Top Tracks: Sail By Summer – Casual Drive

‘Casual Drive’, in spite of what its name suggests, feels far from casual. It’s brimming with purpose right from the first few notes. This latest single from Scandinavian duo Sail By Summer is not built for leisurely trips along winding country roads, rather for hammering down the highway. Though the track boast some superbly layered synths, and guitar tones that light up the track in staccato bursts like fireworks in the night sky, what really sells this track is the rhythm section. It’s in the driving post punk bass line and effervescent drum flourishes that the track finds the energy that wins me over. The relentless march onward without ever looking back on the road behind. Not that I blame them, as if there are more tracks like this on the road ahead then it’s sure to be worth the journey.


Interview: Miccoli

miccoli interviewBelwood favourites Miccoli have been having a whirlwind 2019 thus far. The Birmingham based trio of siblings first won us over with the glowing melodies and infectious hooks of their debut EP 1/2 back in 2017. This year has already seen them release a full album and share the stage at packed out arenas up and down the country. It’s such a joy seeing them on the up and up, so we grabbed a moment out of their busy schedule for a quick catch up. Continue reading

Top Tracks: CUTTS – Breathe

Love isn’t about grand gestures, it’s about the little things. A touch of their hand, the sound of their laughter, a little smile that just melts your heart. Those intimate moments that may seem insignificant to the rest of the world, but they mean the world to you. It’s the little things that make you fall in love, and they’re also what you miss most if that love should fail or falter. That same sentiment is echoed in the new single from alternative pop duo CUTTS. ‘Breathe’ strips things back so that it’s just the piano and the vocals that take centre stage, and speaks of the memories of minor things that made a love grow being the only part that remains when all else has faded away. The more you listen, the more this honest and understated track winds its way into your heart.

Top Tracks: Supercaan – The Bull

If you asked me to describe the perfect late night drive song, the end result would likely sound a lot like the debut single from Supercaan. If anything, ‘The Bull’ is a nocturnal adventure all on its own. The driving post punk bass line is at the centre of it all; never faltering, concerned only with moving forward. The shimmering synths seem to spark into life and then fade away back into the night like all the sights that pass you by, while others seem to build and grow like the warm glow of a city that you’re winding your way towards. The deep, purposeful vocals just resonate with you the same way thoughts echo through your mind in the inevitable introspective moments. An absolute must for fans of The National, ‘The Bull’ is a great start for Supercaan and I’m excited to see where this particular journey leads.

Top Tracks: Moniker – Tidal Wave

‘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.

Top Tracks: Here’s To You – Burning Alive

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.

Top Tracks: Katey Brooks – Never Gonna Let Her Go

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.

Top Tracks: All Faces – Welcome Home

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.