U.V are an exciting new electronic duo based in Manchester comprising of Zandra Klievens (formerly vocalist with NME starlets The ABC Club) and Jonjo Feather (having previously released music under his own name). It feels like this collaboration is a discovery for both, far removed from their work without each other, it’s beautiful to see how finding a little freedom and the right person to create with can pay dividends artistically.
Ribbons is a track of exceptional songcraft, combining the fuzzy romanticism of My Bloody Valentine with the pop sensuality of Goldfrapp. An eerie magic is on display here, synth sounds colliding with each other and falling dreamily down.
I swear, London’s Yerosha Sound may have dropped one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve heard all year. The production is clever, minimal and elegant – an emotive tapestry of sounds and textures that build slowly to showcase her soulful controlled vocals. If MKS (the original Sugababes) worked with Gold Panda you might get something like New Moon… honestly I’d be pretty amazed if A&R’s weren’t already sending her adoration. I will be.
I listen to a lot of new music every day. Because of this, even if I really like a song, I hardly ever find I’m singing it to myself inadvertently the next day. Why then, six months after hearing Take me to the Sea for the first time, does it still pop into my head unannounced?
Some people will say it’s because the chorus is ‘catchy’. It is. But that can’t be the whole story. To me, it sounds like Salt Cathedral have written a killer vocal melody and then been really clever with it; the song has very few vocal lines, it’s just a short verse, short chorus repeated one after the other. In spite of this repetition, you’re never in danger of switching off and losing interest because the Foals-esque backing underneath each vocal section is constantly changing in texture and rhythmic feel. This combination of familiarity and novelty of musical ideas means you have something easy to remember and you’re alert and interested enough to remember it. Add in Juliana Ronderos’ crystalline voice and you’re on to a guaranteed ‘stick-in-your-head’ pop song.
LVLS (Loveless) don’t really belong to any emerging guitar scene in Manchester. Far removed from the lo-fi revolution documented on the Manchester Standards Compilation (Only Joking Records) or the mythology being created by those at SWAYS… it seems LVLS are determined to make a name for themselves on their own terms.
A 5 piece consisting of Jay Gibb (Vocals/Guitar), Paul James (Guitar), Emily Jane Conlon (Guitar/Vocals), Charlotte Hughes (Bass/Vocals) and Gaylord Knott (Drums), LVLS recently unveiled It’s Only Love a glorious pop song with escalating atmospherics. The male/female vocals dance playfully together in the finale, beautifully understated, a simmering tension waiting to explode.
The distinct vocal of Alice Fox is one that should be recognisable to many in Manchester, and without delving too much into our history, Avec Sans are a band very close to my heart. Our loss however was London’s gain, and this electronic duo have quickly built a reputation for producing effortlessly cool pop music that is not only accessible but beyond fucking brilliant.
So, its fair to say I was pretty damn excited to finally see the debut video for Hold On, directed by Sing J Lee, who has previously worked with my beloved PINS. Imagine The Postal Service meets Chvrches and you might be getting close to understanding just how good Avec Sans are… its timeless and classic, and as easy to dance to as it is to fall in love with.
Freddie Dickson set the blogosphere on fire recently with debut track Shut Us Down.
Its pretty easy to understand why, its effortlessly cool pop music, pure emotion captured in gorgeous harmonies. For this reason he’s already finding himself (unfairly) being compared to Lana Del Ray. I found this a little odd since Lana, although good at what she does, is an artificial idol. Are we saying the same about Dickson? His voice alone has more soul, more human frailty – without even digging deeper into his background.
I resisted the urge to post this song when it first appeared because I wanted to know whether the song would still be exciting me a few weeks later. It is. The video, directed by Charlotte Rutherford is constructed using old family footage and adds another layer of mystery to an unfolding story.