Radio airplay does its best to wear us down through a war of attrition, hoping that if they play a song often enough that the hook will stay with you. Sometimes it works, but the truth is that a good hook doesn’t need it, after just one listen you’re… well, hooked! The debut single from London based indie pop outfit River Fury does just that, delivering a killer chorus that is sure to leave you wanting more. The band cites a wide range of influences, and I myself hear hints of early Kasier Chiefs in the verses, Matthew and the Atlas in a few of the melodies, and even the lighter side of Coheed and Cambria in the backing vocals. The band are clearly keen listeners, embracing new ideas and sounds and feeding them back into their own music. In doing so they have crafted a debut single that carries universal appeal and an infectious positive energy. It’s one hell of a first impression and I look forward to seeing where their music goes next.
Do you ever find yourself doing the “soundtrack test”? You stumble across a song that feels like it should play a part in something important and your mind starts to wander. You imagine how it would fit in your favourite show, you create your own story in your head as you listen to it while watching passers-by. Songs like ‘Don’t Forget Me’ make the dull drudgery of the everyday feel extraordinary, make even the quietest introspective nights seem like part of some greater plan. This track from Swiss artist Native, with its bittersweet vocals, chilled out vibes and dramatic build towards an emotional climax, doesn’t whisk you away from your life to some other place like so many of the songs that tug at our heartstrings. Instead it pulls off a more difficult feat; it makes you feel like right here, right now, is a place worth being and an adventure worth taking.
Black Foxxes –
Alternative Rock | Dream Pop | Post Punk
There’s something special about bands that capture the very soul of their homeland, whether it’s Americana artists embodying the sparseness of the desert or surf rock bands sharing the playfulness of the waves. Swedish band Woods End are one of the finest examples of this that I have ever come across. With ‘Lanterns/Allhelgona’ they paint a scene of the frozen north at twilight. The sparse folk arrangement conjures an image of somewhere isolated and at the mercy of nature, the harmonies rise and fall like they are echoing across the frozen expanse for only the mountains and forests to hear. The haunting melancholy of this track has a timeless feel, like it has been shared by the fireside for as long as there have been people to sing it. There’s an ancient magic at work here, as this song draws you in and you find yourself never wanting to leave.
Some sounds are just built to last. The tried and tested alt rock approach of Durham quartet Edenthorn tears it up with simple yet solid riffs, proving that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel just so long as you give it everything you’ve got to compensate. ‘Mind Like A Minefield’, taken from their new album Exist out 20th April, certainly doesn’t hold back. The driving intro riff is reminiscent of Metallica while the whirlwind solo has Pearl Jam written all over it. The energy of this track alone is more than enough to make this worth your time, but the lyrics take this song to another level. Dealing with the trials within that many of us face on a daily basis, fighting against your own thoughts as you overthink every little detail. This song perfectly captures that feeling and at the same times makes you feel like you can one day overcome it.
In this more politically aware time that we find ourselves in, it’s easy to forget that for most people it isn’t about drawing battle lines or making moves on a chess board, for most of us it’s simply about keeping on keeping on in the hope that brighter days are on the way. With this latest single Belwood favourite Martyn Crocker and his new band have perfectly captured the struggle; slaving away to make ends meet while those at the top live the high life, all the while wondering how long this crooked system can last. From the slick production to the trenchant lyricism, Martyn has really upped his game with this uncompromising indie powerhouse. ‘Everything They Want and More’ is the kind of track that everyone, no matter their background, can unite behind as they commit to moving towards a better future, one step at a time.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams
R&B | Americana
This is just the track that your roadtrip playlist has been missing. The latest single from Minneapolis based singer/songwriter Andy Cook is sure to set off your wanderlust and leave you longing for adventure. ‘Swirl’, taken from his upcoming EP Modern Man out 13th April, is about being stuck in a digital age and the burnout that comes with maintaining the online facade of a perfect life and being surrounded by people doing exactly the same thing. It’s fitting then that this Americana gem compels you to leave all that overthinking behind and just hit the open road with ‘Swirl’ as your sole companion. Opening with hints of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Touch of Grey’, and culminating in guitar work reminiscent of The War On Drugs, this is the most enthralling example of Americana I’ve heard thus far this year.
The latest single from this London based singer/songwriter may seem on paper like your typical folk fare, but there’s some subtle and indescribable quality to it that makes it stand out like some shimmering mirage off in the distance. Musically this new release from Harry Pane feels like the soundtrack to some lone gunslinger treading a solitary path through the desert, walking away from the problems of the past and letting them fade like footprints in the sand. Lyrically however ‘Beautiful Life’ focuses not on the past, but on the new day waiting over the horizon. It is a song that treasures all the little things in life that offer a glimmer of hope and joy, those little moments that help get you through today and give you reason to look forward to tomorrow.
If you’re looking for a song to get you fired up, the kind that ignites a feeling of pure electricity running through your veins, then do I have a treat for you! The latest single from Amsterdam based quartet Canshaker Pi firmly ticks that box. ‘Put A Record Out’, taken from their upcoming sophomore album Naughty Naughty Violence out this May, channels Sonic Youth in their prime, as well as boasting hints of The Damned and Joy Division. These frenetic slacker rock firebrands are equal parts are equal parts rowdy and playful on this track, treading a perfect balance between the raw lo-fi sound of classic alternative rock and the kind of wily little flourishes that give the band a brazen charm that stands out from the crowd. This is a great taster of what one of the best indie acts in mainland Europe can do.