Andrea Franz – ‘Running Back’

Andrea Franz is a Mexican American artist from Southern California who crafts, in her own words, ‘Sad Pop Rock’ as apt a description as you are likely to find.

Franz’s music sees mostly melancholic themes paired with upbeat, happy melodies, and 60s and 70s influences all wrapped up into a charming dreamy indie-pop package. Now based in Mexico City, the aforementioned sound has marked her five single to date, including the new one ‘Running Back’. Written following relocating to Mexico City, it is a tale of longing for friends and family, and pursuit of one’s dreams; ‘Running Back’ is an irresistible jam that exquisitely blurs the lines of beauty and darkness. A lush, woozy and dreamy air is permeated by melancholy, marked by dark and somewhat intense mood as honeyed vocals drift elegantly over a bubbling groove, playful melody bursts of electrified guitars and giddy escapist synth that brings to mind 80s video games lost to history.  ‘Running Back’ is a stunning single, given just a little bit of time, it will be bouncing around your head for days and days – leaving you all the better for it.

Listen to ‘Running Back’ below.

Seatbelts – ‘Sinful City’

Liverpool outfit Seatbelts introduced their super brand of guitar pop with a slew of super singles – ‘Hey, Hey Tiger!’, ‘Content Crush’, ‘Capitalist Confession’, ‘Black Strings’ & ‘Superstardom’– and charming us beautifully with each and every opportunity.

Comprised from James Madden and Ryan Murphy of Hooton Tennis Club, and Abigail Woods and Alex Quinn, Seatbelts are back with new single ‘Sinful City’ – and the foursome have nailed it again. Opening with a mellow yet mournful haze a seductive rhythmic groove seeps through, picks up pace as a driving beat ushers us forward with help from an unrelenting bass loop. Guitars twang and mournful yet increasingly driven vocals flicker amid the shimmering haze as our protagonist, like the song, longs to escape the den of equality as the latter finally finds its sweet dream-pop home only for it to melt away just a quick. It is yet another fabulous tune from Seatbelts and their quality catalog continues to grow.

Tune in below:


Pave The Jungle – ‘Ants’

Pave The Jungle introduced their scintillating brand of indie-rock with epic juggernaut ‘Jelly’ back in January – that feels like a lifetime ago now.

The Newcastle foursome have announced details for their debut EP ‘The Hissing’ – penned in for October 9 – and ahead of that, Pave The Jungle have shared new single ‘Ants’ – quelle surprise, it is a colossal jam. It is a raw and bruising encounter, as a massive onslaught of stomping drums and barreling rhythms rumble below the fiery riffs and feverish, jerky changes while the commanding vocals from Rachael Whittle demand your attention. ‘Ants’ is an absolute beast of a tune, and one that rages with all the devastating energy of a volcano.

Listen to ‘Ants’ below – it is a scintillating introduction to their forthcoming EP:


Kidsmoke – ‘Layla’s Love’

North Wales band Kidsmoke – Lance, James, Sophie & Ash – have been charming us with their woozy indie-pop wonders for a while now, and following a string of sublime singles they will release their debut album A Vision in the Dark on June 19.

Out via the ever impressive Libertino Records, the Wrexham outfit are previewing the record with another beautiful slice of dream-pop splendour; in the shape of ‘Layla’s Love’. It is sunny and cheery brimming with heartwarming charm as guitars shimmer over driven basslines, lush melodies and lavish harmonies as ‘Layla’s Love’ conjures up memories of golden sunsets and balmy summer evenings. ‘Layla’s Love’ is a truly wonderful and charming reminder of what Kidsmoke do best – the intertwined male/female vocals are a particular highlight – together, they will have you hooked.

Listen to ‘Layla’s Love’ below and keep an eye out for A Vision in the Dark coming on June 19.

SonikCuts x Planet Asia – ‘Spaceship’

Brazilian DJ and producer SonikCuts is gearing up for the release of new album Power Moves in the near future. To get people in the mood, SonikCuts has been drip feeding singles ahead of the album and the latest (and fourth) is called ‘Spaceship’ as he joins forces with Californian rapper Planet Asia.

This coming together of North and South America is a match made in heaven. SonikCuts serves up a smooth backdrop of slinky seductive grooves and gently rippling melodic beats while Planet Asia delivers a message of strength and resolve through his super smooth and silky flow. Interspersed with sublime scratching. t is a lush and super seductive groover that flows majestically along head-nodding, shuffling percussion while oozing a cool, super smooth air, complemented perfectly by the melodic lyricism of Planet Asia.

Listen to ‘Spaceship’ below – it does not disappoint.

Pale Honey – ‘Killer Scene’

Swedish outfit Pale Honey have released new single ‘Killer Scene’ as they continue to whet the appetite ahead of LP number three.

Expected later in the year, Pale Honey already shared ‘Set me Free’ as an early taster toward the back end of last year, and they have released new single ‘Killer Scene’. The new single sees Tuva Lodmark & Nelly Daltrey continue their exploration of groovier territory but while its predecessor struck a balance between dancey electro-pop and alternative rock: ‘Killer Scene’ is firmly in the latter camp. It is propelled by a raw energy and driving relentlessness as meaty riffs roar and guitars chug as a sense of unnerving unease unfolds. The latter created in now small way by the distant vocal delivery of dark lyrical content. A mighty jam. Roll on album #3.

Listen to ‘Killer Scene’ below:


Mewn – ‘No Country’

Manchester outfit Mewn have spent the past two years refining and perfecting their sound in a decrepit mill where their studio resides. #

Theirs is a sound reminiscent of the passion from early Arcade Fire, the piercing energy of the Pixies and the ethereal electronics exploits of Brian Eno; and is all captured with gusto and confidence on Mewn’s debut single ‘No Country’. It is a bristling anthem that sprawls out with smoldering emotional grit as guitar lines glisten and shred amid the dark atmospherics and ominous low hum. ‘No Country’ is simultaneously eerie yet beautiful, as elegance and heartwarming charm sit perfectly side by side with a chilling air and murky mist. This is a stirring, powerful and captivating slice of dramatic post punk meets indie-rock that carefully carves its path through a sea of mournful airs.

Listen to ‘No Country’ below now:


Panic Shack – ‘Jiu Jits-You’

Cardiff noisemakers Panic Shack introduced their raw, spiky and incendiary punky stylings with debut ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?‘ in February – and they have made a rip roaring return with new single ‘Jiu Jits-You’.

‘Jiu Jits-You’ is a fierce, fiery and furious blast of guitar wielding brilliance as Panic Shack give both barrels to unsolicited approaches on nights out. It hurtles off upon a relentless rhythm and snappy snare while riffs roar, guitars crunch and vocals are spat put with a snarl. An unforgettable three-minutes of taut indie-punk, it is delivered with swagger, raucous energy and fuck you punk attitude but also with fun, hooks, catchy chorus and shout-out chants.

Listen to ‘Jiu Jits-You’ below – the video too, is great and well worth some of your time:

SYBS – ‘Cwyr’

Welsh outfit SYBS introduced them and their wares with deliciously catchy debut single ‘Paid Gofyn Pam’ last year, and the Cardiff-based foursome are back with another beauty.

With ‘Cwyr’ (Wax), we find SYBS in a more serious, driven mood. Produced by Stefan Pringle (Adwaith, Estrons, KEYS), this adventure in post-punk and psychedelia is fueled by a relentless rhythmic groove, chugging guitars and flurries of fizzing riffs as it dances along with swagger and explosive energy while deep toned vocals scoot across the top.It is a powerhouse of irresistible rhythms, mighty riffs and hooks you could hang your hat on – a stellar piece of guitar wielding brilliance.

‘Cwyr’ is out now via the every excellent Libertino Records – listen to it below now:

Death Hags – ‘The Darkest Night’

Death Hags is the moniker of Los Angeles-based, French electronica artist, Lola Jean,  who carefully crafts hypnotic, futuristic and minimal electronica from the secluded hideaway hills of East LA.

An enigmatic creative force, Death Hags output over the past 12 months or so has been stellar and latest single ‘The Darkest Night’, is arguably the best yet. Opening with a slow-burning, intoxicating soundscape, droning synths and hazy kaleidoscopic textures swirl all around while Jean’s hushed vocals emerge and drift elegantly above the enveloping haze, while a deep hypnotic groove and pulsing beats propel us onward in complete captivation. A simply stunning and transfixing darkwave sound; just wow!

Be wowed yourself below with ‘The Darkest Night’ which is lifted from recently released record, Big Grey Sun #2.