Amber Jay – ‘Pencilled Brims’

Amber Jay is a Liverpool-based artist and musician with a real flair in the way of captivating, synth-splashed, electronic alt-pop – and this flair is matched by an enviable embrace for experimentation and pushing the boundaries.

Jay’s latest single ‘Pencilled Brims’ is a perfect case in point; a futuristic alt-pop synth-fueled cut that captivates and transfixes. Opening with Jay’s delicate vocals and elegant strum amid a hazy atmosphere she creates a vacuum for it to quickly evolve, taking a haunting and gritty futuristic turn. Dark beats bubble amid a haunting air while synths squelch and shimmer, and frazzled electronics cascade from above creating a hypnotic back drop for Jay’s vocals to thrive. Marked by poignant lyrics, ‘Pencilled Brims’ transcends genres, effortlessly finding a sweet spot the feisty backdrop with touching bouts of vulnerability.

Listen to ‘Pencilled Brims’ below – it does not disappoint.

Wilding – ‘Swipe Right’

Melbourne psych-pop purveyor Wilding – aka Justin Wilding Stokes – has charmed us with gloriously playful, jovial and off-kilter pop at every given opportunity and following a period of relative quietness, he is back with some life brightening music.

Infectious and jaunty cosmic psych pop is the order of the day with ‘Swipe Right’ – the third single from his new album The Death Of Foley’s Mall – as he leads us through the dispiriting pursuit of finding human connection through online dating amid lockdown. ‘Swipe Right’ is quintessential Wilding as it bops along an infectious groove, bouncing synths and bright syncopated guitars and hooks you could hang your hat on with melodic vocals floating above. It is a sweet and charming sound all wrapped with a delicious pop sensibility that will have you hooked from the get-go. This is irresistible pop eccentricity at its best and a timely reminder of Wilding’s boundless talents, and is an artist that merits such wider acclaim.

Listen to ‘Swipe Right’ below and if that floats your metaphorical boat, why not check out the new album The Death Of Foley’s Mall here.


MÊL – ‘Cusco’

‘Cusco’ is the third single from Welsh outfit MÊL and marks their move from being collaborators to a fully formed “proper” band; they are Rhodri Owen, Morgan Jones and George Amor with help from Eryl (Pearl) Jones and contributions from musician/producer Llŷr Pari and poet Geraldine Mac Burney.

Inspired by a trip to the Peruvian city of the same name, ‘Cusco’ was recorded in September, as the freshly liberated outfit emerged from lockdown cabin fever, blinking into the sun. A mash of ’60s-leaning-psychedelia, pastoral folk and freewheeling exploration, ‘Cusco’ opens with a sunken bassline and off-kilter groove ushering us into a mystical atmosphere that feels revelatory and transcendent and as it reveals itself, a mesmeric hypnotic pattern emerges for the hushed and withdrawn vocals to thrive. The slowly plodding, off-kilter bass-line wanders at its own pace as if existing in its own space and time while mingling with hazy guitars that meld into the percussion while mumbling of words babble in the background. Taken separately, these components would make little sense but in tandem they hum sweetly.

‘Cusco’ is a real treat – listen to it below

Lauran Hibberd – ‘Boy Bye’

Lauran Hibberd has fast become a reliable go-to name for irresistible blasts of fuzz-filled indie pop with her satiric, tongue-in-cheek approach is wrapped with fuzz, crunchy guitars and anthemic tendencies

The hotly tipped Isle of Wight native has returned with yet another top quality tune in the shape of new single ‘Boy Bye’. While marked with a lot of the recognisable Hibberd characteristics – it is satirical, sarcastic, punchy and hooky – ‘Boy Bye’ takes a more measure tempo as it meanders melodically through swathes of warm fuzz and feedback. It is potent and powerful with roaring guitars complimenting her angry vocals as it swells to anthemic climax. Hibberd has crafted yet another powerhouse  slacker anthem bursting with all that hooky, sarcastic brilliance that we all know and love.

And just a final note, even taking a cursory glance at Hibberd’s existing work and it is easy to see why she’s built a rep for super catchy and fuzz-filled guitar-pop heroics. It has been solid gold tune after solid gold tune, and what’s here is as good as any of them.

Listen to ‘Boy Bye’ below – and if your into this, there is an interview with Lauran Hibberd in the 10 Year Celebratory Zine from a few months back – read it here.



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Stealing Sheep – ‘Barracuda’

Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep – Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer – are always worth keeping an eye on.

Formed in 2010, the electro-pop outfit have three albums to their name – Into the Diamond Sun (2012), Not Real (2015) & Big Wows (2018) – all worthy of your attention. Stealing Sheep’s sound has developed from its sweet and heavenly voiced psych-pop origins, evolving into something a more upbeat, dancey and colourful confection of electro-pop joyfulness. And if there was ever a track (in reality, there is an abundance) to capture the trio’s fun and infectious sound it is ‘Barracuda’ – the 1977 Heart rock jam re-imagined. It struts, swaggers and swerves all across the dancefloor as a steady disco-infused beat centres their colourful confection of sound as the Liverpool trio expand upon their signature three-part harmonies and fresh and breezy  melodies with a glittery blend synths, drum machines, glitches, and fun electronic blips and beeps. ‘Barracuda’ is playful and infectious as they come, stacking irresistible hook upon irresistible hook amid the glittery bounce.

‘Barracuda’ is the first single to be released digitally from the Instant Replay Album, a lovingly curated record of covers from 1971-1981 – including some of the finest funk, folk, punk, pop and ballads of the time – for Lush. You can find out more about the Instant Replay Album here.

Superheart – ‘LILO’

We’ve been keeping tabs on UK-based producer Luke Batt aka Superheart for quite some time now, and over the past few years, has emerged as a reliable source of comforting and dreamy electronic-pop, and Batt is at it again.

New single ‘LILO’ is yet another uplifting and excellently crafted delight and serving as a nexus to their lush electronic-pop; of cosmic vibes, dreamy vocals, hopeful lyrics and shimmering synthesis. We are transported to a blissed-out world of pulsating synth tones, lofty vocal melodies and cosmic vibes as lush, heavenly vocals and dreamy keys usher us through hazy ambient surroundings as it gently builds, drifting along until a warm rapture envelopes you, lifting you to a higher state of being. Marked by Batt’s signature flair for elegant, blissful and ethereal production, ‘LILO’ is a heavenly, lush and transfixing slice of electronic-pop; and one that will leave you all the better for making its acquaintance.

Listen to ‘LILO’ below now:

Justy – ‘Cool’

Justy is an independent musician & singer/songwriter from Staten Island, New York inspired by the likes of J Dilla, Amy Winehouse, NoName, and Lauryn Hill.

We were introduced to Justy’s delectable talents through debut record Soul Food earlier this year; a smooth, soulful and lush blending of hip hop, R&B, soul, jazz and pop, and filled with soul searching, heartbreak, loss, self-awareness and renewal. Building on these aforementioned attributes, Justy has returned with the aptly titled new single ‘Cool’. It is a smooth, woozy and super soulful coming together of lush hazy tones, syrupy melodies and seductive grooves as a gentle, warm strum is joined by subtle brass swells while soft beats patter below the chilled mellifluous vocals. In short; ‘Cool’ is another simply stunning and soulful cut from Justy – and one that will leave an ineligible mark on your soul.

Tune in below:


By The Sea – ‘The Let Downs’

Wirral outfit By The Sea have long been favourites around these parts. Both their self-titled debut and follow-up Endless Days, Crystal Sky are utterly brilliant and bewitching records filled with melodic psych-pop songs, illuminated by drifting, dreamlike atmospherics, jangling guitars and beautiful dreamy vibes.

Close to six years on from the release of the latter, By The Sea have returned with ‘The Let Downs’ lifted from the forthcoming album Heaven Knows Magnolia – double good news. The new single continues and expands upon their penchant for wistful and heartfelt dreamy indie-pop. ‘The Let Downs’ waltzes slowly through a haze of elegant fuzz and ethereal air as a steady drum beat and twinkling groove join world-weary vocals in bewitching us entirely with an overwhelming and heart swelling sense of melancholy and longing. It is an exquisite, transfixing and deeply moving return, and just the sort of wistful, introspective and smouldering emotive powers we come to love from By The Sea.

You can listen to ‘The Let Downs’ below – hopefully we’ll have more news on the new album soon.


ONBC – ‘A New England’

Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’ is not only a stone cold classic but it also happens to be an all time favourite track.

It’s fair to assume that many hold it in similarly high esteem and ‘A New England’ has been well covered by artists over the years but you will be hard pushed to find better than this one by Danish outfit, ONBC (maybe that of Kirsty MacColl). It is one of covers that will make up a new EP, Forty Thousand Tears, out on September 18. Their take on ‘A New England’ is in keeping with their penchant for indie-pop, shoegaze, sadcore and lo-fi country; it is a slowly undulating sliver of dreamy tones and woozy vibes as lush, breathy vocals float elegantly above the ethereal hazy backdrop.It is a simply stunning re-imagining of the rough, raw and stripped back original rendition.

Listen to ‘A New England’ below and keep an eye out for the EP in September. 


Holly Tomás – ‘Unfolded’

Holly Tomás is a musician / singer songwriter based in the Lowlands of Scotland. Originally from Cheshire by way of the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh, Tomás has been plying her craft from the past three decades in which she has traversed a more traditional singer/songwriter approach to recent incarnations which retain the emotional, intimate vocal textures and are woven into downtempo atmospheric soundscapes.

New single ‘Unfolded’ is a perfect example of the latter; a bewitching and ethereal affair, it unfolds slowly, gently introducing itself as bass murmurs, beats slowly groove and hazy dreamlike textures and atmospheric tones swirl all around Tomás’ beautiful and evocative vocals. ‘Unfolded’ is hauntingly evocative and thrillingly propulsive, evoking moods from melancholy to optimism – impeccably crafted and utterly captivating.

Listen to ‘Unfolded’ below: