Speak Easy Circus are clearly a band with rather greater lyrical purpose than most and “Lions Should Hunt” is also decorated with copious amounts of well-schooled, even adventurous, musicianship. This one might even make a beard scratcher dance.
Appealing lo-fi power pop from The Third Cut with “Sugar, Stop” having more than enough steam to make it all the way to the bridge and back again. I had to fight the urge to sing along to this song which some will take as a good sign.
Oh, so classy! Jealous Tina are about as smooth as you can get without actually coming out as jazz and “Sweet Eyes” reverberates to the sound of a spell cast solely to entrance the ears of the discerning. Finger snapping good.
Ethnic influences abound in “Luz” and serve to effectively add a pleasing organic quality to the underlying looped electronica. Belau have duly made this song soothing, easy on the ear and, yet, still interesting.
“Player” rolls like it should be in a television montage yet, despite the cut to the click vibe, Zsüd still manages to infuse the song with echoes of all the spiritual emptiness that today has to offer. Indeed a song of our time.
Curiously spacious to the point of emptiness (ha!), “2Sides” seems more or less urban but the minimalist style demonstrates that the mechanism of repetition and precipitous processing can evoke something that is more atmospheric than you might expect.
That Nashville sound pervades “She’s Not me” with Kirsten Kae giving it all she can to turn this into the kind of radio friendly song to make pickup trucks bounce up and down at the traffic lights of life. Polished it is, as such songs always are.
Americana in style and reticent in approach, Forty Elephant Gang move their song “Songs of Praise” backwards in time to the days of the hangman’s noose. Redemption is the direction and the guitar is the signpost. You could worse that follow those chords.
I like the sound of a death metal band ticking all the expected style boxes in the morning. It smells like a videogame soundtrack to me. Riffing and rasping all the way, TreyHarsh put “Agoraphobic” on to the train and give it full steam ahead.
The dense production adds an oppressive atmosphere to “On The Rocks” and it is a much darker song than might be expected of the usually blinged to the max urban genre although, ultimately, it is Andrea Godin’s voice that leads Starkillers towards redemption.
Some songs seem designed to make you sigh and “I Won’t Change My Mind” is one such song with Remington Super 60 liberally seasoning their song with all that is wistful. Endearing female vocals carry the song forward into your heart.
Many might think that the events of 2020 would have put an end to the very idea of a Christmas song but no for, with her customary literacy and restrained sentimentality, Sofia Talvik skilfully turns her song “The Mess We’re In” into a message of hope.
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