Trawlin’ for new music, waxing lyrical about our finds.



Ryley Walker ‘The Roundabout’

August 25, 2016 — by James Auton


Indie folk from Illinois.

Just round the corner, beyond the end of your nose, where everybody knows your name, is that bar, that tavern, that pub. It’s your best friend’s parents’ basement, the garage you can’t park your car in, the same seat at the football. It’s the street corner or the square near your house.Whether it’s Rockford or Chicago, Illinois – or anywhere town, U.S.A – for Ryley Walker, it’s the Roundabout. Where you don’t have cash for a beer. Where cigarettes cost more than ten bucks. Where you walk past arm in arm, staying close against the cold. It’s the long route cos you want to go past your old house and the church you walked past everyday for years and years. It’s where you go to feel safe, and happy, and sad and to remind you of where you’ve been and come from.

Ryley Walker has condensed this into a rolling, repetitively lilting, vicious, beautiful circle. He could, at any moment, just leave that roundabout and take off somewhere. Ryley has made a name for himself with his multi-minute epic instrumental outros, and he could take this one beyond its four minutes forty seconds and into the sunset. But he’d return. We all return. At least in our minds. You can find us at the roundabout.


Francobollo | In The Woods: Spotlight

August 24, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


A jangly acid trip with 90's undertones.

The disparate opener to ‘Kinky Lola’ throws the listener into an acid-trip for the ears; all soft edges and jangly riffs. The vocals from Simon Nilsson cut through with sincerity and assertion, throwing some nods to alt-rock of the 90’s with whispers of the Pixies and Nirvana.

The song refrains at points which would be right for a crescendo, before bursting out towards the end with the perfect amount of garage-rock oomph, creating a sound that’s both lackadaisical and ear-melting at the same time. This is the mark of a band that are assured and creatively in-tune with one another. Quite the achievement from a debut single.

Francobollo play In The Woods festival (2nd-4th September), alongside Benjamin Francis Leftwich and many others.


Grapell ‘Some Places’

August 23, 2016 — by James Oliver West


Slinky, sax-infused pop from Stockholm.

The slowburning new single from Stockholm-based duo Grapell is like velvet on the ears. ‘Some Places’ is a slinky, sax-infused pop number – the sort thing you could imagine being the bedroom soundtrack for a pair of star-crossed lovers who are bunking down for a night of mattress mambo.

The fast-rising twosome certainly put a futuristic slant on blue-eyed soul and this, the lead track taken from their upcoming third EP ‘Love Chamber’ with guest vocals from Many Voices Speak, follows the formula of their work to date, coming over like The xx covering George Michael‘s ‘Careless Whisper’ or fellow newcomers PREP given a melancholy makeover.


Wovoka Gentle | In The Woods: Spotlight

August 22, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


An experimental take on nostalgic vibes.

London 3-piece Wovoka Gentle have an eclectic appeal; their alternative approach to folk blends electronic influence with pop percussion and layered harmonies. The result is a slightly dystopian, if not future-ready take on experimental folk.

Taking influence from psychedelia in the late 60’s, their soundscapes carry a timeless energy – the kind of loose, hazy loops we’ve come to love again with bands like Tame Impala and Temples leading the charge. Wovoka Gentle’s sound is assured and creatively tuned; they’re definitely on the right track at an early point in their career.

Wovoka Gentle play In The Woods festival (2nd-4th September), alongside Benjamin Francis Leftwich and many others.


Natives | Cargo | 17.08.16

August 20, 2016 — by John Millard


An eclectic show with influences from Northern Africa.

Shoreditch has long-hosted a quirky and vibrant scene for new music in all its forms and Cargo (a disused railway yard-turned bar), is yet another example of the hipster scheme. The venue itself runs wild with the feeling of the railroad, with old ventilation pipes running though the bar and original limestone brick work as its wallpaper. The low arches make for a very atmospheric sound with acoustics allowing the bass to echo back and forth like a metronome, creating a distortion to the music unequivocal to other venues.

The opening bands stir the crowds attention with long melodic sounds from Mono Club and Mowbeck. As openers, their sets are affirming and persuasive. Mowbeck push through, announcing themselves with powerful vocals and percussion which emphasise their aspiration and passion. Both acts leave the crowd feeling melodic and at peace.

Natives burst out on to the stage, ready to take over the world with up-beat indie pop melodies that have the sort of vibrance that gets even the most timid of people moving. The band’s retreat to the northern territories of Africa comes across in their music, like firecrackers of sound in the cavernous and atmospheric venue.

Morocco has had a huge impact on this band, bringing in sounds from a land with a culture very different from their own, exploring the beauty of its freedom. The band had a way of transcending from the peak of love to the cagey, dark and almost unwanted taint of loneliness in beats that really show tones of hysteria within each chord.

Some folds of their music exude strong electronic interludes which hypnotise the audience into a transitional robotic sway, not dissimilar to styles of The Naked and Famous, Friendly Fires or MGMT.

In their music, they exhibit all of the feelings that they have felt and endured throughout their two-year break. They appear strong, and unified.

I had time to catch up with the band after the show:

You spent a long time away between albums perfecting your sound, notably in Morocco. Did you go there with the intention for that country to have such an effect on your music?

It was a little of both. Our rule when we started making this album was that we just wanted to make music that would make us happy and get us excited. It wasn’t about what others would think or success, so in that regard we said lets try and make some music influenced by Africa. We definitely love music from all over the world, and based our sound around Morocco because we wanted to experience their culture. It wasn’t a case that we wanted to make African music, more that we loved how we were influenced by our time there and wanted to show that in our music.

It’s very hard these days to commit yourself to a sound that hasn’t in some way been done before and normally this derives from mentors in the industry, are there many bands you would compare yourself to?

Nothing consciously. It wasn’t as if we sat down and said lets try and sound like this, but because we were so free with the writing all of our influences up to this point came out in the writing process. Michael Jackson, we think, really comes through in some of the rhythm in the album. I think all our stuff is laden with influence but not necessarily purposely.

Your new music has already had huge success in a modest amount of time, with 150k views as of now on Youtube for ‘Stop the Rain’. Where do you see yourselves a year from now?

What?! Wow, that’s mad, we didn’t know that to be honest. The thing is it goes back to that same rule as long as the 4 or 5 of us are happy and what we are doing pleases us then we are going to do it. So as long as we keep doing that and people like it, then that’s amazing.

This band brought everything they have felt, heard, lived and loved to their performance, wherever they see themselves a year from now you can guarantee we’ll be there to support.


Ella On the Run ‘Walk Away’

August 19, 2016 — by Sean Ward


Synth-soaked pop from London.

The enigmatic Ella On the Run continues her assault to shake up modern pop with bold new single ‘Walk Away’. This follows stellar releases ‘All That She Wants’ and ‘Cavalry’ and has a notably more downtempo edge, a simmering seduction that underpins its three-minute run length. 

Garnering attention for her synth-soaked sound, ‘Walk Away’ demonstrates a versatility and understanding of the genre of electro in a broader sense. Its pace and style is reminiscent of Roísín Murphy with a notion of pop accessibility of Sugababes and All Saints. The choral bridge is not as dramatic here yet the difference in tone is still danceable, while Ella’s sultry vocal internally tells herself to “walk away”.

The accompanying video directed by Rafe Gibbon echoes the sentiment of advising yourself on bad decisions, a reflection of hindsight. Indulging in sound and space, nothing is rushed here as Ella envelopes her listener in tingling R&B tones and hypnotic melody. Following in the footsteps of acclaimed eschewed pop artists including Rosie Lowe and Sinead Harnett, Ella is proving to be one to firmly watch for the remainder of 2016.


Mr Sanka ‘Flight Mode’

August 18, 2016 — by James Oliver West


Eclectic electro pop from London.

Any band that names themself after a character from feelgood 90s sports flick ‘Cool Runnings’ is alright by us – but Mr Sanka are much more than a hazy childhood reference, with a sound that showcases an eclectic collective palate.

The London-based trio – comprised of Dutch artist Nick Van Hofwegen and London-based producers Mustafa and James – combine Afropop, French House and the summer-bleached melodies of classic sixties songwriters on their vibrant debut single.

‘Flight Mode’ is an effervescent mix of Phoenix licks, Breakbot grooves and Daft Punk hooks; a record that begs to be blasted out of car windows in the bedazzling sun. Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s Mr Sanka time.


Soft Corporate

August 17, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


An anthemic four-piece from down-under.

The Melbourne 4-piece have been in a recent state of change, with their latest EP Good Things Will Happen being their first release under a new moniker (previously ‘When We Were Small’). We chat with Troy to see where they are headed.

Your sound shows impressive depth for a new band. When did you guys start making music together?

Jack, Madeline & Troy have been playing music together since they were around 14-15 years old under the name ‘When We Were Small’, so there was already a pretty solid foundation to build upon once our drummer Reuben came along and we became ‘Soft Corporate’. It was really cool to have people the same age as you enjoy playing/listening to the same kind of music as you, so it was basically an instant click amongst the three of us. We were all very lucky to find each other when we did, and now we’re all good friends because of our music.

You cite Death Cab for Cutie as one of your influences – we can certainly see comparisons to their style of emotional, sincere music. Was this a sound you set out to make or did it happen organically?

Death Cab have been my [Troy] favourite band since as long as I can remember. Their influence left their mark on me from a very young age so this similar style comes out very organically in my songwriting. My favourite album of theirs ‘We have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes’ specifically influences me to write songs that are thematically linked together, I really love it when records do that and this one does it beautifully. I’m a really big fan of that early 2000s indie rock/pop sound and it has always influenced my style of songwriting and playing, as well as everyone else’s in the band.

How did the name ‘Soft Corporate’ come about?

Madeline, who is the fashion queen of the band, coined the term ‘soft corporate’ to describe her outfits she would be wearing to her new semi-corporate job. The name came about at a good time when we were deciding whether or not to change our name to reflect our change in style and growth as a band. We thought this name was a good representation of the songs we had for the EP. And funnily enough, we only changed our name after we had completed the EP.

What have you guys got planned for the rest of the year?

Everything is a bit up in the air at the moment, but we’re looking forward to playing some more shows and writing some new material. We’ll hopefully have a small east coast tour planned by the end of the year. We’d love to play in other cities besides Melbourne and look forward to what could come of it.

Are there any new artists you’ve got your eyes on at the moment?

One of the exciting things about having new music out is discovering other new music that’s also out and about. I think everyone has their eyes set on Alex Lahey at the moment, she’s absolutely killing it and we’re excited to see what she gets up to in the next couple of years. Manor and Sweet Whirl – these are two artists we handpicked to support us at our EP launch and we love them dearly. Other artists we’re loving include Stonefox, Tetrahedra, Saatsuma, Eilish Gilligan, Pretty City and Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird.


FOURS ‘Painful To Watch’

August 16, 2016 — by James Oliver West


Soaring synth pop from London.

Brace yourselves; ‘Painful To Watch’ is easily one of the most infectious tunes we’ve had the pleasure of encountering this year.

The synthy new single from fast-rising quartet FOURS has one of those lightning bolt choruses that within a flash has burrowed into the skull and set up home there, refusing to vacate.

Hailing from London’s Shepherd’s Bush, the female-fronted newcomers sound like Paramore at their most overtly pop, with R&B rhythms that are Haim-tinged and Florence-aping hooks that soar and roar.

Singer Edith Violet flaunts her dynamic style throughout, putting a new spin on the impassioned delivery of Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard to making this unrequited love anthem a cathartic and rousing affair. As its final notes fade away, one thing’s for certain – post break-up retorts don’t come much more defiant than this.


Eyes on the Shore ‘Wolf Runner’

August 15, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


Beach-ready vibes from San-Francisco.

San-Francisco based Eyes on the Shore drizzle liquid guitar licks over hazy, cooing vocals in this summer-perfect track. Their moniker also fits nicely with their beach-comfortable vibes; an invincibility towards feeling down. Saying that, their music comes across sincere and emotion-ridden, whilst the power of their instruments juxtaposes Cory Tauber’s sincere vocals, somehow finding them somewhere between Real Estate and Dralms.

The kind of song you’d mentally associate with a nostalgic year from your past, ‘Wolf Runner’ has a timeless appeal with huge scope to become your next favourite track. Like Broken Bells, their songs are meticulously crafted whilst still having a laid-back appeal – solid songwriting at its best.