Rattling off a series of gruesome fates one by one, the latest single from Finn Andrews of The Veils carries the feeling of a song passed down through the ages. Like some children’s playground rhyme with a morbid history long forgotten, or something chanted around a bubbling cauldron by Shakespearean witches, this track from his debut solo album One Piece at a Time is ever so enthralling. The superb lyricism is complimented marvellously by the accompanying video, which is equally macabre and madcap thanks to its blend of dark imagery and wry humour. ‘One By The Venom’ carries an undeniable allure, an inescapable mysticism, the kind that pulls you in deeper and makes you want to listen on repeat until you’ve memorised every last line.
Courtney Swain – Between Blood and Ocean
‘A Quiet Place’ begins as just that. Vocals barely a whisper, notes falling on the piano as gently as raindrops, the kind of song that makes you shut out the world and hide away in some cosy little safe haven so you can have it all to yourself. But just as raindrops are how all mighty rivers start, so too does this song build from humble origins into something grand and sweeping. The magnificent classical score lifting your spirit high, and Chiara’s elegant vocals soaring to those same heights, her voice every bit as moving and majestic as a full orchestra. This track from the Swiss singer/songwriter’s Constellations EP feels every bit like the kind of song you would send into the stars as testament to the beauty that mankind is capable of creating.
Bear’s Den – So That You Might Hear Me
Indie Rock | Folk | Synthpop
Songwriting can be a great exercise in catharsis, but to process your innermost thoughts and feelings this way means sharing them with the world. Understandably it’s a real struggle to be so openly vulnerable with anyone who cares to listen, and most artists take many years to build up their confidence before they can truly let their defences down. Winnie Raeder, with her debut single, has released the most raw and honest track you’re likely to hear this year. Written about desperately refusing to face the truth of the one you love leaving, ‘Don’t You Dare’ beautifully juxtaposes Winnie’s soulful pleading vocals with the sparse piano arrangement. Showing the two sides of heartbreak, the tempest of inner emotion and conflict and the bleak, hollow emptiness of loss, with such candour and conviction. Winnie has proven herself to be a fearless songwriter, a passionate performer, and a real artist to admire with just this one track.
Sometimes we get so concerned with the future that we forget about the now. It’s not all that surprising really; we live in uncertain times, and we get other people’s successes thrown in our face through social media. It’s easy to worry about things falling apart or that you’re not progressing as much as everyone else, but sometimes the harder you try to grasp something the more likely it is to slip through you fingers. Sometimes you have to just take a step back, have faith that you’re on the right path, and trust in yourself to get to where you want to be at your own pace. That feeling is captured brilliantly by Cincinnati based artist Curt Kiser on his new track ‘Patience’, with a welcome reminder that “it’s not always better on the other side”. Curt delivers that message under his Carriers moniker with an expansive blend of Americana and dream pop that will delight fans of The War On Drugs. Throw in the fact that the track features Bryan Devendorf of The National and John Curley of The Afghan Whigs and it makes ‘Patience’ everything that an indie fan could ever ask for.
Scott Lloyd – Scott Lloyd
Folk | Indie Rock
‘The Great Orator’ is a curious creation. It carries a kind of lavish and expansive feel akin to The Family Crest or Arcade Fire, but is tempered by a bittersweet melancholy reminiscent of The National. The result is a sweeping cinematic soundscape that could rush headfirst into something grand and epic at a moment’s notice, but instead holds back and delves into something more elegant, austere and introspective. Like a great mind turning to questions with no answer, or someone who seemingly has everything leaving it all behind and succumbing to wanderlust. Written about “feeling like you’ve discovered something that no one else knows”, it’s almost as though Canadian artist Kuri could blow your mind with ease if he wanted to, but instead takes you by the hand and encourages you to discover things on your own. Both empty and uplifting, like soaring high through the frigid northern sky with clouds obscuring the world below, this track makes you its plaything like no other.
I find I’m the kind of person that resists change. The kind that clings on to the fading summer and laments all the missed opportunities in the face of autumn’s arrival. But as much as we may try to deny it, change is a natural part of life. Whether it’s the shifting seasons or the collapse of a relationship, things have to end in order for something new to begin. It’s only when a tree falls in the forest that new life has chance to reach for the sunlight. Singer/songwriter Elliah Heifetz understands this better than most, and his new track ‘I’m Over Now’ paints heartbreak not as something to drag you down, but as something to build upon, to learn from, and become a better person. With warm melodies tinged with sadness like those fading summer days, this cathartic track shares a mature and moving view on heartbreak that we can all stand to learn from.
Jade Bird – Jade Bird
Americana | Indie Rock | Folk