22 June 2014

IYES - "TOYS" (ALT-POP, UK)


By all accounts things have been ticking over rather nicely for Brighton duo Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanová, otherwise known as IYES. The pair have generated a lot of positive attention having established themselves within the Brighton and London circuits. IYES have progressively nurtured their sound of slick digitalism and haunting vocals to another level.

Their latest demo "Toys" is a clear evolution forwards where whirling synths and cathartic beats dominate. Gone are the celestial keys, delicate atmospherics and watery ensembles. But fear not, what IYES have is the ability to know what is current and what works well on a musical level whilst retaining the very essence and mannerisms that stood out originally. The tempo of "Toys" is a lot more invigorating and jostles dark electronic undertones with futuristic bleeps and murky bass whomps. It feels more urban and angular. Almost kinetic. Josh and Melis' haunting vocal harmonies seductively lure all musical inputs together into a durable alt-pop space. Threading together the old and new, ensuring they obediently heel at the pair's productive side.

Like what you here from IYES? Share, re-tweet, re-post and spread the new music love.




IYES: Facebook
IYES: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

11 June 2014

MEANWHILE - "BIGGER CITY" (DISCO-POP, UK)


Basingstoke isn't exactly renowned for twinkling seventies funk and camp house grooves but fortunately they have Meanwhile, the difficult search-engine moniker used by Tom Andrews, an electro-soul maestro who manages to channel Prince, David Bowie and Mausi into one magnificent sound extravaganza whilst still retaining elements that are clearly identifiable as his work.

"Bigger City" is a seismic behemoth of a track that skits between sixties soul filters and boogie dropping seventies funk. The immediacy of this camp onslaught coupled with screeching glam-pop lyricism and carnival percussion exudes positivity as it seeps into your ears and struts confidently forward. The very foundations of "Bigger City" are embossed with sweltering neon beats and fluffy synth overlays. This in turn makes Meanwhile's latest track feel very 'Français Discotheque' with enough energy to befit any Miami beach club. Meanwhile fuses genres together with a zealous enamour, turning discordant sounds into one shimmering ensemble. 

Check out "Bigger City" via the Soundcloud link below. Like what you hear? Share, re-tweet, re-post and spread the new music love.



Meanwhile: Facebook
Meanwhile: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

CASH+DAVID - "PULSE" (HOUSE / POP, UK)


Cash+David are a mysterious duo from London who own their own record label called +. The pair draw creative influence from their surroundings, "beats that echo the repetition of the sedated suburban terraced houses that surround their solitary shed studio", to quote their Soundcloud blurb. This pair have a harmonious musical duality whereby Cash spatially cleanses the digital soundboards to ensure rhythms undulate whilst David's eclectic enthusiasm brings together gritty instrumentation and spicy genres.

"Pulse" stays true to its very title: shimmering keys, oscillating house grooves, nineties glitch-tronica, stabbing loops, Cash+David know precisely how to fuse juxtaposing sounds into a grinding boulder of noise. Delve deeper and you unlock the auditory potential of "Pulse" as salubrious vocals lap against the more fractious musical elements. The inclusion of ruminative Eastern murmurs and twitchy garage thuds adds an extra angle to what is a well constructed effort from the London duo.

Check out "Pulse" via the Soundcloud link below. Like what you hear? Share, re-tweet, re-post and spread the new music love.




Cash+David: Facebook
Cash+David: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

MANOU - "WE ARE" (POP, UK / GERMANY)


Manou is another pop starlet treading defiantly in the previously laid footsteps of pop genii Charli XCX, Pawws and Tove Lo with her own individual slant on the sub-genre. Having already collaborated with Stefan Storm of The Sound Of Arrows fame, producer PNUT and ending up on the books at the ridiculously en-trend Duly Noted Records Sophia Manou is riding an impeccable wave of hype. 

Debut offering "We Are" immediately highlights the mesmerising compositions of Manou which are focussed on smouldering day-glow rhythms and woozy synths. Starting with a wobbling beat that reminds us of No Doubt's "I'm Just A Girl" this track possesses hazy keys and towering synths from the beginning. Manou's satin vocals glide across the sweetened digital landscape whilst reflecting on the very purpose of the song; to stand proud and declare your individuality. This fantastical smooth-pop amble showcases this Anglo-German's gift at making sublime pop music for anyone who ever dared question themselves.

Check out "We Are" via the Soundcloud below and tell us what you think. Share, re-tweet, re-post and spread the new music love.




Manou: Facebook
Manou: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - BLAENAVON (INDIE, UK)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.
Blaenavon (UK // Audio, Saturday 10th May).



The Hampshire trio of Blaenavon first caught our attention early last year with their steely mood-rock leviathan "Into The Night". It was a brilliant debut that showcased a maturity towards constructing sound that far surpassed their youthful demeanour. With a further year of self development the band have proven they are most definitely not a one-trick-pony as their set list at Audio showed; serving the crowd an armada of progressive alt-rock and scintillating indie medleys, the band managed to generate a fantastic atmosphere buoyed along by the three's irreverent quips and comedic behaviour. 

Blaenavon had this innate ability to channel cathartic guitar riffs and wallowing drum interplay into periodic intervals. Tempos slid around and unravelled playfully to let vocals and lyrics take centre stage; melancholic in places, ushered in others, brash occasionally, the three band members had a mental understanding over what was required and what sounds complimented each other. Nothing was ever audacious, it felt exact and precise. Similar to Wild Beats or Foals. The right amount of everything needed in the right dose to end a fantastic weekend.

Check out Blaenavon's hit "Prague" via the Soundcloud link below then be sure to share, re-tweet, re-post this review to spread the new music love.



Blaenavon: Facebook
Blaenavon: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - MAMMUT (ALTERNATIVE, ICELAND)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.

Mammút (Iceland // Above Audio, Saturday 10th May).



One of the big surprises for us over the duration of the festival was Icelandic band Mammút. Now, any music connoisseur worth their weight in salt will know that Iceland is renowned for nurturing some extraordinary artists. There must be something in the geothermal waters or Arctic air that keeps Icelandic people so in tune with their senses and creative output. 

This Reykjavik five piece led by the charismatic and enchanting Katrína 'Kata' Mogensen produced a memorable set delivered with quirky Nordic charm and rousing visual aesthetic; Mogensen's pagan incantations and ritualistic dancing served as the perfect conduit, bathing the crowd in a noxious blend of guitars, bass reverb and imposing drums. Each song played continued to build, harnessing each instrumental input into a huge mood-rock beast. Mammút work in equilibrium, the static non-entities of the other band members as they concentrated on their craft were excellently balanced against the seemingly 'possessed' Mogensen; the desolate introductory sequences are complimented by a stampede of sound towards the end. Balance. Music for those seeking an aural utopia.

Check out the single "Salt" via the Soundcloud link below then be sure to share, re-tweet, re-post this review and spread the new music love.





Mammút: Facebook

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - I AM A CAMERA (ELECTRO-POP, UK)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.
I Am A Camera (UK // The Neighbourhood, Friday 9th May).



The slick ensemble of Francesca Ross and Ian Watt performed in a Tokyo-cramped basement at The Neighbourhood with no room to swing a proverbial cat around or enough physical room to fit a crowd reaching into double figures. You either felt awkwardly misplaced or you felt subtly privileged to grab a spot in such a 'charismatic' venue, either way, the aforementioned setting ensured the music was at the forefront. 

Ross' vocal deliverance was empowered and direct, fluxing between closed eyes, self belief and head swinging tenacity whilst her lyrics punctured Watt's digitalised landscapes with accurate effect. Their synth-orientated tracks exploited the dynamics of fanciful pop music and the pulsating soundboards of electro. Disco savvy "Factory Boys" and the delightfully camp eighties glamour-puss "Lost In Love" entertained as well as showcased the darker lyrical nous of I Am A Camera. Watts' ability to blend Stockholm infused beats to twinkling keys and bubbling noise intrusions only demonstrated further the pair's unspoken, mutually understood love of this genre. If it weren't for the inebriated man behind or the coked up randomer to our side, we most definitely would have been sashaying joyously to their electro-pop monsters.

Check out the music video for "Lost In Love" below then share, re-tweet or re-post this review and spread the new music love.




I Am A Camera: Facebook
I Am A Camera: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - I HAVE A TRIBE (FOLK-POP, IRELAND)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.


Having exhausted ourselves with a militarised schedule we chilled with a couple of beers on Audio's smoking terrace and got tallking to a random gentleman. His enigmatic body language, appreciative lexicon and friendly persona was wholly refreshing and his humbling stories kept us suitably enthralled. It turned out that this man was Irishman Patrick O' Laoghaire, also known as I Have A Tribe. 

During his set O' Laoghaire demonstrated an enviable gift of being able to sew inner emotions and thought processes to overriding vocal prowess; a blend of crisp folk harmonies interspersed with relaxing jazz undertones and crackling Gaelic utterances. Piano keys, percussive musings, the set in itself was a beautiful contradictory melange where the sincerity and wound of O' Laoghaire's soul was laid bare. However, it encouraged the audience 'in'. Into the space that was man and music. It allowed this one Irishman to have a tribe. In a recent interview O' Laoghaire stated "the concept of the tribe offers comfort and support" and having met such a charismatic individual the night before, the nature of his music, his lyrics and even his choice of moniker, such a quote made absolute, unequivocal sense after a humbling performance.

Check out I Have A Tribe below via Soundcloud. Like what you hear? Share, re-tweet and re-post this review and spread the new music love.



I Have A Tribe: Facebook
I Have A Tribe: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - TOVE LO (POP, SWEDEN)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.

TOVE LO (Sweden // Komedia, Thursday 8th May).




Scandinavians are truly the masters of producing credible, thoughtful and well constructed pop music. They do it best, simple as that. This year The Great Escape acknowledged that fact by playing host to a variety of artists from said region. One artist we were desperate to see was Stockholm based Tove Lo who has grabbed a lot of attention lately so it made sense to see what all the fuss was about. We were not disappointed. 

Sounding like a cross between Mø, Salt Ashes and Chloe Howl, Tove Lo started off tentatively, meandering around slow-warp manipulations and brooding melodies, but, as each song ended and the next began the atmosphere and dynamics would suddenly shift. Everything felt like a culmination, a crescendo. Eventually, synth-laden choruses, slick Nordic beats and a brash dose of energy from Lo herself gave the crowd a much needed boost during her set. As a musician, Tove Lo ingeniously fused pop and hollowed electronica with brazen lyrics into a mix that didn't stray too far from the safe bosom of commerciality and this, this, is why the Swedish vixen excels at creating fantastic pop tracks and brilliant stage performances.

Check out Tove Lo below and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Like what you hear? Share, re-tweet and re-post this review and spread the new music love.




Tove Lo: Facebook
Tove Lo: Twitter

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter

TGE 2014 TOP SIX HIGHLIGHTS - OY (ALT-POP, SWITZERLAND)

It seems like ages since Brighton's prestigious little scamp of a music festival, The Great Escape popped up across a variety of clubs, bars and secret locations to showcase new music from several hundred artists around the globe. The ominous thuds of drum sets, the warm smell of spilt beer residue, the fluttering of self-important delegate passes in the coastal breeze, we remember it fondly. So, with all that retrospective sop out of the way, we have come up with a list of our top six highlights (two from each respective day of the festival) of who entertained and who left us baying for more after the lights went down and the club doors closed.

OY (Switzerland // Komedia Studio Bar, Thursday 8th May).



We accidentally stumbled across OY warming up for their set in the Studio Bar at Komedia at the prospect of a free beer and sandwich. What initially grabbed our interest was the visual aesthetic of OY, a twosome from Switzerland consisting of Joy Frempong; a formidable woman wise beyond her years and steeped in a rich cultural intellect thanks to her African heritage and wise anecdotes. And Lleluja-Ha, a bizarrely attired squid-cum-veiled humanoid with a clear penchant for eclectic fabrics who resided most comfortably behind the drum set. 

Musically OY channelled mantra style vocal incantations and diverse pitch arrangements across a swamp of enlivened beats, electronic whoops and shifting tempo manoeuvres. A Hercules And Love Affair meets YELLE music chameleon. That probably best summed up these two. Songs such as "Akwaba" and "Market Place" will divide opinion amongst those with a less experimental taste, but to anyone who appreciates music, OY's brand of boisterous pop meets wise sensibilities made for a perfect start to The Great Escape.

Like what you hear? Share, re-tweet and re-post this review and spread some OY love.




OY: Facebook

Owl By Night: Facebook
Owl By Night: Twitter