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Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 17/09/18

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This week's Fresher Sounds straddles the boundary between the experimental and the danceable.

As we fall deeper into the autumnal cool of late September, we're exploring the road less travelled; vast soundscapes, experimental electronics and hungry artists feeding their sound with different elements from the genre pick n' mix box. And just to keep the sun shining that little bit longer, we've topped up with the last-of-the-summer pop. 

Exploded View - Dark Stains

Apocalyptic, yet strangely soothing, ‘Dark Stains’ encapsulates the frantic ecstasy, danger and fear of the dreamscape motif. In constant struggle back and forth, between beauty and scraggled white noise, precision and the unhinged, ‘Dark Stains’ is an impulsive journey of reflection on our past, while also taking responsibility for our own present.

Fizzy Blood - Pink Magic

‘Pink Magic’ is quite simply magic. An oddly pleasant mix of pretty pink harmonies, scuzzy interludes and anthemic instrumentals, Fizzy Blood have combined the sweet and the dangerous for a belting new single. Pair that with visuals of the straight-faced five piece head-bobbing in unison while being pelted with various pink objects and drenched in thick milkshakes, and you’re onto a winner.

Sarah Close - Crazy Kind

From YouTube sensation to pop princess, Sarah Close’s new track ‘Crazy Kind’ is progressive in its punchy, upbeat production with a chorus that explodes in a crescendo of shimmering, tropical rhythms. Sarah’s vocals are delicate, stitching together the first tender moments of a relationship to form a pretty patchwork of butterflies in the stomach, new experiences and emotional thrills.

Rina Mushonga - 4qrtrs

Blending traditional African influences with modern club pop sensibilities, Dutch-Zimbabwean artist Rina Mushonga offers an intergalactic, romantic return with ‘4qrtrs’. In an uncompromising indie-electro-afropop style, the track zips and zings with flavoursome guitars and neon-gold synth layers, yet still remains breezy thanks to Rina’s calming tones. Stick this one on for a walzy weekend dance.

She Drew The Gun - Resister Reprise

Liberation is the lead theme for She Drew The Gun’s triumphant new single. Under various guises, frontwoman Louisa Roach explores empowerment through resisting, arming yourself with knowledge and questioning how your present is affected by the systems we live in. Underpinned by scuzzy, reverbing guitars and heavy drums, Roach’s speak-sing vocals take inspiration from Manchester poet Toria Garbutt, and the voices of Kate Tempest and Courtney Barnett.

Just Loud - Diamonds and Dope Boys

Cross-genre exploration is the name of the game in ‘Diamonds and Dope Boys’. Blending together sensual elements of R&B, soul, pop and rock, Just Loud is captivating in his effortless falsetto: “Oh you are supreme / You’ve had diamonds and dope boys in your dreams”. The track’s hook feels sexy and rebellious, tying together a slow-burner that exudes passion, sensuality and decadence.

Cyrus Reynolds feat. S. Carey - Foraker

Orchestral and modern songwriting textures are interwoven by an emotive narrative thread on Cyrus Reynold’s new production ‘Foraker’. Set in the icy planes of Alaska, looking through the eyes of a wayward traveller, ‘Foraker’ is an intimate love letter to Reynolds’ wife boosted by sweeping 808s and expansive synthesisers. An intriguing and gut-wrenching piece of ambient folk.

Tara Lily - Who Saw Who

Produced by Jammer BBK (Boy Better Know), ‘Who Saw Who’ melds upbeat grime beats with smoky, traditional jazz vocals. Tara Lily exudes Winehouse-esque tones as she laments “All those lies / Keep me up all night / They tell me you are sleeping / I know you’re high and dry”, reflecting on a turbulent past relationship. It packs the gut punch of an emotional ballad, with subtle danceability in its contemporary beat.

Mildlife - Phase II

Standing at an epic 11 minutes and 22 seconds, ‘Phase II’ is a psychedelic juggernaut. In a sublime journey of peaks and falls, Melbourne-based band Mildlife tear up the rulebook to fuse together elements of house, disco and trip-hop style psychedelia in what culminates in soulful, space-age jazz. Expansive in its vision and its production, ‘Phase II’ is a real eye-opener.

LX ONE - Hidden Shadow

The the best way to describe LX ONE’s latest cut ‘Hidden Shadow’? Throbbing. Existing somewhere in the murky realm of dark neuro-step, the bassline pulsates with a rapid intensity, with zippy, zorbing synths peppered throughout. This is a dirty, daring piece of drum & bass and just the kind of track you’d want to hear on the dancefloor at Fabric.

Clean Cut Kid - Emily

Deviating from their established indie-pop sound, Clean Cut Kid are dipping their toes in the retro pool with new single ‘Emily’. Fuzzy, 70s-inspired guitar lines, thudding drums and stand-alone verses of the same ilk as Fleetwood Mac and Phoebe Bridgers, the Liverpudlian trio are trekking the more introspective, lo-fi path.

Honey Moon - Mover In The Dark

‘Mover In The Dark’ is a juicy piece of sweet soft rock. Melodic staccato guitars, jangly harmonies and the crooning of frontman Jack Slater Chandler open the door to escape crap-trodden reality, and welcome you to the hazy, rose-tinted 50s and 60s. In a continuing evolution of sound and message, Honey Moon have reached a pinnacle point - they are triumphant in their very unique doo-wop, croon-pop style.

Wolf Girl - Maths In The Real World

Alongside the announcement of their second album Every Now & Then, Wolf Girl have given us food for thought in ‘Maths In The Real World’. Carrying a theme every one of us can identify with, Wolf Girl’s scuzzy, DIY sound is bolstered by frazzled guitar riffs and a driving drum rhythm. A solid, hook-laden tune that questions the validity of Pythagoras? We love it.

Death Valley Girls - More Dead

Taken from the upcoming album Darkness Rains, opener ‘More Dead’ is a frantic, distressed wake-up call with a powerful underlying message. Tackling issues surrounding mental health with daringly dark and danceable hooks, intoxicating guitar lines and fuzzy, scatterbrained soundscapes may not seem like the most direct route, but with Death Valley Girls, it’s certainly a hell of a lot of fun.

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