Valley Medical – ‘Ad Nadja’

Valley Medical is an electronic music producer from Chicago, and under this moniker, explored a flair for stunning sonic distillations that transfix and captivate, and get dancefloors moving.

Valley Medical’s latest single ‘Ad Nadja’ is an absolute banger. Emerging from a cloak of dreamy, ethereal tones it quickly establishes its dancefloor credentials. Soft swirls of synth and pillowy beats morph and transform into a bright up tempo jam as sputtering and choppy electronics and burbling synthesizers are stitched together with acid squelches, deep house basslines, winding techno and ravey tones. The frantic stuttering beats and wobbly bassline groove is a match made in heaven and not only is it totally addicting but it will get your body grooving (and no doubt dancefloors moving).

Listen to ‘Ad Nadja’ below:

Lauran Hibberd – ‘Bang Bang Bang’

Lauran Hibberd has been charming us with irresistible blasts of fuzz-filled indie pop for a while now and the Isle Of Wight native has kicked off 2020 with style with new single ‘Bang Bang Bang’.

Following on from 2019 debut EP Everything is Dogs, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is of similar pedigree; fizzy with guitar-pop brilliance. With driving guitars, hooks you could hang a hat on and sing-along chorus set against layers of endearing fuzz and distortion, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is Hibberd’s catchiest and most anthemic song yet. Hibberd has carved out a rep for super catchy and fuzz-filled guitar-pop heroics and even taking a cursory glance at her output over the past 12 months, it is easy to see why. It has been one solid gold tune after another, and ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is as good as any of them.

Check out ‘Bang Bang Bang’ below and if you like what you hear, there is plenty more where that came from here.

Yammerer – ‘Seasons 13-31’

Liverpool-based outfit Yammerer are a band with a preference for sharp, angular, high-energy, unhinged and raucous psych-punk fury.

Their audacious, boisterous and snarling sonic adventures are there for all to see (and hear) on their debut EP Reality Escape Resort, released toward the close of 2019. Forged from a swell of free-flowing psychedelia and hammered out in an incandescent rage, the EP is a whirlwind of off-kilter, frenzied psych-punk and none more so than ‘Seasons 13-31’. It is a nine-minute spectacular; a highly charged cacophony of pent up post-punk fury. A hyperactive frenzied blitz of bone rattling drums, furious, jerky guitars, buzzing riffs and spiralling effects, with frenzied vocals uncoiling above. A stunning intro to the Liverpool-based five-piece, it is a chaotic, wild and arresting jam.

You can listen to ‘Seasons 13-31’ below and the debut EP is here too

Happy Out – ‘Deadhead 2’

Happy Out are a post-punk trio from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and are noise-makers supreme.

The trio have just released their debut EP Is, Was, Wasn’t, and oh my, it is a serious statement of intent. It is a powerful, potent and buzzing blast of scuzzy indie-rock/post-punk alchemy. A proverbial kick in the bollocks if you like, taking in post-rock, indie, post-punk and pure unadulterated noise, single ‘Deadhead 2’ leads the fuzzed-up charge. Vocals roar to heard above a thunderous concoction of fuzzed-up, rampaging guitars, soaring riffs and barrelling barrage of loud, pounding drums – and all drenched in fuzz and distortion. ‘Deadhead 2’ is a phenomenon; a rampaging riff-fuelled monster – hold on to your hats.

Listen to ‘Deadhead 2’ below and the EP here.

Nicolas Godin – The Border (Pierre Rousseau Remix)

Five years after his debut solo album, Nicolas Godin, best known as one-half of French electronic duo Air, is releasing a new album Concrete and Glass on January 24.

Soft, electronic lullaby ‘The Border’ is a perfect entry-point to Godin’s new record,  arranged and co-produced with Pierre Rousseau – a collection of lush hymns to buildings and architectural triumphs. It is the latter’s stunning rework of ‘The Border’ that immediately concerns us today. The original lush and dreamy electronic undulations are fleshed out into an eight-minute epic. The pop warmth is retained and re-enforced by a subtle undercurrent of euphoria as rushes of soft ambient pulses and melting minimalism creates a spellbinding groove that transfixes the soul. It is a super seductive wonder delivered with poise and style, and plenty to spare.

Tune in below and keep an eye out for the album in a few weeks.

Elsa Lester – ‘Sweet Ghost Inc.’

Elsa Lester, aka Lisa van Kampen, is a Dutch singer/songwriter with a penchant for no-frills guitar-pop.

2017 debut Stress Relief – written, recorded and produced in her bedroom – and 2018 Dinner Party EP established her as a real talent for catchy-as-can-be fuzzed-up guitar-pop. Good news folks; Elsa Lester is back with a new single, with an EP to follow. ‘Sweet Ghost Inc.’ is a bright, upbeat and breezy bout of divine indie-pop as it skips by with a jaunty vibe amid layers of lush fuzz and mild distortion. It is melodic and filled with hooks you could hang your hat on while hushed, honeyed vocals deliver a juxtaposed tale of struggle with insecurity and self-doubt. It is, as we’ve become accustomed to with Elsa Lester, an irresistibly infectious fuzz-filled wee earmworm that’ll be fizzing around your head for days and days.

The forthcoming EP Back From Vacation is expected soon – for now, there is plenty to enjoy below:

City Victim – ‘Screaming’

City Victim are an Irish alt-rock band currently based out of Galway who since forming in early 2019, spent the year drip feeding singles – four in fact – and they are kicking off 2020 with their best release to date; ‘Screaming’. 

‘Screaming’ echoes the style of previous but sees a further evolution of their sound. While channelling classic post-punk influences – Television, Wire and The Cure – combined with more contemporary bands such as Interpol and Beach Fossils, the single is fleshed into a bold and peerless bout of slowburning aggression that thrives on the darker side of post punk. Amid the intensity, ‘Screaming’ is a real groover as it swaggers along driving, meaty basslines with layers of shimmering guitars keeping pace with the burrowing rhythm as hushed yet passionate vocals float stridently above. It is a huge tune, and one that wields a mighty power, and is utterly brilliant.

Listen to ‘Screaming’ below. City Victim will hit the road in February / March for a tour with the great Eoin Dolan, Dylan Murph and Sheepy – dates below.

01/02 Craft Taproom, Liverpool
02/02 Stamps (Crosby)
21/02 Pharmacia, Limerick
12/03 Roisin Dubh, Galway
13/03 Sin E, Dublin

Stray Fossa – ‘Are You Gonna Be Okay’

Stray Fossa are a Virginia-based trio with a knack for crafting charming, catchy, bright and lovable indie-pop jams – their latest effort ‘Are You Gonna Be Okay’ is utterly spellbinding.

‘Are You Gonna Be Okay’ saunters along a bubbling undulating bassline amid a woozy vibe, lush grooves and glistening tones – the perfect dreamy backdrop from the hushed lilting vocals and shimmering guitar jangle. A fabulously alluring and infectious earworm, it combines a magical ear for a melody, divine harmonies and charm into a woozy, shimmering sonic delight.

This is the most irresistible tune you’ll hear all week, that sauntering groove is to die for. Magnificent! 


Yasuyuki Uesugi – ‘Amplifier Module’

Yasuyuki Uesugi is a Japanese techno music producer, using only analogue equipment, explores a penchant for intense, rawsonic distillations that transfix and captivate.

Uesugi’s latest single ‘Amplifier Module’ is a raw and uncompromising dancefloor destroying banger. It a huge, relentless and brutal mash of winding techno, ravey tones and spiralling synths There is no quarter given as slamming beats, propulsive groove and chugging tempo pulverise the listen into submission. It is a muscular sound that while pretty brutal and frantic, amid the choppy electronics and burbling synthesizersit displays a real floor-filling energy and danceablity. A simply massive tune.

Tune in below:



Guest Post: Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2019

Aside from compiling my own lists, I really enjoy looking over other people’s albums of the year rundowns and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

An insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and bring added flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading his contributions – of which, surely I’m not alone?

Yes, we’re a bit late with this one but sure better late than never, right?

A huge thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his favourite records of 2019.

10: DIIV – ‘Deceiver’

Following up 2016’s supreme Is the Is Are, Brooklyn shoegaze quartet DIIV’s third album Deceiver draws obvious comparisons to My Bloody Valentine with its multiple layers of shimmering, squalling guitars and lead singer Zachary Cole Smith’s dreamy vocals. Expect plenty of loud / quiet / loud moments on this dazzling return.

Listen in full here.

09: Hot Chip – ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy’

Although their newer material has perhaps lost some of the menace of their early output, ultra-consistent Hot Chip prove they are still adept at releasing dance-pop of the highest calibre. A perfect antidote to the grim global political and environmental situation we find ourselves in today, I challenge anyone to listen to the likes of ‘Positive’ or ‘Melody of Love’ and not feel a wave of joy wash over you.

Listen in full here.

08: Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’

The Mercury-nominated debut album from this four-piece experimental-rock band hailing from London is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste. From the brutal opening salvo of ‘953’ to the wonderful closer ‘Ducter’, this relentless record is one that never lets go. A highly ambitious record, understandably it doesn’t always quite come together. But when it does hit the mark it’s absolutely thrilling. Improvised mayhem never sounded so good.

Listen in full here.

07: Marika Hackman – ‘Any Human Friend’

The latest LP from Marika Hackman certainly has a much more pop-leaning sound than her early fans would expect from the English singer-songwriter. Hackman’s usual vocals and guitar lines are regularly joined by jaunty synths to create upbeat tunes merged with deeply personal lyrics exploring themes such as same-sex relationships (‘All Night’) and masturbation (‘Hand Solo’). The jaw-dropping title track that closes the album is beyond staggering.

Listen in full here.

06: Drahla – ‘Useless Coordinates’

This bludgeoning debut record from Leeds post-punk outfit Drahla comes with driving guitars, a pummelling rhythm section, and Luciel Brown’s breathy vocals. Viciously, skewed saxophones add to the overall sombre atmosphere. Clocking in at a breathless half an hour, Useless Coordinates starts off dark and doesn’t veer off course once.

Listen in full here.


05: Mattiel – ‘Satis Factory’

The highly accomplished second album from the Atlanta-based singer-songwriter prominently features Mattiel Brown’s distinctive, booming vocals and some delightful, grooving and soulful blues-rock. Brown has an uncanny ability to create expertly crafted sub three-minute rock songs with an infectious hook. A very impressive piece of work.

Listen in full here.

04: The Murder Capital – ‘When I Have Fears’

The superb debut album from the Dublin post-punk five-piece is a moody, atmospheric affair. Brooding, menacing guitars and percussion are paired to pulsating effect with the haunting, angst-ridden vocals of lead singer James McGovern. A formidable live act, the group’s sound has been captured masterfully on record by UK producer Flood. Along with Fontaines DC and Girl Band, the Murder Capital are at the forefront of an exciting wave of great new Irish rock bands.

Listen in full here.

03: Aldous Harding – ‘Designer’

New Zealand folk artist Aldous Harding’s third studio album is the epitome of easy listening – nine tracks of blissful, exquisitely arranged songs. Harding’s tender vocals are accompanied by multiple layers of instrumentation and backing vocals to devastating effect throughout. A gorgeous album that gets better with every listen.

Listen in full here.

02: Vampire Weekend – ‘Father of the Bride’

After a six year hiatus and losing a key member in multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij back in 2016, Vampire Weekend fans could be forgiven for worrying if maybe this was the beginning of the end for the New York indie-poppers. Instead Ezra Koenig re-emerged with an exceptionally strong set of tracks, enlisting the help of the likes of Danielle Haim on vocals and guitarist Steve Lacy. The result is an immensely enjoyable, if overlong, album.

Listen in full here.

01: Fontaines DC – ‘Dogrel’

The eagerly awaited debut of Dublin punk rock quintet Fontaines DC delivers emphatically on every level. An extremely diverse and lyrical record, lead singer Grian Chatten’s miniature vignettes of Dublin City are accompanied by an ever-changing soundtrack from the rest of the group. From the piledriving punk of ‘Chequeless Reckless’ and ‘Hurricane Laughter’ to the jangling stomp of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ and ‘Boys in the Better Land’ via the tender ‘Roy’s Song’ and ‘Dublin City Sky’, not a single foot has been put in the wrong place. In a new Golden Age of Irish guitar music, it’s the Fontaines DC’s star who’s shining brightest at the moment.

Listen in full here.