ACES #2 - What Do You Think They'll Say About Me?

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Shall we go for a pun? Yes, of course we shall. ACES arrived with the ace "Find Me Out" back in March, the vocalist behind the project Alexander Stewart being familiar to me from her earlier project, ACES though, is where we are now and the arrival of their second track "What Do You Think They'll Say About Me?" compounds the ‘wow’ factor heard on their debut.

The Steinman-esque titled track is another serene jam which glistens around sparse, languid synths, latterly shimmering guitar and Alexander’s breathy vocal, slow and sultry, it exemplifies a less is more approach, goosebumps await. 

Chungking - Defender

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I'm going to listen to your band if you're called Chungking for one simple reason, Chungking Express is one of my favourite films. The similarity could be purely coincidental with my discovery of the Brighton band of (partly) the same name, the trio released their third album Defender last month, their first in eight years (which perhaps explains it).

"Beautiful World" is the sparkling, sensual song that serves as my introduction, a gorgeously smooth track which charms around it's delightfully progressive melody, a tapestry of soft-focus instrumentation spacey atmosphere. Also taken from the album is the beautiful "Sapphire", a sparser, mellow track where a finger-plucked guitar and twinkling piano keys beguile around an absolutely stunning vocal, it's stop you in your tracks good.

The self-released Defender is available now. You can get it on CD/Vinyl from Resident

THYLA - New Music "Introducing"

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Brighton quartet Thyla sound like the sort of band I’d like to see live, two debut tracks on their soundcloud introducing a sound that ranges from the spacious echoes at the beginning of “Teeth Dreams” to the raging ferocity of “Betty”. That’s not to see the former is forever languid softness, it simmers gradually before unleashing its own climatic conclusion. “Betty” though, wastes no time at all in blowing your socks, no doubt wielding some Wolf Alice comparisons in the process. There’s bristling intensity throughout, stampeding drums, exhilarating grunge riffs and banshee-esque snarling vocals. I like it.

Noire #2 - Just Like Honey

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I’m over a month late to this. Oh well. It’s still the same track…

Noire return after 2014’s gorgeously restrained “Those Days” with the similarly slick, shimmering vibe of “Just Like Honey". A track which tastes just like, full of breathy, seducing vocals and evocative atmosphere where chiming guitars and laid-back percussion transfer you to a solo walk home after a date didn’t perhaps turn out as planned, melancholic but not hopeless, the effect is quite hypnotising.

Bec Sandridge #4- In The Fog, In The Flame

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Oh hello, what do we have here. Certainly not what I was immediately expecting when I saw that Bec Sandridge had a new song. “In The Fog, In The Flame” sees Bec leave behind her acoustic roots and transfer spacious finger plucked folk for 80’s synth-pop. Not just any old synth-pop either, “In The Fog, In The Flame” recalls the dramatic theatricals of Kate Bush et al.

If you knew Bec from her earlier EP’s you’ve probably got your eyebrows raised about now. Fear not, it’s a brilliant transformation with her unique voice remaining the star turn, just remove the soft, lump in your throat emotions and add-in propulsive, upbeat energy where toe-tapping percussion, chugging bass and shimmering synths swirl to the most climatic of conclusions.

An EP of the same name follows later this year, Bec has spent quite a bit of time over in the UK this past year, I’m interested to see how the change of direction impacts her live show.

Dios Mio #5 - Treehouse

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Dios Mio return in typically brooding form with "Treehouse", a gorgeously taut track that combines the London quartet's trademark atmospheric guitar lines with Helena Coan's beautifully emotive vocals.

"Treehouse" slowly simmers towards its marvellous chorus, where the tension built throughout is released amongst soaring peaks and driving instrumentation.

Dios Mio seem able to effortlessly conjure up majestic dark pop tracks almost at will, which makes news of their debut EP, due Autumn, even more exciting...

Rosie June #3 - Cat Comes Home

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It seems I like to listen to Rosie June in late July, here's my third annual visit to the Canadian’s music…

This time my reference point is her latest single "Cat Comes Home" (Rosie's first track since her debut album Listening Post). It starts as I was expecting, with Rosie’s sweetly cooed vocal floating around sparse, butterfly soft keyboard twinkles before expanding amongst electro-sparkles with the most magical of results.

Eliot Sumner #6 - Firewood

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Eliot Sumner played in London last night but I had to miss it because, you know, Wednesday (I have my girls). Instead I take solace with the discovery of "Firewood", the third track from Eliot this year. 

It picks up where "After Dark" left off, a sweeping, brooding pop song that comes into its own around bubbling synths, skittering percussion and shimmering guitars. The perfect balance of mood and melody, it seems as if Eliot can do no wrong.

EPII is still officially unannounced but we've now been treated to three of the four tracks, I'd like a double vinyl to collect both EP's to date please.