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Swimming Girls – “Asking For It”

26 Jul

Being a music blog, we often get to hear music that most people haven’t heard of yet. It is also often presumed that we have heard all the music that people haven’t heard of yet, which is absolutely not the case. Being a part time music blog as we have been of late, it is more often the case that we may have heard of a band, but not actually heard their music. Such was the case with Bristol’s Swimming Girls over the last few months.

They were a band we were aware of because a lot of people whose opinion we trust were getting very excited by them, but we just hadn’t got the chance to listen to them yet. All that changed one spring Monday when we pootled off to see Fickle Friends and Swimming Girls were the main support. Suddenly we knew what all the fuss was about and immediately cursed our metal bodies for not acting sooner.

Their latest single, “Asking For It” is a fairly huge, festival ready piece of pop music. People much more educated in these matters will point to the indie surf rock nature of it but our weird ears are (whisper it) detecting traces of Katy Perry in there. The chorus is, to put it politely, fucking massive. You know the kind, the ones that get sung back to the band by a huge adoring crowd in a field as the sun starts to dip beyond the horizon.

The guitars simultaneously jangle and sparkle (no mean feat) as the rhythm kicks along with infectious ease. Vanessa’s vocals are warm and welcoming, which is doubly fantastic as “Asking For It” is a break up song. It was, she explains, “Written at the bitter end of a relationship, it explores the distinct lack of sympathy you feel after being hurt over and over again.” If only at least one the break ups we’ve experienced was as wonderful and as joyous as this. The whole thing is ridiculously catchy and a sure fire earworm that you won’t want to get out of your head.

We may be late to the party but what a party it is.

Get to know Swimming Girls: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

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Chløë Black – “Spaceman”

13 Jul

It’s that time again. Months after we last pricked our typing finger and fell fast asleep, Chløë Black has once more hacked her way through the foliage around Castle Alphabet Bands to plant the kiss of true musical love on our forehead and awoken us from our slumber. This time she’s in a silver lamé jumpsuit and has come armed with ray guns, tin foil and plastic flying saucers.

Black’s seductive vocals and her deliciously, subtly infectious melodies have always taken us to infinity and beyond and now we’re flying higher than ever. Co-written with Ferras, “Spaceman” is about the sometimes unrealistic expectations we place on romantic partners to be entirely extraordinary and almost infallible. It is also as good as anything she has done to date; lyrically dextrous, inventive and quick witted. It trips and swirls around the cosmos as synth stars go supernova around her. The beat pops and crackles like a firework powered rocket as a wistful piano line drifts beneath.

Her vocal undulates and cavorts delicately with the melody as she sings of this otherworldly being, this near mythical creature she craves to bring love and desire. It’s enticing, dreamy and incredibly real and relatable. Her noir-ish electropop sounds continues to enthrall and evolve, and those hooks continue to enslave even the most resistant of minds.

Musically speaking, Chløë Black is our Spaceman.

Styling and art by Brooke Candy

Get to know Chløë Black: Facebook / Twitter

Chløë Black – “Good Times”

9 Mar

If there is one thing guaranteed to get us writing again after a gap of any length of time (days, weeks, months) it’s a new Chløë Black tune. Having last grabbed us for “Waterbed” based shenanigans in October, she has now stirred us once more to engage in some “Good Times”. As ever, we’re all in.

Where “Waterbed” dripped with the seductive menace of melted wax onto a restrained torso, “Good Times” trips along with the giddy frivolity of an amphetamine fueled friday night. It’s more poppy than we’re used to from Chløë but it is no less infectious, just one listen was enough to have the hook whizzing through our skull like a pilled up pacman.

Like the mundanity of everyday life giving way to a chemically induced psychedelic world, the melancholic and wistful piano line opening soon ceedes to a tropical beat that brings vibrant colour and euphoria. It is, as ever, a gloriously inviting track about a darker side of life. “Everything hurts when I’m sober” sings Chløë as she dives headfirst into another world, escaping reality and floating high above the pain of the real world.

There is a depth to the track, a mania within the lyrics and sing-a-long chorus. This is an anti-anthem that both eulogises and takes down the use and reliance of pharmaceutical stimulation. It is, of course, as addictive as its subject matter and one we are going to be regularly dosing ourselves with for sometime.

Get to know Chløë Black:Facebook / Twitter

‘C’ is for Creepy Neighbour

9 Feb

We’ve all had one. Be they curtain twitchers, late night speedo wearers, overly familiar single men, leery weirdos who can’t stop staring or any other variation, every street has its own unwanted Creepy Neighbour. Thanks to sometime Groove Armada and Roots Manuva bassist, Max Taylor and his collective of like minded musical souls, there is now a Creepy Neighbour we’re happy to have in our life.

With just three tracks scattered across the internet so far, pickings are a little slim but all the signs are there that the Creepy Neighbour journey is going to be a lot of fun. How many other fledgling bands can you think of with celebrity friends like Phillip Schofield and Lily Allen just three songs in?

Specialising in a hybrid indie-pop-electro-prog sound and songs about fitting in and standing out, Creepy Neighbour has the potential to be your new favourite band.

The sublimely dreamy “Millionaire Spaceman” is an anthem for Xennials. A heady mixture of unattainable dreams and grounded work ethic set to a gorgeously marbled soundscapes, piercing synthy noodles and a headswirlingly mesmeric melody. Taylor’s near falsetto floats and drifts like bubbles in a lava lamp, settling perfectly against the soft tide of guitars, synths and rhythm. “Break A Leg” meanwhile is a joyful tumble across a drum kit layered with an infectious playground-game-like rhyme, all bouncy, innocent and skippy in its tone.

Latest single “A Really Bad Person’ sees the band, made up of Harry Bennett (drums) Curtis Stansfield (synths) Sam Ryan (Guitar) alongside Taylor, veer off into a softer, more downtempo direction. From its Breeders evoking guitar intro to its ethereal and gossamer melody, the whole thing is a gentle swoon of a song with a subtle, life affirming message.

”“A Really Bad Person” they explain ”is about living a life not comfortable with one’s own sexual desires and needs, it’s about owning your own freak and understanding that it’s actually completely and totally fine. Embrace your freak, enjoy it”.

A soft, ebbing freak embracing anthem with Van Gogh like synth swirls? That’s a sound and aesthetic we can get behind and one we are delighted to be including in the Alphabet Bands Class of 2018.

Creepy Neighbour are playing at the Norwich Arts Centre on 10 Feb, supporting Birds of Hell and tickets are available to buy here. You can get wonderful Creepy Neighbour music from Bandcamp.


Get to know Creepy Neighbour: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Prides – Born To Be Whole

8 Feb

As you sit at your computer of an evening, ever so slightly buzzed from a couple of midweek rums and staring blankly at a page with words that just won’t appear, you find yourself in need of something inspiring, something uplifting and something damn good. The new single from Prides very nearly slipped under our radar but thankfully, it and its big arms-flung-wide-spinning-around-euphorically sound is here to drag us out of this funk.

It feels like an absolute age since we last heard from the Glasgow pair (which is largely our own fault) and their return is extremely welcome. While the weather may still be largely sub-zero here in the UK, the nights are getting shorter and “Born To Be Whole” is like a bright shaft of sunlight breaking through the gloom.

Light and atmospheric in sound, there is a rousing anthemic quality to get lost in, to be raised up upon and to sing along unashamedly to. The synths are bright and bold as they swell into the chorus, bouncing infectiously and enthusiastically. The vocals, with that oh-so-endearing Scottish lilt, are warm and welcoming and the beat is compulsive and shoulder-dancingly good.

We’re a fair way from summer but this festival ready synth-pop is already getting us in the mood.

”Born To Be Whole” is taken from the forthcoming Prides EP, ‘A Mind Like The Tide pt.2’ which is due for release on 30 March and available for pre-order here.

Get to know Prides: Website / Facebook / Twitter