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:

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.

Caoilfhionn Rose – ‘Being Human’

Caoilfhionn Rose is a singer, songwriter and producer from Manchester who came to our attention with the release of her exquisite debut album Awaken last year.

One of 2018’s finest discoveries, Rose’s sound draws from a deep well of folk, psychedelia and subtle electronica influences, ranging from The Mummers, to Rachel Sermanni, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Broadcast, she produces her own unique brand of beautiful, expansive, fragile and experimental psych-folk. Rose is back with a new single ‘Being Human’, the latest lifted from her debut, it is a perfect encapsulation of her exquisite sound. Shrouded in a mystic aura, it is an elegant, awe-inspiring and charming blend of pastoral psych-folk as a trickle of keys, delicate strings and warm vocals create a hazy, soothing and swirling and effervescent psych-folk. It is calm, at peace and positive as the elegant production and bewitching atmospheric tones combine to transfix entirely – not a bad place to be captive.

‘Being Human’ is below along with its visual companion, filmed in Fletcher Moss Park. The album is just as beautiful an affair – listen to it here.

Simen Mitlid – ‘Football’

Simen Mitlid is a Norwegian singer-songwriter hailing from the woodlands of Os, who has a precocious talent for lush, Nordic indie-folk.

Mitlid will follow-up his wonderfully charming 2017 debut LP, Everything is the Same with new album Neutral, in September. Having drip feed us tracks over the past six months or so – ‘Saturdays’, ‘Tell Me Everything’ & ‘Trying’ – he has gifted us another treat in the shape of ‘Football’. It is a charming indie folk ballad about the difficulties of loving the sport you can’t play. A gentle and heartwarming ditty brimming with quirky melodies, laid back and easy going arrangements. It is an effortlessly cool and breezy sound tempered by a wistful melancholy. As always, as beautiful and elegant as the backdrop is, it is Mitlid’s hushed voice, imbued with warmth, that is wholly irresistible.

Yet another lush bout of divine indie-folk – all is looking rather grand for his new album come September.

Tune into ‘Football’ below:

Chloe Foy – ‘Without You’

Manchester-based singer, songwriter and folk artist Chloe Foy introduced herself with the beautiful, expansive and melodic folk of ‘Oh You Are Not Well’, and with a debut album in the works, Foy has returned with new single ‘Without You’.

Thoughtfully arranged and elegantly expressed, ‘Without You’ draws power from juxtaposition; it is delicate yet intense, beautiful yet harrowed, sad but resilient and uplifting. It waltzes along a cushioned bass stomp and rhythmic guitar strum amid an elegant yet increasingly intense atmosphere swirl, tempered by lilting melodies and chiming guitars. This exquisite textured backdrop is the perfect and bewitching companion for Foy’s strikingly beautiful voice to bend you to the power of its whim.

Listen to ‘Without You’ below:

Brí – ‘Low Supply’

Brí is a Dublin-based musician and singer-songwriter from Offaly.

Drawing from a deep well of folk influences ranging from Birdy, Laura Marling, Lisa Hannigan and Gabrielle Aplin, along with subtle touches of psychedelia and electronica, Brí crafts her own unique brand of beautiful, expansive, fragile and experimental psych-folk It is something born out on exquisite new single ‘Low Supply’, and aided and abetted by producer Darragh Nolan of Asta Kalapa studios and guitarist Aidan Mulloy, it is a perfect introduction to Brí.

‘Low Supply’ is a languid psych-folk daydreamer that whisks us away on a lush meditative journey. Swirling layers of vocal harmony gently unfurl an essence of pastoral warmth as it meanders along a soft beat, splashes of subtle electronics and rhythmic psych undulations. It is a mesmeric canvas for Brí’s bewitching atmospheric tones to transfix the listener entirely. An elegant, awe-inspiring and charming blend of shimmering pastoral psych-folk; it is a hazy, soothing and altogether wonderful song.

To celebrate the single’s release, Brí plays Whelan’s Upstairs, in Dublin on Tuesday. June 11. For further details / tickets etc. click here

In the meantime, you can listen to ‘Low Supply’ below.


Pale Moon – ‘Waiting for the Sun’

Pale Moon is an Icelandic/Russian indie-pop duo comprised of Árni Guðjónsson and Natasha Sushchenko, which began life upon meeting in the Catalan city of Barcelona.

Together, the pair embrace a shared love of bright psychedelic-pop brimming with warmth, sweet melodies and joyous harmonies – to craft an alluring psych-pop brew all over their very own. By way of an example of their wares, the pair have just recently released debut EP Dust Of Days, which like lead single ‘Waiting for the Sun’, is divine. ‘Waiting for the Sun’ is a sweet and gently melodic slice of alluring sun-kissed psych-pop heaven. Beautiful breezy vocals drip with melody as they melt their way through this lush blend of swirling hazy textures, rich melodies, syrupy harmonies and irrepressible hooks, you know, the ones you could hang your hat on. ‘Waiting for the Sun’ is simply one of the most irresistible pop sings you’re likely to hear this year – it is pure psych-pop perfection.

Listen to ‘Waiting for the Sun’ below – the EP is here in its entirety too.

Chloe Foy – ‘Oh You Are Not Well’

Chloe Foy a Manchester-based singer, songwriter and folk artist drawing inspiration from a deep well of folk, psychedelia and classical music influences, to craft songs of carefully constructed arrangements that delicately compliment cryptic lyrics.

With a debut album in the pipeline, Foy’s latest single ‘Oh You Are Not Well’ is a stunning encapsulation of this sound and provides a perfect introduction to her delectable talents. This is beautiful, expansive, fragile and melodic folk, with ‘Oh You Are Not Well’ feeding off delicate yet intense atmospheres, backed with sweeping spectral tones, spurts of stomping but cushioned bass drum and rhythmic guitar strum. This exquisite textured sound is imbued with emotional sadness and honesty, resilience and defiance, creating an elegant yet intense atmosphere as with her strikingly beautiful voice, runs the gamut of shades too with bewitching results. ‘Oh You Are Not Well’ is exquisite, experimental and intense – it is simply stunning and will bend you to the power of its whim.

As mentioned earlier, a debut album in the offing, but before all that it is time to become acquainted with the engrossing splendour that is ‘Oh You Are Not Well’.

TOLEDO – ‘Some Samurai’

Revolving around the Brooklyn-based pairing of Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn, TOLEDO have have drip-feeding us charming delights from their debut EP, Hot Stuff over recent months, and bewitching us in the process.

The long awaited EP has now arrived and is led by ‘Some Samurai’ which, unsurprisingly, is quintessentially TOLEDO – it is a sweet, heartfelt and melodic indie-folk delight. It is a hazy, shimmer of sweet indie-pop lightly dusted with fuzz and dripping with melody that flutters and flickers as lilting vocals flow gently on by. ‘Some Samurai’ is a lush heartfelt beauty, glowing with richness and warmth, and once again proving Toledo the masters of hook, harmony and heart. An absolute beauty, ‘Some Samurai’ will leave you powerless to resist its allure but all the better for it.

Tune in below and if ‘Some Samurai’ is to you liking, why not try out debut EP, Hot Stuff, over here?

Swimmers Jackson – ‘Believe’

Believe

London-based Dubliner Niall Jackson aka Swimmers Jackson is probably best known for his bass-wielding duties with indie-rock quartet Bouts but aside from that, he’s also known to sporadically serve some sublime sounds via his solo guise, Swimmers Jackson.

Jackson has just released his fourth solo single ‘Believe’; a passionate, heartfelt and stripped back acoustic ballad – his finest release to date. A carefully-crafted tale, imbued with honesty and realness, it revolves around a gently melodic acoustic strum and Jackson’s fervent and deeply touching vocals as he tells a tale of refusing to give up on love and an unwavering belief that things can be worked out. ‘Believe’ is an emotive, compelling and beautiful three-and-a-half minutes that wields a powerful spell.

Listen to ‘Believe’ below