Rathbone – ‘This Time’

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Based in New Orleans, Rathbone’s ‘This Time’ is a mellow lo-fi electronica gem, with lyrics inspired by the poetry of W.B. Yeats.

It’s deceptively simple on a first listen, but with more listens it reveals expresses a deftness of touch and texture is all. This gentle, sombre synth-driven little gem hits all the right spots required for vivid and vital an electro-pop earworms. While melodically simplistic in nature, ‘This Time’ is layered without coming across in any way dense or laboured. The vocals are hushed and breezy, thus supportive of woozy, hypnotic sound. This subtle mix of sounds is so seductive that it will leave you utterly powerless to resist its allure.

‘This Time’ is the latest single lifted from Rathbone’s current and self-titled EP. You can listen to ‘This Time’ & slightly different but equally beautiful ‘This Heart of Mine’ below & the new EP here.

PS – it’s great!

Night Auditor – ‘No Vacancy’

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Night Auditor is the brainchild of Los Angeles native, Omar Jamal; a multi-instrumentalist and poet at the heart of this funky genre-hopping musical endeavour.

Now based in Brazil with the rest of the Night Auditor troupe, the collective is gearing up to release a new LP called Soul Junk. Ahead of its forthcoming arrival later this year, ‘No Vacancy’ is the first single lifted from the aforementioned album. It is an effortlessly cool and timeless funk/soul delight with all the hallmarks of a modern classic. Whisking together a deliciously seductive brew of strutting funky swagger, soulful vocals, stabs of bass/guitar and to-die-for organ work, with an underlying pop sensibility and a touch of the psychedelic, we’re left with a stunning masterclass in soulful funk. So, so good – which certainly bodes well for the forthcoming LP.

For now, check out the stunning ‘No Vacancy’ below:

Introducing: Les Pantalons

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Belfast outfit Les Pantalons formed in mid-2016 in response to an online ad which may have had some bearing on why the band’s sound is fused from such a wide and diverse mix of styles.

Taking in parts indie, punk, alt-rock, folk, some Balkan sensibilities and a touch of the macabre – and you’ve got what Les Pantalons are all about. To date, the Belfast outfit have released two very good EPs (their 2016 self-titled EP and The Double and Coke EP, earlier in 2017) and two of the finer moments being ‘Cold Ground’ and ‘Do You Believe’. The former, ‘Cold Ground’, is a racey guitar-pop stomp fuelled by twangy guitar, stomping beat and rich and distinctive vocals in a wonderful fusion of what sounds like Balkan-folk meets The Coral. ‘Do You Believe’ is no less memorable and showcases a more patient and dark side to their musical endeavours. Raw vocals, slow building instrumentation and sinister atmosphere combine to create a creepy, unsettling and altogether darker side to Les Pantalons. Two quite different but equally entralling sides of the Les Pantalons coin – an act to keep tabs on for sure.

You can check out ‘Cold Ground’ & ‘Do You Believe’ below, the rest of their catalogue is available here.

Satin Jackets – ‘Northern Lights’ (ft. David Harks)

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German producer Satin Jackets has joined forces with Brighton-bred/Berlin-based artist David Harks for latest single ‘Northern Lights’.

Inspired by a recent trip to Norway and experiencing the Northern Lights, so moved was Tim Bernhardt aka Satin Jackets, the new single is his attempt to capture some of his experiences in musical form. ‘Northern Lights’ is as spectacular as one would imagine its namesake to be. It is a cruisy, disco-infused indie-electro delight with a chilled vibe, lovely floaty melody, a mild undercurrent of the Balearic and a healthy sprinkling of cosmic pop – due in no small part to some incredibly dreamy vocals courtesy of Mr. Harks. Undeniably infectious, this aural treat is sure to sooth your soul and get your head bopping to its pulsing electro beat groove. David Harks has been delivering the goods – under his solo guise & with Safetalk – for a while now but Satin Jackets is a new intro (for me at least), and one we’re better for.  Such is the high calibre of ‘Norther Lights’, let’s all hope these pair collaborate again in future.

Check ‘Northern Lights’ out below.

Johnny Kills – ‘My Shirt Guy Is High’

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Johnny Kills set out their stall with infectious scuzz-fest debut single, ‘Let’s Talk About Me’, and the Brighton/London-based garage-surf trio have returned with a new fuzzed-up delight called ‘My Shirt Guy Is High’.

A three-minute adventure of fuzzy and fun-filled blast of scuzzy, sweetly melodic garagey, noise-pop. The mildly distorted vocals and cooing harmonies go hand-in-hand with the crunchy guitar riffs and rhythmic drumming – and the addition of the organ (and the organ work) is a revelation! There is an irresistible alchemy at work here. What makes Johhny Kills ear-pleasing racket is they eek out a sweet spot between scuzz and pop; as fine an execution as your likely to ever hear to be fair. The next tune from these guys cannot come quick enough – thus far they have proven themselves to be quite the treasure.

For now though, get yourself acquainted with ‘My Shirt Guy Is High’ below.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #18

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A new regular feature to blog, a relatively short weekly Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past 7 days.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #18 – Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist. Enjoy the tunes & enjoy the sun!

You can follow me on Spotify here.

Introducing: Hollow Everdaze

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Looking from the outside at least, it certainly seems like it is a great time for guitar bands in Australia, and Western Victoria’s Hollow Everdaze are as good as any.

The five piece’s brand of psych-pop is simultaneously retro and current, blending the hooks of ’60s surf with orchestral arrangement and some electronic experimentation – something fully realised on their much-awaited debut LP Cartoons, which came out in June. The LP’s title-track captures their brilliance in just shy of five-minutes of psych splendour. ‘Cartoons’ opens like a joyous and infectious psych-tinged trip to the clouds. It floats along a dreamy path of shimmering guitar licks, hazy synth, which make way for a melodic blend of buoyant licks, sharp rhythms as the tune veers into new territory. There are hints of darkness lurking throughout but it is by the midway point that they come to the fore, enveloping all in its wake. ‘Catastrophe’ is all feelgood echo and reverb that swells, building an energy that demands your undivided attention. Such a cool, breezy vibe, and suitably summery.

Tune into ‘Cartoons’ & ‘Catastrophe’ below & while you’re at it, the album can be found here.

Kan Wakan – ‘Phantasmagoria Pt. 1’

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After the release a slew of the outstanding tracks ‘Still Feather’, ‘I Had To Laugh’ and ‘I Would’, to name but a few, Los Angeles-based artist Kan Wakan continues this fine form with ‘Phantasmagoria Pt. 1’.

‘Phantasmagoria Pt. 1’ features Elle Olsun and the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, bring his usual deft touch for wonderful electronic sounds with pop vibes and a classical twist. Slow-building, it gradually reveals itself along a clip-clop percussion, this breathtaking and beguiling journey is flanked by sweeping orchestral flourishes and production wizardry culminating to leave us with a lavish and magical five-minute trip. All that said, the pièce de résistance throughout is the sumptuous vocals of Elle Olsun, which are simply stunning – and that is putting it mildly. Kan Wakan has already proven himself on numerous occasions already but with ‘Phantasmagoria Pt. 1’ he has kicked things up another level.

You can listen to ‘Phantasmagoria Pt. 1’ below – it does not disappoint.

Introducing: Stoat

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With an extensive back-catalogue, an indie/post-punk sound similar to HMHB meets Sultans of Ping FC and Irish to boot, it is a mystery how Stoat existence remained unknown (to me at least) until very recently.

After taking a breather for a few years, so far in 2017 Stoat have been revealing new material with a view to releasing an LP called Try Not To Think About It later in the year. The latest single lifted from the forthcoming record is the title track, providing a welcome introduction to both band and LP. Spearheaded by militaristic drums, jerky and somewhat jagged punky-reggae guitars and wry, sardonic lyrical quips. Delivered with hawkish precision, they tap along in perfect time regaling tales of the downside of fatherhood, domesticity, and steady employment. Striking a balance between bashing out a memorable jam and being light-hearted is a tough ask, many have tried and many have failed. But thankfully – like the aforementioned HMHB & Sultans – Stoat deliver the goods. Hopefully there’s more to come from Stoat in 2017, an excellent – if somewhat belated – discovery.

Check out ‘Try Not To Think About It’ & other recent single, ‘Talk Radio Makes Me Feel Alone’ below.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #17

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A new regular feature to blog, a relatively short weekly Spotify playlist featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears over the course of past 7 days.

Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #17 – Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist. Enjoy the tunes & enjoy the sun!

You can follow me on Spotify here.