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:

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.

Beachtape – ‘Somebody Like Hugh’

Beachtape are Brighton-based indie foursome – Andy, Dan, Leo & Rory – whose sound is marked by an exploration and seemingly unpretentious love for 90’s nostalgia.

Beachtape’s output thus far is littered with utterly lovable fuzzed-up jams, heavy on the catchy melodies and fuzzy guitars, and straddling the worlds of Pavement, Weezer and The Pixies. The band’s latest single ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ follows suit, resplendent in it’s lo-fi fuzzy glory. An irresistible delight of infectious, fuzz-fuelled indie; crunchy guitars, meaty basslines, crashing cymbals and catchy chorus abound amid warm layers of fuzz and distortion as sweetly melodic hushed vocals float above. ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ is sweet, laid-back and richly melodic as it purrs along on the right side of familiar – it is an absolute joy.

You can check out ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ below and there is plenty more where that came from here.

Memes – ‘Happy Shopper’

Glasgow lo-fi post punk noise-makers, Memes, introduced their fiery, furious and feisty wares this summer with double A-side debut single, ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ / ‘Funny Man‘.

A thrilling, raw and exhilarating opening salvo, Scottish duo Memes – comprised of cousins John and Paul McLinden – have returned with new single ‘Happy Shopper’, and they have nailed it again. Opening with a steady tambourine beat and meaty bass riff, ‘Happy Shopper’ is as prickly and barbed as its predecessors with sneering, sardonic vocals are spat out over it. Joined by sharp, rising riffs, steady beat and a melodic sensibility, it is a short, sharp and swaggering blast of thrilling (and utterly infectious) post-punk. As with the double A-side, Memes have delivered a thrilling, sardonic and rockin’ jam (with flashes Sluts of Trust, The Fall & HMHB) that will have you hooked.

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Memes are one of the most exciting new discoveries of 2019 – listen to ‘Happy Shopper’ and tell me otherwise.
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Japanese Television – ‘Slime’

British four-piece Japanese Television captured our imagination when they introduced their furious fusion of post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock with exhilarating single ‘Bloodworm’ earlier this year.

The foursome have returned with new single ‘Slime’ and while those three aforementioned components remain front and centre, it is more foreboding than furious. The mood is glowering and sinister and the drone is very much in evidence. ‘Slime’ is propelled along a relentless, chugging groove, meaty bassline, burning guitars and kraut rhythms over minor keys,eerie tones and spooky feedback. Gripping and tense, there’s no let up in intensity – this is imaginative, dark and hard edged psych-rock of the very finest order.

Tune into ‘Slime’ below and if you like what you hear, their latest EP is here too.

Seazoo – ‘Throw It Up’

Welsh indie maestros Seazoo have made habit of charming us with their effervescent indie-pop sounds, and the North Walian outfit are back!

Bursting with all that recognisable exuberance and fizzy with energy, ‘Throw It Up’ is Seazoo’s first new material since their 2018 debut album TRUNKS, one of last year’s finest. It is a charming and sprightly encounter that whizzes and fizzes by bursting at the seams with fizzing guitars, sparkling chords, splashes of synth, delicious melodies, irresistible choruses and delightfully playful, somewhat off-kilter, character. Lyrically, it deals with people rejection of aspects of modern life (tech, tech platforms, etc.) to improve their happiness and general well-being – one thing is for sure, you will be all the better for letting both Seazoo and ‘Throw It Up’ into your life; they are unrivalled in that department. It’s been said many, many times on here before but it worth reiterating; Seazoo are an absolute treasure!

Listen to ‘Throw It Up’ below – it is the first single lifted from their second album which is expected next year.

Karate Blocks – ‘Speaking Tongues’

Nashville trio Karate Blocks know how to kick out a jam and their latest single ‘Speaking Tongues’ embodies what they are all about in a nicely distilled three-minutes.

Big on riffs and energy, ‘Speaking Tongues’ is a raucous blast of rock ‘n roll, bathe in swathes of fuzz & distortion. Conceived around a “a house party gone bizarre” it is a powerhouse punchy riffs and combines a crunchy garage rock sound with an abundance of catchy melodies. This upfront and honest no frills approach has been done by many but this is their interpretation of a genre and era they know and love and it is executed with perfection. The trio have figured out the deceptively simple, age-old secret to transcending influences: just write top notch songs.

Check out ‘Speaking Tongues’ below. Enjoy!

Introducing: I Drew Blank

I Drew Blank are Berlin-based outfit comprised of bassist & singer Oyèmi Hessou (Jaguwar), guitarist & singer Dominik Jureschko (White Hand Gibbon) and drummer Eilis Frawley (Party Fears).

Together the trio deliver a special blend of lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that melodically drifts between early ’90s and west coast vibes – something born out on their addictive new EP; Interesting Life Choices.

While primarily the music is easy on the ear and seemingly carefree, as songs slide by with an effortless ease and general breeze. On repeated listens however, much more bite and greater thematic depth is revealed; dark thoughts and failed relationships meet escapism and reflection over five tracks. This dizzying encounter opens with ‘No Promises Were Made’ which could serve as the archetypal blueprint for the band’s sound. Pumped with meaty riffs, heavy driving bass lines and sappy snare kick combos ‘No Promises Were Made’ has no shortage of bite and punk grunt or melodic pop allure for that matter, provided by the dreamy riffs, sweet licks and hooks. The vocals are passionate, melodic and dance in the remaining space provided in the mild haze of warm fuzz and distortion. Elsewhere ‘What We Need Is Time’ is even more more infectious as it breezes by with an abundance of heavenly harmonies while ‘It’s Winter, It’s Warsaw’ is less breezy, more gallop as it hurtles along a dancey groove with jerky riffs, cowbell and interlocking harmony rich vocals.

This is a dazzling fuzz-filled display of lo-fi, garage-indebted indie-pop. On the right side of infectious and grit, it is a tonic to the overly-polished and ekes out a perfect space on the musical landscape.

Tune into some choice cuts below and the EP can be found here.

Adwaith – ‘Hey!’

Welsh trio Adwaith – Hollie Singer, Gwenllian Anthony & Heledd Owen – released one of 2018’s finest albums in Melyn; intense, compelling and unique; it is a colossus of experimental post punk.

Not wishing to wait around, the Carmarthenshire trio are looking forward with a brand new single, ‘Hey!’; a song that firmly sets the foundations for the next exciting chapter. ‘Hey!’ is wake up call, a call to arms of sorts, or as they put it themselves, it “is a song about people ignoring obvious facts that are right in front of them. Global leaders are not acting upon climate change and they can’t ignore it for much longer!!“. The lyrical message is matched by the musical urgency in ‘Hey!’, a buzzing riff and spiky guitars lead the charge along a bubbling bassline forging a formidable backdrop for the fuzzy, reverb-laden vocals to reign supreme. Powerful, passionate and fearless but most importantly it is a belter of a tune.

Listen to ’Hey!’ below now, it will be part of a double A side single released later this month.

J.R. – ‘PAL’

J.R. is Canadian musician and singer-songwriter (real name Julianna Riolino)

Riolino introduced herself with debut single ‘Be My Man’ back in April and now, three months later, she is serving up an alluring second helping with ‘PAL’.

Fuelled by emotional nostalgia inspired by the feeling of youth and naive invincibility, ‘PAL’ is a gleaming guitar-pop gem that purrs with a rich melodic power. Swooning soft-centered balladry and lush instrumentation combine with seductive hooks as warm, honeyed yet smokey vocals bring the detailed lyrical vision to life. It feels wistful, personal and bittersweet, all with a underlying sense of hope and defiance bubbling away. A marvellously lush and alluring single that purrs with a rich melody that will melt even the coldest of hearts.

You can listen to ‘PAL’ below now and the video is ace too, definitely worth checking out.