Wednesday, 27 June 2012

EP REVIEW : WOLF ALICE - WOLF ALICE

If you somehow welded Best Coast, Sea Oleena, and Bombay Bicycle Club together, you may well just up with London three-piece Wolf Alice. The band, who released their debut self titled EP earlier this year, state that they "write songs about their short lives along the holloway road", which for those unaccustomed is a rather busy, sometimes unforgiving, but wholly entertaining road in north London.

The three-track record kicks off with the single 'Wednesday', a spine tingling opener which is truly delightful in all its synth-folk-pop ness. The song will immediately effect you in some way, I won't say how, but it will. It begins with a simple keyboard rhythm, and a warm bassline is added before the vocals of Ellie Roswell take to center stage, in all her quirky brightness.

Her voice shines throughout this EP, with 'Destroy Me' probably being the pick of the bunch. Her vocals float effortlessly among the almost shoegaze-like folk music, with her gorgeous melodies and delicate voice being hard to not get transfixed by.

'Every Cloud' closes the EP, a track which could soothe even the most tormented mind, with the beat, repeated synths and effects, and of course the vocals perfectly complementing one another in perfect harmony.

This debut self titled EP from Wolf Alice has a really strong 'feel good' quality to it, with plenty of summery vibes emanating throughout amongst a lush futuristic far away sound-scape . It's perfect for dipping in and out of as the dreamy folky pop songs carry you whether you'd like to go, almost catching you by surprise at how well put together, thought out, and open they are. It's a tantalizing glimpse at the potential this group clearly has, and we look forward to watching them develop over the time to come.

Wolf Alice Bandcamp / Facebook

Monday, 18 June 2012

BBC 6 Music: Music Blog 2012 Zeitgeist with Hype Machine

Ahead of this week's BBC 6 Music's Now Playing special show; a 2012 Music Blog Zeitgeist in collaboration with the Hype Machine, we have been asked to present our top 3 artists so far this year. 

So we thought rather than repeat ourselves we will simply (not lazily...) point you in the direction of our previous words, as well as letting you once again enjoy the music. (And we've given you an extra bonus artist too, cos we just couldn't leave them out!)

Make sure you tune into the show on Sunday between 6pm and 8pm, with new music guru Tom Robinson in the hot-seat, and you can give your views on the top 25 using the twitter hastag #Blog6Music during the show itself.


 
Cloud Nothings - ALBUM REVIEW: Attack On Memory



Lucy Rose - Live Review: Camden Jazz Cafe

 
Bonus! = Hysterical Injury - Album Review: Dead Wolf Situation
 

Friday, 8 June 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: MIA SPARROW - MEE-AH-SPAR-O

Mia Sparrow are Caroline, Paul, and Ger, a young Dublin/New York based band who recently released their debut album ‘Mee-Ah-Spar-O’ through Flaming June Records.

It was recorded and mixed by Marc Aubele in Muel Studio in Rathgar, and the nine track album follows the release of their debut single ‘Death Of A Decibel’ in July of last year.

Broadly speaking this album is part shoegaze, part new wave pop, and part Mia Sparrow. Songs such as ‘Famine/Feasts’ is a perfect example of the band’s ethos of combining simple pop melodies with fuzzy guitars which at any moment can explode with added dimensions of synths and samples. The music seems to effortlessly transcend from being quiet and almost apologetic before launching into attack mode catching you by surprise.

The single ‘Death Of A Decibel’ features a change to the more prominent female vocals which works well, and indeed the track itself does sound most assured on the record. By their own admission the vocals and melodies are at the foundation of everything Mia Sparrow do, however it is the music behind which really accentuates everything, with at times sounding like the two elements are almost fighting with and then against each other for the most attention.

My favourite track on the album would be ‘Summer Slang’, which is perhaps the most shoegaze heavy on the record, however it still maintains that air of melody, which when cut against the bleakness of music behind really works well. It is also further enhanced by the track after it, ‘Following Trails’ which is much gentler, but still equally attentive and hypnotic.

Whilst it won’t appeal to all, ‘Mee-Ah-Spar-O’ is a quirky debut album which contains enough diversity and interesting ideas to at least deserve your attention for its 40 minutes in length. However you should be warned you may end up giving up much more of time once your reaching for that repeat button again and again.

Mia Sparrow // Download album through Bandcamp // Flaming June Records

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

EP REVIEW: MOTHBITES - MOTHBITES

With 2012 seemingly bursting at the seams with singer songwriter types it’s fair to say only the very best will make it through the swathes of other potential candidates to rise to the top. So we don't take it lightly when we can present to you with much assurance, confidence and delight, Miles Coles, aka mothbites.

Coming from Southampton in the UK, this young chap has spent the past few months traveling around making a name for himself, with the culmination of which seeing him this week release his debut self titled EP through Tangled Talk and WTS? Records.

Produced by Lewis Johns (Goodtime Boys, The Long Haul), the three track record begins with ‘Howling Forever’, a strong powerful song which demonstrates mothbites slightly drawling twang which is ever so infectious alongside the rougher guest vocals of Kerouac frontman Thom Denson, whilst the music behind him is a fine combination of stabbed guitar chords and finger picking which ends in a fierce emotive filled finale.

As good as the opening track is it is not until the final two tracks that the full honesty, integrity, and damn right sheer quality of mothbites is revealed. ‘What I Hadn’t Seen’ is completely stripped back allowing the vocals to really shine and revel in their openness, not afraid to touch upon bleak subjects of death, and romance and all that’s in between. Despite the sparseness there are positive vibes throughout, with mothbites hinting at better times to come, and you can’t help but get dragged along.

Foreign Ghost’ closes the EP in fine fashion with yet more drawn out and stripped back guitar and vocal combinations which really are hard to not get hypnotised by. It’s real stop whatever you’re doing and listen to music, which I think stems from the honesty and passion that mothbites puts out there for everyone to witness, much the same way as someone such as Keaton Henson does. All in all it's a cracking little debut EP which I would highly recommend you give some ear time to.