We’ve had a rather hectic week here in Manchester; four gigs and a few after parties in six nights have left us rather exhausted but very happy. It’s great to live in a city with a vibrant music scene: one night we’re at an arena gig, the next it’s cramming into a downstairs bar for a packed and sweaty, DIY affair. Music is precious it its own right, but in a live setting, the opportunity it gives us to be with friends, create memories and connect with an artist in a communal setting is incredibly important. Cherish that. And so after that aside (!), on to the weekly roundup – I hope you like our discoveries for this week.
Sometimes you hear a track and all you can do is sit there; a bit dumbfounded and amazed at what you’re listening to. BUNNY RBBT has done that on Big World – a demented electronic lullaby, allegedly sung by a seven foot rabbit. I can’t really say any more than that, other than it’s great and very odd. Listen to it and decide for yourself.
Plastic City by Ellie Rose has a really soothing and pleasant ambiance. There’s a slight 80s sound to it but it doesn’t feel retro or clichéd at all. Ellie has a rich and expressive voice, and in conjunction with the chilled instrumentation and the rather pointed lyrics about a relationship breakup, Plastic City has a bittersweet and accessible feel to it that I really loved.
American duo darkDARK have bewitched us with Stay Close; a lovely slice of dark synthpop that’s brimming with entrancing female vocals. It’s a richly textured and sophisticated track with hints of Crystal Castles and Avec Sans among others. It wouldn’t be amiss being played in the background of Stranger Things; such is the dark other-worldly vibe that the track conjures up. Be sure to check out their latest EP release Heathered, which features Stay Close and four other top quality tracks.
Todavia are up next with a lovely piece of electronica tinged dreampop. Our Luck has a wistful, thoughtful quality to it, giving off a romantic and almost Rococo feel that I’ve not heard done so well since the days of the Cocteau Twins at the height of their career.
Elektrostal is the brainchild of Ferry Ridderhof & Justin Billinger, who have really come up trumps with Lovely Day. It’s a mellow, melancholic number with hazy male vocals and a slightly nu-retro direction. The band cite Daft Punk as a big influence, but for me the track is more reminiscent of Air, but with the song structure putting me in mind more of classical music than electro (and that’s no bad thing!).
We’ve featured Fymm before, and they’ve come up with the goods once again with In The Air, a class piece of dreampop delivering a very chilled almost ethereal feel to the listener. It’s got a downtempo, almost dystopian atmosphere to it that is both enveloping and a bit disconcerting at the same time.
Watching You from Frederick is a big upbeat number which channels Prince and Hot Chip into an infectious musical mix that will get you heading for the dance floor if there’s one near by, or just tapping your feet wherever you are. This Canadian artist really has got something good going on here and we can’t wait to hear more.
On Yalda, HundredMillionThousand creates an amazing blend of electronica with Persian folk influences to make a brooding and rhythmic number that the artist accurately describes as an ‘Iranian space odyssey’. HundredMillionThousand views his music as a sonic coping mechanism and it certainly fits that bill, being warm and reassuring while helping transport you to another, better, place.
Free From the Eye from Olivia Salvadori and Sandro Mussida is an amazing little number. It’s a heady and successful mix of electronica, classical music, opera and world music crafted together in a hypnotic and warming, deeply emotional piece. We’ve heard the album Dare Voce which features Free From The Eye and it’s fair to say that Olivia Salvadori has created something that is experimental, yet accessible and very special.
Finishing us off this week is an instrumental piece from American band Witnesses. I’m a bit of a sucker for music with a cinematic feel to it and Your Time Has Come captured my interest immediately. It brings to mind films like Tron and Blade Runner with its dirty sax, brooding percussion and an intelligent mix of electronic and classical sounds. It’s a real grower of a track and hopefully the prelude to much more from this artist.
Same time next week then? Thanks for reading!