LISTEN: Joanna and the Dropouts – ‘Bad News’

‘Bad News’ by Brighton-based Joanna and the Dropouts is a breath of fresh air. With its rather addictive opening riff, garage drums and retro Wurlitzer-style keys, it transports you to a stupidly fun world of badass b-movies – and, in times like this, that’s a pretty wonderful place to be.

Singer Joanna’s cool vocals drip with attitude, channelling the Cramps’ Poison Ivy, as she sings about having her heart broken. Yet despite the subject matter, her anger and directness make ‘Bad News’ more of a battle cry than a pity party.

The song’s raw and dirty production, which makes it sound like it was recorded in a (probably haunted) basement somewhere, seals the deal and makes ‘Bad News’ feel like a proper rockabilly anthem. It’s nostalgic, but with a kick-ass attitude that brings it bang up to date. And I’m gonna have that riff stuck in my head for days!

‘Bad News’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.

Vic Conway

WATCH: Separatr – ‘Appetite’

Having put out a song every two months throughout 2020, Seattle-based duo Stephanie Melvin and Joe Douglas – aka Separatr – ended last year with the release of their latest single ‘Appetite’.

Reflecting on that all-too-common period in which a crush can become self-destructive, ‘Appetite’ is a compelling, genre-defying cacophony. Fusing together gritty alt-pop and a driving grunge-fuelled melancholy, along with shades of a frenetic drum ‘n’ bass inspired energy and everything in-between, it’s propelled by propulsive beats and swirling hooks; building with an increasing tension to a frenzied climax. A truly captivating soundscape that’ll seduce the ears with its eerie majesty.

‘Appetite’ is accompanied by an innovatively created video, the honey sweet hues of which match the luscious allure of Melvin’s vocals perfectly. Watch here:

Appetite’ is out now via Big Hare Records, taken from Separatr’s upcoming new album, set for release this Summer. You can also listen to the band’s weekly podcast here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LISTEN: Fräulein – ‘Mary’

Having been obsessing over Bristol duo Fräulein‘s last single ‘Drag Behind’ for the last few weeks, I was excited to hear that they have an epic new release.

Whereas ‘Drag Behind’ was focused lyrically on feeling out of place, new track ‘Mary’ is about faith, trust and power. Oozing a raw, grunge-infused sound and gritty energy, with shades of early Nirvana, the whirring twang of its stripped back riffs and sparse beats combine to create a swirling eerie aura, building to showcase the unique visceral growl of vocalist Joni.

I cannot recommend these two strongly enough and will continue to bang on about them with every new release – I really think they have something wonderfully nostalgic, yet ultimately unique, to offer. And, as soon as it is safe to do so, I cannot wait for them to blow us away live at one of our gig nights!

Listen to ‘Mary’ here:

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LISTEN: Laura Guarch – ‘Fleeting Light’

Having established herself as a professional vocalist, with collaborations with ACM Gospel Choir and London Contemporary Voices under her belt, Spanish London-based artist Laura Guarch has now shared her debut single. 

Soaring with Guarch’s stunning crystalline vocals and an anthemic emotion-strewn musicality, ‘Fleeting Light’ builds to an ethereal, glistening soundscape. A cinematic, alt-pop ballad with shades of the other-worldly majesty of the likes of Bjork or Kate Bush. Of the track, Guarch explains:

The idea for Fleeting Light was born on a night looking at the starry sky from a semi-deserted island in Thailand, called Mu Koh Ang Thong. How are the old stars looking at us, humans, and the changes the Earth is experiencing? Fleeting Light imagines million year-old stars looking down on the Earth and watching the history of life on our planet as their Sunday afternoon entertainment.

Listen to ‘Fleeting Light’ here:

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles