Friday, 22 July 2016

Dreambeaches - Habits


"Habits" by Buffalo based quartet Dreambeaches sounds like one of those indie-rock songs that you think you've heard on an advert for some really exciting everyday thing, or being used as bed music on Flog It or Homes Under The Hammer for some inexplicable reason, for which you usually can't place who the band nor what the song are (not that there's anything wrong with that - the PRS payments for such placements are rather generous, one believes). We don't know if "Habits" has actually been used for those purposes yet, but if it is, then the advertisers/producers can do so in the knowledge that they've got a pretty great wee song on their hands. It's a punchy, sarcastic ode to the minor travails of modern life, and a rather nice little one at that.

"Habits" is out now.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Owen Denvir - Green Light


This photo above was taken in the 1930s by a photographer living in the Midwest of the United States of America, depicting a young sharecropper of that period. Unfortunately, the devastation to his crops caused by the catastropic effects of the Dust Bowl proved too much for Oklahoma native Owen Denvir, and he finally succumbed to illness in 1937, aged just 26. Modern technology has been able to enhance the picture to make it fully coloured, so we can have a good idea of what Owen Denvir would look like if he were still alive today.

Wait, that image ISN'T of a Grapes of Wrath era farmer, and is actually that of a Belfast-based musician? Okay, we'll start again.

Singer/songwriter/viola-wielder Owen Denvir has been slowly building up a following over the past year or so since receiving a push through the Oh Yeah! Centre's Scratch My Progress scheme. He released a well-received E.P "Daydreamer" back in October, and he has had some viral success with several of his multi-tracked cover videos, covering artists as diverse as Jackson Five, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and in a self-deprecating manner, Amy Winehouse.

Now he has released a brand new single, "Green Light", a song which should make a few more people fall under his spell. The song is a passionate, tender singer/songwriter-y song in the mold of James Bay or Passenger, which is punctuated by bursts of Owen's viola fiddling. Plus, it's hard not to be won over by a song that features an uplifting Carubian choir.

"Green Light" is out now.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Brash Isaac - In The Dark


Brash Isaac is the nom de plume of Andrew Cameron, who was previously the drummer for Northern Irish folk mainstays New Ancestors. His first single under the new name, "In The Dark", has already picked up quite a bit of love online, and it's not hard to hear why. The song plays up his roots in the local folk scene, and compliments this by taking it into a more alt-rock territory. It also reminds us a little bit of "Hangingaround" by Counting Crows in places, which we don't think is a bad thing at all. It's an irresistible little debut.

"In The Dark" is out now.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Hello Bear - We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarassed


Hailing from Norwich, 4-piece Hello Bear have been plying their trade for a few years now with their quirky power-pop tunes, releasing two albums worth of songs, many of which have titles longer than the songs themselves (my personal favourite being "I Dropped The Screw In The Tuna", a reference that some Nickelodeon kids from the 90s might get), and have played as support for one of our favourite bands, Shonen Knife.

Their latest single follows their penchant for long-winded titles. "We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarrassed" is a fun little pop-punk number that compares being in love to eating lots and lots of sweeties, which given that our dream gig is one in which every table has bowls of Haribo which can be consumed at our own leisure, very much floats our metaphorical boat. It's a hearty piece of uncynical, Green Day/Weezer-esque power punk with a catchy chorus an in infectious optimism.

One suspects though that "Sticky Kisses" would have made for a better, snappier song title, but hey, what do we know?

"We Held Hands Once..." is out now.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

In An Instant - Where The Demons and the Devils Speak


Given that Bangor band In An Instant have had songs featured in our Top 50 of the year from 2013 to 2015 inclusive, it is safe to say that any new material to come from them will be greeted by much rejoicing amongst these parts. And so it has come to pass that the band have unleashed a new single upon us, "Where The Demons and the Devil Speak", a title that makes it seem as if they band have made a surprising shift into black metal, but musically is very much in the In An Instant mold.

"Where The Demons..." follows in the archetype of IAI songs of yore, although in comparison to their previous songs the electronics are a lot more subtle, and the guitars are a little heavier, but in general it still retains the accessible, infectious, dance-y indie-rock that made us fall for the band in the first place.

"Where The Demons and the Devil Speak" is released on 8th July.