Top Tracks: High Waisted – Free Throw/Firebomb

Brooklyn band High Waisted are back with a brand new double A side. ‘Free Throw’ deals with feeling trapped in the confines of routine over the years and longing to break free and “make it” before it’s too late, and in the process dishes out some of the most gorgeous melodies I’ve heard all year. Meanwhile the aptly titled ‘Firebomb’ is a tempestuous garage rock number that makes the world sit up and take notice. Both mark a real evolution from their surf rock origins, and whether exploring introspective dream pop or riled-up feminist rock anthems, High Waisted have taken to these new musical horizons like a duck to water. With a new album on the way next year, this double A side is a promising sign of things to come.


Top Tracks: Death By Unga Bunga – Into The Night

Don’t let the daft name fool you, this Norwegian band have released one killer new single. ‘Into The Night’ marries frantic punk energy, classic rock musicianship and pop addictiveness, before topping it all off with the single finest guitar solo of the year. That combination hasn’t been pulled off this well since The Only Ones’ ‘Another Girl Another Planet’, one of the finest songs ever recorded. Much like that track, it feels as though the planets have aligned and made every aspect of this song, from the sublime bass tones to the hyperactive riffs, the best it could possibly be. ‘Into The Night’ is one of the most delightful surprises to ever find its way to my inbox, and undoubtedly one of the strongest singles of the year.

Live Review: The RPMs, Cafe INDIEpendent Scunthorpe, 16th Sept 2017

rpms2We all have our own little habits and rituals, but every now and then we need to break free of them, and take a chance in the hopes that life catches you off-guard. You can’t be pleasantly surprised unless you first take a plunge into the unknown. The same mantra applies well to music, as I found upon returning to the quirky Cafe Indie. With three bands on the bill, I went in knowing next to nothing about any of them, and left as a new fan of all three. It seems like small bands and smalls gigs can offer the biggest surprises, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the night exceeded my expectations in every sense. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Embers – Until The Dawn

Following on from the success of their comeback double A side ‘Signs/Unbound’, Embers are back with their finest work to date. Recorded live in one of my favourite venues, Manchester’s Albert Hall, ‘Until The Dawn’ is a grand sweeping statement of what this quartet is truly capable of. From its angelic piano driven opening it grows to a magnificent, triumphant climax. With thunderous drum tones and the added majesty of brass and strings to take their sound to new heights, Embers have taken my already high expectations and ground them into dust. With this new track sounding like the astonishing offspring of Muse and Arcade Fire, they are quickly becoming firm Belwood favourites before they’ve even released their first EP. Embers are one of the most exciting new bands out there, no question!

Top Tracks: Matt Cross – You Said You Needed Time

After releasing his debut EP Better Late Than Never earlier in the year, Matt Cross is already back at it with a fresh, hard-hitting single. ‘You Said You Needed Time’ plays around with a number of superb guitar tones, most striking of which being the raw rumble of the opening riff, reminiscent of Wolfmother, and the flashes of bright indie that shine out from behind the fuzzy foreground. With a few hints of bands such as The Black Keys and Spring King, this is a great little slice of garage rock that is hard to fault. It’s a cracking little track and I’m sure Matt has many more such delights tucked up his sleeve ready and waiting.

Top Tracks: KLARA – These Woods (Human Made)

I love a song that can tell a story, but sometimes it’s even more special to find a song that compels you to tell your own story. Such is the power of the new single from London based Swedish singer KLARA. With its sparse intro, consisting of little more than soothing piano and KLARA’s crystal clear vocals, it conjures an image of strolling through the forest on a crisp autumn afternoon. As the song kicks up a notch adding the swell of strings and some ethereal harmonies, it’s as though you’re raising up above the canopy, staring out at the vast golden landscape below, flitting between clouds like a leaf on the wind. As the song draws to a close, settling you back down to earth, it leaves you wanting to take the same journey all over again.