Beach For Tiger – ‘It’s Been So Long’

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Beach For Tiger are a London-based quintet with a penchant for dreamily psychedelic pop gems.

This aforementioned flair is patently obvious from their recently released second EP, with ‘It’s Been So Long’ serving as the opening song. It is an enchanting and whimsical illustration of laid-back vibes and irresistible pop-craft, like a perfect blend of Tame Impala with a touch of Honey Moon and Real Estate. It is a woozy, undulating and heartwarming brand of wistful psych-pop that drifts along dreamily, as sinuous melodies, lilting hooks and jangly guitars coalesce with misty vocals which lead us into a bewitching psychedelic trance. Amid the enchanting haze of woozy psychedelic there is an understated, ever-so-mild groove that hooks you in. Not only do ‘It’s Been So Long’ have a real flair for psych-pop gems, they’ve got a right knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar.

Listen to ‘It’s Been So Long’ below:

TOLEDO – ‘Qué Pasa?’

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Revolving around the Brooklyn-based pairing of Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn, Toledo have have drip-feeding us charming delights from their forthcoming debut album over the past while, and bewitching us in the process.

The good news is Toledo will release their aforementioned debut, HotStuff in March and the latest single lifted from it, is without question the best yet. ‘Qué Pasa?’ is a heartfelt, lush and melodic slice of indie-folk delight. Dripping with melody as hushed, lilting vocals flow gently on by amid a sea of richness and warmth, flourishes of soft drums and state of tranquillity. ‘Qué Pasa?’ proves Toledo the masters of hook, harmony and heart. It is one of those songs, filled with such heartfelt beauty, glowing with warmth and marked by just the right amount of melancholy, that will leave you unable to resist its allure but all the better for it. An absolute joy!

Listen to ‘Qué Pasa?’ below and keep an eye out for the debut record come March.

Introducing: Los Blancos

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Los Blancos are slacker/garage-rock foursome from Carmarthenshire, South West Wales.

A band bonded in friendship, Gwyn, Dewi, Emyr and Osian have known each other since school days, there is a quiet, understated confidence underpinning Los Blancos’s ’90s inspired garage sound. Drawing inspiration from the slanted sounds of Pavement, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the playfulness of Mac Demarco their songs are simultaneously gloomy yet hopeful and sun-kissed.

Sung in their native Welsh, Los Blancos’ scuzzy, fuzz-filled sound mutates somewhat between each release. ‘Cadi‘ is a ragged hook-filled rattle revolving around frenetic riffing and insistent percussion that combine in a languid, very Velvet Underground kind of way. With ‘Chwarter I Dri’ the melodic meanderings and ramblings are punctuated by soaring riffs, melodies and towering vocals while ‘Cadw Fi Lan’ offers a hazy meander sojourn to warm and swooning sliding guitar-led alt-country meets lo-fi indie. Aside from their native tongue and dash of garage fuzz, the other constant is Gwyn Rosser’s voice, his drawl consistently delivering that added emotional punch with aplomb.

These are songs that cheerily worm their way into your heart through perfect songcraft and you can check out some choices cut below.

Weston Decker – ‘Black Smoke’

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An air of intrigue surrounds Weston Decker, a musician from Boulder, Colorado in the United States.

This interest is piqued by the backstory, in Decker’s own words, the project was “conceived in Terminal 2 of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Weston Decker grew up surrounded by Gary, Indiana’s vibrant reggaeton scene of which both the Hyenas who raised him played a central role. He eventually settled in Transylvania where he found work as a barnacle scraper. After a segway crash nearly fucking killed him, he began crafting music to pass the time in the hospital usually while tripping Ambien”. The outcome of which can be seen/heard on 2017’s Fuck This Album, and 2018’s Fuck This Album Too.

The Weston Decker backstory is perfectly suited to the immersive music that accompanies it – and ‘Black Smoke’ is a case in point. A blend of unsettling, shadowy post-punk and bruised jazzy vibes, ‘Black Smoke’ explores an outpouring of varied emotions through the half-spoken-half-sang lyrics, creating a slumbering and otherworldly sound; somewhere in-between dreaming and reality. Different it definitely is and well worth some of your attention.

Check out ‘Black Smoke’ below:

Ilu – ‘Jaanus’

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Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are a Welsh Psych/Krautrock outfit crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns.

They introduced themselves (and found a sizeable place in my heart) with the spectacular ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’ last year, and follow that with ‘Jaanus'; an equally intoxicating proposition. ‘Jaanus’ is elegant yet bold, delicately drifting off in the chillest of vibes as synths chime and shimmer, gently winding electronics orbit and sparkle like stars to a place of wonder and tranquillity in the cosmos. It’s jubilant yet melancholic; busy yet laid-back – a paradoxical sound but one of awe and beauty that climaxes in a haze of heavenly choral repetitions cascade upon stuttering drums. An immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures that intoxicates with airiness and beauty.

As with ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, the recording was began in Tallinn, Estonia and was completed by Tim Lewis (Spiritualized, Julian Cope, Coil) in Aerial Studios in Carmarthenshire.

There is talk of album later in the year which is great news but for now listen to ‘Jaanus’ below:

Dreaming of Islands – ‘Silencio’

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Dreaming of Islands are Ida Gyllensten and Magnus Hedberg, a Swedish duo from Malmö who experiment with a post-rock sound infused with nods to trip hop and dark electro, and their creations are brooding, ominous and beguiling.

The pair’s latest release is ‘Silencio'; an elegant, atmospheric and spectral dose of ethereal electronica. A hypnotic and captivating track, with a powerful dark groove that pulsates with vibrant emotion, dark, mysterious and atmospheric as it goes with the semi-chanted lyrics increasing the primal vibe and enthralling. Beauty and ominous darkness work simultaneously as the semi-chanted lyrics increase the primal vibe as ‘Silencio’ ebbs and flows to an epic crescendo. ‘Silencio’ is an irresistible and entrancing six minutes plus, that quickly locks you under its spell and enthral no end.

Listen to ‘Silencio’ below:

Allen & Douglas – ‘We’re Beginning To Go Backwards’

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Birmingham musical duo Allen & Douglas have been crafting songs together since their teens – strumming, singing and concocting songs in old railway stations and under canal bridges – and their music is always heavily weighted with honesty, charm and a love of making music.

The pair have a new album called Wheels & People penned for release this spring and ahead of which they have shared new single ‘We’re Beginning To Go Backwards’. This early taster continues their adventures in off-kilter/left-field indie, as ‘We’re Beginning To Go Backwards’ flits between muscular riffs and jangley chords, and sprigs of psych-tones with powerful vocals roaring us home. Each and every time Allen & Douglas pop up onto our musical radar they leave their mark and ‘We’re Beginning To Go Backwards’ is in keeping with this tradition; a wonderfully distinctive reminder of what Allen & Douglas are all about.

Listen to ‘We’re Beginning To Go Backwards’ below and keep an eye out for the forthcoming new record.