Tag Archives: New Music

Tracks Of My Teens: Melis

23 Sep

Welcome once again to our occasional feature where we delve and rummage in the psyche of some of our favourite musical people. This week we have a very special treat as the divine Melis celebrates the release of her latest, oh-so magical, tune “Sober (Over You)” by sharing three tracks of her teens. More about “Sober (Over You)” follows but first, enjoy Melis’ selection of important and favourite songs from her younger days.


The Libertines – “Music When The Lights Go Out”

I was 12 years old when this song came out. It was the first thing I learned to play on my guitar which makes it special to me and to this day I adore it. The songwriting is amazing. I was always mesmerized by the UK indie music scene, back in that time it was all about the british ‘boys in the bands’ and I loved it. Pete Doherty was the worlds’ best poet/writer, and generally, it’s around that time I first started to realize that I wanted to write music, too. It’s also where my obsession with moving to England came from. I followed that dream straight after finishing high school.



Stornoway – ”Coldharbour Road”

I was 16, it was Easter 2012 and my BFF Cassie showed me this song. I remember having it on repeat, walking around the city (Prague) and balling my eyes out like a real teenager. This song touched me in a way a very few in my life had. I still feel something when I listen to it, despite having heard it so many times. The whole Beachcomber’s Windowsill album is amazing, actually. It’s on my all time faves list. I felt very connected with the emotions they captured through the heart-warming instrumentation and vocals. I was really sad when the band announced their split last year.



Cold War Kids – “We Used To Vacation”

I have a wonderful memory hearing this song for the first time. I was in Lübeck, Germany with some lovely people I met in a music competition I had participated in. We all came from different countries but the love for music connected us. After a long day, a couple of us went out to a very cool indie pub (I think it was called Sternschnuppe. I wonder if it’s still there..?) We were all underage but they served us beer anyway. As we were drinking and talking, the room was illuminated by fairy lights. They were playing one amazing song after another. Until then, I had never experienced such a great atmosphere. As far as I knew, there wasn’t a place like this in Prague. I felt like I fit in there, which was really nice. As this song came on, one of the guys told me it was Cold War Kids. It’s a simple but powerful memory, thinking back of how uninhibitedly naive and young we were…



A huge thank you to Melis for taking part and taking us on such a fun and personal trip down her memory lane. Thanks as well for continuing to make and share such gorgeous music as “Sober (Over You)”. Her voice is utterly heavenly. A pure crystalline gem of rare beauty, as she sings these heartfelt lyrics, it thaws the crisp and icy electronics to reveal an added, hidden layer and depth. From moments of minimalist, jewelry box melodies building to rich and full synths and sharp digital production, the whole thing is yet another example of why so many people are (rightly) getting so excited about Melis’ solo career.

”Sober (Over You)” is taken from Melis’ debut EP, ‘Parallels’, which is available for pre-order now.

Get to know Melis: Facebook / Twitter

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Crystal Bats – “Killing Me” (feat. Whinnie Williams)

28 Jul

From the opening snap of the Prince-like drumbeat (think “If I Was Ur Girlfriend”, just slowed down) you know that Crystal Bats are about to take you somewhere magical. As the bassline grooves slinkily into play, you’re already lost in a heady soft-focus world of glorious retro pop-funk sounds.

We had to wait three years for their last track, ”Anyone”, but thankfully it has only been four short months for the follow up. Enlisting the vocal and co-writing talents of Whinnie Williams on “Killing Me” only serves to add another layer of luxuriousness to their already sumptuous offerings.

It’s awash with trademark Bats nuances and flourishes, the guitar lines, the tumbling of the melody, all melt in the mouth delicious as always. There’s even some pan pipes in there towards the end. Whinnie’s vocal is dreamy and forlorn with a hint of Crazy Sexy Cool era TLC about it. Simply put, it sounds divine. A smooth, slow-jam-disco-groove, the whole thing is sipping champagne on a boat at sunset gorgeous.


Get to know Crystal Bats: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘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

‘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

What’s in the Box? – #15

22 Jul

What's In The Box

Earlier this week, we started a quick series of posts designed to catch us up with some of the fantastic tunes we’ve missed in recent weeks and months.
The first five of the (planned) 25 tracks we’ll be looking back at can be found here and the next five, such is the way a series works, can be found after the snazzy line on the page below.

Enjoy.


Penny Bridges – “For The Things”

Blessed with a gorgeously delicate voice and unconventional pronunciation, it was no surprise that we fell for Penny Bridges last year. Her distinct style and beautifully layered arrangements are soft and enchanting and her latest, “For The Things”, is no different.

Like a cool breeze on a warm summer’s day, Bridge’s vocals drifts over and soothes what ails you. The piano drips enticingly and the melody floats dreamingly and delicately. It’s beautiful, becalming and wonderful. We could, and have, listen to it for hours.

Get to know Penny Bridges: Facebook / Twitter


Yonaka – “Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya”

Look to the absolute opposite end of the spectrum to Penny Bridges and you will find Yonaka.

With its immediate and sprawling intensity, “Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya” is an attitude fuelled kick to the balls. It has the kind of swagger and brooding coolness that makes kids want to learn guitar and be a rock star. Jesus, it makes us want to learn guitar and be a rock star and we’re [age redacted to protect our own sense of wellbeing] and cursed with stubby fingers! Full of frenetic energy, it’s jump up and down and get entirely lost in the moment brilliant.


Get to know Yonaka: Facebook / Twitter


Luca Chesney – “Return”

When we last featured Luca Chesney, the New York based singer was soothing us with the gently beautiful “We Made A Fire”. That was a couple of years ago now and the intervening period has seen Chesney take a turn onto the road marked ‘electronica’.

Her most recent offering from this journey is the wonderfully monochromatic “Return”. A melodic and glitchy piece of electro-pop whose sparseness is perfectly juxtaposed with Chesney’s rich and alluring vocals. As the digital beats spit like a fire in the darkness, the synths purr and growl with a soft vigour to give us something mysterious and magical.

Get to know Luca Chesney: Facebook / Twitter


Painted Heathers – “Party For One”

Having got together in 2015, Norwich based Painted Heathers are now starting to get some well deserved attention thanks to airplay from the likes of Future Radio and celebrity endorsements from the likes of Elastica.

The Elastica nod is especially relevant as they, along with ‘transition period’ Blur (when they began to move away from Madchester and towards what would become brit-pop) appear to be two of the bands biggest influences. “Party For One” for example, showcases the addictiveness of the Frischmann/Matthews guitar sound and effortlessly relatable Albarn vocals. It is a heady wooze of angular mid-nineties riffs and sweet-smoke-thick melodies.

Get to know Painted Heathers: Facebook / Twitter


Ginger and the Ghost – “Kindred Spirits”

If you were to put up a checklist of things that we love to hear in pop music, Australian’s Ginger and the Ghost would hit a fair few of them with their latest, “Kindred Spirits”.

Produced by Avec Sans collaborator, Benbrick (tick) “Kindred Spirits” is a very scandi-pop (tick) song with an undulating melody (tick) that sounds like Robyn (tick) meets Oh Land (tick) meets Niki and the Dove (tick). It reaches up into the sky like a twisted beanstalk of tribal beats (tick) and soaring synths (tick) before swirling and dancing in a kaleidoscope of colour and sound.

Get to know Ginger and the Ghost: Facebook / Twitter