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‘J’ is for… Jitterz

28 Jul

If you ask people what Leicester is famous for, chances are they’ll talk about the 5000/1 shot football team winning the Premier League recently. Some might mention Gary Lineker, others may go for cheeses, pork pies or watches. It’s possible that Showaddywaddy could feature but truth be told, the sound of punk and blues probably wouldn’t come up. Yet that is exactly what the Jitterz duo are bringing us, and in such a fantastically fuzzy and effervescent way that we just had to add them to our Alphabet Bands Class of 2017.

The Oreo loving pair of Beth (whose cat may be her toughest critic) and Jaime (who is quite possibly a wizard) have been Jitterz for just over a year and do a cracking line in song-titles. Their first track, “One Good Song”, came out last year, and was soon being drooled over by a couple of very reputable blogs. Today sees the pair release their debut EP, Get A Real Job, which features tracks like “Unicorns and Glitter”, “Lobotomy Eyes” and “Girl I Hate You”. The great thing is, the songs are even better than their names.

“One Good Song” is a 2 and a half minutes of frenzied guitars and drums crashing together in a gloriously scuzzy and garage rock cacophony of ambition vs the mundanity of reality. It’s hopeful, desperately honest and damn catchy.

In fact, ‘damn catchy’, pretty much encapsulates Jitterz perfectly. Each of the four tracks on the EP is highly infectious. Riffs and rhythms combine brilliantly to batter your brain into submission, able to withstand no longer it lays down and allows Get A Real Job to plant its flag and set up camp.

Their sound is refreshingly raw and authentic. Bluesy guitars stomp all over “Girl I Hate You” and “Lobotomy Eyes” making you want to stomp along with them. Comparisons with The White Stripes are inevitable but not misplaced. The same energy and excitement emanates, like sound-lines from a Scott Pilgrim riff, as guitars are shredded and drums pounded.

They claim to be ”the uncoolest band you’ll ever meet” but the definition of cool is fluid and subject to change. Their sound, however, is positively radiating with influences from rock, punk, blues and soul that gives it a timeless quality that will never not sound great.

Jitterz ‘Get A Real Job’ EP is out now and available to buy from Bandcamp.



Get to know Jitterz: Facebook / Twitter

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‘S’ is for… San Jua

26 Jul

Despite having just three demos available online and with no sign (yet) of an official release to their name, Anglo-Swedish duo San Jua are quickly establishing themselves as an exciting new name in the world of electro-pop. They are also the latest member of the Alphabet Bands Class of 2017.

Their music seems to exist in the space between conscious and subconscious thought. Gently probing and planting ideas like some kind of inception-y ninjas using neuro-linguistic programming or Jedi mind tricks. Their debut track, “Laid To Waste”, is about passing through a city at night, and that is all you can see when you listen. The bass and guitar lines pass by like cars on the street as Mags, whisper soft, sings of buildings and streets and the hidden majesty of urban life. It’s some devilish and dreamy musical onomatopoeic wizardry. Or something.

As you listen, shapes and emotions marble in your mind to form images and sensations as their wondrous electro arrangements drift and swirl.

With that (quite literally) in mind, the nominative determinism of their latest track should come as no surprise. With it’s stunningly evocative soundscape, “Swirls In The Swimming Pool” is a devastatingly dreamy and disarming piece of electro-pop.

And it swirls, and swirls, and swirls. Around and down, deeper into the water.

The piano line opening gives way to deftly pulsating synths that whirlpool around, pulling you under into San Jua’s sub-aquatic playground. Treasures await below, amongst that magical swirl of electronics and vocals that open out before you, a mesmerising undulation of sound and imagery. It’s gloriously catchy, subtly powerful, a little bit dangerous, and utterly gorgeous.

Elsewhere, “Break Your Fall” comes with a feeling of tension and drama woven into the synth-threads and quickening-heartbeat rhythms. There is an urgency that is beautifully juxtaposed with the soft, quivering vocal that evokes confusion and stress whilst remaining dreamy and heartfelt.

They are quite something, a mysterious and marvellous musical duo that seem to reside on a different plane of existence to us mere mortals.



Get to know San Jua: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘D’ is for… Ginny Dix

22 Jun

The second entrant into our Alphabet Bands class of 2017 is something of a special moment for us. Special because it involves someone who has become a big friend of the site over the last couple of years, someone we have seen evolve and improve exponentially and someone who we believe is just so incredibly talented.

Our first encounter with Ginny Dix came about when the indie-rock band she was fronting at the time, Freyr, reached the final of Norwich’s Next Big Thing competition. It was clear then that she was good and the band put on a cracking show to much acclaim. Guitar based thrashing out was not to be in her future though and her Freyr tenure would soon end.

From then on she has set out to find herself as a solo artist. Collaborations and study have followed and in the last 18months or so it feels like the real Ginny is coming through. Not only that, but each new release, each new show, everything is showing her development, her growing confidence and improvement. Her latest track, “Grow”, is a further example of how damn exciting and accomplished she is becoming.

The soft, ebbing electronics and the beautiful, heartfelt vocals entwine to create a gorgeous, mellifluous track that is both soothing and deeply emotive. There is a Shura-esque vibe to the 80s influenced synth lines and heartfelt vocals that is simply divine and as the bassline kicks in you will want to sway gently in time. It’s delicately infectious, with a melody and chorus that will run through your head for days. It’s accompanying coming of age – kids in the 80s going on an adventure – video is absolutely note perfect for the song.

Elsewhere “Woman” further showcases the heart and depth of Ginny’s songwriting as well as the emotive and delicate soulfulness of her vocal. It is so fragile yet so beautiful, it is exactly the sort of thing that filmmakers should be using to underscore any majorly emotional moment. It’s the sort of song that tears flow to. Similarly, the elegant piano arrangement of “Run Away” and Ginny’s vocal make it an eyes-closed-head-swaying listen.

Her voice is beautiful, her songwriting is heartfelt and sincere, her compositions and arrangements are gorgeous. Her development over the last couple of years has been incredible and if she keeps going there is no limit to what she could achieve. Keep your ears and eyes open, Ginny Dix could well be a name you hear a lot more of in the future. For now, we are delighted to welcome her as a member of the Alphabet Bands class of 2017.

”Grow” is out now and available to buy on iTunes.





Get to know Ginny Dix: Facebook / Twitter

‘H’ is for… HEZEN

6 Jan

hezen-1

Welcome to the first artist to feature in our newly rebooted Alphabet. While there are many superb new acts out there, just waiting to be profiled, in reality there was only ever going to be one artist we’d choose to start with. As we noted in our tracks of year countdown, the debut song from HEZEN came out of nowhere to knock our socks off. They’re still not on.

Flashes of her talent had been showcased on her previous work with Icicle and some solo tracks (that are now hard to find, though not impossible) but with “The Girl You Want”, London-based French producer and songwriter Sarah Hezen served notice that she is something special. There is danger and ominous portent dripping off the smouldering electronic melody; sultry and seductive it is an intoxicating concoction of dark magic.

There is more stillness and a softer sensuality to her follow up, “Oil Fire”, though the subject is equally dark and personal. Sarah’s voice is a shaft of light illuminating the marbled swirl of melodic despair, a beam of resilience against the inky black persecution.

Listening we find ourselves lost in this world of HEZEN, this near monochromatic underworld of lust, love and loss. There is a subtle power to her music, evocative and raw within the deft and fragile production. Her vocals twist against the undulating electronics, heady with emotion and buffeted by the quiet force of her rhythms. Snakelike they all slide and squeeze together, strong, dangerous, beautiful and mesmeric.

We’ve been lucky enough to hear some demos of future tracks and our excitement is reaching dangerous levels. “Smoke and Mirrors”, for example, is an eerie wisp of ethereal vocals, heartbeat rhythms, warped electronics, strings and a delicate horror-movie-esque piano line. It’s devilishly dark and delicious where “Try Me” opens with a Stranger Things style retro synth line before a battlefield bass drum brings the tension, a tension which mounts as the track progresses before easing against that gorgeous, icy voice.

HEZEN is due to release her debut EP later this year and it is already shaping up to be one of the must listens of the year. We couldn’t think of a better act to open the Class of 2017.



Get to know HEZEN: Facebook / Twitter

New Year, time for a new start…

1 Jan

start-again

It’s been a while hasn’t it? It’s funny how time drifts away when you stop paying attention. Having made a sort of commitment to get back on the horse and start writing regularly again after the internal reflection that was our 5th anniversary, we did very little.

Well, we wrote eight posts and then all of a sudden three months passed by, Christmas has come and gone and a New Year is suddenly upon us. We had a lot of plans for those last three months too, not just here at Alphabet Bands but beyond. In the end an unexpected but positive change in personal circumstances and a very busy day job effectively took our time and nothing came to fruition. We owe a few people some apologetic emails as a result and will be dealing with those as a priority.

While the day job remains very busy and fairly stressful, our personal life has settled down brilliantly and now seems as good a time as any to kick back into gear and get going again.

As the New Year signals a time of reflection, we decided to look again at what prompted us to consider the future back in September and think about what we wanted to do with the site.

One thing that struck us was just how much like practically every other site out there we had become. Despite starting out with something that, theoretically, would set us apart (our Alphabet) we never really focused on it and it soon became just a dusty page on the site that we never looked at. So, in the spirit of starting again, the Alphabet has been taken off the shelf, cleared out and the (now) blank pages readied for adding new bands too. As of now we will aim to make the Alphabet an annually updated list, starting with the Class of 2017. So that will mean 26 brand new acts per year, on top of all the other posts, thoughts, interviews (hopefully) that we will continue to churn out.

There will be other changes too, an intention to focus more on long-form writing and getting some in-depth interviews recorded (yes, recorded) with artists we have long admired.

That’s the idea at least and we’ve made a start. Our first new Alphabet Band will appear in the coming days and we’ve been listening to a lot of new acts over the festive period to find the best to share with you. First off, later today, we will have a quick look at some of our favourite tracks from the last 12 months.

As we love you all so much, there are a couple of last minute crackers that some of our blog favourites released at the end of 2016 embedded below for you to enjoy.

It’s good to be back.