Tag Archives: England

The Wombats – Give Me A Try

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The new album Glitterbug from The Wombats came out almost a month ago, so I know it’s quite late to be posting about this. But I never felt compelled to boast out about it to be honest. That is until I actually had a proper listen and heard some of the new golden singles, like this one.

“Give Me A Try” is just everything I love about The Wombats. I kind of missed the scrappier days of their first album, and there’s a little spark of something from that era in the new album. But there’s also a part of me that loves the new upbeat, synth heavy version of the band, because of singles like this. It has all the scrappy vibes of their first album but excels way past what we originally loved about the trio. It’s full of positivity and beautifully coordinated vocals; true pop gold worth more than a few plays.

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Fickle Friends – Could Be Wrong

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This article first appeared on The Daily Listening.

The UK has always delivered the best of indie in my humble opinion. In the nineties and early naughties it was certainly true. In recent years, I feel like Brooklyn and LA have borrowed the bulk of the load. Before it gets too out of hand, Bristol’s Fickle Friends are on the case, with golden numbers flying out left, right and centre. Their latest single “Could Be Wrong” was released roughly a month ago and is still taking a little bit of time to get noticed around the world, but it definitely deserves a hefty tip of the cap.

This one is a properly good, synth-pop vessel; the sort of which I haven’t heard in a while. It feels like a cross between LA acts DWNTWN and Golden Coast. It combines the beautiful ghost-like vocals of front woman Natassja Shiner with some straight up sunshine synth-pop, bringing together a brilliantly balanced single that should give them a leg-up to bring their live show to all corners of the earth. Writing this from Australia, I certainly hope it does at least…after listening to “Could Be Wrong” on repeat all day I’ll be sorely disappointed if I don’t get to see at least one gig of theirs…fingers crossed.

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The Japanese House – Teeth

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This article first appeared on The Daily Listening.

Sounding a little familiar? If you’re a fan of The 1975 I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. Although if you have beef with that you can get right out. Listening to The Japanese House on repeat you can’t help but picture some of the aforementioned bands previous work and see the similarities. But then again, there’s a reason both are punching huge accolades at the moment, maybe one more than the other but who’s counting?

Based on previous reports, there aren’t many details floating around about The Japanese House, other than he is apparently Amber Bain, a 19-year old solo artist who hails from London, England. If you knew this when you listened to his work so far, you’d start to the piece together the puzzle that mystery is his vibe. The ethereal highs and lows of his latest work, “Teeth” permeate with so much seasoned bravado it’s hard to imagine it’s not the side-project of a more well-travelled indie purveyor. The track is minimalism the way it’s meant to be done. Deep, dark mourning synth strikes when the vocalist seems down and pulls together a triumphant, melancholy tune.

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Matt Woods – Impression

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This minimalist piece with RnB stylings by solo artist Matt Woods is unreal. Hailing from London this guy takes after all the Triple-J-esque acts that scored so well on the Hottest 100 this year (re Chet Faker).  Interesting fact about Matty boy, he’s a former choirboy, who admits he enjoyed the commitment and has taken a lot of learnings from his classically trained days.

The track “Impression” is a shallow, heartbreaking arrangement delivered to perfection in this humble recording. It’s a much needed break from many of the up-tempo tracks to be released by some of my favourites artists this year, and composed in a way that could have you thinking he’s been around for years. All in all, the catalogue from this fresh artist is well seasoned and enjoyable.

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Bear’s Den – Think Of England

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This one is proper great. West London folk trio Bear’s Den have released a beautiful new single “Think Of England” and appropriately melancholy film clip to pair with it. The song is a deep ballad that shows once again that the brits just bloody know how to get it done. They take any genre there is and do it better.

Minimalistic accompaniments pair with guitar that only peeks its head out when most appropriate. Horns play another helper, but it’s really in the emotive and crushing lyrics of frontman Andrew Davie that provide the cut through that hits you deep in your soul.

The single comes from the band’s debut album Islands, which was released via Communion Records/Dew Process in October of last year.

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Circa Waves – T-Shirt Weather

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I’m just going to be up front in this short write up. This is, without a doubt, the best Circa Waves track to have been released to date. I know that’s a huge statement, I mean, “Stuck In My Teeth”, “Young Chasers”…”Get Away”! But I’m willing to put it all on the line for the newbie, “T-Shirt Weather”.

I feel like something they’ve been missing so far has been a moody twist on their brand of fast paced, shambolic brit-pop. This one has a sort of Wombats-esque twist to their standard form, bringing us something that has more longevity than perhaps a lot of their other songs do. I can see this being played over and over, and chanted and sung at parties until we have no breath left to give.

The debut album Young Chasers is out on March 20th, and available for pre-order now, so mark it in your calendars guys!

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Polarsets – Distance

Polarsets are an ambient three-piece, coincidentally from Newcastle-upon-tyne, England; a similar birthplace to one of my favourite acts of 2012, Little Comets. Must be something about that place that breeds originality, because these guys (and Little Comets, for that matter) have it in spades. Not just that, but add a big-arse shovel load of talent and exotic sounding synth and you’ve got a very enjoyable act indeed.

Over the last two years of being around, they’ve supported huge acts like the UK indie princes, Two Door Cinema Club and alongside many others at the launchpad of everything cool these days, the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

The Exotica EP, released in 2012, contains a ton of gems like Tropics and the track I’ve highlighted here, Distance. Sporting a tropical sound that is increasingly becoming more popular among many inner-city bands (go figure) like Sydney’s Panama and Jinja Safari, Polarsets are fun in some ways, but mostly just incredibly chilled.

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