Adventures In Music – 03.07.16-09.07.16

Normal service more or less resumed this week and the same goes for today’s musical journey which takes in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. So without any further waffling the Adventures begin this week in Europe.

First destination is Norway and a new track from Jenny Hval, ‘Female Vampire’. It’s the first new song from her latest album “Blood Bitch” which is scheduled for release on the 30th September. The track, with its pulsing electro beat and echoey vocal, has a real sense of claustrophobia, of being hemmed in and is utterly mesmerising – Over the border to Sweden and Stockholm based Ji Nilsson. ‘Make Me Blu ft WoodzSTHLM’ is electro-pop with a melancholy centre, its beats and synths wrapped around some rather mournful lyrics, making it a welcome antidote to the glut of saccharine sweet concoctions that dominate the charts – Over the sea to Ireland and a new song from singer/songwriter Eve Belle. ‘Watch The World Go By’ has a timeless quality, fusing elements of soul, jazz and the blues into a beautiful whole. Her voice is truly exquisite and this is just perfect for laying back, closing your eyes and being carried away by its gorgeousness – France next and first up is Paris based Ana Zimmer. Her latest ‘Underwater’, is a slowly swirling indie/electro-pop number. It’s gently paced and the beats are somewhat muted, allowing her hypnotic voice to shine through, pulling you along with it – Also from Paris are alternate three-piece Memory Lake. Taken from their “Hurricane” EP, ‘Hammer’ has industrial sounding, repetitive beats and is laden with atmosphere, the intoned vocals adding an ominous feel, evoking images of a nightmarish factory. Dystopian indie if you will –

Making the short hop over the Channel for the next batch of songs, beginning with Scotland’s finest, Teenage Fanclub. New track ‘I’m In Love’ has all the hallmarks of a Fanclub song from over the years, be it the jangly guitars or sweet sounding harmonies. As ever the songs multitude of pop hooks will latch themselves firmly inside your head. But their sound hasn’t remained static, it has grown-up, there’s a maturity to it now as well. Looking forward to finally seeing them live in November – Next up is the latest from Hayes based The Tuts. ‘Let Go Of The Past’ explodes out of the speakers. It’s a shimmering, highly-charged piece of barbed-wire indie-pop, the musical offspring of Lily Allen and The Primitives. So it’s bold, confident and fun – Manchester’s Girl Friend serve up a new tune ‘Hello Stranger’ that grew up on 80’s dancefloors before being whisked to the present and polished into a sparkling pop diamond by the pair and remixer Louis la Roche. It is, simply, pop perfection – Down to London and the latest from Laura Misch, ‘Rose-Tinted’. The track is a mellow, jazz-infused number and the saxophone,smoky and sensual, takes it to another level – Back up to the north-west and the city of Liverpool, home to Clean Cut Kid. ‘We Used To Be In Love’ is a killer indie-pop number, with harmonies and a soaring chorus that other bands would commit murder for. Catch them on their tour this coming October, you’ll not be disappointed – Wrapping things up from the UK is a track from London based Bo Rocha, ‘Enough For You’. This is a smooth combination of pop, alt-r&b and soul, tied together by a big, powerful vocal that is also warm and welcoming –

Down under to Melbourne for the next track, ‘Vindicated’, from musical polymorph Tyto Tyto. A gorgeous, glacial acoustic number, with just her incredible voice accompanied by a piano, this song is totally captivating. That it does so with resort to production trickery or masses of beats is proof positive of her unique talent – Next stop on the tour is Toronto, now home to Jillea. ‘Drive Slow’ is a crystalline pop tune with a vocal to die for, full of emotion, which drives the track along and into your brain – Also hailing from Toronto is ALLIE X. Her latest ‘All The Rage’ also puts a whole new spin on a retro 80’s sound, turning it into a fiery stomper of a pop song, with some clever turns of phrase in the lyrics –

The final batch of carefully harvested tunes all come from the US of A, starting with a track from Marissa Nadler, ‘Katie I Know’. A hauntingly beautiful song, that washes gently around you and will echo inside your head long after it has finished. A song that will have you constantly pressing repeat – New from Angel Olsen is ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’, a fierce alt-rock/Americana number, which blends a delightfully melodic sound with sharp lyrics, a velvet glove concealing a steel fist – ‘Where You Going?’ from Jenny Jumble, is the sound of minimal, twisted scuzzy electro and it’s every bit as good as that sounds. This track will, without fail, take up residence in your ears and will refuse all requests to leave. Politely – New York is home to Maya Lazaro and her latest ‘Curtains’ is one part country, one part Springsteen. The tune slowly waltzes around you, the vocal is plaintive, wise and the lyrics are smart and perfectly apt – New from Syntherbelle is ‘Seven’, a moody, hypnotic alt/synth-pop number. This takes synth-pop into the shadows, adding darker elements to the mix. Syntherbelle is consistently reaching new heights with her music and I’m looking forward to the debut album (there has to be one!) and to her eventually playing over in the UK – Final track of this week’s Adventures comes from Denton, Texas based Exit Glaciers. ‘Silence Has Left’ is a slice of dreamy folk-pop, Megan Storie’s warm, mellifluous vocal floating over the laid-back guitars, drums and flute courtesy of Blake, Tony and Alexander. A perfect, mellow way to round things off this week –

As always hope you’ve enjoyed the tracks I’ve picked out. Follow me on here or over on Soundcloud & Twitter for all things musical. Till next week……..

Playlist –


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