Wigwam – ‘Rhyddid’


Wigwam are a Cardiff-based outfit with a flair for bright, upbeat and eminently catchy garage indebted indie-pop.

Formed in 2017, they released their debut album ‘Coelcerth’ last year and they are back with a new single ‘Rhyddid’. It is a bright, upbeat and utterly loveable tune of plucky guitars, playful riffs and energetic rhythm. It is big on hooks and melodic allure, as ‘Rhyddid’ bounces around with swaggering carefree abandon as sweet and melodic vocals dance above; like it’s title, the vocals are in their native Welsh which aside from being delightful on the ear, also provides a further distinctive character. An utterly loveable blast of charming, infectious and bright guitar that will leave you all the better for getting acquainted.

Listen to ‘Rhyddid’ below:


HAVVK – ’52’


Formidable Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect on November 22 and the alt-rock trio have been upping anticipation with a slew of scintillating singles – ‘Always The Same’, ‘Birds On A Wire’ and ‘Shifting Shape’ – and HAVVK have added another to the fold.

Written while living in London, new single ‘52’ exudes an ominous and tense atmosphere, reflecting the divisive nature of the Brexit campaign, as HAVVK attempt to make sense of the darkness and find a way through.
Front woman Julie Hawk’s distinctively impassioned vocal take centre stage, soaring majestically over the ethereal alt-rock backdrop before packing a punch as the chorus sets in, mirroring the anger for the situation at hand. It is raw and filled with anger, it is a song laced with ethereal beauty and finds a space where harsh and gentle can coexist. ’52’ is yet another majestic reason to look forward to the HAVVK’s forthcoming debut LP.

Listen to ’52’ below & HAVVK will be launching Cause and Effect on 6 December 2019 at the Bello Bar in Dublin.

Bad Flamingo – ‘Open the Gates’

Masked musical duo Bad Flamingo introduced their desert drenched, woozy Americana sounds with album I Said a Prayer Twice for Both My Faces, and companion singles last year – and as the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Their latest single ‘Open the Gates’ another warm, woozy western slowburner. It is assured and somewhat dangerous as it swaggers along a muted guitar riff with soft, subtle drums and rolling bassline in the background, as the lead vocals claw their way through the layers of woozy, smokey atmosphere. Amid this sparse, desert drenched sound Bad Flamingo strike a balance between stomp and finesse as the combined seductive power of rhythmic, bluesy swagger and exquisite pop harmonies reels you in.

Listen to ‘Open the Gates’ below now:

M O S E S – ‘Joy’

M O S E S are a London four-piece with a preference for fizzing indie sounds recalling a thrilling mixture of Jamie T and Blur.

The foursome have been introducing their wares over the past 18 months with a steady release of singles and their latest ‘Joy’ is a colossus. Amid these gloomy surroundings and sparse sounds emerge an uplifting, heart-swelling surge, bristling with anthemic fervour, it leads to an with it’s unforgettable chorus as riffs buzz and guitars swell. The distinctive and passionate voice is the perfect pairing, adding a final layer of emotive allure. It is rousing and bristling with energy, purrs passion and will leave the hairs on the back of your neck on end.

Listen to ‘Joy’ below:

NANCY – ‘When I’m With You’

NANCY is mysterious, reclusive post-punk outfit hailing from the North East of England.

Self-described as “Sgt. Peppers for degenerates”, NANCY demonstrated a propensity for furious, jerky and brilliantly mind blowing art-rock meets post-punk sounds with colourful EP The Mysterious Visions last year. 

Following on from that, NANCY is back with yet another weird and wonderful tune in the shape of ‘When I’m With You’. It’s a spectacular return, one comprised from a glittering confection of colours and shimmering synths and whisked together with otherworldly magic as melodic vocals rush over a seductive, Northern Soul-esque groove. It is supremely catchy and it’s off-kilter, playful allure is one that is hard to resist – it is an arresting fusion of sound. 

Listen to ‘When I’m With You’ below – The Mysterious Visions EP is well worth checking out – tune in here.

Oddnesse – ‘Donut Shop’

Oddnesse is the fruitful collaboration between musician Rebeca Arango and producer Grey Goon, two east-coast expats based in Los Angeles with a shared affinity for catchy hooks, heavy grooves and apocalyptic hypotheticals.

The pair introduced themselves with singles ‘Are You Down’ & ‘I Used To’ in late 2017 but have been quiet since. Thankfully, however, the pair have made a buoyant return with ‘Donut Shop’. A first offering in over a year it is a forceful, driving song propelled by Arango’s gorgeous vocal harmonies and melodies, as synths gush alongside a burst of hazy guitars and a persistent drum beat – and all covered in a mild blanket of warm fuzz. It is a rich, melodic and reverb-laden treat – one that will be spinning around your head all week.

Listen to ‘Donut Shop’ below:

Simple Kid shares new tracks: ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’

Longstanding patrons will be aware of my adoration for Simple Kid, albeit not offering many opportunities to display it regularly.

The London-based Irish artist (aka Ciaran McFeely) released two brilliant albums in the mid 00s – SK1 in 2003 and SK2 in 2006 – before entering a prolonged period of musical hibernation, disappearing off the radar, only to reappear briefly here and there with ‘The Road’ in 2011, ‘Snakes and Ladders’ in 2014 and ‘Because’ late in 2018.

However, since the latter, his YouTube account has seen something of a flurry of activity and uploads including ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’; which coincidentally are (IMO) the pick of the new material.

‘The Last Bus Home’ is a deliciously infectious and richly melodic blend of folky indie, with country and Americana brushstrokes. A gentle acoustic strum, hand claps and harmonica coalesce in perfect harmony, with warm vocals completing the loveable, swelling, heartfelt allure. ‘Lost in Space’ is the more complex of the pair as lush layers of psych-tones, spacey sounds and cosmic textures swell and swirl to engulf the delicious piano-led melody. Mining brilliant streams of melody and heavenly harmonies it is a roving, hazy and cosmic adventure that swells to beautifully epic climax. With its gorgeous melody, irresistible chorus, blend of guitar and frazzled electronics, and swelling emotion, ‘Lost in Space’ is not easily forgotten. Two differing (but equally stunning) sides to the talents of Simple Kid bound together by an undisputed ear for melody.

While not discounting something more substantial in the future, for now Simple Kid is enjoying crafting new songs in his loft – fingers crossed this fruitful period continues to blossom.

Listen to both ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’ below, and you can listen to the man himself chatting to Dan Hegarty here.

And credit where credit is due: H/T to Dan Hegarty’s ‘The Alternative’ on 2FM & John Barker’s ‘Totally Irish’ on 98FM.

Beachtape – ‘Somebody Like Hugh’

Beachtape are Brighton-based indie foursome – Andy, Dan, Leo & Rory – whose sound is marked by an exploration and seemingly unpretentious love for 90’s nostalgia.

Beachtape’s output thus far is littered with utterly lovable fuzzed-up jams, heavy on the catchy melodies and fuzzy guitars, and straddling the worlds of Pavement, Weezer and The Pixies. The band’s latest single ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ follows suit, resplendent in it’s lo-fi fuzzy glory. An irresistible delight of infectious, fuzz-fuelled indie; crunchy guitars, meaty basslines, crashing cymbals and catchy chorus abound amid warm layers of fuzz and distortion as sweetly melodic hushed vocals float above. ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ is sweet, laid-back and richly melodic as it purrs along on the right side of familiar – it is an absolute joy.

You can check out ‘Somebody Like Hugh’ below and there is plenty more where that came from here.

Memes – ‘Happy Shopper’

Glasgow lo-fi post punk noise-makers, Memes, introduced their fiery, furious and feisty wares this summer with double A-side debut single, ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ / ‘Funny Man‘.

A thrilling, raw and exhilarating opening salvo, Scottish duo Memes – comprised of cousins John and Paul McLinden – have returned with new single ‘Happy Shopper’, and they have nailed it again. Opening with a steady tambourine beat and meaty bass riff, ‘Happy Shopper’ is as prickly and barbed as its predecessors with sneering, sardonic vocals are spat out over it. Joined by sharp, rising riffs, steady beat and a melodic sensibility, it is a short, sharp and swaggering blast of thrilling (and utterly infectious) post-punk. As with the double A-side, Memes have delivered a thrilling, sardonic and rockin’ jam (with flashes Sluts of Trust, The Fall & HMHB) that will have you hooked.

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Memes are one of the most exciting new discoveries of 2019 – listen to ‘Happy Shopper’ and tell me otherwise.
h





Japanese Television – ‘Slime’

British four-piece Japanese Television captured our imagination when they introduced their furious fusion of post-punk, psychedelia and krautrock with exhilarating single ‘Bloodworm’ earlier this year.

The foursome have returned with new single ‘Slime’ and while those three aforementioned components remain front and centre, it is more foreboding than furious. The mood is glowering and sinister and the drone is very much in evidence. ‘Slime’ is propelled along a relentless, chugging groove, meaty bassline, burning guitars and kraut rhythms over minor keys,eerie tones and spooky feedback. Gripping and tense, there’s no let up in intensity – this is imaginative, dark and hard edged psych-rock of the very finest order.

Tune into ‘Slime’ below and if you like what you hear, their latest EP is here too.