Tag Archives: free download

Stalgia – “Rust”

7 Feb


Ordinarily at this time each week we’d be bringing you our weekly What’s In The Box? feature but last night we heard something that we didn’t want to get lost in a round up post, nor did we want to wait until next week to share with you all.

When running back through our emails and checking the ones we’d flagged to follow up on we came across Stalgia. There were no details in the mail beyond the band name and the track title and that was it. There were, to be fair, a couple of first names associated with the email account but nothing to go on really, and as their cover art (black image) suggests, anonymity is something they value. Still, as you will probably recall, we have recently decided to embrace the mystery of bands like this (such is its preponderance these days) and just roll with it all. Besides, band members’ names and identities have never had the same effect on us as the music does so why should we care?

What we do have and what we love, is this debut track, “Rust”. Its muted, intertwining boy girl vocals, foggy electronics and lyrics about a ghost who lives in the dust, give it an other worldly feeling. It’s like a mist enveloped cemetery, moonlit, mysterious and magical. Spectral synths float wraithlike above the solidity of crisp digital beats as those entwining voices whisper and dance their supernatural dance amidst it all. It is calm and unnervingly beautiful, enchanting yet gives you chills.

It’s the first of what we hope will be many more tracks from this shadowy and marvellous new act and it’s also free from the player below.

Jack Robert Hardman – “Nuclear Family” (free download)

8 Jan

Jack Robert Hardman - Nuclear Family

It’s been a little while since we last heard from our ’H’ artist, Jack Robert Hardman, though he did have a busy and productive 2014. He released a very good EP (which made it into our Albums & EPs of the year, played some shows for and had great support from BBC Introducing and Tom Robinson included “I Don’t Need An Answer” on his best of 2014 6Music show, amongst other successes. With all that behind him he has decided to kick off what promises to be an even busier and more successful 2015 with a belated Christmas gift to us all, a free download of “Nuclear Family”

As is often the way with Jack, the vocals are soft, melodious and emotive, the arrangement elegant and clever and the lyrics intelligent and witty. There is downtrodden feel to it, which we’re sure many people can empathise with in this first week back at work, a feeling of resignation, acceptance but also genuine warmth and love. It is, as we’d expect from a songwriter as talented as Jack, lovely.

You can download ”Nuclear Family” for free from the player below. It also features on Jack Robert Hardman’s ‘The Great Unknown’ EP, which is out now and available here.

Stalk Jack Robert Hardman: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Free Download: Rae Morris – “Skin”

13 Jan

Rae Morris

Rae Morris could be a name you are already familiar with, she has already released a reasonable amount of solo material and toured with some fairly large and well known acts. Despite this, hers was not a name we were familiar with until she suddenly seemed to be the subject of many an online and twitter conversation. The reason was her involvement with the returning Bombay Bicycle Club, specifically providing vocals for their latest track, “Luna”. With her name now known, we were intrigued when a new solo track popped up on our Soundcloud profile, and even more interested when we sat back and pressed play on “Skin”.

The simple piano intro immediately sparked a childhood memory but while it wasn’t a fantastical chocolate factory that Morris was taking us to, the journey was still one steeped in wonder and powerful emotion. Taken from her forthcoming solo album, “Skin” sounds like the exploration of a deserted city at night, a familiar place made magical as the lights shine down on us and the shadows spark the imagination into a world of mystery, passion and heartbreak.

Her Marina-esque vocal through the chorus offers familiarity but there is more magic to be found as she takes us by the hand through the quiet streets to a world of swirling string arrangements and crystal piano lines, all while the clock tick-tock’s the daybreak ever nearer. As the night draws to a close Rae slips off into the distance, like a folk-pop Cinderella, and just like that our far too short time in the world of “Skin” is ended.

Thank goodness for the repeat button.

Stalk Rae Morris: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Listen: Strangers (Feat. Lou Bird) – “Divine”

1 Dec

Strangers Divine

All good things, as they say, must come to an end and so it is with the series of free downloads that Strangers have offered on the first of each of the last five months. Now, on the first of month six they offer the final freebie, “Divine”.

Featuring the additional vocal talents of Lou Bird, “Divine” could well be the best of the lot. It starts gently with atmospheric, harmonic vocals before it crackles and pops with electro fizzes and beats. It’s an aerial acrobat of a track, looping, diving and spinning against a glittered backdrop of synths and drums. It dares to pause momentarily and hang on by a single word as breath is caught, then swinging up to grab the trapeze hook of the song with both hands, swinging through the air under its own energy before back-flipping to a stop, hand raised aloft in triumph.

It is the last of freebies but that doesn’t mean the guys are taking a breather, far from it. On 10 December they will release the Close EP which collates all six free downloads as well as some exclusive remixes and alternate versions. Remixes such as the gorgeously soothing version of “Something New” that our own ‘H’ artist Jack Robert Hardman has put together, which brings the previously hidden backing vocal from Crystal Fighters’ Ellie Fletcher to the fore (you can hear that below as well, think of it as a little bonus from us). Then, in the New Year sometime there will be a brand new EP of brand new songs as well. No rest for the wicked and Strangers are most certainly ‘wicked’.

“Divine” is available as a free download from strangersmusic.co.uk

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Free Download: Sivu & Marika Hackman – “I Hold”

30 Nov

Sivu - Marika

We’ve posted about Sivu once or twice this year (and will no doubt be posting about him a couple more times before December is done as well), so our admiration and enjoyment of his music should come as no surprise to regular readers. What is probably less known is how much we love the music of Marika Hackman. We have, for no good reason at all, never got round to blogging about her before but ever since we heard her That Iron Taste EP (which, incidentally, spent a lot of time being played in our car stereo over the summer) we’ve been completely enamoured.

Since the pair announced they would be embarking on a join mini-tour of the UK in December we’ve been trying to work out the logistics of a jaunt to Cambridge in the middle of a full on work party/kids nativity/Norwich gigfest week (we’re gonna try and make it). The idea of them both playing the same evening was pretty enticing but then they went and announced a shared tape release, with each writing a song for the other to feature on, which they will give away free at each gig and should lead to live duets each night (we hope).

The first of the two AA tracks to find its way online (and as a free download – which you can get from the player below) is the Sivu penned “I Hold”.

It’s been described as a bit of a departure in style for both artists but to our untrained ear it sounds like a perfect meeting in the middle of their two styles. It’s delicate and mechanical; the carefully methodical guitar plucks rise before the vocal like winding up a steadfast clockwork tin solider. Whirring gently as he tries to woo the beautifully unattainable ballerina; Hackman’s softly melancholic vocal twirls gently, dancing together with Sivu’s, but just out of reach. Then the clockwork slows and winds down, ceasing as the track slowly dies, waiting, hoping to be wound once more so they can dance together again.

It’s a delightful collaboration and one that makes us even more excited for their tour (dates below) and the forthcoming, Marika Hackman written, “Skin”.

Sivu and Marika Hackman on tour:

10 December – Brighton, The Hope
11 December – London, The Lexington
12 December – Cambridge, Portland Arms
13 December – Manchester, Gullivers
14 December – Bristol, The Birdcage

Stalk Sivu: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Stalk Marika Hackman: Website / Facebook / Twitter