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Saltwater Sun – “Habit On My Mind”

21 Apr

Saltwater Sun

One of the many things we enjoy about the arrival of an exciting new band, especially one with guitars, is the inevitable rush to compare them to that which has gone before. It is standard fare for bloggers and critics to identify ‘bands that this band sounds a bit like’ and / or ‘bands who share the same influences as this band’. It’s pretty easy to do and gives listeners a reference point or three to help them decide if a new band is going to be their cup of tea or not (it’s also a pretty good way of filling paragraphs).

Take new London five-piece Saltwater Sun for example. They’ve already been likened to Best Coast, Alvvays, Honeyblood, Wye Oak, The Strokes and Karen O, which is not bad considering they only burst onto the scene yesterday. Never ones to shy away from overused journalistic tropes and clichés we thought we’d add another act into the comparison mix.

They sound a bit like a sun-drenched Vuvuvultures. Less in love with the digital granted, but there is a similarity in the rich layers of sound, the feeling of otherworldliness and its punchiness and vibrancy. Given how we felt about the VVV clan, you know this can only be a good thing, and it is.

The guitar on “Habit On My Mind” is heat haze woozy as the bassline rumbles into view on the horizon. It’s a beaten up and fashionably distressed pick-up truck of indie pop laden with beer, BBQ and band in the back. It’s good times and a great debut. More please (and not just so we can think of other bands to compare them to, honest).

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Young Hunting – “Rust”

9 Jan

Young Hunting

In a little bit of a break from the norm, we’re not posting a new track now. No instead we are posting a song that’s a couple of years old and that actually featured on one of our favourite albums of 2013.

Why, you may ask, as a ‘new music blog’ are we posting it then? Well, it’s in part a bit of a celebration and in part because we’ll take any excuse to post music by the stupendously talented Young Hunting.

The celebration comes from a synch they have achieved (which is weird when you think about the stigma that used to come with having your music on commercials and in film/tv – but that’s another blog post) as their song “Rust” features in the new remake of The Gambler. The band are understandably quite excited, excitement that has no doubt been exacerbated with the knowledge that it appears in a scene where Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman are swearing at each other in a bar, so we thought we’d join in and celebrate with them.

And, as we mentioned, the song is gorgeous and we don’t need much of an invitation to post it. The fact that they have just re-posted it online just gives us an added excuse.

Taken from the sublime Hazel, “Rust” is actually oxymoronic in that rather than flake, decay and ebb away, the track builds and builds. Layer is added to layer as the sounds grow and flourish, getting stronger and richer as it does.

Like much of their work though, the beauty and elegance of the instrumentalism is laced with darkness, as shown by the lyrics…

“Baby don’t be so hard on yourself / It’s not your fault we’re all going to hell / But it’s a long long ride / We’ve got some time / So give me something to remember you by / Because one of these days / You won’t wake up / And I’ll be lying in the grave I’ve dug”.

It’s a bit like if someone has made you the best meal you’ve ever had. Your tastebuds are going wild with delight at the flavours and textures, but unbeknownst to you they’ve laced it with Iocane powder, giving all your delight a sinister and tragic denouement.

Still, it’s a bloody gorgeous track and if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to listen to Hazel again while we prepare dinner.

’Hazel’ is out now on Gold Robot Records and you can buy your copy here.

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Ocean Calling – “White Light”

30 Jul

Ocean Calling

Back in March, Sophie Wilkie reeled us in with nothing more than a quirky and gorgeous pronunciation of the word ‘snow’. That and the superbly evocative song “Desert Sky Scarlet” that contained it.

Having taken us off on a grand adventure around the world, Sophie is back as Ocean Calling and the travel bug has clearly bitten her again, “The open road is calling /out our name / let’s leave tonight” she sings. With a gleam in her eye she smiles and reaches out to us and we can’t help but raise our hand to hers to be whisked off once more.

“White Light” has a gorgeously mid-nineties pop feel to it, dream pop before we knew what dream pop was, like a modern dubstar but with more grandeur and beauty laden within. Her lyrical imagery is exquisite, capturing the breathtaking magnificence of nature. The world around us is majestic and Ocean Calling wants us to experience it, share it and love it. If nothing else, she is making us want to travel and you can be sure that as we ride the train, boat, truck, elephant to wherever and everywhere that it will be her music providing the soundtrack.


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Lauren Aquilina – “Forest Fires”

3 Apr

Lauren Aquilina

When receiving an email that just says ‘I’m starting Forest Fires’, we imagine most people will call the authorities and try to avert a disaster. We’re not wired that way (we’re not 100% sure if that’s a good thing or not actually) and instead we thought, ‘oooh, sounds interesting, what does this link do?’. Thankfully this was not a cry for help, or a random warning of a forthcoming act of arson, no, it was an email from an 18 year old singer songwriter from Windsor and the link was to a heavenly and heavily emotive piano ballad that hit us like a sledgehammer to the soul.

Lauren Aquilina is quite the prodigious talent, having already headlined the BBC Introducing stage at last year’s Reading festival, she has just released her third EP, Liars – which followed Fools and Sinners previously. She also has quite the voice, as she showed all the way back in 2011 with her rich and delicate cover of Oleta Adams’ ”Get Here”. Now, with “Forest Fires”, she’s released a track that will bring a tear to your eye.

Simple, elegant and so very poignant, “Forest Fires” is a tale for the silent masses that suffer day in, day out, fighting a battle with our own psyche that we can never win. For each of us who think so little of ourselves that we are convinced the world thinks even less, yet paradoxically can only ever believe that the pain or anguish of a loved one is our fault. It is for those of us who have no sense of self belief or self worth, so we just sit and watch as our world crumbles around us.

Normally at this point we would be espousing imagery and visual metaphors for the song we were writing about. We could do that here, we could say something about it being like a vast empty room, bathed in darkness and that Lauren’s voice soars and cracks in equal measure, heavy with emotion and torment like a single beam of light, broken by dust and splinters of wood in the roof, shining down on a lonely figure.

We could do this, and really we just did, but actually for once, we just want you to listen to the song. Honestly, it might not do anything for you, it might not be your thing at all and that is fine. But it hit a nerve here and as Lauren sings the faint, brittle coda of ”who would ever want to be around me?”, we could feel our heart breaking.

”Forest Fires” features on Lauren’s latest EP, ‘Liars’, which is out now and available to buy from iTunes. Lauren is also on tour in May and across the summer, all dates can be found here.


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Blogathon: Casitas – “Gold”

1 Feb

Casitas

Goodness, it almost feels like we are running out of time all of a sudden with only 2 hours left. 2 hours! Can you believe it, we’ve been blogging for 22 hours straight and while our body and eyes ache and our brain has turned to mush, we still feel pretty good. We’d feel better with a few more donations so we’re sure you’ll be able to help with that.

As the sun comes up it’s time to throw back the curtains and let in the light. That’s exactly what we are doing right now with help from was-Devon-now-London five piece, Casitas and their fairground of bright colours, rides that make you scream and sugar filled candy floss to make you want to run around and do it all again.

Their latest track, “Gold”, is bursting with upbeat effervescence, passion and energy. It’s the little blue pill of indie-pop as it just keeps going and going, getting bigger and faster all the time before reaching a satisfactory conclusion for everyone. Hmmm, that’s probably a bit too much for 8am but we haven’t slept for over 24 hours, we think we can be excused.

Take a listen, have a boogie, get your credit card out and make a donation to Cancer Research via the button below. You’ll feel even better about yourself than if you’d actually taken a little blue pill.


This post was written as part of a 24 Hour Sponsored Blogathon for Cancer Research. If you liked this post or just want to help support an important charity, please sponsor us. Just £1 can help make a difference. You can sponsor us here or by clicking the big button below. Thank you for your support.



JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

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