I, Doris – ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’

London’s I, Doris have re-written REM’s classic ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’ to reflect the dystopian feel of the past few years.

Self-proclaimed ‘kitchenpop/mummycore’ outfit sprinkle some of their playful and infectious indie magic to craft a witty and poignant take on REM’s classic, bringing things up to date, with lyrics reflecting our present day issues; Covid-19 Brexit, Trump, Black Lives Matter, among others.

The track is part of a compilation entitled ‘A Carnival of Sorts: A compilation of R.E.M. covers by various artists’. It has been put out by God Is In the TV to raise funds for Help Musicians UK and I, Doris’ is but one of 40 (yes, 40!) covers from the likes of Desperate Journalist, Bandicoot, Bugeye, MIRI, Hadda Be, The Darling Buds and Piney Gir

There’s 40 tracks in all – all for a cool £6 – and you’re supporting a great cause. Grab the album from Bandcamp, and while you wait for that to download, enjoy the lyric video below….

Mailer – ‘Rokkaku Group’

‘Rokkaku Group’ is the debut single from new London-based producer, Mailer, who cultivates a compelling, concise and hypnotic sound.

Fusing elements broken techno, breaks, dub, and hip hop, Mailer crafts something we’d expect from far more seasoned hands, embracing experimental sound design to evoke vivid, dystopian imagery.

The single, ‘Rokkaku Group’, demonstrates these attributes in abundance driving the dancefloor dynamics through a deep, sparse and subterranean world. Crisp beats patter a groove while a winding atmospheric synth oozes an eeriness that joins with the sparse surrounding to engulf the refined bass work. There is a rather beautiful yet eerily sinister aura that marks ‘Rokkaku Group’ dominated initially by restrained percussion and a hollowed out, murky spaciousness – this dynamic does however, afford room for space, space that’s filled with hypnotic potency and rich atmospherics. As good a debut as you are likely to hear – this is sublime.

Listen to ‘Rokkaku Group’ below now: 

Hot Mustard – ‘Window Seat’

Hot Mustard are instrumental funky psych soul loving duo composed of artist/producer and guitarist Jack Powell and bassist Nick Carusos, together with trumpeter Jordan Mclean (Antibalas) and Dave “Smoota” Smith (TV On The Radio) on trombone; theirs in an eclectic mash-up of smooth beats and full-bodied horn sounds.

Drawing influence from mid/late 1960’s and early 1970’s funk and soul, the building blocks of first generation boom bap hip-hop, Hot Mustard will bring their debut album, Mother Sauce, into the world next month -and ahead of which, they are sharing seductive single ‘Window Seat’. It is a super smooth jam that saunters through the sunburned haze with a groove-heavy bassline and languid drum beat. Plucky guitars twang and chime amid the sun-kissed shimmering which is all topped off triumphantly by brilliantly warm all-brass horns. An undeniably hypnotic groover, it’s chilled sun-kissed vibes and seductive swagger will leave an indelible mark on ones soul.

Fresh yet familiar, ‘Window Seat’ offers a perfect view of what to expect from their debut album, and plenty of reasons to get excited.

Listen to ‘Window Seat’ below and keep an eye out for the album coming on September 3.

Late Runner – ‘Nothing’s Real Anymore’

Late Runner is the solo project of Danish musician / singer-songwriter Asger Tarpgaard who, also known for his work with Superheroes, introduced his solo wares with debut single ‘Spring’ back in April.

Having just released debut album Nothing’s Real Anymore – available from August 20 via Crunchy Flog – Tarpgaard has lifted the record’s title track as new single. ‘Nothing’s Real Anymore’ is a rich, warm and beautifully bittersweet song. A sentimental song that gently waltzes along bringing to mind the finest 60s pop and early ’70s singer-songwriting as warm guitars strum atop a jaunty beat, sinuous melodies and sumptuous tones while Tarpgaard’s soothing, warmth and inviting vocals glide above, forging an unforgettable union. This is ever so endearing and you will be all the better for basking in the beautiful warm glow of ‘Nothing’s Real Anymore’.

Listen to ‘Nothing’s Real Anymore’ below – the album of the same name is out now, listen to it here.

Sons Of Zöku – ‘Sacred’

Sons Of Zöku are Adelaide-based psych-rock outfit comprised of Portuguese-born Ricardo Da Silva and Ica Quintela, and Australian-born Jordan Buck, Oscar Ellery, and Eddie Hannemann.

They have been making waves in their native Australia (surely the most reliable source of modern psych) for a while with their free-flowing, energetic and colourful explorations and are now readying the release of their debut album and ahead of which, ‘Sacred’ is the first single lifted from the record.

In keeping with tradition, ‘Sacred’ draws influences from across the globe crafting a hypnotic haze of colourful kaleidoscopic sounds, wholly their own. Propelled by a lush, swirling groove and meandering rhythm it is adorned with languid guitars, sitar flourishes and dreamy, hushed vocals that drift melodically above the warm blanket of dreamy fuzz. Sons Of Zöku have struck gold once again and with a debut album on the horizon, it is a timely reminder of their prowess – hopefully the wait isn’t too long.

Listen to ‘Sacred’ below and get ready to be entranced. 

Havana Swim Club – ‘Lagoon’

Havana Swim Club is the alias of Seattle-based musician and producer Dan Koch (Sherwood), who has just this month released an audacious debut record to the world.

The self-titled debut took shape while on quarantine, Koch began crate-digging and experimenting with vintage samples of ska, disco, funk and jazz and the new record is the result. A world of lavish exploration through genres, styles and eras – it is fronted by majestic lead single ‘Lagoon’ – meticulously crafted with a breezy, feelgood freshness, combining breathtakingly lush layers, sumptuous strings and rich flourishes flowing above a bed of seductive beats. ‘Lagoon’ (like the album in general) is one to get lost in, fresh yet familiar, it oozed nostalgic feelings for hazy summer days and nights.

Listen to ‘Lagoon’ below and the album is available here.

(FFO Washed Out, Mr Scruff & Channel Swimmer) 

Mt Fog – ‘One Piece Puzzle’

Seattle-based artist Mt Fog (Carolyn B.) has a flair for merging layers of minimal electronic sounds and haunting vocals to evoke magical spaces, real and imagined, with mesmerizing results.

Mt Fog’s latest album Guide to the Unusual, elaborates on this approach, whisking you on a dark-hued adventure through a world inhabited by imaginary creatures and shadows of a former life and latest single ‘One Piece Puzzle’ offers the perfect intro to this sound. This is utterly stunning; a mid-tempo lullaby leaning synth splashed waltz. Beautifully rich and intoxicating vocals soar through the scales as we are spellbound by wonky psych ripple, hypnotic twinkle, soft beat and sunken waltzing groove while synths flicker and shimmer like sunlight through stained glass. Mt Fog created this album while singing to herself on rainy walks during quarantine. Dreamy, meditative and yet groovy and somewhat danceable, albeit slowly, ‘One Piece Puzzle’ is but one of many that make for a good friend on walks and travels. Magnificent!

Listen to ‘One Piece Puzzle’ below and check out Guide to the Unusual here