With just over a month to go until the release of highly anticipated EP ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ Dan Bettridge has gifted us with another slice of what we can expect, in the form of latest single Sign.
Following a hiatus from releasing music since 2019. The dawn of 2021 saw the appearance of initial ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ offering, Habitat. The electro style composition was unheard of from Dan Bettridge before now. Yet, layering synths against a cool percussion provided a fresh vibrance, and the ability to add a new genre, into an already impressive repertoire. Alongside EP co-producer Minas, Dan Bettridge is embracing a bold experimental style, and we like it.
Sign affirms what had been pre-empted from gorgeously emotive April release Love Ain’t For Everyone. Heavy in sentiment and flooded with memories. Dan Bettridge evokes a softer, more sultry sound, that certainly knows how to get pulses racing.
Placing vocals at the forefront, the emphasis is lyrical, captivated by moody blue vocals. Stirring our senses and brooding nostalgia. With co-lyricists Hannah Graceand Martin Luke Brown at his side, it was clear that Sign was destined to swim with emotional depth.
Having awakened a new era within his music. Dan Bettridge stands unapologetic and unafraid. Brave and bold. Words can barely emphasise the evolution we have witnessed from this musician.
Whether it is a period of growth, or a period of reflection. Old stirring emotions or a contemporary change. What remains, is that Dan Bettridge has the ability to tap into our most inner emotions. Capturing fleeting moments of his life in sheer beauty through the medium of music.
We await ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ with bated breath.
Stream ‘Sign’ on all platforms now via Channel Analog Records
Rona Mac is a musical enigma nestled in the heart of Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Wind swept by the sea, and mysteriously combed by the countryside. Debut album Sheelah was nothing shy of mesmerising. Aching with earnest acoustics, laced against licks of fierce, raw lyrical honesty. Rona Mac set our souls alight with an untamed DIY approach, that resulted in the most confessional, heartfelt body of work.
Often so bold as to go where no lyricist has gone before, Rona Mac’s charm exudes from her unwavering realness. Writing, performing, mixing and mastering initial indie-folk tracks alone. Rona relished in clattering makeshift instruments together to create song. Curating her debut in the cosy corner of a caravan. Carefully extracting each passing thought, each pang of a memory, each pestering desire to scream out how she truly felt. To capture songs that played out like snapshots of her life, in the hope of awakening and inspiring others.
Returning in 2021 with latest single ‘Weapon’. Rona Mac is out to make her mark on the music industry, and make an impact she certainly does. Breaking boundaries, Rona soars with a newfound untamed sound, as ‘Weapon’ quickly engulfs each and every one of its listeners. Brooding over the bark of a heavy bass guitar, before bursting into the addictive fizz of an indie-pop anthem. Gone are the pots and pans as makeshift drums, and welcomed are the grazes from electric guitar strings. This meaner, moodier style adds an unexpected but gorgeous grit. Allowing Rona Mac to delve even deeper into her intoxicating lyrical honesty.
Expansive and undeniably different, ‘Weapon’ is musically miles away from debut DIY album Sheelah. Yet this intriguing switch of styles shows clear progression for Rona Mac, and will leave listeners desperately needing to hear more.
A standout symbol for queer identity, a blazing feminist icon, bundled up in dog-eared folk tenderness. Rona Mac is the glorious hippie muse we all yearn to be, and will certainly yearn to listen to.
Stream ‘Weapon’ on all platforms now via Rose Parade Recording Co.
Mr Bewlay is an eccentric musician, determined to re-define everything that we know about music. From the bright and bubbly Her Name is Juniper to the sombre piano ballads of Fake Yourself. Bewlay is shaking off genres and shaking up our eardrums. Yearning that we explore as many new sounds and styles as possible. Proudly breaking away from any constraints of the mainstream, Bewlay paves his own beautiful path, and it’s a road that we certainly want to join him on.
Latest track Dan “The Don” Wilson introduces itself with a thumping 80s synth line. Pair this with marvellously kooky lyrics about central character “The Don”, and Bewlay strikes gold yet again. From music that is mind-warpingly mesmerising, to a story unusually fascinating. Bewlay makes no apologies for allowing all forms of their creativity to flow free.
On the topic of his latest release, Mr Bewlay discusses:
“Dan “The Don” Wilson is really a deep look into opposites. I teamed up with my old friend Dai Griffiths [producer] again and together we built up this song from fragments and incomplete ideas. At one point we didn’t know where it was heading and let the song guide itself, it was very exciting! I really wanted to convey the stark difference between the commercial instrumentation and the surreal lyrics and I wanted that to be the underlying theme of the track, that of beauty and ugliness.”
Not merely content with releasing music that is any way “normal”, Bewlay shines as a charade character himself. With an ingenious, read between the lines style of song-writing. On this latest track, Bewlay pens lyrics that purposefully don’t make sense.
Off the wall and intentionally strange. Dan “The Don” Wilson unfolds into music that we are not meant to understand. Ingulfed instead by thoughts of “Triple Decker Bacon Supremes” we allow ourselves to be transported into this artist’s colourful world. A place where the ordinary surely becomes extraordinary, Bewlay provides a musical thrill ride full of twists and turns. As a listener, you never know what to expect next, and that is what makes Mr Bewlay so bewilderingly brilliant to behold.
Produced by Dai Griffiths, Dan “The Don” Wilson is the 2nd instalment in Mr Bewlay’s ‘Synthwave Trilogy’. This independent release has incorporated multi-media assets from likeminded independent artists. Including bespoke pieces from Veronika Purplesfinx, Stephanie Gunnz, Emily Irvin and Rose Ashley. The cover art for the single was digitally created by the Irish artist Cor McGowan and fulfils the theme of contrast with the uncanny-valley burger, dripping with meat, grease and cheese.
Stream ‘Dan “The Don” Wilson’ on all platforms now
Expanding on their impressive indie sound. Latest single ‘Early Dreamer’ sees Cardiff-based Twin Stranger introduce a refreshing twist on the genre, with a reflective and brooding, yet melodic breakaway track. As waves of psychedelic rock and power pop burst through, creating music that is both vibrant and immersive.
Opening lyrics battle the ever-tempting pull between saint and sinner, with lead Alex McConnachie enthralling us in the story of ‘Early Dreamer’. Interwoven among cool crisp guitars, and percussion hooks that latch onto its ever so catchy chorus. The single feels hypnotic and transportive, whilst lyrically able to explore the daily grind that everyday life can entail.
‘Early Dreamer’ really puts a spotlight on the fascinating capabilities that Twin Stranger have, to delve into such open and meaningful lyrics. Whilst maintaining a music style so uplifting, it scorches us with rays of hypothetical sunshine. This glorious contrast is often unseen at such an early stage in a band’s career, giving listeners an intriguing unique perspective, fuelling the momentum of what Twin Stranger are all about.
Placing emphasis on strong artistic collaboration from start to finish. McConnachie describes how Twin Stranger passionately craft every aspect of their music to perfection, including its artwork:
“The artwork for each release and visual aspect of things is very important, Joe comes up with a concept usually in the form of a little drawing or painting. It really feels like we’re building up to something.”
Building up to something, they certainly are. With ‘Early Dreamer’ affirming Twin Stranger as the up-and-coming band that you will certainly want to keep your eyes and ears on throughout 2021.
Hopes of an EP release are surely on the horizon, as this latest single continues on paving the road to success for Twin Stranger. Arriving off the back of a string of sublime singles, that firmly cemented their foundations in 2020. Anthemic debut ‘Tears of Joy’ was closely followed by summertime scorcher ‘Crushed’, preceded by the cathartic ‘White’ mid-year. All of which received high praise locally, and even gained the four-piece oversees exposure from US radio stations KROQ and SiriusFM. It is beyond inspiring that what initially began as a bedroom project for McConnachie, has grown to become so much more.
Twin Stranger are Alex McConnachie (Vocals), Joe Tobin (Synth/Guitar), Eric Karvik (Drums) and Josh Newington (Bass).
Stream ‘Early Dreamer’ on all platforms now via Rose Parade Record Co.
After a hiatus from releasing music, Swansea favourites Trampolene return with rousing spoken-word track ‘Come Join Me In Life’.
Fronted by Jack Jones, Trampolene are certainly not a band to shy away from. Boasting music that is unapologetically loud, outspoken, and bold. This 3-piece have garnered a reputation for packed-out, reckless, and brilliant live shows.
Quickly becoming infamous for their ability to combine raucous indie rock music and spoken word poetry, capable of intoxicating any chaos-hungry audience. Future crowd pleaser ‘Come Join Me In Life’ elevates Trampolene even further, as it delights with a no holds barred, gorgeously untamed approach. Definitely one that Jones will have fans reeling back to him at every upcoming Trampolene gig.
Stirring, and at times intentionally and purposefully unsettling. The singer-songwriter addresses us as though we are a boisterous crowd pouring down a flooded street. Jones at the forefront, demanding justice for each and every one of our lives.
A modern-day wordsmith, delivering poignantly punchy points and fiercely frank truths. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ is poetry that invades your mind and overtakes your voice. Etching itself upon your memory, with an eerily divine presence. “I belong in this poem and I belong in this pen. I belong in your head every now and then.” Through gloriously unrefined and powerful words, Jones has made clear impact, as the phrase “working-class hero” surely springs to mind. Aiming to empower and encourage, walking the line between rebellion and redemption, with glorious reckless abandon.
Heightening emotions, challenging thought processes, and demanding us to firmly grasp what we want out of life with both hands. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ fuels political fires and breaks from convention, as the track roars in solidarity with recent cultural and historical movements. Jones taking centre stage as that pillar so desperately needed, to prop up every single underrepresented voice. Giving much needed encouragement and support at a time where we must stand united to survive.
‘Come Join Me In Life’ is out now via Strap Originals
A fresh face in South Wales’ indie music scene, singer-songwriter Alcie Bela is mystifying. Perfectly pairing dark witted lyrics, to a delicate acoustic folk sound. The musician is currently recording her upcoming EP at a studio deep within the heart of Welsh woodland. Ensuring the seeds of her kindled earthy spirit are sown. As debut single ‘Don’t Leave Me Hanging’ arrived in August of 2020. We gazed in awe, upon music that was refreshingly different. Without doubt leaving many of us eager to hear more.
Vocals sharp to the tongue, Alcie Bela is able to pierce through any softened music backdrop. Usually comprising a flurry of acoustic strums and the patter of drums. Allowing us to envisage Bela as the burning flames themselves, rather than those who gather around the campfire. A musician that draws influence from the powerfully soft Aldous Harding, Daughter and Sia, entwined with poetic notions from Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Bela swiftly meanders between melancholy musings and a gorgeously rousing rage. Exuding a sound so rich and vibrant, yet fascinatingly thought-provoking.
Latest single ‘Forest’ strengthens Bela further again. First to be released from her forthcoming EP, the track delves into a soundscape even more expansive than her previous debut ‘Can’t Leave Me Hanging’. We feel the singer take on an up-tempo, almost cool country approach to her style. Shaking off any past preconceptions of “soft” and presenting a confident musician, firmly comfortable in her own footsteps. Bela struts through her sophomore single, as waves of empowerment and fierce feminism shine from her music. While bold and unconstrained lyrics call for something more meaningful, than a string of bad one-night stands.
We ponder whether Alcie Bela looks inward for her bitter-sweet vocal vengeance, or if her words are instead outspoken projections towards society at large? One thing is for certain, this fiery and captivating musician is surely expected to set the music scene alight. As fractious yet gentle folk music fuels the fires of her enigmatic creativity.
Stepping out of the flamboyance and fun of previous release ‘Her Name Is Juniper’. For new double-A side ‘Fake Yourself’, Mr Bewlay takes on the far more somber role of an eccentric lone pianist, and the results are nothing short of sublime.
Stirring vocals and soft piano keys entrance, with Bewlay knowing just how to enchant our minds. The title-track explores self-identity and the pressures society can inflict. Bathed in an ebony and ivory soundscape, gorgeously quirky vocals are layered on top. Without the use of synths, the single allows us to hear those vocals in their entirety. As lyrics deepen in intensity so do they, and the peacock-feather display of pitch and range, is truly spectacular.
Treading into a softer sound, the single’s accompanying track ‘Lovelife’ tenderly touches upon rejection, heartbreak, and all of the emotions that manifest in-between. It is unflinchingly truthful, and cloaked again, in beautiful piano music. Showcasing Mr Bewlay’s talents as not only a keen vocalist, but a fine pianist. A fact that is prominent even more so, on bonus instrumental track ‘Stentorian’.
Described by Mr Bewlay as “retrospective and inwards looking”, ‘Fake Yourself’ is a brave expose from a confident individual, who admitted a slight nervousness in releasing such raw and unhindered music. Upon listening, we yearn that those nerves melt away, as ‘Fake Yourself’ is a mesmerising peek into the mind and talent of a fascinating musician.
Bold and charismatic, an intoxicating charm blazes from the flamboyant powerhouse and emerging talent, that is Mr Bewlay. If personality alone is not enough to draw you in, and I dare anyone not to swoon under the spell of this captivating young musician. Latest single ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the psychedelic spark that will ensure you fall head over heels for this intriguing “mista”.
Owning an eccentric Bowie-esque swagger, Mr Bewlay demands our attention from the very get-go and ‘Her Name is Juniper’ soars with effortless precision. Turning a sharp tongue to lyrics that drip in bubbly lovelorn lust, and pairing them with a melodic soundscape of synths. Showcased is a true showman, impeccably switched on to what sounds good and harnessing the electrifying capabilities of shooting to stardom, with both a driving talent and compelling alter-ego.
Oozing all of the makings of a musical muse, Mr Bewlay is mysterious, wickedly brilliant and devilishly fun. An enchanting character that dominates both their sound and style, ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the catalyst that will surely send them to the stratosphere.
Having produced a single so strikingly catchy, Mr Bewlay can boast their intent of enchanting any and every listener they ensnare. There is no denying that ‘Her Name is Juniper’ will snake around your mind and invade your brain, nestling itself delightfully into your memory, until its firmly lodged at the top of every playlist and listened to on repeat. It is a chaotically fantastic funhouse, for all of our senses.
For fans of Adam Ant, Mr Bewlay is a musician that exudes such a delectable confidence. Something so inherently appealing is paraded by their utterly compelling uniqueness. A trait that makes them stand out and shine bright, above all others.
There is an overwhelming urge to shout loudly, that Mr Bewlay will soon become the next big thing we will all be talking about, listening to, and loving. Whether it is a result of the magically mesmerising ‘Her Name is Juniper’, or their vibrantly playful personality leading the charge. I for one, cannot wait to watch them skyrocket.
With a voice so soothing and tranquil, we find ourselves transported by the breathtaking beauty exuding from Welsh singer-songwriter Rebecca Hurn. Latest single ‘Love Like This’ pairs long, sweeping vocal pitches with an elegant cradle of instruments. Kept strikingly tender, through a subtle and soft musical composure. It is delicate yet daring, hereby its lyrical content.
A thrilling love story, the track proves to be a captivating listen. The tale of two star-crossed lovers, and a seemingly doomed fate. Yet their adoration for one another outshines all odds. ‘Love Like This’ is a whirlwind fairytale romance, embodied though music. Both enchanting and cathartic, the track swells with emotion and a loving grace.
Placing itself gently among the realms of indie-pop. The track straddles elegantly between a cool twinkling pop sound, and an immersion within the growing indie-folk/alternative scene. Echoing vocals reminiscent of both pop sensation Maisie Peters, and folk-queen Laura Marling. Rebecca Hurn’s capability of softly blending these two genres in such a gorgeous way, surely stems the roots for unrivalled future success.
Already making an impact, Rebecca Hurn received an award for earlier single ‘Waves’ at the Independent Music Awards in New York City, and was again nominated upon the release of ‘Homesick’. Making her the only Welsh artist to ever receive the prize, throughout the ceremonies 18 year history, and the only unsigned UK artist to be nominated in the same category consecutively.
Latest single ‘Love Like This’ was released as a result of Rebecca Hurn being one of twenty artists selected for the Re_Balance Programme; a pioneering initiative providing studio and recording space for emerging female musicians. At Old Castle Studios in Leeds, Rebecca Hurn teamed up with award-winning producer and sound engineer Rhiannon Mair, along with studio assistant Laura Williams. It was here, that her own original song ‘Love Like This’, was then recorded and mastered over five days.
A passionate and driven individual, Rebecca Hurn’s music is soothing and comforting, but also incredibly inspiring. With a global reach firmly in her sights. We wait with bated breath, to marvel as to where her voice will take her next.
Infusing tender romantic blues with light guitar work. Pascxl (pronounced Pascal) creates an atmospheric soundscape of acoustic pop, that simmers against deep vocal hues. Latest single ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’ is a woefully tender love song, that pairs longing lyrics with a soothing sound. Perhaps a subtle nod to baroque pop. The track dreams of crushing melancholy moments, with slight echoes of jazz adding a subtle jolt to wake us back up again.
Caressing and rousing in equal measures. Pascxl cleverly combines blushing indie-pop with a splash of lo-fi magic, to create music reminiscent of a canvass of stars, lighting up the nights sky. Both innovative and alluring, Pascxl self-records and produces tracks from a garden shed studio setup. With an inspiring DIY approach, met by a profound passion for music. There is such an indescribable charm, surrounding this mysterious musician.
Perfecting a delicate balance of heartbreak to self-assurance. On latest track ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’, Pascxl strings along lovelorn lyrics, to enchant any listener. Whilst remaining unwavering, bold and beautiful, rooted by an underlying vocal strength, as romantic notions glide effortlessly throughout the track.
Setting a sultry atmosphere, the song is a story, as much as it is sound. A captivating collaboration of music and lyrics, setting a scene to cradle us back to those memories of long lost lovers, that we had kept locked away in our hearts, until now.
Allow yourself to be transported away, within Pascxl’s otherworldly track ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’. Bathed in aching lyrical romance, gentle rhythmic acoustics and tantalising pops of percussion. It is a lo-fi gem, just yearning to shine. Crafted by the tender vocal and musical talent, of multi-instrumentalist Pascxl. A very promising muse, who is certain to capture the hearts of anyone who hears their music.
Stream ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’ on all platforms now
As Cardiff continues to produce an array of exciting and talented musicians. Meet Static Inc. A three-piece alternative rock group, who are crossing borders not only musically, but also where language is concerned.
Combining both English and native Welsh within their debut track. Latest single ‘Tangelo’ is enriched by its varied blend of tongue, adding an interesting perspective. Lines interchange their language seamlessly, meaning verses are coolly multi-lingual, in an effortless transition.
Often musicians sing in just one language during a track, but to hear two very different languages laced together in such a way, is a breath of fresh air. Despite drawing on lyrics that are solemn and moody. The gritty realness that exudes from this debut is refreshing, as Static Inc place heart and personal experience within their music.
Based on a bedrock of rumbling alt-rock. Static Inc build truly expansive music, as they progress through their multi-layered track. Standing at an impressive seven minutes, ‘Tangelo’ is segmented with upbeat, catchy guitar solos, that schmooze against fizzing drums. Musical correlations flow from one part to the next, and motions are fluid-like within this rock-operatic daydream.
Varying sections create a single that is digestible and easy to listen to. Even with its lengthy playtime, ‘Tangelo’ never falters. Faint hums of influence spark from Queen’s 6-minute ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’, with similar styles that only deepen in intensity as the minutes progress.
As a strong instrumental closure brings ‘Tangelo’ to its crescendo. Drums clash with an industrial fury and guitars pulse along in a medley of sound. Incorporating an entirely different style, when compared to the multi-lingual lyrical moodiness of the opening few minutes. These purely playful 4 minutes, allow for such a profound instrumental pitch, that charges the track with a new lease of energy.
Static Inc are clearly a budding new band, out to prove that language is certainly no barrier when it comes to music. All whilst harnessing a unique and intriguing sound. Capable of telling a story entirely its own, without the use of any words at all.
Music thuds through the walls, and the building shakes from the blaring pulse of the speakers. As doors fly open, and countless people weave in through the darkness. The packed-out gig is hot and humid. Filled with laughter and noise, beer and chanting. Livelier than any stadium, a wall-to-wall show at Fuel promises to please. The band on stage certainly do not disappoint. Gritty guitar work, blaring vocals, and clashing drums engulf the room, delighting the eagerly awaiting crowd.
An atmosphere that is surely engrained within heavy metal band SouthBound, who celebrated the release of their debut EP ‘Even Angels Sin’, to a packed-out show at Cardiff’s Fuel Nightclub in January. Determined not to let lockdown deter their spirits, the band have been working hard on creating their sophomore release. Proudly presenting, latest single ‘Bermuda’ to the world.
A gritty guitar anthem, you can really sink your teeth into. ‘Bermuda’ roars with feminine ferocity. Lead vocalist Megan Jenkins sets the tone, as ravaging guitars and drums whir around her. Choosing to keep pitches low and biting to begin with, the band allude to that sinister tension, building throughout their music.
Providing sublime guitar pitches, substantial enough to satisfy any rock n’ roll fan. Classic influence from giants such as Slipknot, Slayer and Avenged Sevenfold are clear to be heard, and evoke this bands hungry desire. Resulting in the grungy, alternative soundscape that charges ‘Bermuda’.
Rooted within the heart of the Welsh Valleys, a passion for music runs deep in the veins of SouthBound. There is such resonating energy present, that rings clear through their music. Instruments are pushed to breaking-point, with a fearless style of playing. Vocals are steeped in Megan’s rich Welsh accent. It is these bold touches of home, that push SouthBound forward in Cardiff’s metal scene, and ‘Bermuda’ is certainly a promising catapult.
Living, rehearsing and recording amidst Tottenham’s bustling warehouse community. Musical-outlet World News have clear intentions of becoming an indie band on the rise. With latest single ‘Lend Me Your Brain’ pairing hooking basslines to rhythmic jangled guitars. Low-pitched vocal purrs provide the final ingredient, to create a sound that is blisteringly direct.
There is no denying that this band know exactly what they want, and there is a sense of certainty that they will soon achieve it. With such a bold style rooted to their music. We can feel the soul of its very core. Notes of nostalgia hum from lead vocalist Alex Evans, particularly in the subtle understatement to his voice, remnant of years gone by. While smooth basslines glide in close comparison to The National. Faster-paced segments hone the slightly unhinged approach of main inspiration, Squid. With just enough lo-fi distortion creating character, World News may have a sound that is direct, but it is far from monotonous.
Subtle tempo changes and moving rhythmic pitches, allow the track means of flow and direction. Matching in tempo, to its lyrics. Written during the breakdown of a relationship, ‘Lend Me Your Brain’ explores peaks and troughs of anxieties as they bubble away, whilst coincidingly battling painstaking doubt, and a reckless abandonment of one’s own self. Yet all the while, remaining eerily grounded. As the music flows, so do thoughts, feelings and emotions. Brushing against the grind of daily life. The bass rumbles on like the rattle of the underground tube, vocals simmer like the swirls of fumes that clog the air. Condensed in sound, as though packed into the claustrophobic warehouse confinements. Lyrics are brought to life by their music.
It is these pops of sheer genius, that set World News apart from anyone else. Runaway brooding segments, in which the bass takes over and rampages throughout the track, like an emotional train wreck. Vocal drones that demand attention, like a jilted lover needing to be heard. World News are taking control of their sound and style with brilliant assurance. As Debut EP ‘Job and Money’ is set for release on 18th September. Dominating the indie genre, is surely next on their agenda.
‘Lend Me Your Brain’ is available to stream on Soundcloud now
Streaming on Spotify from 18th September, along with their Debut EP ‘Job and Money’
Sultry and slow burning. Delve into the intoxicating confessions of Vienna-based musician Fleming, through latest single Guilt and Pleasure. Led by a seductive blend of electronic percussion, mixed by Grammy nominated producer ill Factor. Slinky piano keys glide against drawn-out guitars, to brood among ambient atmospheric vocal pitches. There is an undeniable sleek, professionalism present. So authoritative and impactful, we are swept off our feet.
Exploring the experience of a simultaneously playful and powerful relationship. Guilt and Pleasure mirrors its musical intensities, as exquisitely as its lyrical prowess. By style and sound, we are captivated within this rousing contemporary track. Submerging soft R&B with soulful, modern blues. Fleming exudes energy similar to the late-great Prince, with a slant in sound towards Childish Gambino or Steve Lacy.
Guilt and Pleasure is a soundscape that fizzes with a passionate, eloquent vibrance. Lyrically entangled in the reckless lust of youth, yet rooted in nostalgic 1970s notes. Fleming chimes “Just take me back to the hotel room, and let me love you” as lyrics swathe against a gorgeous, simmering retro-authenticity. Swaddled are woozy synths, with hazy distorted vocals. Adding considerable body and depth to a track that consciously balances the chaotic current day, with a homage to decades and genres past.
Dark romantic notions linger, as though Fleming is hunting the forbidden source of his desire. Under late-night hazy skies, that merge with crowded smoke-filled rooms. Wine glasses gleam under golden spotlights, where stolen glances are exchanged. Guilt and Pleasure teases at sentiment and hooks our attention. Certain are its demands that Fleming is one to watch, with a tender yet mischievous nature.
Through a pulsing guitar, we are hurtled into the fast-paced, loud and untamed music of South Wales’ Alternative Rock Band Feverjaw. Since bursting onto the scene last year, they are a band that have made an impact, and their music continues to be very well received by fans and the industry alike. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they are planning to unveil their debut album very soon. With first single Bloodwork due to be released this Friday (4th September).
As boisterous guitars meet the clash of drums. Sparks fly on their tantalising latest track. With an opening riff that is strong and punchy, Feverjaw ensure we are hooked within the very first few seconds. Gritty rock music, delivered in a fresh and exciting new way. Bloodwork is fuelling and gloriously energetic.
Vocals from lead Dale Hawkins blaze through with bold ferocity. Providing that biting satisfaction, as this track roars to life. Exuding an undeniable air of confidence, Feverjaw are unflinching in the message they wish to convey. Brooding lyrics thrive over intense instrument playing, meandering between menacing and subtle melancholy. There is a definite ‘fight over flight’ fury that is uplifting and inspiring. The raucous music tearing throughout the track, ensures Feverjaw can be heard loud and clear. As Bloodwork shines to become an anthem of positivity.
Stirring and vibrant, Feverjaw are undoubtedly giving us a little more than just rousing rock music alone. With lyrics laced in thoughts and feeling, this sense of self and empathy that burns throughout their music, adds a layer of depth to your typical rock n’ roll façade. As we discover a band capable of becoming a beacon of hope. Feverjaw grasp rock music with all of its chaotic energy, and channel this to confront chaotic emotions head on.
Bloodwork is out on 4th September via Tone Burn Records
MojoJNR is the alias of South Wales Musician Josh David-Read. Pairing the dreamiest of summer soundscapes, with husky vocal musings. His canvas of creativity spans far and wide, crafting music that will surely delight any listener. With a deep and unique approach to indie-pop, composed from the world around him. Josh harnesses a brave expression of his own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Utilising a vibrant spectrum of personal experience, to share his colourful musical universe with us. Friends and those he meets along the way may play a helping hand in what finally culminates as Mojo JNR. Yet the driving force, evoking and breathing life into the project, truly is Josh himself.
Sophomore single Peach Out is a clever play on words. Written about holistic methods of coping with anxiety. The idea for the track was originally derived from a text sent by Josh, with Peace Out, having been auto-corrected to Peach Out. This little quirk looped around in Josh’s mind, and together with a bit of research, he stumbled upon a crystal called peach aventurine. Discovering its benefits to soothing stress and worry, the concept behind Peach Out was born.
Josh explains how “Peach Out is essentially a light-hearted bedroom-pop track, focusing on how difficult it is to relax, even when you are doing nothing.” With swirling thoughts around anxiety, coupled with lockdown. Josh found himself determined to write the lyrics for the track, record, and self-release it by the end of July. Achieving that and more, Josh has proven himself to be a complex and motivated musician. It is truly awe-inspiring to behold his creative flow, from start to finish.
Peach Out pairs husky soulful vocals with simmering instruments and synths. With lead vocals from Josh harmonising exquisitely with backing vocals of fellow-musician Ci Gofod (Jack ThomasDavies) who features on the track. As the two vocals gently brush off one another, their overall warmth combined with keeping the pitch fairly low, results in a sultry summer-time track. Peach Out will perfectly resonate with fans of folk-rock singer Paolo Nutini, as well as the power-pop musings of an 80s Bowie.
Instruments are not overbearing, but instead infuse with the gorgeous vocal musk concocted, to create a soft yet rousing track. Without being raucous or loud, Peach Out is a woozy exploration of self-expression, evoking imagery of moody sunset blues.
Peach Out swiftly follows Mojo JNR’s debut offering Miles Away, which was released back in May. A brooding and slower guitar-fuelled love song, Miles Away stirs our senses, bringing to the forefront that one person we all need to move on from. With a smooth ability to easily transcribe a breadth of emotions, into lyrics. Josh is a remarkably keen songwriter, and it is clear to hear this talent reflected through his music. Miles Away is a marriage of music to lyrics, and a strikingly beautiful debut.
Mojo JNR is certainly one to watch, and amongst many others, I find myself incredibly excited to behold what the future has in store for this musical muse.
Peach Out and Miles Away are available to stream on Spotify
3:00am. Despite the stillness of the night, you find yourself lying awake. Looking again for the hundredth time, at the hand crawling around the clock. “Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock!” rattles through your brain like a dull ache. Bleary eyed and tired. Your inner monologue just won’t stop tonight. Sleep would be nice, but the thoughts are too loud.
Latest single Thought Number 3 from Rosehip Teahouse embodies those lonely hours we share with the moonlight. Basked in nothing but our own thoughts. Sleep will not come, because we are too exhausted by our minds.
Peering in through the glass of Rosehip Teahouse, we steal a glimpse at the thoughts keeping lead vocalist and songwriter Faye Rodgers awake. What begins as gentle musings, soon spiral.
Wrapping sincere lyrics within soft, delicate sounds. Rosehip Teahouse create emotional music, without any crushing weight to it. Instruments are kept light, and twinkling synths sparkle throughout the track like stars.
The woozy, dreamlike soundscape sets a scene of calm and tranquillity. Lyrics highlight Faye’s gorgeous song-writing abilities, and flawless vocals remain perfectly harmonious. The soft nature of the song, almost for a moment, allows for an escape from the sadness behind the words sung to us. Until we are jolted by the poignant finale.
Pairing opposing elements, of deep sadness and soothing music, together so beautifully. Fragile emotions are cradled and vocals lullaby soft. As though warming us with a comforting glow in the darkness.
At just over a minute and a half long; Thought Number 3 is a tender little indie-pop track, with huge emotional, poetic, and personal reach. For Rosehip Teahouse to have conveyed music so moving and resonate within such a short duration of time, is truly wonderous.
Thought Number 3 is available to stream now via Sad Club Records
Grasped by a guitar riff, we dive straight into latest single Can’t Go Back from London-based indie outlet Medium Love. Despite its initial heaviness, the biting riff soon softens when accompanied by an unexpected but glorious, pop of synths. Adding a light-hearted twist to the track.
Swaddling a mean guitar riff with synths could seem an odd combination at first. However the brilliant mixture of instruments Medium Love harness, showcases a unique sound, setting them apart from the very get-go. A ripple of personality breezing through within the first 5 seconds, certain to hook anyone in.
Can’t Go Back pairs perfectly with summer sunshine. As a snaking bassline pulses throughout, drums clash with guitars, creating a raucous rhythmic dreamscape. Pop-punk vocals from Kacey Underwood lift the track to dizzying heights, and once met by co-vocalist Heather Eaton, the duos varying harmonies combine to provide a rich vibrance. Reminiscent in sound to Childcare and The XX.
These vocal harmonies contrast exquisitely, not just with one another, but with their own individual tempos. Matching breathless woozy moments with intense shouted sections. Again, we see a build on that medley of sound Medium Love are delivering throughout their debut.
This mash-up of genres could risk coming off speckled and jarring, but Medium Love manage the balance just right. To present a track that is polished and professional, with just a dash of DIY-bedroom-pop vibe, which we all love!
Perhaps their professionalism spans from experience, as Medium Love are not entirely new to the music scene. Founding member Kacey Underwood was formerly of BigDeal, a band who achieved success amongst the grassroots movement between 2013-2016. Based between California and London.
Striking out anew with Medium Love, we feel that all involved are really beginning to channel their own unique styles. It truly is wonderful to behold! Especially when compared with the pure punk-rock that dominated the sound of Big Deal.
This flair and spark of individuality now at home within Medium Love, will surely stand them in good stead and I highly anticipate their upcoming EP release in just a weeks’ time.
Ahead of the release of her strikingly-beautiful Debut EP Open Up, Honey which will be outthis Friday (24th July). GILLIE has shared with me the EPs lead single Winter Girl, which I am beyond delighted to introduce to you today.
Combining rich earthy tones, with a sheer and beautiful whimsicality. GILLIE blends a variance of sound to create the most sublime music.
Winter Girl is heartfelt and staggering. A stunning debut, from a very promising EP.
A lyrical journey of change. The track encapsulates growth from a pained past. Yet bravely explores elements often unspoken, through recognising that progression may not be easy.
Flourishing in the freedom of her self-expression. The track provides hope and clarity, whilst not hurrying past moments of doubt and angst. Recognising that in time, one can move forward with them.
GILLIE’s songwriting is raw and truthful. Encasing this within delicate yet fiercely unwavering vocals, and finessing amongst the gentle strums of a guitar. GILLIE has self-produced a track that is open, and enriching.
Providing a wonderful welcome of what we can expect to hear from Open Up, Honey upon its release on 24th July.
Listen to the first track Winter Girl exclusively here
Through a happy-go-lucky swirl of sound, we are swept away by latest single This Side of Luv from Cardiff-based band KEYS. Honing inspiration from psychedelic pop of the 60s and 70s, their music is a glorious clash of instruments with the grooviest lovelorn vocals from lead Matthew Evans. Bedroom recording at its best, the track is a glowing example of plug in and play. In no way overthought or finely tuned. Instead This Side of Luv took shape during the recording process and came to life using cassette four-track machines during lockdown.
Reflecting on Britain in the early 70s, KEYS recall how joyous music emerged from bleak moments. Pondering over its effect on history, they express how music has the power to lift the spirit, and hope to achieve this with their very own modern-retro sound in 2020. Without any shadow of a doubt, This Side of Luv is a song capable of boosting any glum mood. Seeking beauty in heartbreak, the track radiates fun and happiness in the brightest of technicolour. I long for the moment I can dance around to a spinning KEYS vinyl.
With an unmistakable early Beatles vibe, KEYS provide a perfect nod of nostalgia, but shake things up with a new-age bang. Rhythmic drums and guitar hooks flow marvellously throughout the track. Yet without drawing on any formalities, it is safe to say that this is simply a great piece of music.
KEYS have blown me away with a brilliant blend of vintage vibrance for This Side of Luv, that commanded my attention from start to finish.
This Side of Luv is out now via Libertino Records
Follow KEYS on their socials below
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