O Future – ‘Voyeur’

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Formerly known as OOFJ, O Future is the pairing of Katherine Mills Rymer from South Africa and Jens Bjornkjaer originally from Denmark, who both now reside in Los Angeles.

Together, the pair have cultivated something of a niche, fusing electronic, orchestral and art pop music to create a colourful, imaginative and dance-y tunes that will get firmly lodged in your head, as evidenced by previous single ‘Smell You’ and latest effort ‘Voyeur’. It is a tantalizing meeting of eerie, somewhat menacing, yet sweeping symphonic sound. ‘Voyeur’ is jittery and claustrophobic as quickfire drumbeat hits first, accompanied by somewhat manic synths and buzzing bass it swells, growing more intense in tandem with Mills Rymer’s breathy but increasingly feverish vocals. A stunning and seductive single that is beautiful yet eerie, with the sweeping orchestra strings adding a final alluring touch of cinematic class and sweeping grandeur.

Listen to ‘Voyeur’ below – and there is more here.

The Great Escape – ‘Possibilities’

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LA-based trio The Great Escape have kicked off 2019 in earnest with plans for a series of stand-alone singles that will ultimately shape their forthcoming new album Pulsing Synchronicity.

With that in mind, The Great Escape have shared their new single ‘Possibilities’ – a retro-leaning slice of sultry soul. Touching on parts indie, psych, ’60s pop and soulful trip-hop, the trio explore a sensual sonic wonderland of beguiling beauty. Backed by lush, opulent production, ‘Possibilities’ moves along a seductive soulful groove as frontwoman Hanna Leess’ rich, smoky vocal drifts and swirls over the evocative soundscape. ‘Possibilities’ is a four-minute sojourn to a colourful wonderland of beautiful but contrasting sound palate; it is a collage that is seductive yet haunting, playful and a bit coy but lush, warm and intoxicating.

Listen to ‘Possibilities’ below & keep an eye out for further releases in the coming months.

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:

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:

Ben’s Imaginary Band – ‘Celebrity’

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Ben’s Imaginary Band is the work of Ben Romvari, a Canadian musician with a serious penchant for DIY and indie. Essentially a one-man band with Romvari looking after every role possible; he writes, records, and mixes his tracks in DIY studios based in Victoria, BC.

To date, Romvari has three albums to his name (or Ben’s Imaginary Band rather) Nocturnal Fables and Illusions (2007), Trust (2011) and The Apartment (2018); all characterised by intimate, deeply personal, melodic, somewhat melancholic and beautiful songs. Ben’s Imaginary Band’s latest single ‘Celebrity’, lifted from the latter record, is adorned with all the aforementioned attributes. ‘Celebrity’ is a charming, heartfelt and soft-centred piece of indie-pop balladry. Drifting along some gently tripping percussion and stripped back instrumentation, ‘Celebrity’ is dripping with melody and pitted with an idiosyncratic, kind of quirky sensibility as Romvari’s hushed, whispering vocals tug at the heartstrings.

Listen to ‘Celebrity’ below and The Apartment comes highly recommended also – listen to it here.