Parlour – Devil’s Eyes

Parlour

Parlour

4/5

Release Date:  March 1st, 2014
Genre:  Dream Pop, Experimental
Record Label:  Independent


“Devil’s Eyes” is the second track imbued to the world by ex-Carousels guitarist turned bandleader Angela Won-Yin Mak and what a pure exultation of searing noise it is. Opening with dreamily strummed chords and heavy-eyed, soft-spoken vocals that hover arond the fringes of the comprehensible, it’s laid down in a similar vein to Parlour’s first publicly released track “My Love”. Reaching its pinnacle around the two-minute mark, the dreamy aspects succumb to galvanizing rapture, an eruption of squaling sound. It slices like an aural knife through the maelstrom; a coruscating outburst that’s visceral, quite unsettling, yet thoroughly addictive. If the forthcoming debut E.P continues in the lineage of “Devil’s Eyes” than Parlour may find themselves on to something truly spectacular- a co-existence of hypnogogic dream-pop and holocaustal noise exodus. Until then, “Devil’s Eyes” exists as a sublime example of the cathartic power of sound, exuding at differing times both haunting distance and all-consuming noise feast. Delectable stuff.


Tracklisting:

  1. Devil’s Eyes

Band Links:
Official Site || Facebook || Twitter

 

Telen Rodwell – Mr Million Miles Away

Telen Rodwell - Mr Million Miles Away

Telen Rodwell - Mr Million Miles Away

3.5/5

Release Date:  November 12th, 2013
Genre:  Pop
Record Label:  Borough Records


It’s worth stating up front that if you’re not a fan of pop music, then you might as well stop reading this review now. The new single from Telen Rodwell, Australia’s latest export, is as pure pop as they come, and unlikely to win over new fans of the genre.

Those who do take the time to read on though will discover a rough diamond of a talent – a singer-songwriter who loves a catchy chorus and an overproduced vocal (though autotune is thankfully not evident).

Starting with a piano melody that soon gives way to a simple verse vocal and then an excellent pre-chorus of falsetto vocal, it’s a song that doesn’t truly go too far, but doesn’t really have to. Pop fans will know what to expect, won’t be disappointed, and will have plenty to enjoy.

The chorus, while infectious, doesn’t really grow the sound too much, staying withing the safe confines of a well worn chord pattern. Overall then, this is pleasant, a good song fixed in a genre that will be loved by fans and dismissed by others.


Tracklisting:

  • Mr Million Miles Away

Band Links:
Official Site || Facebook || Twitter

Buy the Album:
CD || MP3

Steve Murray & Kingbird – Angels & Butterflies

Steve Murray - Audio Book

Steve Murray - Audio Book

3.5/5

Release Date:  October 9th, 2013
Genre:  Acoustic Rock
Record Label:  Independent


Released earlier this year to raise funds for heart charities, album ‘Audio Book’ features ex-Fast Cars front man Steve Murray and his new project Kingbird. ‘Angels & Butterflies’ is the latest single taken from the LP, an uplifting acoustic rock track with a real sense of positivity.

With more than a fleck of Americana/Country to the sound, the lilting tempo and acoustic guitar lines are warm and fuzzy without feeling slushy. This is a mellow number lifted by a gruff vocal that bears comparison with Tom Waits in its tone if not its register.

The minimalist chord patterns allow all of the tics and tricks to make their mark – a mini-guitar lick here, a vocal riff there – and keep things interesting. It’s these tiny building blocks, not overly complex but combining well, that make ‘Angels & Butterflies’ into a charming little country rock track, more than the sum of its parts.


Tracklisting:

  1. Angels & Butterflies

Band Links:
Official Site || Facebook || Twitter

Buy the Album:
MP3

Teen Canteen – Honey

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artworks-000058606951-ex19tu-t500x500-2

4/5

Release Date:  October 29th, 2013
Genre:  Folk/Indie
Record Label:  Neu! Reekie! Records


If the latest week of news coming out of Scotland have left you thinking of more of job losses, plant closure (and non closure) than anything else – then perhaps Teen Canteen could make some effort to the contrary.

Recorded at The Old Mill Studio, Strathaven,”Honey” is a hark back to a mythical land: two parts celtic love song, one part sweet harmony-driven indie with a sweet spot for shape based metaphor – “He is perfect like a circle / and a summer sheet of purple… so it pains me to say / that I’m a square tryna’ fit in a circle.”

Recorded in striking Scottish twangs, “Honey” is charming pop with pleasing pace.


Tracklisting:

  • Honey

Band Links:
Official Site || Facebook || Twitter

Buy the Single:
MP3

Akasha FX – Slave of Time

Akasha FX - Slave of Time

Akasha FX - Slave of Time

4/5

Release Date:  30th August, 2013
Genre:  Electronica
Record Label:  Reel Me Records


The latest electronica project of Kristian Townsend – owner and founder of Reel Me Records – Akasha FX has arrived with a debut that really captures the imagination. By turns ambient and flowing, but also rhythmic and tight, it’s a song of opposites that come together very nicely indeed.

The music is unequivocally from the Reel Me Records stable, strong well produced electronica that layers the usual bleeps, bloops and sounds expertly, while also contrasting that with cello lines played by J Rokka (another Reel Me artist). It continues the feel of opposites attracting – the traditional flow of the classical instrument laid over the modern, layered sounds.

It’s taken further by the lyrics. A poet from Trinidad, Coreysan, delivers his own words in a meditative fashion over the top of all the activity below, blending with the more mellow sections, and contrasting further with the more upbeat parts.

Difficult to put into words, this is a track which challenges and intrigues with its strange atmosphere and clever approach – yet another release from Reel Me Records that cements their standing in the independent sector.


Tracklisting:

  1. Slave of Time

Band Links:
Official Site|| Facebook || Twitter

Buy the Album:
MP3

Robinson – Waiting On Cinderella/Superlove

Robinson - Waiting On Cinderella/Superlove

Robinson - Waiting On Cinderella/Superlove

5/5

Release Date:  August 27th, 2013
Genre:  Alt-folk
Record Label:  Palawan Productions


Returning with a third album this Summer, Andy Robinson (aka ‘Robinson’) has teased his new album with this double single release. Both skewing slightly further towards the middle ground than much of the material from the LP ‘Willlamina Machine’, these are nevertheless two tracks which show two different sides to Robinson’s songwriting approach.

First, “Waiting On Cinderella” is a pounding piano piece with a syncopated rhythm that sits somewhere between The Feeling and Paul Simon. Once the full band enters (all instruments played, captured and produced by Robinsons himself), the sound is immense, joined by a layered falsetto vocal and a ton of reverb. Following this, a jaunty melody hides a slightly murky folk tale about a woman who’s been mistreated in her relationship. But like all good fairy tales, it has a happy ending (and a killer chorus).

“Superlove” meanwhile takes us away from the folk tropes, and switches to the acoustic guitar. The simple chord structure and melodic guitar line work well together to underpin a sparse vocal which delivers a simple tune. The lyrics here are a little more esoteric, harder to decipher, but no less affecting. The chorus, again, is superb – a striaghtforward acoustic guitar rhythm laid over with a number of stacked up vocal parts making it just as memorable as the track beforehand.

There’s no doubting that Andy Robinson is a folk songwriting force to be reckoned with, and having heard the full album there’s definitely more on offer than these two songs suggest by themselves. But don’t let that lull you into any false sense of mediocrity – this is excellent songwriting at work.


Tracklisting:

  1. Waiting On Cinderella
  2. Superlove

Band Links:
Official Site|| Facebook || Twitter

Buy the Album:
MP3