Tag Archives: Osca

Listen Out For – 2015 Previews Round Up

7 Dec

2015 Previews Round Up

The calendar has clicked round to December and children across the world are excited about finding small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors. Like many other blogs, we are getting excited about end of year list-o-mania (and small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors).

As is our wont we will start with previews of artists we are looking forward to hearing from more next year. But, as is also our wont, we will preface this with a look back at the tips we made last year to see how they did and by association, how well we did. In all honesty it was, outwardly, a pretty quiet year for most of our featured acts with only one album and a couple of EPs released between them (but they were all great).


#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

We said at the time that Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. The only thing that has changed is that they are now 16. The girls are still remarkable and their talents are being recognised by a larger audience thanks to performances at Latitude and Festival No. 6 as well as features in NME and sessions on 6Music. The album is still in the works so expect to hear a lot more them both in the coming 12-18 months.

#14 – Treasureseason

It’s been a quiet year for the Norwich-London duo but fingers crossed we hear more from them soon as we are big fans of their soft synthy loveliness.

#13 – Chløë Black

It took just one song from Chløë Black to win our hearts, minds and blog love. Since then we’ve seen her play live, been treated to a number of fantastic videos and are even more convinced that big things await.

#12 – Saint Agnes

Another act for whom 2015 was relatively quiet, at least as far as new music is concerned. There were gigs a-plenty though which further enhanced their reputation as an act to get excited about.

#11 – Waterbed

It’s almost becoming a running theme but 2015 was pretty quiet with little in the way of new tunes to get excited about for Waterbed. Here’s hoping for more next year.

#10 – Daisy Victoria

Compared to the dual EP output of the year before, 2015 was fairly quiet release wise. There was a ramping up of radio coverage though, as well as headline shows and a burgeoning reputation across the blog world. There was also the stupendous “Pain of Dancer” which for our money, is the best thing Daisy has done so far.

#9 – Jagaara

Again, beyond festivals and gigs (most recently supporting Kyla la Grange) 2015 was a quiet one for the three sisters. Mind you, we saw them live in 2014 and they were superb so gigging across the country is a good thing for us as fans, hopefully there will be some more tunes to get our ears around in the coming months as well as well some shows in the New Year.

#8 – Black Honey

At last, a band for whom 2015 certainly wasn’t quiet, especially if their incendiary rawkus performance at Norwich Sound and Vision in October was anything to go by. Black Honey released new tunes, won new fans and wowed us and thousands of others with their explosive and energetic live sets.

#7 – Osca

After a couple of tunes earlier in the year, it’s been quiet since the spring. Hopefully they have been squirreled away, busily writing and recording ready for the New Year. Right guys? Guys..?

#6 – Wooden Arms

2015 was big for Wooden Arms. Not only did they follow up 2014’s gorgeous EP with their debut album, they also played a live session for Lauren Laverne on 6 Music. The collective have also been playing bigger and bigger shows across Europe and are currently working on their next full length, and we can’t wait to hear it.

#5 – Vérité

One of the few artists on our list to put some tunes out this year, Vérité put out the fantastic Sentiment EP as well as playing many shows. Some of which were in the UK, though none were in Norwich. No doubt that’s on her list for next year.

#4 – Yumi Zouma

2015 was an interesting year for Yumi Zouma. It started with some properly fantastic videos and a second superb EP which met with deserved rave reviews. After that though there was a low key departure and replacement of Kim Pflaum (so low key in fact that some publications had no idea they weren’t talking to Kim when featuring the band) but still lots of very successful shows and plaudits. As yet there has been no proper ‘post-Kim’ tunes so we can’t speak to what comes next but we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on developments.

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

One of the few on our list to put out some music this year, Rory Graham released the superb Disfigured EP, saw his music synced all over the place and produced one of the best gigs we saw all year. Seriously, if you have the chance to see him live, take it. All that and he is now curating his own gig nights as well.

#2 – Laurel

Having closed out last year with an EP release, it’s probably not a surprise that 2015 was fairly quiet. There was a slot at Radio One’s Big Weekend though and hopefully there will be more gorgeously evocative sounds from her in 2016.

#1 – Fickle Friends

They released an EP and wowed Norwich at Radio One’s Big Weekend (and a small pre-show the night before). In fact, so wowed were Norwich that they are coming back in 2016 (see you there) as part of their super huge mega UK tour (which we hope will coincide with an album release but we don’t know). They have also been playlisted on Radio One and put out some pretty rad videos so everything is looking set for them to build on a good 2015 to have a great 2016.

Osca – “Sleeptalk”

3 Feb

Osca

It’s always reassuring to us when a band we have tipped to do great things in the coming year waste no time faffing about, and just gets on with it. So there’s a grateful tip of the hat from us to Osca today as the London four-piece (who were in our list of artists to listen out for in 2015) announce their new single, “Smoke” (out in March) and share the b-side, “Sleeptalk”.

Listening to “Sleeptalk” has us momentarily reminiscing to the mid-90s and a time when Oasis were at their peak. Musically there is little to connect Osca and the brothers Gallagher but back then, so rich was their vein of songwriting form, Oasis were putting out b-sides that most bands would have killed for as a straight up single. Which is pretty much where we find Osca now.

Whereas their debut EP last year was very much piano led, “Sleeptalk” is driven by the delicacy of an acoustic guitar and embellished by a warm string section (much like Oasis’ “The Masterplan” actually, though not as downbeat). Jack Kenworthy’s vocals are reassuring as he sings about taking risks in life and love, something he and his band are clearly not afraid to do (and boy is it paying off).

There is something wonderfully simple and accessible about Osca that could well see them more than live up to our tip of greatness. In this age of profile, image and gimmicks, Osca seem almost old fashioned and anachronistic in their approach. Yet their focus on the songwriting and arrangements, the live performances and stretching and developing themselves will never go out of fashion. Right now, the hype is taking care of itself.


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2014 Tracks Of The Year – #15 – 11

12 Dec

Tracks of 2014 - 15-11

Hello and welcome to part three of our countdown of the 25 tracks this year that we loved more than any other. Parts one and two (where we listed the tracks that took the number 25 – 16) are here and here, and below we reveal who made it into the Top 15 and came oh so close to breaking the Top10. Enjoy.


#15 Daisy Victoria – “Nobody Dies”

Blog favourite Daisy Victoria was quite prolific this year, releasing two EPs. To kick off her second, she released the gorgeous title track “Nobody Dies” and we were hooked (as was Lauren Laverne who has been playing it a bunch recently). It’s less overtly dramatic than her previous offerings, showcasing a softer and altogether more swirlsome side of her musical personality. Keys peel like church bells and the rhythm tumbles as Daisy’s vocals and the melody combine in one great wispy marble of sound and colour. There was an accompanying video as well which is suitably bright and kaleidoscopic, perfectly encapsulating the cascading and swoony nature of the track.



#14 Lyla Foy – “Feather Tongue”

Taken from her sublime debut album, Lyla Foy’s “Feather Tongue” is yet more lovely melodic and wistful gorgeousness to add to Lyla’s already impressive collection. It feels mellow and subdued but ripples and bubbles like a natural hot spring hidden and hitherto undiscovered. Meanwhile the vocal (we adore her vocal) is like the steam above the water, the light catching it in the sun and creating millions of floating lights as it hangs above the rhythm, becalming, soothing and utterly lovely.



#13 Ocean Calling – “Desert Sky Scarlet”

All it took for us to fall completely in love with Ocean Calling’s “Desert Sky Scarlet” (aside from its roaming dreamy soundscapes) was Sophie Wilkie’s inflection whilst singing ‘snow’ in the chorus. That simplest and smallest of morsels that tipped us over the edge into head over heels mode for this utterly gorgeous tune. A pseudo Dr Who synthline kicks off this great adventure, but not into time and space, but across the globe, to majestic views, icy tundras and homely arcades, with everything in between. It is gorgeously nostalgic for the here and now, for the world around us that so many of us long to see and yet fail to do so. It has a sense of freedom, of innocence and of wonder infused throughout. It is a dreamy aural trip across the world, just close your eyes and let it take you wherever you want, especially if its somewhere covered in ‘snow’.



#12 Osca – “Blood”

The title track from Osca’s debut EP, Blood this piano driven ballad was simultaneously divine and ridiculously catchy. Many a morning we awoke to find the chorus swirling inside our head just waiting to be sung out in the shower (sorry for the image). It built and built in waves of melody and rhythm organically coming together with the vocals to make one of the most accomplished debut tracks we’ve heard in a long time.



#11 Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”

Haters gonna hate but we don’t even care. Quite simply one of the best pure pop records of the year and just stupidly catchy, despite our wannabe inner cool kid shouting and calling us names, we just couldn’t help but love it.


2015 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List

8 Dec

2015 Previews The Full List

After 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2015 was completed this morning when we unveiled Brighton’s Fickle Friends as our #1 tip for next year.

Before we crack on with our end of year lists (tracks first), for those amongst you who are lazy/busy/just like things all in one place (delete as applicable), we have collated the full selection of artists and a handy playlist of tunes from each of them below for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.


#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

”Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. Not sure if that makes sense? That is just a small part of the joy of Let’s Eat Grandma.”

#14 – Treasureseason

”…their recent Julep EP which is as good as anything they have done and juxtaposes Jess’s rich, lush vocals with their trademark icy and almost Scandinavian in style, electronic production.”

#13 – Chløë Black

““27 Club” is infused with touches of r&b and gospel, as well as [an] elegantly gothic and rich sound”; it is a compelling and captivating tune.”

#12 – Saint Agnes

”They make music that should soundtrack great western epics; epics that would have bar-fights aplenty, harsh inhospitable landscapes and, deadly predators waiting to pick you off at every turn.”

#11 – Waterbed

”Flourishes whistle and call like digital whale song as Cat’s vocals entice and beckon to your ears. It’s Blue Hawaii, Us Baby Bear Bones and MYPET; it’s dance music, has hip-hop beats and is frenetic electronica. It’s pop and it’s great.”

#10 – Daisy Victoria

”She rocks and croons, bounces, dances, spins and swirls, is dark, light, carefree and theatrical, all in the space of five tracks that are not only fantastic but that are also available for free (though we know once you hear them you’ll want to pay something for them).”

#9 – Jagaara

”Their songs are full of emotion and pain, entwined with first delicate then powerfully distressed arrangements. They make music that is not only evocative and often heart-wrenching, “Marble Arch” was wrought with a fist pounding frustration that stirs emotions within and had a suitably belt-it-out-when–you-think-no-one-is-around chorus, but it can also feel soothing and becalming.”

#8 – Black Honey

”…their fuzzy, retro-tinged garage pop sounds are fantastic and in just four tracks they have had us and our contemporaries all of a quiver. They make music that excites, it is dark and fantastical yet sun-tinged and born from very real emotion and desire and we love it.”

#7 – Osca

”Their debut track in particular, “Blood”, had many an esteemed publication pushing the button marked ‘gushing’ when determining which kind of praise to adorn them with. Like most of their songs, the piano driven ballad was simultaneously divine and foot stompingly catchy.”

#6 – Wooden Arms

”We’re massive suckers for the sweeping melodies, the orchestral arrangements, harmonies and ebbing rhythms. They make music to close your eyes to, music to get lost in, music for cold crisp mornings and for late summer evenings.”

#5 – Vérité

”She expertly walks the tightrope between mainstream and chic, with some commentators referring to her as alt-pop, though we like to think of it as just pop. Extremely good, extremely entertaining and enjoyable pop.”

#4 – Yumi Zouma

”We love Yumi Zouma, like properly love Yumi Zouma. Their debut EP was probably the most played release of 2014 at Alphabet Bands HQ and their follow up single “Alena” (as well as their love letter to Air France) has been played to death since its release. They are, for us, one of the bands of the year and we fully expect more of the same in the next 12 months.”

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

”Soon we were exploring and dived head first into his (still free) EP, Wolves, which, while lighter on the hip-hop element, is equally fantastic. His Mark Lanegan-esque vocals are raw, powerful and full of soul, yet they also feel tender and brittle with emotion at times.”

#2 – Laurel

”Her soft, ebbing melodies can, in the case of “Shells” for example, like a walk through a silent, dusky wood. Intricate rhythms reveal themselves like branches cracking underfoot as you walk, discovering new wonders behind each tree, beyond each hillock and ditch.”

#1 – Fickle Friends

”Their super light, bright and bouncy pop tunes lit up the year despite often dealing with disillusionment heartbreak and despair. In fact, despite their predilection for lyrics reflecting melancholy and confusion, seem incapable of making music that sounds like anything less than a glorious summer of fun and frivolity. The melodies and arrangements are gloriously infectious and playful and are perfectly complemented with soft, silken vocals.”


2015 Preview: Listen Out For #7 – Osca

5 Dec

Osca

After Black Honey yesterday, today we are featuring Duly Noted Records label mates Osca in our 2015 previews.

The London four-piece took the internet by storm this year with their hook laden and radio friendly tunes. Their debut track in particular, “Blood”, had many an esteemed publication pushing the button marked ‘gushing’ when determining which kind of praise to adorn them with. Like most of their songs, the piano driven ballad was simultaneously divine and foot stompingly catchy. It built and built in waves of melody and rhythm organically coming together with the vocals to make one of the most accomplished debut tracks we’ve heard in a long time.

The rest of their debut EP was as impressive with closing track “Around The Bends” being about as good as an example of big sing-a-long indie-pop anthem as there was all year. They also proved themselves to be extremely accomplished live performers able to combat on stage mishaps and technical problems not only with aplomb but without any detrimental effect on their sound at all.

We weren’t the only ones at their recent gig at The Stillery who came away thinking ‘these guys are the real deal’ and we won’t be the only ones expecting even bigger and better things from them in the next 12 months and beyond.


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