CASTLEBEAT – ‘Dreamgaze’
Calling this track ‘Dreamgaze’ might be a little bit on the nose, but it’s a wonderfully blissful track that only gets more enjoyable on repeated listens. CASTLEBEAT is the one man shoegaze project of Josh Hwang that elevates itself above other such projects due to the focus on crafted songs rather than a wall of noise. Not that there is anything wrong with a wall of noise, it’s just nice to have an alternative. It is also super DIY. Self titled album is out now.
FFO: Shoegaze/dreampop, Beach House, Beach Fossils.
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VVOES – ‘Arsonist of Hearts’
‘Arsonist of Heart’ is a lot slicker than we usually enjoy our music, but the mixture here of an echoed shoegaze-esque vocal over the top of what is essentially a driving indie rock track works ridiculously well. The end result is somewhere between The Strokes and Bloc Party. It drips with an effortlessly deft melody and evocative lyrics. The rest of their self titled EP does not disappoint either. You can grab it completely for free on Bandcamp. PS, their name is pronounced ‘woes’.
FFO: Alternative/Indie Rock, The Strokes, Blod Party.
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Lomea – ‘And It Stares Back Into You’
Pensive, nuanced, celebratory, hypnotic. These are all words you could use to describe this track from London based electronic composer Lomea (aka Rich Keyworth). Beginning with a glitchy vocal sample and low beat, the track slowly adds layer upon layer synth and samples until a brief respite and a worthy, hard earned climax. Wonderful stuff. Debut album Narratives is out today.
FFO: Electronica, Jaga Jazzist, early M83.
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Mateo Katsu – ‘A Special Plan’
Mateo Katsu is an alternative rock musician from Los Angeles who seems like he may be a bit of an oddball. He certainly has a wonderfully dry sense of humour as is evidenced by his summation of his music career in 2006. Apparently he wasn’t very happy with his lack of success but then realised the lack of success was easy to understand. He had not shared his music with anyone. This track ‘A Special Plan’ is ten years old and it’s a real pity it took so long to share it. There’s a yearning and innocence to the track that makes the refrain of “I’ve been planning on the future” sound like it’s probably a doomed endeavour from the start. The best laid plans of mice and men and all that. His debut EP White Men Don’t Name Their Babies Jesus is out now!
FFO: Alternative rock, The Breeders, Build To Spill.
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Benjamin Earl Turner – ‘Humble Pi’
A couple of things attracted us to this track. Firstly, the minimal backing track with it’s simple piano chords and slinking rhythms is perfectly complementary to Turner’s rap without being over bearing or obtrusive. On top of that, Turner’s delivery is exemplary in it’s entertainment and sense of timing and drama. It obviously shares a debt to Kendrick Lamar but this is so accomplished that is very nearly on a par with the Compton rappers most impressive work.
FFO: Hip hop, Kendrick Lamar,
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