Hailing from Perth, Australia, Ah Trees set out to create an interesting blend of new wave and indie-pop, with psychedelic overtones. They learned lessons from their fellow Aussies, Tame Impala, but also from timeless acts such as INXS (another legendary band from the land down under), The Police or Tears For Fears.
Ah Trees set out to offer their own special twist on such influences, transposing the aesthetics of new wave music into the modern indie-rock format with excellent result. Do It All Wrong also features a collaboration with Moody Beach, bringing a distinctive twist to the track.
The track is the first single taken from their upcoming sophomore release! Find out more here
Duality feels like the sort of song that people say, “they don’t make them like that anymore.” Not that it feels retro or stylistically outdated, it is just something in its make up, its integrity, its perfect generic splicing which marks it out as a sound apart from the main pack of the modern musical race. There is an inherent soulfulness and rhythmic groove, it is driven when it needs to make a point, soothing when it wants to seduce. It also works in, if not the dark corners of pop, then certainly amongst the shadowed and exploratory fringes.
And pop it is, but as far from the usual chart fare as you are likely to find. Yet when you hold up the pop yardstick to Duality it ticks all the right boxes. Accessible, clever, memorable, dynamic, emotive (bordering on brooding) and showing more of the rock and blues roots, to which all modern pop owes its living, than most cares to expose. Maybe this isn’t a reflection of what pop used to be but a template for its possible future. The fact that Lily Oakes has a scant on-line presence normally only reserved for winners of The Voice, only adds to the mystery.
The Woodshedders is a band whose formula falls somewhere in between the energetic edge of rock music and the intimacy of folk. Their recent album release, Talisman, makes me think of the work of artists such as Fleet Foxes or My Morning Jacket: their atmospheres are bright and mellow, yet the song has a spark to it, bursting with warmth and vibe.
“Diamond Rings” blinks an eye to Celtic folk, while “House On Fire” has an amazing big band blues sound that almost reminds me of the mighty Rolling Stones! These are only two of my favorite tracks on the album.
The arrangement of these songs is particularly amazing because it balances a more traditional approach with something more unique and experimental. The vocal sound, for example, never falls short and sits on top of the mix beautifully, with a silky smooth tones. The drums are airy, yet energetic and present, truly cutting through the song and allowing the overall tone to really gel together. This song clocks in at 5 minutes, and its structure is refreshingly dynamic, taking the listener along for an amazing ride and making for a very compelling musical journey.
“Diamond Rings” blinks an eye to Celtic folk, while “House On Fire” has an amazing big band blues sound that almost reminds me of the mighty Rolling Stones!
Imagine a place where drinks are free and blood won’t spill, where the music is an imaginative blend between country, rock and blues and the rhythm just keeps flowing as the hours go by – an outlaw heaven. That’s exactly where Doe Grass is taking us! Portrayed through a collection of clever and image evoking lyrics, steady percussive rhythms and a good sense of harmonic contrast at just the right points “Sally’s Place” is guaranteed to have you press repeat after the last few notes. The sound of the steady shaker rhythms in the beginning are enough to pull you in and immerse you in an image evoking song with memorable guitar lines that are groovy and tastefully bluesy all at the same time. The laid back guitar solos also feature an interesting element of harmonic fluctuations which interact perfectly with the underlying progression, creating an experience that is full of colour.
With an edgy, yet clear, vocal tone and just the right attitude the lyrics are expressed with a strong sense of narrative while the rhythm remains pronounced and consistent throughout. The use of effects is also a feature which is integrated very nicely, making this track sound complete, with a freshness of sound that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone. Apart from it’s ability to capture the imagination through an authentic arrangement, “Sally’s Place” also presents a good element of melodic contrast, and a final statement which is exactly what makes it so memorable and catchy for all.
Cave Upgrade sounds like a rap opera complete with all the inherent drama and tension, Wagnerian oppression and dark intensity. A heavy salvo of vocals sits over a claustrophobic backdrop; one that plays with sonic dynamics moving from playful riffs to a wall of synth wash and finally a wasted dystopian drift.
If you are used to rap music following tried and tested pathways, this is where the road stops, you get out of the car and head out into the unknown, into new musical territories and totally unexpected terrain. This the sound of rap as a sound track to a horror movie, of rap as theatre noir, rap as the prelude to the end of the world. Music historians always like to talk about those days when the course of music changed for ever, Elvis, Bowie, punk, hip-hop…Chi Body may very well be on such a list one day.
Anyone who loves rock music is probably familiar with this scene: a band is playing whilst fans are moshing. A fight starts and beer is flying everywhere. In other words: it’s a great time. This scene is made audible by A Weekend Away’s track Haze.
Haze is comprised of verses that give you just enough to keep wanting more. With basslines that will keep you moving and guitars that lurk around ready to strike, you’ll be on the edge of your seat if you aren’t being knocked off your feat. Powerful vocals that stay crystal clear are a major bonus and drums that ooze rock aesthetic set a foundation that can’t be beat. This song’s got everything but the alcohol.
If harder rock isn’t your scene, it’s important to note that this song never leaves pop palatable territory. It’s got hooks and distortion that’s tamed back by production just enough to keep it from being distracting while maintaining its strong presence. A Weekend Away walks a line between sensibilities that so many artists can’t seem to balance and this might be one of the reasons Haze is such a great track. This is accessible music whether you’re a softer person looking for danger or a harder person trying to cool down from something more egregious.
As the plaintive piano lines build into more dramatic crescendos and brooding strings drive the song into a higher gear you realise that even commercial pop music can be a thing of simple beauty. Whilst others might throw the studio kitchen sink at a song, work out intricate dance routines, design hooks and melodies via workshops and board meetings, Calton Kelly reminds us that it’s all about the song. It is about passion and integrity too but thankfully this lad has all of that covered. And then some.
Gentle and spacious neo-classical cascades meet electronic beats in a melding of present and past, tradition and technology and as strings sweep past, brooding cellos swoop and distant violins soar, the simple, understated majesty of the music is set free. It’s great to find a young modern artist who is able to embrace the past as well as head into the future.
If there is such a thing as dream-dance then LADLX makes it. Moonlight is a chilled and sonorous blend of slow groove dance, ambient hip-hop and hazy electronica and it sounds like nothing that you have heard before. The elements that make up the track might be familiar in their own right but when they are assembled in this intricate and unusual way the result is nothing short of spectacular new sonic architecture.
It is like sleepwalking through a techno-soundscape or the sort of dreams that robots might have, it alternately chills and grooves as the dynamic twists and turns, one moment infectious and dance-fuelled the next half heard and dreamlike. Dance music is already a broad section of the modern musical spectrum but I think LADLX has just invented a new sub-genre. What it is called is anyone’s guess.
Sometimes all you need is a fun tune. When you have had enough of the inward looking and earnest indie kids, the cliché riddled rockers and the production line pop, something light, sassy, self-aware and playful is what is called for. Sometimes all you need is Stela Cole.
Balancing the pop infectiousness of Ellie Goulding, the darker undertones of Lana Del Ray and the street smarts of Lily Allen, her “beats from the Bible Belt” are as cool and contemporary as anything currently filling the dance floors, yet they still sounds like nothing else you have heard from any of the competition. Living up to her mantra that “trying to fit in gets you nowhere, standing out is what life’s all about,” Secret Lover is a mercurial and original blend of cartoon theme tunes, wonky, staccato dance grooves and bubble-gum pop beats making the most addictive cat nip for the very coolest of cats.
And the odd thing is that for all its apparent throwaway pop nature, this is throwaway pop that you just can’t stop listening to. How do you even do that?
Naïka is a singer/songwriter born in Miami, Florida, who developed an interest in music from an early age while living and traveling internationally with her family.
Naika was born from a Haitian mother and Malagasy father, and growing up with the influence of European, African and Caribbean cultures has shaped her both musically and individually, and continues to define her artistic perspective and outlook. Her music reflects a blend of pop, soul with a World Music influence.
Naïka currently majors in Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she is pursuing her creative aspirations full time. Within her first year as a student, she was selected to tour with GRAMMY-winning artist Michael Bolton, and participate on NBC’s The Voice. Her songwriting ability also earned her a second place prize in the BMI John Lennon Foundation Scholarship in 2015.
As her academic chapter is coming to an end, Naïka’s music is beginning to flourish. After the release of her debut single “Call Me Marilyn”, the artists’ next pop banger “Ride” is scheduled to hit streaming platforms on May 6th.
Naïka continues to develop her vocal and songwriting expertise with an exemplary work ethic, that will stand her in good stead throughout her journey as an artist, wherein perseverance, dedication and hard work are essential.