Regal Cheer Drop New Single “Malleable”

The Brighton-based two-piece noise pop outfit have released a new single, Malleable via their own label Ugly Twin Records. Following their 2021 debut EP Side Hustle, the single opens with dance-punk reminiscent drums in the song’s verses, followed by a huge scrappy chorus with fuzzy hard-hitting riffs that instantly suck you in. Clocking in at 1 minute and 50 seconds, you can already tell this song will be an instant classic at packed bar venues, coupled with the relatable notion of burning out until everything you’ve worked so hard for turns to shit.

Check out the video for Malleable below!

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Art moore announce debut album and share new single

Photo by Ulysses Ortega

Art Moore, the supergroup of Boy Scout’s Taylor Vick and Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks have announced their debut album Art Moore, set to be released on August 5th via ANTI-Records. Pre-order here. The announcment also comes alongside the release of “Muscle Memory”, the second single from the album following on from “Snowy” released earlier in the year.

Listen to new single “Muscle Memory” below!

Speaking about the track the band said:

“Muscle Memory was inspired by the many phases of life we go through and the friendships that exist within them that inevitably transform as we continue through life,” Vick explains. “I wanted to write about this experience from a neutral perspective, one with the belief that it’s neither a good or bad thing but simply a given in life. It’s a more fictionalized version of my personal experience which was the kind of writing I gravitated towards most in this band.” 

A press release said of the album:

“The ten tracks that comprise the record are deft character studies, zeroing in on restless widows, shy beginners, jilted friends and friendly exes, chronicling minute moments — road trips, casual dates, games of truth or dare — with rich detail and subtle wit. The result is a world of remarkable emotional complexity, an album-length study of loneliness, heartache, and loss that’s sweet but never saccharine, sad but never maudlin. Featuring the inimitable songwriting of beloved Oakland luminary Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts set in sharp relief against lush production from Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks, it’s a quietly wondrous record — a set of songs that sketch out the struggle and beauty of coping with everyday life”

Tracklist

1. Muscle Memory

2. Sixish

3. Snowy

4. Bell

5. A Different Life

6. Rewind

7. October

8. Habit

9. Something Holy

10. Inspiration and Fun 

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Kristian Bell – Backfire Album Review

Cable Code – 2021

Kristian Bell, best known for providing distinctive lead vocals and guitar for his grungy/psychedelic band The Wytches, has released his first solo album, entitled Backfire on the band’s own label Cable Code Records. Since the release of The Wytches’ debut album Annabel Dream Reader in 2014, the band have been consistently working with a DIY ethic that bleeds into their music perfectly, making it feel all the more genuine. The three albums and handful of EPs that the band have released since their formation have demonstrated Bell’s ability to perform with a raw and deranged sounding intensity, whilst at times retaining a strong tenderness and delicacy, the latter informing Bell’s debut.

In 2019 Bell and fellow bandmate Mark Breed released Stereo Buzz, under the aptly named Mark and Kristian Band, which took a distinctly softer approach than the sound of The Wytches, often weaving between slow, drawn-out psychedelic guitars and sprinklings of humour in the lyrics (for example “Smoke it to the Roach”). Sonically, Bell’s solo album is more reminiscent of this project, yet retains its own sense of individuality and maturity, showing drastic lyrical growth from the early days of The Wytches.

Album opener and lead single “That’s A Lovely Thing” is reminiscent of nostalgic 90s rock, seeping with a homemade sensitivity and warmth. The guitar tones paired with jolting drums combine perfectly to accompany Bell’s voice, which is well-suited to the overarching sentimental atmosphere. Another standout track is “Backfire”, which often feels like a deranged-sounding Foxygen track. Bell takes an approach that harks back to Annabel Dream Reader, allowing his voice to mutate and move through the track with little regard to sounding polished. This grunginess is equally addictive and mesmerising to listen to.

The album weaves through these moments of intensity with relaxed, melancholic tracks that feel like a musical representation of the days slowing down and drawing in at 4pm; Bell could not have chosen a better time to release the album. Tracks like “Have to Ask” and “Walking Song” demonstrate Bell’s ability to sing in an effortlessly higher and gentle pitch, accompanied by slow and strategic guitars. The textural palette of “Walking Song” is so intricately crafted alongside the sadness of Kristian’s voice, which makes it another memorable moment on Backfire.

The album could have benefitted from more songs with the same intensity of “Backfire” as opposed to the majority of the tracks having a similar tempo, which leaves the album feeling slightly stagnant in the middle. But fear not, the album picks itself up quickly, with “Spotlight” echoing the guitars of Mazzy Star, and the unforgettable “Dog in the Ditch” demonstrating rich albeit lugubrious story-telling.

Bell combines the melancholy sounds of influences such as Elliott Smith and Big Star with the trademark gothic undertones that are ever-present in all of his work. From Annabel Dream Reader to Backfire, Bell has proved himself as one of the most genuine and hard-working musicians in the industry, consistently putting out work that feels truly authentic. Backfire is an overall strong debut album from Kristian Bell, and more solo work is highly anticipated.

Listen to the album below!

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Ellie Bleach shares new single “Doing Really Well Thanks”

Photo by Brennan Bucannan

Ellie Bleach has today released “Doing Really Well Thanks“, her first single of the year following on from 2020’s “I Thought I Saw You Last Night”. This is also Bleach’s first single to be released via London-based label Sad Club Records.

Bleach perfectly ties together her songwriting wit with her pop-ballad sensibilities on the new track. Allowing the Elton John honky-tonk style beat and melody to drive the track along, she details the struggle of trying to find yourself in a new surrounding whilst being surrounded by people who only want to use you. “Please don’t ask me how I am / I think you knew the answer when you went to kiss my hand” she sings on the chorus line, her sarcasm ringing through with an eye roll strongly inferred. There’s a subtle darkness to Bleach’s sound that adds that extra layer of mystery, staying allusive even when at the forefront. Bleach has embraced the full band feeling and is sounding as powerful as ever because of it.

Speaking on the track Bleach said:

It’s set in the period when I returned to my parents’ suburban home for a few months and felt totally lost. I used to liken the process of finding a job to dating, you’re essentially tricking someone into wanting you, presenting a version of yourself that doesn’t exist and hoping they don’t see through your facade.”

“The reality of being a cold-hearted girlboss type is a lot more depressing than you’d think. Literally everyone is winging it.”

Listen to the new single below!

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Listen to “The Beat” by EERA

Photo by Tobias Humble

Norwegian musician, Anna Lena Bruland, also known as EERA, has just released her newest single “The Beat”, ahead of her second album Speak, due for release 3rd December. The track has a brooding sensuality to its instrumentation, as a high pitched whir plays over an opening bassline.

Describing the track, Bruland says:


“It’s about getting convinced by these voices and these people and thinking that they are right… It’s my way of removing myself from these critics and saying if you can accept me for me then you can join me on my path.”

The song takes a steady rhythm with driving guitars, before breaking down into a gravelly, reverberating explosion, which Bruland describes as “a way of getting all that anger and frustration out and therefore starting afresh.” The sonic switch from a chaotic outburst back into a rhythmic pace shows Bruland’s ability to bounce back from self-doubt. “The Beat” is reminiscent of artists such as Sky Ferreira and Sharon Van Etten in its mysterious, brooding tone and vocal performance. “The Beat” and previous single Ladder are indicative of a rich and interesting second album to come.

Listen to the new single below!

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Listen to “2B” by Pearly

Pearly have shared “2B“, their second single of the year following in from “Mellon“. The new single also comes alongside the announcement that the band have signed to Eto Ano records.

“2B” evokes that special kind of nostalgia in you that makes you dive into some of your deepest and happiest memories. The sweeping and glistening acoustics flow by like a breeze on a warm summers evening. “How do you Think for yourself, When she’s calling, When you’re wanting to be, Only you” they sing as they explore the complications of figuring out how to be in an intense relationship whilst staying true to themselves. Pearly continue to captivate in every style they choose to explore and invite you to get lost in the ethereal worlds they create.

Listen to the new single below!

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Lindsay Munroe announces new EP ‘Softest Edge’, shares new single

Photo by Billie H

Lindsay Munroe has today announced Softest Edge, her second EP set to be released on November 9th. Pre-order here. She has also shared “Parallel“, her most pop-sounding outing to date and we’re here for it. Its infectious groove and pumping synthesisers form the perfect backing for Munroe’s outburst of joy as she realises the improvement in her quality of life. The new single is the latest from her EP which follows on from “Hornets” and “Weekend Love” released earlier in the year.

Speaking about the new single, Munroe said:

“For a long time I’ve wanted to write a love song for my best friend. I wrote it last summer when she was still working on the Covid intensive care unit and having an absolutely awful time. Writing a song felt like a bit of a silly thing to do but it’s what I could do.

“I’ve always thought that it’s mad that our culture places so much value on romantic couplings. There’s no doubt in my mind that when I’m an old woman looking back on the big love stories of my life it will be my friends who fill my mind.”

Listen to the new single below!

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A press release said about the new EP:

Whilst Munroe’s debut EP, Our Heaviness, centred on her divorce from a conservative church, its follow-up finds her thriving in her newfound independence, taking control of her sexuality and defining her own boundaries. It’s given rise to the fiercely independent, and cheeky songwriter that stands in front of us today.

Tracklist:

  1. Softest Edge
  2. Andrew
  3. Need A Ride
  4. Parallel
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Bleach Lab share new single “Violet Light”

Bleach Lab have today shared “Violet Light“, the latest single from their upcoming EP Nothing Feels Real, out in October. This follows on from previous singles “Real Thing” and “Talk It Out”, released earlier in the year.

The juxtaposition of the upbeat instrumentation and emotionally impactful lyrics perfectly blends together to create the ultimate recipe for a dream pop banger. The subject of the death of bassist Josh Longman’s drives this song, but it’s not longing, rather, accepting. “Passing all his life into violet light / His soul is a ghost / He will follow you anyway” sings vocalist Jenna Kyle, reverberating Longman’s deep feelings with a restrained yet passionate delivery.

Speaking to the song’s emotional subject matter, Longman said:

“During Lockdown I went to live with my mum as otherwise we both would have been on our own. I think the idea to write a song entirely about him came to me during that period as I got to dig out old family photos. 

“I think this track has really helped me overcome a lot of things that maybe I thought I would never talk about. Nothing Feels Real as an EP title definitely is how I’d describe the situation I was in.”

Listen to the new single below!

Wings Of Desire – Amun-Ra EP Review

WMD Recordings – 2021

Wings Of Desire the indie-pop duo of James Taylor and Chloe Little have returned with their second EP of the year. Following on from their End Of An Age EP that focused on observing the world, Amun-Ra takes a look inwards and examines life and the expectations that comes with it. The duo formed over a mutual love of Krautrock, Berlin-era Bowie and 60’s counter-culture and you can feel aspects of each of these sewn in throughout this new EP.

Opener “Choose A Life” combines soaring soundscapes and sailing guitars to soundtrack the band’s satirical spoken word life-goal checklist. Imagine Arcade Fire wrote the soundtrack to Trainspotting with Wolf Alice on production duties. It’s one of those feel-good, contemplation tracks, perfect for watching the world pass by on the bus to work as you contemplate whether the commute is really worth it. You can lose yourself in the world that they create as they examine their place in the real one. There’s a certain magic they tap into on this track that they never quite reach on the rest of the EP.

“Better Late Then Never” rings with the same contemplative energy but only captures half of the excitement of its predecessor, almost trying to live off its legacy. They try to invoke the anthemic chorus aesthetics of Bowie’s Heroes, but only quite pull of being the trusty sidekicks. The chorus “Oohs” and defiant claims of “We’re just getting older” feel like you’re reading an inspirational post your aunt has shared on Facebook. The sentiments nice but the execution never really reaches the heights it could.

There is a comeback however on “Outtamamind” as they use allow the chorus’ anthemic nature to shine through and the power-rock guitars to create a motion to stomp your feet to. Their assessment on true timelines continue as they question whether mysteries like the Mandela affect and parallel universes really exist and how many lives we’ve live within them. The open-ended nature of these ponderings allows the band to place the question to everyone else; well what do you make of it?

What Wings Of Desire showcase on this EP is a pallet of sounds that becomes tried and true. Closer “Forgive And Forget” pulls these sounds together for one last power ballad outcry. It’s emotive and captivating and could easily soundtrack any indie-movie’s coming of age moment. But as with many movie moments they are only brief, needing only a snippet of a track and this track seems to provide this snippet in abundance. Its chorus reaching out for as long as it can, never seeming to want to let go. You are drawn in by the emotive moments of this EP and they stick around for as long as possible, occasionally bordering on the clingy.

Listen / Buy

Our Walking Talking Marathon with Drug store Romeos

The London via Fleet hypnagogic three piece sit down with us to talk about where they came from, their debut album The World Within Our Bedrooms and their love of Beach House.

Apologies if you’ve been asked this question over and over again but given that I’m also from a small town in the middle of nowhere, tell me about your experiences growing up in that environment?

It was an isolating place. Before I met Johnny and Charlie, I didn’t really know many people in my town at all.  So I was spending a lot of time in my bedroom, making a more vivid and exciting world and more life that felt more like I fit within my own company. Meeting these guys as well, we found out we lived like 5-10 minutes away from each other. So it kind of became this triangular life of like, I’m here, Jonny’s there, Charlie’s there, just kind of going like this back and forth. We all just felt like we didn’t belong in Fleet at all, using music as an escapism and trying to make a world where we all felt comfortable. It just wasn’t too much of an inspiring place to grow up in and kind of having to find that motivation within ourselves I guess. 

What sort of reactions did you get from audiences when you initially played on mixed bills across London?

We’ve had quite a variety of different responses over the years. You can get variation from that from a singular crowd specifically to see us as well. People have been honest and said it’s not for them but others who’ve been surprised and gotten into what we do which comes with the nature of being on a mixed bill. We’ve also had people give us feedback, shouting stuff like “MORE CHORUS” at Charlie. We get a lot of comparisons to acts like The Cranberries and specifically the Twin Peaks TV show soundtrack. We don’t get that as much anymore as I feel like we’ve evolved the sound. But we’ve rarely ever played with many bands that we share super common interests with. We did however play with a band called The Goon Sax where more things alined together. The funny thing is, we kept in contact with them and they’re now moving to London, we even ended up releasing our albums on the same day! 

Oh, awesome!

I think even though we ended up playing with more punk bands and aggressive shit there’s a crossover in interest when it comes to post-punk and slowcore where we fitted in more easily. A lot of people that were going to see the heavier bands definitely were already accustomed.

The track that stuck out for me the most was “Walking Talking Marathon”, where did the inspiration for that song come from?

That song was written over lockdown in about four minutes, it was all improvised. I had been watching this mockcumentary by a man called Peter Greenway called The Falls where he goes through a list of all these peoples names, the last which begins with F A L L, they’ve all been a victim of this thing called the VUE, which has made them have all these strange tendencies. They become obsessed with birds, have an extra sense of smell and start talking in weird colloquial languages. So I was watching that and all these words started popping out to me. I like to try and reduce as much friction between me and the melody and the song as I can. And if I have these words in front of me, my mind tends to pick them up and buttons of association and there’s associations in my head normally come from things that have been going on in my life and are a way of expressing yourself in a very abstract way. I had my Korg machine going and essentially not much of it changed apart from in post production where a few harmonies were added in later. I altered like one or two words but that’s about it. I was listening to a lot of Algebra Suicide at the time and wanted something more playful on the album really.

So would you say that the lyrics are mostly autobiographical? Or do they sort of exist in their own medium.

There are moments in there which are definitely about me. Maybe the bit about the clouds and losing contact with the party friends. And then you have, like a bit about falling in love and, and you know, “Let’s be a collective now”. And then going on to walking and talking marathon, which is kind of, to me, it’s kind of like having someone falling in love, having that beautiful back and forth. Because the sound kind of goes back and forth a little bit, and kind of meanders around those words.

There’s a few songs that incorporate stop-start elements in the structure, what was the thought process behind including those?

It’s interesting that seems to be something that some people pick up on, because I don’t think we ever really thought about that at all. It’s just like, you know, when you write a different song, I guess the process of songwriting, you write sort of sections of songs, and then you end up just combining different sections. It’s not just because we think, oh, we might combine this section, this section and there be different tempos and then, yeah, that’s quite boring. It’s true. It’s an honest answer. Like, when we were recording I didn’t even notice it that much really. 

It’s one of the more interesting ways to write dream pop for sure, it reminded me a lot of Black Country, New Road minus the sheer abrasiveness and confusion. 

I just saw it being mentioned in reviews quite a lot and, like “Secret Plan”, I guess. We thought a lot about the flow.  So trying to view songs in a rhythmic dance the way I suppose. If you’re dancing through a song, it’s nice for the tempo to increase a bit and stuff and go around. Like in “What’s on your Mind?”, the end part where  it does speed up a lot, we didn’t have that part until we got to the studio, we had everything else. And then it was the second song we were recording.

Do you take advantage of that in live scenarios?

I think we want to experiment a bit more with that, actually, we want to, I guess we’ve been thinking about it for a while of having our songs flowing more into each other live. It’s like turning the lights on sonically. The Orielles are a great example of a band who do that well, we’re always thinking of ways to present our recorded music differently live to bring about unique experiences. 

How did you all get introduced to the genre of dream pop? These days it’s a lot more understood in the mainstream but 10 years ago I feel like Beach House were still fairly niche. 

I felt totally in love with this girl when I was 15. And we would talk quite a lot, she recommend this album called Depression Cherry by Beach House. And then a week later, I was going to Brighton with my parents and we went to a record store and I saw it there. And I was like, “Oh, maybe if I listen to her, she’ll fall in love with me as well”. I listened to it. I really loved it. She didn’t fall in love with me. And then we stop seeing each other. That’s the story really!

Yeah I think people need to get over this worry of not seeming cool for getting into a genre through a big artist.

It’s a shame when people do that, they just want to be like “Ooh I listen to music that no one else knows about” and when they suddenly get big they deny ever liking them in the first place. 

Pre COVID, what was the biggest show that you played?

We supported The Orielles at Manchester O2 Ritz in February 2020. That feels like a complete lifetime ago now! 

Were the socially distanced shows weird for you?

Yes, I think we were all terrified. The whole time I was like “If I leave the venue now is it all over”? This was the first time we’d also played for over an hour, normally it’s like 35 minutes or whatever but yeah I was scared the whole time and never really had a chance to calm down. But I know it will get easier over time and to be honest I feel like when people watch us they don’t really know what to do with themselves standing, so a seated audience actually worked a lot better in our favour. At the same time though you can’t really feel the energy of the audience in the same way, it’s a lot more dispersed so I think we ended up feeling a lot more lonely on stage if that makes sense? 

What are your plans for the rest of the year? 

I think just more gigging and recording really, there’s plenty of people that we want to see and it’s nice to have a human interaction in regards to people enjoying what we’ve made! Every time we rehearse we always stop what we’re doing to make sure someone at least has a phone recording for next time. 

The World Within Our Bedrooms is out now, purchase here.