WATCH: Ritual Forms – ‘Down’

A brooding, atmospheric soundscape that explores the way our moods fluctuate during uncertain times, Ritual Forms have shared their latest single ‘Down’. Lifted from their upcoming debut album, Nighttime Economy, which is set for release on 2nd March, the London-based trio’s new offering is another captivating blend of hypnotic loops, steady beats and intoxicating vocals.

Formed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, good friends Anna Marcella, Curtis Elvidge and Joe Cross decided to combine their distinctive musical backgrounds into a new project. Under the moniker of Ritual Forms, the trio wanted to remove all of their self-imposed constraints and rediscover themselves in an a new and uninhibited creative process. This culminated in their debut single ‘Dreaming‘, which seamlessly shifts between the lighter and darker shades of human emotion, and the band’s latest offering ‘Down’ flows in a similar shadowy vein.

“’Down’ was planted in retro territory when Curtis created a warped 90’s hip-hop sample, which in turn inspired me to create impactful lyrics and groove melodies around a unique song structure,” vocalist Anna explains about the track. “The lyrical backdrop here is both personal and politically charged, but we wanted to layer sounds and textures to bring a sullen and dreamy vibe that represents both the anxious undertones many of us are feeling, along with the flow and relief of moving forward.”

Ritual Forms will be playing a FREE show at Hoxton Underbelly on Wednesday 25th January in order to celebrate the release of their new single.

‘Down’ is accompanied by a cinematic monochrome video which you can watch below.

Follow Ritual Forms on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Human Interest – ‘Mixing Paint’

Having received wide-spread acclaim for their debut EP, Desire Paths, earlier this year, and wowing crowds at shows supporting legends like Self Esteem and Dave Rowntree, London duo Human Interest have now shared an infectious new single.

Reflecting on the darkest crevices of the mind with a fizzing post-punk energy, ‘Mixing Paint‘ oozes the band’s trademark gritty allure as the sweeping power of Tyler Damara Kelly’s vocals ripple alongside atmospheric bass hooks, building with driving beats into a fiercely immersive anthem. Another single (following the utterly addictive ‘Cool Cats’) cementing Human Interest as my favourite new band right now without a doubt.

Of the track, the band explain:

What started off as a string of 1AM ramblings on my Notes app became the processing of deeply personal experience which happened late 2021. The whole ethos of the song is about analysing the dark crevices of the mind and turning it into something light-hearted, almost bigger than yourself… We wanted it to sound like being in a smoky underground cabaret when all of a sudden the roof is torn off to reveal Armageddon.

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Dougie Chalmers

Track Of The Day: Dronningen – ‘Superstardom’

London-based Italians, Beatrice Bonnano (vocals/guitar) and Vito Cerasia (lead guitar), formed Dronningen (meaning Queen in Norwegian) in 2014 and have been gigging on the London scene for a number of years. They’ve released three EPs thus far and in a live setting originally possessed a grunge-inspired rock vibe with pop undertones. Having re-jigged their band line-up they have metamorphosed into an electro-tinged rock beast – their live set-up now streamlined to a three-piece with beloved session drummer, Alberto Voglino. 

Their new single takes off like a rocket, as per the opening line, and is a super-charged anthem of drone attack buzzy guitars and synth bass rhythms the size of a cruise liner. ‘Superstardom’ kicks up a gear as the kaleidoscopic chorus bursts into the room, riding high on a bed of warm layered vocals. This lot aren’t taking any prisoners. Is this rock, pop or dance music? Who cares when it sounds this fresh!  

Discussing their new single, the band explain: “‘Superstardom’ is a song about fighting self-sabotage… It’s about reaching a flourishing state after working towards fulfilling your goals, without inhibitions. We feel this song is highly relatable to many in a society where you’re made to feel like you’re never good enough. Ultimately, our message is this: just focus on doing your thing and do it well for yourself, filter out all the background noise and pressure”.

Starved of performing live during lockdown, the band were afforded a moment of clarity and space to invest in creativity. They took to writing new material and Vito grappled with self-teaching himself video production, which bore fruit in the shape of the technical wizardry that is the music clip for January’s ‘Theatrical Love’ single. 

On the recent Italian election win of Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, Beatrice and Vito voice their concern: We hope that the victory of politicians who won the general election by stoking hatred and using inflammatory rhetoric will not be interpreted by some as a free pass to attack minorities or whoever they think is the enemy. There can be no going back over hard-won rights, such as abortion, same-sex unions and basic support for asylum seekers. Nobody wants to live in a Margaret Atwood novel. We deeply love our home country so we hope for the best.” 

Speaking of subjects which the band have far more control over, they confide: “Our plan for next year is releasing more music, more live shows and, most importantly, we have a debut album on the horizon”. As the band say: “Your life is now. Your time to thrive is now”.

Dronningen will be headlining The Victoria in Dalston, London on Saturday, 12th November – free tickets are available on Dice. Hear more from Dronningen on their Bandcamp page.

Mandy Bang

Track Of The Day: Ghost Car – ‘Conch Pearl’

With a chaotically wonderful feminist energy, London-based international punk quartet Ghost Car debut their latest spunky single ‘Conch Pearl‘. Continuing on their garage-pop path, Ghost Car come out eager with an undeniably grungy, racing drive that is sure to have you head-banging on first listen.

Reminiscent of The Runaways as well as LA based social-pop band LavaLove, ‘Conch Pearl’ feels both old and new when it comes to the track’s disposition. Whimsical, swinging vocals give Ghost Car a vintage ’60s energy, draped over overdriven, explosive rock guitar that oozes a fierce, raw emotion. And what is baked out of these juxtaposing influences feels glamorous and cathartic.

‘Conch Pearl’ is captivating and quick-witted from its start with a riff-driven intro that sets the rest of the track off to the races. Rolling drums stop for nobody, fuelling the track with a frenzied urgency. Ghost Car ask “What do you see?” as a repetitive, punk refrain that feels intimidating in the best way possible. Of the track, the band explain:

It’s a feminist commentary on women/queer community being ‘shrunk down’ to fit a mould. The idea of a conch shell closing up, closing yourself off to the world vs opening up. We wanted to use the obsession with the pearl to represent the possession that is sometimes manifested towards women, something all of us have experienced first-hand at some point in our lives”.

This latest offering from Ghost Car is tough, empowered and dainty all at once. As ‘Conch Pearl’ oscillates, the song’s build never loses motivation – adding in more guitar, increasingly energized drums and layers of niche vocal yelling sounds to bring the track to a roaring climax. It does not let go of you – and keeps you utterly immersed for its whole ride. A short, sweet blast of glistening post-punk energy.

Truly Trash, the debut album from Ghost Car, is set for release on 28th October via One Little Independent Records.

Jill Goyeau

Photo Credit: Patrick Smith