Single Review – Jagwar Ma – Give Me A Reason

With 2013’s Howlin, the Sydney based duo of Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield proved themselves to be talented producers and forgers of differing sounds. Since then, Australian music has been increasing in both critical and popular stature so it seems only apt that as they support Tame Impala on their tour, they release details of their second album Every Now and Then. They’ve already unveiled the sharp synth acid house style of ‘OB1’ and now they’ve released ‘Give Me A Reason’. This track maintains the tripping rhythms of a Stone Roses track, but is much more fluid with free, meandering synth chords and resonant beats. These single a dance rhythm and echoed Pop vocals. It is a track that seems to initially lack direction, but goes on to grow and flourish as each shift is seamless. A promising album is in the offing.

Owen Riddle

This Weeks Music Video with Frank Ocean, Metallica, Neon Indian, Coldplay, BANKS and Will Butler

Single Review – Jamie T – Power Over Men

Before his last album (Carry on the Grudge), Jamie T would have been remembered as the laid-back, hip-hop esque cockney poet who churned out great hits like ‘Sheila’ and ‘Sticks n Stones’. 2014 changed that. Carry on the Grudge changed all that by demonstrating Jamie’s ear for a diverse range of music. The LP ranged from having ballads like ‘Love is only a heartbeat away’, to the soul infused ‘Trouble’ to the rage of a song like ‘Peter’ and the indie-pop fun of ‘Zombie’. The most impressive caveat of the LP was that he managed it all without losing out on his impressive lyrical style. With its slightly reverbed guitars and soul styled backing vocals in the chorus, Power over Men, whilst catchy, fun and clever offers very few signs of a new direction for his new album, Trick Splash, which releases on the 2nd September 2016.

Callum Christie 

This Weeks Music Video with Tegan and Sara, Massive Attack, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Raveonettes and Belle & Sebastian 


Blossoms – Blossoms Review 

Blossoms have been labelled as many things – ‘another attempt at lad-rock’, ‘an Oasis remake’, and, most offensive of all, ‘psychedelic.’ However, their eponymous debut seems to make all these statements redundant. The album is an intermingling of sizzling pop synths and a safety net of subtle yet punchy rock hints, making it the ideal album for those willing to expand their music taste.

The first three tracks seem to provide a different angle to Blossoms’ sound, keeping listeners intrigued to see what they’ve come up with next, yet nothing ever seems out of place. First off is the Radio 1 favourite Charlemagne, made instantly captivating by the chimes of the synth intro reminiscent of an 80s martial arts movie. The track boasts an incredibly catchy chorus sandwiched between snappy verses you could recite the lyrics to after a couple of listens. And at a cool 2 minutes and 47 seconds, the band could not have chosen a more entrancing first declaration of their un-Oasis-ness. At Most A Kiss follows, still parading similar 80s twinkles, but this time with a more obvious rock element. The bass is more forceful, and a stern guitar hook ties the bridge to the final chorus. Completing the opening trilogy is Getaway. The tracklist dissolves the profound synths one by one; Getaway, unsurprisingly then, is much more settled than one and two. This angle I am going to liken to The Script. Not only does lead singer Tom Ogden sound like Danny O’Donoghue with a tickle in his throat most distinctively here, but the track takes on a more pop-based approach, with more simplistic lyricism and a chanting chorus. However, the track never disregards a degree of rock effervescence, similar to The Script’s methodology, yet more 80s powered. After the first three, most of the succeeding tracks seem to dip into the approaches the trilogy explores. Texia and Cut Me and I’ll Bleed follow the framework of Charlemagne. Blown Rose and Blow are more reflective of At Most A Kiss, whereas Getaway’s predecessor Honey Sweet is mostly The Script.

Despite this, there are some tracks that diverge from these agendas. Smashed Pianos is a starlit track: from the opening underwater-like synths to the closing seething build, the song is fairly haunting and very different from any of the other numbers. My Favourite Room is the most telling of their unjust Britpop status, with an admittedly Wonderwall-esque acoustic. This track is the one that draws the most similarities to the grungy 90s. This stripped-back number focuses of Ogden’s powerful vocals, laced with sweet harmonies from his bandmates, supported only by acoustic chords and the glimmer of keys towards the end. Concluding track Deep Grass is formed by flickering synths and an echoic hook, making this track their most electronic on the album and a possible signpost for more robotic explorations in the future. And as the track fizzles away with the quivering synths, all the critics and journalists labelling Blossoms as a purely Britpop band are forced to withdraw their statements.

Blossoms have created an extremely promising debut, with glimpses off pop, rock, indie and no-nonsense nostalgia. Such a mixture of styles makes for an appealing tracklist for all sorts of music enthusiasts, and has justified their place of the BBC Sound of 2016 shortlist.

Blossoms – Blossoms: 8/10

By Eleanor Chivers

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