With so much great new music coming our way daily, we’ve compiled our favourites into an easily accessible format, aptly titled: #BitterSweetPlaylist. The idea is, once fully consumed, everyone has their shot at voting for their favourite track by means of the poll at the bottom of the page. We’ll tally up the votes and the winning act will get an in-depth feature. Spread the word, let’s make this thing huge.
Voting closes on 31st March 2017.
BOA ‘Steal It’
LAB Records signees BOA send flares into the sky with their new single ‘Steal It’, bouncy guitars glide around sumptuous synths and grooving vocals. It’s a Balearic isle dance with danger that pits unrequited love against the backdrop of summer temptation, both sexy and reckless with a hint of unknown possibility. One listen is all it takes to fall in love.
Hollow States ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’
This Sydney trio are well known for their inclinations to tackle the darker spectrum of the psyche and the human condition, and ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’ doesn’t look to disrupt the pattern. Opening intimately with a solo guitar circling a path around vocalist Harrison Williams’ tautly emotional confessions, a fight between trust and partnership ensues. Tambourine and synth lines are further introduced as the temperature is raised and Williams’ emotional state of mind is tested to its limits. This track really captures the band’s often intense yet moving personality – don’t let the works of Hollow States pass you by.
DAUNT is the work of London-based Will Daunt, here he drives forth a sophisticated hybrid pop sound of hip-hop beats, ’70s funk and classic soul rhythms but still solidly practising within the space of the contemporary. Upon revealing the slow-pop of ‘Drive’, this has sparked a chain reaction that will end in the release of the debut EP, ‘Unbearable Light’. For a song that battles with the self through ideas of frustration, worth and re-invention, the end product is a surprising mellow and incredibly infectious ray of hope. Mark next to Leif Vollebekk and Hudson Scott.
South Island Son ‘Down the Slopes’
‘Down the Slopes’ is the second single from Manchester’s South Island Son, airing a mix of lyrical presence and upbeat tropics to the brightness of indie pop. Fronted by Jonny Woodhead, the band has a central figure to rally around as he leads the track with a burst of attention-grabbing voice: “I will plant an orchid in every garden,” he romantically sings before launching in a search to find a longed-for truth. There’s plenty to appreciate within the short two minute span of accomplished musicianship, from the grooving rhythm section headed by Dan Wiebe and Ben Wiltshire to the oh-so right guitar melodies and riffs delivered by Tom Rothery and Jonny Woodhead.
No Vacation ‘Mine Fields’
Heading overseas to San Francisco, we greet indie dreamers No Vacation and their new single ‘Mine Fields’. Highlighted by a bright shimmering show of clashing but never out-of-place elements, this method of songwriting means that we’re not living through the same old derived dream pop that is rife at the moment. By opposing smoky perfumed guitars with a stop-start drum pattern and breezy shuffling bass, this creates a unpredictable fluidity for Sab Mai’s vocals to drift in on a cloud of sweetly-toned dissonance. Accurate to the title definition, ‘Mine Fields’ is a gamble but also a smartly timed explosion of excellent prowess. Very well done.
Shaking Chains ‘Midnight Oil’
A post-punk rejuvenation commences under the watchful glare of Manchester-bred Shaking Chains’ debut AA-Side single, piquing our interest immediately with the marvellous ‘Midnight Oil’. The introductory cut throws caution to the wind as a release of hostile texture charges alongside a disturbed uproar of desolate pessimism. The four piece work harmoniously so in this format of a four from knowing each other since their early days in education, over the course of the years and various guises, they’ve never halted production, only fortified their mentality. Who knows where they’ll go next but for now we’ll savour every last bit of opposition that is shaken out from under this musical cavalcade.
DIY punks TEAR return with a mini-album crammed full of scrappy glitter-bombs and ramshackle sleaze, ‘Begging’ has been highlighted as the latest single from the four-piece. Kicking into a four-to-the-floor groove, squalling guitars leap onto an unflappable rhythm section led by Jed Cullen and Eve-Marie Kuijstermans. It’s a rollicking statement that uses Biblical imagery to comment on a vicious cycle of unhealthy personal conduct.
Slow Riot ‘Pink December’
It’s the turn of Irish post-punks Slow Riot to launch into the new year with a brand new raucous cut, clinging to a ominous cloud of claustrophobic atmosphere, ‘Pink December’ is one of their finest moments. The trio continue to raise their game with a sure-fire methodology of tension, tautness, resonance and smouldering voice. Simply practised but immaculately executed.
EAT FAST ‘Scrambled Egg’
The Newcastle band make a grand entrance to the new year with not only a new musical offering, but they bring the exciting news that they’ve signed a record deal with Brighton’s Cannibal Hymns. ‘Scrambled Egg’ previews the release of a new EP titled ‘Immortal Kombat’, due 19th May (pre-order here). We find the band’s new cut is both raw, fuzzy and monstrous like EAT FAST have established from day one, yet the sonics also follow an evolution of growth, just as we have become comfortable with the lo-fi aesthetic of their earlier works, they hit the ejector seat button. Equipped with the cheery qualities of Beach Boys (didn’t expect that did you?) and the unflagging chaos of FIDLAR, it reveals a riot bomb of serious intent – a garage pop gem.
Otherkin ‘Bad Advice’
Take The Hives’ startling energy as a mixer to a night of wild antics and it might sound something like the swift breakneck rumble of Otherkin’s ‘Bad Advice’. The Irish four-piece charge forth with marvellous intent to wreak their melody driven rock’n’roll on everyone that dares to listen, the new track previews the band’s debut album and a flurry of touring that has seen them hopscotching all over the UK – concluding in Liverpool at the Arts Club on 25th March.
The winning artist will be treated to a grilling in our ‘Many Things About…’ segment, which works to uncover all those pesky little fun facts that we don’t know about them already, so get voting and make your artist proud (if not slightly nervous)!
Listen to previous winner Bokito with their song ‘Better at Getting Worse’ below.