Mountain Bike – ‘This Lonely Place’

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More closely associated with electronica, Belgium has produced more than its fair share of tidy bands too, and joining that list is garage outfit, Mountain Bike.

The four-piece, hailing from Brussels, have just released new single ‘This Lonely Place’. Taken from their forthcoming album About Too Sorry For Any Sorrow – due out on the 3rd of March – ‘This Lonely Place’ is a fuzzy, jangling four minutes of laid-back, hook-drenched, melodic-vibes. From a melancholic opening, it nonchalantly skips along head-nodding bundle of joy. Comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, Mac DeMarco, Car Seat Headrest & King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard have been made, and while they are all valid, there is a certain late ’90s Blur and early noughties Graham Coxon (solo work) vibe too. Regardless, this is super catchy, infectious and addicting, Mountain Bike have found that sweet spot between pop and indie.

Listen to ‘This Lonely Place’ below, and keep an eye out for this four-piece in 2017.

Rhodri Brooks – ‘Bws Dŵr’

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Rhodri Brooks is a Cardiff born singer and songwriter, whose rather wonderful sound is gathered from fragments of alt-country, psychedelia, Americana and lo-fi, and effortlessly sewn together.

Brooks’ chameleonic sound transcends eras and genres, evidenced by his wonderful back catalogue and latest single ‘Bws Dŵr’.The new track will be released through the Bubblewrap Collective – who he’s recently joined forces with – for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Performed in his native Welsh, ‘Bws Dŵr’ is a gentle and wonderfully understated lo-fi blend of Americana/Country that lulls you into a hypnotic, woozy state of peace and calm as it meanders along with sliding guitars and washed-out vocal. So easy on the ear, this is just a wonderfully tranquil beauty.

‘Bws Dŵr’ is out for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Listen to it below.

Foresteater – ‘Big Deceiver’

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Foresteater is the moniker of Mikey Pro, Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist from Phoenix AZ, USA.

Formed in 2015 after a dream about a band playing on an island in outer-space surrounded by electric rainbows – definitely one of the more interesting backstories – Pro’s deals in super catchy, mildly psychedelic indie-pop. Showcasing this fancy, Foresteater’s released debut EP Nightlife of the Exploding Heads in May 2016 and he is kicking off 2017 in style, with sublime new single ‘Big Deceiver’. It is a bright, colourful and catchy delight of sugar-spun harmonies, earworm melodies and hooks you could your hat on. Playful, with psych-tinged underbelly, be warned, ‘Big Deceiver’ will get stuck in your head for days and days.

‘Big Deceiver’ is out now & you can listen to it below:

Orouni – ‘The Lives Of Elevators’

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Three albums deep already, French band Orouni are no novices, in fact they are virtuosos when it comes to classic, melodic guitar pop music.

Orouni’s carefully crafted arrangements are marked by an easy-going flow and a sense for melody and elegance – none more so than ‘The Lives Of Elevators’. The new track – which will be on their next album – is part of a live session with French streaming platform Findspire and followed by ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’, from their most recent record Grand Tour (2014). Buoyed by an effortless ear for melody, ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ elegantly flits between melancholic and beautiful, fragile but authoritative, with lush arrangements and irresistible parps of brass. Charming and sometimes bittersweet, this is the class of perfect pop-craft associated with the likes of The Kinks, Sweet Baboo and Tap Tap et al. This is ever so endearing and delightful catchy but be warned, these pair of songs will get stuck in your head for days and days.

Orouni has recorded three albums to date, which can be acquired via Bandcamp, with another on the way in 2017. Check out ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ &  ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’ below.

Swimming Tapes – ‘Cameos’

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Swimming Tapes are a London five-piece who deal in dreamy guitar-pop.

The band released their debut EP Souvenirs a few days ago, and with it, shared their fourth single ‘Cameos’. It is – as is the entirety of their debut EP – blissfully woozy indie pop, pairing blissed out, sun-soaked indie pop with bittersweet ache. Amid the laid-back hazy undulations, sparkling guitars and general breeziness, it is placing solemn verse against brimming optimism that rules the day. Swimming Tapes sound nostalgic yet fresh, melancholic but hopeful, and that’s a tough nut to crack, but so far these guys make it look all rather easy.

You can listen to new cut ‘Cameos’ below and if that is to your liking (and I rather think it shall) you can listen to their debut EP Souvenirs here.

Watch Bad Sea’s new video for ‘Solid Air’

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Having utterly bewitched us with ‘Solid Air’ a few months back, Dublin duo Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – have unveiled a splendid video for the single.

‘Solid Air’ was one of the finest singles released last year, in Ireland or elsewhere. Revolving around a steady, groovy drum beat, wiry guitar stabs and impressive pop hooks; this smooth and smokey alt-country is the perfect backdrop for Thompson’s rich, crisp vocals to shine. The homespun video, detailing the ‘delights’ of relationship trouble, is directed by Ricardo Deakin and also stars Colm O’Neill. At just over three minutes, this is a similarly first-rate video companion for an exquisitely crafted and delivered number, sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Really excited to more from Bad Sea throughout the year but for now, check out ‘Solid Air’ below.

Foreign/National – ‘Mombasa’

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Over the past two years of so, Aussie five-piece Foreign/National have made a habit or treating our ears on a pretty regular basis with a sublime selection of singles and self-titled EP.

Now though, the Melbourne warped-pop merchants are about to release their long-awaited debut album. Entitled Dépaysement, it will be with us on February 3rd and is preceded by another fine single ‘Mombasa’. The new track is another similarly sumptuous slice of jolly, warped pop. Breezy as the day is long, ‘Mombasa’ is a supremely infectious modern psych-pop tune. A bright, blissful, and melody-filled slice of sun-kissed psychedelic pop music, that will keep you grooving right along, providing some respite from the January blues.

Foreign/National’s debut LP Dépaysement, will be with us on February 3rd but for now, sample delights of ‘Mombasa’ below. It is fabulous!

Ten Fé – ‘Another Way’

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London duo Ten Fé (Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan) have steadily been building a name for themselves and with their debut album out this week, the pair have shared their latest cut ‘Another Way’.

Having already distinguished themselves an unrivalled purveyors of positive, optimistic and uplifting sounds, ‘Another Way’ most certainly solidifies this reputation. The swaying melody, warm synth, soft cushioned beat and rather sublime vocals combine for a gloriously uplifting track that is big in ideas and big in heart. Although influenced by a lot by the films the pair watched while recording the album – offering bleak, expansive portrayals of America – the new single is imbued with a bright air and hopeful tone. Just the aural antidote for troubled times.

Ten Fé’s debut LP Hit The Light is out this Friday, February 3rd – needless to say it is one most definitely to keep an eye out for. Ahead of that, well, go and listen to ‘Another Way’ below. Your day (and week in fact) will be better for it.

Gulp Share Video & Django Django Remix for ‘Search For Your Love’

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Back in December Cardiff-based band Gulp Gulp – revolving around Lindsey Leven & Guto Pryce of Super Furry Animals fame – shared single ‘Search For Your Love’ and their intention to release a second LP in 2017.

Following on from that, Gulp have shared the single’s video and a Django Django‘s ‘Nautical Twilight Edit’ of ‘Search For Your Love’. The Django’s edit adds another dimension to Gulp’s already refined warm, fuzzy, lush spacey psych-pop. Upping the tempo and the groove a tad, and enhancing the textures, luscious melody, proggy-guitars and synthy celestial vibes, to compliment the marvellous original perfectly. Rather than a full face-lift, this is re-imagining the song; creating something completely hypnotic, and topped off by Leven’s sultry vocals, this is the very essence of dreams. Just time to sit back now and let ‘Search For Your Love’ (x 2) flow over you and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

‘Search For Your Love’ is available now via via Tim Burgess’ independent label O Genesis and Gulp are currently working with Luke Abbott on their second album, which is set to be released in 2017.

Listen to Happyness ‘Falling Down’; Album to follow in April

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London trio Happyness, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Ash Cooper, Benji Compston and Jon EE Allan, will release their second album Write In in April.

Alongside news of a follow up to 2014’s Weird Little Birthday comes lead single, ‘Falling Down’. Unfolds pensively, ‘Falling Down’ slowly-building before eventually elegantly swells to a warm but somewhat moody, melancholic burst of rough-edged guitar pop and bubbly drums. Like a slowly settling pint of stout, the reward is as gratifying to wait for as it is to behold. Being the first track unveiled from the forthcoming record, to be honest, you couldn’t ask for a better, more enticing introduction to Happyness.

Write In is penned in for an April 2nd release via Moshi Moshi and Bar None, in the UK and U.S respectively. Also, Happyness shall be in Dublin on April 21st, when the trio play Whelan’s – all the info is here.

For now, listen to ‘Falling Down’ below, it is wonderful.