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.

Sun Bloom – ‘Take It Away’

Sun Bloom are a London-based trio crafting an addictive blend of dreamy, fuzz-filled guitar-pop.

Their latest single ‘Take It Away’ – from their debut EP of the same name –  is a sizzling slice of hazy indie-pop that injects some sunshine into our lives. Their addictive surf-inspired dream-pop sound fizzes with effervescence as bright riffs, shimmering guitar and bouncy rhythm coalesce with a sunkissed, lush and alluring warmth;a perfect backdrop for the breezy, honeyed vocals to thrive. A charming, bright and sunny slice of  jangley indie-pop wonderment and packed with a punchy character too, it brings to mind the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast.

Listen to ‘Take It Away’ below:

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:

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:

Introducing: Mazoulew

UK-based producer Mazoulew has been creating captivating electronic sounds since 2004.

Drawn from a deep source inspiration from trip-hop, jazz, downtempo, drum&bass and more, his sound continues to evolve and be refined over time. More recently he’s teamed up with the eclectic Stereofox Records for a series of releases (four to date) with the latest being ‘Shogun’ & ‘Overdue’.

The former is a hypnotic, transfixing and dancefloor minded, techno influenced sound. Heavy on mood, texture and atmosphere, relentless oscillations and skittering percussion bend you to its will, leaving you utterly powerless to resist the tempting allure. Although everything is delivered with a pin point accuracy, it has a grainy and dusty atmospheric feel. ‘Overdue’ affords a different but equally exquisite side to Mazoulew’s talent. It is a gorgeous slice of downtempo electronica; all warm tones, lush strings, bright chimes and breathtaking melodies, and swells of brass. It is a swelling, alluring and dreamy downtempo excursion. Both takes help whisk you away, in their different way, taking you on a journey to a place of musical excellence.

You can check out both tracks below:

Altvater – ‘Even Young’

Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, producer Altvater proven a reliable source of downtempo electronica over the past 18 months or so.

His flair for fusing cinematic electronica, trip hop, and dark synthwave is marked by a deft ability to blend colour and warmth to a glacial but imperious ambience – as evidenced by his output thus far. Latest single ‘Even Young’ is of a similar high standard.It is an elegant, moody and emotive journey propelled along a steady drumbeat through a mellow veil of cinematic, ambient atmospheres. It is lush and dreamy as a delicate strum and ambient sounds set the clam tone as exquisite vocals add a lift while a flourish of warm keys and winds brings some illumination. It is rich and textured, deeply emotive and calming; it is a beautiful and meditative track, and one that is rather easy-on-the-ear too.

Listen to ‘Even Young’ below: 

Joviale – ‘Storm’

Joviale is a musician and songwriter from London with a flair for colourful, infectious, effervescent and soulful psych-pop.

She introduced her intoxicating sound with suitably titled ‘Taste Of The Heavens’ ahead of the release of debut EP Crisis, this week. Coincidentally coinciding with this is the unveiling of ‘Storm’, Joviale’s reworking of Rare Silk’s 80s jazz jam for London producer Bullion’s 4 Down compilation – more info on that here. Joviale’s commanding vocal take centre stage, with a slightly haunted tone, pulls heavy as it stridently towers amid a flurry of fizzy electronic beats, flourishes of twinkly synth and increasingly pulsing rhythm. Joviale’s take on ‘Storm’ is nothing short of breathtaking – a stunning track.

Tune into ‘Storm’ below and check out Crisis – it is out 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.

Whyte Horses – ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’

Manchester psych-pop outfit Whyte Horses are responsible for one 2018’s most enjoyable records in Empty Words, as they whisked us off to a land of blissful, dreamy psychedelia, sounding both familiar yet fresh.

Whyte Horses make a welcome return with a surprise new single ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’; a cover of Plastic Bertrand’s seminal 1970’s track. Choosing to cover such a classic track reflects the fearless and timeless pop qualities of Whyte Horses. Retaining the playful, melodic and seductive punk-tinged pop energy of the original but is given a modern makeover with lush pop treatment, soft psych brush strokes and intoxicating, dreamy vocals and seductive harmonies. This is Whyte Horses doing what Whyte Horse do best. Their knack for borrowing from the old and creating something new and contemporary, yet simultaneously timeless, is without compare. Hopefully this studio time has also yielded further material too.

Listen to ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’ below.

Mani Bazaar – ‘Dead’

Mani Bazaar is a musician, singer & songwriter from Ireland with a preference for ethereal goth-infused dream-pop.

It’s not often that a debut single delights, excites and enthrals as much as this but with ‘Dead’, Mani Bazaar has utterly bewitched with this alluring piece of dreamy pop perfection. ‘Dead’ slowly unfurls, washing over you with an ease and breeze as each passing moment reveals itself blissfully surreal, immersive and idyllic. Synths shimmer, guitars glisten and soft beats trickle beneath a cascading wave of warm electronics. It is a lush blend of ethereal, exquisite and heavenly electronica, a suitably beautiful backdrop for the heavenly, hushed and lullaby-esque vocals. ‘Dead’ is transfixing, heavenly electronica; an exquisite beauty tempered by subtle senses of the eerie while building gently to a bout of mild euphoria.

Tune into the blissful sounds of ‘Dead’ below – you will not be disappointed.