Down Down from Screams From the Sun is one of the most fresh tracks we’ve reviewed at Kiwi’s Listen. Unable to be held back by the pandemic, they recorded this pop-rock banger in isolation. The duo blends “emo feels” and “80s Hollywood Blockbuster” into what we hear as a darker Twenty One Pilots. The soundscape is quite electronic and alt-pop reminiscent of groups such as Everything Everything and Linkin Park’s ‘A Thousand Suns’. However this group undeniably has the energy of 2000s emo rock groups driving it. A heavy distorted sliding synth unapologetically supports the chorus line “Down Down”, but really helps provide the key hook to the track making use of the empty space around it.
The Duo Mimi and Francis originally met in 2017 when busking, they paired their skills and spent a year writing and busking around London, getting established with venues and unsigned festivals. Screams From the Sun has successfully got themselves on Rolling Stone France and even played with Jared Leto during a performance outside the BBC Radio1 in 2018.
Reminiscing is warm and nostalgic, within the opening seconds you’re picturing a home movie of your child mishaps. But Sophie is looking back on a slightly different tale.
This song looks back on a time where Sophie chased a partner to Chile to live as a stay at home partner to walk the dog and do groceries. The complication was that she didn’t speak Spanish. The song is not a predictable dramatic tale of an ex-lover, rather it takes a grounded look at regular issues that arise even in this distinct situation. Sophie reflects with a mature view, considering what there is to learn from the experience.
The track is a smooth jam with great use of empty space. Melodies shift effortlessly between the bass and keys giving varying texture. The easy listening sound is captured beautifully, a performance of this track would sit perfectly in a cafe or Sofar Sounds. Reminiscing’s tone has fondness and a touch of humour, it seems Sophie’s coming from a place where things are now fine, and we’re viewing this through the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia.
Originally from Scotland, Sophie Gibson is a singer/songwriter who is now based in Auckland, New Zealand. Singing songs of “heart break, heart mending and downright just complaining”. We’re glad she shared this interesting gem with us! Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.
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!
Indie artist Cam Holtet is a singer-songwriter and electronic pop artist from Norway. She began writing as a teenager, using music as a way to express herself. She moved to London in 2017 to chase music industry dreams, and has made a number of impressive achievements since.
Cam’s latest single Radio Silence rivals the likes of Tessa Violet and Halsey with its catchy hook line. The track begins with a spacey synth line and “talk-style” vocals musing about being ignored. It drops an 80s bass line for a sassy pre chorus demanding that they “pick a reason and (she) will move on”. The chorus is empowering. Cam’s self worth hasn’t been damaged, but she’s very reasonably expecting an explanation from her would be love interest.
Radio Silence is charming. It reminds me of some of the imaginative compositions brought to us by Adventure Time. The creative production builds a colourful soundscape, and showcases Cam’s personality. Cam already has an impressive discography of singles on Spotify, but make sure you find her on Instagram and Facebook to hear about what’s next too.
Receiving endorsements from the likes of Calvin Harris, Dallas Austin, and BBC Radio’s Dean Jackson, JENKO is someone you don’t wanna sleep on.
The 26 year old electronic dance pop artist has been songwriting from the age of 16 and has built up a reputation with radio stations, online press, newspapers, and big names in the game.
This year JENKO is making waves as an artist in his own right, dropping his latest single Oblivion. It’s clear that JENKO isn’t messing around with a high calibre music video with stunning visuals paired with the professionally put together track that simply put, really slaps.
If you need to have a bit of a rave in isolation, JENKO has the music for you. Keep up with JENKO on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.
Georgia Maria is a musical veteran. With years of extensive experience as a writer and performer prior to the launch of her solo project, she has started with an audible bang. Red-Handed Man is just one of five singles on her debut EP, but she’s already got our attention.
The track begins with an ominous distorted guitar line before rolling into a campfire folktale. Georgia Maria’s whimsical vocals float over the top of the intro section, spinning a picture of the infamous red handed man. He is “baring (his) grudge like a hammer in hand…” The scene is haunting.
The second round brings a building percussion section and eerie folk harmonies before transitioning into a killer guitar line. Georgia Maria’s use of a repeating melody and the hook line “my red handed man” give the song the feel of a tale that has been passed down through generations. The song has strong undercurrents of celtic folk, driven by its fairytale lyrics and modal melody.
Georgia Maria refreshes the ear with a bridge, and sets the scene on fire with another epic guitar solo. The ashes fall in the soundscape for a final round of the melody. Wait for her next release with us on Instagram and Facebook.
In their latest track, Farewell, Flying Islands tells us to come together in these current apocalyptic times. The Lead singer asks us to raise our glasses together for the end of the world as we’re enveloped in the sound of swirling electric piano and ambient guitars.
The song is personal and intimate as we watch the lead singer William project his message face to face from a black backdrop as if we’re listening to these words in our own thoughts.
Farewell is a shift in tone from Flying Islands’ more fast and heavy genre benders like Loreto, but it is a refreshing and important message to share in this trying time. Thank you William for this sentiment. Find Flying Islands on Facebook, Bandcamp, Spotify and Youtube.
Iduna’s new single ‘Creeping In’ comes in quick and slams you with an off kilter groove and vocals playing with modal change through gritted teeth. The track ramps up into a high energy chorus with the joint vocals of Jason Craig and Trison Boyes. Creeping in keeps you engaged with constant development and a thundering rhythm section from bassist Tim Saulnier and drummer Craig Koziar which has you relentlessly head banging in your seat. The song finishes with blasting rhythmic flourishes and soaring vocals similar to Alterbridge, and that’s not a comparison to make lightly. The track is about letting go and welcoming the loss of inhibitions. The lyrics explore the vulnerable side of attraction and the emotional risk we all experience in putting ourselves out there.
Iduna stated they make “alternative rock music that wrestles with the question of what it is to be and who we should be to each other. Building on the sounds of The Smashing Pumpkins, Matthew Good Band, Biffy Clyro, and Kings of Leon with a political tinge”
Bryan Chua found his passion for performing in Singapore. His work released in 2017 tackled issues of mental health through honest songwriting. After moving to London in 2017 he has been active in the music community, performing regularly with a loop pedal. His latest single Found tells his own love story, and marks the start of his next journey in songwriting.
Found starts with an atmospheric synth, and rolls into a calm instrumental. Chua does a wonderful job of capturing the peace that comes from a happy relationship through soft electric. The piece features an impressive instrumental arrangement, with high quality production. All together the arrangement is polished and moving.
There is a sincerity in Chua’s vocal performance— he clearly feels deeply for his partner, and allows for vulnerability in the chorus in particular. Following the first chorus, an epic drum roll leads into a brief, passionate violin line. Overall Found is a sweet love song to accompany your butterflies. You can find Bryan Chua on Instagram and Facebook.
60s inspired indie band VALA are ready to shock you back into grooving with their new track Say You Want It (That Way). The single has all the vital ingredients for an infectiously happy bop. The singer’s falsetto and tasteful backing vocals pull elements from a more nostalgic era, and the tidy rhythm section keeps you nodding for 3 minutes straight. Say You Want It (That Way) slaps from the first bar.
The four piece manages to keep the energy level high for the duration of the track using tasty half time sections and sneaky accapella moments. Somehow, VALA have managed to capture the energy of a live show and press it into your earbuds. The use of fun backing vocals allows space for crowd participation, and a Tame Impala style guitar solo throws another exciting layer in the mix.
The band is the love child of The Strokes and The Arctic Monkeys. Don’t miss the antics of VALA— we really feel like we’ve discovered the beginning of an epic musical career, and you’d hate to miss out! Find them on Facebook and Instagram.