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. At the end of the week, we’ll tally up all the votes and the winning act will get an in-depth feature. Spread the word, let’s make this thing huge.
Voting closes on 1st February 2018.
Indoor Pets – ‘So Soon’
It’s a huge decision to settle under a new name after years of graft and build, but for Indoor Pets the transition has been one of natural growth. Owning their history but charging ahead into the future, the Sittingbourne band breaks new ground with ‘So Soon,’ as the first “love song” to be penned by the band. Just because Jamie Glass is feeling the positivity of his feelings though, doesn’t mean that the guitars aren’t still as wild (they are) and the hooks aren’t just as enormous (again, they are). It’s a joyous and equally squally listen, and a certified indie-fuzz love fest. More please.
Sea Girls – ‘Heavenly War’
Indie to the core, Sea Girls are the sort of band who make the average guitar-wielding bunch seem fairly dull. Their guitar pop is super sleek and always exuberant, passionate with meaning at the forefront of their songwrting and always aware of their natural anthemic quality. ‘Heavenly War’ is a song for those who find themselves lingering in the afterglow of a great moment or juncture, I think this is something we all can own up to experiencing every once in a while. Combing back through our memories can be, after all, deeply affecting. Like Sea Girls conclude, you might even consider it to be something of a ‘heavenly war.’ But we’ll let you decide on that one.
whenyoung – ‘Pretty Pure’
Ireland’s whenyoung are on a roll, whether it’s picking up ace support slots with Dream Wife/Declan McKenna/Public Access T.V, or jumping on-stage with the likes of Bono and Nick Cave as part of Shane McGowan’s 60th birthday celebration, or just throwing out single after single of velvet hits. Their newest, ‘Pretty Pure,’ features Aoife Power’s slow-burning but oh-so-infectious vocals in narrative mode to exclaim, “Don’t think I’m human anymore” as the lead and somehow celebratory hook. It’s all so addictive, we don’t question it.
Prides – ‘Born to Be Whole’
Glasgow’s Prides unveiled their first track of 2018 with ‘Born to Be Whole,’ a ‘dance even though your heart is breaking’ sorta tune, the kind that Prides are known for. For all of its bittersweet wistfulness, there’s bags of charm and tonnes of great lyrical moments, all the sentiments are made attainable and felt through the use of pulled-back melody. For when the climax rolls out, the sky-scraping harmonies and megawatt musicality is enough to throw all those cares into the backseat for a second, to just let loose and forget where you are for a minute, to enjoy the beauty of what made you happy in the first place. It might be a sad song but it’s certainly made euphoric.
Lostboycrow – ‘I’m a Sailor Not a Salesman’
Los Angeles’ Lostboycrow makes jams for every mood, whether it’s all chillwave, like new single ‘I’m A Sailor Not A Salesman,’ or beat-heavy electro, there’s never any doubt that the music is driven by truth. Inspired by life on the road, Lostboycrow’s latest isn’t about late-night club hang-out’s. No. Instead it encourages listeners to follow their aspirations, to dream big, and to never lose sight of what makes you you. Multiple playbacks are necessary and we’re sure will follow (as they have done with us). Even just to hear the lyric “Hanging on a watermelon sunset” sung so gorgeously, we say this is a track worthy to be regarded in 2018’s best so far.
Steven Bamidele – ‘Things Could Be Better’
The UK music scene is thriving right now with genre taking a backseat and great voices racing to the front. Case in point, London-living Steven Bamidele and his epic jazz-pop-soul infusion. Second single in and his music is only getting better and more intensified, I would say this is what satisfaction must feel like but then what would we strive to hear the next time around? But, ‘Things Could Be Better’ is up there as one of those ultimate sensations: the mood, the feel, the thoughtfulness, the voice… oh the voice – it’s all so very simple and that’s why it’s so intoxicating. Thank you Steven for making our day.
Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
A regular on our pages, Bristol’s Fenne Lily with ‘On Hold’ announces her debut album. For what is sure to be a must listen for years to come, the title track reveals a bold frontier for Lily to build from, featuring her full band and a semi-upbeat melody (we do like our sad songs, that must be said). Translating difficult circumstances into art is what Lily is best at, capturing the moments in life that most would shy away from documenting, or rather that most would find difficult to capture. Lily (somehow) nails it every time, we don’t know how, but she does. And that’s why we keep on returning. Forever a favourite artist.
The Ahern Brothers – ‘There’s A Light’
Stephen Grady and Josh Rennie-Hynes formed the Ahern Brothers after an impromptu trip to the United States in late 2016, since then they have gone onto release their debut album and tour their native Australia and New Zealand. In the first new release since the album, title single ‘There’s A Light’ provides strident americana and Simon & Garfunkel-esque duel harmonies, it’s all very lovely. As we know sometimes inspiration can strike from the most unsuspecting of places, similarly here, the band explaining the idea behind ‘There’s A Light’ say that it was “largely inspired by Jim Carrey’s parody song ‘Cold Dead Hand.” Whilst we’re sure the Ahern Brothers are 100% serious when it comes to their musical endeavours, we also appreciate the earnest truth behind their music making.
The Howl & The Hum – ‘Portrait I’
Unexpected is the diverse appeal of The Howl & The Hum, this is a band not trained to just one feeling or style, in fact the York-based group best showcase their unique prowess on new single, ‘Portrait I’. With digital advancements providing fresh points for approach in rock music, it’s only fair that bands are to take some interest in these technical progressions, alike Muse or QOTSA at their most expansive, The Howl & The Hum have taken the opportunity to indulge in ideas further afield from the basic set-up. ‘Portrait I’ is very much a concoction of The Howl & The Hum’s own distinction – thoughtful, thriving, thumping. In one word: excellent.
LUCIA – ‘Melted Ice Cream’
Garage pop has never gone out of fashion, and we’d bet on it that it never will, especially sounding the way LUCIA’s gnarled bars of sweetness do. Already having raked up support slots with all the best guitar talent on the scene, including Black Honey and The Big Moon, LUCIA is making her way to the top one move at a time. Latest single ‘Melted Ice Cream’ is an angsty retaliation to indifference and bitterness, soundtracked by miles of grungy guitar and towers of silky sharp lead vocal. It is a track that delivers its message earnestly without losing any of its bite – honestly it’s super enjoyable.
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 IDER with their song ‘Body Love’ below.