“Strange Feelings” is a new and exciting single release from singer and songwriter Jack Hodges. The song immediately stands out for its lush, driven and direct textures. The snare sound in particular, is absolutely massive, as if it was echoing from deep down the bottom of a cave. I love the dark, haunting vibes of this track and Jack does a really great job at keeping up with the melodies and textures of this track with his laid-back and on-point vocal performance.
On this track, Jack reminds me of talented artists such as Frank Ocean or D’Angelo, combining unique textures with some stunning sonic ideas. The production value of this single is definitely worth mentioning. The track is absolutely world-class and the mix is balanced and masterfully executed.
As we discover new ways to improve upon our audio techniques, we tend to find ourselves removing things as often as we add them. For instance, breathing. Breathing cannot be contained in our sterile, overproduced, professional pop recordings. Breathing is also the first thing you’ll notice listening to LEON’s Ritual Cannibalism. This is where you’ll know before a single kick drum that this is a song that will get you moving. This is a song with energy. This song has a primordial nature to it. We can get all of that just from the inclusion of something so many producers fear like the plague.
LEON’s presence as a vocalist is all about matching the energy. He feels the fear for you, but he’s also the one to be afraid of. This sort of roleplay keeps the listener on their toes, though their toes are otherwise occupied dancing to the relatively minimalist beat that boasts strong bass low end and a real sense of moving through structure without falling into bland repetitions. Ritual Cannibalism is about a sense of embracing the dreaded, violent inevitability of a situation. Applying this feeling to a dancefloor is the perfect chance for people to let their inner animal out.
GRLD II is a musical project with an uplifting and edgy attitude. Their recent release, “Late Bloomer” immediately grabs a listener’s interest with its interesting vibes and experimental approach to hip-hop. With this unique song, GRLD II makes me think of rap collectives such as Odd Future or Death Grips, artists who also have a rather unconventional approach to hip-hop.
“Late Bloomer” is built upon some unique layers of music that have a very dynamic feel. At times, there would only be a lonely clap track sustaining everything, while in other occasions, there would be a powerful low end thump and some amazing layer of synths, making for a really special approach.
The vocal performances are really the star in this production, giving the song its distinctive edge and personality above all. One of the things I really enjoy about this particular tune is certainly the cool kalimba / thumb piano style samples, which add some quirky melodies to the beat.
Punk meets Alternative, Breath After Coma has a real tough persona, bringing an edgy style to rock, “I, The Animal” mediates between control and despair. The vocals disclose the frustration towards the catalyst of their repression, with the tumultuous electric guitar accompanying the recurring theme of pain, sending the dynamic of the track into an invigorating frenzy. Breath After Coma sets the scene from the get go by revealing, “A love affair between the primal and the supreme”, and what comes after is a striking touch to a forbidden relationship, and that is exactly what completes the perplexity in the track.
“I, The Animal” is a complex understanding, where Breath After Coma uses comparisons to the consequences of their actions that has become so erroneous. A parallel contrast to “raising hell” is symbolic to a self-affliction of guilt, yet what makes this idea so relatable is how the blame is shifted to their “supreme”. There is a sincere compassion through their performance, whilst the staggering beat supports the vicious guitar strum, there is a benevolent quality hidden between the lines. Breath After Coma proves they have the capacity to feel pain, whilst continuing to care, “You breed all needs like there’s still belief/I did my deeds and I raised hell/I fed your lights locked up my pride/Left all drained in this boy”. “I, The Animal” invites us to witness a darker side to torment, a liberating relief from a complicated circumstance.
Pablo Schmal does that most rare of things, he makes pop that sounds both grown up and wonderfully infectious at the same time. Throwaway pop is two a penny, it always has been, and that is pretty much the nature of the beast. But pop aimed at a more mature audience generally misses the point, taking itself too seriously and forgetting why it came into the room in the first place. Lovejar, however, is the best of both worlds.
It plays with the same dreamy vibes that Damien Rice made his hallmark but has a more confident delivery than his drifting soundscapes. It employs some wonderfully trippy electronica and chiming musical motifs that take this out of the realms of the usual singer-songwriter offering and pushes it towards a more mature and exploratory sound. The real charm is the songs ability to sonically twist and turn, play with dynamics and throw in a few musical curveballs but still stay focused and cohesive. A neat trick if you can do it, Pablo not only does so but also makes it sound effortless.
If there is one thing which connects the various reference points that Machinic Demiurge it is a dark, agitated claustrophobic vibe that comes from its hushed menace and hypnotic backbeats. It employs fractious industrial splinters, gothic otherworldliness, strange skittering dance beats and enigmatic bass riffs to create a Bauhaus-esque, horror movie soundtrack for a new generation.
Oddly for all its sharp, jagged edges and sense of impending doom, Mechanically Separated Human is strangely elegant in its oddness, after all you don’t have to understand beauty to appreciate it and to a legion of Goths, anarcho-punks, darkwave dancers and other denizens of the night, this will be one of the most beautiful records they have heard recently. To others it will be strangely enticing and to yet others it will be confounding and challenging and no matter where you stand on the matter you won’t forget it in a hurry.
IDK’s moniker might stand for “I Don’t Know”, but this talented act sure knows a thing or two about great psychedelic vibes. Their recent single, Empty Pits is a phenomenal indie song with gritty vibes and psychedelic textures that make me think of artists as diverse as The Black Angels or The Flaming Lips, just to mention a few.
“Empty Pits” has a nice vintage feel to it as a single, yet it encompasses a modern vision with a largely eclectic feel.
On “Empty Pits”, IDK set out to find the right balanced compromise between chunky guitar riffing, catchy hooks and great song-writing, with a particular focus on the sound and feel of their performance as a whole.
From psychedelic vibes, to folk and indie rock, IDK showcases a wildly diverse discography, originating from the experimental and innovative mindset of this project
Beachdust is an eclectic musical project with a fondness for unexpected and catchy songwriting. Elements of pop and 60s beat clash with garage, indie and alternative, making for charismatic and personable patterns, just like bands such as The Black Lips, The Kinks or even The Strokes, just to mention but a few. Their recent single release, “Spider Baby”, is taken from the band’s latest studio album, Midnight Sally, which features 10 songs, including the single itself.
These talented musicians set out to bring something unique to the table: It is amazing how this clash of tones appears so organic and orderly: it’s not simple to pull it off, but Beachdust effortlessly succeeded in the task, doing a great job at perfecting their distinctive sound formula in a fun and lighthearted way.
“Spider Baby” is a great example of the band’s formula, going for a catchy, light and energetic vibe, matched with a set of compact, yet endearing lyrics.
Post grunge? Is that a thing? Well, if it is then The Night Suns fit right into such a category. You can hear the last dissonant chords of the end of the grunge era drift through their music, as well as the muscular and more polished alt-rock sound of the modern era and between the two The Night Suns find their own singular voice.
But it is cleverer than the simple meeting and re-matching of those two genres. There is a clever dynamic at work in their approach to composition, one that often feels as if they are going to head off into more progressive rock territories but which stops short of any unnecessary noodling or sounds aping. Instead they prove to be masters of taking all the classic sounds from across a number of heavier genres, blend them with melody and deft atmospherics and produce a sound all of their own.
It might be quite obvious where they come from musically but where they are going is a far more interesting prospect.
Nature/Nurture, the album that Crawl comes from, is a poignant and timely reminder of a very serious subject. Written against a life long backdrop of depression and the related fall out, the recent loss to the rock community of a couple of its key players adds even more weight to the subject matter here. But Crawl and its parent album doesn’t dwell in the darker depths but instead attempts to bring the conversation into the light, and for all the weight of its subject matter it offers hope and positivity to a debate which we should be more and more willing to be part of.
Musically it is the perfect blend of melodicism and technicality, power and deftness, it blends the hard edge of the likes of Tool, the soaring majesty of Queensryche and the hook and immediacy of more accessible classic acts such as Def Leppard. This combination of poignancy and power makes for a great sound.