Song reviews

  Good Side by Greta Gaines

Good Side cover art

Smooth songstress

Cool as a cucumber and influenced by that deadly seventies west coast soft rock groove, Greta Gaines stays honey sweet with the vocals throughout "Good Side" whilst intermittently roughing the song up with edgy guitars and barely repressed desire. It’s grown up big town but only if the sun shines in your zip code.  Fortunately the sun always shines here.

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  Tunnels by Lost Ghost

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Bleak indie pop

Moody slice of downbeat indie pop from up and coming Scottish band Lost Ghost.  Although "Tunnels" does not stray far from what you would expect of a Scottish indie pop band these days, Gabriella Biazotti’s on the edge of laconic vocal has the necessary appeal to reach the hearts of more than west end beard scratchers.

  Mobile Homes by Banana Beach

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Quirky indie pop

With wishing to stereotype an entire nation, “Mobile Homes” is exactly what you would expect of a (slightly) quirky Swedish indie pop band. Banana Beach do what is expected of them and – in a meaningful way of course – make their mark.

  The Human Race by Jens Wennberg

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Musical volvo

“The Human Race” finds Jens Wennberg up to his usual tricks with acoustic guitars and distant drums leading the song towards the restrained melancholy of his voice. If you liked his previous releases then you will like this one too.

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  The Black Lodge by Jenny Gabrielsson Mare

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Swedish exotica

You get a whispered intro mentioning Laura Palmer and you get a minimalist swing Badalamenti groove. You get enigmatic lyrics and you get whisper in your ear sensual vocals. “The Black Lodge” is Chris Isaak in a dress only I can (practically) guarantee that Jenny Gabrielsson Mare looks better in a dress than Chris Isaak ever would.  With a bit more reverb, this would be a wicked game.

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  Disappear by Whales in Cubicles

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Bristol boys

Noisy indie rock from Bristol band Whales in Cubicles, “Disappear” shows them to be a band that operates within the limits of the genre but who remain capable of taking things further. The evidence, as always, is in the lyrics.

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  Working For The Man by Man’s Ruin

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Experimental Scottish folk

Rolling it on down the river are Scottish and Man’s Ruin. They claim to be an experimental folk band but “Working For The Man” is nothing less than toughened up country rock mixed with big city words. All credit to them however for sounding like red meat is their staple diet.

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  Sharpshooter by Hungry Kids of Hungary

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Indie popsters

Summer must be on its way and Australian indie poppers Hungry Kids of Hungary look set to the official provider of a sunshine song for the season. “Sharpshooter” is nicely edgy in its sonic style and has the all important big chorus to get you singing along. I am feeling the heat already.

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  Headstrong by Elvira Stitt

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Glasgow songstress

With the song truly in her heart, Elvira Stitt demonstrates a surprising – especially for one so young -- mastery the of big ballad style with “Headstrong”. She handles the poetic lyrics with poise and feeling which is much more than might reasonably expect of a singer songwriter on the way up. Genuine Glasgow talent and I don’t say that very often.

  Lend a hand by William Freeman

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Escape from Lossiemouth

Another day, yet another singer songwriter. This time it is the turn of Scottish wandering minstrel William Freeman to take a shot at fame and his song,  “Lend A Hand”,  is a touch melancholy, played with sensitivity and dexterity and would nicely accompany a walk on the mellow side. A convincing performance then but, perhaps unfortunately for him, there are many more like him out there.

  In the Basement by Harriet Jones

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On the way up

Another day another singer songwriter. Harriet Jones has an appealing voice and – assuming she wrote "In The Basement" – a pretty solid songwriting skill set. However, the clumsy and clunky arrangement robs the song of any momentum leaving Ms. Jones rather more exposed than she needs to be. If thus song were to be re-recorded professionally then I am certain that she would make a much better impression.

  Summer Wine by Daniel Badeie

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Swedish import

Driven along mercilessly by a nervous guitar, “Summer Wine” seems a positively whimsical song for someone like Daniel Badeie. That said, a good pop song is what it is and, with summer approaching, “Summer Wine” should find many friendly ears ready to fall for its inescapable charm.

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