I caught up with Blackburn-born songstress Charlotte OC to discuss her influences, new EP ‘Colour My Heart’ and how Disney songs may be the reason behind the dramatic vocals…
TWOS – ‘Be The One’
TWOS posted a new track online today and it’s another sparkler from the mysterious producer. ‘Be The One’ is a funky offering brimming with lush loops and a crystallised female vocal, it’s a slick track that beams across a helluva lot of talent.
Holy Models – ‘Swimming’
Holy Models’ debut single ‘Swimming’ shows us why they could be the next big thing on the indie/funk/electro crossover radar. Hailing from Southern Australia, the trio stream a likeness to Friendly Fires and MGMT. A lovely summery track.
Once A Tree – ‘Lucky’
Couple duo Once A Tree recently released their debut EP, featuring ‘Lucky’. It’s a chilled track, immersed in the buzzing fountain of pulsating loops and breathy vocals. Toronto’s Hayden and Jayli Wolf certainly know how to manoeuvre their skills around to make something stunning.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’
Another gem from the Arctics and another song where Alex Turner asks another question.‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ is a worthy follow-up to ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ I cannot wait for their new album, ‘AM’, next month, especially after their sparkling set at Glastonbury this year. Relive it below.
HAIM – ‘The Wire’
This week has been pure Haim Time, sponsored by a shiny new studio version of live fave ‘The Wire’ – complete with strings. With chanting drums, an alluring melody and scuffling guitars, it’s another pristine slice of charm from the Cali sisters. I mean, who doesn’t like Haim? Hurry up and get this album out girls!
Foals – ‘Bad Habit’ (Alex Metric remix)
London Producer Alex Metric’s Foals rework is explosive. Building up in the beginning with Yannis’ voice saying “would you forget me now” on a heartfelt loop, it conjures the power to take off into a full-blown dance track. The organic calypso drums lend it an extra pop of greatness. ‘Bad Habit’ is one of my favourite tracks of the year – so far, the top spot is still open – and Alex Metric has done it SO much justice.
Limalo – ‘Tiwa’
Absolutely crammed with experimental vibes, Texas duo Limalo interlink all kinds of shifting beats and loops and ‘Tiwa’ is no exception. Lush samples gradually gravitate their way through the bustling atmosphere as everything locks together. Some hazy guest vocal samples would add another texture.
Nicholas Stevenson has unveiled ‘Ariel’ the first track off his new record, ‘Archipelago’, and it serves the first glimmer of new music he’s put out in a while. It’s brimming with scuzzy guitars, laid-back drums and Stevenson’s poetic words, “Though you keep it in the pockets of your heart, it’s not safe. It takes days to reach the summit of the soul, it’s hard, but try”. His individual vocal sets him apart from other male singer/songwriters. With such a beautiful album title, hopefully ‘Archipelago’ will live up to the greatness of this first listen.
Stevenson is also an illustrator with the video featuring an animation of a volcano erupting rainbow lava, which gradually gets more intense and violent as ‘Ariel’ goes on.
Float Fall – ‘Someday’
“Someday you’ll understand the reason why you just can’t be my man”, sweetly sings Rozanne Descheemaeker before Ruben Lefever, her Float Fall counterpart, joins to harmonise. While ‘Someday’ holds simplistic lyrics, it’s the humming atmosphere, cracking beat and twinkling keys that make Float Fall’s first single a joyous one. I want to hear more from the Berlin duo, NOW!
Weirds – Crocodile
With an intro sounding like a very down tempo ‘Inhaler’ by Foals, but being gurgled underwater, ‘Crocodile’ sparks interest from the start. There’s hectic array of psychedelia, which overpowers the drums most of the time. The brash vocal is fuzzy, but the teenage angst within fights past the uncertainty for glory. A close match for early Kasabian.
Ghost Loft – ‘So High’
Wonderfully calming with soothing samples, complimented with the glistening vocal. “You make me so high, you bring my alive”, coos LA producer Danny Choi, the man behind the seductive tone of Ghost Loft. His other tracks, like the glitchy ‘Seconds’ and the chilled beat of ‘Blow’ all show why he’s one to remember when you’re topping up your ‘quiet’ playlist.
FTSE – ‘SIRVYVIN’
If I saw anything with the word ‘FTSE’ on it I’d usually turn the page, with little knowledge/interest in the financial word, but not in this case. Midlands producer FTSE has created his own intriguing sound made up of deep scuzzy beats complimented by his soft and simple vocal – “This ain’t no life at all, we’re fighting, every day we’re fighting”. With a lot of producers on the scene at the moment, FTSE has done well to found his own style. ‘SIRVYVIN’ is tagged with ‘Hopelessness’ for a genre on Soundcloud, interesting.
Sivu – ‘Better Man Than He’
“We’ll find faith in the most magical of places, we’ll find home in the smallest of rooms” opens the chorus in an anthemic fashion, which is sure to go down well live. The ‘lo’s’ that signal the beginning of the song create a conscious atmosphere, and are reminiscent of something Alt-J-ish. Sivu a.k.a James Page’s dynamic voice lends itself beautifully and together with its uplifting feel, it reminds me of Bastille and Tom Odell. Sivu is one to keep an eye on.
The remix of ‘Better Man Than He’ by Eagles For Hands is also splendid with handclaps and gorgeous echos.
This is also a favourite pick from the past week. AlunaGeorge doing ‘The Jungle Book’. Please just do a Disney songs EP? Thanks.
Tropics – ‘Home & Consonance’
Tropics, a.k.a Chris Ward, has unveiled the title track ‘Home & Consonance’ from his new EP out in April. The Southampton-based artist layers up intricate jingles over a precise array of loops and padding drums creating a lush outcome. His gentle, sometimes shaky voice offers “It’s been so long and you won’t stay if you see me fall”.
Hudson Taylor – ‘Cinematic Lifestyle’
“If it’s love that you want, well then please won’t you come and get it” tempts Dublin brothers Alfie and Harry Hudson-Taylor over the quaint strums, which lends ‘Cinematic Lifestyle’ its folk characteristics. The duo, who are only 18 and 20 years old, have just finished up on tour with Jake Bugg. They’ve also pulled the plug on doing SXSW this year to focus on their writing, v.focused!
REID – Wake
Bookended by a rustic crackle, ‘Wake’ brings a classic case of head-bobbing along to the disjointed loops and dazed vocals that barely get off the starting blocks, so they become a cemented effect. The Irish producer has been compared to fellow countryman MMOTHS, who’s similar uncertain wash of spiralling sounds allows you to be submerged in the enormous atmosphere created.
This is HOT. Meet Aluna Francis and George Reid, THE UK duo that everyone needs to prick their ears up and wash their paws for. Reid’s musical production is good. Exceedingly good. It’s rebounding beats and trembeling synths have the elasticty to stetch around Aluna’s alluring voice and it’s acute helium wash. You’ll know you’ll like it and it will drive you in to musical insanity (it’s been in my head for a good few days now.) But, don’t be scared of the shame , you’ll be the ‘hip’ one out of your buddies when you bring this beauty to the table.
OUTFIT. OUTFIT. OUTFIT. Chanting is madatory for these Liverpool lads who have just released the video for their much-loved Septemeber single, ‘Two Islands.’ They’re going down the path of independance, with their new vid being made entirely by themselves with a little help from their friends (old flatmates), who creepily fade into eachother’s blank expressions. Liverpool has given British music some top gifts in the past. Obviously you’ve got The Beatles, Echo and The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and erm Dead or Alive? Though this is the freshest piece of well, fresh to emerge since those bands began their slow decent.
‘Won’t you put me to sleep, put me to sleep,’ sings one man band veteran, Mauro Remiddi AKA Porcelain Raft. However, I dont think anyone will be able to put him to sleep or sleep themselves while their watching his new video. It’s flashing images and dramatic colour palettes put you on dream/nightmare border. But let’s forget the video and focus on the track, it’s good. The production’s glitchy tension is even more gripping embedded with that ghostly voice. It’s a tantalizing look at what’s to come from debut, ‘Strange Weekend’ due for a January release.
Free Download HERE
Au Palais – Tender Mercy
This duo bare a name that sounds almost seductive, in a french, roll off the tongue kinda way. But any linguistics buffs out there will know it actually means ‘To the’ or At the’ Palace. Bit of a shame really. The pair stand out from other girl/boy pairings. The gloomy fascination of the ringing synths and a distinct heroic voice will haunt your ears, but they’ll enjoy it. Hailing from Toronto, Au Palais release their second single, ‘Tender Mercy’ later this month and it’s a beauty.
The Miserable Rich – On A Certain Night
The Miserable Rich certainly aren’t miserable. The Brighton group are making Chamber music ‘cool.’ They’ve got the next step up the indie ensemble/folk rank nailed and they’ve passed Mumford and Marling on their way. Their most recent offering, ‘Miss You In The Days’ was released last week but for most they remain an undiscovered secret. With a sound as warming and delightful as this, it sounds fitting for a quaint pub with a log fire. Lovely and uplifting.
MoRo – Something I Can Feel
This happy little ditty is the work of new London 4 piece, MoRo. With the groove-implying tempo and some classic ‘whoos’ it could be done for sounding supicously like one of Vampire Weekend’s castoffs. But have no fear, it has just enough individuality to pull them through and it’s a very decent track. They release their debut, ‘Slow River’ next month with a record launch to mark the occasion at Camden’s Proud Galleries. Be there, this could be big.
This is impressive. It’s like Hanni El Khatib has digested most of the rock genres from the 50′s onwards and regurgitated them. There’s influences from the Rock ‘N Roll era, 70′s/80′s Punk and some weighty riffs that could easily rival Jack White and Kings Of Leon. His cover of ‘You Rascal You’ and his own venture, ‘Loved One’ are incredibly slick and crunchy, definitely worth getting your choppers into. He’s on to a winner here!
‘You Rascal You’
New Yorkers Milagres have something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it yet. Maybe it’s their use of the much extinct xylophone or their alternative/indie crossover. Whatever it is, it works. The words heard from Kyle Wilson are random but quaint to say the least, ‘All the birds seem to sing in the key of H. The Emperor of Ice Cream is here to stay.’ Give them a listen.
‘Here To Stay’
Futures – Islands In The Sea
Futures gave everyone a taste of what’s to come this week by putting new track, ‘Islands In The Sea’ up for free download. The four-piece share their ever-growing potential in progression of last years’ EP, ‘The Holiday.’ Everything that matters to the band is in there. The romantic lyricism, stressed chord progressions and the notable calm middle-eight, that is Futures’ trademark. The soft vocal is discretely projected as the intricate riff accompanies.
Download it HERE.