After much deliberation, the moment has arrived. Hidden Herd are proud to present our Tracks of the Year 2016.

Francobollo ‘Kinky Lola’

Francobollo - Hidden Herd

What we said:

“The disparate opening to ‘Kinky Lola’ is like 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 90s 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.” Read More

Parcels ‘Gamesofluck’

Press photo of Parcels featured on Hidden Herd new music blog

What we said:

“They say good things come in tiny packages, but newcomers Parcels are neither small in size or sound; the Byron Bay band are five strong and create the sort of expansive electro noise that was built to move hips and scintillate senses.

The Berlin-based Aussies have only a handful of synth-loaded releases under their belt, but already their hook-laden and immersive funk pop slaloms between Daft Punk, Phoenix and Empire of the Sun.

Groovy new single ‘Gamesofluck’ is a dancefloor-ready concoction with depth; a unique blend of fidgety disco, virtuosic fretwork in the vein of Nile Rodgers and gang harmonies. Exactly the kind of earworming concoction you’d expect from their prolific label Kitsuné.” Read More

Soleima ‘Wasted’

Soleima - Hidden Herd

What we said:

Soleima‘s latest single ‘Wasted’ throws an instant veil of chic and lucid cool over her listeners, with liquid vocals and a modern take on soul and funk instrumentals.

Her vocal tone is youthful and distinctive; both soothing and playful, cutting the line somewhere between AlunaGeorge and NAO. Like NAO, these are artists that have created a distinguished corner for themselves in today’s music scene, demanding attention from modern pop audiences looking for something fresh.

The song’s meaning has a double entendre; the more obvious feelings of being drunk or high, but also the deeper connotations of opportunity cost for those who don’t have the same possibilities as those who are more fortunate. Soleima has certainly utilised the opportunities that were open to her, and ‘Wasted’ should open the door to many more.” Read More

FOURS ‘Painful To Watch’

FOURS - Hidden Herd

What we said:

“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.” Read More

Marsicans ‘Far Away’

Marsicans - Hidden Herd

What we said:

Marsicans‘ latest single has arrived perfectly in time for the summer season. Following their latest appearance at Glastonbury, ‘Far Away’ wrestles through to become your next sun-bleached anthem. Chirpy guitars and crisp percussion scream for the sunlight, creating an undeniably happy track; imagine a Paul Simon fronting Hot Club de Paris or Little Comets.

The Leeds four-piece’s harmonies are truly uplifting, creating an inescapable buzz that doesn’t let go. With an EP release coming in September, this latest single gives the impression of a band that’s headed in the right direction.” Read More

Hockey Dad ‘So Tired’

Hockey Dad - Hidden Herd

What we said:

“With a week of blistering sun on the cards, this hazy blast of surf rock from Australia’s Hockey Dad is the scintillating soundtrack we’ve been searching for. ‘So Tired’ oozes summer; it’s an earworming sugar rush of slacker rock that brings to mind yellowing grass, potent concoctions in plastic cups and bare burnt backs.

The New South Wales pair are made up of Zach Stephenson (vocals / guitar) and Billy Fleming (drums), and have been gathering momentum over the last three years, touring with fellow Aussie band The Jungle Giants and being lauded by a whole host of tastemakers across the globe.

Producing a sound that sits in between Best Coast and ‘What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?’, there is no denying that this dynamic duo will be first on the poolside playlist.” Read More

Saltwater Sun ‘Now or Never’

Saltwater Sun

What we said:

‘Now or Never’ has that trademark Saltwater Sun kick, playing with balladry and notes of funk-rock to create a sound that’s both calculated and expansive. Jennifer Stearnes vocals coo seductively atop triumphant support from the band; utilising knife-sharp guitars and a rhythm section that’s meticulously on-point to up the tempo at a moments notice.

It’s been a good year for the Reading 5-piece, with previous tracks ‘Habit on My Mind’, ‘Making Eyes’ and ‘Wild’ harbouring them significant followings both on and offline, boosting their visibility for a strong season ahead. Looking forward to a few festival spots this Summer (including The Great Escape and Field Day), ‘Now or Never’ arrives to kick off a great few months for them.” Read More

Pumarosa ‘Cecile’

Pumarosa - Hidden Herd

What we said:

“Close your eyes and you can imagine the new single from London five-piece Pumarosa filling the sweat-cloaked walls of a seedy club haunt below the capital’s cobbles.

‘Cecile’ is disco noir, a seismic shift from their first offering’s heavy psych, and comes over like one of Donna Summer‘s 12-inch dance mixes given a dirty new wave makeover.

The grooving rubbery bass and Robert Smith-like guitar are both ace, but singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome is the tune’s dazzling light; her whimsical voice is heaped in mystery and sounds like that of someone dancing around an exotic phenomenal fire atop Glastonbury Tor. It’s a breathless coo that is full of lust, a curious mix of ‘Heart Of Glass’ Blondie and Kate Bush, that paves the way for a hot, Roxy Music-esque sax solo at the song’s dizzying climax.” Read More

Nadia Nair ‘Something Something Something’

Nadia Nair - Hidden Herd

What we said:

Nadia Nair‘s instantly entrancing voice has unpredictable and masterful qualities, holding its own above simplistic instrumentals; an almost perfect homage to James Blake’s dystopic industrial approach to production amid gospel-influenced vocals.

Nair needs little to supplement her strong and commanding tone, and takes a lo-fi approach to ‘Something Something Something’, effortlessly playing with her melodies in a way that’s perfectly reassured and unfathomably recognisable. Deserving the same respect as ‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap, this track is an incredibly resonant offering from the Swedish singer.”

Like her heritage (Swedish/Malaysian/Indian), Nair‘s style transcends prescriptive genre categorisation, and instead looks towards a more organic approach to songwriting which is both inclusive and refreshingly original.” Read More

LEISURE ‘Know You Better’

Leisure - Hidden Herd

What we said:

“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.” Read More