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.

Alexis Neon – ‘Sink Into It’

Alexis Neon are a dream-pop duo based in Ottawa, Canada.

Buoyed by a flair for rich, dreamy soundscapes, the Canadian pair reside in an enchanted world of calming sounds, hazy vibes and rich melody, marked by an omnipresent melancholy.  

Alexis Neon’s new single ‘Sink Into It’ is lifted form their forthcoming Seven Windows EP, and is a case in point. ‘Sink Into It’ is a dusty and cinematic cut imbued with a hazy melancholy and rich melodic purr that makes you privy to every iota of emotion. It is a dreamy journey along an undulating meandering groove through transfixing hazy textures and moody, slumbering and somewhat gloomy atmospheres as we’re treated to breezy and mellifluous vocals, delivered with elegance and stirring commanding craft. ‘Sink Into It’ is all kinds of wonderful – it captivates, evokes emotion and thrills in equal measure.

Listen to ‘Sink Into It’ below and keep those eyes peeled for the Seven Windows EP.

Springfield Elementary – ‘Machine Fiend’

Springfield Elementary are Manchester-based post-punk powerhouse comprised of Billy Goodwin (Vocals/Guitar), Brad Lewis (Lead Guitar), Liam Moffat (Bass) and Chris Tomkinson (Drums).

The foursome introduce their raw, raucous and thrilling post-punk (with an underlying garage-rock and punk element) sound with new single ‘Machine Fiend’. A frantic and exhilarating opening offering, it explodes into life with a meaty guitar, chugging bassline and furious crashing drum combo, like releasing a coiled up spring. Searing riffs, fuzz, distortion and furious fast-paced insure it becoming even more brash, jagged and caustic as it shoots off with volatility as vocals spat out with venom. It is a short, sharp and muscular intro that is exhilarating and bursting with vitality and will have you headed straight for repeated plays.

Tune into ‘Machine Fiend’ below:

Introducing: Memes

Memes are Glasgow lo-fi post punk noise-making duo of cousins John and Paul McLinden.

The pair introduce their fast, furious and feisty post-punk with double A-side debut single, ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ and ‘Funny Man‘ – a thrilling, raw and exhilarating opening salvo. ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ is dismissive and prickly as crunchy guitar, winding riffs, mesmerising meaty bass and furious fast-paced beat provide the backdrop for the barbed tones of the frantic, volatile and sardonic vocals. ‘Funny Man‘ meanwhile, is even more brash, jagged and caustic as it shoots off with a jerky and hyperactive fervour while vocally it is even more agitated and spat out with an increased bite and bark – while tempered with a wee bit more of a melodic sensibility. Two short, sharp and thrilling blasts of attitude filled post-punk vigour (with flashes of parts Sluts of Trust, The Fall & HMHB) that will have you stretching for the repeat button.

Listen to ‘Blah Blah Blah’ & ‘Funny Man’ below:

BDRMM – ‘Question Mark’

BDRMM are a Hull based 5-piece who reside in a world blurring the lines between ‘90s indie-rock, shoegaze, psych and slacker dream pop.

They introduced intricately weaved dreamy sonics and sentimental tales with singles ‘C.U’ and ‘Heaven’ over the past nine months, and they are back new single ‘Question Mark’. Teaming up with Sonic Cathedral’s Singles Club it is slowburning, gently anthemic and highly evocative as we take a slumbering stroll through a woozy world of layered swirling textures. Anchored by shimmering guitar, ‘Question Mark’ floats like a lackadaisical daydream, the delicate instrumentals the bouncy for the dreamy vocals and bittersweet lyrics. A moving, evocative and elegant slice of dream-pop perfection, yet another exquisite single from BDRMM.

Listen to ‘Question Mark’ below:

Green Buzzard – ‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’

Green Buzzard is the moniker of Sydney’s Paddy Harrowsmith who, judging by latest single at least, has a Midas touch when it comes to sweet and charming slices of sugar-spun psych-pop.

‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’ is his first new material in two years and it is an absolute delight. It’s fusion of dripping melodies, bright hooks and catchy singalong chorus leaves you powerless to resist its hypnotic allure, as the sweet guitar jangle and popping percussion are coated in a warm blanket of fuzz. It is bright and breezy, sun-kissed and summery, and finds a perfect balance between sweet pop and crunchy indie and hypnotic psych. It is an engrossing sub three-minute masterclass adorned with some of the catchiest, most compelling pop hooks in the known universe. Dreamy and melodic, it’s charm, allure and delight is hard to resist.

Tune into ‘I Don’t Want To Be Alone’ below:

Honey Moon – ‘Magic’

London jangle-pop outfit Honey Moon have made a habit of crooning their way way into our hearts with heartfelt, hazy and lackadaisical slice of indie-pop goodness.

This prodigious talent for crafting three minute plus pop gems is evidenced by last year’s wonderful Four More From… EP, and 2019 single ‘If I Could Only Dream’, and they are at it once again. Honey Moon’s latest single ‘Magic’ has liberal dusting of just that. Their trademark doo-wop and crooning enchantment is given a more lavish flavour, one of more grandiose proportions. It is a rich and colourful confection, it is bright and breezy,and swelling with elegant strings, sinuous melodies, lilting hooks and jangly guitars that will please your ears and melt your heart. This is another enchanting and whimsical illustration of classic pop-craft, Honey Moon have got a right knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar.

Listen to ‘Magic’ below – it is exactly what it says it is.

Super Extra Bonus Party – ‘Some Dark Forces’ (feat. Sorcha McGrath)

Super Extra Bonus Party have long been makers of exceptional tunes – indeed some of their choice cuts reside in my all-time favourites list – and that’s not to mention the copious amount of phenomenal live shows.

The Newbridge outfit returned from hiatus in late 2017 with ‘Switzerland’ and followed a few months later by ‘Purple Heart’ – the latter is an infectious groover and the former, it is arguably their finest tune – the second coming has delivered, and looks continue to do so.

SEBP are busy working their third album, which is well overdue but in the meantime, they have released a brand new single and video. ‘Some Dark Forces’ features Sorcha McGrath from Ships on vocal duties; one of Ireland’s foremost vocalists adding a next level touch of class. It’s an upbeat, driving and emphatic electronic indie anthem. Propelled by a stomping drum beat and rhythm, ‘Some Dark Forces’ is littered with glistening synth lines and soft guitars, as cascading electronics and synths gradually fill the remaining space as it swells to an emphatic climax. It is a lush backdrop for McGrath’s stunning vocals to excel, in fact, the subtle swagger of the groove isn’t a million miles away from the cosmic disco vibes of Ships, so it is a perfect paring for McGrath. Another stunning single from SEPB mark II, hopefully work on the new album continues at pace.

There is also a video, directed by fellow Newbridge native Peter Fleming, which is equally magnificent and gorgeously shot. Check out ‘Some Dark Forces’ and video below: