It’s time for another trailer-inspired Sunday Revival: on this occasion, a Black Sabbath track taken from the trailer for the new 300 film (which, incidentally, looks totally bad-ass and, yes, which I’ve somehow only just seen).
I can’t say I’ve ever given Ozzy Osbourne’s ex-outfit a proper listen before (except, of course, by way of “Paranoid” – one of the only riffs I can play on the guitar). Turns out they’re pretty damn good.
Premiered on Clash back in February, this hazy offering from Brighton three-piece Hypnotized is infused with fuzzy, psychedelic sounds.
These sounds are perfectly complemented in a piece of abstract artistic beauty – namely, a video that works across several different media from painting and digital art to glitch and collage. Artist Eva Bowan creates captivating surreal worlds and electronic soundscapes in this introspective audio-visual journey that manifests itself as a mixture of hidden fantasies and the observation of nature.
With a 5-track EP set for release on March 24th, these guys are firmly on my radar.
White Fang – ‘Talkin’ To Gary On The Corner’
“Talkin’ to Gary On A Corner” is so lo-fi that it could almost be mistaken for just poor quality recording. Deep, distorted vocals manifest themselves in melting harmonies that sound both distant (perhaps the song is really a conversation meant for Gary’s ears only) and strangely comforting. Calling to mind the hazy, sun-drenched afternoon of a Californian desert scape, these Portland punks have hit the nail right on the head with this treasure of a track.
Spark – ‘Vain (Stripped)’
I’m a bit on the fence with Walthamstow-born singer Spark. Branded as an authentic voice of British songwriting, her sound is almost too sickly sweet and poppy for me – but there’s something that draws me back to this track, taken from her new EP First. There’s a catchiness to the chorus that had me singing along on first listen, and there’s almost a tinge of Imogen Heap-esque harmonies here that I think must have charmed me.
Liam Finn – ‘Snug As Fuck’
Premiered recently on Noisey, ‘Snug As Fuck’ is an unabashedly titled track from wonky pop artist Liam Finn. The first track to emerge from his upcoming release The Nihilist (on which he plays a staggering 67 instruments) this is a tune that is both mellow and mature – like a good wine and cheese combination.
The SAME – ‘Chasing the Light’
I’m loving the laidback, summery vibes of this gorgeous, percussive-heavy tune from South African producer The Same. Released back in February, “Chasing The Light” has already whacked up a whopping 240,000+ listens on SoundCloud. Let’s help it along some more.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Californication’ (Gamper and Dadoni Remix)
I love a good remix, and this one’s a new favourite from Hamburg-based house producers Gamper and Dadoni. Brimming with funky riffs and chilled electronic vibes, they’ve given the track a sincere make-over that enhances rather than overdoes the original.
Bonus Hidden Secret! make a quirky brand of alt-rock/indie-soul/wonky hip-hop that’s hitting all the right buttons.
With a slightly uncomfortable, laughable yet oddly cool accompanying video, “Shoes” showcases the vocal work of Marcia Hay-Garden and eponymous record label owner Shetland Ryder in a track that is nostalgic, uplifting and groove-inducing. I love it.
I’m strangely drawn to this genre-defying track from unique London/Lisbon/Basildon outfit Poeticat. Fuelled by the refreshing spoken-word shouts of Catherine Martindale, accompanied by retro riffs and incredibly infectious melodies, this is 6 and a half minutes of energetic, multi-faceted, seriously powerful stuff.
Recorded in the Canadian Arctic, “Has It Been So Long” is taken from the double album Qallunaat/Odemin. Organic and hazy, unravelling like a comforting dream, this lovely lo-fi track is perfect mellow listening for a springtime evening.
I caught Sudanese-Scottish singer-songwriter Eliza Shaddad supporting the lovely Dustin Tebbutt at The Servants Jazz Quarters last week, and was thoroughly impressed by her intimate brand of cynical folk.
One of her last times playing solo, with future shows planned with the backing of a full band, Eliza was utterly engrossing in her candle-lit performance. Playing a range of music, both old and new (including this beauty, along with the newer “Brackets“), she’s got an EP in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to hear it.
This week’s revival is inspired by the trailer to new third-person action-adventure game Sonder – in which this track appears.
The British progressive-rock band, comprising songwriter/pianist Eric Woolfson and producer/audio engineer Alan Parsons, were active between the years of 1975-1990 and were noted for their widely conceptual music – and this 1980 gem is straight up my street.
Mouthful Aetherophone is the moniker of US artist Tom Delaney, who makes blissed-out electronica with some seriously chilled vibes.
JB Newman & The Black Letter Band – ‘The Trickster’
Having lately posted about the awesome Black Hay, I was recently approached by JB Newman – whose Black Letter Band shares the same bassist. The London-based bluesy-rock ‘n’ rollers have just released their first full-length album Night Of A Thousand Crimes, from which this haunting, heartbreak-blues track is taken. Brimming with gruff, Tom Waits-esque tonalities and soulful, jazzy sounds, combined with grimy guitars and sensual brass melodies, it makes me wish I was in a smoky jazz club somewhere across the Atlantic.
JB says of the release: “Night of a Thousand Crimes is the the soundtrack to the Tarantino movie adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel that you dreamed about last night and woke up only half-remembering. We wanted to capture that cinematic, dramatic atmosphere of the pulp fiction/film noir vibe and the surreal, dream-like quality of a David Lynch flick – because, frankly, we think those things are cool.”
So do I.
Davidge – ‘Gallant Foxes’
I’m thoroughly enjoying this dark, ethereal synth-pop track from Neil Davidge – aka Davidge. This is the accompanying video to his first single “Gallant Foxes”, featuring the spatial vocals of Welsh singer Cate Le Bon, and taken from his debut solo release Slo Light.
Multi-talented Davidge is a record producer, songwriter, film score composer and general musician who has both co-written and produced for the venerable (and varied) likes of Massive Attack, David Bowie, Snoop Dog, Damon Albarn, Primal Scream and Mos Def.
Black Walls – ‘Communion’
This achingly atmospheric track from Canadian post-rock artist Black Walls, the moniker of Ken Reaume, is simply stunning. Taken from his self-titled record, reverb-drenched guitars and spine-tingling vocals make for an emotive piece that is truly moving.
“Communion began in the aftermath of my father’s passing. I recorded the album at night, in my bedroom. These songs couldn’t have lyrics. I can’t explain.”
Little Trouble Kids – ‘Haunted Hearts’
I’m loving the bassy riffs, angsty vocals and breathy harmonies on this new track by Belgian outfit Little Trouble Kids. Starting out as a minimalist noise-pop duo “armed with nothing more than a homemade stompbox, two shrieky voices and an acoustic but totally overdriven guitar”, their latest offering is as polished as it is intense.
Dos Hermanos Locos – ‘She’s My Girl’
As I’m sure a few of you have realised by now, I’m partial to a bit of blues-rock – particularly when it’s of the gritty, gruff-vocals variety. Naturally, then, I’m championing this riff-heavy offering from Brighton-based, Spanish-named duo Dos Hermanos Locos – particularly as it seems it might aid a re-entry into the Caribbean.
Frontman Tom, exiled in the UK after being kicked out of the Cayman Islands, formed the guitar and drums explosion with lookalike Mark – and now the two are on a mission to get writing, gigging and generally making waves so the CI government might pardon his sins and welcome him back with open arms.
Featuring intonations of both The Black Keys and Eagles of Death Metal, “She’s My Girl” is grungey rock ‘n’ roll at its brightest. Good luck to them.
There’s something very Fleetwood Mac about this powerful pop-inflected ballad from Lincoln/London duo Starar.
Branding themselves as indie rock/alterniscape, band members Jenna and Steve profess that “Unbelievable” is inspired by a range of artists – from Sigur Ros to Haim and Volcano Choir.
While unabashedly melodic, “Unbelievable” is one of the pair’s quieter tracks (at least compared to the frenetic disco anthem “Wanna Be“), and signifies a different direction for their sound – one which, as Jenna states, “come(s) back to the interaction between harmony and the sound of the track, rather than how big the production has been pushed, or how radio-friendly it is”.