Monday, 2 March 2015

SISTER WANZALA - SINGLE REVIEW

Sister Wanzala - Bad Brains 
Sister Wanzala - Single Review

Release Date: Out Now

Sister Wanzala might well be my new favourite band. To qualify, their music is pretty good but it's more the way they present themselves that appeals. The three brothers Wanzala-Ryan that make up the entirety of Sister Wanzala are pretty much unknown (only five likes on the Facebook page for the love of God) but their new track, 'Bad Brains', is a delight of woozy guitars, Nick Cave meets Tom Waits vocals and a gently probing bass line. They describe themselves as making 'Dance music for those who hate dancing by three boys who can't dance' and clearly state in their email pitch that they have emailed every address they can find so I (and by extension, you) should not feel remotely. The point is, their music is downbeat, sparse and thoroughly chilled indie pop that you should pop on the second that first post-pub spliff is lit as you settle down watch Tarantino films with the sound off. Pass it to the left man.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/sisterwanzala


THE HOLY GASP - SINGLE REVIEW

The Holy Gasp - A Daily Affirmation 
The Holy Gasp - A Daily Affirmation 

Release Date: Out Now

Toronto. Home to a lot of things but not, I suspect, a particularly strong Afro-Cuban psychedelic surf-punk scene. I've never been to Toronto, granted, but I suspect the The Holy Gasp are ploughing a fairly lonely furrow. In the snow. Nevertheless, their new single 'A Daily Affirmation' is here so listen up. Opening with layers of vocal harmonies joined by an excitedly shuffling rhythm you soon realise that these guys are here to have a bit of fun and spread some joy. Think Flaming Lips on a really good day, the Polyphonic Spree without all the pretension or the Levellers without the preachiness and then wrap that up in a character with the facial expressiveness of Chevy Chase. The whole thing climaxes with a party band wigging out in a cupboard and you know you've experienced something refreshing, original and makes you want to just hit restart straight away. If you've had a bad day at work or need a pick me up before the day starts then this is the tune for you. No diggity.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/TheHolyGasp

Live Dates:

13th March - The Phog, Windsor w/OS Tropies
14th March - The Trinity Lounge, Sarnia w/ OS Tropies
17th March - Musiiki, Kingston
19th March - Quai Des Brumes, Montreal
20th March - The Garnet, Peterborough

21st March - The Silver Dollar, Toronto

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

ELLE EXXE - SINGLE REVIEW

Elle Exxe - Lie To Me 
Elle Exxe - Lie To Me

Release Date: Out Now

You know when a new pop singer comes along and you hear their big debut single and you know how the chorus is going to sound, lyrics and all, before you get to the second line of the first verse? Well that's not Elle Exxe. No, the hype around this Scottish pop pretender is entirely justified on the basis of this edgy, unpredictable and soulful single. 'Lie To Me' takes the attitude of Neneh Cherry and Shampoo and blends it with a soulful, electro infused tune that gets your joints jerking and your head popping. Before you know it, you're wondering how much Madonna or Lady Gaga would sacrifice to get their hands on a tune like this or to have as much vibrancy and energy as Elle Exxe. A strong start, stronger than any other pop debutants on the market right now.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/ElleExxe?fref=ts

Live Dates:


26th February - 229, London

GITTA DE RIDDER - EP REVIEW

Gitta De Ridder - Come Find Me EP 
Gitta De Ridder - Come Find Me

Release Date: Out Now

Dutch songstress Gitta De Ridder is back with a new EP from her London base and that is something you should be excited about. Opening track 'All My Mind' is a typical track for De Ridder with delicate guitars and sensuous strings underpinning her fragile but beautiful voice tinged with sadness and regret. 'Wished For Stars' picks the tempo up ever so slightly with some quirky, jerky percussion and acoustic notes rippling like fresh, clear water over smooth, white pebbles in the kind of idyllic stream you only find in films about middle England in medieval times. It is on the stunning 'Come Find Me' that De Ridder really finds her stride, however, as she creates a groove with hand claps, a simple riff and a tickle of bass guitar to allow her voice the space to dance around without a care in the world.

Gitta De Ridder's talent lies in creating moody, atmospheric melodies that could be dark, candlelit spaces but then lighting them up with her voice which is full of hope and quiet determination. 'One Thousand Fireflies' is a great example of this dual talent as a hypnotic riff and subtle percussion pale in to the shadows when that voice takes full flight. The closing track of this EP is 'This Is Now My Home' and if you can't identify with the wistful, almost mournful lyrical theme then you haven't lived enough. There are a whole raft of female singer-songwriters around at the moment so you have to do something special to stand out and what I like about Gitta De Ridder's approach to this challenge is that she has gone for quality and substance over style and bombast. Less, in this case, is most definitely more.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/gittaderidder/timeline

Listen/Download Here: https://gittaderidder.bandcamp.com/album/come-find-me-ep

Live Dates:

27th February - The Workshop, London
4th March - The Karamel Music Club, London

16th March - The Finsbury, London w/ Lucas & King

Monday, 23 February 2015

HORSE PARTY - SINGLE REVIEW

Horse Party - Out Of Sight/Receiver (R*E*P*E*A*T Records) 
Horse Party - Out Of Sight/Receiver

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

Horse Party were one of my favourite finds of 2014 and their debut album was a thing of beauty so I'm glad they're not wasting any time in 2015 with getting a new single out. The first of the two featured tracks from the Bury St Edmunds trio is 'Out Of Sight' kicks in with a nervous, twitchy riff before the brooding vocals of Ellie Langley slide in from stage left and the confidence of the track grows by the second. Somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age, Juliette Lewis, the Knack and Suzi Quatro is where this track lives and, frankly, it's giving me the horn. The guitars slide and glide like a well old machine with steam escaping through the cymbal crashes as the intensity grows to a gorgeous climax. 'Receiver' is t'other track and there is a punkier, darker feel to the riff from the word go and the drums only serve to push things along at a tasty lick. Seymour Quigley is an unlikely rock star name but in the same way that the Young Knives are not the kind of guys you'd expect to sweat blood onstage (even though they do, through their tweed) Seymour's voice is dripping in rock'n'roll cool. Horse Party really are an absolutely astounding band who have a talent for songwriting and layering on some serious style. Time to get behind some serious talent people, you know what to do.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty?fref=ts

Live Dates:

27th February - Steamboat Tavern, Ipswich
27th March - The Garage, London
2nd May - Fringe Festival, Bury St Edmunds
15th May - Junction, Cambridge

13th June - Open, Norwich

COSMO SHELDRAKE - SINGLE REVIEW

Cosmo Sheldrake - Rich (Transgressive Records) 
Cosmo Sheldrake - Rich

Release Date: Out Now

The supremely talented London multi-instrumentalist Cosmo Sheldrake is back with his new single, 'Rich', and by now the world really ought to be paying more attention. So, y'know, shame on you world. Anyway, you have a chance for redemption with this new single so listen up and listen close. The crunch and crackle that forms the rhythm is soon joined by the 33 rpm played at 45 rpm vocals of guest singer Anndreyah Vargas and some dream like vocal harmonies. Then Sheldrake does what he does best in layering up a range of unexpected instrumentation like a mix of Gilbert, Lemon Jelly, Kimbra and Beck at his most explorative. Cosmo Sheldrake is a modern day genius in the musical sphere but he seems so unassuming that he'll probably never get the limelight but a career as an influential but reclusive super producer surely beckons.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/cosmosheldrakemusic?fref=ts

Live Dates:

8th April - Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds
9th April - Start The Bus, Bristol
10th April - The Lexington, London
11th April - Green Door Store, Brighton
16th April - Rock School Barbey, Bordeaux w/ Kid Wise
18th April - FuzzYon, La Roche Sur Yon
19th April - Zenith, Lille w/The Prodigy
20th April - Blue Shell, Cologne
21st April - Milla, Munchen
22nd April - Cafe Kairo, Berne
23rd April - La Parenthese, Geneve
25th April - Paradiso (London Calling Festival), Amsterdam
15th May - Great Escape Festival, Brighton

4th July - Blissfields Festival, Winchester

JAMIE PORTER BAND - SINGLE REVIEW

Jamie Porter Band - Save Me 
Jamie Porter Band - Save Me

Release Date: Out Now

I don't feel like I've had enough music from Wales of late so it was pleasing to receive the music of North Welshman Jamie Porter and his assembled band. The new single 'Save Me' is a cold, grey day of a tune that hunches it's shoulders against the wind and goes for a long walk on a sand blasting beach in February. The rhythm is a little plodding and the chords aren't particularly inspiring but Porter has a rasping, powerful voice that is somewhere between Axl Rose and Kelly Jones which would breath personality in to most songs. All in all, I could live without having heard this song and the spoken word middle eight and sketchy guitar solo don't do much to improve that sentiment. Swing and a miss from Wales, then, but a promising talent in the voice department.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/jamieportermusic?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eX4wf2RLsM&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

20th June - Conwy VW Festival, Wales

27th June - Conwy Beer Festival, Wales