Our Worth A Listen This Week is Mini Mansions ‘Flashbacks’
Los Angeles’ finest Mini Mansions have released a collection of unreleased/unheard B-Side tracks entitled ‘Flashbacks’. This follows their critically acclaimed second album ‘The Great Pretenders’ which was released in 2015. The trio , vocals and drummer Michael Shuman, vocals and keyboardist Tyler Parkford, bassist and multi instrumentalist Zachary Dawes have compiled a collection of nine ravishing tracks that smash all boundaries. We couldn’t choose just one track for our worth a listen but then, why would you choose one when their are nine spine tingling beauties.
‘Flashbacks’ kicks things off with ‘Drive’ a snappy quick step luscious track with Dawes’ fuzzed bass giving an ecstatic bounce. Parkford’s sweet delicate vocals introduces the nectarous melody with Shuman’s backing vocals adding a lush heavenly texture. The fluidity of this track makes it so easy on the ears and soothing with sugar coated sparkle. Building into heavier fuzzed rock instrumentation Mini Mansions introduce us to their gritty glam rock sprinkled with a smooth mouthwatering sweet 60s texture. With the sudden change to deep bass vocals by Shuman a warm mellow tone is added to the rich mix. ‘Drive’ knocks it out of the park and hooks you into the trio’s unique dreamy world of psychedelia and rock.‘Bored To Death’ coos and lulls into a gentle slow dance. With raspy vocals and tender lyrics teamed with elegant keys and dexterous chord progression creating a catchy soothing track that stops time, stilling everything around except for the beautiful melody. Lush harmony and gently sorrowful tones add purity and elegance. The track builds in intensity as a heartbroken tone takes over with heavy rhythm. The sweetened sting on guitar with soft piano and a light beat plays the track out with echoing gingerly soft repetitive vocals.
‘Ticket For One’ illuminates with a bright melody and multi-textures. The infectious slap whack beat combined with nimble keys and Dawes’ sharp elastic bass giving the track a rubber ball rebound effect. The call and response vocals between soft Parkford and deep Shuman as they interact with syrupy smooth melodies that will give you “stuck song syndrome”. Leading effortlessly and perfectly into ‘Ticket For Two’ a witty bouncy track with the catchy and almost “dollish” twinkle piano effect. Adding a catchy “clap clap” effect and steady striking bass ‘Ticket for two’ is a “tour de force” as it pulls similarities from ‘Ticket For One’ while developing a distinctive sound. Of course there is no great genius without a mixture of madness especially where Mini Mansions are concerned as they lead us into a frenzy of heavy manical moshing to end this fantastic track.
‘Fiona’ which we previously featured on Indie Buddie has a darkened dreamy tone and swoon-like atmosphere coated in hazy psychedelia. Once again Parkford and Shuman share vocals as they weave and intertwine melodies with warm seductive textures. The drums exude an oomph and panache to start and then seduce and coax when teamed with the smooth velvety vocals. They build into a sweep and bluster for the intense massive crescendo before the tone slows to a soft gentle echo finish.
‘Shape Recorder‘ has a spooky Halloween party track feeling to start with the peppy organ. The track maintains a sneaky eerie tone with psychedelic fuzz and heavy daunting instrumentation. Its a swirling confusion of blurry haunting fun and dangerous shady obscurity. The intensity of the track fades to a sweet soft vocal with lush harmonies before a final burst of instrumentation.
‘Valet’ is our taste of sensual reggae with Hendrix- esque guitar to start. This body grooving track is effortlessly cool and sleek and shows Mini Mansions in a new light. Its a sit back and bop to the music feel good tasteful track. Shuman’s warm deep vocals contrasting with Parkford’s candied falsetto towards the end adds a charming multi dimension. Exuding fiery strutting swagger with a captivating stride and flaunt this track is magnetic and tantalising.
‘Little Al Capone’ begins with a strong “digging” labour intensive beat and bass vocals adding grounding and depth. The track builds into a theatrical quick passed track with rapid beat and sprightly piano. Tight harmony on vocals and a vibrant dynamism and oomph instrumentation add passion and slappy elasticity. The track sounds like it could have been taken from a scene from a musical where the actors are hard at work, slogging through the daily grindstone.
‘Shadow’ completes our musical journey with the mysterious Mini Mansions in a sombre nostalgic tone. Its labyrinth of interweaving textures meandering through a delicate tender melody and heavenly sweet lavish vocals give this track opulent textures and diversity. The dreamy Utopian wistfulness and visionary fantasy set to swirling rapid beat and whine on guitars in a sway – like motion gives this track an abstracted feeling, like it was all a dream.
Mini Mansions are like a fine wine maturing and coming into their own. ‘Flashbacks’ could have been an album as each track opens your mind to their unique classy musicianship as they guide you into a journey of fantasy and rich textures unwinding your mind and unravelling your senses.
You can buy ‘Flashbacks’ and other Mini Mansions goodies here http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/mini-mansions/exclusives
Watch the video for Fiona below
Philadelphia’s surf/soul band Palmas have released their new single ‘Flowers’. Band members Eric Camarota ( guitarist) , Matthew Young (guitarist) , Adam Cantiello ( guitarist), Pat Degan (drummer) and Kurt Cain (vocalist) present us with their perfect blend of delicious sweet swirling melodies and experimental array of instrumentation. This Beatles – esque track bursts with luscious psychedelic features adding a euphoric dreamland vibe interweaving with blissful honeyed vocals and lush heavenly harmonies. Its a succulent beautifully delicate track that blossoms and flourishes as Palmas add a complex orchestral arrangement. The twirling trippy 60’s vibe consumes you in a gentle flurry of delightful intoxication as you are wrapped up in a colourful floral blanket of warm cosy tones and rich textures. With aptly placed percussion and the balmy mellow depth of the strings, it is an absolute joy and satisfactory listen. Palmas are budding into a fantastic band these guys deserve to do well.
Stream ‘Flowers’ below
Cape Town alt-rockers Caelo have released their debut single ‘All You Need’. The rock trio have been busy making a name for themselves on the fertile Cape Town music scene since they formed in 2014. The band was initially an experimental two-piece consisting of frontman Joel Bronner and drummer Michael Dickens they soon expanded their ranks to include guitarist-turned-bassist Mat Winfield. Caelo have a knack for dexterous guitar work and an ear for singalong melodies and their debut single doesn’t disappoint.
‘All You Need’ is a headlong rapid whirlwind of fuzzed riffs and grunge pop hooks. Its breakneck style is a slap in the face of pummelling rock with robust pounding drums and razor sharp guitars. Its mosh worthy, frenzy causing hefty rock which lightens for the verses revealing their flair for ear-worm sugar coated pop melodies. This track gives you your cake and lets you eat it, well probably smudges it in your face. Exuding a grunge turbulent attitude with dynamic vocals this track packs a punch.
Stream ‘All You Need’ below
Divine Youth comprise of members Dan Sheldon (Guitar/Vocals), Michael Sheldon (Bass/Vocals) and Liam Kaye (Drums) from Stoke-on-Trent. They released their track ‘Please Pour Away Those Petrol Eyes’ a few months ago. The indie trio caught our eye as they produce a unique sound with vibes reminiscent of Pulp and the early noughties guitar bands. ‘Please Pour Away Those Petrol Eyes’ is an energetic spirited track that is muted or somewhat subdued while still remaining lively. The track is coated in nostalgic tones with Sheldon’s raspy whispered vocals adding a haunting inviting quality. The vocals manage to be soft yet ooze passion with a sort of scream- like dampened yell or howl. Divine Youth draw the listener in with a mysterious alluring quality and captivating magnetism. With driving enchanting euphoric guitars and elastic springy rhythm that add a dreamy calming effect that is soothing yet sorrowful.
Divine Youth are an innovate unique band that have a bright future ahead.
Stream ‘Please Pour Away Those Petrol Eyes’ below
Dublin’s Alternative band Swords released their new single ‘Betty Machete’ in July. Diane Anglim (vocals & piano), Jarlath Canning (bass, guitars & synth) and Ian Frawley (drums) have created a catchy beaming track that glows with bright textures and an upbeat snappy ball of elastic rhythm. The golden hook pulls you into a marshmallow of sweet lush melody. Anglim’s honeyed vocals are delicate and captivating while the fuzzed bass and guitars add a kick and psychedelic buzz to the track. The rapid soft slap beat drives the song and gives a playful quality and an infectious clap-along feature. ‘Betty Machete’ is instantly likeable and with an ear worm sing along chorus you will want to put it on repeat and enjoy its feel good vibe.
Stream ‘Betty Machete’ below
Everywhere are an alternative rock band from London. The band consists of members Max Berga (Vocals), Joe Sanders (Bass), Hugo Hadji (Guitar), Boris Massot (Drums) and Joe Bates (Keys). Since their Hypemachine charting debut ‘Eddie’, Everywhere’s music has been streamed millions of times on YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. They made their first International appearance at the 2013 NME Awards in the UK, playing alongside Django Django and Palma Violets, and later went on to support the Kaiser Chiefs and headline Notting Hill Arts Club in London. Following the release of their critically praised single ‘Shades At Night’ the five piece have released a new track ‘Some Other Dude’. It is the second single off their ‘Sophomore’ EP due out in September this year. During the recording process of the new EP the band have divided their time between Stockholm, Los Angeles and London to collaborate with multiple producers, including American hit maker Mark Needham (The 1975, The Killers).
‘Some Other Dude’ gives us a taste of what we can expect from their EP. The track is “about the importance of seizing an opportunity before it goes out the window”. Its a fist pumping high energy confidence building anthem with escalating dynamic vocals teamed with soaring chorus and infectious melody. The elastic groovy bass and bopping punchy drums gives this track a dance effect and a “carpe diem” feel. Its bursting with energetic “go for it” attitude. The accelerated luminous guitar raises your spirits adding that feel good factor. The soft shimmering synths gives a subtle upsurge and encouraging burst to the track. ‘Some Other Dude’ is richly textured with a fantastic uplifting melody. It will have you dancing ridiculously around the room in no time.
Stream ‘Some Other Dude’ below
Edgar Duke are a psychedelic-funk rock band from Leeds. The band consist of members Tom O’Reily (lead guitar and vocals), James Raymond (drums) and Luke Strange (bass). Their slick bluesy track ‘You And I’ caught our attention this week. Its a confident funky track oozing swagger and strut quality. Edgar Duke pull in a variety of styles and sounds creating their own blend of seductive smooth tones that spark fiery steamy 70s suave while maintaining cool and indifferent. The sharp sting of the guitar keeps the track fresh and adds an edge and zest, while the elastic bass gives that hip swaying flirtatious effect. The rapid beat is smooth and keeps the track spirited and light while adding a brawn and muscle. The track is catchy and with dynamic vocals is a fantastic listen. Keep an eye out for Edgar Duke. ‘You And I’ shows these guys have great potential.
Stream ‘You And I’ below
Hailing from Frankfort, Indiana, the man behind Mucklo, Michael J. Hall, started writing music at a young age. In High School, Michael played many punk rock shows as the guitarist and vocalist for a progressive, genre-clashing four piece psych rock band called, Split Lips and Lemons. After departing from Split Lips and Lemons, Michael began meeting a lot of phenomenal local musicians and commenced to playing bass for both an original blues rock band, The Down Low Kickers, and a Grateful Dead cover band, The Graciously Departed (formally known as Band And Dave). Hall has taken his experience and has been perfecting the lyrics and sound of the project he now calls Mucklo. The name Mucklo stems from a bolt-making artist who worked out of the same local factory Hall and his family worked at for a time. Hall fully composes, writes and produces his music. He has a passion for home recording and a knack for instruments, Hall can play the guitar, mandolin, drums, harmonica and autoharp, to name a few.
Mucklo released the track ‘Double Dealing’ earlier this year. It is an alluring and enticing song with entrancing shadowy tones that lure you into the darkest depths of the track. Mucklo traps you in this intoxicating atmosphere while seducing you with his bass- driven bobbing groove. The track develops into a sticky gooey head bopping trip with bouncy guitars and a soft pop punch beat. The shredding guitar solo freshes up the track and adds to the psychedelic trip while the vocals are dismal and draw the listener in giving a narcotic hypnotic effect that is eerie yet soothing.
Stream ‘Double Dealing’ below
Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Farebrother
Farebrother are Bath’s latest indie alternative band. Tom Hunt, Michael Vowell and Matt Day, make up the indie three-piece. The band have become known for their electric performances and have already won an endorsement with Mass Records while also receiving interest from All Saints, Olympus and Mini who have incorporated the high-energy, hook filled tracks into their media campaigns. 2015 saw them perform at some of Bristol and Bath’s most iconic venues, such as The Louisiana and The Nest. Farebrother have now released their debut EP ‘Rapture’ this year.
The title track from their debut EP is our worth a listen track this week. ‘Rapture’ is a fully formed snappy track that is so well composed its difficult to reconcile yourself to the fact that it was taken from their debut EP. Farebrother ease you into the track with a reserved verse to start. Its stripped back with light accompaniment and bare vocals that give a rawness to the track and establish the vocal melody. They then introduce their fantastic energetic sound with walls of crunching guitar and pounding rapid drums that drive the track forward. The vocals are strong and confident and exude swagger and emotion. The track builds into an anthem fist pump that is arena worthy. Its a crowd -pleaser with its catchy chorus that is infectious and gives that feel good fiery atmosphere to the track. Farebrother appear to have mastered the art of writing tunes that connect with an audience, these guys definitely have a bright future ahead of them.
Stream ‘Rapture’ below
Harbouring Oceans are an alternative Pop, Art Rock band from Kilkenny. The band consist of Dan Pearson (Guitar/Lead Vocals), Geoff Warner-Clayton (Keys/Vocals), Benedict Warner-Clayton (Drums), Ken Farrell (Bass) and Thomas Donoghue (Lead Guitar). The five-piece released their debut single, ‘Enso’ in May this year. It is the first release from a band who’s members have been playing together in different projects for over a decade and finally after years of experimenting with their sound across Ireland in some of the country’s biggest venues and festivals, Harbouring Oceans was born in December 2015.
‘Enso’ is a tender emotive track tightly packed in a soulful stirring melody and bound with deep rhythmic grooves. Pearson’s vocals are clear and exude raw passionate emotion with lush close harmony in backing vocals that adds a delicate and dainty quality to the track. ‘Enso’ begins in a soft ambient manner that builds as the song progresses. The light piano feature adds grace and elegance to this beautiful track. The guitars interweave through the music and teamed with the groove of the bass give elasticity to track which adds a flexible sway -like quality. Harbouring Oceans have found a blend of soulful, sensual, raw emotional music that evokes your senses and touches your soul.
Watch out for these guys.
Stream ‘Enso’ below