Tag Archives: Strangers

Explorers – “Strangers”

14 Sep

explorers

Like seemingly most of the world, I’ve been engrossed by the incredible Stranger Things. The show is just superb and the nostalgic element adds a wonderful layer that people of a certain age (me) can really relate to and enjoy.

I mention this because listening to Explorers gives the same kind of buzz. Not the tense and fearing for your life kind of feeling, the warm nostalgic glow and enjoyment of something new yet so familiar. I’ve been a big fan of the musical outpourings from Jeremy Dennis and Robert Bannister for some years now and each time they release something new I am never left feeling anything less than delighted.

Since they were last featured a couple of years ago they have released “Numbers” (streaming below and sounding deliciously new-wave) and more recently “Strangers”.

Now, it might just be that I have only recently watched Stranger Things that is leading this cognitive connection between song and tv show, and of course there is that whole word association thing going on as well. But I could imagine a fairly awesome Stranger Things music video being soundtracked by “Strangers”. Lots of shots of the kids biking through the woods, chase scenes, close ups of our protagonists looking worried and the like. It could just be me.

Taken from their oft-trailed forthcoming debut album, “Strangers” is brilliantly Explorers. Retro synths dance and jump along with the digital crash of drums as it explodes into colourful, blurred round the edges, neon life. There are elements of Chvrches in there as the lights flicker, controlled by Will from the Upside Down no doubt (sorry, I’ll stop) and the tempo quickens into this bright, full-of-life-summer-dance-banger.

It’s hands in the air frivolity that just keeps bouncing. Now, about that album…



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Strangers – “Wolf At The Door”

2 Apr

Strangers Wolf At The Door

Following on from the success of their six-month free download extravaganza, the Close EP and, of course, their storming set on the Alphabet Bands stage at the Norwich Sound & Vision festival; those Northampton Strangers are back. Back right now with a brand new single and, whisper it, the promise of an album later in the year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let’s just focus on the here and now for the time being.

Having already been played by Mr John Kennedy on XfM, “Wolf At The Door” is another example of Stranger’s growing confidence, maturity and ability to write a catchy as you like hook. With a sense of unease stalking throughout, the dark synthlines convey that feeling of reaching rock bottom and the euphoria, the freedom of throwing off those shackles and rising up once again. ”We got to lose ourselves to find ourselves” sings David Maddox-Jones as the eyes of the wolf flash, the beat grows and the song reaches up, up to new heights and optimism.

They told us last year that running the monthly free download had been a really great discipline for writing and crafting new songs, and it certainly seems to be paying off. The guys are hitting new heights and with any luck, by the end of this year we will be revelling in a fantastic and successful debut album.

”Wolf At The Door” is due for release on 2 June.


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Ho Ho Holy Crap It’s Almost Christmas…

24 Dec

Father-Christmas-web

Goodness, 2013 has flown by and here we are, what feels like just moments after the summer ended, on the cusp of Christmas and then the New Year. As is customary at this time of year, the festive songs are everywhere and for today Alphabet Bands will be no different.

If you’ve been reading Breaking More Waves these past two days, you’ll know that the big man himself has been in residence, effing and blinding and drinking all the whiskey. Due to contractual restrictions, Santa is unable to make an appearance here as well but that doesn’t matter as we managed to have a good rummage in his record box while his back was turned (chatting up one of the lady elves he was) and grabbed a few tunes for your enjoyment.

We’ll be back after Christmas with more of the best new music and probably some sort of look back over the year, talking about our 2013 and the like. For now though, enjoy the songs, both old and new (and especially the Christmas jumpers from the Air Marshall Landing guys) and have a wonderful few days with family and friends.


Us Baby Bear Bones – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”


Port Isla – “Snowfall”


Mahoney and the Moment – “Call Me Back (I’ll Wait Til Christmas)”


Air Marshall Landing – “A Holly Jolly Christmas”


Maps – “Merry Christmas (My Friend)”


Will Bloomfield – “Tower Breakers (Christmas)”


Strangers – “This Year (Christmas Song)”


George Ezra – “Let It Snow”


Heart of a Dog – “Railroad Man”


Lisa Redford – “I Believe In Father Christmas”



Merry Christmas everyone, see you on the other side when our belly will be bulging and our blood type will be Rum.

2014 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List, and a little extra…

7 Dec

2014 Previews The Full List

So, after a week and a half and 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2014 is complete. Before we crack on (next week) with our end of year lists, 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 below with a handy soundcloud playlist of all 15 for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.

AND, as if that wasn’t enough, we even have a little bonus below the playlist of the acts who almost made the 15 but who we felt were too good to leave off entirely. Some honourable mentions if you will.

#15 – Mega Emotion

”Full of big brash sounds, riffage and booming beats it also features soothing vocals and retro-sensibilities. It’s raw and powerful but calm and quiet too, like a circus muscle man cuddling a poodle or something.”

#14 – Mononoke

”What we do know is that she is blessed with quite a voice and, judging by her debut track “Alice”, song writing talent. With her tragically beautiful lament to a little girl trapped in a grown up world, a life of lost love, apathy and melancholy, she has set the bar very high.”

#13 – Port Isla

“As well as being super talented, they are the kind of lovely people that you just want to do well. They make such enthusiastic and warm music that you can’t help but like them.”

#12 – NONONO

”“Pumpin Blood” is the track that has broken out everywhere, with its ‘gets under your skin’ whistle. You may not know it, but you would probably recognise it. Big and brash, vibrant and frenetic, it’s the seven dwarves whistling while they work having dropped some acid and taken speed.”

#11 – Fractures

”…the gorgeous dreamy electro sounds of “Twisted”, complete with soft, soulful falsetto vocals that would stop a rhino’s heart, and the evocative crescendos of atmospheric folksiness on “Embers” were soon joined by the fabulous “Cadence” and “Tizer”.”

#10 – Embers

”They played two sets at The Great Escape, one in a grand high-ceilinged venue that allowed their music to spread and soar, the other in the cramped space of the Mesmerist pub where their sound exploded out at the audience, pummelling them with intensity and energy as veins bulged and sinews strained. It was one of the most intense, in your face performances we saw all year and we loved it.”

#9 –

”She is an artist that creates genuine excitement and a buzz of anticipation whenever she is about to perform. She even had the audacity to upstage the headlining AlunaGeorge on her recent UK tour and won many more fans in so doing.”

#8 – Pale

”It’s synth pop but ice cold, too cold even for Van Damme as it slides along stealthily like a glacier, taking you in its cool hand off to a world of desolate beauty. A world where the stark surroundings, the bleakness and desolation carry a majestic splendour, it’s not a world of disrepair but one that has been lovingly tended and cultured.”

#7 – Pawws

”Our love for the music of Pawws was immediate and full on, an infatuation. Her music is instantly accessible and enjoyable with influences from the likes of Robyn, Annie and Madonna and vocals that are beautifully sweet and heartfelt. She can do big vibrant rainbows of sound, all danceable and bright and she can do genteel and calm as well.”

#6 – Gems

”The vocals are sweet and breathless, a whispered caress on a smooth gossamer breeze of synths and electronic beats. Weightless and elegant, like moments of purity handed down from above, unsullied and unspoiled for us to enjoy and bathe in their beauty.”

#5 – Iyes

”They make pop music, but it’s not homogenised pre-packaged pop, it’s edgy and different but with enough accessibility to transcend the blogosphere and break the mainstream consciousness. Like Chvrches but without as many 80’s reference points and fewer lasers.”

#4 – Lyla Foy

”The songs are reflective and the arrangements offer an intimacy to the listener, a closeness brought from the instrumentation, the emotion and purity of the music and lyrics. It’s delicate, like the frayed edges of a heart whose thread could be pulled at any moment, and it’s utterly gorgeous.”

#3 – Avec Sans

”What they do so well, and what we absolutely adore, is make fantastically upbeat and danceable tunes. Electro sparkles and beats flash and pulse like a grand firework display against a night sky of synths and melody. Choruses are made to be sung along to while your feet tap and shuffle, heads nod, arms twist and bodies convulse in rhythmical movement; sprung into life by the infectious and compelling sounds.”

#2 – Empress Of

”Her music is addictive and tingle making, high art meets pop accessibility in the most gorgeous manner. Seductive tones, swirling melodies that draw you in and buffet you gently along as the beats take synths by the hand and swoon and sway along like cavorting partners, clinging to each other in the low light of a slow dance.”

#1 – Sivu

”He is a beguiling artist, telling tales born in the shadows of anguish, or inspired by theology in a rousing and heartswelling manner. Acoustic sounds marble with electronic embellishments, strings ebb and flow with the tide and all the while, introspections and observations pour out like nectar for our soul. It is entirely possible, ironically, to lose yourself in his lightly rasping voice and warm melodies. Even when singing “Coldhands” is like a walk across a warm yellow corn field on a calm day, fingers running over the tops of the long stems as they are rustled by a gentle breeze.”


Honourable Mentions…

Curxes

Curxes

If you’re wondering what that massive kaboom sound was just then, it was your senses under attack and your brain screaming out for more. Portsmouth/Brighton pair Curxes make blitz-pop and there’s no escape from its aural magnificence and energy. Last year they were one of the most blogged about artists in the UK (despite having no PR or representation) and while 2013 has been comparatively quiet, the new songs they played for us at Norwich Sound and Vision in October are sounding amazing and could take them to a whole new level in 2014.


Strangers

Strangers London Lights

We’ve been championing the case for this London trio for some time now and with their debut EP on the way, and a follow up scheduled for the new year it could well be that the breakthrough they’ve threatened for so long could be about to happen. Their dark hued electro pop is common cold level catchy but immensely enjoyable and danceable. And while you can get your groove on whilst sneezing your face inside out, we wouldn’t recommend it. Get down to some Strangers instead, it’s much more fun.


Jack Robert Hardman

jack_robert_hardman

Our main man Jack. As our ‘H’ artist we have been following the fortunes of Mr Hardman for a while now and we feel that bigger and better things are just around the corner. His debut album made our end of year list in 2012 and while this year has been more about remixing and a charming little video (below), 2014 should be all about JRH. There’s a new EP on the way, with guest vocalists and artists a-go-go and judging by the unfinished demos we heard a couple of months back, it’s going to be a beauty.


Abi Wade

Abi Wade

One woman, one cello, two foot pedals and an array of sound, melody, rhythms and innovation. Yes, she is a pair of cymbals between her knees away from full-on-market-square-one-man-band-status, but while that shark remains unjumped she is an incredible live performer and musician. She’s got the songs to back it up as well, beautiful and soothing but also full of drama and emotion when they need to be. She’s been writing recently so hopefully that means an album could be on the way in 2014.


Leon Else

Leon Else

Be it fantastical and mystical or very much down to earth and even carnal, Leon Else can and will deliver a tune and half with the deep but light rumbling vocal at its heart. He sees the world slightly differently from most of us but that just makes his music all the more interesting and captivating. With radio play from the likes of Radio 1 and Amazing Radio already under his belt, 2014 could well see his proclamation that the future is


Laura Welsh

Laura Welsh

Laura’s sophisticated, R&B infused pop has passed through our inbox on the odd occasion over the last few months and while we always very much enjoyed it, other commitments meant we never quite got round to writing about it (despite intending to). On seeing her supporting London Grammar recently, we were instantly filled with regret that said posts never made it out of our heads and onto the page. She was fantastic. Big danceable sounds were offset with a deceptively big and powerful vocal and softer, gentler moments were treated with care and affection. 2014 should be a big one for Laura and we won’t be making the mistake of not writing about her again, trust us.


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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