NAH. – ‘Take Me Home’

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NAH. are a five-piece based out of Washington DC, who blend lo-fi indie vibes with a touch of psychedelia.

Together, this five-piece create an expansive sound that is captivating and deeply emotive; and one that is hard not to fall under its spellbinding powers. Capturing this aesthetic is their newest release ‘Take Me Home’, taken from their latest EP Social Meteor. Opening with a hazy and atmospheric sound, ‘Take Me Home’ slowly reveals itself drawing the listener deeper and deeper under its captivating spell. It all builds toward a stunning climax enveloped in guitars, synths, pulsing drum beat and frazzled psych-tones. Matching the stirring and affecting mood of ‘Take Me Home’ is the powerful yet fragile, moving vocals from Emma Bleker. Nothing short of brilliant!

You can listen to ‘Take Me Home’ below & the EP, here.

Penguin – ‘Fiction’

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Penguin are protopunk-influenced alt-rock newcomers from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who made their musical introduction with debit single ‘Not A Problem’ back in May.

On that occasion the Geordie outfit delivered a cut of anthemic, indie-rock brilliance; and they are at it again with latest single. ‘Fiction’ is an irresistible three-minutes of relentless, fast-paced alt-pop fizzing with a lively electricity. Propelled onward by clattering percussion, driven guitars, meaty riffs and playful rhythms, ‘Fiction’ is as infectiously sing-a-long as Futureheads at their very best. And if that comparision where not enough, the wonderfully exuberant breakdown finale brings to mind the late, great Beta Band. An utterly marvellous fun and riff-filled adventure to a place of sheer joy! If this doesn’t warm your heart and plaster a delirious grin across your face, nothing will.

‘Fiction’ is out now, listen to it below.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Omaloma – ‘Aros O Gwmpas’

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‘Aros O Gwmpas’ is the brand new single from Omaloma, the latest musical incarnation from Welsh artist George Amor; formerly of now defunct Welsh psyche supremos Sen Segur.

Following on from shimmering, psychedelic escapism of debut single ‘Ha Ha Haf’ and ‘Eniwe’, with this new one ‘Aros O Gwmpas’, Amor has distilled the very essence of summer. Self-described as ‘Welsh language psychedelic space schmooze’, the song dazzles us with three minutes of shimmering, sun-kissed and gravity defying and dreaminess. A slinky soft-disco groove, spacey-synth and alluring, peaks through the haze to mingle gracefully with floating vocals, delivering the poetic welsh language. This is soft, soothing and effortless psych-pop perfection. Ladies & Gentleman, we are floating in space.

Tune into the sound of summer below. ‘Aros O Gwmpas’ is out now via Recordiau Cae Gwyn.

La Bête Blooms – ‘Lost and Found’

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Hull alt-rockers La Bête Blooms introducing themselves to loudly last year, blazing a trail of unabashed rock ‘n roll wizardry.

Little has changed for 2017, in fact, The Hull-based quartet of Daniel Mawer, Jack Gallagher, John Copley, and Louisa Robinson, continue on their quest of deliver fierce, firery and spikey indie-punk. Latest single ‘Lost and Found’ is is explosive from start to finish. A two-and-a-half minute blast of razor-sharp guitars, menacing basslines and gritty vocals that remains surprisingly upbeat and catchy despite its portrayal of an apocalyptic world. All ends up, La Bête Blooms’ dynamic and visceral concoction of alt-rock, grunge and post-punk makes for one hell of an exhilarating experience – one can only imagine it is ever better witnessed live.

‘Lost and Found’ is out now via Adult Teeth. Tune in below.

JW Ridley – ‘Blitz’

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Following swiftly from his recent single, ‘1990’, JW Ridley returns with a new release in the form of single ‘Blitz’.

It follows on nicely from ‘Everything (Deathless)’ and ‘1990’ in what has been a staggeringly assured run of early releases. This latest effort from the London artist is a short, punchy and urgent three minute sliver of new-wavey-y/post-punk. ‘Blitz’ is all at once, brooding, gorgeous and frenetic. It harnesses its power from riff-tapping, propulsive synth, as urgent verses – in a haunting, reflective vocal – make way for a chorus that envelopes expansively into an immense scenescape as motoring, post-punk guitars, driving beats pushes ‘Blitz’ on, ever forward. Yet another captivating and compelling cut from JW Ridley, hopefully it is but a prelude to even great rewards with an EP coming later in the year.

For now, listen to ‘Blitz’ below now.

Maggy France – ‘Woman’

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Maggy France is moniker of Montreal resident Emma Austin who crafts dreamy, melancholic lo-fi indie, with utterly beguiling results.

The spellbinding nature of her music is immediately apparent, even with a cursory listen to France’s debut, self-titled EP was released in 2016. Latest single ‘Woman’ gently bobs along a steady waltzing beat with lo-fi and garage tones joining a beautifully hazy guitar-jangle. It manages to be both dreamy and melancholic at the same time, as Austin’s tender vocal exudes a sense of fragility, heartache and loss. It is a sweetly hypnotic song, tiptoeing the listener delicately into a transfixing haze. A beguiling introduction to the delectable talents of Maggy France.

Listen to ‘Woman’ below & if you’re taken by that, you can listen to Maggy France’s self-titled debut EP, here.