Introducing: Bad Pop

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Bad Pop are the Vancouver-based trio of Chris Connelly (vocals/guitar), Catherine Hiltz (bass/vocals/trumpet) & Aaron Klassen.

Self-deprecating titles aside, this Canadian trio are anything but bad – and just a little bit pop. The proof, well, that would be wonderful recent double a-side ‘Same House/Masculism’. It displays two rather different sides of a band with an inherent capacity for the tongue-in-cheek and ace tunes. ‘Same House’ is a sort of hyperactive warped psych-disco-pop that’s as weird as it is wonderful, and catchy as hell. Jerky, art-rock guitar riffs dance with crashing cymbals and to-die-for harmonies. ‘Masculism’ on the other hand, is a hard-rocking stomper; delivering a ferocious brew of pounding riffs, sledge-hammer percussion and raspy vocals. An engaging, addicting and brilliant introduction to a band with exceptional promise.

‘Same House/Masculism’ is out now via Metropolis Recordings. Tune in below.

If the double a-side is to your liking, Bad Pop are playing a few shows in the UK in May: Sebright Arms, London (18/05), Bleach, The Great Escape (TGE), Brighton (19/05) & Canada House, TGE, Brighton (20/05).

 

Introducing: Allen and Douglas

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Allen and Douglas are a musical duo from Birmingham, who together, have been crafting songs since their teens.

Strumming, singing and crafting songs in old railway stations and under canal bridges since their teens, the pair have developed a sound through a process of trial and error. While heavy on harmonies,there is something off-kilter or left-field about their brand of indie, exemplified by the magnificent ‘Eve’. The combined draw of scratchy guitar stabs (reminiscent of ’80s Billy Bragg) and reaching harmonies coupled leave a lasting, curious impression. Similarly excellent and distinctive are ‘Some Weird Armageddon’ and ‘My Head’s Talking Too Much’. With several hiatuses under their belt they record regularly in a small bedroom studio in Birmingham UK – their output is is both regular and rather astounding.

You can check out some choice cuts from Allen and Douglas below and they regularly share new jams on their SoundCloud too.

 

Introducing: Gadget and the Cloud

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Gadget and the Cloud is the moniker of Cork-based producer Kelly Doherty.

The Cork native has a clear preference for the experimental, pushing electronic sounds into ever more interesting settings. Despite the relatively youthful age of the project, the diversity of sound on display from her releases to date, is rather breathtaking. This is the sound of after hours and early mornings; peaceful, reflective and sombre. Doherty’s latest effort ‘And I Told You Something True’, is a jittery, fluttery and angular listen that is both serene and spectral – and ultimately entirely hypnotic. Debut track ‘3600 Seconds’ is just over two minutes of sinister ambience, floaty synth stabs that render the track both disturbing yet upbeat, with its bright hooks and ravey undertones subverted by a general awkwardness. While equally as captivating, ‘You Asked Me Who I Was’ is more in the instrumental hip hop vein. Plenty of quality to delve into here and hopefully plenty more to come soon.

You can check out some choice experimental sounds below. Gadget and the Cloud is playing Open Ear Festival on the June Bank holiday on Sherkin Island – tickets/details here.

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.

Introducing: Three Thieves

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Three Thieves is the moniker of Cardiff based producer, Tom Clugston and his approach is fearless and superlative.

Three Thieves serves a spellbinding synthesis of sound embracing all things hip hop, electronica, drum & bass and a wealth of other electronic beat driven genres. In short, Clugston digs beats, and my, can he deliver them with pin-point accuracy; something acutely evident on his sublime and most recent EP, Zero Hour. Three Thieves is in his element with the melodic, fluid and perky drum & bass indebted ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’, in particular. Combining flourishes of synths, light skittering beats and dazzling keys, providing a really uplifting positive vibe and warm, inviting sounds. These are but two stellar moments from what is a sublime EP, and one that has one that has been on constant rotation in recent weeks.

Check out ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’ below and you can stream the entire Zero Hour EP here. Without a shadow of a doubt, you will be better for letting it, and Three Thieves into your life.

Introducing: Them Jones

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Them Jones are a Philadelphia five-piece with a flair for mesmerising, retro sounding, psych-tinged garage rock.

Them Jones’ most recent album, A Mountain of Nonsense was released last year and is a rough-around-the-edges and unpolished aural adventure, swathed in ’60s sounds and inspirations. Whether it is the likes of ‘Outburst’, which sees them tumble into a frenetic two-minute burst of punchy guitar driven garage-rock or ‘Honeytrap’, embracing the softer subtleties of the genre, giving a smoother, more soulful flavour – we find a band at the peak of their prowess. The same can be said for slowly waltzing and hushed poetic delights of ‘The Shrinking Violet’s Light’, and the record in general. At varying times, Them Jones bring to mind The Doors, The White Stripes, The Animals and any more of a similar ilk, yet they manage to maintain ownership of their musical vision and sound. This is their interpretation of a genre and era they know and love. They are masters of their craft and it executed with perfection, and sometimes you know, that is quite enough.

You can listen to some choice cuts from Them Jones’ latest album A Mountain of Nonsense. If those are to your liking, well, you can stream the LP here. Enjoy!

Introducing: AshMcAuliffe

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AshMcAuliffe is Blackburn (UK) based producer – aka Andrew McAuliffe-Shave – with a penchant for introspective instrumental synthpop and electronic soundscapes.

2016 saw the producer return with Technoscryer, his first new record in six years and one of synthy electronica that evokes the future (or what it should sound like) with a definite cinematic ambience and a touch of John Carpenter horror lurking in the background. The latest single ‘Time Spiral’ perfectly encapsulates AshMcAuliffe’s raison d’etre. It is a deep, dark beast that sounds urgent, menacing and threatening, dangerous even. It twists and it turns, delving into deeper and darker (much darker) Orbital-esque sonic terrains. Delivered with pin point accuracy, exuding an atmosphere of suspense and tension, building frantically towards a gloriously climactic finish. ‘Time Spiral’ (and others from the record) would be a perfect soundtrack to companion a no-nonsense 8-bit action hero, who, against all the odds, races against the clock battles to save the world.

Technoscryer is out now (you can stream/purchase it here). You can listen to ‘Time Spiral’ and some other choice cuts from AshMcAuliffe, below.

Introducing: Psychic Love

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Psychic Love are LA-based woozy indie merchants who, spearheaded by Laura Peters along with Max Harrison (guitar) and Liam McCormack (bass) released their debut LP The Hive Mind last month.

The album is rather impressive. Its bewitching allure emanating from a resplendent ebbing and flowing through moody, spectral dramatics and woozy lackadaisical jangle; a motif played out perfectly on new single ‘Dye Pack’. It is woozy and dreamy yet dramatic and brooding as jangling guitar chords are filtered through reverb and mild distortion. An anthemic hook and propulsive drumming pair up to provide a surging optimism, while Peters’ sultry vocals bristles with nostalgia and melancholy. Psychic Love’s moody, laid-back indie stylings shimmer, swagger and swoon in equal measure. A spectacular intro to a band that will improve your day, immensely.

You can check out ‘Dye Pack’ below – see also ‘Red Sun’ & ‘Pink Parlor’ – and Psychic Love’s debut album The Hive Mind is out now, stream it here.

Introducing: False Heads

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London grunge/punk trio False Heads have marked themselves as noisemakers supreme over the course of the past 12 months.

They have released a slew of blistering singles and their latest ‘Weigh In’, is as ferocious an intro as possible. ‘Weigh In’, and indeed their grunge/punk hybrid, is rammed with vicious hooks, fierce, crunchy guitar riffs, hammering percussion and banging bass line. Three-and-a-half-minute burst of coiled up aggression, delivered with a primal energy; this is raspy, aggressive, and downright infectious. The companion to ‘Weigh In’, ‘All Eyes’ leans toward the grungier end of the spectrum yet similarly menacing, viscerally snarling and hard to resist. False Heads certainly sound like a trio with fire in their bellies, and with a bunch of singles and live dates planned for the coming year, these guys look like an exciting prospect.

Three lads who make a whole lot of noise, what’s not to like? Well, for now, check out ‘Weigh In’ & ‘All Eyes’ – as good a start as any.

Introducing: Sean OB

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Sean OB – aka Sean O’Brien – is a songwriter, multi-talented musician and producer.

His name be unfamiliar but his work will not, fronting the decidedly brilliant and criminally underrated Dublin punk-ska trio Trap Door, before joining Raglans in 2012. O’Brien has now returned with a brand new project under the moniker of Sean OB. Described as “Buddy Holly meets Jamie T” – and there is some truth in that statement – heralding this project is debut single, ‘Alive’. It marks an evolution of the punky-indie sound he carved out with Trap Door. Amid the rumbling and rattling guitars of this spiky piece of punk-tinged-indie, it is O’Brien’s gripping way of telling a tale that, like before, wins the day. ‘Alive’ is an excellent intro to a project with plenty of promise. There’s an EP in the works with producer Rob Kirwan (Hozier/The Horrors) in 2017, so keep an eye out for that in the new year.

For now though, you can listen to ‘Alive’ below, and if it is to your liking, Sean is playing Whelan’s Upstairs, this Saturday, November 19th | Doors @ 23:00 & more details here.