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.

Introducing: Wardrobe

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Wardrobe is the moniker of Belgian musician Johan Verckist who has a welcome penchant for timeless, exquisite alt-pop, filled with heart and soul.

Verckist will release his debut album Crawling, on February 24th and he has set the standard and cause for excitement with debut single, ‘Man of Straw’. It a sweet, sentimental song that gently waltzes along with an endearing warm glow and punctured with some heart-strung bouts of melancholy. Verckist’s vocals are warm and soothing to the ear, and deeply affecting. Similar praise can be laid at the feet of the latest single, ‘Nowhere Now, which too, is an exquisite piece of pop-craft. It softly trickles by with a gentle strum and warbley synth forging a soothing and warm partnership, pronounced further Verckist’s impeccable and genial vocals – much like ‘Man of Straw’. A magnificent and delightful listen, this is pop-craft at its stellar best.

Debut album Crawling shall be out on February 24th. For now you can sample the wonderful delights that ‘Man of Straw’ & ‘Nowhere Now’ have to offer. You can also check out the ace video for the former.

IRMA VEP – ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’

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Manchester via North Wales musician IRMA VEP – aka Edwin Stevens – released a his new album, No Handshake Blues last week.

Accompanying album number four under the IRMA VEP moniker, is the LP’s lead single, and album opener, ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’. It is a world-weary and shadowy 11-minutes plus of epic, sprawling distortion, feedback and psychedelic drone. The vocals are almost entirely swathed in distortion and reverb rendering the lyrics indecipherable, amid the already swirling fuzz and feedback. A thrilling and epic introduction to Irma Vep’s new and experimental sound, and album too.

You can listen to the epic ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’ below. If that is to your liking, you can hear the new album, No Handshake Blues, over here.

JW Ridley – ‘Everything (Deathless)’

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London newcomer JW Ridley has teamed up with producer Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground project, for the release of his debut single ‘Everything (Deathless)’.

Ridley’s debut it may be but ‘Everything (Deathless)’ is the 20th single release from Speedy Wunderground – a singles label where each release has been written and recorded in 24 hours, and coordinated by Carey – and it is a good as anything from it so far. ‘Everything (Deathless)’ is sort of subdued and moody, but an urgent sliver of alternative-indie-disco. It relentlessly pounds forward with a beautiful combination of layered guitar, synth lines and a nifty solo, and washed out vocals, to boot. Urgent, hypnotic and breathless guitar pop; this is as fine a debut single as you could want from JW Ridley, and a extremely worthy addition to the Speedy Wunderground family.

‘Everything (Deathless)’ is due for a limited 7″ release on 10th February but you can listen to it now, below.

H. Hawkline Shares new track ‘Last Thing On Your Mind’

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Welsh artist H. Hawkline is currently working on the followup to 2015’s wondrous In The Pink Of Condition.

No concrete details on the album have been announced but we’re afforded an early taste of what we can expect with new single, ‘The Last Thing On Your Mind’. Featuring frequent collaborators Cate Le Bon and Josiah Steinbrick and powered by synths and a minimal drum machine, the single explores new territory. It does so while retaining the classic Hawkline approach for earworm hooks intertwined with gently groovy sounds, charming oddity and fused with experimental whims into mildly psychedelic, wonky pop song. A marvellously tantalising six-minutes.

As was said previously, there’s no solid info on when we can expect the new record but after all, any new H. Hawkline is good news. Be sure to be on the look out for the full length later this year.

Listen to ‘The Last Thing On Your Mind’ below.