Strange Eyes’ second single ‘Jupiter’ is perfect for those of us who are having a lonesome winter that isn’t quite ready to pop on the Smiths yet. Fittingly released on Valentine’s days, the utopian synth-pop track portrays the inherent feeling of loneliness that creeps in after being left by a loved one, leaving an unsettling feeling of emptiness as if you were floating around in space. Despite the lyric’s gloomy nature, the track comprised of analogue synths, reverb and bright riffs is surprisingly upbeat. Jupiter does well in not losing the slightly staggered vocals in its mix of dreamy harmonies and synthesisers, really allowing the lyrics to engage with you.
‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ (album) – False Heads. Release: 13th March 2020
False Heads have effortlessly set the standard for debut albums this year, showing off their impressive talent for song writing, the band offer a stylistically unique sound throughout the listing. The 12-track debut album welcomes you in with ‘Whatever You Please’, addressing you through isolated vocals and guitar chords that steadily intensify throughout the song until you’re smacked with that distinct False Heads concoction of intense vocals, grungy guitars, flawless syncopation and leathery riffs. ‘Whatever You Please’ is a perfect opener, showing that the band aren’t tied to their heavier reputation by chilling you to the bone with nothing more than guitar chords and haunting vocals.
The following tracks follow suit with the same instrumental backbone ensuring that each one is twisted and arranged even more exclusively from the last. Mid-album is ‘Comfort Consumption’, an emotionally raw track that contrasts with the typical busyness of the band yet, still embodies their brilliant sound. The song oozes emotion and really leaves you with a bit of a lump in your throat. Though there’s no doubt the album as a whole would go down a thundering, overdriven treat live, however, ‘Fall Around’, ‘Slew’ and ‘Wrap Up’ really radiate that rowdy gig energy we all know and love- they’re the exact kind of songs that are so energy fuelled they ignite a spark inside of you.
The album as a whole is banger after banger- definitely keep your eyes out for this as it’s going to be a good one.
‘Liquorice’ – Springfield. Released 6th March 2020.
Cumbria based band Springfield’s latest single ‘Liquorice’ is an indie-pop dream that effortlessly radiates a summery feeling and wouldn’t at all be out of place being blasted out to thousands at a festival. The song grows on you through the verse then really wins you over with its perfectly executed chorus- this will seriously be one of the catchiest choruses you will have heard in a long time. The harmonies in the chorus are flawless and flow so smoothly over the slick lead guitar riff with nothing overshadowing one another- definitely a song you wont be mad about getting stuck in your head.
‘Circle Song’ – The Blinders. Release: Out now.
The Blinders’ single ‘Circle Song’ is slightly different than what we’re used to from the band, but an art piece all the same. The song is and definitely more stripped back than usual, showing roots of classic, soft rock ‘n’ roll through a steady 6/8 beat as opposed to the gritty energy of grunge. Still, however, sticking with a driven guitar the song really allows the vocals to take the lead and narrate the more emotive nature of the piece. The song has been arranged really effectively, there’s no over-compensating, unnecessary solos or fills played for the sake of it but instead all work together in making you really listen to the context of the song delivered through soft, fuzzy vocals.
‘Expect This’ (EP) – The Levis. Release: Out now.
The Levis four track EP ‘Expect This’ definitely tips its hat to the northern indie-rock scene that dominated the naughties. Opening with the title track ‘Expect This’, broad vocals and rowdy backing lead the song, capturing that warm Yorkshire feeling of chanting crowds down at your local. The overall quality of the songs is of a strong standard, embodying the emblematic sound of indie-rock throughout the EP with a uniform rhythm section, secure guitar riffs and loquacious vocals fixed around their verses and choruses. Though capturing the security of the genre well, it’s always slightly disappointing when there’s little variety to an EP/album as it doesn’t allow for any particular songs to stand out from one another, it would’ve been really interesting to see the band push the boat out a bit more to really show off their talents. That being said the band have perfectly reflected their style of music through the EP artwork, through the can of red stripe and a relatively younger looking crowd, it definitely helps it sound like a Saturday night at Café Totem.