LISTEN: Mima Good – ‘Cool’

Buoyant guitar loops, creative percussion and smooth vocals combine on Mima Good‘s latest single, ‘Cool’. The track is a lo-fi exploration of what it means to be yourself in a world that often tries to tell you you’re either not enough, or not spending enough to be considered “cool”.

Based in Brooklyn, Mima Good creates her “anti-pop” tunes from her home studio, recording vocals in a closet covered in red velvet. She uses the surfaces and utensils in her kitchen as substitutes for a full drum kit too, making the polished yet simple sounds on new single ‘Cool’ feel even more anti-establishment.

“I’ve always had trouble fitting into one genre, one crowd, one look” admits Mima. “When I wrote ‘Cool’, I was sarcastically attempting to simplify myself into a neat little indie bubble. It started out as a joke, but as I layered on new instruments, I peeled back the onion to more sincere feelings about accessibility to community and image. When I wrote the second verse and the line: ‘their sneakers look just like yours / but from a different place’, I was thinking about how much capitalism controls coolness. At the time, everyone was wearing the same white sneakers. Some were hundreds of dollars and some were $40 rip offs, but everyone was attempting to belong to the same clean box.”

One thing’s for sure, we think Mima’s DIY approach to making music is pretty cool. Listen to ‘Cool’ below and follow Mima Good on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Michelle LoBianco

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Happy Accidents – ‘Grow’

Having first fallen in love with Happy Accidents seeing them live at Indietracks Festival two years ago, I was excited to hear that they’re set to release a brand new, self-produced, album this week.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Grow’ is lead by Phoebe Cross’ honey-sweet vocals alongside Rich Mandell’s swirling jangling melodies and a heartfelt, gentle emotion. Building with luscious harmonies and the reflective, relatable honesty of the lyricism, it’s perhaps a more mellow, but equally more-ish, offering than some of the band’s uptempo previous releases. And I can’t seem to stop listening; forever seeking soothing catharsis in Happy Accidents’ shimmering indie-pop.

Of the upcoming album, the band explain:

Sprawling is an album about getting out of your head and allowing yourself to connect with others on a fundamental level, both in close quarters and with those you’ve never met – with everything in the state it’s in, it feels pretty relevant right now.

Watch the homemade new video for ‘Grow’ below and listen on Spotify now:

Sprawling, the new album from Happy Accidents, is out this Friday 29th May.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Jono Ganz

EP Track By Track: Sit Down – ‘Nice One’

Having been blowing us away for a few years now with their immense explosive offerings, and with acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, following their last single ‘Quarantine‘, Brighton duo Katie Oldham and Greg Burns – aka Sit Down – have now shared a brand new EP.

Having been sitting on these songs for about two years, Katie and Greg had been planning a full release of them just before the entire world went into lockdown. So, “throwing the rulebook out the window“, they’ve just decided to put it all online – no press, no campaign, no chance to play it live – name the collection Nice One (a bit of an inside joke as to how they felt when all their best laid plans fell apart), and see what happens. To help protect the live music scene in their hometown of Brighton at this time of uncertainty, the band have announced that half of proceeds from Bandcamp downloads will be donated to the Music Venues Trust crowdfunders of the beloved Brighton venues where they played their first shows.

Filled with the duo’s trademark thrashing beats and frenzied scuzz-filled hooks, Nice One offers four eerily doom-filled cacophonies that burn with a fiery passion juxtaposed with a driving, invigorating sense of fun. With the swirling gritty force of Oldham’s distinctive vocals, each track oozes a necessary raging energy, creating a perfect angst-fuelled collection for these times.

We were lucky enough to speak to Katie, who talked us through each track on the EP…

‘Told U So’
This one was so fun to make and features such an obscure sample at the start we’d be completely floored if anyone figured out what it was. Greg did such an amazing job with the production of this song, it’s so menacing and devious. Lyrically the song is based around the idea of opening night at a beautiful ornate ballroom and the story is told from the perspectives of two women, one who directed the show – “Last call now and we’re ready to go…” – and the other being the star performer – “Take me down where the world is mine, where the spotlights and diamonds shine…” For some reason in our minds we always imagined these being played by Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue, and you can kinda hear that reflected in the vocal stylings in the verses. The idea was it would be an intoxicating show that lures in rich evil predatory men, then the doors would be locked and they’re all trapped and the real show begins – “You say you want a good girl, this is what you got”. So yeah, I guess this song is about comeuppance, karmic justice and the continual mistreatment of women, through the visual language of Moulin Rogue meets Saw, haha. My favourite line is “I’m not the first and I’m not the only one but if you feel something then I got my job done.

‘Banana Split’
This is probably our most honest and autobiographical song… But also a piss-take of ourselves. Normally we bury the meaning of our songs in imagery and world-building, so it felt so funny for this song to be just a completely upfront list of mistakes that nearly led to our demise. The first verse “Picture this, two banana splits, sitting in a diner off the Route 66″ is about when we went to the US to shoot the music video for ‘Mothership’ a few years ago, and came back all gassed up thinking we’d made it. The second verse “Fast forward, internet explorers, searching for an answer but now things are getting awkward” is about when we suddenly went from getting bigger and better gigs every week to having to email everyone begging for a show. Verse 3 tells how after a string of bad gigs, we were due to play a local festival, and the moment we finished setting up and were just about to perform, we played the first note and instantly blew both the bass amp and the guitar amp simultaneously. It was the worst experience and so humiliating, and after about 30 minutes trying to figure it out with people in the crowd just watching us, we ended up just having to quickly pack up our stuff again and leave the stage. So that’s where the “Next gig, checking out the rig, a couple minutes later and we’ve busted up our shit” comes from. It felt like such a bad omen and we really thought we blew it and the band was done. But then the last verse is us questioning if we should give up or not, and that’s where the refrain “But who the fuck are we, if we’re not doing this?” comes from. It all sounds kinda heavy but for us it was like the death of ego, and learning not to take ourselves too seriously, which is why we turned all the mess into a song!

‘Promiseland’
So, you know how I said we have super complex backstories for most of our songs? This is one of the more ridiculous, haha! Years ago before we even started this band, for some reason one day we just started inventing this world; like as if we were writing a novel or creating a video game or something – over months and months, we came up with this fictional city that had history and industry and about 50 characters, who had jobs and relationships and interlinking storylines etc. I still have the document of it on my phone and when I get drunk enough I love to bust it out and bore people to death with it. But we imagined this city was out in the middle of the desert and existed in a pocket of spacetime that could only be accessed by certain people if they have the right intention. ANYWAY! Long story short, that’s what the lyrics are about – “Some people say it’s a promiseland, but most people just see the void…” and also in the chorus “And though they try, they’re never gonna find”. The sonic inspiration comes from a gig we saw in Brighton a few years ago where we saw this incredible artist supporting The Voidz. He had this incredibly industrial sound and had this infectious energy we were completely mesmerised. And lo and behold, his name was Promiseland – hahaha. We choose our moments to be subtle. 

‘Feel It’
I think this might be our only semi-serious song, and it sounds quite different to everything else we’ve put out. We actually finished this song and put it on Bandcamp in the middle of our grand aforementioned demise that’s detailed in ‘Banana Split’. We were totally lost and things had all gone to shit across the board, and it was just a bleak and scary time. But despite it all, the one that remained is how much raw power music has to heal us and bring us together. So this song is like a tribute to that special kind of magic, which is reflected in the lyrics “So move if you need it, scream until you feel it, we’re burning up our demons tonight.” I always think this would be our Pyramid Stage opener if we ever got to Glastonbury. Ooh, just the thought gives me full body goosebumps! Please stream our shit so we can get there, haha.  

 

Thanks so much to Katie for talking us through Nice One! Indeed, please do stream their shit! And in the process support local music venues. Stream on Bandcamp and Spotify

 

Track Of The Day: Lotic – ‘Burn A Print’

Pulsing beats, jagged synths and beguiling vocals combine on Lotic‘s latest single, ‘Burn A Print’. Released via Houndstooth, Lotic’s mission is to “live life to the fullest by not giving a fuck about what anybody thinks”, something she clearly and defiantly communicates on her new track.

Born in Houston USA but now a familiar face on the Berlin underground club and electronic music scene, Lotic (aka J’Kerian Morgan) shared her debut album Power in 2018. The record showcased her vocal and songwriting abilities for the first time, consolidating her skills into a coherent message about transforming fear in to fierce autonomy. ‘Burn a Print’ continues this narrative, as Lotic explains: “to burn your print into this Earth, because when you go, you need to remind the future bitches that you was here.”

Through commanding beats and hypnotic vocals, Lotic leaves her mark on her listeners. “You know your worth / you know your value” she sings at the beginning of the track, re-affirming her message of independence and autonomy. With a name that means to “to inhabit rapidly moving water”, Lotic’s chaotic yet fluid soundscapes truly embody her passionate, fighting spirit. Listen to ‘Burn a Print’ below and follow Lotic on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Noise Noir – ‘Deep Blue Sea’

A a riff-heavy, grunge infused reflection on the destructive nature of depression and anxiety; Noise Noir have shared their latest single, ‘Deep Blue Sea’. Released via We Can Do It Records, the track’s gritty guitars, brooding bass lines and commanding vocals attempt to dismantle the stigma around mental health.

Formed of Kelly Chard (vocals), Anthony Hill (guitar), Elis Sarv (bass), and Luis Bezzi (drums), Noise Noir blend riotous riffs, crashing percussion and charged lyrics to create their unruly sounds, and new single ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is model example of this. The track was recorded by Matt Noades at Rubber Factory Studios and mixed by Tobias May (Sleeper, Yonaka, CLT DRP).

‘Deep Blue Sea’ is about “The feeling of depression, anxiety and how much it affects your everyday tasks.” explains vocalist Kelly Chard. “I feel like a lot of people don’t understand how easily and sometimes quite drastically it can change your emotions. It can feel like your own mind is against you and stops you from doing something as simple as getting ready or going to the shops.

There’s a lot of imagery in the song likening depression and anxiety to drowning and being drawn in by the devil. The chorus is a struggle with wanting to break free but being dragged back down again. I know a lot of people struggle with mental health issues and I want this song to be an anthem for them. Going through all this is extremely difficult and it makes you a stronger person; even if others might perceive it as weakness.”

Listen to Noise Noir’s single below and follow the band on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

 

Photo by Keira-Anee
Edited graphics by Kelly Chard

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Sandunes – ‘Spare Some Time’

A calming, electronic mediation on the necessity of expressing emotion; Sandunes has shared her new EP, Spare Some Time. Released today (May 22nd) via !K7, the four track creation is an aural salve for overwhelmed ears, flowing with shimmering synth textures and soothing beats that remind listeners to take stock of the love in their lives.

Based in Mumbai, Sandunes (aka Sanaya Aredeshir) has focused less on musical technicality, and more on emotional catharsis on this collaborative offering. While for some this decision might compromise high production standards, that’s not the case here. Spare Some Time is equally as polished as Sandunes’ previous releases, which are predominantly created from her home studio in Bombay.

Ambient electronics and stretched out beats permeate opening track ‘Love It Less’. Featuring the smooth vocals of Jbabe, the track was crafted from an intimate jam session between the two producers. It blends seamlessly into the atmospheric ‘Burn Every Bridge’. “The only way out is through / Burn every bridge to you”, muses vocalist Landslands, cautiously urging listeners to let go of the past. Sandunes’ tentative beats and fluid synths help to relay this gentle message too.

“Bittersweet acceptance” sounds intoxicating on ‘Fifty Percent’, thanks to the soulful vocals of Mumbai songwriter Ramya Pothuri. The vulnerabilities expresses in the lyrics are softened by Sandunes’ use of bright electronics. Closing track ‘Simple Thing’ sees the producer subtly celebrating the restorative nature of love in all its forms, through uplifting synths and IAMI’s buoyant vocals.

“I feel like it’s very important for me to be prudent, but also celebratory about feminine freedom, as a working, performing, producing, musician from India”, Sandunes explains. Her ability to be clear about her her status, and the emotional response that sparks is what makes Spare Some Time such a cathartic, reassuring listen. “We’re deprived in our isolation of the tremendous benefit that togetherness and connection brings” she continues, but with records like this; that connection is ultimately strengthened.

Listen to Sandunes new EP on Spotify. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Viktor Sloth

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: All Cats Are Beautiful – ‘wishin i cld fit in ur backpack’

Ow, my heart! If, like most of us, you’re missing someone, All Cats Are Beautiful’s ‘Wishin I cld fit in ur bckpck’ could be the song you need right now. Written at the start of the pandemic about how the band were “already missing each other wildly” after quarantining separately, it’s a beautifully dreamy song about love, longing and friendship.

Clips of personal calls, as well as chopped up drum samples, field recordings and sounds from previous sessions, punctuate the band’s confessional, lo-fi vocals and slow, woozy beats. The result is intimate, immersive and utterly authentic – kind of reminiscent of Coco Rosie.

The wonderfully imaginative chorus, about taking a ride in your friend’s backpack so you can go wherever they go, is even cuter than the band’s name. And what makes it even richer is knowing that the harmonies were actually recorded in isolation by the band and their friends. Melancholic and totally beautiful, it shows that you can create wonderful things together, even when you’re apart.

 

‘Wishin I cld fit in ur backpack’ is out today on Peapod Recs.

Vic Conway