Wednesday, 27 December 2017

New Music Review #120

Ten more songs you have to hear!

Ashton Lane - Breathe You In

One of the next contenders for the big name in British country this delightfully written and sung harmonised ballad with a radio-friendly chorus should help gain them bigger traction. Stripped-back yet with a big sound and a surprising energy this is a promising new single. Lovely. There's also an acoustic version with it which, though not that different really, gives more space for their vocals to breath. (7/10)

Chlöe Howl - Do It Alone

A slower affair than you'd usually expect from Howl, but this chilled out, rnb-influenced number has her usual punky attitude sweeping through the lyrics. I prefer her when in a faster tempo mood but this is a cool little number. (6.5/10)

Cimo Fränkel - Never Give Up (Filous Remix)

Not a huge departure from the original, 'Never Give Up' is still a cool, crisp, laid back song that is a welcome injection of summer to this time of year. Well worth another spin, in whatever form it comes. (7/10)

Declan McKenna - Why Do You Feel So Down?

Perkier sounding than the title would suggest, this is a low-key but quirkly catchy little indie number that walks its own path. Interesting. (6.5/10)

Flora Cash - The Bad Boys (Mountain Bird Remix)

This remix perhaps ticks too many of the remix cliche boxes but as a gentle chill-out track it works well, offering bite to its relaxing vibe. (6/10)

Mary and The Ram - The Cross / The Dream

At three and seven minutes respectively, 'The Cross' and 'The Dream' have the word experimental flowing all the way through them, its mixture of electronica, dream-like production, spoken word and more clearly not to everyone's tastes but creates a fun, ethereal soundscape, though the shorter more timely first track is more enjoyable to me than the country-tinged second number, though the latter does unexpectedly burst into a chugging guitar-heavy number in its final half to inject some energy. (5.5/10)

Morrissey and Marshall - Beautiful World (Acoustic)

As stripped back as you'd expect from an acoustic track this isn't quite as memorable as, say, 'Cold November Sunrise', but the sixties-style and solid harmonies make for a retro-sounding listen that ticks the right boxes, its call-and-response closer really working well as it hits a crescendo of energy. (7/10)

Naughty Boy feat. Joe Jonas - One Chance To Dance

Naughty Boy returns to his strong production form with this throwback-sounding Christmas disco favourite with a verse just as singable as its simple, yet, catchy chorus. Fun and perky and feels like a cert for adverts for dancing, or a certain popular TV show next year. (7.5/10)

Percival Elliott - Forever

Making an appearance on my radar two-and-a-half years after it appeared on YouTube, this string-led number that combines Elliott's touching and strong voice with a smooth musical accompaniment makes for a warming, delightful little number that deserves a second chance at fame. (7/10)

To Kill A King - The Spiritual Dark Age

Sending us in three tracks, these are hints at something big coming for this band. The main track, 'The Spiritual Dark Age', is a catchy little indie-rock track with a hooky chorus and a cracking, fast-paced feel with nods towards the Kings of Leon if they went and cheered up a bit. 'The Good Old Days' continues the theme, the production spot-on in generating a great atmosphere with its simple chorus and background calls proving quickly memorable even if it does get a little repetitive near the end. 'My God & You' has an older, more sixties feel to its production and with its 'my god and your god / they don't get along' hook making this my favourite of the three. A trio of great songs which make me keen to pick up their album. (7/10)

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