Sister Man Ray – Higher Wave

Sheffield band Sister Man Ray have just released the single ‘Higher Wave’, and it’s a track that draws you in and pulls you out at the other side. Its slow-churning fuzzed-up guitar accompanies eerie vocals that have a strangely hypnotic effect. A promise of reaching a ‘Higher Wave’, although exactly what this higher wave is remains a mystery, rings throughout the track.

The song is reminiscent of the works of The Velvet Underground and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. It has a poetic quality that raises it from a standard slow grunge tune to a song that you will want to delve into and learn all the words.

Overall this track shows off the potential that Sister Man Ray wants to show that they have, a potential to bring more intriguing tunes onto the music scene.

Borito – Child

An exciting and funky track about the difficulties of growing up will be free for you to listen to on December 7th, and it is Borito who are providing it. The new single ‘Child’ is from their upcoming album ‘What We Have Now’, and follows their two highly-praised singles ‘Nice & Slowly’ and ‘My Kind Of Love’. 

What Borito have captured is, in essence, the importance of holding onto your inner child and how there isn’t enough time in life to be too serious. 

I think this sort of thing is exactly what people need to hear right now. Although the track isn’t the most complex, its simplicity is what carries the message of the track. Most of us have not had the easiest year, but this track is a refreshing reminder of what’s good in the world. It’s a splash of positivity that can put you back to a time of nice weather and good vibes.

PYRØ (ØØØØ) – Where Did You Go

Meeting someone you like for the first time is a feeling that has been run through and through popular music for the last 70 years by a number of artists that’s too many to count. Now it is the turn of London-based artist PYRØ (ØØØØ) to put their spin on it.

This feeling of awe over someone is wrapped up in 3 minutes and 8 seconds of energy and intensity. The song moves quickly, it almost doesn’t let you catch a breath. Its combination of distorted guitar and rap brings recollection of early Twenty One Pilot’s work, yet it holds up as its own attempt of creativity and innovation.

Summarising this track would be to say that, despite not being the most mind-blowing thing you’ll ever hear, it deserves credit for trying something you don’t hear on the radio every single day. It is an attempt to blend genres, and being creative is what music is all about. 

Swamp Chicken – They Are Listening

How might you address the social issue of ever-advancing technology and the dangers of the increasing obsession over it?

Your first answer probably wouldn’t be an alternative rock song with a funky guitar riff, but that is what Manchester-based band Swamp Chicken have done with their track ‘They Are Listening’. 

What really stands out in this tune for me is the addictive funkiness of the guitar riff in the verse. It emanates the groove of something like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, yet the overall song carries a sense of doom and despair that you might find in something by The Cure.

I hate to say it but I don’t think Swamp Chicken’s song will have a revolutionary effect on society. What I can say though, is that the addictive grooviness that pops up in this song shows the musical potential that Swamp Chicken have. I will certainly be keeping one eye on them for what they might do next.

Honours – You’re To Blame

Too often there is a risk of sounding too much like your own influences, and at a first listen you may think that York band Honours’ new single ‘You’re To Blame’ has an Oasis-ring to it. However, when the verse kicks in and the groovy bassline starts, the song begins to separate itself from your standard droning guitar song.

This single, due out on 11th December, will be the band’s first new track after an 18-month break. It is fair to say that it marks a good return for the band. It’s strong and it’s catchy and it’s an easy listen. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in energy. The melody glides you through the verse and then you’re hit with a full-force chorus, finally rounded off by a simple but powerful guitar solo.

‘You’re To Blame’ is an exciting return for Honours, and if you have a chance to listen I’d recommend it. Hopefully, when things start to get back to normal, you’ll be able to catch them live. The band have said they’re planning a big return gig next year at the Crescent Club, in their hometown of York.