Adam Melchor – ‘3 Hours Ahead’

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Adam Melchor is a Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with a penchant for rich, melodic and heartfelt old-fashioned pop.

Originally trained as an opera singer, with his new single ‘3 Hours Ahead’, Melchor wistfully weaves a wide-eyed ode to friendship across time zones. Led by beautiful keys and dramatic dripping melodies, ‘3 Hours Ahead’ moves along a soft, steady and hushed drumbeat. There is a softness to his tone, conveying an intimate vibe and vulnerability that coalesce with some swooning orchestral-esque vibes, a gentle acoustic strum and lush layered vocals, vivid lyrics and beautiful keys. While he’s got quite a few releases already under his belt, his latest effort finds him in fine form, with his best and most affecting work to date. ‘3 Hours Ahead’ is beautiful song plain and simple – musically and lyrically – it is powerful and emotive, with a melancholic and lamentable feel. Beautiful and compelling, this is brilliantly moving.

Listen to ‘3 Hours Ahead’ below now:

The Hannah Barberas – ‘Look, Know’

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Self-proclaimed “DIY pop partisans”, The Hannah Barberas – Damien, Lucy, Doug & Matthew – an indie-pop foursome from New Cross, London have proven themselves a reliable source of home-brewed charms, with a knack for charming effervescent indie-pop gems.

This rep has been confirmed by a slew of irresistible singles and EPs over the course of the past 18 months or so. The foursome have kicked off 2019 with a cover of ‘Look, Know’, one of the band’s favourite songs by The Fall, and released to mark one year since the passing of Mark E Smith. It is a fitting fans tribute that remains pretty faithful to the original with meaty, very bassy basslines and snappy, biscuit tin snare leading the way with dual vocal exchanges adding a hint more pop veneer. And the intro includes a wee snippet from Mark E Smith reading the classified football results on the BBC’s Final Score – always worth being reminded of. Not only is great cover, the proceeds will go to a good cause; available as a name-your-price download, all proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can listen to ‘Look, Know’ below & download it, just name-your-price, from bandcamp.

Maddie Jay – ‘Little Love’

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Maddie Jay is a Canadian musician, bassist, producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for jangle pop, experimental music, synthesizers and sloths.

Having grown up in the relative wilderness of the small mountain town of Smithers, British Columbia, Jay traded that for the warmer climes of Los Angeles, where she now spends her days making music in her bedroom studio. Jay’s latest single ‘Little Love’ is an absolute treasure; a warm, layered and laid-back patchwork of rich, technicolor sounds. It slowly slinks along, from a gentle whirlpool of shimmering and lush dream-pop origins, it remains steadfastly chilled and tranquil. Dripping with melody, ‘Little Love’s neon glow sprouts from an irresistible soft wave of hypnotising synths, slinky grooves, shimmering tones and frazzled electronics. This beguiling, textured haze of dreaminess shifts seductively, as subtle as shifting sands, providing a perfect backdrop for Jay’s soothing vocals. A lavish composition, one of breathtaking beauty, it will have you utterly transfixed, powerless under its spell.

Listen to ‘Little Love’ below:

Black Beach Baby – ‘Loser’

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Black Beach Baby are Stockholm-based duo of Andy and My, who formed in 2017 and bring all manner of gorgeous, dreamy indie-pop vibes – and for their latest single ‘Loser’, Black Beach Baby do just that.

‘Loser’ is a magnificent slice of melodic guitar pop, illuminated by drifting, dreamlike atmospherics, jangling guitar and bubbly bass, skirting around the borders of indie, shoegaze, psychedelia and of course, pop. ‘Loser’ shimmers and drifts with a weightlessness, as hushed, airy vocals, imbued with an aching sense of melancholy, create a sense of both depth and warmth, buoyed with a hopefulness, yet yearning with a pang of melancholy. Delicate, dreamy and captivating, Black Beach Baby strike a balance between light and dark, hope and heartache, that like ‘Loser’ in general, is a thing of sheer beauty.

‘Loser’ is out now – you can listen to it below now:

Martha Ffion – ‘Kennedy Hair’

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Last year, Martha Ffion released my favourite record of 2018 with her long-awaited debut LP Sunday Best; a beautiful record filled with gleaming guitar-pop, wistful-ballads, swooning sixties inspired indie-pop and touches of folk & country.

The Irish-born, Glasgow-based singer-songwriter is back with a wonderful new single ‘Kennedy Hair'; a super catchy slice of bittersweet indie-pop. Working with the excellent Lost Map Records again, ‘Kennedy Hair’ the first release in the label’s brand new PostMap Club – a series of postcard releases and other exclusives – references It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia while critiquing post-Brexit politics. As evidenced throughout her debut, Ffion’s prowess for observation is second to none. Lyrically she is clever, witty, and often times a sharp tongued, while her ear for a melody is only rivalled by her powers for observation, making for an incredibly infectious, lush and beautiful song. A phenomenally catchy slice of swooning, bittersweet indie-pop, it will be bobbing around your head all day, and you will be all the better for it.

Listen to ‘Kennedy Hair’ below and find you more about PostMap Club here.

Martha Ffion also appeared on the latest episode of NPR’s ‘World Cafe’ for music and a chat, you listen to that here too.

Freedom Fry – ‘The Seasons’

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LA-based indie-pop duo Freedom Fry regularly interrupt our lives, welcome it must be said, with a seemingly never-ending supply charming, catchy, bright and lovable songs, culminating in their delightful debut LP, Classic last year.

The duo, Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll, are back with their first new material since the 2018 debut and have opened their 2019 account early with new single ‘The Seasons’, and it is a treasure. An infectious affair filled with a buoyant energy, oozing with a colourful spirit, a heavy dose of funk and irresistible trademark harmonies. ‘The Seasons’ grooves along with a swagger through funk-fuelled hooks and an increased attention to an insatiable poppy danceablility, delivering an ode to the way people’s moods change with the weather. A sparkling and supremely infectious jam filled with their trademark ear for a melody, divine harmonies, charm and shimmering sonic delights.

Listen to ‘The Seasons’ below and the EP of the same name is out today – accompanied by two other brand new tracks – listen to it here.

Introducing: The Pierce Project

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The Pierce Project is a family affair. It is the result of three brothers – aged 15, 17 and 22 – with the intermittent assistance of their dad embracing a love of music steeped in the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s.

While their influences loom large on the horizon, The Pierce Project strive to blend this with a character of their own; resulting in beautifully crafted songs bound by a timeless charm and irresistible melodies, sweet harmonies and brimming with a sense of optimism – as evidenced by new singles ‘Time is Absurd’ and ‘Rolling Down the Stairs’. ‘Time is Absurd’ is a charming, catchy and gleaming piece of guitar-pop, dripping with melody and brimming with sweet harmonies, it glistens as it goes by with a placid and easy-going air. ‘Rolling Down the Stairs’ opens at a slower pace, it moves along a steady beat and stabs of keys with a doleful air. It is a much more melancholic, sombre and heartfelt piece of piano-pop affair but space is still found for there sweet harmonies and a slowburning guitar solo to see the song out. The Pierce Project’s music is beautiful, simplistic and craft with an obvious love, and sometimes that is quite enough.

Tune into ‘Time is Absurd’ and ‘Rolling Down the Stairs’ below and rumour has it, they are working on an album.

The Red Leslies – ‘Intercourse Weapon’

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The Red Leslies are a garage-punk band from Southern California revolving around core members Luis Sanchez and Adrian Martinez whose sound is derived from influences like The Ramones, T. Rex, The Strokes, Buddy Holly and Lou Reed.

Having formed in 2015 The Red Leslies have spent the intervening years playing gigs at rowdy house parties, empty swimming pools, along with more traditional venues, and now have their debut record In White primed for release in March. And with that news comes lead single ‘Intercourse Weapon'; a fast, furious and fuzzed-up burst of guitar driven energy. It is riff driven garage rock at its triumphant best, fuelled by a fizzing vitality it races forward, pumped with adrenaline that is tempered by a melodic sensibility and hooks you could hang your hat on – and topped off by some simply scintillating vocals. This is a full-blood garage-rock explosion with raucous and riotous energy dripping out of every pour.

Tune into ‘Intercourse Weapon’ below and keep those eyes peeled for their debut record In White come March.

Dentist – ‘Upset Words’

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Dentist are a New Jersey-based indie-pop/surf rock outfit centred around the songwriting partnership of Emily Bornemann (vocals/bass) and Justin Bornemann (guitar), who are complemented and kept on point by Matt Hockenjos on drums.

2018 saw the trio release their third album ‘Night Swimming’ via Cleopatra Records, and it is a feverishly infectious collection of fuzzed-out, surf punk-tinged indie pop jangle and sun-kissed garage rock crunch.

Dentist have marked the coming of 2019 with the release of the album’s opener ‘Upset Words’, which pretty much captures everything that makes the trio’s sound so lovable in just three-minutes. It is a freewheeling, furious and fuzzed out blast of lively and addictive surf-tinged guitar-pop with waves of choppy guitar and big meaty riffs, propulsive drum rhythm and churning bass. This more forceful, aggressive side to Dentist is tempered and complimented perfectly by an abundance of hooks and infectious melodies, and Emily Bornemann’s sweet and buoyant vocals. ‘Upset Words’ is wonderful and like the album from from whence it came, is completely and utterly addictive.

Listen to ‘Upset Words’ below and you can check out all of ‘Night Swimming’ here – it is definitely worth some of your time and attention.

Beach For Tiger – ‘It’s Been So Long’

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Beach For Tiger are a London-based quintet with a penchant for dreamily psychedelic pop gems.

This aforementioned flair is patently obvious from their recently released second EP, with ‘It’s Been So Long’ serving as the opening song. It is an enchanting and whimsical illustration of laid-back vibes and irresistible pop-craft, like a perfect blend of Tame Impala with a touch of Honey Moon and Real Estate. It is a woozy, undulating and heartwarming brand of wistful psych-pop that drifts along dreamily, as sinuous melodies, lilting hooks and jangly guitars coalesce with misty vocals which lead us into a bewitching psychedelic trance. Amid the enchanting haze of woozy psychedelic there is an understated, ever-so-mild groove that hooks you in. Not only do ‘It’s Been So Long’ have a real flair for psych-pop gems, they’ve got a right knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar.

Listen to ‘It’s Been So Long’ below: