Monday, 27 April 2015

Wyldest - Danish Longball

Brit pop is often cited as destroying the original idea of ‘indie’, with the likes of Oasis, Blur, Suede and Pulp turning the concept of such a band getting into the top 10 and being played on daytime radio from a pipe dream into an everyday reality and necessity. Ever since then indie has lost much of its identity, the internet changing that even further, disseminating the tribes to the point where your local town’s ‘indie disco’ night is just as likely to be frequented by lager fuelled Top Shop lads in smart shirts with neat haircuts dancing to The 1975 as it is awkward floppy fringed kids who’ve spent the week sat in their bedrooms listening to Joanna Gruesome.

However, relatively new indie trio Wyldest (previously duo Wildest Dreams when we introduced them to the blogosphere here) with their atmospheric and melancholic music sound very much pre-Britpop and pre-indie-is-for-everyone. Take new song Danish Longball (streaming below). There’s no punch the air chorus, no beery yell along a moment, but instead it sketches out a chiming twinkling space of its own. 

"The song is about an unlikely Scandinavian love affair; listeners can groove or simply reflect on the sadness of the lyrics," explains lead singer Zoe Mead. Take a listen below.

Wyldest - Danish Longball

Arctic Lake - Only Me

Things have been going rather well for Arctic Lake of late. Their song Limits found favour with a fair few blogs (including Breaking More Waves) earlier in the year and then just a week or so ago the song made it to daytime Radio 1 playlisting via the BBC Introducing route.

Now comes the next chapter, and Only Me is a piece of misty eyed beauty. It’s the next late-night pop anthem for the post-xx generation. Spacious and soft, Only Me’s restraint just gives it a greater power. At worst it will find itself on all those ‘Chillax’ albums and playlists, at best it will be a song to which couples confront their own vulnerabilities and make babies to. 

Open up and find a space in your heart for Arctic Lake. 

Arctic Lake - Only Me

Friday, 24 April 2015

Iris Gold - New Waves

“Remember when hip-hop was fun?” Iris Gold asks as her tag line on her Facebook page. She has a point doesn’t she? Hip-hop has become a bloody serious business. And whilst that’s sometimes a good thing (we’re in agreement with the critical mass that Kendrick Lamar’s album is a rather brilliant listen – dense, absorbing, complex, not an easy ride) sometimes what we want music to do is lift our spirits and make us dance our ass off and nothing more. Salt ‘n’ Pepper made us do that. Betty Boo made us do that. Charli XCX makes us do that. And somewhere in between all of those fits Iris Gold. 

She has three tracks on line and each of them is packed with grooves, ideas and a cartoonish sense of fun. Our favourite is her most recent upload WOW! an incessant hook-filled piece of bubblegum funk that stomps along with a sass and radio ready shoutiness – we’re streaming it below. 

As another one of Iris’s tag lines suggests, clear a path for her, she’s coming through.

Iris Gold - WOW!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Hazel English - New Waves

Words like summery, hazy, wistful, dreamy and nostalgic are probably going to crop up a fair amount when it comes to Hazel English and her debut song Never Going Home. In fact nostalgia and the old fashioned seem to surround the way Hazel has chosen to present herself and her work, from the sun-drenched polaroid picture by Brandon Long of The Only Magic Left Is Art, to Hazel’s style, which has a casual near-preppy easy going vintage look to it. 

So who is Hazel English? We know for certain that she’s from Oakland, California although she originates from Australia. We think (if we’ve got our facts right) that her old fashioned sound and image permeates right the way through to other aspects of her life (she owns a vintage store), she may have another folkier sounding musical project under a different name, and even her ‘real’ name Hazel English may not actually be her real name. Of course, we can’t be sure about any of that, Google / the internet isn’t always the truth, but the ten minutes of digging we did, if correct, revealed that Hazel is quite the creative type.

But what is certain truth is that Never Going Home is a sweetly jangling, chiming piece of indie pop with a reverb laden tunefulness that wouldn’t have sounded that out of place on the famous NME C-86 cassette from the eighties, and is, in its own small scale way, rather lovely.

Hazel English - Never Going Home