Karate Blocks – ‘Speaking Tongues’

Nashville trio Karate Blocks know how to kick out a jam and their latest single ‘Speaking Tongues’ embodies what they are all about in a nicely distilled three-minutes.

Big on riffs and energy, ‘Speaking Tongues’ is a raucous blast of rock ‘n roll, bathe in swathes of fuzz & distortion. Conceived around a “a house party gone bizarre” it is a powerhouse punchy riffs and combines a crunchy garage rock sound with an abundance of catchy melodies. This upfront and honest no frills approach has been done by many but this is their interpretation of a genre and era they know and love and it is executed with perfection. The trio have figured out the deceptively simple, age-old secret to transcending influences: just write top notch songs.

Check out ‘Speaking Tongues’ below. Enjoy!

Introducing: I Drew Blank

I Drew Blank are Berlin-based outfit comprised of bassist & singer Oyèmi Hessou (Jaguwar), guitarist & singer Dominik Jureschko (White Hand Gibbon) and drummer Eilis Frawley (Party Fears).

Together the trio deliver a special blend of lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that melodically drifts between early ’90s and west coast vibes – something born out on their addictive new EP; Interesting Life Choices.

While primarily the music is easy on the ear and seemingly carefree, as songs slide by with an effortless ease and general breeze. On repeated listens however, much more bite and greater thematic depth is revealed; dark thoughts and failed relationships meet escapism and reflection over five tracks. This dizzying encounter opens with ‘No Promises Were Made’ which could serve as the archetypal blueprint for the band’s sound. Pumped with meaty riffs, heavy driving bass lines and sappy snare kick combos ‘No Promises Were Made’ has no shortage of bite and punk grunt or melodic pop allure for that matter, provided by the dreamy riffs, sweet licks and hooks. The vocals are passionate, melodic and dance in the remaining space provided in the mild haze of warm fuzz and distortion. Elsewhere ‘What We Need Is Time’ is even more more infectious as it breezes by with an abundance of heavenly harmonies while ‘It’s Winter, It’s Warsaw’ is less breezy, more gallop as it hurtles along a dancey groove with jerky riffs, cowbell and interlocking harmony rich vocals.

This is a dazzling fuzz-filled display of lo-fi, garage-indebted indie-pop. On the right side of infectious and grit, it is a tonic to the overly-polished and ekes out a perfect space on the musical landscape.

Tune into some choice cuts below and the EP can be found here.

Adwaith – ‘Hey!’

Welsh trio Adwaith – Hollie Singer, Gwenllian Anthony & Heledd Owen – released one of 2018’s finest albums in Melyn; intense, compelling and unique; it is a colossus of experimental post punk.

Not wishing to wait around, the Carmarthenshire trio are looking forward with a brand new single, ‘Hey!’; a song that firmly sets the foundations for the next exciting chapter. ‘Hey!’ is wake up call, a call to arms of sorts, or as they put it themselves, it “is a song about people ignoring obvious facts that are right in front of them. Global leaders are not acting upon climate change and they can’t ignore it for much longer!!“. The lyrical message is matched by the musical urgency in ‘Hey!’, a buzzing riff and spiky guitars lead the charge along a bubbling bassline forging a formidable backdrop for the fuzzy, reverb-laden vocals to reign supreme. Powerful, passionate and fearless but most importantly it is a belter of a tune.

Listen to ’Hey!’ below now, it will be part of a double A side single released later this month.

J.R. – ‘PAL’

J.R. is Canadian musician and singer-songwriter (real name Julianna Riolino)

Riolino introduced herself with debut single ‘Be My Man’ back in April and now, three months later, she is serving up an alluring second helping with ‘PAL’.

Fuelled by emotional nostalgia inspired by the feeling of youth and naive invincibility, ‘PAL’ is a gleaming guitar-pop gem that purrs with a rich melodic power. Swooning soft-centered balladry and lush instrumentation combine with seductive hooks as warm, honeyed yet smokey vocals bring the detailed lyrical vision to life. It feels wistful, personal and bittersweet, all with a underlying sense of hope and defiance bubbling away. A marvellously lush and alluring single that purrs with a rich melody that will melt even the coldest of hearts.

You can listen to ‘PAL’ below now and the video is ace too, definitely worth checking out.

Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullet Band – ‘Planetary Dawn’

Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullet Band are the wonderfully named duo of Thor Rasmussen and Thomas Frederiksen. Hailing from Denmark, the pair have a preference for the 60s / 70s leaning psychedelic sounds, as evidenced by their new single ‘Planetary Dawn’.

It is an intoxicating and eclectic cocktail of strange, exotic and vital instrumental psychedelia. From the opening furious blast of organ, ‘Planetary Dawn’ demands your attention as we barrel off headlong through a frantic organ-led explosion, that swerves and cavorts on its way though an exotic world of kaleidoscopic colour. Aided and abetted by glorious blasts of organ and relentless drum beats, it grooves along at neck-breaking speed, reaching explosive colourful highs before surging toward spectacular climactic eruption. A ferocious, exhilarating and imaginative four-minute trip; ‘Planetary Dawn’ is a phenomenon that will leave you breathless but invigorated to say the least.

Listen to ‘Planetary Dawn’ below – it doesn’t disappoint:

Ynys – ‘Mae’n Hawdd’

Ynys (pronounced ‘un-iss’) is the moniker of Welsh artist Dylan Hughes, ex Race Horses and Radio Luxembourg, who introduced his new project back in April with mildly dizzying and waltzing psych pop song, ‘Caneuon’.

‘Mae’n Hawdd’ (which translates to “It’s Easy”) is another bona fide treasure and picks up where Hughes’ debut single left off; combining a supreme ear for melody and playful approach to song craft. Featuring long time friend Mali Llywelyn on vocal, an abundance of dreamy keys and glorious swooning strings provide a cinematic backdrop for the most seductive melody to lure you in as the warm and alluring vocal, shimmering synths and melancholic harmonies appear through the mist. ‘Mae’n Hawdd’ is richly melodic and charming, as psychedelic flourishes mingle with a classic pop twist, it is an utter joy to behold, and one that envelopes the listener entirely.

Ynys is one of the finds of 2019 – no question – listen to ‘Mae’n Hawdd’ below and tell me otherwise.

Lauran Hibberd – ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’

Isle of Wight native Lauran Hibberd has built a solid rep for irresistible fuzz-filled indie pop and even with just some fleeting attention to her recent output, it is easy to see why.

Following on from ‘Sugardaddy’ and ‘Hoochie’ – both wonderful slabs of melodic, indie-pop goodness – Hibberd’s continuing an impressive 2019 with ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’; a third track from her forthcoming EP, Everything Is Dogs. Marked by her now signature blend of sass, tongue-in-cheek attitude, quirky vibes and love of fuzzed-up meaty riffs, ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’ is so infectious and bursting with vitality and laced with delicious power-pop tones. It is sweet yet barbed, and all coated in a warm layer of delightful fuzz and distortion, ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’ is the right side of catchy.

Listen to ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’ below and it should get you in the mood for Hibberd’s debut EP Everything Is Dogs, set for release September 20, 2019.

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘Love Forever’

So good they named them thrice, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are a Cardiff foursome with a serious love and affinity for 70s rock.

The Welsh outfit strut into our lives with a sound heavily indebted to the ’70s and latest single, ‘Love Forever’ is a sumptuous slice of retro rock ‘n roll, and one that really feels like a labour of love. It is a hypnotic and gently swaggering jam with a seductive melodic allure, reverb-heavy guitar riffs, hooks you could hang your hat on and choruses that will, like those riffs, buzz around your head all day all while embracing a glam rock-esque spirit. The confidence and ambition of the arrangements and song makes ‘Love Forever’ an overwhelmingly joyous and infectious listen as they borrow from all the aforementioned bits and pieces, blend them together to create something that is fresh, fun and fuzzed-up, and importantly on the right side of familiar.

You can listen to their brand new track ‘Love Forever’ below as well as ‘Daffodil Hill’; the official song of the 2019 Homeless World Cup, taking place in Wales (July 27 to August 3), and commissioned by actor Michael Sheen.

Mat Creedon – ‘The Time Has Come’

Mat Creedon is an Australian artist from Melbourne with a penchant for dazzling, swirling synth-splashed psych-pop, or ‘Strange pop’ as he describes it himself.

Creedon’s latest single (a third in a trilogy of reworkings) ‘The Time Has Come’ sets out his stall for ‘strange pop’ as he ekes out a perfect balance with quirky and cool in an alluringly understated manner. A dazzling blend of parts Air, Beck, The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala, all wrapped up in delicious, swaggering pop package. ‘The Time Has Come’ is a colourful confection of quirky pop layered in psych brush strokes; it is transfixing, escapist and spacey odd-ball pop. Synths pulse as electronics fizz as we are moved along an alluring swagger groove washed with melody, hooks and harmonic qualities. ‘The Time Has Come’ is a joy as Creedon manages to create something on the right side of familiar.

Tune into ‘The Time Has Come’ below:

Laughed The Boy – ‘Sun’

Comprised of brothers Chris and Sean Panacci and Brennan Hrehoruk, Toronto-based indie trio Laughed The Boy have made a name for themselves in embracing and exploring a genuine love of unpretentious 90’s nostalgia.

The Canadian trio’s work to date has been marvellous and littered with easy going tunes filled with catchy melodies and fuzzy guitars; and they are back with new single ‘Sun’. Lifted from their forthcoming album Change of Scenery – follow up to their resplendent debut LP Here is Fine – that ear for melody and affection for 90s nostalgia is ever present. ‘Sun’ is a rich, heartfelt and swooning pop song, dripping with melody and adorned with lush, alluring hooks, sweeping grandiose violin and all coated in a mild coat of light fuzz. This is simply divine and all bodes rather well for the new record.

Listen to ‘Sun’ below: