Popped Round-Up April 2019

Popped Round-Up

April 2019

Words: Daniel Burton and Gary Lambert

!Editor’s Pick!

Another Sky – The Cracks

It seems that Another Sky have decided to channel the essence of Scandinavian noir TV into a deep and ambitious-sounding track. Full of brooding melancholy, this is not going to be the soundtrack to your summer, but it is going to be one of the songs that stands out this year. Strangely it makes me think of the likes of Enya rather than any of their counterparts on the music scene such are the layers which have gone in to this track.

Pink Shirts for Pale People  – Summers a Girl

The obvious Scouse accent singing on this track immediately makes me think that we have found the musical brother to our friend Zuzu – but without the snarkiness. Summers a Girl is not a testing track, it feels like the musical version of a bowl of strawberries and cream. You’re just going to enjoy it despite the missing apostrophe in the title. In fact, I’d recommend listening to it in the back garden as soon as the sun comes out. It’ll make your sunburn feel worth it.

Jabbawoki – Nitty

My first impression was this track was going to be a piece of minimalist indie rock music, but that was quickly blasted away by some gorgeous, fuzzy, grungy guitar and bass work that brings to mind the early days of BRMC. The quiet, LOUD, quiet motif continues throughout the less than two minutes that Nitty plays for, but you get full value for money as every time the noise hits, it hits good.

Lovelace – Dream Crime

This track starts with an acoustic riff and a few spacy sounds behind, and is rather reminiscent to the of the start of Foo Fighters classic Everlong. It soon descends into classic rock with a high tempo beat and some quick-fire riffs in the chorus. It turns momentarily back to acoustic before a brief heavier interlude, but quickly returns to acoustic for the second verse. The way this track is formulated is very clever and is worked extremely well. There are very few words in the chorus but it is still very catchy and will have you singing it back to your speakers.

The chord progressions do sound somewhat peculiar and unnatural, but it does work well, and I guess if everything sounded natural we would quickly run out of chord progressions and everyone would be ripping off each other.

With sounds likening to early 10’s garage rock, I can see this band having a successful outing with this track.

Ava in the Dark – Honey

There’s not much to say about this track, other than you must listen to it. I’ve had it on repeat ever since I first got my ears on it. I’m not normally into gritty rock tunes, but this is just something different. It’ll burn your ears off but you’ll thank it for doing so, it will make you thank and respect it for the pain it inflicts because it is worth it.

Kicking off with a dirty deep riff, a sumptuous voice soon follows, a combination that will bring everyone’s ears closer and closer to the sound. With this being the start, it instantly gives the whole track its identity. As much as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the opening seconds of this perfectly encapsulate everything about the rest of the song and you most certainly should judge it from this. I cannot imagine this coming on during a playlist shuffle and ever wanting to skip it.

The opening riff is continued throughout and continues to drag you into the tune even more as it goes on. It very simple and restricted in its layers within the track, but this allows for all the main elements to come through and shine on their own as they should.

In short, this is a real head banger of a track, I really like it and you should go and listen to it right away.

Rêves – Short Dress (Syncr winner)

I have listened to this numerous times now and neglected to see who it is, but every time I turn around and say I like it, then realise that I’ve said the same thing upon every listen. It was upon my most recent listening that I knew that it had to be included in this month’s roundup.

This track comes as their fourth single in a year and is the prelude to their debut EP Depths & Between which they plan to release this summer.

At the start, a short stint of synth goes into the band kicking off and it leads into a world of peace and serenity. It is a slow beat but there is a prominent bass line that you can feel hitting your chest. This is all played over a simple high-pitched riff and a smooth encapsulating voice.

There are no big build ups and drops, it is consistently fluid throughout and that’s how it should be, it makes the track all it should be. With an effortlessly serene and gentle feel, everything else about the track speaks for itself and makes it a must listen.

Voodoo Bandits – Sink Below

Hailing from the Isle of Man, this 4-piece independent indie rock/pop band have returned with their second single after a 2-year hiatus. This is the first track recorded with their new singer Ben on vocals and it has all the hallmarks of a classic indie tune.

A vibrating guitar sound introduces the track with a steady drum beat, before it all quietens and a simple hollow guitar sound plays on its own. After this is descends into a mass of typical indie sounds when the guitar is accompanied by the rest of the band.

I was thinking the vocal was a bit monotone but then when the chorus comes in it all of a sudden becomes much brighter. I was glad that this chorus was as it is because if it was similar to the verse, it could have become a rather dull and boring track. On reflection, the difference in sounds between the verse and chorus are a clever contrast and add more character to the track.

The Manatees – What If

The indie-pop quartet have dropped an upbeat and sing along track in What If. Blending together energetic guitar riffs and pounding drum beats you can sense the Southampton natives are expressing themselves and are putting their best foot forward.

This track has relatively calm verses that quickly turn into heavier grungy chorus’ that are very easy to sense the track popping off live. The drums must be well worn after this track is added to the setlist.

This is part of a two track EP which follows their very successful debut single Milan which has racked up a tad shy of 100,000 streams in just over a year. I’m very sure this band will go far especially with the backing of the likes of Radio X, BBC6 and This Feeling.

Wurlitzer – Sodium

Wurlitzer’s newest track Sodium is a great blend of infectious key riffs and heavy basslines cut together over a simple and ever-present drum piece. You can detect inspirations from the likes of Blossoms and faint touch of Mac Demarco. There is also a strong link to the sound and sonic make up of Marsicans, and if they follow in any of their footsteps it could lead them to a very successful career.

There is some very intricate use of glockenspiels, trumpets and other higher pitched sounds that are played in the background of the track which add an extra element that makes it feel much fuller.

This is yet again another bright act to look forward to seeing bloom in years to come.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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