The summer always brings some mixed musical messages for me. It’s about that time that so-called “SUMMER ANTHEMS” start being played with alarming repetitiveness on Radio 1. People will not shut up about the next festival line-up and which act, whether seasoned pro or “undiscovered (yah)”, is gonna “SMASH IT THIS YEAR AT GLASTO!!!!!”. To be honest, amongst all the pretentiousness, (I include myself in this category), it’s difficult to clear your mind and focus on your own individual taste. It’s so easy to be sweep up in a wave of Justin Bieber, the song “Cheerleader” and Jason Derulo (no judgement “Want You To Want Me” is a banger). But fear not, there is a shining beacon of hope in the formulaic chaos. I’m going to be bold and say that beacon is Spotify.
Although not always heralded as the best news for the music biz in general, as a listener this easy-to-use, relatively cheap and vast music library is sure to win certain people over. What I personally like about it is the ease with which you can discover new things, whether old or new, that compliment your established music taste. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slating other platforms. I just know from personal experience that the old iTunes seems clunky and outdated in the face of a premium Spotify account.
Anyhow, using this newfound discovery system, I have managed to unearth some people that were either unknown to me or that I’d simply never got round to listening to extensively. Below is a little list of the ones to note.
This Australian trio have that kind of kookiness that Vampire Weekend have become so good at displaying. However, the band has a slightly more psychedelic vibe that gives them a bit of retro flavouring. My personal favourite track is “Scar” which has haunting harmonies as well as weird and layered lyrics that defy simple explanation. The highlight is the bridge in which the lead singer, Alister Wright, has a chance to fully flex his rocky vocals and some (what sounds like) bongo drums have a little moment. Bringing back the bongo-like instruments! We at We Need More Cowbell understand the heartbreaking plight of lesser-used instruments. Therefore, WE SALUTE YOU!
These guys have a vaguely Rolling-Stones-like sound. Known for his freaky dance moves and conversational singing style, Sam France, along with his band, has attracted the attention of more than one music critic in the past. Sound familiar? Whatever their influences, I can’t get enough of this totally bizarre band. They remind me of getting milkshakes after school in the 60s, then proceeding to stand behind your lemonade stand twirling your pinktails until some cool guy with ripped jeans and a Stones T shirt comes to show you how to really rock n’ roll by the jukebox. Or something like that. Their best line: “Put your left hand out and shake it all about/Cause it’s arms and legs… bacon and eggs”. It sounds like some kind of fucked up nursery rhyme. WE LOVE IT. My favourite song of theirs is “Oh Yeah”. Keep weirding us out with clever, rough around the edges sounds boys!
I know, this gal is probably indie music’s most experienced songstress in the scene at the moment. But heck, I had no idea she rocked so hard until so recently! As you’ve probably noticed, lyrics are my main concern and this woman is a straight up poet. She tells these amazing stories of heartbreak, empowerment, manipulation and old fashioned love. Combine that with a flawless folky band and you have yourselves one kick ass lady. Her 2014 album ‘Once I Was An Eagle’ has so many golden tracks that I’m not even going to bother to list them here. Just do yourselves a favour and listen to the damn album.
With a voice as smooth as butter, solidly funky production and lots of cool and up-and-coming friends, Misch has created a devilishly chilled album. The more upbeat tracks like “Sunshine” work with summery style. Groovy yet understated beats meld seamlessly with the simple harmonies whilst the chords in songs like “Wake Up This Day” have a jazz factor of 1000+. Also loving the instrumental tracks such as “Falafel” (WHAT A GREAT NAME WHO DOESN’T LOVE FALAFEL??!). This song is as fresh as some recently picked salad. One to add to your ‘Chillz’ playlist.
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