The Hannah Barberas – ‘It’s Not Over For The Heartache’

London-based indie-pop foursome The Hannah Barberas have graced us with a steady stream of irresistible sounds over the past few years and in doing so, have forged a rep for home-brewed charms, with a knack for charming effervescent indie-pop gems.

Continuing their winning formula for crafting charming indie-pop, their latest single ‘It’s Not Over For The Heartache’ leads the way on their new, 6-track EP, Dial H for Hannah Barberas. ‘It’s Not Over For The Heartache’ takes their quintessentially easy going and refreshingly ramshackle sound and inject it with some precision Motown rhythm and Northern Soul stylings. Sweet 60s beat-esque vocals and lush vocal harmonies woo us above layers of pop hooks, sweet jangly guitar and rich melodies to deliver an enchanting and addicting parcel of indie-pop perfection.

Tune into the timeless indie-pop gold below and the EP is here too.

NANCY – ‘When I’m With You’

NANCY is mysterious, reclusive post-punk outfit hailing from the North East of England.

Self-described as “Sgt. Peppers for degenerates”, NANCY demonstrated a propensity for furious, jerky and brilliantly mind blowing art-rock meets post-punk sounds with colourful EP The Mysterious Visions last year. 

Following on from that, NANCY is back with yet another weird and wonderful tune in the shape of ‘When I’m With You’. It’s a spectacular return, one comprised from a glittering confection of colours and shimmering synths and whisked together with otherworldly magic as melodic vocals rush over a seductive, Northern Soul-esque groove. It is supremely catchy and it’s off-kilter, playful allure is one that is hard to resist – it is an arresting fusion of sound. 

Listen to ‘When I’m With You’ below – The Mysterious Visions EP is well worth checking out – tune in here.

Oddnesse – ‘Donut Shop’

Oddnesse is the fruitful collaboration between musician Rebeca Arango and producer Grey Goon, two east-coast expats based in Los Angeles with a shared affinity for catchy hooks, heavy grooves and apocalyptic hypotheticals.

The pair introduced themselves with singles ‘Are You Down’ & ‘I Used To’ in late 2017 but have been quiet since. Thankfully, however, the pair have made a buoyant return with ‘Donut Shop’. A first offering in over a year it is a forceful, driving song propelled by Arango’s gorgeous vocal harmonies and melodies, as synths gush alongside a burst of hazy guitars and a persistent drum beat – and all covered in a mild blanket of warm fuzz. It is a rich, melodic and reverb-laden treat – one that will be spinning around your head all week.

Listen to ‘Donut Shop’ below:

Introducing: Mazoulew

UK-based producer Mazoulew has been creating captivating electronic sounds since 2004.

Drawn from a deep source inspiration from trip-hop, jazz, downtempo, drum&bass and more, his sound continues to evolve and be refined over time. More recently he’s teamed up with the eclectic Stereofox Records for a series of releases (four to date) with the latest being ‘Shogun’ & ‘Overdue’.

The former is a hypnotic, transfixing and dancefloor minded, techno influenced sound. Heavy on mood, texture and atmosphere, relentless oscillations and skittering percussion bend you to its will, leaving you utterly powerless to resist the tempting allure. Although everything is delivered with a pin point accuracy, it has a grainy and dusty atmospheric feel. ‘Overdue’ affords a different but equally exquisite side to Mazoulew’s talent. It is a gorgeous slice of downtempo electronica; all warm tones, lush strings, bright chimes and breathtaking melodies, and swells of brass. It is a swelling, alluring and dreamy downtempo excursion. Both takes help whisk you away, in their different way, taking you on a journey to a place of musical excellence.

You can check out both tracks below:

Altvater – ‘Even Young’

Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, producer Altvater proven a reliable source of downtempo electronica over the past 18 months or so.

His flair for fusing cinematic electronica, trip hop, and dark synthwave is marked by a deft ability to blend colour and warmth to a glacial but imperious ambience – as evidenced by his output thus far. Latest single ‘Even Young’ is of a similar high standard.It is an elegant, moody and emotive journey propelled along a steady drumbeat through a mellow veil of cinematic, ambient atmospheres. It is lush and dreamy as a delicate strum and ambient sounds set the clam tone as exquisite vocals add a lift while a flourish of warm keys and winds brings some illumination. It is rich and textured, deeply emotive and calming; it is a beautiful and meditative track, and one that is rather easy-on-the-ear too.

Listen to ‘Even Young’ below: 

Joviale – ‘Storm’

Joviale is a musician and songwriter from London with a flair for colourful, infectious, effervescent and soulful psych-pop.

She introduced her intoxicating sound with suitably titled ‘Taste Of The Heavens’ ahead of the release of debut EP Crisis, this week. Coincidentally coinciding with this is the unveiling of ‘Storm’, Joviale’s reworking of Rare Silk’s 80s jazz jam for London producer Bullion’s 4 Down compilation – more info on that here. Joviale’s commanding vocal take centre stage, with a slightly haunted tone, pulls heavy as it stridently towers amid a flurry of fizzy electronic beats, flourishes of twinkly synth and increasingly pulsing rhythm. Joviale’s take on ‘Storm’ is nothing short of breathtaking – a stunning track.

Tune into ‘Storm’ below and check out Crisis – it is out now


St. Francis Hotel – ‘Liar, Liar, Liar’ (feat. Gaz Coombes)

St. Francis Hotel are London-based Irish duo who are releasing a string of collaborative singles on Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records, building up to their forthcoming debut album. 

The first of which is new single ‘Liar, Liar, Liar’ which sees the pair team up with Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes, and it is rather special. It is a smooth, soulful and energised slice of lavish indie-pop with psych brush strokes tumbling in the warm swirl of rich pop allure. It is warm, hazy and richly melodic as it gently swaggers along a seductive groove and soft pattering drums. Coombes recognisable croon takes the lead but ‘Liar, Liar, Liar’ also features guest vocals from Inflo and Jordan Max, which add a lush gospel-tinged layer. Utterly gorgeous.

Listen to ‘Liar, Liar, Liar’ below now – it doesn’t disappoint.

Foreign/National – ‘Balmy Evening’

Over the course of their existence, Melbourne five-piece Foreign/National have made a habit or treating our ears to songs that are packed with sunshine and escapism, culminating in their 2017 debut LP.

The Australian outfit have announced their return with ‘Balmy Evening’, a nine-minute exploration of sound that strays from the sun-soaked, hooky pop of their earlier work, as they branch out in to more experimental territory. Inspired by afrobeat, the track features an intoxicating blend of arpeggiated synths, scratchy guitars and buoyant polyrhythmic grooves as we are treated to a lush and dreamy world of colourful splendour. This is simply just a magical musical treat, a sound collage of hazy tones, colourful swirls and seductive melodic grooves – it is quite the statement of intent for album number two.

Listen to ‘Balmy Evening’ below:

Simple Kid shares new tracks: ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’

Longstanding patrons will be aware of my adoration for Simple Kid, albeit not offering many opportunities to display it regularly.

The London-based Irish artist (aka Ciaran McFeely) released two brilliant albums in the mid 00s – SK1 in 2003 and SK2 in 2006 – before entering a prolonged period of musical hibernation, disappearing off the radar, only to reappear briefly here and there with ‘The Road’ in 2011, ‘Snakes and Ladders’ in 2014 and ‘Because’ late in 2018.

However, since the latter, his YouTube account has seen something of a flurry of activity and uploads including ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’; which coincidentally are (IMO) the pick of the new material.

‘The Last Bus Home’ is a deliciously infectious and richly melodic blend of folky indie, with country and Americana brushstrokes. A gentle acoustic strum, hand claps and harmonica coalesce in perfect harmony, with warm vocals completing the loveable, swelling, heartfelt allure. ‘Lost in Space’ is the more complex of the pair as lush layers of psych-tones, spacey sounds and cosmic textures swell and swirl to engulf the delicious piano-led melody. Mining brilliant streams of melody and heavenly harmonies it is a roving, hazy and cosmic adventure that swells to beautifully epic climax. With its gorgeous melody, irresistible chorus, blend of guitar and frazzled electronics, and swelling emotion, ‘Lost in Space’ is not easily forgotten. Two differing (but equally stunning) sides to the talents of Simple Kid bound together by an undisputed ear for melody.

While not discounting something more substantial in the future, for now Simple Kid is enjoying crafting new songs in his loft – fingers crossed this fruitful period continues to blossom.

Listen to both ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’ below, and you can listen to the man himself chatting to Dan Hegarty here.

And credit where credit is due: H/T to Dan Hegarty’s ‘The Alternative’ on 2FM & John Barker’s ‘Totally Irish’ on 98FM.

Cotton Wolf – ‘Ofni’

Cardiff duo Cotton Wolf – Llion Robertson & Seb Goldfinch – are back with a brand new album ‘Ofni’ (‘Fear’ in Welsh), which will be released on October 4th.

Ofni is the follow up to their spellbinding debut LP, Life In Analogue in 2017, one of the year’s finest. A gorgeous marriage of epic euphoria, ethereal electronica and frosty, crisp elegance – it is spine-tingling musical cinematography at its very finest.

Set against a thematic backdrop of social uncertainty, the album’s darker material is simultaneously imbued with anxious paranoia and a hopeful positivity. The pair embrace faster tempos and purer electronic sounds, alongside hypnotic, abstract and melodic ideas that so marked to their previous work. Whilst the vast majority if the record is instrumental, latest single and title track features Adwaith’s Hollie Singer. Singer’s exquisite, ethereal vocal is set to a backdrop of a well whisked blend of lush electronics, warm tones, hypnotic beats and stabs of synth, and undulating ripples of ethereal escapism. Elegant, bewitching and altogether mesmerising – ‘Ofni’ is simply gorgeous.

Listen to ‘Ofni’ below now and keep an eye out for Cotton Wolf’s new record on October 4th.