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!

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:

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.

MIYNT – ‘Stay on Your Mind’

Swedish artist MIYNT made a glorious return following a three year hiatus in May, reintroducing herself with the grandiose and sultry ‘riviera pop’ of ‘Vacation With Bond In South Of France Part 2′, and the lush, smooth pop of ‘Peaches’; all in all, a perfect way to announce your return.

It got even better with the Stockholm native releasing the nine-track Stay on Your Mind EP a few weeks back; a beautiful collection of smooth, dreamlike and psychedelia flavoured effervescent-sparking pop. By way of a reminder, MIYNT has released the title-track ‘Stay on Your Mind’ as the third single lifted from the EP. It is a suitably lush, alluring and grandiose sliver of sweeping pop. ‘Stay on Your Mind’ is smooth and suave, deliciously seductive and dripping with melody, as her hypnotic honeyed tone seeps into the track layering a final bewitching quality. ‘Stay on Your Mind’ is utterly beautiful and like the rest of the EP, it is irresistible.

Listen to ‘Stay on Your Mind’ below and the entire EP can be found here.

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.

The Nice Nice – ‘Out Of Ideas’

So good they named them twice, The Nice Nice is Munich-based Australian / German duo Tim Sullivan & Tom Appel who have a penchant for pristine pop of the cosmic variety.

The pair are prepping the release of a forthcoming second EP, aptly titled EP II and it is preceded by stunning new single ‘Out Of Ideas’. It is an elegant, breezy and quirky slice of dreamy indie-pop. ‘Out Of Ideas’ drifts along a rich dripping melody with sweet and subtly seductive groove to a lush, blissful spaced out world. Heavenly harmonies and big pop hooks pull you in, and don’t let go amid that shimmering synths and frazzled electronics engulf you in the rapturous allure. This is utterly beautiful, beguiling and all together divine pop perfection – no question.

Tune in below:

Freedom Fry – ‘David Bowie’

We’d be hard pushed to name another pairing that have regularly and consistently dropped into our lives with an abundance of charming, catchy, bright and lovable songs, than LA-based indie-pop duo Freedom Fry.

The duo, Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll, released their delightful debut LP, Classic last year and followed it earlier this year with arguably their most buoyant, insatiable and infectious track yet with ‘The Seasons’. The pair have returned with a new EP called Come Bring Your Love, led by charming single ‘David Bowie’. The track is sunny, spritely and filled with infectious toe-tapping pop goodness as a bubbling bassline, gently winding groove, jaunty rhythm and bright hooks coalesce to form a fabulously alluring and catchy earworm. ‘David Bowie’ is – as is normally the case with Freedom Fry – a sparkling and supremely infectious jam filled with their trademark ear for a melody, divine harmonies, charm and shimmering sonic delights.

Listen to ‘David Bowie’ below and the Come Bring Your Love EP – accompanied by two other brand new tracks – can be found here.

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.