Song reviews

  Everyone is an Artist by Cubby Preachers

Everyone is an Artist cover art

Turgid minimalists

It’s simple when you think about it. The modern world does not wish to understand so instead you give them something that doesn’t need to be understood. “Everyone is an Artist” – about half the lyrics in the song are there in the title – is about as simple as it gets with a mantra repeated over (and over and over) a tedious wash of unimaginative synthetic sounds.  The Cubby Preachers are a band (?) that should be drowned in their own irony.

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  Remnant of a Dying Smile by Seed of Sadness

Remnant of a Dying Smile cover art

Melodic Greek metal

Melodic metal is a timeless thing and this song, “Remnant of a Dying Smile”, by Greek band Seed of Sadness could have come from any time in the last three decades.  As you might expect, this song goes large with massive keyboards swallowing up all before them.  All except for the precisely mannered yet enticing vocals of the delightfully named Stellaria, that is. I could listen to her all night long.

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  Deadlights by Otiks

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Electro indie

Interesting take on indie rock from this Leeds band.  In “Deadlights”, the reliance on guitars and power chords expected of the genre has been superseded by some analogue style synth sounds that add, of all things, drama to the mix. The lead vocals are also more theatrical than you would expect marking this band out as one trying to be themselves rather than somebody else. Otiks are worth watching, methinks.

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  Losing You by Senate of Prevail

Losing You cover art

Melancholy Swedish rockers

“Losing You” is melodic and emotional rock with big riffs just like you used to get in the era of hair bands. Impassioned and confident male vocals add the finishing touch to make this song something of a 100% macho big, brash, guilty pleasure.

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  Staring at the Sound by The Galileo 7

Staring at the Sound cover art

Psych rock impersonators

Drowning in retro psychosis, The Galileo 7 shake their bells and start impersonating the British take on sixties Californian psych rock like, say, early Pink Floyd. “Staring At The Sound” therefore sounds more familiar than it should and, whilst reverentially done and all that, this has all been done before and no doubt will be again.

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  Probably Normal by Suzi Chunk With Groovy Uncle

Probably Normal cover art

Mysterious Medway Miss

Grooving gently like a hybrid of sixties’ songstresses like Cilla, Susan Maughan and Sandie Shaw, Suzi Chunk walks the walk, talks the talk and sings the song like she is on a Boeing 707 to the London Palladium with "Probably Normal". Nothing wrong with that of course but the question remains – is this retro or is it loungecore?

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  Passing Sun by Cara Mitchell

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Young and acoustic

“Passing Sun” is rather sweet with an adorable young female vocal making those simple words all light and fluffy and wistful.  However, Cara Mitchell has stepped right into Amy Macdonald territory with this one and there probably isn’t room for both of them in the cold heart of this nation. I know which one I want to prevail though.

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  Glamourama by Blindness

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Electro popsters

Electro popsters like they used to make, Blindness riff it up over a rock sold beat to throw “Glamourama” over the wall of indifference into the arms of radio success. Whether anyone actually buys this sound nowadays is in question but this is nicely done in a suitably spirited and grungy kind of way. Underneath all the mascara though, Blindness have the makings of a proper rock band.

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  Young Charlie by The Skunnered

Young Charlie cover art

Folked Up

The Skunnered finally reveal their true folky  colours with this song. “Young Charlie” is all Jacobean rebellion and Aran sweaters which is more than enough to strike fear into my heart. As with their other songs however, “Young Charlie” is skilfully and likeably performed so I can’t really hate them that much even if I wanted to. I wonder if they have a song about Scotland’s greatest hero Alex “Tax Me In The Morning” Salmond?

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  Stay Positive by Amy Sinha

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Jazz inflections

“Stay Positive” is quite a sweet, piano driven song with uplifting lyrics like you might have expected of some post hippy era singer songwriter, Clearly musically educated,  Amy Sinha has the kind of endearing voice that can easily sell such sentiments even if the “band in a box” production lets the side down somewhat. However, if someone were to throw some cash in the general direction of Ms Sinha then perhaps great things could happen.

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  Cordelia by Jo Mango

Cordelia cover art

An angelic voice

“Cordelia” is a delicate and beautiful song. There’s not much to it other than a simple piano figure and the most wondrous, and yet unforced, voice of Ms. Mango. Simply enchanting. No further words are needed.

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  First Love by Ashley Collins

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Glasgow pop princess

Hard to believe that I missed this one from Glasgow’s own superdiva Ashley Collins. “First Love” is a fluffy bunny of a song that neatly pastiches all the plastic pop princesses that contaminate the charts these days. The lyrics are precisely pitched at a level for radio play and you can hear that extended dance remix coming right behind it. On a topical note, Glasgow’s pop princess is, of course, a class act and has always managed to keep her top on unlike certain other (real) princesses we could mention.

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