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



Leisure ‘Know You Better’

October 26, 2016 — by James Oliver West


Sensual psych pop from Auckland.

It’s our pleasure to acquaint you with Leisure, a Kiwi-based collective whose sensual psych pop nuggets are at once breezy, funky and dreamy. Like the five-piece’s name suggests, the band craft music to recline to – generating the sort of mellow groove-laden sound you could imagine seeping from a nearby speaker as you sprawl out on a dazzling shoreline.

The fact the New Zealanders evoke such imagery is unsurprising given that ‘Know You Better’ was the fruit of writing and recording sessions at various West Auckland beach houses. With lapping waves and gilded sand providing an idyllic backdrop, Leisure have stirred a swirling cauldron of influences to concoct their new single, which straddles the gap between Metronomy circa ‘The English Riviera’ and Melbourne newcomers Slum Sociable. Just like that promising Aussie duo, their ascent looks to be a question of when rather than if.


Krusoe ‘Give Up The Coast’

October 24, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


A delightfully catchy lead single from the Oxford artist.

‘Give Up the Coast’ is an ethereal, crackly dream. With chugging percussion and sharp, funk-laden guitars, it exists almost in transit between the real world and that which escapes consciousness.

The track’s undertone considers the negative impact that past experiences can have on a heart, often restricting a person from moving on. With a sound that’s both distinguishable and familiar, Krusoe draws some comparison to Unknown Mortal Orchestra; both bands offer a similar vibe, whilst not being restricted by genre-specific boundaries.

‘Give Up The Coast’ comes as the lead single from his upcoming debut EP, out October 28th.


MØ | Concorde 2 | 11.10.16

October 23, 2016 — by James Oliver West


The Dane is ready to join mainstream music's heavyweights.

Having collaborated with Major Lazer, Grande and Bieber, as well as notching up a slew of chart smashes and receiving numerous Hottest Record In The World accolades, has come a long long way since she last appeared in Brighton two and a half years ago. At The Great Escape 2014, the Dane was a rising prospect and showcased tunes from her just-released first LP ‘No Mythologies To Follow’ – a record that dazzled with kaleidoscopic electro pop and earned favourable critical response, but also placed her somewhat on the periphery of superstardom.

MO - Hidden Herd

Tonight though, she’s privy to the type of giddy furore associated with mainstream music’s heavyweights and makes a strong case to become one. Looking out on a sea of outstretched arms and twinkling smartphone lights, she delivers a relentlessly exhilarating set and asserts herself as Nordic queen of the new pop revolution. Her post-debut album output lacks some of the off-kilter appeal of her early work, but undoubtedly garners the biggest reception: the polychromatic electro-R&B of ‘Kamikaze’ swaggers Stefani-style, the Bieber / Lazer collaboration ‘Cold Water’ gets a movingly muted makeover that far surpasses the original and ‘Final Song’ fires up Concorde 2 with its bedroom beats, vivid synths and whopping refrain.


Through it all, Karen Marie Ørsted is an absorbing performer; she writhes in the violet dark, her wiry locks sashaying across her face and her jaw constantly agape as the big notes come one after the other. Her megastar trajectory is confirmed by a scintillating encore, which sees ‘Drum’ emerge as an instant favourite and ‘Lean On’ lure an ecstatic reaction. She clambers over the barrier and embraces as many as her arm span will allow her to during the latter – the love is requited and her progress shows no sign of waning.


Very Bad Vibes ‘Sobering Up’

October 19, 2016 — by Andy Emitt


Twee synth pop from Philadelphia.

Very Bad Vibes is Sam Huntington’s new musical project, formed after the disbandment of The Original Crooks and Nannies — the massively underappreciated Philadelphia duo that produced two albums bubbling with sickly sweet earworms (“Real groovy, like a sci-fi movie / Real dumb, dumb—like a / low-budget rom com” goes one of the duo’s typical hooks). Very Bad Vibes brings along the synth overload that defined The Original Crooks and Nannies‘ sound. Synthesizers gain an even more prominent place in Very Bad Vibes’ debut album ‘Toothpaste’, perhaps owing to the fact that Huntington engineered and produced the album himself.

Debut single ‘Sobering Up’ perfects the twee synth pop clash found throughout the album. The song begins with what sounds like a wailing siren or alarm before a jaunty drum beat drops, at which point the siren synth begins to stutter melodically. “I may be lazy”, Huntington stammers, his voice starting and stopping like a buffering video or dropped call. A gruff guitar riff guides the verses, where Huntington cycles through memories—seemingly about a now-distant friend or ex-lover. But it’s the chorus that really soars and makes the song glimmer with the same tragically-cutesy sheen of The Original Crooks and Nannies: “I may be lazy / Ba… But baby / Please don’t wake me up / I stayed awake but later learned / I’d rather be / Out of touch”.

‘Sobering Up’ makes for a perfect soundtrack for those of us who prefer a slightly out of touch lifestyle. In an interview with Vents Magazine, Huntington shared his own sense of social isolation and privacy, saying that it takes him a long time to consider someone an actual “friend”. That sentiment gets expressed beautifully on ‘Sobering Up’, its lyrics seeming like something the speaker couldn’t say in real life — a shy-boy’s lyrical address to a distant “you.” Luckily, however, Very Bad Vibes allows listeners quick access to Huntington’s quirky, kitsch world. ‘Toothpaste’ and ‘Sobering Up’ make fast friends of the singer and his audience, an immediate intimacy owing itself to the 21-year-old’s lucid power of description — a power at once beyond his years and completely of his generation.


MOSES ‘Leave Leave Leave’

October 18, 2016 — by James Auton


High–octane rock 'n' roll from London.

Trajectory: the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces.

When MOSES first appeared on the scene earlier this year, it was without fanfare. Let the music do the talking. It did, but not even they would have anticipated the meteoric rise. Support slots with Jimmy Eat World and The Enemy preceded a spot on the bill of The Joy Formidable‘s London show and their debut releases. Single ‘Leave Leave Leave’ is the lead track from their first eponymous EP, and it’s humongous.

The current fashion in the alternative rock circle is to be obtuse and obscure when it comes to influence and the less obvious the better. It’s strangely refreshing that MOSES will tell you their idols are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Clash and Kasabian. And the glorious thing is they are all of those bands, but also wonderfully diverse.

What beautifully stands out about MOSES is singer Victor, whose vocal performances are positively unique. He’s a London boy, but his heritage is from Bucharest, and it’s this that makes his voice so distinctive.

‘Leave Leave Leave’ is a call to arms. It sounds angry. Music isn’t angry at the moment and it fucking should be. There’s plenty to be furious about, but there are laurels being rested on left, right and centre. It’s urgent from the get-go, an unrepentant and unrelenting squealing runaway train.

It’s a pertinent time for this record to come out. Oasis are on the agenda again with the Supersonic documentary, rumours abound of a reunion which isn’t actually going to happen anytime soon no matter how much people want it. MOSES wear a similar badge of honour, their influences on their sleeve, and they know their way around an anthem. For now, they are all you need.


Au/Ra ‘Concrete Jungle’

October 14, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


Neu-pop's next female icon.

‘Concrete Jungle’ starts with the hook and immediacy of any decent pop song, albeit with more edge than you see from many of today’s templated chart stars. Discussing the juxtaposition between her isolated upbringing and that of a person bought up in a large city, you can easily imagine how her musical journey involved a large transition to a bigger life.

Following in the footsteps of recent neu-pop female singers such as Dua Lipa, Au/Ra is carving out a delightfully catchy sound for herself. For a debut single, it sounds matured and relatively open, hopefully paving the way for a diverse set of introductory tracks. Like Lorde, minimalism can often offer more ‘punch’ than a track which gives away everything up front, and the production has made use of deep, swelling bass lines to give the track some serious prominence.


Beach Baby | Patterns | 08.10.16

October 13, 2016 — by James Oliver West


The London band create a vivid and surreal atmosphere.

There’s a real nip in the air on Saturday night, but it’ll take more than a brisk chill to deter Hidden Herd from catching capital-based band Beach Baby, whose bleary slacker-pop promises to warm cockles and win hearts at Brighton haunt Patterns.

Just shy of the stone beach in the downstairs club, the Londoners take to the stage for the second night of their European headline tour, armed with the intense and infectious mix of surfy post-punk and washed-out 90s grunge that made up debut album ‘No Mind No Money’.

A cacophony of screams greet the quartet’s arrival, before they launch into a scintillating ‘Sleeperhead’ – a tune that combines the distinctive baritones of co-vocalists Ollie Pash and Lawrence Pumfrey over a kaleidoscopic fog of guitars. Like Mac DeMarco, whose record ambles dreamily from the PA before Beach Baby start, each chord quivers to create a vivid and surreal atmosphere that ricochets around the intimate room.

Beach Baby - Hidden Herd

In a similar vein to their transatlantic touchstone Parquet Courts, the Goldsmiths four-piece have no shortage of contagious tunes: ‘U R’ reels in the room with its cooing chorus, highlight ‘Hot Weather’ overflows with hazy hooks and their LP title track delights due to its fidgety 12-string licks, which sound like they’re coming from a warped cassette that’s been left outside in a heatwave.

Of course, closer ‘Limousine’ – the biggest gun in the band’s arsenal – is the undeniable highlight and concludes in emphatic style with a whopping wall of noise. Primed for success, their music is that rarest of things: a rich sonic experience that’s also infectious.


Mirror Signal ‘Shelter’

October 11, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


Deliciously smooth and full of soul.

‘Shelter’ begins impossibly smooth. Flowing with a dose of liquid gold, the track almost oozes tastes of the rose-tinted seventies; all small shorts, big hair and rollerskates. The brainchild of 22 year old Steven Barker, Mirror Signal seems to draw the very best from some of the notable breakthroughs from the past few years, gracefully nodding at Jungle, Ben Khan and Ady Suleiman, all of whom carry subtle undertones of nostalgic decades past.

With only 22 years under his belt, Barker has eloquently bought soulful vibes from the past to the present day, utilising modern production to really push the genre to its edge. Winter isn’t here yet – Mirror Signal will keep us warm for a while.


Oscar | Patterns | 03.10.16

October 9, 2016 — by James Oliver West


The Londoner rouses with a hook-packed headline performance.

Oscar - Hidden Herd

Down on Brighton seafront, a growing cluster of people in shadowy underground club Patterns await the arrival of London tunesmith Oscar. As the clock strikes nine, the lights dim, the furore builds and the 24-year-old clambers across an assault course of amps and effects pedals in a mystic wraith of machine-made fog. Grinning from ear to ear and wielding the mic for euphoric curtain-raiser ‘Beautiful Words’, he now captivates an audience like never before – a far cry from the shyer, guitar-clutching performer Hidden Herd caught supporting Sunflower Bean at Bleach earlier on in the year.

Oscar - Hidden Herd

Of course, since the release of his first full-length, there are plenty more hip-shaking hits in the Oscar live locker and the earworming moments come thick and fast: the Santigold-sounding ‘Good Things’ sways with dub-lite style, ‘Breaking My Phone’ brims with Britpop brio (and benefits from GIRLI‘s pepful backing), while ‘Be Good’ brings the carnival vibes to the south coast and sees the Londoner dip into the choppy sea of attendees for a barrier-breaking boogie.

Oscar - Hidden Herd

Naturally, the crème de la crème of his Blur-nodding debut LP ‘Cut and Paste’ takes precedence at the set’s summit, with a swooning ‘Feel It Too’ and a dreamy ‘Daffodil Days’ sending the room into a state of giddy glee. But its during finale ‘Sometimes’ – when he’s joined once again by recent collaborator and support act GIRLI – that Oscar‘s rapid growth as an artist hits us like a ton of bricks. From behind his sunburst Strat, he produces a rip-roaring reproduction of his most hook-packed nugget, which concludes in a colossal wall of noise. Souped up and magnetic, the Oscar live show is something to savour.


Saltwater Sun ‘FLAWED EP’

October 7, 2016 — by Kulvin Kailey


A dynamic, delectable EP from the punchy 5 piece.

As we say goodbye to the British summer, Saltwater Sun gift us with their delectable new EP ‘Flawed’; a tender mix of punchy, beat-perfect tracks and ballads to make you swoon.

The Reading 5-piece have a warm quality that can’t be ignored. Whilst their music comes across sun-kissed, their style is far from the predictable shoe-gaze that sees many bands fall into obscurity. Instead, they’ve opted for an intriguing mix of genres, pulling the best and brightest from grunge, pop, indie and funk, finding themselves somewhere between Phoenix and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

The EP focuses on the experiences of Human Behaviour, from love and ambition to more visceral feelings of human nature. As always, lead singer Jennifer Stearnes vocals are soft and sincere, choosing her moments to unleash the extent of her range at optimal moments. This gives their tracks a great deal of dynamism – you’ll be hard pressed to find a song that doesn’t change its stripes a few times throughout its length.

This is one of Saltwater Sun’s best qualities; they leave no stone unturned when writing, looking at every part of a song to find how they can push it just a little bit further. With many genre-isolated bands, there is often an overriding pull to ‘stay within their limits’. That’s one thing that this 5 piece won’t have any problems with.