Tag Archives: Racing Glaciers

What’s In The Box ? – #13

11 Apr

What's In The Box

It’s been a while since we last shared a Saturday round up of tunes from the Alphabet Bands inbox and beyond that we loved, but just didn’t have time to get to properly. As ever the last seven (or so) days have been rammed with quality music and not enough hours in the day to get to them all.

Here then is a quick, eight-track, What’s In The Box? chock full of tunes from a number of genres, each of which is fantastic and we’re sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy. We sure did.

Kloë – “Feel”

Let’s kick things off this week with an absolute stormer from new Scottish pop superstar-to-be Kloë. “Feel” is a dark, simmering cauldron of electropop brilliance with synths that slither and glide ominously along as the vocal arrangement evokes “Blue Jeans” era Lana. It’s powerful, vibrant and exciting and surely heralds the arrival of a future star.

The Japanese House – “Teeth”

As The Japanese House, 19 year old Amber Bain has been creating quite the proverbial buzz of excitement recently. Each of her previous two releases have been met with near universal acclaim and adulation and her latest, “Teeth”, carries on that trend. It’s a slow moving cloud of electronics, melody and genderless vocals that is punctuated with fantastically discordant guitar wails and pitter patter beats.

The Japanese House release their debut EP, Pools To Bathe In on 27 April and it is available to pre-order here.

Racing Glaciers – “What I Saw”

It’s been a fair few months since we last heard from Racing Glaciers but the quintet have returned from self-imposed exile (to a barn in Glastonbury for some of it) to share the first track from their forthcoming debut album. “What I Saw” is less bombastic than their previous efforts. It’s a lighters-(camera phones)-in-the-air rock ballad that’s slow burning, broodingly emotive and very, very anthemic.

Mt. Wolf – “VIII feat. Alexa Harley”

The demise of Mt. Wolf at the end of 2013, the day after they were announced as being part of the Blog Sound Poll longlist, was as surprising as it was disappointing. Thankfully a year later and two thirds of the band were back making music together, fast forward another few months and we have the smokey and gorgeous “VIII” to get lost in. Featuring the soft and alluring vocals of Alexa Harley, it’s a stunningly elegant and dreamy tune.

Fascinator – “Showin’ Off”

This has been out for a few months now but when we heard Fascinator’s “Showin’ Off” we knew we had to share it. We love the blend of the orchestral and hip-hop. The strings and the beat play off one another superbly and the addition of the woodwind section serves to ramp up the ambition and quality. It’s a LSD loving Beatles infused mash of pop sensibilities, folk guitar licks and breaks that we just adore.

Silences – “The Sea”

After all that rambunctiousness we thought it best to calm things down a little and the new track from Silences affords us the perfect way to do just that. Here the Northern Irish quintet is getting a little bit Coldplay, a little bit Kodaline and a lotta bit great. “The Sea” is a very radio-friendly slice of emotional, brooding indie-pop; all dark skies over the cliffs and pensive looks out across the ocean.

Alphaduka – “Vision”

Hailing from South London, three piece Alphaduka claim to be part band, part bowling team and while we can’t attest to their pin clattering ability, debut song “Vision” is really rather lovely. There’s lots of ebbing, swooning guitars and vocals melding in a soft autumnal haze, all warm and orangey, that ultimately collapse into a laguid mushroomy trip of 60s psychedelica.

Vanbot – “Seven”

Finally this week we have a fantastic dance-pop blast from Sweden’s Vanbot. Given the style, sound and subject matter of “Seven”, comparisons with Robyn are inevitable and unavoidable. Rather than being seen as lazy journalism however, they should be viewed as the massive compliment they are as it would be right at home as part of Robyn’s classic and magnificent Body Talk series.

“Seven” will feature on Vanbot’s new album Perfect Storm which is due for release in May.

We hope you enjoyed that quick whizz through the inbox and beyond. Join us on Monday for more blog goodness and some pretty special tunes and new artists in the week as well.

What’s In the Box? – #5

18 Jan

Whats In The Box

It’s that time of the week again when we sit down and pluck out some hidden gems from our inbox. In ‘What’s In The Box?’ we provide a home and a couple of lines for tracks we have enjoyed but just didn’t have time to get to properly in the previous seven days.

This week it would appear that chilled out R&B was the favourite sound for new artists, but we’ve mixed it up with some vintage rock sounds, electronica and pop with nine cracking tunes.


Racing Glaciers – “New Country” (Laurel Remix)

First up this week is a remix that proves to be the complete antithesis of the original song. Racing Glaciers’ “New Country” was a stirring, Gladiatorial battle of a song but this remix from is anything but. Instead it has become almost unrecognisable as it drips muted sounds into a black pool of languidity deep within a hidden cavern, buried in a mountainside. Ripples of sound gently drift across the surface in an otherwise silent environment, deep greens of phosphor glowing softly providing the only light for this unspoilt world. It’s 3am music and it’s worth staying up that late just to play it.

Secret Colours – “It Can’t Be Simple”

With their retro psychedelic almost proggy sound, the imagery on Secret Colours latest video is entirely fitting. A love letter to the recording and playing technology of yesteryear, it is an analogue enthusiast’s wet dream with oscillations and vibrations aplenty. “It Can’t Be Simple” itself harks back to the late sixties and early seventies, with a Doors like keyboard line hidden within blurred guitar fuzzes and swirling, hazy loveliness. It’s a bit like being inside a lava lamp.

Mattheu – “Sanguine”

Hailing from Manhattan, Mattheu is gearing up for the release of his debut EP (Virgin) later this year with the release of the conversely named “Sanguine”. Rather than being cheerful and upbeat, it is a delicate mist of low tempo R&B infused pop. It is soulful and heartfelt while still offering a kind of cold, stark quality through its use of electronica and staccato beats underneath the subtle sheen of melody.

Hawkon – “Burn Me Down”

Also from the cupboard marked chilled electronic R&B sounds is London based producer Hawkon. Slightly more uneasy and unsettling than Mattheu, “Burn Me Down” is that little bit darker, like soul that has been buried in a glacier for tens of thousands of years before being thawed out in the present day. It still sounds wonderful but it’s not entirely smooth, some of the ice has melted within the machine and the resultant electronic glitches whirr and click into the melody to great effect.

Pastel Colours – “Hands Like Silk”

We had Secret Colours earlier and now we move to Pastel Colours, a Cornwall based five-piece that also have an ear for vintage, psychedelic guitar sounds. Marbled patterns of light and sound entwine and swirl in amongst crashing rhythms and jangled riffs. The denouement is a like an escape from an underground bunker as the sound breaks free into the light, open and liberated to go forth and groove on down.

Emmy – “Hurricanes”

Hushed to the point of being little more than a whispered word on a winter’s morning, “Hurricanes” by Emmy is as fragile as they come. Just a single touch with a feather could shatter this wonderfully preserved snowflake. The 20 year old’s vocals float out across a valley shrouded in a sunken fog, muting the sound and befuddling the senses so it appears to be coming from all around you. She sings with a choral quality, elegant and beautiful, like her voice is from a higher plane.

CONCLΔVE – “Ocean Star”

It’s been a little while since we last featured the mysterious “Beatsmith from the Land of the Thousand Islands” but he’s back and kicking his 2014 off with his first ever video, for old track, “Ocean Star”. Taken from his forthcoming debut album and featuring the vocal talents of Luxe Calip, it sounds like an eerie Lana Del Ray, Halloween Lana perhaps? Not spooky but blending her trademark nonchalance with an electronic disquiet, like waiting for the inevitable heartbreak or disappointment to come.

Elephant – “Elusive Youth”

As our years continue to advance at an alarmingly quickening rate, our own youth is feeling ever more elusive and like a figment of our imaginations. Thankfully we have delightful pop moments like the gorgeous new track from Elephant to keep us going. It’s a kind Cults meets Sleeper meets Lyla Foy tune and frankly, that is all we need to know.

Moderat – “Last Time”

Taken from the deluxe version of last year’s II, Moderat are about to release “Last Time” as a single in its own right, featuring a new mix from man of electronica’s moment, Jon Hopkins. Aside from sounding fantastic, it makes us want to ride a motorbike through the autumn tree lined towns of Germany, and we don’t even know how to ride a motorbike.

That’s it, two weeks in a row! That’s a new record for ‘What’s In The Box?’! All being well, we’ll be back next Saturday to make it a threepeat with more inbox rummaging goodness.

Listen: Racing Glaciers – “New Country”

9 Jan

Racing Glaciers

With a crashing of drums and a tickling of keys, Liverpool five-piece Racing Glaciers open up their new track on a grand, impressive scale. There isn’t any gradual easing in; we are straight in to a moment of pure drama and intensity. It is the kind of rousing, inspiring sound that Sky Sports would kill for to use on a myriad of impassioned and adrenaline pumping promos for Soccer Saturday, Super Sunday and Holy Shit It’s Immense Wednesday.

“New Country” is, according to singer Tim Monaghan, a tale of escape, presumably of the metaphysical nature but as the guitar wails and the drama escalates under the chorus, there is something very real and raw to it. The rousing opening, all puffed up chests and jump cut close-ups of embittered warriors as it is (that’s a good thing by the way, just to be clear, we like drama and evocative, stirring instrumentals), bleeds into a vibrant and energetic three minutes of indie-pop-rock. Three minutes that are full of rises and falls, like the hardships of the aforementioned warriors that first overwhelm before being overcome.

It is the first big anthemic sound of the year and one that, by rights, should still be blasting out across fields come festival time this summer.

Racing Glaciers’ ‘Ahead of you Forever’ EP is due out on 2 February and can be pre-ordered here.

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