Welcome to the weekend everyone and what better way to kick it off than with a virtual cratedig as we rummage in the inbox for some musical gold from the past seven days. As per, these are some of the tracks we really liked this week but just didn’t have the time to post properly.
Now, we know that the verbiage per track is usually quite short in this feature but it could well be even shorter this week as we have been struck down with lurgy and cannot brain. We may be scrimping on the words but we are not cutting back on songs so get settled and prepare to enjoy. We’ve got big tracks, little tracks and stuff that rocks. Though to be fair it is quite a mellow selection this week.
Ok enough waffle, we’re fading fast, let’s move to the songs while we can still make English come out of our think hole.
Violet Skies – “Liar”
We start with something rather dreamy from Welsh songstress Violet Skies. Her vocals are just divine but as well as sounding pure and soothing there is power and strength within them. By that we mean strength of character, conviction and belief that beautifully juxtaposes with the fragility and delicacy of the electronics and melody below.
”Liar” is out now and available to buy here.
Valise – “Dialogue”
We featured Valise quite a while ago and are pleased to hear that with “Dialogue” they remain as utterly gorgeous as they did back then. It’s tingly, sparkly pop loveliness, all cascading keys, quick-footed rhythms and smooth vocals.
”Dialogue” (which can be downloaded for free from the player below) is taken from Valise’s upcoming debut album, ‘Young Bloomer’, which is due for release on 24 February.
gorgeous bully – “dumb ideals”
Manchester quartet gorgeous bully have been in touch a bit recently with a wide range of new tracks to share. We have been remiss in not posting anything before but hope to make it up the latest lo-fi pearl they have offered up. There’s a lovely American haze to ‘dumb ideals’, a kind of Caveman-esque charm that we just love to let wash over us. Brilliantly it is not only marvellous, it is also available as a free download from the player below.
Wren – “Kindred”
“Kindred” is just one of a few great tunes we could’ve chosen from Wren this week as her new EP, Raw, has just come out. We went for this though as we love the gentle build, the dramatic and slightly dangerous edge to it as it draws to a close, the sumptuous string section and the airy and atmospheric vocals.
”Kindred” features on Wren’s new EP, ‘Raw’, which is out now.
Wulf – “Lairs”
This London based indie trio caused a fair bit of a stir with their debut track “Fire” and are likely to the same with “Lairs”. There are clearly a lot of influences in their music but for the sake of pigeonholing (because lord knows that doesn’t happen enough in music writing) we’d say they fall somewhere between Osca and Port Isla. They have great tunes and great arrangements which are lead by the piano (a bit like Osca) but they are a bit more uptempo, a bit more guitar heavy and stompy-sing-along-a (a bit like Port Isla). All of this is a good thing and bodes well for their upcoming EP.
Mike Evin – “Have I Ever Loved?”
We weren’t sure what to expect when we saw the promo picture of Mike Evin surrounded by a shuffle of elderly people but we were treated to a video and song that are just completely charming. The warmth and tenderness of Evin’s vocals is mirrored in the visuals, the keys and whole tone of the song.
Anais Aida – “Recover”
Starting as it does with a gentle piano accompanying her vocals, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Anais Aida’s latest, “Recover”, is nothing more than a simple and lovely piano ballad. Then the rhythm kicks in and what we have instead is a soulful mix of R&B, understated electronic production, strings and emotion. The jump is not stark and the gradual layering of sound and crash of percussion creates a sense of the dramatic to accompany the increased force of the vocals.
Tor Miller – “Midnight”
At just 20 years old, New Yorker Tor Miller is already showing a flair for beguiling and emotive songwriting. His latest, the second to come from his forthcoming EP, has a beautiful old-fashioned style to it with storytelling lyrics, and a perfectly judged rise, fall and rise again. We’d say he was an early contender for the BBC Sound of 2016 but we fully expect him to be ineligible due to success had by the time the votes are taken.
Forced Random – “Under Asleep”
Something even more subdued now from London based Forced Random whose latest track, “Under Asleep”, is a trickle of keys, guitar and liquid vocals. It’s a lo-fi whisper, with its tip-toe melody and hushed production that is gentle as it is lovely. Unsurprisingly with such a mellow tune, Forced Random will be playing the Shhh festival on 31 January alongside blog faves, Wooden Arms.
”Under Asleep” is taken from the new Forced Random EP, ‘I’m Still Here If You Want Me’, which you can buy here.
Charli XCX – “Doing It” (feat. Rita Ora)
After all that softly softly above, we thought we’d leave you with something a bit more energetic and upbeat to get your day going. We’ve somehow managed to miss the whirlwind that is Charli XCX in the last year or so, which is quite impressive considering how much Breaking More Waves love her. Charli’s latest high octance and crazily catchy pop blast has us not only excited for her new album, but also hoping she is one of the acts to play the forthcoming RADIO1 BIG WEEKEND IN NORWICH (you have to put it all in capitals apparently, it’s the law).
The lucky Americans have the Charli XCX album ‘Sucker’ already but we Brits will have to wait until 16 Feb to get it. Luckily we can pre-order it here.
Apologies for the varying degrees of ramble and gibberish but we hope you enjoyed that whistle-stop tour through the Alphabet Bands inbox none the less. Come back next week for more regular posting and, all being well, another What’s In The Box? next Saturday as well.