Hello wonderful music lovers, we are back with an even more delicious line up of indie artists than ever before. Late to the Party took its first tentative steps as a new feature last year, but now it’s ready to stretch its wings and blow you over with a monthly dose of all the best new and independent music discovered over the last month. We are starting as we mean to go on with standout tracks from Siren Mayhew, AK Patterson and Apteekii.
Siren Mayhew » Predator
Kicking things off is the exquisite and powerful track by Siren Mayhew. Dancing between folkloric melodies and operatic vocals, along with the grunge of electric guitar and deep piano chords, ‘Predator’ will keep you spell bound from start to finish. This artist appears to be deftly talented at navigating those interesting, in between spaces where creativity can flourish in the right hands. To call this folk, or operatic rock or even ‘experimental’ somehow reduces it to the narrow conventions of genres that could never hope to contain it. The creative freedom and intelligence of Mayhew’s musical choices are what makes ‘Predator’ a thrill to listen to. You are in very safe hands during this wild ride of genre-defying exploration. I hope you’ll give it a listen and get swept away in her unique world. Also, kudos to Mayhew for shouting about how shit streaming rates are for indie artists, something we are passionate about changing! So get over and buy the EP on Bandcamp and show it some love.
Veronica’s Boyfriend » Angel
This left of centre, 80’s infused indie bop is a brand new offering from self-proclaimed ‘child of the 80’s’ Veronica’s Boyfriend. A former assistant audio engineer at Abbey Road Studios (quite the accolade) this low key, laid back track certainly demonstrates his high level of competency in that field, but mainly this is a song full of self-restraint and an awareness that less is more. The monosyllabic vocals punctuate the beat and playfully narrate what could be considered as an ‘unexpected love song’. Something about the quotidian nature of the lyric and its stilted delivery is so casual and charming when matched with the simple guitar riffs and swelling synths. Listening to the seamless change from the downtempo verses to the warm, melodic choruses it feels like a beautifully everyday moment of declaring your love for someone without any of the bells and whistles you might expect in a more conventional approach.
Lucy James » Cloudy
This is a debut single and I’m blown away. The more I listened to this track by Lucy James, the more I couldn’t help but be impressed by the stunning, painterly melodies and that completely captivating voice. What initially made me uncertain about the track has come to be my absolute favorite thing, it’s wonderful simplicity. There are no unnecessary embellishments or filler pop production to pad it out. This is a raw and beautiful piece, delicately but precisely built and at nearly 5 minutes in length you would be forgiven for thinking it was nearer the 2 minute mark. Time flies by, and that’s down to the artist’s incredible knack at carrying through these intricate melodies from section to section, creating a seamless and pure, musical diary entry. ‘Cloudy’ as a word is also befitting of the skyward, angelic vocals being showcased. Give this one a few listens and tell me you’re not fangirling by the end of it.
Apteekii » What’s real?
What a darkly illustrious track by 4 piece outfit Apteekii. I was completely hooked on this even before the magnificent vocals came in and elevated the mood to new heights of dark, sad beauty. Formed under lockdown and recorded completely remotely, this is the dystopian music of the pandemic we never knew we needed. The restraint in the production is impressive. The ebb and flow and tender push and pull of the vocal melody and rippling textures of beats and synths that flow beneath it are truly haunting. This band has to be one of my top discoveries of the month and if this is their debut single, I cannot wait to hear what’s to come. Bring on more disturbing beats, haunting lyrics and powerful harmonies, I’m sold.
Ella Bee » Artificial Heart
I hope this isn’t a controversial statement, but for me this track is such a grower. It took me a minute to get to grips with it, but then watching the music video and sitting with the lyric, it becomes utterly clear what this artist is about. You are on an infinitely cool exploration with Ella Bee as you bask in the quirky and unique delivery of her lyrics and melody. Discovering artists who have such a singular perspective and assuredness of how to use their own creativity is what makes listening to their music so exciting. Punctuated, mercurial vocals hop and skip over the trip-hop style beats and warming, textured synth, but what is truly captivating about ‘Artificial Heart’ is the lyric. I don’t know how this young artist has already developed such an extraordinary understanding of her own voice (in all senses of the word) but I’m ever grateful she’s sharing it with us.
Angus Quinn » Fading Blue
My knees are weak from this song and Angus Quinn’s angelic vocals. This is a true gem of a track, simple, well crafted and peacefully at ease with itself. Gentle acoustic guitar chords and atmospheric field recordings, reminiscent of the river Quinn references in the lyric, provide a languid bed in which to rest and let his words cascade over you. The beauty in this song is brought to new heights of spiritual escapism through the intelligent and refined choices the artist has made in the production. The devil is in the detail here and the details are exquisite: eerie lines of rumbling synth poke through the more folksy beats and tying it all together is Quinn’s heart wrenching and completely effortless vocal. The understated, honey-filled harmonies provided by Cassidy Ford seamlessly blend with Quinn’s own vocals and offer another layer of longing to ‘Fading Blue’.
Theodor Luceo » Midnight Blue Sky (Radio Edit)
Theodor Luceo is a Norwegian solo artist making reflective, poetically driven tracks and in this release you are treated to a feast of his moving lyrical sentiments, easy going vocals and beautifully embellished production. ‘Midnight Blue Sky’ starts off as a tentative and sweet acoustic track, but it’s the artist’s edgy almost punk leaning chorus that made me appreciate this song on a whole other level. There’s just enough diversity in the arrangement to keep you drawn in and the breaths and delicate pauses are artfully done, helping to submerge you in the existential, frosty and familiar landscape Luceo is building. This is another song that has truly grown on me this week and I’ve become somewhat captivated by the way Luceo creates his songs and the purity of his writing.
Axis Neptune » Cherry Red
I defy anyone to not immediately start dancing or moving in some way to this song. It’s impossible, your foot will start tapping, your head will start to nod and before you know it you’re low key shoulder shimmying in your seat. Axis Neptune has made a downright sexy song and it’s not the intricate guitar lines or laidback beat that make me feel whisked off my feet, but Neptune’s silky smooth vocals. There is a playfulness to this track as the artist’s melodies glide over the rippling synths and punctuate the steady production. The effortless feel to the arrangement only adds to the velvety nature of ‘Cherry Red’ providing a rich medley of rumbling bass guitar, solid drums and jazz fused guitar chords. The music video for the track is an equal testiment to the vision of the artist, tantalising us with scenic views and impressive cinematic shots.
AK Patterson » Cause for a Beating Heart
Wow, just wow, this ethereal song by Brighton based three piece, AK Patterson, is quite the statement. An unraveling, rich tapestry of unearthly vocals, brooding production and delicate, textured percussion will have you utterly transfixed. Listening to this track you get the sense that your ears are adjusting to new, previously unexplored musical terrain. Although this band are new to me, it was certainly no surprise to discover they’ve already been touring with the likes of Alt-J and performing at notable festivals including Latitude and Boardmasters. The experimental and exploratory nature of their music is by no means inaccessible as the guiding force throughout ‘Cause for a Beating Heart’ are the beautiful melodic riffs and those astonishing vocal acrobatics of the lead singer. I can hear this band collaborating with the likes of Snarky Puppy and Becca Stevens, then again, the world might explode if they were all in the same room at once.
Late To The Party