Dum Dum Girls- Rimbaud Eyes
The shift in Dum Dum Girls' sound from a lo fi solo song writing project (as “a way to pass a lot of lonely and frustrated time”) has been a case of evolution not revolution, with EPs often acting as musical bridges between each album. And Dum Dum Girls' 3rd album Too True is an organic and natural sounding successor to 2011′s deeply personal Only In Dreams. The blissed out buzz saw garage sound has not been completely removed from DDG's sound, but Too True sees different influences coming to the fore. It’s an album that perhaps owes more to the paisley shirted psyche guitar jangle of UK bands from the 90′s, than to the Phil Spector wall of sound as demonstrated on the anthemic 'Rimbaud Eyes' .
‘Marbles’ is the first song to emerge from hotly tipped Bristol band TOWNS' début album Get By (released on May 2014 on Howling Owl Records) a prodigious psyche infused squalling post rave guitar anthem. It also manges to capture the energy, and swashbuckling nature of their live set.
The band state they see the visceral excitement of rock ‘n’roll as a way to escape the everyday humdrum of growing up in Weston-super-Mare and they “believe in the beauty, glamour and power of ‘proper’ pop music.” Amen to that.
Katie Cruel- Run
Katie Cruel is the alter ego/ musical brainchild of Wendy Rae Fowler, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Mark Lanaegan, The Duke Spirit, and We Fell to Earth. Her latest track ‘Run‘, the follow up to her mesmerising 2013 City City EP conjures up a miasma of ghostly dark brooding menace. Sounding like music from a twisted post apocalyptic Gothic spaghetti western ‘Run’ is hauntingly atmospheric, darkly sensual, and something of an epic. Word is she’s currently recording her début album, which will hopefully be released later in the year.
Majken-Dreaming Of Franco
Somewhere between Scandipop and U.S garage fuzz you’ll find Majken Christensen, a Danish born singer songwriter based in L.A. She releases music under her forename Majken and has recently unveiled her rather wonderful début EP Deronda Hotel.Deronda Hotel contains six tracks which serve to highlight Majken’s keen ear for melody and ability to address the darker side of life. The early lo fi shimmer of Dum Dum Girls and the quirky dark pop sensibility of Lykke Li are in evidence on tracks such as the effervescent surf pop of ‘Dreaming Of Franco’ and the hazy guitar jangle of ‘Fainted Love.’ But there’s also a dark atmosphere of foreboding on tunes such as ‘You And I’ which is reminiscent of Throwing Muses, and the ghostly ‘Madness'.
All in all an excellent début from an artist who will definitely be worth keeping tabs on during the coming year.
I Break Horses- Denial
'Denial is taken from the outstanding new I Break Horses album Chiaroscuro was written, performed, and produced entirely by Swedish chanteuse Maria Lindén. It's a body of work that combines the life affirming cinematic grandeur and vision of Sigur Rós, the emotional depth and glacial beauty of The Cocteau Twins with the introspective bleak beauty of Anna Von Hausswolff. It is an eminently worthy successor to I Break Horses critically acclaimed début album Hearts and sees Linden step out of the darkness into the light willing to take risks, to show herself and push her music in a different direction.
Sleepy Kitty- Don't You Start
Sleepy Kitty are based in St Louis and are comprised of Paige Brubeck on vocals and guitar and Evan Sult on drums, vocals and tapes. They met at a party and despite being involved in other bands at the time decided to start writing music together in their spare time. It was, says Sult an excuse to play around with “weirdo stuff that our own bands weren’t interested in doing”
Sleepy Kitty soon evolved into much more than an artistic side-project and their second album ‘Projection Room’ has had our ears a-quivering with delight. Perhaps what’s impressed us most is how Sleepy Kitty distil their influences into something that manages to be eclectic and yet works beautifully as a cohesive whole.
If you fancy plunging into an album that has hints of Debbie Harry fronting the Breeders or The White Stripes reviving the girl group sound as directed by David Lynch then Projection Room comes highly recommended. Sleepy Kitty weave their way through various musical wormholes and in doing so create something that sounds spontaneous melodic and hugely enjoyable.
Lyla Foy- Feather Tongue
Previously known as “Walls,” 25-year-old singer/ songwriter/ producer Lyla Foy has announced details of her debut album Mirrors The Sky which will be available on March 17 in Europe and March 18 in North America
The first track to emerge, the gorgeous ‘Feather Tongue’ affords us a tantalising glimpse of what the album may offer. Gentle understated electronic beats and bleeps underscore Lyla’s subtle dreamy vocal delivery, which is far more effective, and emotionally engaging than the histrionic over emoting and OTT arrangements on those dreadful singing TV shows.
It’s often said that less is more, and we’d heartily concur with one caveat – we are very much looking forward to hearing much more from Lyla Foy during the coming year.