Category Archives: Synth Rock

Worth A Listen

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…”

You Can Catch Pale Rivers live at :

August 5th – Indiependence

August 24th – The Roundy – Cork

 

Stream  ‘Icefield’ below

 


Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From BØRNS 

 

BØRNS is the stage name of American singer songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Garrett Borns. Borns released his second album ‘Blue Madonna’ earlier this year and I have been obsessed with the track ‘We Don’t Care’ ever since. Joined once again by producer Tommy English, Borns takes the delicious indie synth pop from his ‘Dopamine’ debut and fleshes it out blending in some dreamy, psychedelic, electric pop flavours along with a dash of glam sprinkled rock and roll which we see in ‘We Don’t Care’.  Its walloping Bo Diddley rhythm drives the infectious groove creating a Will Young ‘Switch It On’ – esque danceable foundation while jangly guitars slide and glide upon this sublime jittery backdrop. Borns’ nectarous vocals slither between a whisper for the enticing verses and lush falsetto for the infectious chorus. The melody is juicy and sweet honey to the ears. The sugary electronics swirl and seep between the clap along beat and fuzz filled guitar spreading a candied lusciousness throughout this electrifying gem. The layering is sublime and the track slowly builds in intensity to a dynamic feverous crescendo. It’s a slick swagger soaked display that struts with smooth precision in every note making for a consuming, enthralling and enjoyable experience. ‘We Don’t Care’ is an ear-worm you won’t be able to prise out of your mind as you dance and flop around the room.

Watch the video for ‘We Don’t Care’ below


METHODS ‘Fires’

After the release of their debut single, ‘Sanctuary’, and a number of live shows throughout 2017, METHODS return with their new single ‘Fires’. METHODS are a Wolverhampton based, 5 piece, made up of, Ash Bradley (Vocals), Jon Nash (Keys), Ryan Deakin (Guitar), Pete Bates (Drums) and Adam Hall (Bass). They play a mix of dark electro indie with Influences including the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream, Editors, Interpol etc… The band are currently putting together a tour around the UK to promote the band and their new single, ‘Fires’ which is currently available to pre order on iTunes and released on 15th June via Hellhole Records .The five piece have recently been played on BBC Introducing West Midlands and toured with The Twang.

METHODS have produced a catchy passionate little pearl with ‘Fires’. They blend a bitter sweet concoction of dark gritty rhythms with ethereal guitars and a delicate sweet melody seamlessly to create an enthralling emotional experience. The shimmering synths flicker and glisten between the throbbing beat adding an aerial breezy atmosphere to the rooted rhythmic foundation while airy guitars soar and bite throughout cutting the lofty atmosphere with a razor sharp sting and shot of glowing vibrancy. The guitar tone is melancholic as it whines and laments along the sombre melody while velvety passionate vocals caress and ooze gripping emotion. The lyrics are moving and the chorus is infectious, tender and delicate. It’s a passionate heart breaking display from METHODS.

When asked about the track singer, Ash Bradley said :
“Fires, is a song about the break up of a relationship. About two people who have been together for a long time, growing a part. Both using actions to show there feelings, instead of speaking to each other. Thoughts get locked away. The only way for them both to move forward is for it all to end.”

Stream ‘Fires’ below


Bastille ‘Quarter Past Midnight’

Bastille have released their new single ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ which is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming third album, the follow-up to 2016’s UK No. 1 album ‘Wild World’. The past half-decade has certainly been a whirlwind for the four-piece, who comprise frontman Dan Smith (who is the sole songwriter, and co-produces all the tracks alongside Mark Crew), keyboardist Kyle Simmons, bassist and guitarist Will Farquarson, and drummer Chris Wood. They’ve played over 500 shows across six continents, including their recent, critically acclaimed ReOrchestrated tour, and have amassed 15 million single sales and 6 million album sales globally. Both ‘Bad Blood’ and its follow-up, ‘Wild World’, reached No.1 in the UK and the top 10 in the US, and their music has been streamed a staggering 3.3 billion times. They’ve not gone without awards recognition either: after winning British Breakthrough Act at the BRITs, they’ve earned Grammy, AMA and MTV Europe Awards nominations. The new single which was recorded and self-produced in the band’s newly built studio which also houses Smith’s record label Best Laid Plans (Rag N’Bone Man, Rationale), is set to follow their upward trend.

‘Quarter Past Midnight’ is a surging rush of the anthemic bliss Bastille do so well. Driven by a snapping breakbeat and adrenaline flooding drums which fill the track with a shot of exhilaration that dashes through your veins while the infectious melody melts on top of kinetic electronic soundscapes. Oozing tones of excitement and elation this track whizzes with an effervescence that grabs you and makes you want to let loose, dance, sing and just expel all your stress and worries. Sweet toned guitar jangles weave coolly between this delicious explosion of sounds creating a warm delicate braid –  tying all the luscious component parts together while injecting a little stream of zest throughout track. Smiths smooth vocals seamlessly flow between his velvety baritone and sweet falsetto making for a dynamic listen. It’s vivid cinematic chorus provides that final burst of ecstasy that will have you hooked and craving more. Bastille never disappoint.

About the track frontman Dan Smith says: “It’s just about trying to capture that Sliding Doors moment on a night out. Some people are gonna go home; for some this is just the beginning. It became about being in someone’s car, driving through the city, and I wanted to try and capture that sense of excitement, and that rush.”

Stream ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ below

 


Brass Phantoms ‘Disciples’

Dublin indie rock/post-punk outfit Brass Phantoms have released their new single ‘Disciples’. Last year the bands track ‘Waiting Up’ garnered widespread airplay across Irish radio, as well as being featured on BBC Radio 6 and Spotify curated playlists, and last month their single ‘City Of Wolves’ was used across television campaigns to promote the UEFA Champions League.They have been part of festivals including Other Voices and Indiependence, as well as headlining sold-out shows in Dublin. Before heading on tour at the end of last year, the Metro in London listed the five piece as ‘Artist of the Week’ and have just signed a distribution deal with Believe Digital after their recent UK and US tour.

‘Disciples’ is an overwhelming whack of soaring indie. Swirling synth soundscapes and ethereal guitars create an immaculate celestial atmosphere which encapsulates the snappy dynamic rhythm in a whirlwind of rushing adrenaline. These together, crash and collide in a dramatic fashion to deliver a thrilling powerful sound. Brass Phantoms never create their tracks by half measures its all in and mighty and this track is no different. So many lush intricate components weave, rebound and flicker within this track creating a juicy rich full-bodied tune to completely immerse yourself in. It’s breezy with haunting dark tones folded tightly into its inner core. Ryan Cashell’s vocals are as powerful and expressive as ever with his rooted deep range surging ominous tones for the verses and exuding passion with compelling potency for the chorus. The guitars are just magnificent with sharp, stinging, jagged strides intertwining with curving intricate melodies. It’s superbly composed – majestic yet chilling and hair-raisingly glorious. Another knock out track from the five piece.

In support of the track Brass Phantoms will be touring across Ireland supporting Delorentos with MCD, as well as doing their own headline shows in London in The Finsbury on April 19th, and in the Workmans Club in Dublin on May 17th. Make sure to check them out.

Stream ‘Disciples’ below

 

 


Canto Falls ‘Tapestry’

Canto Falls are an explosive alternative indie-rock three piece based in London. Their new single ‘Tapestry’ will be released this Friday 26th. Having formed in 2016, founding members Mark Howarth and Adam Gillian quickly discovered a mutual appreciation of dense lyrics and careful musical arrangement combined with high-energy pop sensibilities and with the addition of James Thackeray’s shared eye for detail, the band’s unique and exciting sound began to take shape. Over the course of a year, the band have carefully crafted songs with exciting, high-energy compositions that demand your attention and blur the line between ‘pop’ and ‘indie-rock’. With their first single ‘Clarity’ released on the 2nd of October 2017 and the follow-up release ‘Tapestry’ set for release tomorrow, the three-piece have their sights set on making a fresh and explosive sonic impact.

‘Tapestry’ is a richly embellished über-catchy indie pop track brimming with sweet melody and vibrant colour. A lavish rumbling rhythm adds a nice whack of rough and tumble through the luscious pop speckled track. Jangly guitars glitter and sparkle throughout with delicate twinkles on keys flickering between smooth vocals and a dreamy positive melody. Its honey glazed and spongy, wrapped in candy coated refreshing pop. The sonic flecks add a shimmering magical quality while the zesty guitars provide enough sting to keep it breezy and invigorating. This sun kissed sweet little ditty will put a smile on your face and brighten any cloudy day.

For more follow Canto Falls here  https://www.facebook.com/cantofalls/

 


Indie Quick Picks

The Tates 

Genre: Indie pop

Bio:  The Tates  are a Welsh Indie Pop five piece consisting of Liam Fusco, Tom Ryan, Matt Kilgariff, Jac Robin and Shaun Gwizdak. This new track has been eagerly anticipated after the success of the band’s debut release ‘Electric Girl’. The song was supported by Huw Stephens, BBC Introducing, Radio 1 and gained Amazing radio playlisting as well as being A-listed on BBC Radio Wales. Energized by their summer tour in support of ‘Electric Girl’ a confident and inspired band returned to the studio in Cardiff to work with producer Steffan Pringle (Estrons, Himalayas, Future Of The Left) again.

Track: Water

Lyrically ‘Water’ asks a poetic question exploring themes of nature over nurture, as Tom the guitarist explains: “Are the flaws that we share with our parents who we are, or have we learnt from them? Are we free to be the people we want to be or are we trapped by our genetic makeup and our immediate environment and society?”

Why We Like It: It’s a refreshing glistening indie pop track. Infectious sun soaked and brimming with rich textures and melodies. Shimmering synths teamed with zesty stings on guitar and smooth vocals create a sublime hazy dazzling track so succulent and silky it’s mouth-wateringly good.

Follow The Tates on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/TheTatesOfficial/

Stream ‘Water’ below

Keeva

Genre: Singer songwriter, blues

Bio: Half Jordanian, half Irish singer Keeva was discovered after ex-White Denim members Austin Jenkins and Josh Block found her demos online. Growing up between Ireland, Jordan and also London, young Keeva has taken inspiration from musical traditions from all three places while also obsessing over the cult 45s of Sun Studios/RCA’s Studio B, alongside the likes of Patsy Cline & Willie Nelson to deliver her debut single Whiskey.

Track: Whiskey.

Why We Like It: It’s a timeless track elegant and delicate in its approach with graceful piano accompaniment and soulful emotional vocals. It’s strong, sure and brave as a firm chord progression gives strength and courage. The melody has sweet tender moments while also filling and seeping with firm endurance. It’s a power ballad for sure but more one to inject power to the listener to get up and get on with it.

Follow Keeva on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/keevamusic

Watch the video for Whiskey below

Polar States

Genre: Indie

Bio: Liverpool-based quartet Polar States début single won them the attention of Grammy Award winning producer Jon Withnall (Coldplay, Elbow) and since then its been none stop. The band have now released their debut four track EP ‘Lost’.

Track: ‘Lost’

Why We Like It: Title Track ‘Lost’ is the perfect example of Polar States infectious indie rock. Smattered in bubbly pop elements with a laid back smooth ear worm melody it’s a melodic flavoursome little ditty. Sharp guitar injections and dark undertones add a nice bite and gritty texture and teamed with punchy drums and lush vocals it’s the perfect blend. This track is radio ready and one which can be enjoyed by all.  Make sure to check out the rest of the EP it’s a doozy.

Follow Polar States on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/PolarStates/

Stream ‘Lost’ below

 Joe Russell-Brown

Genre: Dream Pop

Bio: 19-year-old Joe Russell-Brown’s has released his debut EP it is a collection of songs created on a cheap microphone and laptop in his grandma’s bungalow. It captures his transition from acoustic songwriter to dream-pop band leader

Track: Post-Youth Depression

When asked about the track Joe said: “Post-Youth Depression is a retrospective euphoria of the days you can only appreciate when they’re gone. It’s about friends, living in a shit town and the acceptance of whatever’s to come.”

Why We Like It: It’s a chilled lo-fi track, so soothing laid back and sweetly nostalgic. With slurred vocals and hazy soundscapes it’s like walking into a dream. The subtle guitar adds a whimsical idealistic mist to the track. Smothered in a blurred illusion that gives the track transparency, giving the sense of a euphoric memory in the back of your mind – you can’t grasp it as it is almost  vaporous just there to cherish in the moment but cannot be held on to. Another sublime EP which you should check out.

Follow Joe Russell-Brown on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/joerussellbrownmusic/

Watch the video for Post-Youth Depression below

Follow Our Indie Quick Picks Playlist On Spotify Here

 


The Cheap Thrills ‘Sentimentality’

The Cheap Thrills are a garage/psych pop band from Liverpool. Renowned for producing sonic pop songs with catchy hooks and melodies crafted and then recorded in the centre of Liverpool. The band have released their new single ‘Sentimentality’ and it’s a sugar rush of indie pop bliss. It is shaken and fizzed with crashing guitars splintering off punchy robust drums which adds a healthy dose of garage grittiness. Smooth vocals surge passion and youthful adrenaline over a jumpy bass line and spacey guitars while the infectious luscious melody sweetens the deal and leaves you craving more. With shimmering flashing synths adding a rush of breezy aerial freedom it’s a blood pumping blistering gush that will have you up dancing and bellowing out the lyrics in no time. The Cheap Thrills are an exciting band that create electrifying passionate tunes that leave you itching for more.

Watch the video for ‘Sentimentality’ below


Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Serene

Psychedelic Rock trio Serene have released a video for their new single ‘Havana’ which is the third single from their new album ‘The Lonely Road’. From the trippy flicker and stabbing acoustic intro this track sends shivers up your spine. It’s a throbbing gritty fuzzed wallop of the psychedelic rock this trio do so well. Blistering guitars fire through the track with red hot intensity. An infectious throbbing bassline grooves with a luring smoulder and punchy drums bruise deep while flashing wobbly synth soundscapes quiver and dazzle with bright kaleidoscopic scintillation. It’s an epileptic fit of psychedelic bliss. Raw edgy and razor sharp in all the right places Serene build the track slowly and meticulously right up to the dizzying hallucinogenic crescendo. Smooth swagger soaked vocals strut and prance around the beaming instrumentation with intensified emotion. Underneath all this acute fury there is a velvety smoothness and dreamy haze floating about. It’s tranquilizing and sweetly paralyzing to the harsh instrumental battering. It’s a mighty absolutely brilliant track from Serene. They are one of my favourite new bands at the moment and each track they release gets better and better. An exciting band to keep an eye out for. So good.

Watch the video for ‘Havana’ below


Deep City Diver Self-Titled Debut Album

Hackney indie rock band Deep City Diver will release their self-titled debut album on the 6th October. This trio have crafted an album with tracks anthemic in every way with their brand of guitar pop stamped all over it. Doused in synth soundscapes they bring each track to life and evoke every fiber of emotion in the listener. Their sound is ambitious and exciting fully polished and meticulously formulated, it doesn’t feel like a debut album it feels like the fourth or fifth album of a well-established  band. They know their sound and it’s so familiar and comfortable it’s like they have been around for years, yet fresh and new. ‘Easy Prey’ kicks off the album smothered in 80’s synth pop shimmer and sparkle. The melody is sombre and sway-like and Nico’s vocals coo and brood for the verses before becoming dynamic for the anthemic chorus. Running basslines and a snappy beat adds a dance-like shuffle while jingley guitars flicker and stride with swagger and panache. It’s an infectious 80’s flashback. This trio do exuberant fist pump anthems well and ‘Everyone Is Alone’ and ‘Another World’ display this perfectly. With Bon Jovi-esque fiery choruses, powerful vocals and that adrenaline pumping get up and dance your worries away vibe. They bring the rock and roll nostalgia to the album with melty ear worm melodies and some sharp guitar injections adding a bit of edge and rawness to their sound. ‘As the Crow Flies’ is a beautiful melodic tune. Wandering soundscapes wisp around strident guitars. It’s pretty sweet and tender however the musical background adds a film like dramatic sorrow and breezy sharpness. ‘Down On Wreckyn Street, I’m Ruined’ is another indie rock thumper. Energetic, boppy and vibrant smothered in vitality with a dash of airy synths filling out the sound and giving a refreshing little multi dimension to the track. ‘Nothing Hurts’ is an elastic guitar driven tune. A rebounding spring on guitars adds buoyancy before the shredding air guitar worthy solo. ‘Honeyeater’ another slow burner with a strong thumping beat and elegant honey drizzled melody gives a 60’s feel mixed with a bit of the The Smiths. Probably my favourite track on the album for its depth and sweet sorrow filled guitar feature. It’s richly emotive and Nico’s vocals are immensely passionate and divine. It’s a tearjerker for sure utterly romantic and raw, just sublime to listen to.‘Living In The Hyphen’ and album closer ‘Youth’ are the delicate ballads. Beautiful melodies and smouldering synths create a dark sorrowful atmosphere swirling around Nico’s compelling emotion-filled vocals. ‘Youth’ displays Nico’s vocal depth.It’s a little organ-y which adds warmth to the track and once again this track is very passionate and heart wrenching. It’s a short track, just over two minutes bringing a nice end to the album. With simple accompaniment it leaves space for contemplation.

Deep City Diver have compiled a collection of tracks that speak to the heart, live in the moment whatever that moment is and makes you feel something. It’s an emotional journey of highs and lows dramatic anthemic tracks that are massive and fiery to slow tender pure passion and raw emotion. It’s epic guitar pop at its best.

You can catch Deep City Diver at their Vinyl Launch Gigs at

20th October 2017 – The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent (w/ DIVENIRE)

21st October 2017 – Blondies, London (w/ Bear Muda)

Stream ‘Another World’  below