Georgia Maria is back with more sharp edged ethereal magic. Age of Reason builds like a storm from bar one. It starts with a gripping fingerpicking line which dissolves into a rhythmic moment matched with the percussion. She then introduces an epic distorted guitar, and that’s just the first five seconds. As always, I was struck by the complexity of Maria’s instrumentation and writing; no decision is a filler as she modulates and shuffles metres with engaging precision.
Maria’s lyrics are once again poetic, and almost prophetic, too. Featuring killer guitar lines, rumbling percussion and eerie vocals her sound could be described as “apocalyptic jam”. The chorus and verses are rich with chaotic drum fills and guitar lines that move with the vocals.
She brings diversity with a brief palm muted section and breathy vocals warning the listener to “beware of where (they) tread”. It feels like a key cinematic scene riddled with foreshadowing. Maria doesn’t pause here for long though; it’s straight back to a driving rhythm section and full noise from the guitar.
Georgia Maria is a name to watch out for— we certainly are doing just that. Keep up with her edgy brilliance on Facebook or Instagram, and listen to Age of Reason here.
Leaving Lennox are the Nashville based duo with “unreplicable on-stage chemistry”. The pair began their musical journey in Sydney, Australia and toured the country with their folk-pop magic. Leaving Lennox moved to the states to chase their dreams of playing their music all over the world.
Not Ready (To Leave Just Yet) begins with an arpeggiated piano that promises to break hearts. The duo sing the first few lines in harmony, painting a picture of a relationship hanging on by a thread. “Shoes by the door, suitcase on the floor…” The chorus laments being stuck in the same loop of almost leaving, but ultimately forgiving your partner.
The second verse adds movement with guitar and percussion. The sentiment I’m not ready to leave just yet is all too familiar to anyone who’s found themselves stuck in a relationship that’s not right for them. Leaving Lennox communicates this feeling with poetic expertise— the little details paint a picture so real that the stoniest heart becomes sentimental. The addition of a slide guitar adds to the pining nature of the song, and both vocalists perform with conviction.
With all the uncertainty that 2020 has thrown in Leaving Lennox’s direction, they are to be congratulated on their tenacity and innovation. In the place of tours and live gigs they’ve hosted an array of virtual concerts on their social media. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Self proclaimed “pop star for dorks” Geoff Ong has released another single, and it’s insanely catchy. I first heard the track on release day, and the optimistic hook line has been rattling around in my brain ever since. The icing on the Into Into You cake is the fun and professional music video choreographed by Anton Pulefale and Victoria Villapol, and directed by Geoff Ong himself.
The music video starts with Pulefale and Villapol standing back to back in a studio with a light directed at the camera. Ong asks the question “is it weird to think we could have been just strangers passing by in the street?” before wondering about the universe and its plans. It’s a feel good song, all about revelling in the magic of new love.
The dancers capture the mesmerising nature of a new relationship by moving in slow motion together. They snap into an energetic chorus while the movement of the editing aligns with the rhythm section. It’s a carefully considered video, but it still feels charming and genuine; the dancers look like they had a lot of fun filming it.
Tastefully filmed and edited by an artist with countless strings to his bow, Into Into You is infectiously groovy. The next time you need a slice of optimism load up the video and get smiling. Don’t miss Geoff Ong when he next plays live – his shows are outrageously dynamic, and so much fun.
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.
Aidan Verity is a breath of fresh air from Wellington, New Zealand. Her music, written in a retro time lapse, sends the listener straight to a 1960s prom. Classically trained, Verity uses her musical knowledge and intuition to walk between acoustic and electric soundscapes. Her latest release Believe in Me is thoughtful and clever.
Believe In Me was written from the pits of self doubt. Verity found herself swaddled in a blanket lamenting her inability to back herself. She explores her struggle with changing her own mind, and asks the question “how long until I can say I believe in me?” This question eventually fades away, unanswered.
Heavily influenced by Christine and the Queens, the track has a mesmerising, swaying feel to it. A quarter of the way through Believe In Me develops with epic use of affected backing vocals. Verity demonstrates her skill as a writer and performer, concluding the piece with an almost spiritual use of reverb.
Keep up with her on Facebook and Instagram.
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.
Make sure to check out Chris Pidsley over on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.
Can’t Know All The Songs begins with an epic 80s drum fill and groovy synth. Once again, Gecko has achieved the near impossible of writing “comedy music you’d actually add to a playlist”. The track is characterful and well produced. He’s made such an impact with the song that Wheatus (remember Teenage Dirtbag?) tweeted about it.
Verse one jumps into a Gecko-style internal monologue. He strings metaphors together to paint a ludicrous picture of what it’s like to have the audience yell “play Wonderwall” during your original set. Can’t Know All The Songs is an anthem for anyone who’s ever played a gig.
We had the pleasure of seeing him perform this single at a Sofar gig early this year, and the audience was in stitches with laughter. Gecko manages to translate his personality into recording with flair. His comedic timing and tone of voice allow the jokes to translate to the recorded medium. The song pulls back for a mock emotional bridge before finishing with a final epic chorus. Don’t miss Gecko— he’s an absolute riot.
Fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic in London hospitals hasn’t stopped MYRY from adding another beautifully melancholic piano track to her repertoire.
Stuck in a Loop is a stripped back inner dialogue accompanied by MYRY’s warm piano and WULF‘s soft vocals.
The song is gentle but builds with a quiet strength that stretches and swells until you’re swept up in swathes of synths bringing the song into a rich climax. The music sounds like a beautiful blend of Regina Spektor and Lydia Cole, combining the charm of a singer-songwriter and a piano with a sophisticated soundscape of synths.
MYRY has built a reputation for herself with the success of her Debut Single Ghosts, called a “Headphone moment” by BBC introducing. Record of the Day said her “voice [was] as captivating as Freya Ridings or Birdy“, but MYRY’s success began earlier than this. As a teenager MYRY was a Youtube success garnering millions of views from various covers, including everyone’s favourite song with a cup, “When I’m Gone“.
Hints of an upcoming EP from MYRY have been mentioned, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
We bumped into an old friend from uni the moment we entered the bar. Much like the artists, we’re back in New Zealand while we give the other continents space to breathe for a while. It’s sort of comforting though, to be in my hometown while the world is crumbling. There was an electricity in the air; kiwis had been clawing at the walls to get out for a pint, and New Zealand was 21 days corona free. Time for a party.
Wunderbar is a local treasure— the beer taps light up like christmas, and the baby head lamps give it a certain je nes sais quoi. The bar was brimming with socially starved millennial, and the gig space was packed. We thought we might not find space in the room, but managed to weasel our way to front stage. It’s a good thing we did, because what followed was the most incredible, intimate acoustic set I’ve seen since sofar.
Eddie Kiesanowski of Pretty Stooked opened the gig like he owned the bar. New to solo sets but no rookie on the stage he seemed comfortable, and so stoked to be there. His stage presence is laid back and welcoming. Charisma aside, the man’s songwriting is phenomenal. He shared a smorgasboard of songs; some old, and some written over lockdown. It’s difficult to pick one facet of the performance to focus on— we were impressed by the sense of witty humanity in his lyrics, but perhaps most floored by the power in his vocal performance.
Pretty Stooked was a tough act to follow, but MIM rose to the challenge like a helium balloon. She too seemed incredibly comfortable on stage, and chatted to us like old friends. Her emotive voice had the audience leaning in to catch each detail as she regaled us with tales of introspection and mental illness. Moments later she would unleash her insanely powerful voice for a long held note that demanded applause. For the second half of the set MIM was supported by friend Seb Warren, who added another layer of beauty and colour to the evening with his guitar playing and backing vocals.
Few can capture hearts wearing a skivvy, but VALA rise to the challenge with enthusiasm. Following the success of the infectiously groovy Say You Want It (That Way), the 60s inspired 4 piece released Only One on the 5th of June. Set in the same vintage universe, Only One is the nostalgia fix we’re all in dire need of. Rustle up your dancing shoes, ‘coz she’s groovy.
Featuring those characteristic VALA vocals, the piece is driven by masterful drumming and summery guitar timbre. Only One is a sincere piece of writing. Its chorus features those specific little details of love. The singer wants to be the “only one”; say goodnight and then wake his love up with tea.
The song comes hand in hand with another retro music video destined to bring back memories of more simple times. You can also check out their live session of the track here. Don’t miss VALA and their contagious grooves– you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.