Von Pip's Top Seven Indie Songs Of April

Wolf Alice drop another blinder while newcomer Sophie Jamieson hints at a vintage, Marling-esque potential in the monthly round-up from our man in the indie trenches...
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Wolf Alice- Storms


I first tipped Wolf Alice back in 2012 having previously heard singer Ellie Roswell's demos on Soundcloud.  During 2013 according to Hype Machine, Wolf Alice were the most blogged about artist in the UK and they are without doubt one of the most exciting young bands in the country at present.  'Storms' is from their forthcoming Creature SongsEP replete with a rumbling bass line that makes Killing Joke’s explosive percussive exertions sound somewhat insubstantial.  Ellie Roswell’s captivating vocals, ranging from demurely coquettish to belligerently combative, soar above a wall of urgent beats and agitated grunge infused guitars.

Lola Colt - Vacant Hearts

Imposing London based six piece Lola Colt (named after a female spaghetti western hero played by singer/dancer Lola Falana) return with their third single which is taken from their forthcoming Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds/Sonic Youth/The Cramps) produced debut album.

‘Vacant Hearts’ is a booming sprawling epic anthem with Danish singer Gun sounding imperious, impassioned, poetic and more like Patti Smith than Patti Smith at times here.  There’s always been a brooding cinematic vibe to Lola Colt’s oeuvre which I'd previously described as a ‘swirling musical maelstrom, a space age psychedelic spaghetti western‘ and whilst Vacant Hearts’retains echoes of this that particular description, it perhaps doesn’t do this track justice.  Because this is also the sound of a band expanding their palette, a band at the top of their game and a band willing to push the musical envelope whilst refusing to be pigeonholed.

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Von Pip's Top Tracks Released In February

Malka Spigel - Tall Grey Buildings

Malka Spigel is a founding member of the Belgium rock band Minimal Compact and performed in Githead with partner Colin Newman (of Wire).  She’s also a photographer and visual artist, with acclaimed exhibitions in venues such as The Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Royal Festival Hall.

‘Tall Grey Buildings' is from her forthcoming EP 'Gliding' – released on May 19th via swim ~ records- and takes the image of Brutalist architecture dominating the urban landscape where they ‘f*ck the sky’, and turns it into an almost gauzy diaphanous sound that immerses your senses in its blissful dreamy, distant loveliness.

Sophie Jamieson - Stain

WOW…that voice, a voice so drenched in emotion that Sophie Jamieson seems to summon it from the epicentre of her being. Now this might sound a little like typical blogger's hyperbole as we wrestle with words to describe music in a way that conjures up a man trying to open a can of Corned Beef with his teeth. Nevertheless, if you listen to her latest track ‘Stain’ and it doesn’t cause a slight tingle down your spine or the stirring of your soul, well you must be Nick Clegg: a hollow empty shambolic simulation of a man lacking in both vertebrae and feeling.

Unlike a lot of acoustic music, Sophie’s doesn’t leave you thinking ‘Hmm, well that was jolly nice’ before instantly forgetting it and toddling off to creosote the fence.  ‘Stain’ leaves its indelible mark on you and draws you down into its dark aphotic, albeit incredibly beautiful depths.  Magical and majestic.

Howling Bells - Your Love

Howling Bells unveil another new tune from their forthcoming album Heartstrings which is out on 2nd June via Birthday Records.  The brilliant ‘Your Love’ is a perfect example of the bands dark sweeping widescreen sound.  A compelling and beautiful track full of brooding cinematic Lynchian drama which starts off like the dark sister to Blondie’s ‘Union City Blues’ with chorus to match the melancholic, yet uplifting melody of James at their very best.

The recording of ‘Heartstrings’ was apparently an intense process, which saw the band recording a track a day for 11 days.  “Having a deadline means you’re forced to make crucial artistic decisions in a very short time.  You don’t have the luxury of overthinking.  I feel this process shaped the album.  As a result, you become incredibly connected to the musical spirit of the band” says front woman Juanita Stein.  “We loved every second of it.”   

YOU - In Halves

'In Halves’ is the debut single from London based four piece YOU and opens with the line I’ll tear you apart Russian Doll’.  Now being slightly Pediophobic (that’s a fear of dolls, Sun readers) perhaps that’s not the best image for us and ‘In Halves’ is certainly shrouded in an air of ominous brooding mystery.  However, the wonderfully wrought musical soundscape they create alongside singer Anna Waldmann’s arresting vocals also has the ability to warm your heart.  The video is rather excellent too - See here.

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