TOLEDO – ‘Some Samurai’

Revolving around the Brooklyn-based pairing of Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn, TOLEDO have have drip-feeding us charming delights from their debut EP, Hot Stuff over recent months, and bewitching us in the process.

The long awaited EP has now arrived and is led by ‘Some Samurai’ which, unsurprisingly, is quintessentially TOLEDO – it is a sweet, heartfelt and melodic indie-folk delight. It is a hazy, shimmer of sweet indie-pop lightly dusted with fuzz and dripping with melody that flutters and flickers as lilting vocals flow gently on by. ‘Some Samurai’ is a lush heartfelt beauty, glowing with richness and warmth, and once again proving Toledo the masters of hook, harmony and heart. An absolute beauty, ‘Some Samurai’ will leave you powerless to resist its allure but all the better for it.

Tune in below and if ‘Some Samurai’ is to you liking, why not try out debut EP, Hot Stuff, over here?

Orouni – ‘Former Lorry Driver’

Parisian indie pop collective Orouni are back with a new single ‘Former Lorry Driver’, and oh my, it is a beauty!

This should comes with little surprise as the French outfit have proven with a number of records already, they are no novices. In fact they are virtuoso’s when it comes to classic, melodic guitar pop music, and on April 19, Orouni will be adding another LP, called Partitions to their burgeoning collection – of which today’s focal point is lifted.

‘Former Lorry Driver’ is playfully buoyant with an effortless ear for melody – it is the embodiment of pure pop perfection. It is charming and fizzes with an infectious, melodic energy as it skips along snapping drums, a smattering of 8-bit style synth and sprightly, buzzing keyboard creating a whimsical wonderland of pop for the dueting Antoni Collins and Sofia Bolt’s vocals to add a final layer of lushness. ‘Former Lorry Driver’ elegantly flits between melancholic and beautiful, the subject not withstanding – a man who survived a cancer scare after being told he only had six months to live – at times bittersweet, it is buoyed by hope.

Partitions is out on April 19 but you can get acquainted with ‘Former Lorry Driver’ below now.

Heavy Heart – ‘Dowsabel’

Hot on the heels of sublime single, ‘Bed Bug’, released only recently, London outfit Heavy Heart have followed it up with an equally transfixing affair with ‘Dowsabel’.

Heavy Heart – comprised of Anna Vincent (lead vocals, guitar), Patrick Fitzroy (guitar, backing vocals), James Vincent (guitar, backing vocals) and Craig Brown (drums) – started as a lo-fi, bedroom project in a tiny flat above the main road in New Cross, south London, a few years back but has grown and flourished to yield some marvellous results – ‘Dowsabel’ is a case in point. ‘Dowsabel’ is an old English word for sweetheart, and this song is about a love affair, and graced by a mournful air. Sombre strings introduce the lament, as layers of glistening guitar tones and solemn basslines intertwine to create a dreamy tapestry tempered with sadness and loss. A heady and potent mix that is fragile yet powerful, melancholic but determined and altogether triumphant.

‘Dowsabel’ is the second of three tracks mixed and co-produced by Gabe Wax (The War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes and Soccer Mommy) which will form the basis of a new EP that is expected this spring.

Tune in below.

Laughed the Boy – ‘Post Card’

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Toronto-based indie trio Laughed The Boy specialise in exploring a genuine love of unpretentious 90’s nostalgia.

Comprised of brothers Chris and Sean Panacci and Brennan Hrehoruk, the trio’s output thus far has been joyous and littered with easy going tunes filled with catchy melodies and fuzzy guitar and the high point so far is undoubtedly their resplendent debut LP Here is Fine. The trio are back with new single ‘Post Card’ which not only marks the return of Laughed the Boy but signals the completion of their second LP. It is a charming, cheerful and bouncy bout of sweetly melodic indie-pop with a warm jangle of guitar, super sweet melodies, soft vocals and dreamy vibes, all coated in a mild coat of light fuzz. ‘Post Card’ is an irresistible delight of infectious, easygoing and breezy indie-pop delight – all is looking rather well for the new album.

Listen to ‘Post Card’ below & keep an eye out for details of the album too.

Lucille Furs – ‘All Flowers Before Her’

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LA-via-Chicago psych-pop quintet Lucille Furs are gearing up to release their new album Another Land in March – ahead of which, they have shared another single ‘All Flowers Before Her’.

Lucille Furs are pretty shameless about their obsession with 1960s pop, rock and psych and ‘All Flowers Before Her’ finds them further mining the era for inspiration – incl. The Beatles, Kinks, Zombies and The Small Faces – and this is in now way a bad thing. ‘All Flowers Before Her’ is a rich, cascading and colourful tune that draws from the combined hues of a stomping groove, infectious buoyant melody, hazy guitar jangle and wonderful backing harmonies, which are all coated in a nice warm layer of fuzz – and presided over by warm, hushed and reverbed vocals. There is even space for a fuzz-fueled guitar romp through the flashback fields of psychedelia’s golden age – this is a wonderfully warm, easy on the ear and jangley delight.

Listen to ‘All Flowers Before Her’ below now & new album Another Land will be released on March 15th.

Michelle Blades – ‘Politic!’

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Michelle Blades is a Miami-raised, Paris-based, Mexican-Panamanian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a flair for colourful, catchy and effervescent psych-pop.

Blades is readying the release of her new album Visitor, due out on March 29 via Midnight Special Records, and has shared the vibrant off-kilter confection that is ‘Politic!’ as a taster. Blades’ multi-cultural experiences are reflected in the magpie like sounds of her colourful, imaginative and irresistible psych-tinged indie-pop as ‘Politic!’ flits in and out of psych dreaminess with jerky guitars, bouncy beat and jittery bassline puncturing the bright, luminescent spectrum of colourful sound. Addictive and infectious with decidedly danceable disco grooves, ‘Politic!’ manages sweetness, effervesces and jerky art-rock hi jinx simultaneously as vocals slide from deep and honeyed to powerful intent, and glass-shattering screech with such an ease. A colourful, fizzy and fuzzed-up psych-pop adventure of the finest calibre.

Listen to ‘Politic!’ below & watch out for new album Visitor, due out on March 29 via Midnight Special Records.

The Great Escape – ‘Possibilities’

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LA-based trio The Great Escape have kicked off 2019 in earnest with plans for a series of stand-alone singles that will ultimately shape their forthcoming new album Pulsing Synchronicity.

With that in mind, The Great Escape have shared their new single ‘Possibilities’ – a retro-leaning slice of sultry soul. Touching on parts indie, psych, ’60s pop and soulful trip-hop, the trio explore a sensual sonic wonderland of beguiling beauty. Backed by lush, opulent production, ‘Possibilities’ moves along a seductive soulful groove as frontwoman Hanna Leess’ rich, smoky vocal drifts and swirls over the evocative soundscape. ‘Possibilities’ is a four-minute sojourn to a colourful wonderland of beautiful but contrasting sound palate; it is a collage that is seductive yet haunting, playful and a bit coy but lush, warm and intoxicating.

Listen to ‘Possibilities’ below & keep an eye out for further releases in the coming months.

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: