Whyte Horses – ‘Next Year Will Be Mine’

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With their wonderfully uplifting and timeless record Empty Words, Manchester psych-pop outfit Whyte Horses produced one of 2018’s most enjoyable records, whisking us off to a land of blissful, dreamy psychedelia that sounds both familiar yet fresh.

With Christmas fast approaching, Whyte Horses have delivered one of the finest festive tunes in many a year in the shape of ‘Next Year Will Be Mine’. A superb piece of pop music, ‘Next Year Will Be Mine’ is a lush, joyous, hugely uplifting affair, adorned with sleigh bells, sumptuous harmonies, and lyrics sporting a message of hope and unbridled optimism. A magical, timeless and ridiculously catchy single with a cheery chorus that makes you want to sing along instantly.

You can check out Whyte Horses’ Christmas cracker below – and you should most definitely check out their latest album Empty Words here.

Introducing: Seatbelts

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Formed over a drunken phone call between friends James Madden and Ryan Murphy – known for their work as Hooton Tennis Club – seeking an alternate name for The Beatles, and while jumbling the letters around Seatbelts poured forth.

With a name sorted, the pair set about recruiting Abigail Woods and Alex Quinn to complete the foursome and together the craft supremely addictive, smart contagious guitar pop that sounds simultaneously familiar and excitingly fresh. Back in May, Seatbelts released sublime debut EP Songs For Vonnegut, lead by single ‘Hey, Hey Tiger!’. A sharp, surreal, smart debut filled by an irresistible combination of off kilter riffs bubbling electronics and squelching guitar effects.

The Liverpool outfit have returned with a new single ‘Content Crush’ to sign off on 2018 on a high. A charming, warm and contagious guitar pop song, dreamy, swaying melodies mingle with lush instrumentation, rich with brass, woodwind, keys, bubbling bass and hazy guitar. ‘Content Crush’ is a mellow, warm and feel-good rush that culminates with a swelling and memorable chorus. Not only is the tune a doozy but it offers a gentle but valuable reminder that at a time when cynicism is as rife as zero-hour contracts, and it seems our only solution is to dive back into our screens: it’s OK to switch off for a while.

‘Content Crush’ will appear on a forthcoming new EP called Please Slow Down, which Seatbelts are working on at the moment – although there is not release date yet.

Listen to ‘Hey, Hey Tiger!’ & ‘Content Crush’ below – and why don’t you check out their debut EP here?

Americanadian – ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’

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Philadelphia outfit Americanadian began life in 2015 as the musical project of Serena Scalzi. After working alone for a bit, she decided to get some friends – Nina Fuchs (drummer), Abby Woodcock (keys), Hank Byerly (bass), and Michael Algarra (lead guitar) – involved; and thus the full incarnation of Americanadian was born.

Revolving around by Scalzi’s entrancing vocals, the band craft irresistible, lush dream-pop jams that carry a sweet-like-candy melody with just the slightest hint of laid-back and endearingly ramshackle DIY indie. The band’s latest single ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’ does all that with a swooning, heart-aching tenderness. Scalzi shows off her subtle, yet impassioned vocals ride a melodic haze leaving you blissful transfixed. Between the brightness of the guitar and the softness of the vocals, it will leave you pretty powerless to resist.

Listen to ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’ below – it will take its place on a forthcoming EP slated for release in early 2019.

Balthazar – ‘Fever’

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Belgian indie-pop outfit Balthazar have announced they will release a new (and fourth) album called Fever on January 25, 2019.

Accompanying this news is lead single and title track – yes, you guessed it – ‘Fever’. Introducing itself with a rolling, languid bass riff, ‘Fever’ unfurls with a slinky, seductive groove and alluring harmonies. It is a playful pop song underpinned with a laid-back and breezy vibe that is only momentarily interrupted as the momentum builds and a rhythmic surge and feverish guitars rise up before crashing like the sea against the rocks, and then calm is restored. On the whole, these warm, enchanting notes offer a tender hug for your spirit, whisking you away to a far off lands of peace and calmness.

Tune into the entrancing and mellow enchantment that is ‘Fever’ below, and Balthazar will play Whelan’s, Dublin on Saturday, February 9.

O Future – ‘Smell You’

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O Future consists of Katherine Mills Rymer from South Africa and Jens Bjornkjaer originally from Denmark both now living in Los Angeles.

Working under the previous moniker of OOFJ, the synth-pop pairing released two albums, but ‘Smell You’ marks the latest in a string of singles under their new handle. Together, the pair create colourful, imaginative and ethereal electronica that will get firmly lodged in your head, as evidenced by latest single. ‘Smell You’ draws you in with a deep magnetic rumble and disco-esque percussion as Bjornkjaer’s illuminating production dances with Rymer’s heavenly harmonies. Undeniably dreamy but energetic, lush strings a la ’60s James Bond movie scores emerge to add a final alluring touch of cinematic class and sweeping grandeur. A stunning and seductive single.

Tune into ‘Smell You’ below:

King Willow – ‘Talk Like That’

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Revolving around sisters Amanda and Julianna Salguero, King Willow are San Francisco-based purveyors of sweet indie-pop sounds, or “sister-pop” as they like to call it themselves.

The sibling pair released their self-titled EP in March 2017 and new single ‘Talk Like That’ is the first new material since. ‘Talk Like That’ is pure indie-pop heaven. An upbeat, melodic and irresistibly catchy number brimming with shimmering harmonies, catchy hooks, a seductively addictive groove and toe-tapping and infectious goodness. Harking back to classic tunes of the ’50s and ’60s, this is pop at its finest; rich, harmonious and completely and utterly beautiful.

Listen to ‘Talk Like That’ below now:

Grant Sycamore – ‘Why Oh Why’

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Grant Sycamore is an artist and musician from Santa Cruz, CA who not only prides himself on a DIY approach but he is doing something rather unconventional and intriguing.

Later in the Autumn, Grant Sycamore is releasing a new album called Bigfoot Museum; an indie pop/hip hop concept album exploring a coming of age / horror movie inspired story – so that’s the unusual part. Our first insight into this intriguing project is ‘Why Oh Why’, representing the indie-pop facet.

The single oozes with a wonderful charm as it slinks its way casually into your psyche, in an almost slow-mo fashion. ‘Why Oh Why’ is an infectious delight dripping with melody and harmony, adorned with a swooning blend of truly beautiful textures which swell with rich sounds. Amid the meandering laid-back vibes there is an overarching sense of melancholy, no doubt amplified by Sycamore’s heart-strung vocal.

In short; ‘Why Oh Why’ is gorgeous bit of indie-pop – and this being only one half of the party, it is curious to wonder how the hip hop side of the coin will measure up. Whatever the case, this is a wee gem of a tune!

Tune into ‘Why Oh Why’ below: