Popped Round-Up October 2019

Popped Round-Up

October 2019

Words: Daniel Burton 

!Editor’s Pick!

Otherkin – Would You Die For Me?

This is Otherkin’s third EP but unfortunately is to be their final release as the band have decided to call it a day. I’ve been lucky to witness an amazing journey for Otherkin, starting from seeing them supporting a then relatively unknown entity, The Amazons in a small dingy basement in Brighton, to multiple headline gigs across the country and some huge Festivals. This progress has been supported by their debut album OK, a live album and multiple EPs. This final EP was dubbed to be a new chapter of the band with them mixing up the sound, and Electric Dream certainly is that. Their previous work was much more along the punk rock road, however these new tracks are filled more with synth and are considerably slower and controlled. If this to be the final farewell from the band, they have left us with a spectacular parting present that will be heard for years to come!

Listen to Would You Die For Me?

Syncr Pick

Himilayas – The Masquerade

For a band that have over 16 million stream on Spotify, you may mistakenly think that they have been together for a very long time, but it is in fact just 3 years. Further to this, they are yet to release an album, only having an EP and 4 singles out in the public domain. The Masquerade being the latest of those singles which is yet another gritty, no nonsense, hard hitting rock hit from the Cardiffians.

I am listening to this whilst watching the football in my living-room, but it feels like I should be psyching myself up for 12 rounds with Anthony Joshua, it has such an impact on you. It almost has the effect that it could entirely eliminate literally any feelings you have and replace them with pure focus and vengeance to pursue any problem in your way. It has a deep pulsating riff that rings throughout, which is now somewhat of a Himilayas trait, and I believe this is the main culprit for such feeling arising.

These garage indie rockers have already had a huge impact on the industry and with this, they are certainly going to continue to do so.

Listen to The Masquerade:

The Zangwills – Judas on the Dancefloor

I first discovered The Zangwills just over a year ago now and featured them in our October round-up 2018, and since then they have released 5 further singles culminating in an EP, In Amongst the Glitter, from which Judas On The Dancefloor is taken. Since the last review, they have played numerous gigs across the country including ones at Gorilla and Deaf Institute in Manchester. Their previous releases had been relatively friendly and light hearted, but Judas on the Dancefloor could not be any different if it tried. The verses are predominately spoken word in a hostile manor over a deep guitar led section, but the chorus has a catchy af synth riff that dominates over the top of this and transforms the whole song into a really matured new Zangwills sound. This is great progress for the band but not exactly what I was expecting, in a good way. I was expecting this sort of style to come to fruition slightly later in their career but it can only be for the better that it has come now!

Listen to Judas On The Dancefloor:

Honeyblood – Bubble Gun

Honeyblood released their 3rd album under the band name in May, but it was the first as a solo project. Originally formed 7 years ago between Shone McVicar and Stina Tweeddale, Honeyblood have gone through a number of changes over the years and it has culminated in it moving forward as a solo project with just Stine Tweeddale at the wheel.

This is the first single since said album and is now in the second stage of this new project, so comparing it to that album, there is already a great deal of progress in terms of depth of sound and overall development of the lyrics and sonic makeup. Throughout the album, it feels like it wants to take the sound much deeper and complex in terms of the rock element but there feels like slight precaution was taken with it so it seems to dance around the idea of it and not actually fully venture there. However, in Bubble Gun Tweeddale appears to fully embrace it and creates and much more widely commercially viable rock-pop sound which is well received. If she can take the songwriting she created for the In Plain Sight album and marry this new sound to that, I don’t think there is much more that could be done for her to create her best possible music!

Listen to Bubble Gun:

Darlia – Pandemonium

My first experience on Darlia was in their 2013 release Napalam, which remains on my playlists and a firm favourite of mine to this day. Since 2014, they have released a short album, toured Japan, Germany and Australia and had another shakeup of the lineup. Whilst their original identity from pre-2015 was a solid start, these changes have definitely proved to be for the better, and the proof is in the pudding when comparing this latest release, Pandemonium, to the previous version. This is a rerecorded version of the identically titled track from 2014, however, it is a much fuller and more matured professional sound. The overall general production is far superior and if they can bring some new tracks with a production to match this level, they could create some chart breaking music.

Listen to Pandemonium:

Cousin Kula – Invitation

Cousin Kula are admittedly a very late addition to this months round-up after a trip to see The Post Romantics in London last week. Following the advice from their lead singer, I ensured I was there in time to catch Cousin Kula’s support slot. I was quite literally left gobsmacked. They brought a sound that is a truly refreshing sound compared to the other releases at the moment.

The composition of tracks is similar to this from the likes of Crosby, Stills & Nash with the sonic makeup and sounds from the likes of Tame Impala & Mac DeMarco. Hearing it live is something very special and one that I recommend you go and see ASAP because it is not long before they will have outgrown the size of venue they are currently playing.

It is like hearing some of the best composed tracks from the 60’s coupled with some of the most vibrant unique sounds that are possible to create. Essentially, imagine dragging a collaboration between Tame Impala & Neil Young through some 80’s disco, Jazz and Afrobeat and you have Cousin Kula. A creation that you won’t easily forget nor forgive yourself for missing out on if you don’t discover them soon.

Listen to Invitation:

Fickle Friends – Amateurs

Amateurs is Fickle Friends’ first single of 2019, and follows their debut album and the Broken Sleep EP from 2018. This single, whilst following their original ‘sophisticated 80’s synth pop’ sound, appears to explore some new elaborate styles to further expand and develop the Fickle Friends portfolio. It seems they have taken a more electronic route to this number and it has worked absolutely perfectly. At times it does sound slightly obscure, almost as if you are trapped in a 90’s video game, but as ever with the band, they always manage to get away with it. Having seen them live a few times over the summer, I really like how they are progressing and hope to see more of this sort of sound some through into their releases.

They have just announced a string of 7 dates across the UK in December, including a night at Omera in London which has already sold out. This tour is sure to sell out imminently so make sure you get your tickets soon.

Listen to Amatures:

On Video – Clap Trap

The East London 4 piece have released yet another infectious indie pop banger in Clap Trap. In a week it has over 6,000 streams, which is pretty good going considering it’s only their 4th single, and is the final single & title track from their EP Clap Trap. 

A high tempo and gripping bass riff opens the track and is the driving force throughout the verse. This is until the chorus kicks in where the guitar edges it out of the way and takes centre stage.

Recently On Video have been supporting Bloxx and The Pale White where they have embraced the live scene and have gained numerous fans. As for the future, they have secured a number of support slots with Spector as well as a London headline set at The Camden Assembly. This is only just the start and they have a very long way to go, and go far they most certainly will go.

Listen to Clap Trap:

James Gillespie – ICFTI

ICFTI is yet another signature Gillespie track with a powerful deep voice likened to Rag’n’bone Man & Hozier, coupled with passionate lyrics that make you lay your heart on your sleeve. The verses are relatively slow and composed but the chorus’ crash in and make a statement in the song. ICFTI is taken from his recently released 12 track debut album, Safe, which comes just 7 months on from his debut single. In this time he has also released 3 EPs and 2 singles which is remarkably impressive to say the least. And you cannot accuse him of carelessly throwing it all out there because every track is wonderfully written, carefully curated & masterfully produced.

They go out on a headline tour with a string of European dates followed by playing venues across the country including Night & Day Café in Manchester and Dingwalls in London. It’s only a matter of time before he is out playing venues twice if not three times the size of these. This is a rapidly progressing career that shows no signs of slowing down.

Listen to ICFTI:

The Cheap Thrills – Give Me Something More

Give Me Something More is taken from the their EP Vue Du Monde, which, encapsulates the singles from the past 2 years. You cannot escape the foot-tapping or singing feeling that is demanded throughout the entire song, a trait that is replicated in many of their tracks. It again is an infectious Indie-Pop number from the Liverpool 4-piece with the self-admitted ‘scouse’ vocals ever present and the synth dominated sound developed and ready to fill the huge venues they are destined to play. These childhood schoolmates have risen from playing Studio 2 and the Cavern Club in Liverpool and have an upcoming hometown headline at the O2 Academy 2 and The Finsbury in London. I think The Cheap Thrills could be a dark horse on the wider emerging talent scene and could break through in a very big way in the very near future!

Listen to Give Me Something More:

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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