LISTEN: Indigo Sparke – ‘Pressure In My Chest’

Pressure In My Chest‘ is the first track from Australian born/New York based Indigo Sparke’s upcoming album, Hysteria. Profound in its simplicity, the track sets the tone for an album that promises to explore rich emotional depths.

The song begins with soft vocals and guitars, with light touches of percussion shimmering in the background; a gentle track, slow paced with soft notes throughout. As more instruments are introduced, it doesn’t get louder or busier – instead, every line complements every other, so the music swells. It grows bolder as the song ramps up to its most intense point, echoing the sensation of the titular pressure.

The music feels almost minimalist, but only because the different instruments are working together so effectively. They provide a firm foundation for the vocals to dance over, carrying the impassioned feeling of the song; the lyrics float, adrift in the emotion that the song preserves. The lyrics themselves don’t give any direct details of the story that has brought us to this point, but they don’t need to. The sentimental metaphors in the verses, with vague allusions to ambitions and relationships, are universal enough that anyone can project their own personal context onto them.

Regardless of the experiences that cause it, the intensity of the feeling in the chorus is easy to connect to. The lyrics perfectly describe the way that emotions, when they’re powerful enough, feel like they’re manifesting physically and eclipse whatever else is around you in that moment. As a standalone song, ‘Pressure In My Chest’ captures and reflects that sensation. Of the track, Sparke explains:

In the birth of memory, there is the eternal moment of time. All things exist here. Through night dreams and wishes, and hot tears and laughing stars, I carried myself to the desert to traverse the landscape of history and reconcile the ever present Pressure in my Chest.

As a teaser for the new album, ‘Pressure In My Chest’ paves the way for a record that is heavy with emotion, beautifully capturing the essence of the most intense feelings people can experience.

Watch the new, Madeline Clayton-directed video for ‘Pressure In My Chest’ here:

Hysteria, the upcoming new album from Indigo Sparke, is set for release on 7th October via Sacred Bones.

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

Photo Credit:  Angela Ricciardi

Track Of The Day: Deux Furiueses – ‘Know The Score’

Violence against women is a topic you wouldn’t typically expect to lend itself to upbeat, catchy rock songs. But duo, vocalist and guitarist Ros Cairney and drummer Vas Antoniadou – aka Deux Furieuses – have done just that with their new track, ‘Know The Score‘.

The song kicks off with strumming guitars throwing out bouncy riffs over upbeat drum lines; promising the kind of classic rock melodies that take root in your head and don’t leave. The lyrics challenge the patriarchy head on from the first couple of lines, quickly referencing a “Another vigil on the streets of our cities tonight” – this alone evokes a painfully recent tragedy that immediately leaves you with no doubt about the seriousness and importance of the subject.

Referencing familiar experiences – keys in a fist, an easily accessible personal alarm, the need for both on a late night walk home – in a way that focuses on how terrifying it is that these things are so normal, these poignant words are platformed by the howling guitars and throbbing drums ramping up to a solo that screams with all the rage and sadness inherent in confronting these elements of society. The universality of it is boiled down into two simple, repeated lines: “Every girl grows into a / woman who knows the score”. The bluntness of it is heartbreaking; causing you to reflect on all the children whose innocence will be cut short by the selfishness of those granted power by the patriarchy.

The song fades to a close with the repeated line “say her name, say her name”. Deux Furieuses don’t have to say whose name for one to come to mind – whether it’s one that was recently in the news, or one from long ago that has stayed with you -, the fact that there are so many lends this refrain its power. The thought that listening to this song again in a year’s time will evoke an entirely new, as yet currently unknown, name is more powerful still. It has a terrifying timelessness to it.

Ultimately, ‘Know The Score’ forces you to confront the darkness that women face and powerfully acknowledges the need for change. It demands not only to be listened to, but for action to follow. Of the track, Deux Furieuses explain:

“We wrote this song about the shadow pandemic of violence against women. The song is a pounding strut of confidence on a big stage. It is bravado on a deserted street as we reach for our personal alarm… This is a song in solidarity with women who all know the score.”

Songs From Planet Earth, the upcoming new album from Deux Furieuses, is due for release on 11th November via Xtra Mile Recordings. Pre-save here.

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

Track Of The Day: Alien Chicks – ’27 Stitches’

Written on the same day as their single ‘While My Landlord Sleeps’, ‘27 Stitches‘ solidifies South London band Alien Chicks’ distinct creative style. The new song follows similar structural beats in a way that pairs with the first song to establish the band’s unique musical and narrative sound.

’27 Stitches’ starts off light and playful – bright, twinkling strings dance over an upbeat rhythm, as soft vocals tell a slice-of-life tale about buying a second-hand television at an ideal rate. The track soon launches into a louder, more rambunctious chorus as the story takes a turn for the worse.

Growling guitars, rapid drums and aggressive vocals grab you and throw into the sudden tension in the scene; it’s impossible not to get caught up in the abrupt sense of danger. And then the song ramps up into an intoxicating cacophony of strings and horns that captures the chaos of the climactic moments of the story with a funk-fuelled musicality.

Alien Chicks are evidently hugely talented on multiple levels. ’27 Stitches’ is a brilliantly constructed song; as well as being so much fun to listen to, the instruments tell the story as much as the lyrics do. The track as a whole leaves you with a complete sense that you were there in the excitement of it.

It is no surprise that Alien Chicks are rapidly generating a dedicated following in London’s live gig spaces. ’27 Stitches’ exemplifies their creativity and skill, and shows exactly why so many people are excited to see what they do next.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Track Of The Day: Stud Count – ‘Give Me Time’

Pairing their signature light, catchy vocals with a heavier sound beneath, Philadelphia band Stud Count’s latest single ‘Give Me Time‘ examines – in their words – the “emptiness of surface level friendships”. The frustrations of such a situation are reflected in the music from the very first bars: the drums and guitars blend into a high-energy roar that echoes the sheer depth of emotion inevitable when you’re confronted by a noticeable lack of depth in your relationships.

The simplicity of the lyrics captures those moments of realisation incredibly well. It quite bluntly calls out the superficiality of the connection early on with the lines “There’s not a lot goin’ on here / Baby, that’s the truth”, in a way that it’s often not easy to call out when “right now you feel fine”. There is weight to the vocals that, despite Norelle Green’s naturally bright and upbeat tone, feels almost resigned to the disappointment of the situation. The lyrics are weighted by the sense of reluctant acceptance you need to reach before you can vocalise the dissatisfaction of a shallow, unfulfilling friendship. This complements the rage in the music itself wonderfully. The aggressive thud of the drums and the scream of the guitars throughout the track reflect everything that comes before and beneath that acceptance – the pain, the disappointment and the loss. The music is fuelled by a driving post-punk energy, reflecting all those feelings you have to process to get to the moment of acceptance.

The track ramps up and reaches its peak with an immense, howling guitar solo; it feels like the frustration has finally reached breaking point and bursts out in a scream of riotous strings, before winding back into the final verse.

The bouncy vocals make this song catchy and upbeat in a way that doesn’t detract at all from the rich, gritty power of the instruments beneath. It blends the raw energy from different stages of a long emotional process in a way that encapsulates the whole in a few short but expertly crafted minutes.

‘Give Me Time’ is out now. The eponymous debut album from Stud Count is set for release on 22nd July via Smartpunk Records.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt