A thumping collision of post punk and orchestral shoegaze, MAINES new EP ‘Spring’ flows far more smoothly than its 25 minute run time might suggest. It’s quirky and perhaps intimidating at times, but by the end of this listen you realise they quickly become the most endearing aspects of the release. At times I’m reminded of new Daughters, at others I’m reminded of some of the new-wave indie bands coming through the circuit like Lacuna Bloome. Once you’ve wrapped your head around, and then appreciate MAINES blurring of the lines between genres, their new EP transforms into a more polished and well executed release in comparison to their 2016 release ‘Frequencies’. Definitely give this a spin, it’ll make 25 more minutes of lockdown that much more bearable!
Stay Lunar could be a name you didn’t realise you needed on your summer playlists. ‘Dreaming That I’m Not In Love’ is a big step towards being in there already, let’s be honest, but I think there’s more that can be drawn out from these guys. DTINIL has all the ingredients of a big indie-pop anthem, I just think it could’ve done with a bit more time in the mixing bowl. There are moments where I’m crying out for a little more oomph in the bass to support what soars above it, and from time to time more emotion and passion in the vocals could aid the storytelling that I can tell wants to grab focus in the foreground. Don’t get me wrong I’m nit-picking here, but for Stay Lunar to be flying amongst the stars someday soon that’s exactly what you’ve gotta do. Do I recommend you give it a listen? Y. E. S.
Single number 4 from Voodoo Bandits has elevated them, in my eyes, from their 3 previous releases. With ‘Empty Swimming Pool’ The Isle of Man’s best new band have crafted together a touch over 3 minutes of exceptionally enjoyable summery indie pop loveliness. It grooves and rocks in the ways you want it to, the production on this thing is nailed down to a T, and it forms a genuinely cohesive sound across the track. High end guitar tones don’t grate on my ears, they float in and out like a breeze on a summer’s day. If we were all actually allowed outside this’d be one of the first tracks to soundtrack us all drinking tinnies in the park. When the good times come back, Voodoo Bandits will be waiting for us.
I’ve listened to Judgement Day A LOT since it dropped into my inbox, and in all honesty, I can’t see myself getting bored of it anytime soon. Ethereal and dreamlike in its beginnings, Mogg interrupts her own creation with abrupt staccato hats and electronic drums set to this perpetual crescendo of swelling ethereal pop. Vocals swirl around the mix, from one side to the other, always held together in a delicate balance by the lead which at times is left bare, honest and alone to take centre stage. The closest likeness I can give you is Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ in the sense that at no point does it oversell itself, at no point does it rely on any unnecessary gimmicks to create an atmosphere or tension, and at no point is my attention to the song averted. Fantastic.
‘Love Over Everything’ preaches a message that we could all take a leaf from in 2020, but for me it doesn’t quite quench my thirst. Let me make it clear, I don’t hate this track from Gizmo, I just which it had done a bit more for me. Although brilliantly produced, and most definitely with a head screwed on that has a goal and a plan for the journey there, I just wish ‘Love Over Everything’ was a bit more dynamic. By that I mean I want the song I’m listening to, to more reflect its lyrical content and the message it’s trying to convey. I want purposeful direction, I want passion, I want to be confronted with the love that we should be choosing above everything else, and then I want to feel its embrace.