is busier than ever and the blog emails have ramped right up again, but we did say we’d try to keep this going so here we are.
For those of you unfamiliar with the premise of What’s In The Box? we, like every other blog, are inundated with emails from bands and PR companies on a daily basis. A lot of this music is really good but sadly, we have a day job and other responsibilities and cannot cover everything, no matter how much we would like to.
So, on a weekly basis (or as close to it as we can get) we will showcase a bunch of tracks and/or videos that we have enjoyed in the past seven days. Most of it, but not all, will have come directly from the inbox and while we won’t be as verbose in our descriptions of each one, we figured some words were better than none. At least this way you get to hear them too right? And that’s the main thing.
Makes sense? Let’s do it, and make sure you read to the end, there’s a plenty of absolutely brilliant tracks in there.
BYRN – “Electrify”
A gentle start this week with a gentle, restrained piece of r&b infused electro-pop from BYRN. Working with Danny McBride this New Yorker with honey-dipped vocals has treated us to a soft, subtle gem in the form of her debut track, “Electrify”. The beat is quite sparse and cold but her voice and the melody are rich with soulful flavours and intoxicating aural aromas. Lovely stuff.
Kim Mayo – “aquecuts”
Kim Mayo has already appeared on the site once this week as it was she who provided the guest vocals on the fabulous new Lennox. track we featured. She’s worth coming back to though as her solo releases showcase a slightly different side to her music and vocals. Take “aquecuts” for example, it’s an old track of hers but has a brand new video (below – warning there is some strobe lighting). Here her voice has much more of an old school, 50’s style jazz feel to it and the track itself has a modern orchestral-jazz sensibility. The more we listen, the more we love it and feel like we could listen to her sing for hours.
Antimatter People – “No Need To Be So Small”
After two relatively relaxed tunes, it’s time for something a bit more groovy which is where London based five-piece Antimater People come in. Having spent some time in France recently, the group have returned with a psychedelic funk-rock effort that is as chic as it is hypnotic. Kaledoscopic samples and synth lines melt and twist like an aural hallucination on the finest sonic mushrooms to be found. It’s rather fantastically colourful and bouncy; all that French cheese must’ve been pretty powerful stuff.
All This Noise – “Seven Billion Like You”
With influences spanning the decades, London duo All This Noise unveiled their latest track last year with some success and radio support from Tom Robinson. With its 80’s electronic elements, 90’s indie rock guitar and vocals, “Seven Billion Like You” is an intriguing blend of genres and ideas. It is, perhaps, a little too earnest at times but there is a lot here to like; big synth lines, a fun guitar solo and an deceptively infectious little electronic element woven into the beat. You won’t notice until later, but it will get under your skin and in your head and you’ll want to come back and listen some more.
TRIPX – “Flaws”
With their recently released debut track, “Flaws”, newcomers TRIPX are slotting very nicely into the evocative electro-pop area that we love so much. Here the trio have created a sparse, almost 70’s sci-fi feeling track (all clean white space with the odd flickering light here and there) that threatens to combust into a sprawling nebula of atmospheric synths but instead holds steady and mildly intoxicates. “Flaws” is taken from a forthcoming EP so keep your eyes and ears out for that one, we will be.
Tom Flash – “Lose Control”
We’ve had a lot of soft electronics so far this week so it’s about time something a bit heavier got featured. New Hampshire quartet Kenny Gray, Ryan Tidwell, John Spinney and Matt Gennetti, have experimented with electronica in the past as well as rock and in “Loose Control” they have created a sound that is a bit disco-Foo Fighters with some big hair metal axe shredding thrown in. Trust us. It rocks, boogies, moshes and cuts shapes. Horns up and flares on.
RÉN – “Sunflowers In The Sky”
Tipped as one to watch this year on the basis of just one (fantastic) song, “Time”, RÉN has wasted no time (pun a happy accident) in living up to the billing with her brand new track. Featuring Luca Buccellati of Yellerkin (who were responsible for one of our own favourite tunes of 2015 – “Tools”) on production duties, “Sunflowers In The Sky” is a lush, dreamy haze of eletropop enchantments that floats mesmerically along.
The Youngest – “Thick as Thieves”
How’s this for an email subject line? ”In 9 months we quit our jobs, relocated to a ranch in central Tx, recorded an album and completed a 30+ stop tour”. Pretty good right? Well that was the mail we got from The Youngest, a new band from La Grange Texas who believed in themselves and just went for it. Six months of living, writing and recording together later, they had an album Feral Road to show for it, from which “Thick as Thieves” is taken. We chose this track to feature as it seems to encapsulate all that they are about, it’s a bit folky, a bit country, a bit rocky and all good. Also, we expect that after such a long and intense period together they must all be as “Thick as Thieves” so, you know, it felt appropriate. The lead vocals have a cracked, world weary feel to them which is offset with mellifluous female harmonies before both give way to a little crash, splash and grind of guitar and drums. It may have many traditional influences, but it still comes off as a quality example of modern Americana. Hats off to them for having the courage to follow their dream and just go for it, the result was well worth it.
Tritonal vs. Mr FijiWiji – “Seraphic”
This one didn’t come from the inbox, nor is it especially new (it’s four months old) and it has already had over 100,000 plays. Yet, as we trawled through the various ambient works on Soundcloud the other night (where we found the gorgeous Isovert, ΛYLΛ & Sorcha Richardson collaboration – go check it out) we came across this massive tune from Tritonal featuring Mr FijiWiji. It’s smoky, it’s atmospheric, it’s club friendly, it holds steady when you expect it to drop and it drops when you expect it to hold steady. It even has frikkin’ Vader breathing on it for goodness sake. Take a listen and enjoy. We did, again and again and again.
We hope you enjoyed that whistle-stop tour through the Alphabet Bands inbox and beyond. Come back next week for more regular posting and, all being well, another What’s In The Box? next Saturday as well.