Who? Guest Singer
What? ‘My Parallel’
What they say? Having introduced himself with three examples of his dark party songs in New Experience, My Parallel and I Could Never Live Like You Do, Guest Singer reveals debut EP I’m Irrelevant Now out via tastemaker label Heist or Hit. It’s the culmination of the first phase of the project, devised by Doncaster’s Jake Cope and comprising Paul Burdett and France Lahmar.
It’s a 4-track collection of kraut-pop tunes for the post-truth generation, tackling the presentation of the self as the key theme throughout the EP, alongside pseudo-profound bullshit, parallel universes/lives, mental health and idols. Tackling these themes with colourful synths and his own super sardonic style, Cope delivers a promising first collection.
Surrounding himself with the arpeggiated decay of vintage synths, Guest Singer teamed up with producer Matt Peel (Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses, Menace Beach) to realise a vision that is as rich in its melodic geography as it is pointed in its textural delivery. Capable of moments of incredible grandeur, Jake steers his romantically doomy mentality through a landscape of dusky synth lines and jumpy Will Sergeant-esque guitars.
Why we love it? A dizzying, electronic pop soundscape engulfs most of Guest Singer’s (aka songwriter Jack Cope) ‘My Parallel, which marries the slick synth pop-isms of Simple Minds and Errors and the hip-twisting grooves of LCD Soundsystem. There are a lot of emotions to process here, as the cogs of the GS’ machine shift toward rhythmic perfection, further enhanced by Cope’s soft, earthly vocal. (NK)
FFO: Errors, LCD Soundsystem, Simple Minds, Gary Numan
Who? Grim Streaker
What? ‘Today New York’
What they say? Whilst their contemporaries in Bodega, B Boys and Public Practice are pasting the art back into ‘art punk’, the five members of Grim Streaker (made up of singer Amelia Bushell, guitarists Dan Peskin and Micah Weisberg, bassist Bill Dvorak and drummer Piyal Basu) are stamping their incendiary, frenetic noise-punk on growing NYC audiences. This crew is armed with a fierce live show designed to draw blood, sweat and cheers for those searching for an explosion of angular, post-punk energy akin to the likes of Fugazi, X-Ray Spex, The Fall, Sonic Youth and early Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
‘Today New York’ specifically references themes of waiting tables to pay rent and trying to pursue creativity through music at the same time. It’s about getting carried away with life’s darkest lures, playing a show that leads Bushell to being injured, sexually assaulted and robbed at the end of the night. And after all of that happened, having to go back to the New York hustle of life, day in and day out.
Why we love it? Grim Streaker’s ‘Today New York’ has a purified punk energy that refuses to be tamed. Wiry guitars cut straight to the chase, leaving just the right amount of room for frontwoman Amelia Bushell to dispense her paradoxical lyrics of ambition and failure. A freight train of frenetic energy. (NK)
FFO: Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, FEWS
Who? Mind Enterprises
What they say? Mind Enterprises is a name that’s fast becoming synonymous with playful, eclectic dance releases paired with a striking, vintage aesthetic. Today, the Italian DJ and producer launches his latest single ‘Ballare’.
‘Ballare’ was an attempt to create some sort of contemporary version of ESG’s classic tune ‘Dance’. As always with these cases I end up with something that sounds nothing like the original but at least I kept the title ‘Ballare’. That means ‘Dance’ in Italian”.
‘Ballare’ follows the 2018 single releases ‘Gemini’ and ‘S.H.A.K.E’. Tirone lived in East London for 6 years before recently relocating to the tropical island of Gran Canaria – “The southest place in Europe”, as he puts it.
Why we love it? Squelchy, playful groove laden disco that utilises a bevvy of samples and instrumental loops. Fusing disco with electro pulses. Fantastic. (BC)
FFO: Georgio Moroder, Daft Punk
Who? Brion Starr
What? ‘The Heart Is A Loaded Gun’
What they say? Brion Starr is a singer, artist, and actor based in what remains of New York City. Having been shuffled around throughout early life, if there is any place at all STARR considers home, it is this ever changing megapolis.
Although secure in this sanctuary, STARR operates internationally having recently completed the recording of debut solo album Global Identity over the course of three months at Konk Studios (home of childhood musical heroes, The Kinks) in the remote hamlet of Hornsey in North London away from the incessant chatter of USA. These three months felt like an extended dream having previously spent the last year and a half touring the world with The Noh Starrs after releasing their eponymous album via Modern Sky in 2017.
why we love it? All crunching 60s guitar riffs and Kinks-inspired melodies, Brion Starr shoots for something ambitious with ‘The Heart Is A Loaded Gun’ and hits his target emphatically. This is an assured debut effort from the New York troubadour, showing that his roots are well and truly buried in the history and hedonism of his musical stomping ground. (NK)
FFO: The Kinks, Television, David Bowie
Who? Breichiau Hir
What? ‘Penblwydd Haps Lawn’
What they say? Cardiff 6-piece, Breichiau Hir combine urgent aggression with melody, sitting somewhere between emo and punk. Regardless of whether or not you can understand the words, Breichiau Hir are awesome fun to listen to, fusing energetic punky post-hardcore supercharged by the power of three guitars with more laid-back moments of melody. In their words: “A loud as fuck emo and punk band, with heavy post-rock and post-hardcore influences.”
Why we love it? Loud, angry and raw, ‘Penblwydd Haps Lawn’ is an urgent, adrenaline-fuelled punk rock banger from the Welsh natives, that deserves you’re undivided attention. (NK)
FFO: Los Blancos, The Empty Page, Manic Street Preachers
Who? Nia Wyn
What? ‘Last Laugh’
What They Say? Nia as one of the most exciting soul crossover artists coming out of the UK. Wyn’s vocals are strong and engrossing, telling stories of people in the music industry and everyday life who spin lies to achieve their own goals. Having worked with the likes of Paul Weller last year, and supported both Weller and Paloma Faith on tour, Nia Wyn will be performing at the Great Escape festival in Brighton.
On the track, Nia says: “Last Laugh is about some of the liars that pop up in the music industry. I’ve had many people chat rubbish and make grand promises about what they can do for your career, and when you’re so hungry for success you listen to them and then you’re left feeling lost when they lose interest in you. Last Laugh is also about women who claim to support other women but really are just using that line because it’s fashionable and just want to use you. Finally it’s also a middle finger to people who doubt you – the feeling when you overcame that and are showing them what you really can do!”
Why we love it? Fusing easy old grooves with elements of hip hop scratches and Nia’s self empowered verse it has hints of early Amy Winehouse about its modern, soul bearing style. With ‘Last Laugh’ she’s taking on the haters with her soul scorched voice and sardonic put downs. It acts as a vivid depiction of her artistic growth and her strength as a personality wrapped up in a catchy tune. (BC)
FFO: Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen