Sam Veal is a film worker, freelance writer, and music enthusiast based in Atlanta, GA. He has worked in production with several major studios, such as Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, and Disney. He also spends time as a writing and editing consultant. While not working, he spends his time watching/playing soccer, cooking new things, and ineffectively trying to comb down the front part of his hair.
Brighton synth-rockers Fickle Friends released their first track, “Swim” just a little over three months ago. That one track got over three-hundred thousand plays on SoundCloud alone, and when one hears that catchy guitar line paired with splashy synth and smooth beat, is there any wondering how?
I’ve been waiting eagerly for another track by this five-piece, and “P L A Y” is proof that their first release was no fluke. Leaning on more power-pop songwriting tendencies rather than the late eighties R&B elements from “Swim”, Fickle Friends craft much more of a foot-stomper this time around. It holds some differences, but the fun synth-lines and Natassja Shine’s lyrical work remain delightful staples.
2014 is going to be a fun year for this band, and it may do well for you to join in with them.
Saint Pepsi‘s meteoric rise has been as pleasurable as it has been quick. Producer Ryan DeRobertis has a fearless approach of creating fun, ambient space pop from chopping up and reimagining a wide variety of both popular and palpable songs, including the Biebs himself.
With “Baby“, DeRobertis transforms K-Pop stalwarts 4Men’s “Baby Baby” into an atmospheric journey through trickling pianos and swelling synth. The track bubbles over into bolder vocal sampling and more definable melodies at its end, but then falls back down to earth in the waning seconds.
It’s a dazzling piece of electronic R&B that continues to flash his affinity for pop culture seen in previous tracks. Saint Pepsi releases his upcoming full-length, Gin City, next week through his Bandcamp page.
Electronic/Nu-Disco producer Todd Terje dropped several tracks in 2013, blending together House, Italo, and sometimes even Samba. Featuring some of the aforementioned singles, Terje is releasing his first album, “It’s Album Time”, featuring what is probably the greatest album cover of ever.
“Delorean Dynamite” is more of his trademark circling rhythms and quickly-moving beats, but his melodies have never reached more skyward. The synth-work is truly mesmerizing, carrying the rhythm through several planes before ending with a floating, muted loop.
This track is perfect for that disco in outer space that you’ve been dying to throw. ”It’s Album Time” is out on April 8 and is available for preorder.
Austin dance-rockers SPEAK put out one of my favorite tracks last year’s “Peaks“. This week sees their first new material in 2014 in the airier tune of “Be Reasonable, Diane“.
This band is still talented in writing an addictive hook, but the R&B style has taken a back seat to a freak-folk rhythm and a carefree attitude in guitar licks. There’s a lot going on in “Be Reasonable, Diane”, but not in the way we’re used to from SPEAK. Pieces aren’t piled on top of each other, but are rather elongated so that every melody from verse to bridge has time to breath.
As much as SPEAK accomplished with their previous work, it’s refreshing to see them loosen up their ties and create a fun, splashy tune that continues to show off their prowess. Check out “Be Reasonable, Diane” below.
Sydney’s Twin Caverns made some waves in December with their pretty cover of Bon Iver’s “Hinnom, TX“. As the new year has seen them releasing their own material, we’re starting to find that the duo are just as talented releasing original work.
“Undiscover” is a restrained, crisp track that exudes a dark lust with every rolling crackle of percussion. Vocalist Louise Millar dips and rolls over the instrumentation, though that may be the only ornate quality the song can claim. This sexy pop tune is a happy median of Portishead and Widowspeak that exemplifies the most pleasure in its discretion.
Glasgow indie rock group Holy Esque have shared their latest track, “Silences”: a reverberated guitar anthem that is a black look in the face of a rainy day.
The opening riff may be charming enough to make one believe that they’re in store for a cloudy, lo-fi tune, but the real pleasure is found in the directness and intensity playing in contrast to the aloofness. The clean, glasnost vocals hold no room for vagueness, and the drums respond with a real tenacity. These elements build for an epic finish complete cymbal splashes and cracking vocals.
This track combines the guitar stylings of Editors with a succinct, yet unpolished grit that make it worth a few listens. Check out “Silences” below, and find it available for digital download on February 10th.