(Video) Helen Love – ‘Atomic’

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Although they’ve been on the go for over two decades, Helen Love have, until now, remained an unknown quantity till quite recently. 

Formed in 1992, the Welsh group carved a name for themselves with their bubblegum punk songs about punk boys, crushes, tough girls and Joey Ramone. Having only discovered Helen Love through their latest LP, Day-Glo Dreams, the content seems to be in a similar vein as mentioned previously, while the punky sound has been swapped for synth pop. This is synth pop with lighthearted lyrics designed to make you dance, non more so than latest single and album standout, ‘Atomic’. It’s a cheesy, cheerful and bouncy affair of all synths and smiles. Combine this with her perfectly sweet vocals and ability to write sugar-sweet pop melodies and you have the recipe for one highly contagious sound. One too, that will be stuck in your head for ages.

You can give ‘Atomic’ the once over below & Day-Glo Dreams is out now on Elefant Records. [Stream it on Spotify]

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(Video) Steve Mason – ‘Fire!’

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As far as records of the year go, Steve Mason‘s Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time is right up there at the top.

Mason’s second solo effort is a stunning record, shaped by the current global political climate and the lack of dissenting voices in music and popular culture in general. This brings us nicely to Mason’s latest single, ‘Fire!’, which encapsulates all that’s great about the aforementioned LP in one song. It is filled with genuine heart, soul and honesty – and of course plenty of righteous politicalised anger – as he foments unrest over a deep, powerful bassline and shots of stunning brass. This combined with a blend of psych-folk/trip/hip-hop beats and dub overtones acts as a prefect backdrop for his wonderful ghostly vocal. Simply magnificent. Someone please book Mason for some Irish shows. Thanks. 

‘Fire!’ will be released as a download only on November 4 via Domino. Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time is out now too.

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Hippies Vs Ghosts – Double Whammy of ‘Mother Tongue’ & ‘Cushion Dweller’

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The last time we dropped in on Hippies Vs Ghosts was back in the early days of summer, when two aptly titled EPs,  Hippies and, yes, Ghosts were released in quick succession.

For those of you unfamiliar with Hippies Vs Ghosts, it’s a side project from We Are Animal guitarist & vocalist, Owain Ginsberg, and one which is continuing to prove rather fruitful. Harnessing the raw energy, experimental tenancies and ear for a serious groove of his day job, we are again presented with something fascinatingly imaginative. ‘Mother Tongue’ & ‘Cushion Dweller’ are two fine examples of what Ginsberg is capable of on his own; free-flowing, slightly off-kilter natured, instrumental jams, foraging through ’50s surf rock, post-punk, krautrock and indie, among others. Both have a chilling underlying menace to them, the latter particularly so; the biggest sonic assault of a sinister unnerving, swirling noise and distortion yet. That’s about it really, let’s hope Hippies Vs Ghosts keep ’em coming.

You can listen to, or download ‘Mother Tongue’ & ‘Cushion Dweller’ for free below. You can check out both the previous EPs here if you fancy. 

Introducing: Tarsiers

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Tarsiers are a band based in Cardiff. They formed last year, began gigging in April and now their first recordings have surfaced online.

That’s the story of the Cardiff three-piece so far, in the most simplistic form. Finding an explanation for their style and sound has proven to be a rather more arduous proposition. This first collection of tracks, entitled Demo, sees them embrace an intriguing mix of styles and genres. ‘Camel’, ‘Last Train’ and ‘Black Ice’ are three imaginative and organic sounding jams, veering from rhythmic post-punk to the off-kilter realms of psychedelia and ’60s/’70s rock, all augmented by alluring grooves and imaginative arrangements. Tarsiers are an exciting proposition in what seems, from the outside anyway, as a remarkably healthy and diverse scene in Cardiff. Having set out with the aim of making music that was both ‘interesting’ and ‘fun’, we can definitely say it’s mission accomplished. Job well done.

You can stream Tarsiers tracks below and if they take your fancy, you can download them for free in a neat bundle from bandcamp.

(Video) Paul Davies – ‘Why Did I Give You My Heart?’

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Paul Davies proved his credentials as songwriter and wry storytelling ability last year with his EP, If You Only Knew, and almost exactly one year on, Davies is back once again. 

Ahead of a forthcoming new and so far nameless EP, Davies has produced a quirky DIY style video for ‘Why Did I Give You My Heart?’. Taken from last year’s If You Only Knew EP, it captures the heartwarming nature of that quintessential Paul Davies sound. It’s subtle, graceful and charming, as a gentle woozy strum accompanies his soft and gentle vocals along a passage of melancholic musings. In the past unequivocal comparisons were drawn between Davies and the slower, vulnerable moments of both Pete Doherty or Graham Coxon’s solo work. It is a similarity that still stands.

Check ‘Why Did I Give You My Heart?’ and it’s accompanying video below. No concrete details yet on the forthcoming release but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.

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(Video) China Rats – ‘N.O.M.O.N.E.Y.’

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We’ve been keeping tabs on Leeds noisemakers China Rats for sometime now, and they have yet to disappoint us with their musical antics.

China Rats continue this rich vein of form with their latest slice of spikey indie-punk, ‘N.O.M.O.N.E.Y. (No Money)’. Clocking in at just two minutes we’re blasted with a modern take on The Undertones / The Buzzcocks school of punk. Where real life is laced with a sense of humour, as frustrations of being young, jobless and skint in Britain today are met with a punchy-chorus and an abundant of hooks, giving you the best of both worlds. And oh me oh my, that video is just sublime. It’s definitely worth at least two minutes of your time.

‘N.O.M.O.N.E.Y.’ is taken from their forthcoming EP Don’t Play With Fire, will be released on October 14th.

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Introducing: Paddy Hanna

Paddy Hanna is a name that many may be familiar with from his role’s in Grand Pocket Orchestra, No Monster Club, Skelocrats and Ginnels. One would think he might have enough on his plate with four bands as it is, but not so.

With his new solo venture Hanna has enlisted the help of some familiar faces Mark Chester (Ginnels) Bobby Aherne (NMC) and Enda Canavan (GPO). With his first solo offering of ‘Join The Army’ and ‘Barry White’, Hanna is in a somewhat more laid back and relaxed mood. Two absolutely gorgeous tracks of mellow yet pleasantly chipper indie-pop with Hanna’s voice filling the songs with so much warmth. He (and and band) played their first live show down at EP last weekend and the set was an absolute treat too as it goes.

The single package of ‘Join The Army’ / ‘Barry White’ is out now on Popical Island. You can give ’em the once over below or download it gratis via bandcamp.

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