Sid Steppes – ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’

Sid Steppes is a musician and songwriter from Southern California, whose dreamy psychedelic-pop sound is born from a penchant for DIY, writing and recording as he has in various bedrooms and makeshift studios.

Inspired by heartache, depression and the path towards rehabilitating the mind, Steppes’ debut album Trails came out at the end of May, and ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’ is the latest single to be lifted from it. Like the album, ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’ is marked by a deep fondness for ’60s and ’70s psychedelia. It is a woozy tune, meandering along a waltzing rhythm and joined by an intimate acoustic strum, bright guitar chimes and mellow undulations; ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’ is richly melodic, lush and alluring. Much of the later is due to the heartfelt, smouldering emotion and reverb-laden vocals, radiating a powerful sense of melancholy and nostalgia. ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’ is charming and utterly irresistible.

Listen to ‘Tiny Pieces of Belief’ below and if that is to your liking, check out the new album here.

Green Buzzard – ‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’

Green Buzzard is the moniker of Sydney’s Paddy Harrowsmith who, judging by latest single at least, has a Midas touch when it comes to sweet and charming slices of sugar-spun psych-pop.

‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’ is his first new material in two years and it is an absolute delight. It’s fusion of dripping melodies, bright hooks and catchy singalong chorus leaves you powerless to resist its hypnotic allure, as the sweet guitar jangle and popping percussion are coated in a warm blanket of fuzz. It is bright and breezy, sun-kissed and summery, and finds a perfect balance between sweet pop and crunchy indie and hypnotic psych. It is an engrossing sub three-minute masterclass adorned with some of the catchiest, most compelling pop hooks in the known universe. Dreamy and melodic, it’s charm, allure and delight is hard to resist.

Tune into ‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’ below:

Honey Moon – ‘Magic’

London jangle-pop outfit Honey Moon have made a habit of crooning their way way into our hearts with heartfelt, hazy and lackadaisical slice of indie-pop goodness.

This prodigious talent for crafting three minute plus pop gems is evidenced by last year’s wonderful Four More From… EP, and 2019 single ‘If I Could Only Dream’, and they are at it once again. Honey Moon’s latest single ‘Magic’ has liberal dusting of just that. Their trademark doo-wop and crooning enchantment is given a more lavish flavour, one of more grandiose proportions. It is a rich and colourful confection, it is bright and breezy,and swelling with elegant strings, sinuous melodies, lilting hooks and jangly guitars that will please your ears and melt your heart. This is another enchanting and whimsical illustration of classic pop-craft, Honey Moon have got a right knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar.

Listen to ‘Magic’ below – it is exactly what it says it is.

Blacktop Freak – ‘majordepressivebipolarocdillallowyou’

Blacktop Freak is the alter-ego of Michigan-based musician Nick Marinelli.

Marinelli’s reverb-clad soundscapes are derived from parts woozy dream-pop, swirling psychedelia and whirring shoegaze, a penchant outlined on recently released debut EP, Ibidem. The EP climaxes with ‘majordepressivebipolarocdillallowyou’, which charts the steady, then complete breakdown of a relationship.

Musically, the song is one of constantly rising in tension. Beginning life with a gentle melodic strum, it meanders for a time in a dreamy slumbering wonderland, gradually swelling and before enveloping all in its wake with an increasing hiss, off-key strum and feverish atmosphere as a mesmeric hypnotic pattern emerges as it spills and sprawls over one another in slo-mo fashion. It reaches its peak and then its gone. It is equally beautiful and jarring; raw yet refined; it is a powerful and seductive sound – no mean feat.

Listen to ‘majordepressivebipolarocdillallowyou’ below:

MIYNT – ‘Peaches’

Having returned from hiatus with a gloriously rich and sultry slice of ‘riviera pop’ in ‘Vacation With Bond In South Of France Part 2′, Swedish artist MIYNT has another lush, smooth pop song for us with ‘Peaches’.

Channelling hazy psychedelia, ‘Peaches’ is second single lifted from her forthcoming as-of-yet untitled second EP. It is lush, dreamy and suave, warm and sun-kissed it conjures the lucid sound of summer as it slinks along a sultry, seductive groove, ushered onward by a propulsive and throbbing bassline. It weaves its way through a dreamy atmosphere with its hazy synths, frazzled electronics and playful wonky guitar tone, overlaid with MIYNT’s lavish honeyed vocals which whimsically wanders along at a similarly slinking pace. ‘Peaches’ is utterly divine and lush psych-pop that will warm the heart of even the grimmest among us.

Listen to ‘Peaches’ below.

Faux Canada – ‘Stockton’

Faux Canada is a San Francisco-based indie-pop foursome, heavily inspired by the early 00’s Secretly Canadian lineup of indie rockers, the quartets influences also touch on elements of 90’s shoegaze, grunge, and electro-lounge, all wrapped up in a delightfully charming and energetic pop sheen.

The aforementioned brew is the sound of their new EP, Liars’ Teeth, which is led by single ‘Stockton’. It is a charming and melodic delight as sporadic guitars mesh with sweet harmonies, catchy riffs and sharp hooks, propelled onward by drums and meaty bassline, and engulfed in a mild blanket of warm fuzz and distortion. An effortlessly sweet and catchy slice of bright and bouncy indie-pop laden with delicious harmonies and warm fuzz. Faux Canada have figured out the deceptively simple, age-old secret to transcending influences: just write top notch songs.

Listen to ‘Stockton’ below and if that is to you liking, check out their new EP, Liars’ Teeth here.

Aliendawg. & Moon Pics – ‘Give In’

For starters, 10/10 for the name but far from being just a front, Aliendawg. (aka Luiz Spíndola) and Moon Pics (aka Adriano Caiado) have the substance to back up the handle.

The Brazilian duo have joined forces for the release of the excellent two-song split EP, Give In / Paper Heart, out now via Midsummer Madness.With ‘Give In’, a bright, shimmering and melodic tune from the get go, the Brazilian pair proceed to explore the worlds of ‘90s indie rock, shoegaze and dream pop over the course of three-and-a-half minutes bursting with warm, lush melodies. A rich, textured sound, blanketed fuzzy guitars to create spellbinding soundscapes swelling with heart and emotion Layers of guitars, fuzz, distortion and whirring are moulded into something beautiful, lulling you in and transfixing; it is warm, melodic, charming and deeply alluring.

Listen to ‘Give In’ below – it is a gem.

Party Hardly – ‘The Hopskotch Man’

Following a string of singles and last autumn’s debut EP, Leeds-based indie-pop foursome Party Hardly are readying the release of their second EP this summer.

Ahead of the new EP, the quartet has afforded us a taste of what we can expect courtesy of single ‘The Hopskotch Man’.

While born from frustration depression that tormented guitarist Matt Pownall following an injury resulting in reconstruction surgery he was left bed-bound for some months, ‘The Hopskotch Man’ comes packed as a bright, upbeat and breezy indie-pop jangle. Fuzzed-up and melodic, it fizzes and whizzes with an effervescent vibe amid a hazy atmosphere and dreamy aura. It is easy on the ear and adorned with some of the catchiest, most compelling pop hooks in the known universe. Dreamy and melodic, it’s charm, allure and delight is hard to resist.

Tune in below:

Taylor Knox – ‘Live it Up’

Toronto musician Taylor Knox is gearing up to release new album Here Tonight on June 7.

The forthcoming record is the follow-up to 2017 debut Love and preceded by lead single ‘Live It Up’, which is adorned with all the signature bells and whistles of Knox’s debut. It is bright, energetic and super catchy, and packed to the rafters with irresistible power pop hooks – the allure of ‘Live It Up’ is great. Loud, crunchy guitars lead the charge with a powerful, forceful and driving rhythm for company as we are treated to a sweetly melodic world of sweet licks and lovely layers of fuzz and mild distortion – and hooks you could hang your hat on. It is a powerful, hooky and anthemic power-pop colossus – a great omen for the new album.

Listen to ‘Live it Up’ below:

Silverbacks – ‘Pink Tide’

Over the past few years, a few things have become certainties; my hair is not going to get any less greyer, Wrexham will break my heart come the season’s end and Silverbacks releases don’t disappoint.

The most recent Dublin-based outfit have been been nothing short of phenomenal; the unrelenting, unshakeable and sometimes post-punk spectacles of ‘Just In The Band’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Just For A Better View’. Firmly in the here and now, Silverbacks are back with whispers of an album in 2019 and new single ‘Pink Tide’.

Like their other recent releases, ‘Pink Tide’ is once again recorded with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox, and raucous and buzzing with a jagged edged exuberance. Interlocking guitars provide precise freneticism, and pivots ‘Pink Tide’ off-kilter as Dan O’Kelly delivers his low-toned and world weary vocals. It is effortlessly gritty with scintillating riffs and guitar work, and when the solo kicks in at the 2:30 mark, provides a cathartic jolt towards the finish. It is barbed, searing and raucous without ever being messy, in fact incredibly tight, kept in check by the metronomic drums and those frenetic guitars. Electrifying, explosive and exhilarating as per usual – in my humble opinion, Silverbacks are Ireland’s finest emerging band.

Tune in to ‘Pink Tide’ below: