Chick Quest – ‘Down in a Crypt’

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Self-described ‘Spaghetti Western Post-Punk Dance Party’, Chick Quest are an unconventional punky foursome – Ryan White (vocals, guitar), Iris Rauh (drums), Marcus Racz (trumpet, keyboard), and Magdalena Kraev (bass) – hailing from Vienna, Austria.

Chick Quest explore rather unusual realms of music, taking in parts punk, post-punk, ska, funk, b-movie and spaghetti western soundtracks. The Austrian foursome are readying their second album, Model View Controller. Ahead of its release later this month, Chick Quest provide a preview with ‘Down In A Crypt’. Its all dance-y and fuzzed-up post-punk with a spooky b-movie-esque organ riff, crunchy guitar riffs, brisk bass-line and dynamic beats. Catchy, infectious and simultaneously rather creepy; it’s a hard act to pull off but pull it off they do.

Model View Controller is out February 24th via Triangular Sounds. Until then, why not give ‘Down In A Crypt’ a spin below.

Rhodri Brooks – ‘Bws Dŵr’

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Rhodri Brooks is a Cardiff born singer and songwriter, whose rather wonderful sound is gathered from fragments of alt-country, psychedelia, Americana and lo-fi, and effortlessly sewn together.

Brooks’ chameleonic sound transcends eras and genres, evidenced by his wonderful back catalogue and latest single ‘Bws Dŵr’.The new track will be released through the Bubblewrap Collective – who he’s recently joined forces with – for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Performed in his native Welsh, ‘Bws Dŵr’ is a gentle and wonderfully understated lo-fi blend of Americana/Country that lulls you into a hypnotic, woozy state of peace and calm as it meanders along with sliding guitars and washed-out vocal. So easy on the ear, this is just a wonderfully tranquil beauty.

‘Bws Dŵr’ is out for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Listen to it below.

Kelly Lee Owens Announces Debut Album, Shares Lead Single ‘Anx’ with Jenny Hval

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Kelly Lee Owens is someone who has been on our radar for some time, with her affecting and continually brilliant creations oscillating somewhere between the avant-garde, pop, techno and almost everything in between.

Needless to say, news that the Welsh-born, London-based artist’s self-titled debut album shall be released on March 24th, is a rather big and exciting deal. Alongside this auspicious news, is entrancing lead single ‘Anx’, featuring Jenny Hval on vocals. This is club music slowed to a slither, with murky electronics, ambient synths, melodic groove and muffled, echoing pulses of bass and broached by Hval’s echoing, ghostly vocals, cascading in an entrancing hypnotic haze. Divine.

Kelly Lee Owen’s self-titled debut is out via Smalltown Supersound on March 24th. You can check ‘Anx’ out below.

Foresteater – ‘Big Deceiver’

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Foresteater is the moniker of Mikey Pro, Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist from Phoenix AZ, USA.

Formed in 2015 after a dream about a band playing on an island in outer-space surrounded by electric rainbows – definitely one of the more interesting backstories – Pro’s deals in super catchy, mildly psychedelic indie-pop. Showcasing this fancy, Foresteater’s released debut EP Nightlife of the Exploding Heads in May 2016 and he is kicking off 2017 in style, with sublime new single ‘Big Deceiver’. It is a bright, colourful and catchy delight of sugar-spun harmonies, earworm melodies and hooks you could your hat on. Playful, with psych-tinged underbelly, be warned, ‘Big Deceiver’ will get stuck in your head for days and days.

‘Big Deceiver’ is out now & you can listen to it below:

Orouni – ‘The Lives Of Elevators’

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Three albums deep already, French band Orouni are no novices, in fact they are virtuosos when it comes to classic, melodic guitar pop music.

Orouni’s carefully crafted arrangements are marked by an easy-going flow and a sense for melody and elegance – none more so than ‘The Lives Of Elevators’. The new track – which will be on their next album – is part of a live session with French streaming platform Findspire and followed by ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’, from their most recent record Grand Tour (2014). Buoyed by an effortless ear for melody, ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ elegantly flits between melancholic and beautiful, fragile but authoritative, with lush arrangements and irresistible parps of brass. Charming and sometimes bittersweet, this is the class of perfect pop-craft associated with the likes of The Kinks, Sweet Baboo and Tap Tap et al. This is ever so endearing and delightful catchy but be warned, these pair of songs will get stuck in your head for days and days.

Orouni has recorded three albums to date, which can be acquired via Bandcamp, with another on the way in 2017. Check out ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ &  ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’ below.

Swimming Tapes – ‘Cameos’

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Swimming Tapes are a London five-piece who deal in dreamy guitar-pop.

The band released their debut EP Souvenirs a few days ago, and with it, shared their fourth single ‘Cameos’. It is – as is the entirety of their debut EP – blissfully woozy indie pop, pairing blissed out, sun-soaked indie pop with bittersweet ache. Amid the laid-back hazy undulations, sparkling guitars and general breeziness, it is placing solemn verse against brimming optimism that rules the day. Swimming Tapes sound nostalgic yet fresh, melancholic but hopeful, and that’s a tough nut to crack, but so far these guys make it look all rather easy.

You can listen to new cut ‘Cameos’ below and if that is to your liking (and I rather think it shall) you can listen to their debut EP Souvenirs here.

Watch Bad Sea’s new video for ‘Solid Air’

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Having utterly bewitched us with ‘Solid Air’ a few months back, Dublin duo Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – have unveiled a splendid video for the single.

‘Solid Air’ was one of the finest singles released last year, in Ireland or elsewhere. Revolving around a steady, groovy drum beat, wiry guitar stabs and impressive pop hooks; this smooth and smokey alt-country is the perfect backdrop for Thompson’s rich, crisp vocals to shine. The homespun video, detailing the ‘delights’ of relationship trouble, is directed by Ricardo Deakin and also stars Colm O’Neill. At just over three minutes, this is a similarly first-rate video companion for an exquisitely crafted and delivered number, sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Really excited to more from Bad Sea throughout the year but for now, check out ‘Solid Air’ below.

Foreign/National – ‘Mombasa’

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Over the past two years of so, Aussie five-piece Foreign/National have made a habit or treating our ears on a pretty regular basis with a sublime selection of singles and self-titled EP.

Now though, the Melbourne warped-pop merchants are about to release their long-awaited debut album. Entitled Dépaysement, it will be with us on February 3rd and is preceded by another fine single ‘Mombasa’. The new track is another similarly sumptuous slice of jolly, warped pop. Breezy as the day is long, ‘Mombasa’ is a supremely infectious modern psych-pop tune. A bright, blissful, and melody-filled slice of sun-kissed psychedelic pop music, that will keep you grooving right along, providing some respite from the January blues.

Foreign/National’s debut LP Dépaysement, will be with us on February 3rd but for now, sample delights of ‘Mombasa’ below. It is fabulous!

Ten Fé – ‘Another Way’

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London duo Ten Fé (Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan) have steadily been building a name for themselves and with their debut album out this week, the pair have shared their latest cut ‘Another Way’.

Having already distinguished themselves an unrivalled purveyors of positive, optimistic and uplifting sounds, ‘Another Way’ most certainly solidifies this reputation. The swaying melody, warm synth, soft cushioned beat and rather sublime vocals combine for a gloriously uplifting track that is big in ideas and big in heart. Although influenced by a lot by the films the pair watched while recording the album – offering bleak, expansive portrayals of America – the new single is imbued with a bright air and hopeful tone. Just the aural antidote for troubled times.

Ten Fé’s debut LP Hit The Light is out this Friday, February 3rd – needless to say it is one most definitely to keep an eye out for. Ahead of that, well, go and listen to ‘Another Way’ below. Your day (and week in fact) will be better for it.

Gulp Share Video & Django Django Remix for ‘Search For Your Love’

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Back in December Cardiff-based band Gulp Gulp – revolving around Lindsey Leven & Guto Pryce of Super Furry Animals fame – shared single ‘Search For Your Love’ and their intention to release a second LP in 2017.

Following on from that, Gulp have shared the single’s video and a Django Django‘s ‘Nautical Twilight Edit’ of ‘Search For Your Love’. The Django’s edit adds another dimension to Gulp’s already refined warm, fuzzy, lush spacey psych-pop. Upping the tempo and the groove a tad, and enhancing the textures, luscious melody, proggy-guitars and synthy celestial vibes, to compliment the marvellous original perfectly. Rather than a full face-lift, this is re-imagining the song; creating something completely hypnotic, and topped off by Leven’s sultry vocals, this is the very essence of dreams. Just time to sit back now and let ‘Search For Your Love’ (x 2) flow over you and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

‘Search For Your Love’ is available now via via Tim Burgess’ independent label O Genesis and Gulp are currently working with Luke Abbott on their second album, which is set to be released in 2017.