Arctic Lake #3 - Only Me

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In my last post I mentioned my use of over-reaching superlatives but I don't care here, Arctic Lake are honestly one of my favourite new acts and one whom I'm very excited about (the complete list is pretty much still my Fifteen for '15 although my discovery of Siv Jakobsen and Aurora post-date that list so lets add them too).

"Only Me" is the London based trio's new track, shared tonight and the follow up to the unbearable beautiful "Limits" (which got playlisted by Radio One no less last week) and is, there is no other way to say it, absolutely fucking gorgeous.

There's a soul-searching beauty to the restrained vocals of Emma Foster and the flickering atmospheric space of the accompanying instrumentation coexists to perfection. Perfection yes, that's the word to describe "Only Me". It's rare I post music to my personal Facebook page, my friends and family are more Arctic Monkey's than Arctic Lake but I couldn't help myself here, this is just divine.

There's a big gig clash on Thursday with Arctic Lake up against Emilie Nicolas and although I normally decide between clashes by whom is most likely to play in London again soonest (and Arctic Lake are playing at The Great Escape next month), on the basis of what we've heard in 2015, the band are unmissable. A decision is be made. The band headline The Old Queen's Head for those of you that are local - details.

Wyldest #4 - Danish Longball

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There's a certain inevitability with blogs (this one included) that when an artist releases a new track it reaches for over-reaching superlatives, phrases like 'strongest track to date', 'progressive sound', 'ones to watch' are thrown around as often as the British weather changes its mind, yet with London based trio Wyldest it has genuinely been the case with each of the four tracks we've heard so far (their debut track "Dark Matter" released as Wildest Dreams and "Wanders" are since unavailable online).

"Danish Longball" is their fourth, or second official track if you will and it instantly intoxicates, awash with this absolutely sumptuous melody that swirls into your conscious with effortless ease as chiming guitarscapes, twinkling synths and heavenly vocal coos float and surround your mind with sweetly melancholic bliss.

The band play Dalston's Vic on May 6th (tickets). I can't make that date so will be crossing my fingers to see the band crop up on some Great Escape showcase. 

Sea Lion #5 - Room

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I was standing in the same room as Sea Lion on Friday night during my little trip to Gothenburg but I was too self-concious to go and introduce myself, after all she was there in a role other than music performer and I had no real right to encroach on that. On returning home and opening my week-long ignored inbox (argh!) it was her name that instantly jumped out of the page, the release of her new song just the day before I saw her and ironically called "Room" is the first glimpse of her yet to be announced new album (due later this year via Turnstile Music).

"Room" is perfect for my Sunday evening, after three late, late nights (Gothenburg has an incredible range of beers as I was quick to find out) I have aching limbs and a tired mind perhaps similar to that of those who've just finished London Marathon (I've done nearing ten marathons so I know the feeling!) and the track instantly connects with a struggling mind and body, a quiet, achingly pure moment of goosebump inducing beauty which goes straight for the jugular. It hits hard too, with it's open-sleeved intimacy which sees Linn Osterberg's soft, haunting vocals melt around piano chords that are literally dripping in emotion. 

Was it really as long ago as September 2012 when I first discovered Sea Lion? Her talent will surely out three years later.

Hazel English - New Music "Introducing"

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I wish I had this song in my life about two hours ago - I'm writing this post in Stansted Airport (welcome to the 21st century, laptops, free wi-fi, Weatherspoons beers and an hour to kill) but the song "Never Going Home", the debut track by Aussie born, Oakland resident Hazel England is more suited to my journey here, looking out to England's hazy blue skies (it's been a quite beautiful afternoon) on a peaceful train journey with wistfully nostalgic thoughts of trips gone by. 

Travelling generally is a positive thing (away from London's heavily populated smog) full of excitement and new experience and the reverb filled melody and shimmery guitarscapes here fit that perfectly. Although the track is perhaps filled with more longing and more one-way than my current excursion, "Never Going Home" certainly serves as the most timely track I've ever discovered via my inbox. Gorgeous. 

Ellen Sundberg - The Road Is Long

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I'm off to Gothenburg for a couple of days anytime now (I'll not mention the fact that what I was initially going for has since been cancelled) so it's only right that I feature a Swedish artist here before I head off, welcome Ellen Sundberg to these pages.

"Vägen är Lång (The Road Is Long)" is my introduction, the second single from Ellen's new album White Smoke And Pines. A swelling country ballad full of pedal steel and heady vocals, there's an undeniable similarity to the world-weary Americana vocal of Klara Söderberg's that took front and centre on the debut First Aid Kit LP. Here pared amongst wonderfully melodic arrangements played with playful skill and gusto, "The Road Is Long" (Vägen är Lång a translation with the last verse sung in Ellen's native tongue) makes for an enriching track that can't fail but have you tapping your toes along in agreement.

EERA - New Music "Introducing"

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EERA is the new project of Anna Lena (formerly recording under the name Anna Lena and the Orchids) who reimagines herself with "White Water", a track which is both familiar and new to fans of her earlier project and one that offers a bewitching introduction to newcomers.

Anna is blessed with an evocative, haunting vocal that seeps into your consciousness, natural and melancholic it slowly unwinds amongst chugging guitars, steady percussion and beautifully poetic lyrics. Nothing too much seems to have changed, that's until we reach the end of the verse and searing guitars transport the listener to St Vincent territory before calming once more, this bubbling flow continues until the tracks conclusion offering a confident, polished introduction to an artist whose time to step out of the shadows has surely come.

Coeds - Sensitive Boys

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I could tell I was going to like Texas' Coeds and their track  "Sensitive Boys" before any vocals were heard, an opening intro of crunching 80's synths instantly had me playing some action movie chase scene around in my head and I was smitten, the sun kissed pop vocals of Merideth Munoz only help heighten that sensation...

The track is playful and fun and it's not meant to be anything else, pairing thundering beats, runaway synths and sumptuous vocals to the most anthemic and uplifting of feelings. One for the spring/summer running mix perhaps?

A 7" vinyl is released on May 19th via Old Flame Records.

WET #2 - DEADWATER

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It's been a while (probably at least a week!) since I've posted a track where about all I have to say on initial listen is swooooooon. New York trio Wet's new single "Deadwater" is exactly that, instantly melting hearts with a luxurious, feather-light melody that sways around pure, sweet vocals and unhurried, blissful instrumentation.

With a title like "Deadwater" you may not immediately think this but the track is as pretty and intimate as they come, a new late night lullaby maker is found.

"Deadwater" is the first track to be heard from Wet's debut album Don't You, a release date is yet to be announced.