I accidentally stumbled across this remix of Niia's track Body today and I'm oh so glad I did... Both the original and the remix are great - the latter adds a lovely lazy Sunday feel and I can't get enough of it! Remix first, original after...
Gorgeous new track and a nice minimal video from London based singer-songwriter Thandi. Citing influences including Flying Lotus, Sylvan Esso and Rhye she has just released this brand new track, pulling together a cool stripped back electronic R&B sound. One to watch...
Tel Aviv's Garden City Movement are back for 2015 with their third EP, Modern West, and it pretty much picks up where Bengali Cinema left off.
Which is to say that opener Recollections is full of the same sense of space and ambience - the band revel in the reverb and seem determined to keep their sound as sparse as possible. There is plenty of feeling here - much of the same maudlin introversion that permeated Bengali Cinema - but it is dressed oh so beautifully.
My Only Love feels like the closest thing the band have had to an obvious hit since their inception. Breathless vocals and mechanically whirring percussion gives way to a big hook of a chorus and it is difficult not to hear the pensive beardy festival rock of Foals in the falsetto vocals and melodic guitar picking... Which isn't to complain - it's a gorgeous, laid back and infectious song.
Musically the EP maintains much of the delicate shuffling electronic impulses meets post rock operatics throughout. Unfortunately it is hard not to feel like the band are occasionally light on inspiration lyrically - when title track's chorus revolves around a cringe inducing "That's why I fancy you so much" you have to wonder what the guys were thinking. Listening to that line feels like finding the unsent love letters you drafted to your teenage crush. The track itself is a little too populist, particularly in comparison to When We Had It Easy, which lets the synths come forward in the mix as if the band are deliberately using them to hide those easily bruised hearts. Likewise the big distorted bass stab that punctuates Recollections stands out - the band are best when they are pushing to create stark soundscapes.
The problems with its title track aside, Modern West is sure to appeal to fans of this style - if you like Friendly Fires and Foals then this could be your new favourite band... If anything it is even better than their previous material. Only time will tell if they can maintain their more interesting experimental edge as they make the transition into a full long-player.
Modern West is released through BLDG5 Records on 6 April. Check out Recollections and My Only Love below.
Love this big track from Lockah - taken from his forthcoming five-track EP And Blue Brindle Too, Barcelona Drums demonstrates a more cinematic evolution of his sound. Following on from debut album Yahoo Or The Highway, Lockah's new EP represents a move towards using live instruments, with guitars provided by Mount Bank's Samuel Organ and drums by Lockah himself.
And Blue Brindle Too is released through Donky Pitch on 27 April.
Brighton group Fickle Friends were one of my favourite discoveries last year, with their track Swim making number 37 in my songs of the year list. Having made big waves last year as an unsigned act, the band this week announced the forthcoming release of their debut EP Velvet, due for release on 25 May via Killing Moon Records & B3SCI Records.
New single Could Be Wrong is taken from the forthcoming EP, along with three yet-to-be-heard tracks, Velvet, Paris and Shake Her. It's another massive injection of infectious pop harmony - check it out below whilst we collectively count down to that late-Mar release date!