Popped Round Up July 2019

The Round Up July 2019

Words: Daniel Burton

Editor’s Pick

Antidote – Life At The Arcade 

After each of LATA’s releases I almost selfishly wish that it’s their last because I,  somewhat foolishly,  think that the next cannot get any better, but time and time again they pull it off and produce some absolutely top-class tunes, Antidote being no different. It a future certified indie anthem. Opening with an encapsulating riff, that for some reason has me visioning the start of an 80’s vintage TV programme, it instantly hits you as soon as the tracks starts that it is something special. With a steady but pulsating groovy bass line throughout the verse, it builds up to the chorus which crashes into a mass of sound that is not too dissimilar to some of the rock greats. It really has that ‘huge band’ sound, one which could fill many a venue many times over. After the past few releases, I really am sure that LATA are going onto bigger and better things and this is only the start of a long and prosperous career.

Listen to Antidote here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/73SuPuNNluek8J2RaYbuFm?si=ljPDpwJCTHKCYVHzZN5K_Q

Syncr’s Applications July Pick

Out Of Her Mind – Echoes

Whilst the first part of  Echoes is very simple in its makeup, it instantly tells you it’s one that you are going to love. This 4-piece from Liverpool have produced a very catchy tune and one that, although does not have a massive standout factor, has a sound that is different to much of the regular sounds we are hearing from other bands currently. It is a slow and steady but very groovy indie tune with some dance inducing beats. At times I can recognise some parts of the track both lyrically and sonically that remind me somewhat of The Smiths, from both the smooth nature of the backing music and speech-like style of some of the vocals.

The way the track is made up is how all good bands have started, going to the basics to create something simple yet effective.

Listen to Out Of Her Mind here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/1CU3nrWRqYRkSM5Hq50fQ8?si=6oBhQ0bgT364kvMPzQJ_og

Hey Brother – Will Joseph Cook

This is Will Joseph Cook’s first release in over 2 years, and a long time it has been. It was getting to a point where I was wondering where exactly he had gotten to. After what he had produced from the first two years of his career it seemed it would be huge waste of talent if he had given up, but thankfully he has returned with another absolute indie bop, Hey Brother. It starts with a bouncing riff that presents bright and joyous vibes from the off and sets the overall tone of the song. As soon as the lyrics start, the instantly recognisable voice of WJC officially returns and thankfully so. It is an upbeat and ‘danceable’ track with hints back to what we were used to hearing from him but with some maturity around the sound. Will has used his time off well and this new and improved version of his old self is one that I am glad to be able to listen to. (And also gives me an excuse to roll back a few years and binge on some of his old tracks.)

Listen to Hey Brother here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/6jnmlqoEEH4eKl6yTQwyC9?si=vgn7E-GcQZWsNLTQX0gQfA

Adversary – On Video

With this only the 3rd release under their belt, On Video have already hit the ground running and are causing quite a stir on the indie-rock scene. This East London band note garage influenced guitar Pop as influences and they are very clearly heard in this release. From the off, a high tempo pace is set and is one that runs throughout the track. The verse is very stripped back yet gripping with just a simple riff being played, accompanied by a very subtle drum beat and the odd bass note, clearly on the guitar pop side of their influences. However, once the chorus kicks in, the garage influences bleed through and pour out in a much heavier more chaotic section of the track. With this combination of restricted verses and letting the reins loose in the chorus’, it does remind me a little of the first few releases of The Academic, and if they follow a similar path to them, On Video could be something very special and a huge prospect for the future.

I have absolutely fallen in love with this band and despite this single only just being released, I already cannot wait for the next. After recently supporting Bloxx on a nationwide tour, and a debut EP due out later this year, On Video have certainly started out on a great path and can only go upwards from here.

Listedn to Adversary here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/4mBbKJXAhW025VnmtIAiSX?si=0ooKgGOlSTG-uaTqGOL0kA

Play It Right – KAWALA

Starting as a duo writing acoustic indie-folk tracks, KAWALA have developed into a full band that has strayed into different territories utilising its more rounded sound and wider range of influences, whilst still keeping their indie-folk roots firmly attached.

Their two voices harmonise perfectly and it is no wonder that they found each other whilst studying in Leeds. An acoustic piece opens up behind this harmony for the verses, but a firm drum beat and subtle bass line fade in and out seamlessly around the chrous’.

Play It Right is a track that upon every listening has stood out and is one that is going straight on my chill playlist. It does appear to be fairly transparent in its sonic makeup with its straightforward and uncomplicated sound, but in this case less is more as they have created a tune that grips you continuously and subtly makes you remember the name KAWALA a little more every time.

Listen to Play It Right here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/3MkhZZkZ6ui6dIMv9NZ45X?si=FM4tamhbSXSGw5DM9M6jBA

Frankie’s Girlfriend – Lauran Hibberd

A plucky classic rock guitar sounding intro gets your ears pricked up straightaway and the rest of the track doesn’t let them rest. It is unrelenting and powerful in both the guitar sound and vocals, something that is a now trademark of a Lauran Hibberd tune.

There is a heavier rock sound from the guitar which, whilst is heard in tracks like What Do Girls Want and Call Shotgun, is utilised to its full potential and is much more prominent in Frankie’s Girlfriend.

I had heard a few of Lauran’s track prior to this but none of them had stood out quite as much as this. The vocals and lyrics portray a real sense of sass and girl power, something that I think can be heard through all of her tracks. This is the track that has now got me delving deeper into her collection, listening back to tracks that had previously maybe not fully captured me but now have got me appreciating it much more. I am so glad I have heard this as I have now discovered a truly talented artist!

Listen to Frankie’s Girlfriend here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/2WB5aNhI2E2fjwfoyDL4pV?si=ROoij7rWQMWYzyo-QnKI0g

My Blood – Skinny Living

This feels like part of a long-term project that started back in 2016, with My Blood being the 2nd part of the latest chapter. Earlier releases have been slightly more acoustic and building blocks to this more matured and developed sound that has given Skinny Living a clear and distinct identity. Their first releases contained some very powerful vocals with some simple yet effective melodies and whilst proving to be very popular, lacked that special something to differentiate them from other generic similar sounding tracks. However, they have brought the pieces together for My Blood and it has paid off tremendously. This is much more upbeat and groovy, especially as the chorus kicks in. This catchy chorus is reminiscent of some of the iconic Amy Winehouse tracks, something that Tom Grennan has also tried to encapsulated in his music; a voice that is powerful yet majestic and a sonic makeup that brings a vague reggae beat with an upbeat melody. I think this somewhat of a second birth of Skinny Living will be very successful and is yet another band that I will be keeping a very close eye on.

Listen to My Blood here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/1WYIDkg1ocMthVRJVS3L3O?si=DNqJFtiRSjWDh1F5PrfuOA

Boyfriend – Casey Lowry

Casey Lowry doesn’t know when to stop when it comes to writing catchy tunes that will rock the summer festival circuit and indie scene. This is the 4th single released in 2019, 2 of which racking up over 300,00 streams between them and the latest, Boyfriend, having over 20,000 in just 2 weeks. Boyfriend is another track that is going to hit the heart strings of many a teenage girl, and will undoubtedly be another hit across the late summer festivals. He has a very casual and blunt aspect to his lyrical style and it is this honesty that gives an aspect of relatability to all his tracks and makes them very popular.

This is yet again another step up for him and another positive step in the right direction. Casey Lowry is an artists that I have followed for a number of years and I cannot wait to see what else he can achieve, because sure enough more success will follow.

Listen to Boyfriend here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/2hnWlOPpI7q4IBelbdEZzA?si=rtgY3oGsS_e1Gfoi7SeyvA

Stuck – Two Day Coma

Opening with a simple plucking guitar rhythm with lyrics sang in time to the beat, Two day Coma have returned with their second release following the relatively successful debut single Shudder. Stuck appears to be very simple but listen closer in and a whole new set of layers appear and reveals the complexity hidden behind the track. After the slow start, Stuck quickly turns into what sounds like chaos. However, everything is all perfectly synchronised together and ends up creating quite a masterpiece. 

After listening back to their debut EP from 2017, I instantly recognised the link that I had been searching for. The likeness in the sonic makeup and style of Two Day Coma is remarkably reminiscent of the early days of Little Comets. If they manage to follow along the same line as the North-East 4-piece, and continue creating a blend of peaceful intimacy and intricately manufactured harmonies and instrumental craft, they will undoubtedly have a great career.

Listen to Stuck here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/6wFV3bkbwk6x3cNkLNztKr?si=KCO05EPiRSi3HVeGdkmkDQ

Good Enough – Rachel Chinouriri

The opening electronic beat on Good Enough, although not explicitly, gives you an indication as to how the track will evolve. It starts relatively slowly, but you can sense a building of energy behind that is ready to be released and explode. Listening more and delving deeper into Rachel Chinouriri’s archive, I am really quite impressed and have found yet another artist that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. Sonically it has some style from Loyle Carner if it was slowed down a few bpm, and vocally it is certainly along the same lines as the likes of Billie Eilish in her slower tracks. She is able to add an edge of cheeky sass to her tone and is able to release and express the full power of her voice whilst also restricting and keeping it more under control. Having the ability to produce such a wide range of sounding tracks coupled with an immensely engaging sumptuous voice, Rachel is most certainly an artist that I will be keeping tabs on for the foreseeable future.

Listen to Good Enough here:

https://open.spotify.com/track/718qSz1RKYo2VRQnGDXjbJ?si=A-Rdg5fDScCpnwVMACytnQ

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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