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Northern Hospitality - Don The Balaclava

RGM RECOMMENDS – WE REVIEW THIS WEEKS BEST TOP 5 NEW SINGLES

LITTLE STRANGE – HARD DAYS HARD TIMES

Imagine you’re cruising stateside down a long highway, the roof down on your V8 Mustang, wearing some big shades whilst trying to do your best Maverick impression. This is something that we all dream about at some point in our lives, right?

Let me introduce to you Manchester based Little Strange, presenting their forthcoming release, ‘Hard Days Hard Times’. The song has some deep cruising vibes, with a strong American rock influence that gives the song an attitude unlike anything I’ve heard for a while.

The song features a soulful voice that gives the song plenty of personality; presenting an empowering theme and message throughout the performance and narrative. The oohs in the chorus really top off the sound and style the song is going for.

The guitar tones used here are fantastic, the emphasis on a single string with a heavy overdrive really help the main riff punch through and drive the song forward.

The production overall here is great, every component has plenty of personality and fills out the soundscape beautifully.

CHECK OUT LITTLE STRANGE ON FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM

NORTHERN HOSPITALITY – DON THE BALACLAVA (Pictured)

Hartlepool based quartet Northern Hospitality present an interesting sound that features a great blend of different influences in their latest track ‘Don The Balaclava’. Showcasing the attitude of American punk bands from the early 2000s with a British spin, this gives the track a more unique sound that makes it standout from the crowd.

As soon as this song kicks in you can instantly feel the energy that this group present. We hear a simple, yet very catchy riff that is complimented by a guitar tone that has plenty of bite.

The lead guitar in the verse adds a subtle layer to the section without being overbearing, yet the lack of a lead in the chorus really adds to the aggression. To the point where I can picture this song being an energetic addition to a live setlist. This is a solid songwriting decision.

A short but sweet song that features plenty of charisma, the letting loose of all the instruments in the outro really accentuate this and is a great way to top off the song.

CHECK OUT NORTHERN HOSPITALITY ON FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM

RIA HANLEY – HEART TO BREAK

Let us slow things down a little, with solo artist Ria Hanley with her new single, ‘Heart To Break’. This song is a mood. It perfectly encapsulates a melancholic tone where we can instantly feel the pain and emotion that Ria is trying to portray. It achieves this by some slight reverb across multiple instruments that makes it easy on the ears.

The lead vocals for this song are excellent; combining emotion, talent, and lyrical prowess to a stellar performance, backed up by some subtle harmonies that really fill out the space in the track.

There is a great use of restraint shown in the vocal melody. However, there is still flare shown at the end of certain phrases. This really helps me as a listener believe that this is an artist that feels deflated in their recent experience, and it works so well.

One of the strongest compliments I feel I can give a song is one that I feel I can really connect with and understand. The feel of this song really paints a picture to the listener and helps us dive deeper into our emotions, pulling back our layers of vulnerability.

Go and check this one out if you want to slow things down a little, I’ll be keeping this one saved for sure.

CHECK OUT RIA HANLEY ON FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM

PERFECT TEETH – BLUE PAINT

I’m a sucker for shoegaze style guitar. So, when I first heard the upcoming single by Leeds based Perfect Teeth, my ears instantly perked up.

The introduction features some really pleasant chords, complimented by a subtle lead. This instantly makes me want to pull out my beanie and re-enter my sad boy phase. The vibes here are immaculate; the lyrics are very deep and sound extremely personal to the vocalist. They give off a ‘I don’t give a damn’ feeling that works so well with this kind of music, really selling its delivery.

A piece of constructive criticism that I would offer is that other than the lyrics and the overall feel to the vocals, they are lacking something a little for me personally. Adding some more vocal effects, and maybe a little more diversity in the melody itself would bring the vocals up to sit alongside the other components more comfortably. I also think that a subtle harmony an octave above the main vocal would really add some more punch to the overall delivery of the melody; adding the effect of a voice trying to burst its way out in anger.

Other than that, I really like this song. It has a solid structure that maintains it’s pace throughout with some excellent drums. The little breaks at the end of the chorus give the song a solid hook. This is a live show I’d love to catch one day.

CHECK OUT PERFECT TEETH ON FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM

MATILDA SHAKES – FEVER DREAM

As someone hailing from Sheffield, it’s always great getting to hear new music from fellow townsmen as I always want to hear their interpretation of the sound of this city. I have mentioned in past reviews about certain musical acts reflecting their hometowns, and Matilda Shakes is one that I feel represents this city beautifully.

Their upcoming single, ‘Fever Dream’, presents a contemporary yet nostalgic feel that exudes confidence, resulting in a well refined sound overall.

It has an extremely catchy chorus, showcasing a lot of power in the vocal performance. The phrase at the end of the chorus provides a great hook to the song.

The lead guitar performance is awesome and adds a really great touch to the songs soundscape. The bass tone is excellent, providing some more treble to really cut through in the verse to really add some meatiness.

The production is outstanding; it sounds professional and is something that I could easily see going toe to toe with any other massive bands who are regulars on the UK festival scene.  

CHECK OUT MATILDA SHAKES ON FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM

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