Bad Sea – ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’

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Dublin-based duo Bad Sea return with their glorious new single ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’.

The stellar nature of the new track will come as no surprise to anyone who had the good fortune to get acquainted with previous, equally stunning tracks, ‘Solid Air’ & ‘I’d Want You’. The swooning new one from Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – is a mix of retro Americana-tinged jangle and exquisite pop finesse. Beautifully infectious, it shuffles along a groovy drum beat stabs of guitar and impressive  pop melodies, while the soaring, scale-shifting vocal from Thompson elevate the song to new euphoric heights. ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is utterly compelling craft and resembles a cross between Tennis and one Anna Calvi at the peak of their prowess.

‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is out now & you can listen to it & emotive double a-side companion ‘Over My Head’ below.

Bad Sea play Mistake #3 at The Hut, Phibsboro alongside Beauty Sleep & Shrug Life on Friday, March 24. Kick off @ 8pm & €6 door tax.

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!

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.

Psychic Love – ‘Red Sun’

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This is not the first time that we’ve been wooed by Psychic Love’s woozy, dreamy indie stylings.

The LA-based trio – spearheaded by Laura Peters along with Max Harrison (guitar) and Liam McCormack (bass) – released their wonderful debut album, The Hive Mind at the back end of last year; and they have shared the latest offering from it, ‘Red Sun’. All twangy, atmospheric guitars and steady clicking beat, while the smokey-sweet vocals from Peters add further to the woozy and dreamy, yet melancholic and brooding dimension of ‘Red Sun’. A highlight from their debut LP and an excellent choice of single, which is a reminder, or introduction, to Psychic Love’s laid-back indie stylings.

You can check out ‘Red Sun’ below and Psychic Love’s debut album The Hive Mind is out now, stream it here.