Los Blancos – ‘Ti Di Newid / Cadw Fi Lan’

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Last year was a rather good one for Welsh foursome Los Blancos, establishing themselves as one of Wales’ most exciting prospects.

A band bonded in friendship – Gwyn, Dewi, Emyr and Osian have known each other since school days – Los Blancos have proven a reliable source of irresistible slacker/garage-rock, a fact that isn’t about to change anytime soon as they waste no time in opening their account for 2019 with a new double A side single ‘Ti Di Newid / Cadw Fi Lan’ via Libertino Records.

Sung in their native Welsh, Los Blancos’ scuzzy, fuzz-filled sound mutates somewhat between each release – something that can be seen with the contrasting nature of both new singles. ‘Ti Di Newid’ is a gritty and dynamic feast of melodic fuzz and distortion, smouldering with emotion and packed with blazing riffs, crunchy guitars and soaring choruses. While it is rough, ragged and raw musically and emotionally, there is a beauty and brittleness to the genuine heartfelt emotion as it chugs along with a surging vitality and screeching riffs. ‘Cadw Fi Lan’ is the calmer of the two tracks, providing a hazy meander sojourn to warm and swooning sliding guitar-led alt-country meets lo-fi indie filled with a melancholic end of summer youthful sweetness. 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.

Listen to ‘Ti Di Newid’ and ‘Cadw Fi Lan’ below; the double a-side is out now via Libertino Records.

Leggy – ‘Taffy’

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Next month, Cincinnati trio Leggy will release a new album, Let Me Know Your Moon.

It was announced in mouthwatering fashion with expansive, gritty and anthemic indie rocker ‘Eden’ last month, and they are back, sharing another new track from the forthcoming record called ‘Taffy’. Leggy continue their trend for irresistible garage rock with a punky edge, ‘Taffy’ is a gloriously frenetic and chaotic swirl of noise. It skitters as drums slam, guitars buzz and generally fizzes with a boisterous energy before abruptly crashing to ground. ‘Taffy’ tip-toes between light and dark, teetering between harsh and melodic, a perfect companion for Veronique Allaer’s initially nonchalant reflections of self-doubt which swell powerfully with an emotive, compelling intensity. Phenomenal.

Listen to ‘Taffy’ below – Let Me Know Your Moon is out on March 8th via Sheer Luck Records.

Adam Melchor – ‘3 Hours Ahead’

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Adam Melchor is a Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with a penchant for rich, melodic and heartfelt old-fashioned pop.

Originally trained as an opera singer, with his new single ‘3 Hours Ahead’, Melchor wistfully weaves a wide-eyed ode to friendship across time zones. Led by beautiful keys and dramatic dripping melodies, ‘3 Hours Ahead’ moves along a soft, steady and hushed drumbeat. There is a softness to his tone, conveying an intimate vibe and vulnerability that coalesce with some swooning orchestral-esque vibes, a gentle acoustic strum and lush layered vocals, vivid lyrics and beautiful keys. While he’s got quite a few releases already under his belt, his latest effort finds him in fine form, with his best and most affecting work to date. ‘3 Hours Ahead’ is beautiful song plain and simple – musically and lyrically – it is powerful and emotive, with a melancholic and lamentable feel. Beautiful and compelling, this is brilliantly moving.

Listen to ‘3 Hours Ahead’ below now:

HAVVK – ‘Birds On A Wire’

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Formidable Berlin-based Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect later this year and following from ‘Always The Same’, released late last year, ‘Birds On A Wire’ is the latest track lifted from the forthcoming record.

Dark, chilling and compelling, a sense of of impending doom is never far away on ‘Birds On A Wire’. Pulverising drum beats combine with razor sharp guitar licks as Hawk’s stunning, searing vocals soar above to create a thunderous backdrop of pent up rage and and fury unleashed. A powerful, a fierce, uncompromising and compelling slice of searing grunge-filled indie-rock, ‘Birds On A Wire’ is a formidable follow-up to ‘Always The Same’, and it ratchets up the anticipation levels for the album.

You can listen to ‘Birds On A Wire’ below and keep an eye out for the debut album later this year – is a hell of a way to kick off 2019.

Eyesore & The Jinx – ‘On An Island’

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Liverpool post-punk outfit Eyesore & The Jinx return with second single ‘On An Island’; a politically charged cacophony of pent up post-punk fury.

Recorded in a former slaughterhouse and produced by Jonathan Hartley from superb Liverpool garage/psych stalwarts Clinic, ‘On An Island’ is a tightly wound, caustic slab of guitar noise and distortion. Underpinned by an insistent, nagging bassline and increasingly manic, winding guitar lines and metronomic drumbeat, it shifts between taut spoken word segments and thundering one chord bedlam without so much as a moment’s notice. The thrashing chaotic noise over one chord, barking chorus and quick pace rambling vocals makes ‘On An Island’ hard to ignore as it tackles “the cultural residue of post-Brexit Britain…”. Drawing sounds and aesthetics from an abrasive clutch of early-eighties post-punk groups (particularly The Fall, The Gun Club, and The Birthday Party), other influences include Parquet Courts and the unmistakable energy of The Cramps – their frantic whirlwind approach is nothing short of phenomenal.

Listen to ‘On An Island’ below – just as a point of interest, it is best served LOUD.

Lauran Hibberd – ‘Sugardaddy’

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Isle of Wight native Lauran Hibberd has spent the past 12 months building a name for herself with her colourful brand of fuzz-filled indie pop, and she has kicked off 2019 with pulsating anthem ‘Sugardaddy’.

With explosively exciting fashion, ‘Sugardaddy’ gloriously parades the irresistible facets of Hibberd’s brand of melodic, indie-pop goodness. It is insanely catchy and addictive, littered with gloriously sweet harmonies, crunchy guitars, absorbing riffs and a light coat of fuzz, while the wonderfully playful, tongue in cheek lyrics adding a final sprinkle of magic dust on top. As Hibberd says herself, “it’s like wrapping bubblegum around depression…”, ‘Sugardaddy’ is three-minutes of guitar-pop perfection and an irresistibly infectious little earmworm that will be fizzing around your head for days and days.

‘Sugardaddy’ is out now & you can listen to it below.

Lauran Hibberd will join Hippo Campus in The Green Room, The Academy, Dublin on February 19th.

The Hannah Barberas – ‘Look, Know’

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Self-proclaimed “DIY pop partisans”, The Hannah Barberas – Damien, Lucy, Doug & Matthew – an indie-pop foursome from New Cross, London have proven themselves a reliable source of home-brewed charms, with a knack for charming effervescent indie-pop gems.

This rep has been confirmed by a slew of irresistible singles and EPs over the course of the past 18 months or so. The foursome have kicked off 2019 with a cover of ‘Look, Know’, one of the band’s favourite songs by The Fall, and released to mark one year since the passing of Mark E Smith. It is a fitting fans tribute that remains pretty faithful to the original with meaty, very bassy basslines and snappy, biscuit tin snare leading the way with dual vocal exchanges adding a hint more pop veneer. And the intro includes a wee snippet from Mark E Smith reading the classified football results on the BBC’s Final Score – always worth being reminded of. Not only is great cover, the proceeds will go to a good cause; available as a name-your-price download, all proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can listen to ‘Look, Know’ below & download it, just name-your-price, from bandcamp.

Munky – ‘You’ve Got Male’

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Having occupied most of 2018 touring tirelessly around Ireland and Britain, Dublin-based post-punk outfit Munky returned home and began work on recording new material towards the end of last year.

With several demos in the bag, the foursome headed off to refine the fruits of their labour in the studio, where they enlisted the producing talents of Girl Band’s Daniel Fox. The Dublin outfit have kicked off 2019 by unleashing the as-yet-untitled forthcoming EP’s lead single; the raucous ‘You’ve Got Male’ and it is a thrilling three-and-a-half-minutes of relentless, searing psych-punk and psych fuzz over rather danceable grooves. An unrelenting, electrifying juggernaut, ‘You’ve Got Male’ unleashes a sprawling barrage of relentless, spiralling guitars and pounding drums from the get go. Searing riffs and danceable rhythms duke it out, cutting through swaying bass lines, while frontman Zac Stephenson’s caustic croons sit up top, airing a disdain for the powerful and hypocrisy that goes hand in hand with neo-colonialism.

A furious first taste of the new EP, ‘You’ve Got Male’ is breathtaking, potent and feverish as it screeches through serrated layers of sonic energy – and is best consumed at high volumes.

Listen to ‘You’ve Got Male’ below:

Dorvin Borman – ‘In A Field So Far Away’

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Dorvin Borman is Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer whose glorious, colourful sound collage is heavily influenced by elements of psych-pop and dream-pop.

Borman has cut his teeth last year as one-third of the hazy dream-pop trio Mama Kokomo – who released the two sublime singles ‘Primavera Feel’ and ‘Valley of Heat’ last year – but standing alone, his new single is ‘In A Field So Far Away’, a dreamy piece of psych-pop soaked in woozy effects that provides a rich and colourful soundscape to indulge in. Opening with fluctuating synth lines and surging drum beat, ‘In a Field So Far Away’ makes its way through a hazy, gauzy world of warped psychedelic textures and frazzled electronics. It is an experimental jam that is ethereal yet propulsive, utilising the full power of its pulsating rhythms, funky, off-kilter bassline and dramatic synths it evolves beyond the beauty and shimmering atmospheric melodies, into something altogether more dancey and groovy. A warm, woozy, dreamy and downright magnificent delight.

Listen to ‘In A Field So Far Away’ below.

Maddie Jay – ‘Little Love’

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Maddie Jay is a Canadian musician, bassist, producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for jangle pop, experimental music, synthesizers and sloths.

Having grown up in the relative wilderness of the small mountain town of Smithers, British Columbia, Jay traded that for the warmer climes of Los Angeles, where she now spends her days making music in her bedroom studio. Jay’s latest single ‘Little Love’ is an absolute treasure; a warm, layered and laid-back patchwork of rich, technicolor sounds. It slowly slinks along, from a gentle whirlpool of shimmering and lush dream-pop origins, it remains steadfastly chilled and tranquil. Dripping with melody, ‘Little Love’s neon glow sprouts from an irresistible soft wave of hypnotising synths, slinky grooves, shimmering tones and frazzled electronics. This beguiling, textured haze of dreaminess shifts seductively, as subtle as shifting sands, providing a perfect backdrop for Jay’s soothing vocals. A lavish composition, one of breathtaking beauty, it will have you utterly transfixed, powerless under its spell.

Listen to ‘Little Love’ below: