Well, it’s November (how can this be!) and Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK, so if you’re looking for an eclectic playlist to pop on round the socially distanced fireside, then I have just the thing.
Jacqueline Loor » Deschaser (Coming Undone)
From the first hushed lyrics that quietly crept over the piano, I was completely captivated by this dark, melodic track by Jacqueline Loor. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what’s being said but that is entirely irrelevant, in fact, in my case, it felt like it might have elevated the meaning of the song as I imagined the lyric and sentiment of the piece based entirely on the intimate emotion and all-consuming power exuding from Loor’s vocal. There is a sense of restraint in the music as the simple piano and beautifully refined production gently embellish the story. However, it is the richness and rawness of that unique vocal which carries the track to dizzying new heights. Let yourself be swept up in the immersive and imaginative world or Jacqueline Loor.
Mamadou » Childhood Memories
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if a track manages to capture my imagination it’s always going to be a winner. I picked this track from Mamadou’s album ‘To Stitch a Rose’ for it’s creative use of organic percussion, transcendent production going from hip-hop to jazz to soul, to the deeply satisfying lyric. It’s such a cliché, but I kind of can’t believe more people don’t know about this guy. Even the sheer quality of the actual recording is worth noting, as it’s just another reflection of how much attention to detail and high standards Mamadou appears to hold himself to. The embellishments of chanting backing vocals, suitably impressive jazz electric keyboard and guitar sections and the insane production detail have honestly got me a bit speechless. This is someone putting their talent to full use.
Sacropolis » For You
Feel-good indie goodness, that’s what’s in store for you with this track by Sacropolis. Despite its more melancholy leaning lyric, there’s a real upbeat feel and lightheartedness to this song. This is a bit of an early bird look at this band, as it’s only their debut single but it’s an impressive first offering and one that’s bound to lift this small indie outfit on to new heights. The vocal sample is a wonderfully satisfying feature as is the reverberating guitar and refined, atmospheric and rock infused production. This is a really well crafted indie-pop number with lots of musical earworms that will keep you coming back for another listen again and again…and again.
Band Spectra » Thule
‘Thule’ is an engaging and immersive electronic track from synth infused outfit Band Spectra. I was instantly struck by the deeply atmospheric and textured production that carried the song. Lightening the mood are the playful melodic synth lines that build a gentle narrative within the instrumental and give the whole track a positive, laidback feel. I am constantly drawn to the music of artists who seem to know their own perspective and intention so clearly and can communicate it so succinctly, no matter the genre or whether words are involved or not. ‘Thule’ is such a defined piece and is a true example of an artist working on a high level, crafting their own sound.
Crime Spree in Candyland » Fatalism
I hesitate in using this word as I don’t want it to come across as ‘pre-teen’ or distract from the edgy, cool-kid vibes that clearly exude from this L.A based indie band, but there is something distinctly ‘cheeky’ about the sound of ‘Fatalism’. Perhaps it’s the somewhat serious sounding title juxtaposed against the punchy drums, bouncy melodies and tongue and cheek lyrics? That might have something to do with it. But this ‘cheeky’, playful sound is, all the same, highly refined and well honed. There’s a suitably catchy, yet respectably laidback chorus and what really makes C.S.I.C stand a notch above the rest is the sheer richness of musicality on offer, delivered in a typically nonchalant and unassuming manner befitting of a band of this calibre.
seafood diet » thursday
In all honesty, I didn’t quite know what to make of this wavey track by Seafood Diet but after returning to it several times it became clear that I could never quite shake it off. The complete submersion into the underwater world they’ve created is kind of intoxicating and disturbing all at the same time. Soft melodic lines slowly amble into the piece with mermaid-like vocals chanting in the background and the balance of textured seascapes and melodic embellishments is artfully done. You get the sense that both vocals are only just managing to reach your ears as they sing up from beneath the reeds, you can make out a word or two before they plunge back down to the depths below.
Juhan Ongbrian » Biscotti
Sunday morning anyone? Italian coffee and some people watching? This gloriously indulgent instrumental track by Juhan Ongbrian is the perfect thing to accompany you whilst you go about your most leisurely of Sunday routines. It’s filled with playful, holiday-like guitar strums, languid electric guitar lines and laidback drums to really set the mood. The quiet organ chords which ripple through the production offer another teasing layer of relaxation as things begin to settle down again and you can dream of italian ice-cream, or perhaps more fittingly dipping a long finger of biscotti into some rich black coffee. I seem to have got a bit carried, but truly this is a gorgeous track to get caught up in and I highly recommend escaping into the holiday mood with ‘Biscotti’.
Shader » True to Life
This is a true indie anthem, nodding its head to the 90’s with oodles of style. There’s no getting away from it, the chorus for this track by Manchester natives Shader, is a hands down winner and somehow feels destined to be the theme song to a long forgotten but beloved 90’s sitcom. Not to distract from the prominent rock feel and general grittiness that runs deep in the swelling fuzz guitars and frantic drums, but there is a catchy, pop edge to ‘True to Life’ which might be one of the reasons this indie troop stands out from the crowd. Rock and roll credibility with pop sensibilities is a potent cocktail on the indie scene and one which will probably stand Shader in good stead.
Mister Clarck » Amours Poussières
This is a fun, dance infused number that will have you nodding along in appreciation in no time at all. ‘Amours Poussières’ straddles between uplifting pop banger and introspective love song all without missing a beat. Speaking some french myself, I appreciated the simple yet poetic lyric talking of a love turned to dust and the pain of being separated from a love that used to surround you. With the auto-tuned, stylised dance vocals and pulsating synths you might not jump to the comparison of indie-pop groups, but I can hear elements of bands like Haim in here through the ricocheting drum accents and rippling synths giving this pop track a bit of an cool-kid edge as your ears tune into the detailed production. Get the disco ball out and dance your weekend away to this song by Mister Clarck.
Make sure to follow our playlist on Spotify as we will be updating it and adding more hidden treasures every Thursday.