The Cats Never Sleep – ‘Wide Open’

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‘Wide Open’ is the second track lifted from The Cats Never Sleep‘s debut full length, Massage, released last month through Le Pop Club Records.

The Swiss five-piece’s sound pulls from are wide and varied source of influences, ranging from German Krautrock to progressive pop to Fela Kuti. It’s a brew that translates into groovy, funky, laid-back and loungey lo-fi indie/psych-tinged jams. This loungey vibe is joined by lazy, dreamy and jangly instrumentals, and chilled vocals imbued with a beautiful lethargy. A perfect companion to kicking back and enjoying some sunshine.

Check out ‘Wide Open’ below (the video is fun) and if it is to your liking, The Cats Never Sleep’s debut LP Massage is streaming here.

Bad Sea – ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’

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Dublin-based duo Bad Sea return with their glorious new single ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’.

The stellar nature of the new track will come as no surprise to anyone who had the good fortune to get acquainted with previous, equally stunning tracks, ‘Solid Air’ & ‘I’d Want You’. The swooning new one from Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – is a mix of retro Americana-tinged jangle and exquisite pop finesse. Beautifully infectious, it shuffles along a groovy drum beat stabs of guitar and impressive  pop melodies, while the soaring, scale-shifting vocal from Thompson elevate the song to new euphoric heights. ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is utterly compelling craft and resembles a cross between Tennis and one Anna Calvi at the peak of their prowess.

‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is out now & you can listen to it & emotive double a-side companion ‘Over My Head’ below.

Bad Sea play Mistake #3 at The Hut, Phibsboro alongside Beauty Sleep & Shrug Life on Friday, March 24. Kick off @ 8pm & €6 door tax.

Girlpool announce new album, Powerplant, share ‘123’

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On May 12th, Philly-based outfit Girlpool will make their return with a new LP, Powerplant. The album follows their brilliant 2015 debut, Before the World Was Big, and sees Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker joined by a full band.

Heralding this auspicious news is lead single ‘123’, which shows off this new dynamic, complimenting their stripped back guitar-and-bass approach. ‘123’ opens like a lot of other Girlpool song, with a slow, muted and watery-sounding guitar melody before the drums kick in. With that, it bursts into a life, in full colour. Yet, it is still the vocal harmonies which provide their edge. Imbued with a vulnerable, angst-ridden tone, it and the woozy, undulating quality compliments the dreamlike imagery perfectly.

As mentioned above, Girlpool’s much-anticipated Powerplant is out May 12th, via new label home ANTI- Records. For now, check out lead track ‘123’, along with the video.

Girlpool have also announced a pile of North American tour dates, hopefully some shows on this side of the Atlantic will follow soon.

 

The Fine Lines – ‘Gold’

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The Fine Lines are indie-rock foursome – John, Ben, Justin & Zach – from Madison, NJ.

The quartet’s debut offering is single, ‘Gold'; a glowing piece of classic indie-rock. Opening in a down-tempo, moody and somewhat melancholic fashion, it quickly shifts through the gears, burning guitars in tow, surging toward a crest of anthemic choruses. Mammoth as the anthemic surges are, ‘Gold’ manages to remain rather personal and intimate. There are shades of Idlewild, The Charlatans & late ’90s/early ’00s Bunnymen on show here; not a bad trio of acts to be name-checking whatsoever.

The Fines Lines have afforded us a magnificent first introduction and hopefully there will be more in the way of music, sooner rather than later.

‘Gold’ is out now. Listen to it below.

Mountain Bike – ‘This Lonely Place’

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More closely associated with electronica, Belgium has produced more than its fair share of tidy bands too, and joining that list is garage outfit, Mountain Bike.

The four-piece, hailing from Brussels, have just released new single ‘This Lonely Place’. Taken from their forthcoming album About Too Sorry For Any Sorrow – due out on the 3rd of March – ‘This Lonely Place’ is a fuzzy, jangling four minutes of laid-back, hook-drenched, melodic-vibes. From a melancholic opening, it nonchalantly skips along head-nodding bundle of joy. Comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, Mac DeMarco, Car Seat Headrest & King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard have been made, and while they are all valid, there is a certain late ’90s Blur and early noughties Graham Coxon (solo work) vibe too. Regardless, this is super catchy, infectious and addicting, Mountain Bike have found that sweet spot between pop and indie.

Listen to ‘This Lonely Place’ below, and keep an eye out for this four-piece in 2017.

Kan Wakan – ‘I Had to Laugh’

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Ahead of his ambitious triple LP release Phantasmagoria, Los Angeles-based, Bulgarian-born artist Kan Wakan is ramping up the anticipation with another single ‘I Had to Laugh’.

With this new one – the third single from the forthcoming LP – Kan Wakan further showcases his versatility as a producer. The inaptly titled track, ‘I Had to Laugh’ is graced with a glum, sullen mood and solemn piano which slums to the background as Rachel Fannan’s fragile and melancholic vocals. It slowly unfurls and the mood brightens, as the clouds part to blossom majestically, with grandiose strings, horns orchestral flourishes shine to transcend the mood. A powerful and emotionally affecting blend of organic and electronic production from Kan, coupled with Fannan’s stunning vocals, making for a remarkable track.

Phantasmagoria will be out this May, take a listen to ‘I Had to Laugh’ below.

Chick Quest – ‘Down in a Crypt’

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Self-described ‘Spaghetti Western Post-Punk Dance Party’, Chick Quest are an unconventional punky foursome – Ryan White (vocals, guitar), Iris Rauh (drums), Marcus Racz (trumpet, keyboard), and Magdalena Kraev (bass) – hailing from Vienna, Austria.

Chick Quest explore rather unusual realms of music, taking in parts punk, post-punk, ska, funk, b-movie and spaghetti western soundtracks. The Austrian foursome are readying their second album, Model View Controller. Ahead of its release later this month, Chick Quest provide a preview with ‘Down In A Crypt’. Its all dance-y and fuzzed-up post-punk with a spooky b-movie-esque organ riff, crunchy guitar riffs, brisk bass-line and dynamic beats. Catchy, infectious and simultaneously rather creepy; it’s a hard act to pull off but pull it off they do.

Model View Controller is out February 24th via Triangular Sounds. Until then, why not give ‘Down In A Crypt’ a spin below.

Foresteater – ‘Big Deceiver’

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Foresteater is the moniker of Mikey Pro, Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist from Phoenix AZ, USA.

Formed in 2015 after a dream about a band playing on an island in outer-space surrounded by electric rainbows – definitely one of the more interesting backstories – Pro’s deals in super catchy, mildly psychedelic indie-pop. Showcasing this fancy, Foresteater’s released debut EP Nightlife of the Exploding Heads in May 2016 and he is kicking off 2017 in style, with sublime new single ‘Big Deceiver’. It is a bright, colourful and catchy delight of sugar-spun harmonies, earworm melodies and hooks you could your hat on. Playful, with psych-tinged underbelly, be warned, ‘Big Deceiver’ will get stuck in your head for days and days.

‘Big Deceiver’ is out now & you can listen to it below:

Orouni – ‘The Lives Of Elevators’

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Three albums deep already, French band Orouni are no novices, in fact they are virtuosos when it comes to classic, melodic guitar pop music.

Orouni’s carefully crafted arrangements are marked by an easy-going flow and a sense for melody and elegance – none more so than ‘The Lives Of Elevators’. The new track – which will be on their next album – is part of a live session with French streaming platform Findspire and followed by ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’, from their most recent record Grand Tour (2014). Buoyed by an effortless ear for melody, ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ elegantly flits between melancholic and beautiful, fragile but authoritative, with lush arrangements and irresistible parps of brass. Charming and sometimes bittersweet, this is the class of perfect pop-craft associated with the likes of The Kinks, Sweet Baboo and Tap Tap et al. This is ever so endearing and delightful catchy but be warned, these pair of songs will get stuck in your head for days and days.

Orouni has recorded three albums to date, which can be acquired via Bandcamp, with another on the way in 2017. Check out ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ &  ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’ below.

Watch Bad Sea’s new video for ‘Solid Air’

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Having utterly bewitched us with ‘Solid Air’ a few months back, Dublin duo Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – have unveiled a splendid video for the single.

‘Solid Air’ was one of the finest singles released last year, in Ireland or elsewhere. Revolving around a steady, groovy drum beat, wiry guitar stabs and impressive pop hooks; this smooth and smokey alt-country is the perfect backdrop for Thompson’s rich, crisp vocals to shine. The homespun video, detailing the ‘delights’ of relationship trouble, is directed by Ricardo Deakin and also stars Colm O’Neill. At just over three minutes, this is a similarly first-rate video companion for an exquisitely crafted and delivered number, sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Really excited to more from Bad Sea throughout the year but for now, check out ‘Solid Air’ below.