Phantom Phunk – ‘Cheap Thrills’

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Phantom Phunk are Tampa, Florida based trio of Alexa Toro (vocals), Nick Emiliozzi (drums) and Hector Fontanet (guitar), and also joined by local hip-hop artist Cloud Master Price.

Given the composition of the group, it will hardly be a surprise to find that together they make punk-tinged alt-rock, with a hint of hip-hop running through its veins. Phantom Phunk’s latest single ‘Cheap Thrills’ is both bizarre and exhilarating. Buzzsaw, bending riffs rev through the gears as synth, bumping bass and quickstep beats oscillate to the vocals of some psychedelic siren beckoning us listeners to simply “shake it!”. Then comes the drop and a momentary parting of the psychedelic clouds so to speak which provides just enough space for Cloud Master Price delivery his wares, as a flurry of energetic and focused barbed rhymes match the ferocity of the music step for step. A phenomenal tune, such energy and velocity, it packs a hell of a punch!

Listen to ‘Cheap Thrills’ below and if that is to your liking, their Struggle With Me EP is available for your ears here.

The Orielles – ‘Bobbi’s Second World’

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Earlier this year Halifax trio The Orielles – Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand Halford and best friend Henry Carlyle Wade – released their debut album Silver Dollar Moment via Heavenly.

Their debut is a carefully crafted collection of songs, a distinctive amalgamation of uplifting and colouful sounds that sounds both familiar and fresh. Mixing it up between neon bright indie-disco, ’90s indie and swirling mid-60s psych/garage freak-outs, and their own unique oddness and idiosyncrasy to leave us with an exciting, eccentric and terrifically catchy album of pure indie-pop heaven.

Now, with the addition of fourth member Alex Stephens on keys, they’ve shared not-one-but-two brand new tracks. With the noticeable addition of keys, ‘Bobbi’s Second World’ sees an increased attention to an insatiable poppy danceablility. An infectious anthem filled with a buoyant energy and oozing with a colourful spirit and a heavy dose of funk. It grooves along with a swagger through funk-fuelled hooks and pulsating electrified cheeps and chirps, with Esmé’s syrupy-sweet vocals juxtaposed with the relentless, racing beats and swirling, psychedelic haze. The second track is a cover of Peggy Gou’s ‘It Makes You Forget (itgehane)’, a sparking re-imaging, filled with their trademark quirky charm and shimmering sonic delights.

You can listen to both tracks below and if you haven’t yet been acquainted with their debut album, Silver Dollar Moment is available here.

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Victoria Bigelow – ‘Blame’

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Nashville/upstate NY-based singer-songwriter Victoria Bigelow has shared a new single ‘Blame’, which is lifted from her forthcoming EP Going Blue and penned for release in early 2019.

‘Blame’ is a stunning, profoundly moving and melancholic yet beautiful piece of heart-aching indie-pop. Bigelow’s hushed, smokey voice strikes a reflective tone, channelling her deepest emotions as she details freeing herself from a toxic relationship. Stripped-back guitars, soft beat, steady shaker, the warm glowing organ hum and seductive 60s-esque melodies collude to create a hazy, floating veneer. This provides a perfect underbelly for Bigelow’s vocals to swell, growing in power, strength and defiance as ‘Blame’ progresses. Deeply touching and utterly captivating, ‘Blame’ ushers us into to the realm of something profoundly honest, beautiful and rather special.

Listen to ‘Blame’ below.

The Innocent Bystander – ‘Neon Lights’

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The Innocent Bystander is a new project from Dublin-based producer/songwriter Mark Healy, which grew from an ambition to “make guitar music that takes nothing from the Blues” – and the result is an interesting and personal take on a classic indie sound.

The past 12 months or so saw The Innocent Bystander release a string of well received singles – ‘Waster’, ‘Electrocute’ and ‘The Complacency League’ – and latest offering ‘Neon Lights’ is of a similarly high quality. Shifting along a powerfully danceable groove. ‘Neon Lights’ is spiky slice of irresistible guitar-based electro pop, complete seductive synth-work and a ridiculously catchy, sing-a-long chorus that will worm its way into your psyche and tumble around your head all day. A sparkling delight of irresistible neon-bright sounds.

The Innocent Bystander are currently working on a debut album, There’s Music Still Left in These Streets, expected in 2019.

Balthazar – ‘Fever’

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Belgian indie-pop outfit Balthazar have announced they will release a new (and fourth) album called Fever on January 25, 2019.

Accompanying this news is lead single and title track – yes, you guessed it – ‘Fever’. Introducing itself with a rolling, languid bass riff, ‘Fever’ unfurls with a slinky, seductive groove and alluring harmonies. It is a playful pop song underpinned with a laid-back and breezy vibe that is only momentarily interrupted as the momentum builds and a rhythmic surge and feverish guitars rise up before crashing like the sea against the rocks, and then calm is restored. On the whole, these warm, enchanting notes offer a tender hug for your spirit, whisking you away to a far off lands of peace and calmness.

Tune into the entrancing and mellow enchantment that is ‘Fever’ below, and Balthazar will play Whelan’s, Dublin on Saturday, February 9.

The Spiral Electric – ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’

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The Spiral Electric are a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco, who’s sound is built upon a number of key ingredients; one part soaring melody, one part face-melting guitar, one part orbiting synth, one part incessant danceable groove and a heavy dose of west coast psychedelia.

Equal parts heavy and dreamy, ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ is the second single from The Spiral Electric’s forthcoming double-LP. It is a song of gargantuan proportions. It is six minutes plus of pummeling drums, bludgeoning riffs and feedback that swell and engulf all in their wake before crashing down, bringing a wave of peace that allows space for the drowsy vocals and more dreamy, somber and mournful moments that suggests a masterful kind of efficient simplicity. With either side of ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ – heavy or dreamy – they provide enough room between sounds to allow for an explosion of expression, musically and melodically. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels and Dead Meadow influences loom large here, and that ain’t a bad thing. ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ certainly suggests positive things for the new album and are a worthy addition to the shoegaze and stoner rock canon.

You can listen to ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ below.

Kidsmoke – ‘Rising Sun’

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Kidsmoke are Welsh indie-pop foursome – Lance, James, Sophie & Ash – who’s shimmering brand of dreamy indie-pop takes us on a pulsating psychedelic journey far from their native North Wales haven of Wrexham.

Kidsmoke’s latest release is ‘Rising Sun’, the first lifted from their forthcoming album, expected in 2019. Produced by Bill Ryder-Jones and Russ Hayes, ‘Rising Sun’ is a little slice of pop heaven with a relentless unwavering energy, it reveals a driven and high-octane sound that pits pristine beauty and propulsive power alongside one another in perfect harmony – as racy riffs dance with shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals and heavenly harmonies. A supercharged, frenetic and addictive three-minute masterclass, and a fine example to why these guys are quickly building up quite a formidable reputation.

‘Rising Sun’ is the band’s first single off an upcoming album due out in 2019.