Tag Archives: music review

‘Jagwar Ma – OB1’ Track Review

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 This is however no longer applicable in 2016, as they are the best act Australia has to offer right now.

 

Liam Egan

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‘FLESH – NOT GNA’ Track Review

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.

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http://www.seetickets.com/artist/flesh/1029071

Twitter – @LUVFLESHH

Facebook – FLESH

Instagram – @LUVFLESHH

Liam Egan

‘The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It’ Track Review

“It’s recorded, we’re about to finish mixing next week and it’ll be out in a few months.”  That’s what The Maccabees had to say in February during the NME Awards when they were asked about their forthcoming album. Back in 2012, The Maccabees released their critically acclaimed album Given To The Wild and received a Mercury nod and since then they’ve been very quiet on the new music front. Well Maccabees fans rejoice because they’ve finally broken their silence and have released latest single Marks To Prove It.

With manic guitars from the offset that soar high into the stratosphere, this is The Maccabees returning at their best. Orlando’s vocals are still as spot on as always as they are sung over the frantic urgent melodies. Without any warning everything slows down as the band begin to recharge, so they can once again start their hectic offensive on the senses. Mixing elements from all three of their albums, The Maccabees have created a perfect balance to please all fans. Keys are then introduced which cause the track to descend like Alice falling into Wonderland. This juxtaposes the rising guitars, vocals and percussion, resulting in the two intertwining in a battle of who can take the forefront. With the organ coming out triumphant and closing the track, The Maccabees manage to capture and seize you in their spectacular musical brilliance. Striking, audacious and euphonious, The Maccabees once again display why they are one the best UK bands and show us that this wait was in fact worth it.

Liam Egan

‘Jamie xx – Loud Places featuring Romy’ Track Review

Loud Places is second new track to come from Jamie xx’s album announcement and he pulls in his fellow bandmate from The xx Romy Croft to perform vocals. If you’re not up to date with this announcement then click here to head to my other Jamie xx review which should hopefully shine some light on the situation.

Starting with chimes and indistinct distant chatter, Loud Places is introduced with simple piano chords and Romy’s trademark whispered vocals. Jamie then brings in a sample from an Idris Muhammad track called Could Heaven Ever Be Like This which slots in perfectly. It gives Loud Places this gospel-esque vibe that will certainly bring everyone together at a festival. The track feels like one mass celebration. The jubilation this track gives off could easily make it a potential summer anthem. With the sound of clapping hands and an ensemble of voices singing in unison, Loud Places is one of the best dance tracks released in the last few years. Finishing on Romy delicately singing ‘You’re in ecstasy without me/When you come down, I won’t be around.’, Loud Places is up there with Jamie xx’s finest work.

So will Jamie xx ever disappoint? With this never ending form it doesn’t seem like it. With Sleep Sound and Girl also being included on his debut, In Colour is possibly going to be this year’s equivalent to Caribou’s Our Love and definitely one the year’s best records.

Liam Egan

 

‘Jamie xx – Gosh’ Track Review

OH MY GOSH (ey, see what I did there?), what a time to be alive for Jamie xx fans. Firstly having the stunningly beautiful Sunshine by him being renamed to Alba last week, now there has been an announcement that his debut album In Colour will be released in June. BUT OH WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!!! He’s only gone and released two new tracks with said announcement, Gosh and Loud Places. There’s just so much Jamie xx, I don’t know what to do with it all…

The first new track Gosh, which will be the opener of his upcoming debut album, is a journey in itself. Beginning with crunchy beats that sound like they’re going to burst into the Harlem Shake any moment, Gosh feels like it’s initially taking a similar route to another track by Jamie known as All Under One Roof Raving. The sample of ‘Oh my gosh’ fits in perfectly as more and more layers of beats get added. Dark, grimy and harsh, the beginning of Gosh sounds like a 90s ravers dream. But then out of nowhere this incredible synth induced keyboard solo comes in. With extended held out notes that sound like they’ve been sent from the heavens, this part of the track comes totally unexpected. Influence from Orbital can be drawn as the melody gracefully dances around like a ballerina. Every subtle change can be heard and it sounds gorgeous. Filling you up with it’s divine technicolour light, Gosh impresses and outdoes itself in just under five minutes. You start the track thinking you have it all worked out within the first couple of seconds but you leave totally bewildered and amazed.

Gosh is another example of Jamie xx’s pure talent and brilliance. Make sure you check out my review of his other new track Loud Places featuring fellow member from The xx Romy.

Liam Egan

‘Horsebeach – Disappear’ Track Review

After releasing a stunning debut album last year, Horsebeach are back with their new single Disappear . Written, recorded and produced by frontman Ryan Kennedy in his flat in Manchester, in a similar way to Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, Disappear is track you should really pay attention to.

Starting with warbling ‘Oooos’ and the signature guitar sound we’ve become used to from Horsebeach, you can already tell that Horsebeach’s sound is more sophisticated. With the addition of a stand out Wild Nothing-esque synth that illuminates the track, you wouldn’t be surprised if Horsebeach were signed to Captured Tracks. Reverb covered vocals from Ryan Kennedy sound better than ever and you can’t help but think that this may be Horsebeach’s best track yet. Two minutes in there is breakdown where we hear possibly the most drums that’s ever been included on a Horsebeach track. For the final third of Disappear, we enter a lush rich instrumental. Lavish guitars that bounce around you, the tranquilizing ‘Oooos’ return and the overall feel good sunny vibe create a finale that’s truly striking.

With Disappear, we see a much more developed mature side to Horsebeach, the addition of synths is something that should be explored more in Horsebeach’s discography. Ryan Kennedy’s song-writing is at it’s best and if this track alone is anything to go by, Horsebeach’s sophomore could be one of this year’s best albums.

You can stream Disappear below, as well as it’s B-Side Let You Down, on the band’s Soundcloud. You can also pre-order the tracks on their Bandcamp, where you can also purchase it on 7 inch (think there is only 9 remaining), for a 9th of March release..

http://horsebeach.bandcamp.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HorsebeachBand

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/horsebeachband?ref=ts&fref=ts

Liam Egan

‘Dotan – Home’ Track Review

How many of you can say you’ve performed in over 100 people’s living rooms? One man who certainly can is singer-songwriter Dotan. Based in Amsterdam, Dotan has played in over 100 homes of complete strangers and the result is his debut record ‘7 Layers’. Receiving major airplay from Radio 1 and a number 1 in Germany, Dotan is set to take the world by storm. The first track to be released from the album will be the track ‘Home’.

‘Home’ begins with sound of profound drums and subtle acoustic guitars, the type you’d expect to hear on Ben Howard record. Dotan’s hush and soothing vocals then take the forefront as the track builds momentum. The chorus then bursts open with waves of chanting monk-like vocals, similar to Bastille. With sweeping percussion and the delicate sound of a sparkling xylophone, Home manages to create a great warmth. As the track reaches it’s finale, the spiritual sounding chant of ‘We are coming home’ gets louder and louder as multiple layers are added until the chorus pours out in a grand fashion. Imposing, stirring and nostalgic, Home is a track that’ll be making it’s way up the charts in no time.

You can head over to iTunes to pre-order ‘Home’ for a release on the 23rd of March. You can also pre-order his debut album ‘7 Layers’, which will be released on the same date as ‘Home’.

Liam Egan