SOnance HOtel – ‘Sub-Dude’

Sonance Hotel 2013

We could all do with some good news to kick off the week, right? Well, SOnance HOtel has returned with his first new material since the release of his criminally underrated 2011 debut, Don’t Look Behind You

With new single ‘Sub-Dude’, we once again find the music performed entirely by Brian Gallagher (Humanzi/The Mighty Stef) and picking up where he left off last time, with his take on a classic indie sound. ‘Sub-Dude has somber feel too it, aided by Gallagher’s voice it conveys a certain sense of melancholy and knowing. Offset by a winding melody and some wonderfully lush instrumentation, there is hopeful beneath the sullen exterior. There is no ‘definite’ information on whether a new album is forthcoming but hopefully there is, and with it, Gallagher receives the recognition for his undoubted talent.

‘Sub-Dude’ is out now & available free for a limited time from bandcamp

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Sue Denim – ‘Hollow / ​After The Rain’

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Bangor native Sue Denim stepped out on her own, sans Robots in Disguise, with her debut solo album And The Unicorn in the latter part of last year. Recorded and co-produced in North Wales with David Wrench (Bear In Heaven, Caribou & Y Niwl), it’s a lovable collection of simple and honest songs which makes for cheery listening.

Her latest foray comes in the shape of new single ‘Hollow’ & it’s companion, ‘After The Rain'; two sweetly seductive folk songs with dreamy pop core. Musically it revolves around an acoustic guitar, piano and Sue’s soothing voice – the perfect platform to allow her free flowing melodies and lyrics to run wild. Sensational stuff really, one can’t help but feel a tinkling magical sensation when listening to these two. There is a spot for this in even the coldest of hearts.

‘Hollow / ​After The Rain’ is out  now and can be picked up from bandcamp.

Introducing: Benjamin Damage

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Swansea born / Berlin based producer Benjamin Damage has stepped out on his own with his excellent debut solo album Heliosphere. Although this is a first album under his own name, Damage is no novice, having already released a tidy body of work in collaboration with Venom and Doc Daneeka.

Loosely speaking what we’ve got here is techno, damn fine techno at that. He does however, delve into a textural depth that goes far beyond the constraints of the genre taking in touches of dubstep, garage and rave. In doing so he’s found a cloudy space between pile-driving techno, the more minimalist delicacy of the genre and an almost ambient slumber. Although this more drowsy side to his sound is maintained throughout, these atmospheric spurts are by no means the pulse of his sound. The music is propulsive and can be dark, mysterious, yet never brutal. Even when in full flight, with rhythms twisting and turning, the momentum is never lost.

An assured and focused sound that packs as much punch as it does intrigue, Heliosphere is out  now on Modeselktor’s very own 50Weapons label.

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H. Hawkline – ‘Llenwi’

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Welsh psych folky H. Hawkline has returned with his first new recordings since last year’s weird and wonderful EP, Black Domino Box. ‘Llenwi’ is one of two tracks he has contributed to Recordiau Lliwgar’s (Welsh for Colourful Records) double 10″ compilation, Y Record las, out on April 1st.

‘Llenwi’ channels his experimental whims through a rough of sludge of meandering folk and indie, with his decision to sing in his native Welsh, adding a level of distinction and unusuality to the track. It does mean however, whatever he is singing about remains a mystery (to me at least) – not a problem though, it is both unusual and brilliant. Here’s hoping for much more from H. Hawkline in the not so distant future. 

You can listen to ‘Llenwi’ below and if it floats your boat, you can stream some other tracks from the Y Record las compilation here

China Rats – ‘Nip It In The Bud’

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China Rats spent the best part of 2012 feeding us a series of top notch indie-rock gems to indulge in, and the good news is, the lads from Leeds have begun their assault on 2013 in a similar fashion.

China Rats’ new single ‘Nip It In The Bud’, is a two and a half minute blast of rough ‘n’ ready rock ‘n’ roll. Delivered with more than whiff of swagger, it is a little bit ’60s, just a tad garage & punk, and a certain Arctic Monkeys influence continues to loom large. As one of the few recent ‘indie’ bands to emerge and create some cause for excitement, it’s good too see China Rats have picked up where they left off. Hopefully 2013 results in a more than just singles. 

‘Nip It In The Bud’ is officially released on April 15th but you can listen to it below now.

Saturday Looks Good to Me – Invisible Friend

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In their decade or so existence, Saturday Looks Good To Me‘s progress has been anything but straightforward, enduring endless line-up changes and major shifts in sound. Band head honcho Fred Thomas has returned with a reconfigured band line-up and with news of a new album, One Kiss Ends It All, their fifth LP.

I can’t say I’d been aware of their existence until now, so I’m obviously no expert but lead track ‘Invisible Friend’ suggests I have been missing out. Drawing on the finer points of ’60s pop and early indie rock, ‘Invisible Friend’ is a delightfully upbeat and airy indie-pop jangle. It is simply an irresistibly infectious song.  

Saturday Looks Good to Me will release One Kiss Ends It All on May 21st through Polyvinyl. 

Sea Area Forecast – ‘Blue Notes’

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Sea Are Forecast are an indie-folk outfit from Newbridge, who went down a treat when they played a couple of the ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows last year, and importantly showed increasing promise with each performance. 

Taken from their debut release, ‘Blue Notes’ appeared late last year but got somewhat lost in the deluge of end of year lists and other festive commitments.  ‘Blue Notes’ is a perfect introduction to Sea Area’s ‘indie with a folky touch’ approach. It’s an earthy and warm slow burner with some wonderful vocal harmonies – a quite a stirring rendition as it goes.

You can listen to ‘Blue Notes’ below or watch the video, made of footage from recording sessions, live shows and other hi-jinx.

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