It’s easy to disappear into the beautiful soundscape that Lorenzo creates in his acoustic lead follow up to his Single Pharos. The track is slow and lumbering with rich baritone vocals reminiscient of 90s grunge (but the vocalists who could sing more vowels than urrrr). The soundscape is dark and smokey which is a diversion from Lorenzo’s usual performance with his band Close to the Bone. Singer Lorenzo was inspired to tackle his solo project with lockdown and managed to self record the three songs released under Lorenzo Hazelwood in his home studio. These were picked up and worked on with Toby Lloyd from Tiny Triumph Recordings and Mastered by Luke Finlay from Primal Mastering. Lorenzo plans to release more music during the year so make sure to follow him on Facebook,Instagram and Spotify to catch more broody dirges! Hopefully another lockdown isn’t required to draw out more creativity.
Goodspace are a low-fi indi rock band with “hints of hiphop and songwriter sensibilities”. They write music to “make you feel present”; an achievement not to be understated in the fast paced modern world.
Braces is an atmospheric piece of writing. It’s a plug your headphones in and think about life kind of a track. Goodspace have done an excellent job of creating something soothing for the anxious moments that riddle us all sometimes. The mellow guitar lines and soft-spoken vocals are perfect for bringing a spiraling mind back to the planet.
The lyrics are simple, but sweet. The opening line “when everyone turns and looks at you, when you don’t even wanna be here at all…” captures the restless feeling of anxiety. They capture these intrusive thoughts with pensive expertise. Goodspace move on to say “I know I’m the same, just in a different way”- it’s comforting to remember that we all feel that way sometimes. Braces is like having someone finally “get it”.
Goodspace are up to all sorts of exciting things in 2020. Keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram.
Nick Dow is back, and immediately sending shivers down my spine. Isolated, is an eerie and ethereal piece that belongs in an abandoned ruin of a concert hall. The sound builds on echoing arpeggios with a rough falsetto that soars through the spacious soundscape reminiscent of Radiohead. This is one of the simpler songs Nick has released steering away from earlier complex works, but I believe the beauty of this song comes from it fully utilised stripped back arrangement, a delicate touch on the keys, and flawless harmonic progression. The song appears to be topical with 2020’s isolating lock downs worldwide, striking a chord with many of us pent up inside isolated from the world around us.
Isolated is the first we’ve heard from multi-instrumentalist Nick Dow since his well received debut album “Layers” quoted as being “about as good as debut albums get” which charted in NZ and set Nick off playing shows around NZ. Nick has built up a reputation around Auckland as a formidable musician, with talent as a vocalist, pianist and violin player, playing for musicians such as TEEKS.
South For Winter is the otherworldly folk trio comprised of Nick Stone, Dani Cichon and Alex Stradal. Stone and Cichon met as volunteers building greenhouses in the Andes Mountains. Here they wrote Fallen Seeds, the first of many mesmerising pieces they would work on together. Upon moving to Nashville in 2017 they met the missing piece in their sound: classically trained cellist Alex Stradal.
Always You summons the sun in the winter. It begins with a strong acapella sentiment from the pure voice of Cichon. Her signature lyrical style sounds Oh my love when I lose my hold / when my eyes forget their youth / when the wind’s worn down these bones / oh there’s always you. South for Winter’s lyrics often walk the line between poetry and song, and their latest creation is no exception.
Cichon is joined by a bright ukulele and full band arrangement. Stone’s harmonies add colour and depth to the timbre, and the piece sets off on a boundlessly enthusiastic journey. It’s easy to hear the fun the musicians have when they work together. The three stylistic inputs result in a masterful and well balanced soundscape.
Always You is a more optimistic offering than the eerie murder ballads South for Winter is famous for, but there is a distinct familiarity hidden in it. It’s easy to hear the intricate sound of the band when the cello is introduced and the song breaks for a cheeky guitar solo. Perhaps this cotton candy track is exactly what the world is in need of this year. The song promises that despite all the darkness and inevitable passing of time, love will remain.
The band is set to release a full length album this year, and we couldn’t be more excited for more magic. Keep up with their progress on Instagram and Facebook.
Chris Pidsley has dropped a couple of tasty indie-rock tracks recently which we can’t get out of our heads! Cinnamon & Berryhead show Chris Pidsley’s increasing talent as a song writer and mastery of creating a relaxed, happy soundscape. Cinnamon has an intro that’ll be sampled into a chill-hop track any day now. The track moves into classic up-beat indie rock vibe with retro synths, chorused guitars and lazy vocals. Chris uses rhythmic flourishes and tasteful layering to keep us listening throughout the track. The track is about “the excitement and emotions you feel when you kiss someone for the first time.” Berryhead is the sleepy b-side to Cinnamon. The song is a beautiful lullaby reminiscent of Jose Gonzalez, Cavetown or Syd Matters that would sit perfect on the “Life is Strange” Soundtrack. Chris has beautiful strings and synths to accompany his multi-tracked vocals the combines into a beautiful elixir that washes over the senses to put you at ease. Chris wrote Berryhead “…whilst on holiday in Torquay. On a walk to Berryhead I saw a bench dedicated to a couple who said that spot was their favourite spot in the world. I based the lyrics on this idea of a couple growing old there and the beauty they saw in each other as well as the location.” Berryhead might be my personal favourite track from Chris Pidsley so far.
Quirky by Chris Pidsley takes you in with intimate storytelling and beautiful harmony placing you in a warm lounge by a fireplace with a highschool sweetheart. But true to it’s name the song shifts tone quickly into a positive bop with a bouncy chorus. Charming electric piano joins in to accompany the ensemble and fleshes out the piece into a lovely feel good indie-pop track that leaves you beaming.
Based in Tottenham, Chris Pidsley has been working on music he calls indie / bedroom pop for a few years. He’s been played by BBC introducing and is now working on putting out a complete EP.
Due to the current Isolation Quirky was put together in lockdown in Chris’s bedroom, and has notably given the track and organic feel which helps show his personality.
There’s an undeniable charm to this track, and we hope to hear what will come of a fully fleshed out EP!
Isaac Penrod is a hidden gem we found online from music forums. He started writing music in the late 90s and initially released under the band name Crimson.
Music making took the back seat while Isaac focused on raising a family, but from 2018 music has been being released again!
Never Should Have Gone is our favourite of his 2018 EP ‘The First Collection’ recorded and mastered by Ryan Brubaker of Happy Recording Studio in Avon. It’s a stripped back acoustic singer-songwriter track which takes us into an internal dialogue of Isaac figuring out that he doesn’t know what he needs, and that when he thinks he has it figured it out, he realises he has so much to learn. The chorus has a catchy hook and silky smooth high vocals.
We’d love to hear this track fleshed out with a band! Anyone fancy putting together a cover?
Listen in to more of Isaac Penrod here on Spotify, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram. And make sure not to miss him at Books & Brews in Brownsburg in Indiana on the 22nd this month!
Arasarou’s “Restless Heart” begins with a groovy bass riff and tasteful shaker. Add some clean electric guitar and characterful vocals, and you’ve got yourself a catchy acoustic piece to play at your cafe. The point of difference here is the juxtaposition between creepy lyrics and an otherwise cheerful soundscape. Niklas a. Malmer, the man behind Arasarou, is a talented lyricist. The opening line “devils under your skin were scratching from within” is unnerving, but pleasingly rhythmic.
Arasarou plays with empty space and builds levels masterfully in “Restless Heart”. He keeps the momentum going while giving the listener time to digest his lyrics. In between verses he introduces creative lines on electric guitar to keep the song fresh and interesting.
The pay off in the chorus is satisfying. The sound suddenly opens up, releasing the tension of the driving electric guitar in the verses. Use of “string-like” synths drive the song, building the sound enough to drop back down for the next verse. The production on “Restless Heart” is clean and polished, and Arasarou plays with enough variation to keep you listening for the full duration. We look forward to seeing where Malmer’s music takes him next.