13 December 2011

Mini Reviews In 20 Words: 20

COVER DRIVE - "TWILIGHT"


The Bajan band return with this romanticised cocktail of sun-kissed Carribean beats, sultry vocals and rousing choruses; Sunset-Beach listening material.




THEME PARK - "MILK"


Dripping suculent lashings of watery electro over synth-scapes, kitsch guitar expanses and catchy drumbeats is second nature for the Londoners.




EMILY KATTER - "HEART EXPLOSION"


New York's Jessie-J drops a soulful soiree of raw vocal energy and swirling emotions driving gentile beats and wavey instrumentals.




BEATRICE ELI - "THE CONQUEROR"


A sharp crystalline piece of provocative icy pop with majestic towering choruses and beautifully meandering interludes from the Scandinavian newcomer.




DIANA VICKERS - "MUSIC TO MAKE THE BOYS CRY"


Rebranded and restyled, Vickers chooses sparkling neon twinkles of synth and smooth-groove keys to give this retro-pop number vibrant edge.


Top Tunes To Blog About 18

THE GOOD NATURED - "VIDEO VOYEUR"


The most interesting bands worth their pinch of salt and valuable column inches in music magazines are often those that have been around for several years and seemingly struggled to gain headway in this cut throat industry; ploughing on to sculpt their sound and export it for the eager masses. In those years of hard graft the end result is often something special and worth the wait. The Good Natured are one such band that are worth the wait, and most definitely worth their pinch of salt.

Hailing from Hampshire in the UK, Sarah McIntosh and her brother Hamish joined forces with George Hinton during Sarah's university years after exercising her passion for playing the keyboard and drums. In 2008 they released their first EP "Warriors" which was met with sufficient positive acclaim. A string of remixes and collaborations followed, including recently their work with dance heavyweight Adrian Lux. Then the significant signing to UK giants Parlophone earlier this year prompted the release of their next EP "Skeleton". Describing their sound as "Pop Noir" and "Dark electronic pop" has allowed the band to hone their musicality and plump for an assertive direction and creative journey from where The Good Natured can develop whilst remaining faithful to their music origins. "Video Voyeur" is the next step in that journey and scrupulously dictates the band's niche sound. To compare them to fellow industry fodder would place them in the same field as A Kiss Could Be Deadly, Doll And The Kicks, C.S.S. or Niki And The Dove, most definitely making these three guys worth a listen.

"Video Voyeur" starts off immediately with a pounding drum beat giving the single instantaneous energy and assured grit coupled with a guitar bass array of mod-rock purrs and opaque eighties glamour grooves. The supernova drive and fiery nature of the tempo is kept in perfect balance by the introduction to McIntosh's powerhouse vocals and frenzied lyrical throw down. Sitting pretty between the over exuberant realms of hastiness and the mellow hark backs to bolshy and often languid mood-pop, Sarah's vocal deliverance is unequivocally astounding. By injecting the song with dynamic pitch, youthful creativity and infectiously crisp vocal soundscapes, there is added strength to the backing instrumentals which symbiotically work with McIntosh's volcanic power chord display. The chorus itself is a rambunctious mix of haphazard zonks and synthesised bleats, frenetic drumming and a steadfast bass. Indulgently sprinkled on top is Sarah's voice that evokes a bubbly affair of commercial savvy electro meets deliciously edible pop music morsels. The package is diligent and well poised, ingeniously sweeping the group's "Pop Noir" and "dark electronic" labels under the proverbial wing of mild alternativism. This allows the gothic nature of the group to permeate through the lyrics instead, saturating the feel of the song with discreet macabre undertones from the very beginning. Effortless in construction and attention to detail this "Pop Noir" thoroughfare retains enough chic pop chromosomes to keep the DNA neat, tidy and radiant. After the chorus the song tumbles onwards with applied skill and determined speed till the very end, harnessing the band's energetic reserves of skittish musicality. These guys clearly have a very promising future. It would seem it's in their nature, to have things come good.


Check out the music video below and show the guys some love by visiting their Facebook/Youtube/Myspace pages.




DATA ROMANCE - "SPARK"


Hailing from Canada are Vancouver residents Ajay Bhattacharyya and Amy Kirkpatrick; two young and talented musicians who have forged a serene balance of contemporary audio diversity and bended genres to create their own unique take on darker electro-mood-pop. Their sound is refreshing and bold; packing a mighty Canadian punch against the often cruel and domineering mainstream American powerhouse. Taking a proactive stance and rising amidst the commodified masses Data Romance are very much on course to stamp their individual mark on the North American music industry, putting energetic drive back into Canada's new music culture whilst showing the Europeans/Australians how it's done.

Bhattacharyya and Kirkpatrick first met two years ago. Amy was doing club venue lighting whilst Ajay was studying Sound Design for Film; with such variant backgrounds, their coming together and the culminating fusion of musical influence and style has garnered a richness of sound and dexterous composition that can take many years to perfect. This duo have a very precise direction to their musicality and with a thorough knowledge of their craft it has subsequently helped to generate multi-dimensional, deeply layered songs of credibility and tangible, mind-stimulating wonderment. Data Romance have been tweaking the forthcoming EP "Ashes" in preparation for an early 2012 release; after a successful Canadian tour and performance at Toronto's NXNE festival, the duo are ramping up the stakes.

Next single "Spark" delves into the murkier realms of slow-mo electro and spectral dubstep, this latest offering suggests the duo's musical direction and the influences being absorbed into the current Data Romance sound. With echoes of Lykke Li, James Blake a la Mount Kimbie, Florence And The Machine, Emika and Breton, it is indicative that Amy and Ajay have an assured sound and genre specification laced it into their music precision. Their uniqueness creates a veritable treat of distorted electro-pop that is inspired and ultimately feels 'new' and freshly discovered.

"Spark" starts off as a tentative mixture of incessant twitches sprawled across an introductory slow tempo back beat. Sprinkled over this eclectic plethora is the haunting vocals of Kirkpatrick. The silken tones offer a dark reflection to the track being both emotive, sincere and honest. The laden vocals chant a contorted message of overcoming denied accomplishment with an unyielding desire. The lyrics give voluminous depth beneath the overbearing and sometimes gargantuan instrumentals, a nice change from some mundane electro-pop compositions. Seeping into the chorus, "Spark" maintains a consuming sense of space with tenacious electro snowballs of zomping synths and cavernous bass drops puzzling together a fantascia-esque noir-scape of emotion and explosive thoughts. Kirkpatrick's voice ceaselessly intoxicates the chorus dripping black poison over the bass with insidious charm and dark elegance. The track thunders on with an overwhelming, almost noxious degree of determination, hammering home the underlying lyrical message which caresses Kirkpatrick's chords till the last breath. "Spark" spectacularly draws conflicting sound elements together into a uniform wave of alternative murky electro-pop which is both consuming and encapsulating; unsurprisingly with Data Romance unleashing one credible tune after the other, it is only a matter of time before this duo ignite the charts with their own unique spark.

Check out the music video below then visit the duo's Youtube/Myspace/Youtube and support these guys.


12 December 2011

Mini Reviews In 20 Words: 19

CHARLIXCX - "NUCLEAR SEASONS"


Bjork-alike London lass with fluctuating psychedelic pulses of cloudy eightie's electro-vibed gothi-pop. kaleidoscope filtered and colourfully splattered; inspired and refreshing.




BLONDFIRE - "WHERE THE KIDS ARE"


New Yorkers who carve out majestically slices of alt-indie-pop with whistling backdrops, electro pools, soaring vocal planes and stampeding instrumentals.




COASTAL CITIES - "THINK TANK"


Charmingly quintessential guitar tweaks and contagious drum beats from the Buckinghamshire five-piece. Spirited and typically British, think 'Good-Shoes-meets-Joe-Lean-And-The-Jing-Jang-Jong-collides-with-The-Wombats'; absolutely brilliant.




YELLE - "COMME UN ENFANT"


Hyperactive Franco-electro-pop band Yelle produce this camp discotheque number full of glamorous beeps, Gallic toots and shouty pop-nuance vocals; magnifique!




4MINUTE - "READY GO"


Korean girlband supremo's singing Japanese with direct Western niche sounds. Angsty, energetic, youthful and full of zest; a dynamic mix.


09 December 2011

Mini Reviews In 20 Words: 18

AZEALIA BANKS FT LAZY JAY - "212"


The New-Yorker masterfully strings together raw urban bravado, infectious lyrical skill with contemporary electro bleeps and a dramatic beat; sublime.




DONKEYBOY - "CITY BOY"


Blend together euro-dance, rapturous slabs of chirpy electro groove and vocoded silkiness and you get another classic from the Norwegians.




CRUSH ATLANTIC - "KEEP THIS NIGHT ALIVE"


Three Americans who bring out a perky electro-pop number to fill the Owl City gap. Scandi-pop lovers take note now.




KAMALIYA - "CRAZY IN MY HEART"


A Ukrainian icon who effortlessly churns out rustic euro-dance, she's also an actress and all-round celebrity, it must be Kamaliya.



PHANTOGRAM - "DON'T MOVE"


A refreshingly light dose of airy electro wisps and floaty vocals wrapped neatly amongst staccato-jazz beats from the humble New-Yorkers.


03 December 2011

Mini Reviews In 20 Words: 17

ELSIE - "THE ASSASSIN (BANG BANG)"


Blondie-like singer/songwriter who dredges up day-glow Brit-pop with raucous guitar riffs, drum thuds and a husky femme fatale vocal display.




CLEMENT MARFO AND THE FRONTLINE FT GHETTS - "OVERTIME"


The MTV-backed London Grime-pop extraordinaires lay down this anarchical mix of boisterous trumpets, sincere lyrical verve and escalating chorus peaks.



THE NEW DIVISION - "TRUE LIES"


By intertwining the traits of murky eighties synth-pop with shimmering facets of ethereal vocal power, these Americans are soaring sky high.





FRENCH HORN REBELLION - "WHAT I WANT (THE GOLDEN PONY REMIX)"


The New York duo showcase some rampant bass beats nestled under thumping synth waves and techno-vocoded chants for lasting effect.




WILHELM TELL ME - "SO INTO YOU"


The German rock-pop band filter simplistic drums and delightful guitar chirps over radio-friendly perky vocal layouts and a synth-happy backdrop.