‘Tidal Wave’ carries such a versatile cinematic appeal. I don’t know many tracks that would be equally suited to soundtrack both a highly polished big budget car chase and a lo-fi home video of summertime adventures on super 8 film. Somehow though, this song fills that gap, I could quite easily envision it in either of those roles. It’s one of those tracks that has the potential to be whatever you want it to be. The relentless energy of the drums and its vocals reminiscent of Iggy Pop give it a DIY edge, but at the same time the chorus is adorned in earworm melodies that lighten the tone and inject a bit of fun into the mix. Taken from Moniker’s upcoming EP Private Prophet, out 1st March, ‘Tidal Wave’ is just what your playlist has been missing; a track for any occasion.
The beauty of ‘Burning Alive’ lies in its ability to weave two worlds into one. Lyrically it’s full of teenage angst, tales of a misspent youth and late night adventures. The name feels very fitting for that very reason, it’s a time of our lives when our emotions, both good and bad, burn their brightest and feel at their most potent. At the same time however, thanks to its abundance of lighthearted melodies and polished production, it also carries a sense of childlike wonder and innocence. You’d have thought these two sides to the song would be at odds with each other, but Here’s To You have got the balance spot on, even extending it into the visuals showing the band’s nighttime escapades in a deeply charming pastel colour palette. It offers the best of both worlds and delivers on everything it promises.
It’s always nice to find a song that just blows you away with the first listen, but sometimes good things take time. Sometimes it’s like falling in love; it’s not some big flash in the pan love at first sight deal, rather it’s all in the little things. The kind of things that push you closer to falling without you realising it until it has already taken you over. I have no way of knowing what pushed me over the edge and made me love this song. Was it the understated bluesy guitar tones, the hints of Florence Welch in Katey’s voice, the old school Motown feel of the backing vocals, the underlying message of being true to yourself above all else? ‘Never Let Her Go’ is the kind of song that gets under your skin, that weaves its way into your subconscious. By the time you realise it’s there it’s too late, it already has you under its spell.
Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. A sense of comfort and familiarity, of love and support. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be born into a place which feels like that, and perhaps take it for granted. Sometimes we have to travel further afield and meet the right people before we truly feel like we belong. And sometimes, like with folk pop duo All Faces, it’s in the very sensation of travelling and exploring that we feel most at home, in never knowing what awaits over the next horizon. Whenever it may strike, you’ll know it when you’ve found it, it’s a wonderful feeling and ‘Welcome Home’ does a superb job of capturing that same carefree joy it brings. With the kind of warm and welcoming hooks you’d expect from The Lumineers or early Ben Howard, this latest single just radiates innocence and positive energy.
‘Feline’ is the kind of song that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Normally I’d use that in a negative sense, denoting something lost, aimless, wasting potential, but not here. Have you ever met someone so easy-going and adaptable that you could drop them anywhere, set them to any task, and they’d take to it like a duck to water? What we have here is the musical equivalent. It has the well-travelled heartland charm of Tom Petty, the bright indie melodies of The Killers, the carefree come-what-may attitude of 90s alt rock. All of it wrapped up in a dream pop haze and dash of strings for good measure, to make the whole thing shimmer like sunlight dancing on the water. This Californian quartet’s multifaceted marvel could be played pretty much anywhere and still feel right at home.
A perfectly pensive track for these quiet winter nights, the aptly named ‘Slow Burn’ is just one of those songs that incites introspection. The kind of song that plays in your head as you watch the rain patter on your window, or the flames dancing in the fireplace. It has such a deeply cinematic feel that it can make even the most mundane setting feel like a movie scene. You almost seem to see the world differently with this song playing. Like the big things we all stress about don’t matter anymore, and instead you start to see more meaning in the little things that you wouldn’t normally even notice. Canadian born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern has made one hell of an impression with her debut single. I just want to listen to it on repeat until the world around me turns to dust.
Welsh singer/songwriter John Adams is the kind of artist that you can’t help but root for. Part of that is down to the fact that he’s worked his way up from busking, his years of hard graft playing a key part in making him the artist he is today. But even without any back story, his new single ‘Flames’ is more than enough to win you over. Taken from his new EP No White Lies out 8th February, this soulful breakup ballad carries that rare universal appeal that most artists can only dream of, thanks in no small part to John having the kind of voice that just melts your heart. The simple but effective video further adds to the song’s charm, showing the threads that unite us getting more and more tangled over time, and in the end leaving us trapped in a web of our own making.
Personally I’ve always found solace in insignificance. Thinking about how we are but a tiny speck in an incomprehensibly large universe always seems to put my own problems into perspective. It’s easy to say that with your feet firmly on the ground, but I can imagine it can feel very different witnessing it all first hand. This new track from introspective folk duo takes a look at the other side of it all. The aptly named ‘Space Blues’ explores the loneliness and isolation of a life in space, and the feeling of looking out at an endless expanse and wondering if there’s any meaning in it all. Not only is a refreshingly unique subject for a song, but the duo have also executed it perfectly. With softly spoken vocals, mournful strings and eerie woodwinds offering a mystical feel, it’s the kind of song that makes the whole world seem to stand still and listen with you.
Sat here on a bitterly cold night in January, snuggling close to a hot water bottle to try to keep the chills at bay, ‘High In The City’ is just the song I needed. A song to remind me that the summer sun, and the carefree adventures it brings, aren’t all that far away, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Canadian band Sun K have loaded this track with gritty vocals and vintage guitar tones in this superb slice of old-school no-nonsense rock’n’roll. The band aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but then again if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Wheels are very much still in use and that classic rock sound is just as potent as it ever was. Everything about this song, from the throwback vibes to the nostalgic visuals, aims to recall the summers of the past. But there’s something inexplicable about it that makes me want to go out, have adventures and make new memories… when the weather warms up that is.
I’ve never heard another voice quite like this. In Swedish singer/songwriter Marlene Oak I can hear hints of Jeff Buckley, a fair bit of Dolores O’Riordan, and a whole heap of old school soul, all blending together into a pretty unique concoction. Vocals that are equal parts forceful and fragile, which end up being the perfect match for a song like ‘Come Home’. Taken from her upcoming EP Silver Moon, out 15th February, it’s a track all about finding your soulmate. Finding an all-encompassing love that fills an empty space inside that you perhaps never even knew was there. A love so deep feels much like Marlene’s vocals on this track. Something so powerful that it consumes your entire being, that you forget all else exists, and yet in turn leaving you so open and vulnerable, quivering on the edge of breaking point. They say that love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting them not to, and Marlene imbues that same raw emotion into this song.