SPINN, Blurred Sun Band, OVVLS and Brad Stank release new singles, Getintothis’ Matty Lear braces himself for a Merseyside injection of new music – and finds something rather special from Leeds.
Brooders: Breathe – Single of the Week
This is just an absolute belter of a track. Building upon a short, disorientating riff, the doom and angst burns away with each reverberation. The Leeds-based psych-grunge trio – embarking mini-tour of the north in November, in making some kind heavy that you’ve never heard before.
The growling fuzz tones and steely vocals combine to create a monster. It peels away towards the end, with the silky drum work exposed at its core. Each and every aspect serves a neat and tidy purpose in making a huge, tormented success of a song.
Ovvls: Black Butterflies
Liverpool duo Ovvls couldn’t have given this song a more fitting title – a hallowing soundscape establishes the darkness whilst the fragile vocals become the soft beating of wings, lifting the track to new heights.
The crunching synth pushes the pace and intensity from the very start, yet it is the chorus – when the invigorating drums drop out completely, that stands out so much.
The subsequent space is filled by a more electronic side of the band, and the alluring Dido-esque vocal lines ride on top of this. It is heavy and quirky, but a fun listen at that.
Deerhunter: Death in Midsummer
Taken form the new album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, this first single centres around a rather repetitive harpsichord. In typical Deerhunter fashion, the slow layering is methodical and intriguing for the listener.
Increasing in pace and vigour, singer Bradford Cox sings “And in time,you will see your own life fade away.” It is jarring – the lyrical sentiment in comparison with the relatively upbeat musical backing. It is not a depressing sonic backdrop, and in fact, the lyrics are closely followed by the most lively section of the track – the bright guitar lines and riffs that stand out in the latter half of the track. I don’t know whether to feel defiant, hopeless, or free – or perhaps all at once – who knows?
Chris Carter: Variables
Taken from the new solo box set Miscellany, Variables is an unreleased track from 1976. It is a searing soundscape, displaced in parts only by the soft wash of water or strange sirens. The throbbing synth work can only be described as brooding, and the constant deep pulse of drums gives it an otherworldly feel. If there was a jungle in space with an ambulance driving briefly through it, I’m pretty sure it would sound something like this.
Homeshake: Like Mariah
Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Helium’, ‘Like Mariah’ is effortlessly cool. I mean, you can’t go too far wrong with some tidy, funky percussive bass work. The sloppy slapping holds your hand throughout the track, and despite being on the cusp of funk – the hazy dreaminess of the track overrides the impulse to dance or jive.
It’s most likely the airy falsetto and softly sang verses that is to blame for this, with the lyrics “Don’t mind me I’m only sitting here/ Dreaming something up seems so unclear” only adding to the relaxed, cool and confused ambiance of the song. The flashing jingle of keys and softly shuffling percussion complete this feeling. ‘Like Mariah’ is more of a state of mind or atmosphere than an anthem, but boy does it own it.
Sports Team: Margate
With a punk pace carrying the tune, frontman Alex Rice sings over the guitar work like Jagger himself – a parallel drawn by many, especially after seeing him perform with the band. Margate is energy exemplified, and it brings out the best in the band, in fact, they seem a more than suitable replacement for The Hives – and if that’s not a complement, I don’t know what is.
Brad Stank: Condemned to Be Freaky
Liverpudlian crooner Brad Stank is unfathomably cool on this dreamboat of a track. It’s release, coinciding with the announced of a new EP Eternal Slowdown, is to be celebrated; seamlessly sad and sexy, the song is as cool as it is dreamy.
The bass groove especially, playing off the smooth vocals and the catchy hook of “f-f-f-freaky”, ties the track together beautifully – I’m obsessed.
This White Light: The House
A new band, featuring Greg Anderson, Jade Devitt, Bryan Herweg and Jen Wood, this seven-minute epic makes for an enthralling listen. Wood’s tender voice drifts over the repetitive, almost ominous guitar riff. The snare-heavy percussion is brought to the forefront of the track before lulling.
Suddenly, hitting the three-minute-mark, everything begins to get a bit chaotic – the menacing undertones are confirmed with drums and guitar unifying. The introduction of brutal, metal-style chugging forces Wood’s vocals not to drift, but to soar. It’s one you’ll need a sit-down after.
Liverpool newcomers release perhaps the sound of the summer in early November… This is a bold claim, but one not unfounded. Following their unique, distinct and established style, Bliss highlights the strengths of the band – the classic bright indie sound layered with a topping of the sweet Mersey accent. It is a bright burst of indie pop, drawing us for the final times back to the embers of the summer.
It is not just the previous summer it draws the listener back to, however, but the teenage summers – off school, playing in the sun of the sepia summer eves. Oh how I wish this was released but a few months earlier.
The Blurred Sun Band: The Grass Has Never Looked Greener
Indeed, the grass has never looked greener for the Merseyside group – building off the success of their jazzy release St. Bride, this track has an elevated measure of urgency to it – an eagerness to catch the listeners ear and to take them somewhere swiftly. Whether it’s the developed instrumentation or improved pace, the psychedelic prog-rock quartet are all-funked-up this time around.
With the Thundercat-style bass lines permeating the track, everything around it seems to be disorientating. The constant wavy, almost hallucinatory ambiance is a credit to the band’s individual style, focus and execution.