Birmingham band Lycio have released their new single ‘Young Ties’. This latest cut is one of the bands oldest compositions, and sees a return to their darker side. The track was mastered at Metropolis Studios by Stuart Hawkes (Jack Garratt, Rae Morris, Lorde, Fickle Friends, Rudimental, Mura Masa).
‘Young Ties’ is a wispy ethereal slice of atmospheric indie wrapped in swirling, fluctuant synths while an elegant piano and flashing drum arrangement provide a gripping and meaty backdrop to this airy number. Mendez’ passionate vocals powerfully plough through the chorus with oodles of expression while gently cooing through the delicate brooding verses. The track is doused in sweet melancholy as swoony dreamy soundscapes flurry and delicately rebound off the luscious melody and sway-able synths. Richly layered, each gripping note is laced in emotion as the track gracefully and beautifully dances with its darker tones creating an ambient full-bodied sound. Another majestic track from Lycio.
Of the track, frontwoman Genie Mendez explains – “Young Ties is about mental health. Trying to understand how my head works, whether it’s a gift or a curse (‘the beauty that’s inside my mind’), and then trying to accept it (‘I’ll go where you are taking me’). Then of course everyone’s getting on with their daily routine not knowing the struggle of those around them (‘all the young men in long ties…’). And of course ‘can you bring me home/can you take control’ is a question for my own head. I’m asking my mind if it can really handle this, if we can bounce back from it.”
Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Pale Rivers
Pale Rivers have released their new single ‘Icefield’, ahead of their forthcoming debut EP. Produced by Owen Lewis and Steven Mullan, ‘Icefield’ was recorded at Herbert Place Studio’s, Dublin. Based out of Cork and Tipperary, Ireland, the band began playing their first shows around the country including slots at Hard Working Class Heroes, Whelans One’s To Watch and Electric Picnic, as well as some high profile supports for acts such as Teleman, British Sea Power and The Wedding Present.
‘Icefield’ is a deeply moving number bleeding haunting tones of yearning through ethereal rushes of breezy synths over textured guitar whines and passionate heart gripping vocals. This is a special track that grips the listener with every flickering note. This band keep you on the edge of your seat – the delicate sweet and tender moments are perfect, immaculate and pristine as elegant keys twinkle and glisten between subtle synth wisps as the warm emotional vocals caress the darkly hued haunting melody. Intimacy is key to this track and this is created by those dynamic tender vocal tones which are embellished by soaring, undulating waves of guitar and weaving synths. The track builds becoming more intense and expressive carrying and elevating our hearts and emotions with it as the synths become frenzied and choppy and rush over the tumbling guitar and rippling drum/bass rumbles. This track swoons with deeply moving and atmospheric tones while a rich snappy rhythm holds all the vaporous floaty soundscapes together with a gloopy-like glue texture. It’s a sublime riveting listen and a well crafted gem to hold dear.
Talking about ‘Icefield’, the band explain – “recording this song was very much a case of going with gut feeling rather than planning it out and ticking boxes. Going in to do it we just had a skeleton track and from there, it was very much a case of experimenting and improvising on different instruments, many of which we hadn’t used before. Recording this definitely felt like a journey from start to finish, and in many way’s one of the most fun/difficult but rewarding experiences we’ve had in a studio…”
Cork-based alt-rock outfit Transmission Club will release their second EP, ‘The Hour of the Wolf’, on Friday, July 13th. Recorded and produced by Chris Somers at One Chance Out Studios, the band’s sophomore release takes the listener on a musical trajectory from the intimate to the anthemic within three tracks. The E.P was mastered by Pete Maher (The Pixies, Jack White, Goldfrapp) in his London studio. Titled after the surrealist horror film by Ingmar Bergman, ‘The Hour of the Wolf‘ delves into themes of isolation and fear of the subconscious, explored through a compelling blend of folk-rock and electronic soundscapes. Formed in 2014 as the bedroom recording project of Michael Prendiville, Transmission Club is quickly becoming one of the most unique acts in the Irish music scene. The band’s diverse sonic palette combines elements of indie, folk and grunge, textured with harmonium, violin, keyboards, guitars, drum machines and loops. Recording takes place in bedrooms and living rooms in Cork, giving the music a raw, untrammelled feel. Transmission Club’s first EP, Salt, was released in November 2015, gaining airplay on The Alternative with Dan Hegarty (2fm), The Paul McLoone Show (Today FM) and on 8Radio. Transmission Club also recorded a live session for The Paul McLoone Show in January 2016. Salt was voted No.1 in The Last Mixed Tape’s Reader’s E.P of the Year 2015 Poll. The video for “Taking Off (Blackhole)” was nominated for a Pure M award for Best Music Video in 2017.
‘The Hour of the Wolf’ is a spellbinding three track combo that enthralls and captivates the listener in its luscious deeply moving soundscapes. From the atmospheric and delicately moving ‘This War’ with its elegance and tender tones nudged by warm guitar twinkles, soft percussion and sweet string strides, this bands sophisticated and deeply poignant musicianship becomes apparent. The band build the track meticulously, slowly brooding as if every breath, every note takes its own pace, gently conveying the heart breaking theme. The track builds to a distorted explosive crescendo which sends shivers down your spine. They write tunes that make you listen, grab your attention and tear your heart out. They do this not only through sweet tenderness but through gritty dark instrumentation too. ‘Taking Off (Blackhole)’ is simply magnificent. Eerie vocals coo over lamenting strings and a dark murky guitar riff. Once again distortion is placed perfectly to add urgency and a sense of dizzying panic through this sublime gripping experience. The elegance of the strings is the perfect contrast to the psychedelic haunting soundscapes. This bands ability to creating wholly enthralling tunes that fill you with emotion from melancholic and sweet to haunting and chilling is fantastic. They execute their instruments with a fine tuned precision that is masterful. ‘The Porcupine Dilemma’ brings us to the end of our mesmerising journey with Transmission Club. It’s a soft little gem that features glistening guitar between emotional, warm vocals while lush backing vocals, a thumping beat and graceful strings fill out the sound. It’s deeply moving and passionate as the divine melody fluidly flows over the tapping rhythm and delicate instrumentation. ‘The Hour of the Wolf’ EP is a thought provoking well structured treasure trove that fills you with vivid instrumentation, oodles of passion with wholesome melodies running throughout. It’s a thoroughly satisfying and rich experience.
‘The Hour of the Wolf’ will be available from July 13th on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify. A limited CD run of the E.P will be available also.
Cascadia Fault Line are an indie three piece located in Liverpool.The band have recently released their debut album ‘Told A Thousand Times’ along with the release of their latest single ‘Grace’. This smooth gentle number glistens with delicate guitar and soothing vocals to start before building into a vibrant bursting chorus. It’s a heartwarming listen that has a golden hue like a sunflower flowing in a summers breeze.The tapping beat unfolds into a punchy dynamic bounce and the guitars become more aggressive and sharp as the track progresses. Rachael Dunn’s vocals remain sweet and graceful throughout as this dreamy floaty number evolves becoming more hefty and edgy instrumentally. It’s a dainty little ditty that packs in a heavy dose of emotion. This subtle yet hard hitting, sun speckled number will have you in a haze of sweet melancholic nostalgia.
The Elephant Room are a three piece band from Wexford, Cork and Louth based in Dublin and have been purveyors of their own genre Alco-Pop since early 2017. As a band they haven’t forgotten about the importance of having a hook. They inject their melodies with lyrics that switch between either abstract word painting or touch on the more dark and honest aspects of human nature. In late 2017 the band recorded an eight track EP in a Studio in Bray and in May 2018 released it across all platforms independently. The band recorded live with very few overdubs attempting to capture the authenticity of the three piece playing together in a room. What little overdubs that were used plays to the bands love of using subtle studio experimentation such as using analog organs and playing autoharp through Lesley speakers. Since their inception they have been regularly gigging the indie scene playing nights such as The New Love & Terror Cult in The Sin É, Gigonometry in the Workmans and The Midnight Hour in Whelans. The band have now released a video for their single ‘Blue Horrors’ which is taken from their ‘Music On The Bones’ EP.
With its hazy dreamy atmosphere creating a euphoric backdrop for the sweet calming melody ‘Blue Horrors’ is a tranquillising creation from The Elephant Room. Light shaky percussion rattles and bounces off a steady beat and psychedelic hued instrumentation while lush backing vocals coo behind creating a little world of soothing bliss. The velvety vocals caress the luscious melody while warm guitars gently stride and playfully weave between the rich percussion. It’s a laid back number that sways and glides with a gentle little spring in its step creating a delightful easy going atmosphere which consumes you in a bubble of euphoric bliss. It’s a sedating soothing gem which develops steadily becoming a little more intense as striking symbols and strong guitar strides increase for the psychedelic- esque crescendo. This compact track is brimming with infectious grooves that are subtle enough to add luscious flavours without becoming overpowering. They maintain a heavenly, floaty vibe with a touch of sweet monotony that is just captivating- leaving you craving more.
Cal Raasay has released ‘Over Blue’, the lead single from his ‘Still’ EP. The ‘Still’ EP is the follow up to last year’s double A side single ‘(still the) Horizon’ / ‘Afore (sun)’ and features four brand new tracks including the lead single ‘Over Blue’. Taking his surname from an Island off the West Coast of Scotland where he spent his childhood holidays, Cal Raasay is the moniker of songwriter, composer and producer Callum Lawson. He released his debut five track EP ’57 – 6′ in April last year which was the result of twelve months spent building a studio in his hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Acclaimed by local press and featured on a number of playlists, the EP was also picked up by radio and was played by Nick Roberts at BBC Introducing North East and BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq. A quick follow up, the aforementioned ‘(still the) Horizon’ / ‘Afore (sun)’ single, arrived just a month later and the sparser and more reflective sound of the two songs saw him compared to artists such as Nils Frahm and Bon Iver.
‘Over Blue’ is a beautiful elegant piece of work that twinkles and glides with a grandeur and finesse that is mesmerising. Inspired by the recent purchase of his first piano from a lady in Scarborough, the music here attempts to capture Raasay’s deep exploration of the sounds and differing textures from said keyed instrument. The piano glistens and drifts in a floaty dreamy manner oozing depth and warmth while the flickering sweet trills add a fairy-like magical quality to the piece as the melody twists between melancholy and menace to great effect. It’s an entrancing majestic piece that feels wholesome and pure with rich depths and sweet tones.
To coincide with the release of his new EP, Newcastle based producer, Cal Raasay will play a special live date on Saturday the 19th of May 2018. He will perform three half hour solo piano performances from 7pm at Bamburgh House Arts Centre as part of ‘The Late Shows’ culture crawl in Newcastle over the weekend of 18th – 19th May for more see here https://thelateshows.org.uk/
Dublin’s alternative rock band Motions have released their new EP, ‘The Late Night Calls’ is a superb majestic EP to indulge in. Title track ‘Late Night Calls’ flows in with a beautiful melody on top of cool flicking electronics. With ethereal guitars providing a breezy sting, it’s an airy richly textured track that packs in oodles of passion into a fluttering danceable number. The snappy ‘Back & Forth’ follows. It’s a catchy track filled with buzz swirling electronics while a sputtering rhythm injects between lush backing vocals. This track is dipped in darker tones as harsher vocals exude swagger and attitude. My favourite track on the EP ‘Back & Forth’ showcases a rich depth and musical proficiency that keeps the listener hanging on to every gripping note. Its sway like tempo and jangly guitar are just the icing on this delicious cake. It’s the sublime little gem of the EP. A trickling ‘Interlude’ breaks up the sticky intensity before final track ‘Waiting To Tell You’ reintroduces their mellow fluid sound. A creamy melody glissades upon a fluctuant beat while aerial guitars twinkle around with a sweet blissful tone that holds a sense of mind relaxing freedom. Its dreamy and light yet Motions mix a bit of grit into the mix for the bridge.
Motions prove that they can create a passionate wholly satisfying collection of tracks that submerge you into a universe created completely by them. Each track is catchy, intricate and well layered while maintaining its own identity. ‘Late Night Calls’ is a sublime listen.
Tiny Eyes is a one-man band from Leicester, a singer and producer who’s reared himself on the understated elegance of lovelorn balladeers from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. After cutting his teeth as the frontman of an angst-rock band for a few years, Tiny Eyes auteur Joel Evans met his partner (singer/songwriter Martha Bean) and found himself mellowing out. Feeling disconnected from the angst-ridden world of thrashing guitars his band drifted apart. It was around that time that he’d acquired an upright piano from the 1920’s.He quickly found a new musical voice and tonality that harmonised with his maturing tastes. He is a narrative songwriter in the classic sense, employing clever turns of phrase and vivid imagery to weave imaginatively and provocative yarns into his music. He has now released his new single ‘Falling’ taken from the ‘Tiny Eyes’ EP which is due out May 19th. ‘Falling’ is a soft flurry of feather-like bliss. A luscious heartfelt melody glides with a romantic sway-like grandeur. Its short sweet arrangement displays his sophisticated mindful approach. A beautiful elegant piano feature wanders through the subtle passionately dainty vocal melody. This track flows in a wave of dreamy calm tranquillity. Its the Shangri-la of mind numbing elation. With a crisp sound and gentle approach Evans creates the perfect little pocket in this crazy world to take time to breath and let go. Tiny Eyes is a brilliant and unique new sound that you can fall in love with.
The accompanying video is exemplary of the DIY ethos Tiny Eyes employs in every aspect of his artistry. Comprised of two layers superimposed on each other and shot almost wholly on an iPhone (half the footage through rave glasses), it’s a homemade psychedelic visual accompaniment to the lo-fi retro pop universe that Tiny Eyes creates through his expansive songwriting.
Watch the video for ‘Falling’ below
Dublins alternative rock foursome, Brass Phantoms have released their new single ‘Waiting Up’. The band have played extensively all over the country and have Sunsets Festival and Guinness Amplify performances under their belt, as well as headlining shows at Dublin’s Workman’s and Whelan’s. Their track ‘City Of Wolves’ was released last year and was play listed on our national broadcaster RTE 2fm leading to a BBC Introducing slot for BBC Radio Ulster, and live sessions across stations like NOVA and 4fm. They finished last year at the Other Voices festival and have been booked for various showcases and Ones To Watch festivals this year as well as this summers Indiependence with Manic Street Preachers and SIGMA (full line up to be announced). ‘Waiting Up’ is a rush of sonic laden aerial indie. Soaring to skyscraper heights this track is sublime almost heavenly. The rapid tribal tinged beat teamed with rooted rolling bass gives the track grounding and a solid foundation to bounce off before it escapes and ascends into the elevated chorus. The sharp sting on guitar adds a breezy refreshing sensation as the track builds into a blustery thrilling crescendo. Smooth vocals coo to start with a velvety texture building and becoming more animated as the track progresses, while the lush uplifting backing vocals soar above with sweet elevated buoyancy. The superb production and breathtaking musicianship makes ‘Waiting Up’ a stunning display of Brass Phantoms compact remarkable soundscape
Ziegler Co. are an alt-Indie-Pop four piece based in London. Band members Adam J. Morgan, Daniel Priddle, Fraser Rieley and Michael Benöhr have released three EPs and six singles through Foof Records in the last two years.They have gigged extensively over the UK and have played at festivals including Green Man, Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury. They have also supported, amongst others, the Penguin Café Orchestra. Their latest EP ‘Soap & Water’ was recorded at an ex-girlfriend’s house during a long rainy summer weekend, and indulges the band’s reflective song-writing side and captures a softer sound not heard in their previous release. ‘Clarity’ is the first track on the EP and showcases a sophisticated immersed sound complete with an elegance and delicate charm that is mind easing. Graceful piano twinkles and sparkles like shimmering water while the warm cooing vocals soothe and wash over you with an almost purifying presence. The simplistic beat anchors the track letting the glistening mellow guitar and piano almost dance together as their melodies sway and glide with grandeur. Beautifully crafted, this track fills you with a feeling of piece and tranquillity. The song builds to a stronger more instrumentally intense crescendo with eerie haunting backing vocals where you realise the melancholy darker undertone. Ziegler Co. have produced a tightly wrapped track that lets the listener unwind with a lyrical depth and profoundness that leaves an imprint on your soul. The video for Clarity was directed by Anna Patarakina who is a great friend of the band and directs/DPs almost all of Clean Bandit’s videos.
Ziegler Co. are currently sitting on another four tracks which they recorded last year so hopefully they will be released soon.Looking forward to that.
Watch the video for ‘Clarity’ below
Indie: (n) an obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself.