POP & INDIE POP

Jessica Winter: “I Want to Find Something Real”

With a soaring magic carpet ride of a voice and a talent for writing pop hooks that rivals anybody on the charts today, Jessica Winter’s sound can’t be tucked neatly into any identifying genre but exists in a liminal space between electro-pop and indie goth, laced with jagged, searing punk rock rawness.

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Why We Love: The Cleaners from Venus (aka Martin Newell)

In 1980, Newell formed The Cleaners from Venus with Lawrence “Lol” Elliot, though since then, he has remained the only consistent member. Under this moniker, Newell has released a multitude of albums, and this isn’t even taking into consideration his wealth of material under his own name. Starting with Blow Away Your Troubles, Newell showed the world what to expect from The Cleaners from Venus: wonderful, jangly music that was staunchly lo-fi.

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An Analysis of The Beach Boys: 1967-74

From 1967 to 1974, The Beach Boys proved themselves to be remarkable composers, lyricists, and musicians, even with the dwindling participation of Brian, though he still contributed songs and ideas from time to time. Starting with Wild Honey and ending with Holland, there were ideas and gems abound on each tracklist.

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Adwaith – Bato Mato: The Welsh Trio to Rule The World

The genre-defying Welsh language trio Adwaith hit their home music scene hard in 2015 and have since brought their spellbinding sound and punching attitude to stages at Glastonbury, Green Man and many others across the UK. The larger British music scene has quickly embraced the band’s extraordinary energy and our prayers have just been answered with Adwaiths new album Bato Mato. Fresh back from their weekend at Glasto, we spoke to Gwen, Hollie and Heledd about the album’s reinvigorated sound and their hopes for carrying Welsh language music to a mass of new listeners from across the world.

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How To Let Go – Sigrid

Wow, I cannot believe Sigrid invented music. That’s how I felt after hearing the latest LP from singer/songwriter/superstar Sigrid. First of all, I’d like to point out that 2022 has gotten off to a fantastic start for the release of new music. Hell, this month alone has already made me nervous about just how this year’s wrap-up of our favourite albums will go down. But between you and I, I think I’ve found my winner. Upon the release of “Mirror” last year, I was ecstatic about the potential of Sigrid’s next musical outing. Sucker Punch was already one of my

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WE – Arcade Fire

Has it really been five years since Everything Now, perhaps one of Arcade Fire’s most polarising albums? And my my, what a road we’ve been on since then. So, it begs the question: Arcade Fire, where are we at? After the release of “The Lightning” I and II, we see that Win Butler and friends have taken a more traditional approach to their songwriting; not too dissimilar to sounds you’d find off any of their albums from Funeral to the Suburbs, but obviously with a much tighter approach to production. To me, WE sounds like the bridge between The Suburbs

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Why We Love: Glasvegas

I’ll never forget when I began listening to Scottish band Glasvegas. In seventh grade, I started branching out from the music I heard in the car or on the radio and almost accidentally started listening to them. My dad had received their 2008 self-titled debut album from my uncle, and because of that I began listening to it. I immediately fell in love with the atmospheric, dense sonic world that Glasvegas created on the album. Songs such as “Geraldine,” “Go Square Go,” “Daddy’s Gone,” and “It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry” tackled emotional themes while enveloping the listener in swirling guitars, rumbling bass, and simplistic yet effective drums. Although singer James Allen’s vocals were obscured by such a thick Scottish accent that I often had to look up the lyrics to understand what was being said, I still adored the album and still do to this day.

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An interview with Jimkata

Feel-good upbeat electro-rock flows through Jimkata’s Bonfires, released in July of 2021. With influences spanning from 80s new wave and 90/00’s hip hop and electronic, the band create a well-developed sophisticated palate to the ears. Playfully “dancy, melodic and energetic”, the music reflects the nature of the band, as I found out when interviewing them.  Like many other bands, Jimkata started out by covering songs by punk and grunge bands such as Nirvana, NOFX, Rage Against the Machine and Primus. Yet, besides this, they were also influenced by an array of different genres which was a perk of having grown

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Why We Love: Young Guv

The chorus of the song, which was called “Only Wanna See U Tonight,” floated into my ears. The song had the trappings of late 70’s power pop mixed with the sheen of mid-90’s alt rock. Shining guitars popped out over crisp drums, melodic bass, peppy tambourine, and the almost saccharine vocals of the project’s mastermind, Ben Cook.

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Maggie the Cat: Femme Fatale Extraordinaire

Today marks the release of Maggie the Cat’s second solo single, “I Love You and I’ve Got a Gun.” For those of you who are new to the work of this femme fatale extraordinaire, she’s formerly the lead singer of South London’s witchiest glam-rock group Madonnatron, and currently flying solo under the moniker, Maggie the Cat.

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Prioritise Pleasure: Self Esteem’s Story of a New Girl Power

“Girl Power”: The immortal slogan of the Spice Girls and title of the 1996 album by Shampoo. However, its origin supposedly comes from a zine published by the US punk chicks of Bikini Kill in 1991. In The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, it is written that ‘they articulated an agenda for young women in and outside of music.’ 30 years later, and we are presented with Prioritise Pleasure, the highly-anticipated new album from Self Esteem.  It is a manifesto for the modern girl, a cornucopia of style punctuated by battle cries, all while celebrating strength and vulnerability.

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Why We Love: The Umbrellas

I am an absolute sucker for Sarah Records bands. I first came across the label after seeing a picture of The Field Mice on Instagram. Thinking that they looked cool, and knowing that the band Seapony had covered one of their songs, I gave them a listen and was blown away. The jangly guitars, the punchy drum machines, the melodic bass, and the poetic lyrics quickly endeared me to the late 80’s-early 90’s indie band. Once I had dug through their catalogue, I began checking out the rest of Sarah Records’ roster, finding such amazing bands as Another Sunny Day,

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Ten Years On: The Drums’ Prodigal Son, Portamento

Saying that something is life changing is dramatic. However, in the case of indie-rock band The Drums, I can make this statement with absolute certainty. They shaped my music taste, influenced my songwriting, and provided the soundtrack to some of my best memories. Their self-titled debut album, released in 2010, is one of the best albums of that decade, in my humble opinion. The production, the songwriting, and all the subtle flourishes and embellishments present within those twelve songs is unbelievable, especially for a debut album. There are few other releases like it. In 2011, the band released their second

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Indie Idols: Will and the People

Have you ever attended a concert and decided to skip the support acts? After all, they’re not who you’re there to see and one more drink in the bar is so tempting! If you have, I must say I think you missed out on some possibly brilliant music. I used to think that the support acts were just an unnecessary warm up to the main event, however, I have come to realize the error of my ways, and have since discovered some impeccable artists supporting others. This month’s Indie Idol is evidence of that. In 2019, I attended a Barns

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notes from the trenches

2021 is the 10th anniversary of Trashmouth Records, and as Charlie Steen of Shame says: “Trashmouth fear no fever, no nausea or fatigue, no symptom can scare them; they are the antidote.” In light of that statement, I think we should place all our trust and possibly also all of our money into Trashmouth, as an antidote is exactly what we need right now, in so many ways.

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Why We Love – Salac

Salaċ is a Gaelic industrial duo whose music creates a Pagan dystopia as they whisper labyrinthine speech-to-song poetry over mystic beats. Clíona Ní Laoi and Max Kelan Pearce resemble some modern-day blue Bards, moulding audiovisual sorceries and anagogic poetry into a ritual of lunacy. Part of the avant-garde Bristol collective Avon Terror Corps, the two orchestrate a resurgence of primal sound. Slithering noises and intricate inflections of their voices come together almost as if life and death are revealed to one another. Ceremonialists that speak to the wicked, Salaċ creates an epitome of disturbing magnetism through their ensembles of electronic

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Kimberly Davis (CHIC): From Brooklyn to the World

Kimberly Davis, the story of a girl from Brooklyn whose journey through music led her to become the lead singer in the most famous disco band there has ever been: CHIC. With classics such as ‘Le Freak’ and ‘Everybody Dance’ ready to perform to the world, we got a chance to catch up with Kim before she embarks on CHIC’s UK tour this August. As Kim joined the Zoom call from sunny New York, I was instantly greeted by a smile and energy as infectious as CHIC’S ‘Good Times’ groove, behind her, an incredible array of shoes covering her apartment

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Why We Love: Will Orchard

Will Orchard is one of the most astonishing musicians of recent years. Originally hailing from the state of Rhode Island, he began making music in 2014 under the strange and immediately eye catching moniker “LittleBoyBigHeadOnBike.”  Armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar, he released his self-titled EP on December 30th, 2014. However, he did not even come close to slowing down there, proceeding to release an EP every week from December 30th, 2014 up until 2016. To date, he has amassed over 100 releases under his belt.  Most of these EPs contain sparse, plaintive songs featuring Will and his acoustic

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Review: Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR

Aptly named, SOUR reflects the post-break-up resentment and bitterness and the melodramas of teenagehood. The first track of the album is ‘brutal’, a heavy riffed self-deprecating song that feels reminiscent of punk rock. It reminds me of songs off Kate Nash’s album Girl Talk, which also acts as a representation of a modern angry skeptical female perspective.

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notes from the trenches: from Black Flag to Black Books

Black Flag vocalist and renaissance man Henry Rollins practices something he calls Protein/Carbohydrate listening. It’s a system in which he organizes his sonic consumption into two categories. New music—stuff he’s never heard before—is classified as protein, while old favorites are classified as carbs. He tracks his daily intake of ‘protein’ and ‘carbs’ in the obsessive manner of any fitness fanatic or health freak. So far this month, my carb consumption has been way up, and my protein consumption has been way down, nonexistent but for the excellent, Austin, Texas-based band BLACK BOOKS, whose recent single Goodbye Cool (released in early 2020) is eerily

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Looking Back: This Modern Glitch

God, I can’t believe I’m writing this but, a whole ass DECADE has passed to the day since Matthew Murphy (Love Fame Tragedy), Dan Haggis (Dan The Man), and Tord Øverland Knudsen, better known together as the iconic indie band The Wombats released their second full-length LP; This Modern Glitch. To this day one of the most interesting drops of an indie band who rose to fame in the late 00’s because of the left turn it took. Now I’m not saying it’s as sharp a turn as something like Radiohead’s Kid A was to OK Computer, but This Modern

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Looking Back: Made of Bricks

Released in 2007, Made of Bricks by Kate Nash holds a space in my memories like no other album. Unknowingly I have known this album since it came out. Bit by bit and song by song, I have been rediscovering it since starting university.  This album was a commercial success. I still remember watching the ‘Pumpkin Soup’ music video on MTV when I was 7. Transfixed, I would sit on the carpet waiting for it to come on every day. Although at the time it was my personal favourite, it was actually ‘Foundations’ off Made of Bricks that made it

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Why We Love: chloe moriondo

If you’ve heard of Frances Forever, or read Why We Love: Frances Forever, you may already be familiar with chloe moriondo (stylised in lower case). The reason being, Frances Forever re-released ‘Space Girl’ to feature chloe moriondo. The change in lyrics in the verse that chloe sings adds an extra dimension to the catchiness that was already there.  In essence, chloe moriondo is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. I discovered her a couple years ago, back when ‘Lemon Boy’ by cavetown was big in my world. He helped produce her debut album that she released at 16.

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Minos the Saint: The Lockdown Interview

Minos the Saint are a staple in the southern music scene, as inevitable as king cake at Mardi Gras and crawfish boils in summer. Their eerie, effervescent take on folk and zydeco classics has singled them out as unique amongst local Louisianan festival-circuit bands. Founded by Ben Herrington in 2013, Minos the Saint is composed of five musicians: Peter Simon (vocals and guitar) Ben Herrington (accordion, keyboards, and trombone) Micah Blouin (percussion and vocals) Joel Willson (violin and mandolin) and Arisia Gilmore (French horn.)  Totally Wired recently caught up with Ben and Peter to find out what Minos the Saint

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Looking Back: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

Five years ago The 1975 dropped their monumental album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, or as I’ll be referring to it (because effort gah) as ILIWYS. If you thought the 80s vibes couldn’t be topped after their self-titled debut, “aha, you are dead wrong”. The 1975 are a band with so much more to offer than your typical indie-pop band, delivering an entire era defined by it’s words and art, to the point of their live shows encapsulating the entirety of their songs personalities, The 1975 are a statement

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Review: Pale Waves – Who Am I?

A lot has happened in the time since Pale Waves released their first album. Despite the various trials and tribulations, one of which including a tour bus crash, the Manchester indie-rockers have proven that nothing can get in the way of creating absolute magic. Consisting of 11 tracks, Who Am I? taps into the beloved, nostalgic sounds of the 2000s, and going through each song helped me feel more like the ideal, cool-older-sister trope commonly found in movies of that era (Kat Stratford, anybody?).  In comparison to 2018’s My Mind Makes Noises, their sophomore album presents a newfound edge that

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Why We Love: Dan Haggis

Yeah okay, I did plan on just doing a review of Haggis’ latest solo album Brightly Coloured Creatures but truth is, I couldn’t with a healthy conscience ignore the other work that he’s strived to make. Now I’ve written a review of his solo album Circadian Circus which if you missed you should definitely check that out, but I think (especially right now) with the state of the world and how disproportionately it’s affected the livelihoods of musicians, I think it’s only right to share with you even more of Haggis’ work, give him the rightly deserved streams he deserves.

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Why We Love: Teleman

Teleman is one of the coolest bands I’ve discovered in a very long time, there’s something just so intrinsically interesting about them. Formed back in 2011 after the disbanding of the band Pete and the Pirates, where bandmates Thomas and Johnny Sanders, Peter Cattermoul and new drummer Hiro Amamiya combined forces to become one of the most innovative artists of our time. There’s a quality to Teleman that’s so ’70s and so modern at the same time that’s just irresistible, that being said if you’re a fan of bands such as Arcade Fire, Metronomy and New Order then Teleman should

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Review: Weezer – OK Human

OK Human, the brand new album by LA rockers Weezer, has shaken up everything the band has put out in the last half-decade alone. Jumping ship from genre to genre, Weezer are no strangers to releasing heaps of fresh music year after year, perhaps the sad reality of how hard it is to make a living being a musician, or perhaps because they’re just that inspired, which after being a band for almost 3 decades now (God really? Time flies huh) is pretty impressive, like all the material they’ve put out or not, it can’t be easy, but that being

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Review: VIDEOCLUB – Euphories

If you haven’t already been introduced to the playful, 80s-inspired music of French duo VIDEOCLUB, let this be your guide. Adèle Castillon and Matthieu Reynaud are undeniably one of the coolest power couples out there, and after officially releasing music since 2018, their highly-anticipated debut album Euphories was gifted to the world on 29 January.  Featuring pre-released tracks from over the past few years along with plenty of brand new additions, Euphories serves as the perfect introduction to the young musicians. Throughout the album, you’ll discover wondrous, lively energy that invites you to set your responsibilities aside, just for a

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Review: Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

The long-awaited debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams by the indie icon Arlo Parks has finally arrived! And it’s definitely a contender for album of the year already. As a black bisexual woman in an already oversaturated music industry, it is so refreshing and rewarding to see the success that Arlo Parks has gained since her music debut in 2018, becoming a contemporary to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, but a superstar in her own right. The album kicks off with an arpeggiated acoustic guitar and lofi ambient sounds underneath a poem by Parks, setting up the journey that

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Why We Love: Delorentos

It’s safe to say that Dublin has become the capital of new and exciting European bands pushing the boundaries and breaking norms in the past ten years. Delorentos are one such band who experienced a whirlwind of success with their single S.E.C.R.E.T, which launched these college students from Ireland into the spotlight across the world and spawned a plethora of great albums. The band takes inspiration from the legends Arcade Fire and Pixies; the resulting sound is equally phenomenal. The music video to S.E.C.R.E.T was filmed at a house party and gained public attention for being the first Irish music

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Hidden Gems: Circadian Circus – Dan The Man

Multi-Instrumentalist Dan ‘The Man’ Haggis, best known as the drummer for indie sensations The Wombats, is no stranger to music outside of the award-winning band, with side project Sunship Balloon with fellow Wombats bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen over the last 2 years, working on new music and completing old Wombats demos that never made the final cut. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Haggis has had his fair share of solo music releases since 2012, but it’s 2017’s Circadian Circus that I want to share with you.  Haggis stated around the time of the album’s conception and

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Why We Love: Studio Killers

When I say ‘virtual band’ you’ll probably first think of Gorillaz, but move over Damon for this group of equally crazed animals. Studio Killers are back and bigger than ever before, thanks to one classic tune’s unexpected viral success. The animated group, formed of singer ‘Chubby Cherry’ keyboardist ‘Goldie Foxx’ and DJ ‘Dyna Mink’ (as well as their manager ‘Bipolar Bear’) first gained attention in 2011 when their single ‘Ode to the Bouncer’ reached number 9 in the UK Club charts. Doing live gigs as a virtual band is just as tricky as you’d imagine. Still, after crowdfunding the money

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Looking Back: M A N I A

Fall Out Boy’s seventh studio album MANIA dropped 3 years ago today! That’s crazy how the last few years have completely flown past. So as an album I really loved but was somewhat polarising to an already divided fanbase, I thought on its birthday it’d be a good idea to look back on the 2018 effort from the Chicago heartthrobs. One of the leading names in the pop-punk scene of the early 2000s, Fall Out Boy have been through numerous sounds and sonic shake-ups. After their four year hiatus, their comeback album Save Rock and Roll was received tremendously well,

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Why We Love: Frances Forever

21 year old Frances Garrett is a fundamentally fabulous up and coming indie icon. Masqueraded behind the stage name Frances Forever, an ode to the song Francis Forever by indie inspiration Mitski. Anyone who’s anyone has heard their monumental track ‘Space Girl’ which has blown up on TikTok in the last couple months, but their discography is so rich that to only be familiar with the viral hit quite frankly is a crime. If you’re a fan of artists such as Clairo, Sidney Gish and Cavetown, then get ready to add a new favourite artist to your roster.  Since releasing

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TWM’S RECORD COLLECTION: 2020

Well somehow we’re at the end of 2020 (yeah happy new year by the way) and what a rollercoaster it has been. Nobody’s year went to plan, and we’ve all been desperate for a better 2021. But looking back on the year, we were treated to a lot of pretty awesome music. So to recap on our favourites, the TWM team have come together to give you our collective record collection, of our favourite albums that 2020 had to offer us. SONGS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC BY THE LEMON TWIGS Kylie: Let’s dive into my favourite record of the year,

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Totally Wired Christmas Tunes

Goodness is it Christmas already? Christ (no pun intended) but I haven’t even done all my Christmas shopping. Oh well, it’s that time of year again. I know I say this every year but it feels it were only yesterday we were celebrating Christmas, but blimey 2020 has been a bit of a mad one hasn’t it? Christmas, being a time of giving and celebration motivated me to think of the different festive tracks that help bring us all together, filled with nostalgia and the smell of spice in the air. So join me as I go through my top

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Why We Love: Biig Piig

Meet Jessica Smyth, better known as Biig Piig. Born in Ireland, brought up in Spain and now based in good ol’ London town, the neo-soul/hip hop singer has been gaining traction over the last couple of years with her silky smooth tracks and emotionally in-depth lyrics, taking inspiration from classical folk Irish music, Latin Jazz to modern indie and hip hop. But with that all in mind, you can’t hold Smyth’s music to just one style, I mean how could you with that diverse a range of inspiration? But her vibe is complete chill, as if you’ve stumbled into a

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Why We Love: Alexandra Savior

Gifted with a velvet voice that will make you swoon, lyricism to rival great literature and a ‘Mystery Girl’ aura that helplessly lures you in, Alexandra Savior is an enigmatic force to be reckoned with. Not only a talented creative musically, she utilises her artistic capabilities to the full, bringing a personal touch to all elements of her work. Each of her aesthetic music videos that perfectly accompany her chilling tracks is self-directed and she even designs her own album covers and merchandise. Overall, she creates a coherent experience and is certainly proving that she really is a ‘Savior’ to

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Why We Love: The Orielles

Evoking space-age dreams with their bright bops, The Orielles are a funky fresh band that you absolutely need to be listening to. In fact, scrap that. I’d say the word ‘experiencing’ is far more apt than simply ‘listening’ as their tracks are so engrossing, they’re a vessel for escaping reality… Taking you on an adventure through the decades they stop off in the bright psychedelic 60s, have a boogie in the 70s and even a cheeky trip to explore 90s acid house, as well as blasting forward into another time and dimension with their futuristic synth sounds. It’s no wonder

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Hidden Gems: Stars – The Five Ghosts

Stars are a pop/rock band from Montreal most notable from their truly unique storytelling ability in their songs. Masters of creating diverse and imaginative narratives through the use of their lyrics, each of their songs offers a door into a fairytale-like world, one full of wonder, heartbreak and other-worldly characters all soaked in deep-felt nostalgia. The band’s fifth studio album, released in 2010 and appropriately named ‘The Five Ghosts,’ is just one such example of this group’s powerful ability to conjure up melancholic and mysterious images in the mind. The first track from the album ‘Dead Hearts’ is perhaps the

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Why We Love: Mattiel

I have to admit, it’s rare these days that a new band or artist thrusts their way into my consciousness so hard it knocks me off kilter. And believe me, it’s not for lack of searching! I invest a lot of time reading music blogs, listening to friend’s suggestions and throwing myself at the mercy of Spotify suggestions. Searching for that euphoric “fix” of new music that enriches the soul and helps pass the working week. And so it was that I came across the wonderful sound of Mattiel Brown. One mundane day last year was suddenly lit up by

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Review: Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez

If there was ever a perfect time for a virtual band to drop an album, of course it’d be in 2020. Thankfully despite the hard times thousands of musicians have had to face this year, we’ve had plenty of new music to consume and I’m sure we’ll have much more to come thanks to the isolation and ‘free’ time this year has given us.  I’ve always been a passive fan of Gorillaz, and a deep admirer of Damon Albarn. I grew up in a very Oasis household with much of Blur’s deeper cuts never getting a mention in my childhood

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Why We Love: LANTA

Kimberly Anne, also known as LANTA, is a singer/songwriter from South London and a truly extraordinary talent. You may recognise her voice from Sam Feldt’s hit cover of Show Me Love, but despite her chart-topping success as a vocalist, Kimberly isn’t going to let anyone tell her what music she should be making. Someone who doesn’t need a leg up from anyone, now publishing songs under the pseudonym LANTA, Kimberly continues to create the same remarkable songs she has always done – oh boy you’re in for a treat. I could talk all day about any of Kimberly’s old tracks

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