Rosiel Elinor Dougall- Future Vanishes
‘Future Vanishes’ is the title track from Rose Elinor Dougall’s latest EP, and not a Tory Party policy aimed at the long term unemployed. It was released on 18/11/2013 via You Records and it mixes her trademark dreamy melodic vocals with a quintessentially English style of bittersweet indie pop. And it's good, it’s very very good, so good in fact that’d we’d suggest it’s her finest work to date. The Future Vanishes EP is an enthralling foretaste of what to expect from her highly anticipated second album (second, not f**king sophomore OK?) which is set for release in 2014. It seems an age since Rose released her critically acclaimed début ‘Without Why’ which was erm… acclaimed in the critical sense by critics but the EP proves good things come to those who wait and features three additional tracks , ‘Poison Ivy,’ ’Strange Warnings‘ and ‘Sink Back Into The Blue.’
City Calm Down- Speak To No End
Whilst Melbourne 4-piece City Calm Down continue to work on their début album which is scheduled for release in 2014, they give us a taste of what they have in store with their new single ‘Speak To No End’. Their previous releases have mixed chiming Bunnymen guitars, Simple Minds New Gold Dream era synths with the pop hooks of OMD to forge a dark electronic soundscape. ‘Speak No End’ has a similar sonic template, with a vocal that is somewhat reminiscent of Crispin Hunt from the excellent Long Pigs. This is sombre yet uplifting electropop at its very best and City Calm Down are certainly ones to listen out for in 2014.
Marina Gasolina- London Surf
Enigmatic Brazilian musician Marina Gasolina, one time L'Enfant terrible and former member of controversial baile funk stars Bondo do Rolê is to release her début album Commando on 11the December via Adriano Cintra’s (ex CSS) Coletiva Produtora label. Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt and Etienne Tron have also produced the album no less and lead track 'LondonSurf’ is a fantastic introduction to the idiosyncratic world of Marina Gasolina. Her oeuvre could be described as 'white trash electro rockabilly' and her début record is rammed with passion, attitude sass which at times sounds like Karen O fronting The Mary Chain soundtracking a Sergio Leone cyberpunk spaghetti western. In a world where Mumford and Sons hold sway, were retrograde fluff such as Haim is hailed by an unquestioning conformist hive mentality as “the next big thing” and where Miley Cyrus is described as some sort of empowered delphian feminist we really do need off the wall mavericks and innovators such as Marina Gasolina.
The Sun Days- You Can't Make Up My Mind
Quintessentially British indie guitar pop performed by a band who hail from erm… Gothenburg! It may be something of a faux pas to call yourselves The Sun Days (try googling it see how far you get – inevitably it will be as far as indie darlings of yesteryear the Sundays) but when your music’s as gorgeous, as yearningly beautiful as evocative as this band's début tune ‘You Can’t Make Up My Mind’, you could call yourself whatever you wanted. The band have only been together since September, released ‘You Can’t Make Up My Mind’ in October, and it so impressed Swedish indie label Luxury (home to the fantastic Makthaverskan) that just a day after its release they signed the band!
2014 looks set to be an exciting year for The Sun Days who consist of Johan Ramnebrink on bass (former bassist with punk band Frankdown) guitarist Simon Boontham (also formerly with Frankdown as guitarist and singer) with Joe Enocsson guitarist (formerly guitarist with post-rock band Diende,) Erik Bjarnar on drums with singer and model Elsa Holmgren on vocals. They are currently recording their follow up single and writing their début album, which is scheduled for release early next year.
The bands raison d’être is ‘to inspire f*cked up people to dance all over the world’ and this is a tune that perfectly encapsulates the sweet ache of youth. Those transient moments when the battle rages between the head and the heart, whilst underneath the harmonies and the pristine guitar work there’s a sense of alienation, of being outsiders…. and not really giving a f**k. Hopefully this tune is emblematic of what this young band have to offer the i.e. the ability to construct the perfect three-minute pop songs that would not have looked out of place on now defunct iconic Indie label Sarah Records. It’s bloody fantastiskt!
Marmozets- Move ShakeHide
I probably don’t listen to a huge amount of what might be termed as ‘rock’, and confess to having absolutely no clue as to what exactly math rock is? Are Marmozets mathrock? Well they certainly rock to such an extent that they make Courtney Love sound like an ever so slightly ticked off Julie Andrews. Their latest single ‘Move Shake Hide’, was released on 18/11/2013 and it’s a blitzkrieg of fist clenching adrenaline fuelled power, passion, attitude and crucially, melody. It highlights exactly why they’ve recently been signed to Roadrunner Records, which is also home to masked razor blade gargling freaks Slipknot.WHO?
Femme- Fever Boy
Laura Bettinson has her fingers in many musical and creative pies, and Femme is just one of them. Her latest release is an AA side split single featuring ’Fever Boy / ‘Heartbeat’. It’s available as a limited edition on hot pink heart-shaped vinyl and if you can imagine Lykke Li, channelling Ester Williams whilst washing a four-legged friend you’ll be in the right ballpark. But imagine no more, simply watch the video below, envy the pooch and enjoy.
Little Matador-Liar Liar
Little Matador is the new musical project of Nathan Connolly, the guitarist of Snow Patrol, a band we’ve always had something of a soft spot for. Of course, we are fully aware that it’s not considered cool to like a band once they become wildly successful, and the default position is to state “Well, I really liked their early work” but we’ve always viewed Snow Patrol as the Paul Scholes of indie. Focused rather than flash, a band liable to pull something spectacular out the bag when needed, a band who probably can’t tackle, and like Scholesy are unlikely to be pictured falling out of Spearmint Rhino surrounded by a bevy of leggy lovelies.
As you would expect from a side project Little Matador is a different musical beast from Snow Patrol and alongside Nathan the band feature Dave Magee (LaFaro), Gavin Fox (Idlewild), Binzer Brennan (The Frames) and Troy Stewart (The Windsor Player).
“Liar Liar,” which is also available as a free download via their website, explodes out of the traps at frenetic pace, which never lets up throughout. At times sounding little like Arctic Monkeys jamming with the White Stripes or Queens of The Stone Age, this is an unapologetic slice of raw incendiary rock. Nathan explains, “I’ve always wanted to do my own record. I wanted to make a record with bite and conviction, swagger and integrity, a fresh, gritty, honest, modern rock album” and on the evidence of what we’ve heard so far, it sounds like mission accomplished.