After the release of their incredible debut record Means, FEWS became one of 2016’s best hidden gems. A collection of reverb riddled post-punk tracks, Means was an album that knew exactly what it wanted to achieve and it did so masterfully. With claustrophobic vocals and frantic soundscapes that sprawled uncontrollably, FEWS came across as a band who were bursting to get themselves heard.
Now in 2017, FEWS have shared what can only be presumed to be a track off their next upcoming project. Titled LaGuardia, after the revolutionary 20th century politician of the same name, this is a track that builds on what FEWS experimented with at the end of Means. Closing that record was the 8 minute krautrock goliath Ill. An incredibly dense and pummeling track, Ill showed the heights that FEWS could reach.
Now with LaGuardia, whilst only coming in at just under 4 minutes, it still packs the venom that Ill did. Mainly instrumental, the track is astonishingly layered and compact.As it pulsates, you find yourself feeling more and more isolated in it’s post-punk grandeur. The only vocals in the track are “I understand that resistance is something good/ I accept this”, which come in about halfway through and proceed the sonic anarchy that soon follows. With twisted guitars that pierce with menacing precision and pain stricken screams, LaGuardia collapses into a sea of darkness. A murky and contorted track, LaGuardia is a wonderfully crafted listen.
“Maybe it’s popular because the world seems like a really sad and alienating place to be in right now. Maybe the discord of ‘shoegaze’ is an auditory mirror of that. A confused reaction in sound.” This slice of wisdom comes from Jonathan Relph of Toronto based shoegazers Indoor Voices. Nothing Left Unsaid interviewed him shortly after the release of his band’s latest EP, and this quote is something that has particularly stuck with us over these past few months. The idea that shoegaze is gaining recognition and momentum once again because how fucked up things are at the moment, truly is a unique way of looking at the revival. Now with this release from Dose, we believe this concept to be even more true than ever.
The Newcastle quintet have just shared the debut track Bloom and, if it’s anything to go by, Dose could prove to be one North-East act to keep an eye on in the coming months. Bloom begins with subtle and idyllic melodies, that weave and interlock as they are soaked in ambient effects. Initially reminiscent of 90s shoegaze, the more you listen, the more you realise that Dose actually hide something much darker. The guitars are intoxicating and you feel like they are corrupting you, as they slowly bed themselves into your consiousness. In comes a pulsating krautrock beat and, before you know it, you’re swept into what feels like the second half of DIIV’s 2016 album Is The Is Are. The melancholy vocals are moody and add so much to the already striking soundscape that Dose have created.
Jonathan’s idea of shoegaze being an auditory mirror to the world is displayed through Dose’s Bloom perfectly. Our world is seemingly so beautiful but also so depraved in its ways, and that’s exactly what Dose have displayed here.
After a relatively busy year so far with their own UK tour and Tame Impala support slot, Jagwar Ma are in the process of ‘reintroducing’ themselves into the global music scene. It’s been three years since Howlin’ was released and, with the way the industry works nowadays, it can be easy for a relatively ‘small’ act like Jagwar Ma to slip through the cracks of the wider audience. However the Sydney psychedelic dance trio (yes they are officially a trio now) are back with their latest track OB1, which will feature on the band’s Autumn sophomore release Every Now & Then.
Still donning the Haçienda/Madchester aesthetic that the band have become so heavily associated with after their debut, OB1 is unmistakably a Jagwar Ma track. With the assistance of Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa on the drums, OB1 bounces around like it’s wearing Shaun Ryder’s trousers. With layers upon layers of Acid House beats, the track progresses over the course of it’s run time with a substantial amount of groove. Gabriel Winterfield’s vocals are less dependent on reverb compared to previous work and it results in a really immediate and catchy chorus. Jagwar Ma have always been about capturing that baggy sound that gets your head bopping without you even realising it, and they have succeeded once again.
OB1 is Jagwar Ma refining their craft and they sound better than ever. Back in 2013, Jagwar Ma were cited by many as one of Australia’s finest musical exports. This is however no longer applicable in 2016, as they are the best act Australia has to offer right now.
What’s that I hear? You want to listen to a band that’s been described as having “Funky grooves lined with darker tones” or “Sharp indie-rock numbers guided by pop sensibilities.”? Well looks like you’ve clicked on the right link that Liam Egan has shared multiple times… Sweet White are a 5-piece indie band from Peterhead in Scotland who have been described exactly as this and have just released their fantastic new track ‘Tides’ to the world.
Entering the fold with a baggy beat and biting guitars, Tides is laced with reverb and thick notes from bassist James Butcher. Creating vast amounts of space and imposing ambience, Sweet White have clear high ambitions.
As Tides progresses into its chorus, it bursts with zeal and determination. Transforming into a maelstrom of thrashing guitars and ferocious drums from Shaun Wilson, it becomes a full blown assault on the senses. However, frontman Jake Cordiner delivers his vocals in such a calm manner throughout and the result is a perfect contrast between him and the hysteria that’s happening all around. With a slight gruffness and a Scottish twang, Cordiner adds a whole new element and dimension to Sweet White.
Tides is maleficent and unforgiving but also somehow manages to be brooding and tranquil at the same time. With exemplary guitar work from Kyle Drysdale and Ruairidh Sandison, Sweet White’s Tides is certainly one of the the new indie tracks you’ll remember when we come to the end of 2015.
If you like all things Scottish then you’re in luck because you can catch Sweet White supporting Baby Strange at their Aberdeen gig in October, tickets can be bought below.
When I spoke to FLESH back in May, conversation about their next single was kept at a minimum because as bassist Hazza put it “That would be giving it away wouldn’t it?”. Same went for their upcoming tour plans. That’s all changed now as they are heading out on a full UK tour in September and this morning they released new single NOT GNA onto the world. For those unknown to FLESH, let me give you the #lowdown. Hailing from Manchester, the self-confessed pioneers of snotpop are certainly not the type of band you tell your grandparents about. From getting one of their mates onstage at gigs and making himself sick to said mate actually drinking that sick, FLESH do want they want really. Tapping into to 90s Manchester/Britpop scene but adding a 2k15 feel to it, FLESH’s music is exactly what the music scene needs right now.
Let’s get talking about NOT GNA then. NOT GNA comes swaggering in as new drummer Conor supplies an insanely catchy and danceable beat that turns anyone listening into the next Bez. Vocalist Robbie snarls throughout and delivers the lyrics with such a strong Manc accent that it would give Liam Gallagher a run for his money. Wicked and whaling guitar solos are littered all along the track by lead guitarist Jon, who has recently moved from drumming duties to the six string. Bassist Hazza adds to what Conor is laying down with some chunky and beefy basslines that really emphasise the band’s similarities to the late 80s/early 90s MADchester scene. NOT GNA is grungy, massive, mean and, most importantly, mint.
As I mentioned earlier, FLESH are on a full UK tour in September so you all should head down because it’s obviously going to be sick. Link to tickets are below, along with the bands social media.
Twitter – @LUVFLESHH
Facebook – FLESH
Instagram – @LUVFLESHH