‘Millions’, and the Sirens EP that contained it, was an unexpected deep and emotional turn from TeenCanteen, but this track is quite possibly their strongest work to date. This very personal number cover reflects on singer Carla J Easton’s feelings on her dad’s passing some time after the fact, but counteracts the subject matter with irresistibly sweet melodies and pop drenched harmonies.
Catholic Action marked the announcement of their upcoming debut album In Memory Of, with the release of new single ‘Propaganda’ – a tirade against club nights which only play landfill indie, it is no coincidence that the track is named after a Glaswegian club night which specialises in exactly the same thing it berates. ‘Propaganda’ is frantic glam rock banger as lead singer Chris McCrory repeatedly snarls “I will never be like you” over a wall of guitars and a melodic synth hook. This is glamorous indie rock and roll done exactly the way it should be; don’t bet against them being the saviours of the great British guitar group.
In double A-side Babyboomers/R U A Feminist’ Breakfast MUFF present a very cogent, energetic, exciting and interesting single that captures well their on-stage unpredictability, style and dynamicity. ‘Babyboomers’ employs a more traditional structure, but toys with it and messes it around; this effort is mirrored in the intergenerationally disparaging lyrics, while ‘R U A Feminist’ generalises less and is more of a personal tale. Both songs are replete with well-placed and tonally appropriate punk-rock sensibilities, fine music and wonderfully unique vocal harmonies.
‘Strike a Match’ is a perfect distillation of Sacred Paws’ similarly titled album with its infectious, intricate and squeaky-clean indie. Inflected with warm, Afrobeat guitar, playful handclaps and tropical percussion, this track is definitely a belter for those precious afternoons spent down the park in the sun. Eilidh Rodgers’ backing vocals interweave sweetly intriguing echoes around Rachel Aggs’ effortless new wave delivery, while subtle brass brightens those addictive melodies.
‘Feed My Son’ is just a crackingly poetic track about ownership of far more than one needs encapsulated in a super addictive guitar pop shell. The energetic track uses catchy guitar and skull embedding saxophone riffs to accompany the social commentary.
If ever a record managed to be exactly on point, tick all the correct boxes and yet still be utterly thrilling, ‘Lost Maps’ by Marnie is it; it’s an absolute belter. A growling, electronic, thuggishly sleek beast of a tune by the frontwoman of Ladytron, ‘Lost Maps’ transcends its elements and delivers heavy, processed beats, a dark bassline but with the sort of dreamy top end and vocal to drag things from the gutter into the stars: a little excitable that description, perhaps, but, tracks that manage to appeal to the most tedious of disco-bores – me – yet also be dripping in pop are all too rare.
Yet another dose of dance-floor inducing brilliance Bossy Love, ‘Body’ is a high octane, pulsing bit of soulful pop that should be a smash hit. This duo are destined for something very big very soon and they fully deserve it.
Dundee’s ST.MARTiiNs have a real knack for a glimmering pop noir number and ‘othr grls’ is probably their best work to date. The track is a sleek, vibrant pop number that utilises a strong dream-like vocal performance that embeds into your psyche and doesn’t let go. Despite its message about disillusionment with the people around you ‘othr grls’ feels upbeat, however it never gives in to full on sugar-coated pop, providing all the hooky goodness with a hazy ethereal majesty.
‘Come Up To Fade’ thrashes the Young Creatives EP into life in proper old-school garage rock fashion; lead vocalist Josh McDowall howling like a youthful Julian Casablancas as melodic guitars and urgent drums race each other behind him as HOME$LICE gave an early contender for song of the year.
Already an oddity unto themselves by the fact that they are one of the only bands around who have a saxophonist amongst their members, LYLO have garnered an ever growing reputation as a formidable live act. ‘You Have Your Father’s Eyes’ is a work of beauty – from the moment the atmospheric intro leads into the jazz funk of the verses, LYLO have you hooked. Mitch Flynn’s dreamy, reverb-drenched vocals on the chorus gently chime “you know it gets me every time” benefitting from their own idyllic production. By the time Iain McCall’s sax solo draws the track to a close amongst a cacophony of noise, an almost spiritual journey is complete.