City Calm Down
Whilst Melbourne 4-piece ‘City Calm Down’ continue to work on their début album which will be released in 2014, they give us a taste of what they have in store with their new single ‘Speak To No End’ – We first featured them back in February describing them as mixing chiming Bunnymen guitars, Simple Minds ‘New Gold Dream’ era synths with the pop hooks of OMD to forge a dark electronic soundscape. ‘Speak No End’ has a similar sonic template, with a vocal that is a tad reminiscent of Crispin Hunt from the excellent Long Pigs. This is sombre yet uplifting electropop at its very best and City Calm Down are certainly ones to listen out for in 2014.
In The Valley Below
In The Valley Below are another band we’ve featured extensively on the VPME (You can read our interview with them HERE.) Their latest tune ‘Stand Up’ is yet again rammed with the sort of life affirming melodies that are becoming their trade mark, but this time around the band have a real sense of energy and urgency. And as you’d expect its effing marvellous.
I Said Yes
One of the benefits of being a moderator over at Tom Robinson’s Fresh On The Net is that it’s another avenue by which we can get an injection of fresh new music each week. ‘Bad’ by I Said Yes was one of the outstanding submissions in recent weeks, it may be the sort of tune that gets filed under the catch all term of “Nu-folk” which can perhaps put people off, but really it shouldn’t. Besides, “Nu-Folk” seems to losing any meaning as a label given that it seems to be applied to any band who employ instruments that aren’t always plugged into the national grid. Indeed the band themselves point out ” If ‘are you folk?’ means ‘does your band feature any instruments made of wood?’ then yes, we’re a folk band, thanks for asking! If it means ‘do you exclusively play songs rooted in generations of oral tradition?’ then the answer is ‘not strictly, no.’
Glaswegian white noise wranglers SOS return with a new track ‘Fake Hallelujah, which is another noisy distorted anthemic slice of reverb soaked righteousness. It must be noted that the scene north of the border is one of the strongest in the country at the moment. If the Scots do (and who can blame them?) vote for independence, will we have acquire their music via import?
Finally, we have more glittering electro pop goodness from Strangers who release a new EP ‘CLOSE’ on 10th December through their own label Empire Records. It features the best of the 6 free downloads the band have been giving away over the last six months from July To December 2013 as well as exclusive remixes and acoustic tracks. The track above is indicative of what the EP promises, soaring vocals rising from throbbing electronica that resides somewhere between the darkness of Depeche Mode and the pop sensibility of Erasure…sometimes… ;)