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Freshers Sounds - The best new music - 05/11/18


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With Halloween seeing out the end of October and winter truly setting in, we’ve got a fiery playlist to keep you warm this Bonfire Night.  

Whether it’s fire-place acoustics, dreary day escapism, faraway electronic futurism or a slice of tropical heat, we have all you need.  

STIIR – Luxury Butter

First on this week’s new-music showcase is a synth-soaked slow groover, with shimmery, breezy guitar riffs and a quietly confident bassline, which asserts its importance as the song takes a breath, permitting a potent bass-hit. The bass even dares to come into the fore-front, taking on a focus melodically, which the electric guitar riffs respond to effortlessly. 'Luxury Butter' is lent its lusciousness non-invasive vocals, which are fortified by subtle distortions and synthesised chords that melt into each other. 

Vessel – Paplu (Love That Moves The Sun)

‘Paplu’ comes from Vessel’s third album, Queen of Golden Dogs, which takes inspiration from months of solitude in rural Wales. ‘Paplu’ itself is predominantly instrumental; a 9-minute futuristic synth pilgrimage. Sampling from so many different genres, including drum and bass and EDM, there are several clashes and pangs that almost have a shrill feel to them. This makes the moment when surging synths become alliances in harmonic rhythms so euphoric; the track almost begins to transcend reality in these moments. ‘Paplu’ truly feels like an epic electronic journey, continually morphing into new beats.

Jo Marches - You’ll Be Mine

Jo Marches is irresistible, armed with seductive vocal qualities and self-confident, flirty lyrics. Driven by a wiggly bassline, soft synths and robust drum-kit beats, there are moments where electronic distortions begin to consume Marches vocals, too, transforming the song’s assertive texture in a way that is very reminiscent of Tame Impala’s ‘Let It Happen’.  

KAWALA – Moonlight

KAWALA continue to build upon their established style of melting, lulling harmonies, laid over sun-soaked acoustic guitar chords. ‘Moonlight’ is more of a lyrical progression, swelling with its storytelling lyrics about overcoming personal demons that the duo hasn’t exhibited before. The upbeat tone of both the track and its lyrics are perfectly complemented by the ethereal, crescendo-ing harmonies and enchanting piano twinkles.

L.A. Witch - Haunting

‘Haunting’ hails from L.A. Witch's new EP, Octubre. The trippy track is chock-full of conflating layers, nonchalant vocals, oscillating guitar distortions; a venture from the trio’s performative minimalism. ‘Haunting’, and Octubre itself exudes a sultry exploration of dark infatuations, evidenced by its artwork. The innocence of the natural female body becomes tainted by shadowy symbols - bats and cobwebs.

Bakar - Dracula

In keeping with the theme of sinister eclipses is ‘Dracula’ from Camden-born-and-bred Bakar, who plays the role of the Count himself in a horror-infested music video. Although slightly jarring, Bakar doesn’t follow a refined vocal melody which adds conviction to the ferociousness of the cathartic, punk-inspired clashes of the track.

Sneaks – The Way It Goes

‘The Way It Goes’ is a genius revitalisation of 90s rave synths find themselves presented in a post-punk framework, with vocals heavily influenced by M.I.A. Sneaks channels the attitude of M.I.A.’s ‘Bad Girls’ in her convincing vocal command. Electro-pads create a light contrast to the stonking bass that ultimately retains its authority throughout the track.

Archie Faulks – Blackout

‘Blackout’ is refreshingly stripped in comparison to the rest of this week’s playlist, reveling in the comfort of acoustic guitar, gentle piano chords and building cinematic string arrangements to intensify the emotive, romantic sentiments of the chorus. With a soulful caress, Faulks’ vocals rest in between the styles of Jack Savoretti and Chris Martin, letting himself be completely overcome with infatuation.  

LUCIA – Summertime

Deriving from new EP, Cheap Talk, ‘Summertime’ is led by strong female vocals, inundated with a grungy huskiness. Scottish band LUCIA propose indie road-trip style lyrics and choruses, “I only love you in the summertime”, underpinned by classic rock-style persuasions. They're bringing back authenticity into indie-rock.

Royal Canoe – Peep This

‘Peep This’ is an eclectic fusion of transformed R&B beats and soft hints of brass, under the guise of Glass Animals psych-pop aesthetics. Gravelly, throaty vocals, reminiscent of Everything Everything’s John Higgs, adds to the plethora of styles that Royal Canoe continue to experiment with.

Alpines – Full Bloom

‘Full Bloom’ is a politically engaged track with a double meaning in its title – both celebrating the duo’s flowering success and alluding to the natural world that we are taking advantage of. The rhythmic urgency of “We can’t waste any second, any minute any hour” and its repetition throughout the song’s choruses, conveys sincerity behind the song’s message – we must act now on the imminent climate crisis that faces us. The track is very topical and congruent with the vast majority of the media currently – we are already beginning to see irreversible changes.

Earhart – An Incubator To Grow My Head In

Seemingly simple minor-key acoustic picks become overpowered in a blast of crashing, quintessentially rock guitars, and Palma Violet style vocals. Such contrasting sections create a cathartic feel to the chorus, which the rest of the song continues to build up to.  

Ujahm, Zion Train – Pressure

Slow-burning, reggae beats, and playful, sassy vocals embody the mundanity of the pressures that we face – “pressure, the pressure we are under”. Subtle, electro-harpsicord flourishes and small distortions enhance the track’s breeziness, serving as an escapism from the oppressive every day.

Chest Pains – Love Thy Neighbour

Another politically influenced track with more obvious, aggressive allusions to the criticisms millennials face – the lyrical tone is immediately established with iconic opening lyrics “The NHS is going down but Richard Branson’s richer now”.  Chilled hooks allow the extremely impassioned, at times inharmonious, vocals to be at the song’s epicentre. The track builds up to its climax, “religion’s not my favourite but I still love my neighbour” – a suggestion that ‘millenials’ are the most accepting and supportive members of society despite political belittling.

Nimmo – It’s Easier

Delicate vocals are juxtaposed with heavy synth beats that transform into unique steel drum beats as the bass drops. The track’s lyrics convey a desperation to remain in a relationship; the failing relationship is perhaps musically represented in the dominant instrumentals – the vocal’s almost lose their control, “it’s easier to run from me, when you’re not here”.

Ms Banks – ZeZe Freestyle

Ms Banks is one of the many artists freestyling over Kodak Black’s ZeZe steel-drum infused beat. Ms Banks’ exudes power, strength, and confidence in the accompanying visual filled with shameless dance enjoyment. The repetition of “fuck ‘em up” takes centre stage where it toys with Kodak’s beat, making for a feisty break in between Ms Banks’ fiery bars.

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