Justina Shandler – ‘Creature’

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‘Creature’ is the brand new single from Miami-based singer-songwriter Justina Shandler.

Between studies and work, Shandler spends whatever spare time she can find, penning music for her forthcoming album. Such is the stunning nature of ‘Creature’, one can only hope that it is a taste of things to come. Joined by Gene Knific, and Jackson Firlik, it is a potent song of enigmatic beauty. The striking vocal delivery sounds both wise and beautiful, imbued with a striking level of touching emotion. ‘Creature’ intricately weaves between the bright and dark, exquisite arrangements including cello, banjo, acoustic piano, and electronics, which swells to climax with an all consuming finale. Undoubtedly the power and purity of Shandler’s vocal is the undeniable focal point but the music too, is beautiful. She’s got such a knack for drawing out emotion without overcooking the song with flickering moments of warmth amid the haunting shadows.

Listen to the enchanting and entrancing ‘Creature’ below. Purchase it here.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #12

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A new regular addition to blog, a relatively short weekly Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past 7 days.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #12. Enjoy the tunes & enjoy the sun!

You can follow me on Spotify here.

Introducing: Best Friend

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Best Friend are a production trio from London, who slice up old 12 inches and Youtube videos and reassemble them into summery, soulful chill hop beats.

The trio’s taste for epic cut and pasting takes us on a gorgeous, colourful and sampladelic adventure. Our intrepid excursion begins with their new record Weekend With Best Friend; a sample-driven gem with scenic production and a hazy, tranquil vibe fit to lift the spirits of even the most glum among us. ‘Spotlight’ is a lavish, cool and irresistible blend of hip hop beats and slick, shimmering samples, leaving us in a state of blissful relaxation. ‘Colourful’ meanwhile marries a beautiful vocal with dazzling flourishes of glistening strings and gentle percussion for a wonderfully hypnotic feel. Throughout Weekend With Best Friend, the trio explore a world of genres, styles and eras to serve up a record which manages a real sense of familiarity without having heard it before – and all done with immense skill, style and substance.

Check out ‘Spotlight’ & ‘Colourful’ below & the full record is available here. This production trio are definitely ones to watch – keep tabs!

XMELT – ‘We Won’t Go Back’

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Created the day after the verdict of the 2016 US election, ‘We Won’t Go Back’ is a raucous, rock and roll anthem of defiance.

The creators, XMELT (the ‘X’ is silent) are Portland all-female punk trio of Jen Neitzel, Tonya Breaux and Tuesday Teal, who have no problem kicking up a rock and roll storm. Their new single ‘We Won’t Go Back’ represents a feeling of angst and a need to fightback for liberties under present US political administration.This political manifestation is done in the best way possible; with explosive guitar, meaty chords, powerful vocals and wild drums, with a double kick bass drum. Angry, assertive, raspy and pumped, and of course very importantly, rockin’.

XMELT are currently working on their debut LP but for now, ‘We Won’t Go Back’ should satisfy your need for a rock and roll thunderbolt. Tune in below.

Introducing: Miles Dismond

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For those of us who fell head over heals for the hazy psychedelia of Lonerism-era Tame Impala, Miles Dismond is a name definitely worth getting acquainted with.

Miles Dismond is a DIY singer/songwriter based out of Berkeley, CA, whose sound lands somewhere between the lo-fi psych-pop of Ariel Pink and hazy psychedelia of early Tame Impala. Having release an 6-track record last year, Dismond has a new album Girl in the Window on the horizon. Latest single, ‘She Doesn’t Care At All’ demonstrates Dismond at his mesmerising best. It is hypnotic from the off, as the track’s title is repeated over washed-out synth, frazzled electronics, fuzzy droning guitar and eerie vocals meeting every melodic turn or rhythmic surge as ‘She Doesn’t Care At All’ spirals into a stunning colourful climax. Previous single ‘She’s In My Head’ continues the proliferation of the spaced-out psych vibes, with an added dose of sunshine and slinking, super smooth groove. A beautiful blend of sunshine vibes, psych tones, fuzz and meandering melodic sensibilities; Miles Dismond is a name to remember.

Listen to ‘She Doesn’t Care At All’ & ‘She’s In My Head’ below, and keep those eyes peeled for details of his forthcoming LP. His previous record is available here.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #11

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A new regular addition to blog, a relatively short weekly Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past 7 days.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #11. Enjoy the tunes & enjoy the sun!

You can follow me on Spotify here.

Xinobi – ‘Skateboarding’

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Portuguese producer and Discotexas label head honcho Bruno Cardoso aka Xinobi released his latest album On The Quiet, an eight-track dancefloor-focused album takin its influence from a wide spectrum of electronica; from leftfield house to pop, techno and spoken word.

The latest latest single from the record, ‘Skateboarding’, gazes backward to a significant turning point in his life for its inspiration. As a kid in the late 80s, he experienced a fatal fracture in his arm resulting in two surgeries; bringing an abrupt and unexpected end to his skateboarding career. For rehabilitation, Xinobi was encouraged to train the muscles in his fingers by playing the guitar. ‘Skateboarding’ is an ethereal ode to that time. A slowly building, all enveloping meditative composition filled with melancholic melodies and spiralling beats, precision percussives; it is blissful, enthralling and all-consuming track. ‘Skateboarding’ is also features a speech from Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dischord) – one of Xinobi’s heroes – about his perspectives of skateboarding. A simply stunning track and a perfect introduction to Xinobi’s equally stellar new record, On The Quiet.

Check out ‘Skateborading’ and its swish video below. On The Quiet is out now, tune in here.

 

Slow Skies – ‘Dancing’

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Already with a number of EPs under the belt – ‘Silhouette’, ‘Keepsake’ & ‘Close’ – Slow Skies, better known as Irish musician Karen Sheridan, is now set up to release her debut full-length, written in rural Sweden and produced by Ber Quinn (John Grant, Lisa Hannigan, Divine Comedy).

With the album’s lead single ‘Dancing’, we’re served a sumptuous introduction to the forthcoming Slow Skies record. Wonderfully charming, warm but bittersweet, ‘Dancing’ opens with handclaps and gently blossoms into a sumptuous pop song. Swathed in soothing ’60s sounds, syrupy melodies and bursts of joyous brass, combine with a modicum of keys and the richly honeyed melodic purr of Sheridan’s vocal to cast a bewitching spell. There’s a lingering sense of misty-eyed melancholia, which only adds another layer of irresistibly to this exquisite piece of pop perfection.

No confirmed date yet for the forthcoming LP but on the bright side, that allows plenty of time for getting acquainted with ‘Dancing’.

Duncan Lloyd – ‘Heart in Delay’

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Probably best known as the guitarist with Maximo Park, Duncan Lloyd is always one to keep his fingers in many pies; busying himself with a variety of side-projects including Decade In Exile, Nano Kino and solo work under his own name.

It is the latter which draws our attention as the other week, Lloyd released new album, I O U O M E. The follow up to 2008’s Seeing Double, warm, scuzzy and cathcy, it is a hooky, fuzz-laden barrel of indie joy. Demonstrating all those attributes (and more) in three-and-a-half-minutes is latest single ‘Heart in Delay’. It is a frenetic and urgent burst of scuzzy, fuzzy guitar pop with grunge-meets-shoegaze tones, with catchy hooks slicing though the sludgy distortion. As always with Lloyd, this is all tempered with an immediate warmth from his hushed vocal which is also permeated with a sense of intimacy, melancholy and understated optimism. Another fine example of what Lloyd is capable of and marvellous intro to the new record, if you have yet to acquaint yourself with it.

You can give ‘Heart in Delay’ the once over below and I O U O M E is out now, and you can listen to it here.

 

Introducing: Strange Cages

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Strange Cages are a Brighton trio who don’t mess about; their sinister, sleazy psych-rock sound is compelling, intense and hypnotic.

Taking parts post-punk, surf rock, garage, krautrock and psychedelia Strange Cages stitch it all together to form a dangerous sounding gritty psych-punk. The Brighton trio are gearing up to release new EP The Cracks, out on June 16, ahead of which come title track and ‘Leader Of A Cult’ to whet the appetite. The latter fully realises their dark sinister tenancies with spine chilling effect. Punchy drums and jangley, off-kilter riffs are smothered with an eerie sense of dark perilous menace, with foreboding vocals adding to the sense of a paranoid nightmare. ‘The Cracks’, still somewhat wonky and weird, pushes infectious guitar riffs, driving drum beats and anthemic roars through a sea of distortion and psychedelic imagination. Two phenomenal tracks, on the back of which, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for the forthcoming EP.

The Cracks EP is out June 16. Listen to ‘The Cracks’ & ‘Leader Of A Cult’ below now.