Cross Record #2 - High Rise


I’ve only heard a couple of tracks by Cross Record so far but I’m pretty excited for more, they tick so many of my boxes and with a debut album anticipated for early 2016 it promises to be a must listen.

Take “High Rise” for example, a misty haze of gorgeous languorous daydreams and foreboding mood which swells around squealing guitars and thudding percussion. Think Widowspeak meets Sharon Van Etten in terms of the duel of shadowy, gripping atmosphere and breathy seduction.

The track is all too brief however and I’m left longing for the duo’s Wabi-Sabi LP, due January 29th via Ba Da Bing Records.

Belle Mare #3 - Dark Of My Evening


Well this is lush. Belle Mare have already proven themselves masters of ear-worm songcraft, releasing track after track that seduces the listener with every twist and turn and the good news continues, their latest “Dark of My Evening” is no different.

Much like the equally wonderful “Cicada” from earlier this year, there’s less reverb used then on their debut EP, instead the emphasis is placed on a rather splendid rhythm section, with swirling guitarscapes, the irresistible vocal of Amelia Bushell and a blissful chorus the icing on the cake.

There's hopefully a debut LP to look forward in 2016. Fingers crossed.

Keiandra - New Music "Introducing"


Well the debut track from Newcastle's Keiandra certainly hits the spot as an accompaniment for my current lingering mood, grasping at the chilly Winter’s air with forlorn, atmospheric guitars and songcraft drenched in beautiful melancholy.

The track “Wanted” introduces the eighteen year old as an heir apparent to the darkly melodic and haunting world of Daughter, Marika Hackman et al, there's such beautiful space in the winding guitars and Keiandra 's softening vocals and I'm left tingling all over after a handful of repeated listens.

An EP is expected to follow next year, I'll be keeping an eye out for sure.

Embers #6 - The Bitten Tongue



it's unbelievable to think that we are just one week shy of the fourth anniversary of Embers formation and three years since they released the frankly ridiculously good "Hollow Cage" live performance video. A track I ripped the audio from and have played to death ever since.  I featured the quartet as one of my 'ones to watch' in 2012, 2013 and 2015. It seems, finally, that 2016 will be the year to send them into the stratosphere.

Wednesday saw Embers share "The Bitten Tongue", the first new material heard from the Manchester band since the wonderful "Part of the Echoes" single in mid 2013.  The good news is that the band have not lost any of their magic. The track is a collision of all things dark, a sonic assault of typically apocalyptic soundscapes, it soars and howls amongst a powerful concoction of pummeling drums, intense vocals and searing guitars, the result leaves you gasping for more.

Welcome back boys. Let's get some shows in the diary now. 

Happy Hollows - Astrid


I'm only about seven months late with this one but there's actually a lot that reminds me of this mornings band The Jezabels and that reminded me of a post I had sitting in my draft folder so, viola...

The track, "Astrid", is by Californian trio Happy Hollows and is full of a vibrant, hook-laden electro pop sheen that instantly catches my attention amongst it's shimmering, tense melody and magnetic vocals producing a dense, energetic sound that sounds both familiar and fresh.

"Astrid" comes highly recommended if you're a fan of the aforementioned Jezabels or perhaps Metric.

The Jezabels #5 - Come Alive


The biggest downside of spending so much time doing this blog is I often neglect bands whom with more hours in the day I'd absolutely love, The Jezabels are definitely one such example. I've followed for band for about five years now and have seen them three times but I've probably only listened to last years LP The Brink a handful of times. It deserves more. Perhaps I'll give it that now the band are back on my mind thanks to the dramatic introduction to their third album Synthia, due for release on February 12th and available with a combination of ticket/physical packages here.

"Come Alive" is the track, dark, jagged and brooding it finds the Australian quartet at their most intense, with murky synths and Hayley's ever incredible, theatrical vocal climaxing with the gargantuan squeal of guitars and forthright drums. Synthia promises to be the bands most adventurous and rewarding yet.

The Jezabels play London's Tufnell Park Dome on March 10th. If you fancy tickets, I wouldn't hang around too long.

Tideup #2 - Heartbeat


Another band from across the pond making a long overdue return to these pages, Florida duo Tideup self-released a quite magical EP of butterfly soft vocals and restrained dream pop melodies at the start of 2013 and returned this week with "Heartbeat", the first track taken from a forthcoming EP Memories.

The track is similarly gorgeous, full of gushing, ethereal serenading and glacial guitar licks, it blossoms before you with the luminescent glow of romantic nostalgia. Immerse yourself in the flawless beauty below, you can even grab a free download by pressing on the down arrow.

Jenny O #2 - Lazy Jane


It's not far off five years since I featured Jenny O here, an album Automechanic was released back in 2013 but seemingly missed my attention completely. I'm not going to hold myself entirely responsible either and perhaps Jenny herself felt that record had some more mileage because a recently released video to one of its tracks "Lazy Jane" serves as my re-introduction point.

The track is gorgeous, a beautiful songbird that flutters around Jenny’s silky, soulful vocal and impeccable melody, sounding instantly familiar and sweetly delicious as it melts hearts with a slow-motion country Fleetwood Mac esque groove and twanging country guitars.

I’ve added the record to my catch up list already. Thanks to her PR I can also say that her second full-length album will be out in 2016.