Track Of The Day: Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’

Having been a pretty massive fan of indie-pop superstars Fightmilk for a couple of years now, it’s exciting to see that Lily from the band has now shared the first single from new solo project Captain Handsome.

A poignant exploration of every-day anxieties, ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ flows with jangly hooks and a gentle electro whirr as Lily’s distinctive silky-smooth-yet-gritty vocals ooze a touching raw emotion. With a twinkling lo-fi scuzz alongside the sensitivity of Lily’s refreshingly honest and consistently relatable lyricism (“I feel so strange and I can’t keep up”), it’s a slice of effervescent indie-pop that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

(FYI, though, I really wish I had a cat or a rabbit like the one pictured, not a dog…)

 

‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ is out now via Reckless Yes, and is taken from Captain Handsome’s upcoming EP, set for release in early 2020.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

EP: Rookes – ‘Liminal’

Rookes is a solo electro-pop project based in London. She has just released her second EP, Liminal, using ’80s synth sounds as a frame for her powerful voice, reminiscent of the best of the Eurythmics or Yazoo. This sets the scene for a four track EP, in which Rookes explores her own love experiences during two years of exploration of her queer identity across the London dating scene. 

‘Salvage’ is a slow, shimmering start dealing with post-breakup feelings, becoming more urgent and uptempo with the chorus, whereas ‘New Lovers’ has an eerie ’80s feel, with spiralling synths. However, the synths gain a harder edge as the song goes on, expressing the fear of a dangerous love (“do me no harm”). 

Lead single, ‘Liminal’, is catchy and poppier, where a lover is asked to take a romantic risk; suggesting both hope and caution, it’s a beautifully uplifting ballad. ‘Constellations’, however, closes the EP on a poetic note, oozing a dreamy warmth alongside soaring strings and shimmering synths.

This EP is polished, dramatic, and features intriguing songwriting. And you can dance to it! The emotions and experiences are completely relatable in songs centred on looking for love; finding it (but not being ready), and then losing it again. A stirring collection that will leave you wanting more of Rookes’ glistening soundscapes. 

Liminal is out now. Stream on all online platforms.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Track Of The Day: HOST – ‘Trainwreck’

A contradiction in sound and content; synthpop artist HOST‘s latest single ‘Trainwreck’ is a catchy, upbeat affair despite its context being rooted in self-deprecation. The Irish artist released her EP Adolescent Content at the start of 2019, and followed it up with single ‘Crying for Days’ before sharing this new track, combining a pessimistic outlook with optimistic, dreamy sounds.

HOST’s strong vocals float above echoing beats and shimmering synth textures on ‘Trainwreck’, as she sings of “barely hanging on” to a healthy perspective. It’s HOST’s ability to dance with her demons that makes her music such a catchy slice of catharsis, providing momentary relief for listeners who might be feeling a little like the track’s title.

Listen to ‘Trainwreck’ below and follow HOST on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE (Photos): Berries EP Launch, 06.11.19

Celebrating the release of London trio Berries’ new EP, Lies, last Wednesday three of our most favourite bands got together to put on a night of the most exciting live music.

Kicking things off, captors of my heart Chorusgirl treat the crowd to their truly luscious, emotion-strewn dream pop. As Silvi describes set opener ‘In Dreams’ as “a nice song about my hometown”, she revels in “all the familiar faces” in the crowd as the band continue to deliver their effervescent harmonies and impressive driving riffs. From tracks from their first album such as ‘To Be A Defector’ to newer tracks such as the hugely stirring ‘Stuck’, Chorusgirl deliver their shimmering sounds with a heart-rending, cathartic energy.

Next up, The Franklys blast out their energy fuelled rock ‘n’ roll with their immense empowering charisma. From the soaring buoyant power of ‘I’m Not Guilty’, to the swirling grit of ‘Keeper’ and many more riff-tastic anthems in-between, the half Swedish band completely captivate the crowd with their catchily riotous sounds.

And then, the three women of the hour, Berries, take to the stage with their trademark fun-filled energy and sparkling magnetism. Treating the jam-packed venue to dazzling guitar solos, front woman Holly’s distinctive spiky vocals and an all-encompassing life-affirming sense of unity, the trio deliver familiar offerings such as the frenzied force of ‘Discreetly’ and ‘Faults’, amongst songs so new their name is not yet decided – “It’s ‘Trace’, not ‘Once'”, Holly asserts. In between designated swigs of drinks, Berries don’t disappoint, with their admirable raw passion and buzzing charisma, proving them worthy of the highest accolades.

Massive thanks to all three bands for a great night of live music!

Berries’ new EP Lies is out now, via RoseColoured Records/AWAL. Stream now.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Track Of The Day: Lucia & The Best Boys – ‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’

In an eerie and roaring manner Lucia & The Best Boys (previously LUCIA) serve us a riveting new taste with their single ‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’. Stepping beyond their roots, the band, in collaboration with producer Carlos De La Garza (Paramore, Best Coast), embark on a soundscape that marries lively ‘80s synth pads with the edge of ‘90s grunge.

‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’ is a pulsing feminist anthem that demands attention from its listeners the moment the striking snare hits. Opening up the song, frontwoman Lucia Fairfull’s powerful vocal melody immediately conveys passion and fierceness that embodies the single’s feeling entirely. With sharp melodic strumming the dirty guitar tone glistens in the name of assertiveness as the perfect correspondence with the song’s ethereal synth preparing listeners for an enchanting, explosive chorus.

As the mix thickens and fast-paced percussion fuels an immense energy, ‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’ creates its own troubled yet addictive universe in its cathartic singalong chorus. The melody portrays both celebration and the hurt of a woman who has presumably sacrificed to survive, a harsh reality for some but a feeling not dwelled upon by Lucia.

‘Good Girls Do Bad Things” is the sound of a woman’s backbone in a realistic world of “bad habits and nothing new”. It is filled with vengeful intentions but sustains an emotional disposition throughout, illustrated by both its lyrics and instrumental tones. Lucia & The Best Boys leave listeners on the edge with their single’s quick conclusion. ‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’ is the ideal taste teaser for their upcoming EP eagerly expected in 2020.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Tony Wooliscroft

ALBUM: Brix & The Extricated – ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’

Known as the Super Blood Wolf Moon, this rare celestial event occurs when the first full Moon in a calendar year is at its closest approach to Earth, during a total lunar eclipse; a collision of the Super Moon, the Blood Moon and the Wolf Moon.

Just like the moonscape that inspired its name, the soundscape of Brix & the Extricated‘s latest LP Super Blood Wolf Moon is a collision of raucous post-punk hooks, infectious progressive rock riffs, and euphoric melodies that honour and transcend the historical output of the band’s founders: vocalist/guitarist Brix Smith Start and bassist Steve Hanley, ex-members of The Fall.

Super Blood Wolf Moon is the third record from Brix & the Extricated – following their 2017 debut, Part 2, and 2018’s sophomore release, Breaking State. Opening with ‘Strange Times’, a gentle, shimmering guitar ballad of global despair that musically recalls Brix’s earlier indie pop band, The Adult Net, it continues with ‘Hustler’ – a different beast altogether. The Fall-esque second track combines the musicality of Brix, Steve, and his brother, drummer Paul Hanley’s, ’80s output – referred to lovingly as the “Brix Smith years” – with lyrical elements of unforgiving brutality: “I know, you know / I know, you know / You’re just a two-bit hustler / It’s coming back to crush ya!”

‘Wolves’ is the defining track of Super Blood Wolf Moon; reflecting on pack mentality and driven by the Hanley brothers’ driving basslines, drum beats and the triple cascading guitar collision of Brix, Steve Trafford (also ex-The Fall) and Jason Brown: “I run with wolves and sleep beneath the stars / The clothes I wear is just to hide the scars / The cross I bear is etched into my skin / I run with wolves, they’re my next of kin.”

The edgy, hypnotic, pulsating bass guitar of Steve Hanley on ‘Waterman’ is complemented by Brix’s haunting vocals, transitioning to the catchy, almost upbeat pop of ‘Dinosaur Girl’. But don’t let your ears deceive you. Brix sings honestly of depression and over medication culture – “Below the excavation / Lies the remains of a Prozac nation / Just a dinosaur girl.”

‘Crash Landing’ explores themes of drug addiction and suicide against a psychedelic guitar soundscape, enhanced by the inclusion of violinist Sarah Brandwood-Spencer’s blissful strings, whilst Brix and Steve Trafford share vocal duties, providing fantastical female/male harmonies for ‘Wintertyde’, arranged against spectral harpsichord.

Brix & the Extricated’s social commentary continues on ‘Wasteland’; a dark, operatic track that explores climate change, the destruction of our environment, and conspiracy through intense drum strikes, thunderous guitars, and sweeping strings. Whilst penultimate track, ‘Tannis Root’, is just as heavy, combining staccato rhythm guitar riffs with punchy, powerful basslines.

Closing Super Blood Wolf Moon with a heightened sense of foreboding, ‘The God Stone’ begins with Sarah’s deeply moving strings, building up to a crescendo of eccentric electric guitar. A fitting finale to an often uncomfortable and challenging record seeped in classic pop melodies, abrasive post-punk and brooding social commentary. Prepare to be extricated!

Super Blood Moon Wolf is out now via Grit Over Glamour Records.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Track Of The Day: Chromatics – ‘Move A Mountain’

Following last year’s Camera, Oregon based Chromatics have now released their sparkling seventh album, Closer To Grey.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Move A Mountain’ may be a more reflective, downtempo offering than previous releases, though it loses none of Chromatics’ trademark shimmering splendour. Oozing the twinkling, emotion-strewn vocals of Ruth Radelet alongside delicate melodies and a swirling soundscape, a stirring ballad is created, sending shivers down the spine with its wistful melancholy.

Directed by the band’s Johnny Jewel, become immersed in the captivating pastel hues of the new video for ‘Move A Mountain’ here:

Closer To Grey is out digitally now, via Italians Do It Better. Pre-order the vinyl here.

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles