Wednesday, 3 May 2017

New Music Review #48

Another ten releases you must hear!

Cajsa Siik - White Noise

‘White Noise’ is a song whose drum machine backing belies its more emotional heart, the vocals of the lead singer giving it the emotional spark needed to lift it up above the others in the genre, with the chorus gentle but noteable. (7.5/10)

Coucheron feat. Matilda – Barely Floating

‘Barely Floating’ is another catchy pop-indie number from the reliable Coucheron that mixes the sound of AlunaGeorge and Chvrches and works really well. From the stripped back verses to the electronic-focussed choruses, there is a fun perky energy to this track that will bring a smile to your face. (7.5/10)

Dave Hanson – Live! (EP)

Last year I grabbed a copy of Hanson’s latest album ‘Almost Horizontal’ and loved it, and a year on Hanson’s released a five-track live EP featuring performances of four of the tracks and a cover, and it’s as much of a pleasure to hear them live. Kicking off with the sunny and bouncy ‘Joanna’ it’s somehow even better knowing everything there is live, Hanson’s great vocals driving the track on, the chorus quickly singable, Becka Ward’s backing vox complimenting it well. ‘Midday Sun’ feels even more summery in its live version, the reggae-influences somehow more prevalent. In the middle of the EP is a cover of the Santana classic ‘Evil Ways’ which isn’t quite as catchy as Hanson’s own material but expands the scope of the EP, though I would rather have had another live interpretation of one of his own numbers. The EP wraps up with two more live tracks, ‘Blind Faith’ complete with audience interaction, and ‘Island Sky’ tying up a great little sample of Dave Hanson live, bringing his Eric Clapton-style to the table and giving the tracks more room to breathe. (7.5/10)

The Foreign Resort - She Is Lost

‘She is Lost’ is a dark, atmospheric indie piece but a song that loses its vocals in the slightly over-powering music. Starting off intriguingly with its selection of riffs the song fails to really go anywhere exciting and aside from the musical breakdown half-way in doesn’t really grab me. Promising, but failing to deliver. (5/10)

Gary Linley – The Light Of Day (EP)

‘The Light of Day’ is a four track EP from Bradford-based singer-songwriter Gary Linley, a collection of gentle, stripped-back numbers that balance Linley’s emotive sounding vocals with some casual, flowing rhythms. Including the title track and closer ‘Absent Friends’, the best of the four, this is a chilled-out indie-acoustic exploration of emotion. (6.5/10)

Lauren Rycroft – Tide of the Mind (EP)

Having recently seen her supporting Hannah Trigwell in Leeds I picked up a copy of Rycroft’s six-track EP, a bouncy, catchy release of indie-numbers, kicking off with the hooky ‘Waters of Life’, whose layered harmonies and drum-led rhythm compliment her light, airy vocals well. Second track ‘Alice’ is the best of the set, it’s lyrical references to a merry go round and Alice’s adventures in Wonderland dressed up in a calming, toe-tapping number that was as catchy live as it is here on the EP. ‘The Art Inside’ has elements of Shakira in the vocal delivery whilst offering something atmospherically produced, its building rhythm carrying the track through. ‘Tightrope’ feels a little like filler compared to the other tracks, but isn’t skippable, whilst ‘Paint the Skies’ is a gentle progression to the final track, ‘Marrow To Our Bones’, the second best track on the release, mixing in dramatic vocals with a dark drum beat and a strong showcase of Rycroft’s vocals. ‘Tide of the Mind’ is a great little EP with some stand-out numbers. Perhaps lacking maybe one more big hitter, it’s still a really pleasing way to spend 24-minutes. (7/10)

Louise Lemon – Purge (EP)

‘Purge’ is a dark but emotive collection of four tracks, starting with the atmospheric ‘Appalacherna’ that we’ve reviewed previously. ‘Thirst’ continues the style whilst ‘Only Meet At Night’ is more stripped back, allowing Lemon’s vocals to shine over the simple piano backing. ‘Egyptian Darkness’ wraps it up in a strong, well produced and haunting way. An intriguing EP. (6/10)

Mark Villarosa – Hangover

Singing over a fast drum bit and strings and with production effects here and there, Villarosa’s ‘Hangover’ is a Westlife-esque pop-indie track with his soft, likeable vocals working well. It’s not a groundbreaking record but it plays along nicely for just shy of four minutes. Fun. (6.5/10)

Miles Horn – Like We Used To

‘Like We Used To’ is a smooth, gentle, laid-back track with Horn’s emotive vocals taking centre stage and allowing the track to build to a bigger, albeit still gentle, conclusion. Nice. (7/10)

Tors – Merry Go Round

With elements of folk and country, ‘Merry Go Round’ is a foot-tapping Seafret-like number with some well written and evocative lyrics and solid harmonised vocals. Fun. (7.5/10)

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