Single Review – Marsicans – Throw Ourselves In

Even with all the cheery, anthemic indie outfits out there making it big, Marsicans still seem to do it better. This rings true all the more in their latest single Throw Ourselves In. Opening with catchy lyrics and colourful bass, it’s immediately electrifying. This energy translates throughout the whole track, erupting in the ecstatic chorus, filled to the brim with idyllic harmonies and a fizzing backing track. Simultaneously, the song roars but feels calm; is full of vitality and sun but is no-nonsense and laid back. It’s Marscians doing what they do best – crowd-pleasing, gig-ready anthems with clever instrumentalism and a jaunty aura that feels concurrently like a ticket to a rock concert and a nice warm hug.
Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Marsicans – Too Good

Leeds based indie quartet Marsicans are back with new single ‘Too Good’. Sitting comfortably somewhere between The Wombats and The 1975 the track shines with that all too often hidden English summer sun. Opening slightly moodily with some pensive synth and ironic lyric; ‘I’ve been asking myself questions Like: “Are you worth it?” Tried preparing interjections, It’s a shame I’m no wordsmith,’ things quickly pounce, bouncing into life as the tracks perfectly placed childhood references, and moments of normality, somehow sugar coat without being sickly, keeping things introspective and grounded as the bands Sundara Karma style pushes things onwards; ‘you peeled the stickers off my Rubix cube, sunk my battleship.’ Lead vocalist James Newbigging passes thing over to bass guitarist Rob Brander in the bridge, leading to the final uplifting repeated chorus, a hook sure to get stuck in your head; ‘You’ve got me caught in a dream, stuck in a rut where it all seems too good to believe.’ 

Hayley Miller

Alt-J – Relaxer Review 


The “Indie Rock”, “Folktronica” trio from Leeds have been a source of great frustration for many fans of exciting and dynamic music. As we reach their third album Relaxer we have seen them release exciting and intriguing singles as they have done twice before, yet it is often when you get the rest of the album where you find it lacking in the quality that you have been teased with. The group opting for only an eight track album may suggest that they’ve ditched the album filler. If they have, then they have the abilty to be one of those countries premier acts. 

‘3WW’ was the first release from the album. It opens with folk-like acoustic chords which echo into a sparse space with only the subtle electronic highlight. The opening vocals are reminiscent of old English folk songs in combination with the click beats. The song suddenly bursts into a chorus of vocals and sweeps off into a delicate piano ballad. From here it takes on the shape of a more typical Alt-J track with distortions and more prominent acoustic chords. Wolf Alice’s Ellie Roswell adds to the vocals to accentuate and diversify the song further. It is a shifting track that is dynamic and works in the changes of tone and style well. Completely contrasting the chilled and haunting tones of 3WW, alt-J have dropped the second single from Relaxed, In Cold Blood. With binary code, smooth licks of jazz and a brilliant key change, the wonderfully sinuous single is something quite unlike alt-J have ever done before, but also exactly what we’d hope and expect to hear from the Mercury Prize winners. They’ve somehow managed to braid pop, coarse folk and indie rock into one, with a frankly astounding finish. Layers of synth, trombone and expert percussion make up the track, with inflating vocals making the simplistic close all the more effective. The trio explained the track was written back in their “Leeds days” and was unearthed and completed last year, giving it its biting pop edge on a £1.05 Casiotone keyboard from eBay. Worth it, I’d say.  

‘Deadcrush’ is a typically abrasive song in the style in many an Alt-J hit. The rumbling distortion of synths features samples of heavy breathing filtering through it. Joe Newman’s lax and winding vocals cut through the instrumentation as the song progresses, as do choppy riffs and flickering beats. The chorus is marked with James Brown samples and falsettos that ring through the track in something like an alternative Bee Gees style. ‘Adeline’ is a beautiful piece of arrangement and vocal harmony to form a graceful, yet modern ballad. Perhaps surprisingly, the third track is a cover of The Animals cover of ‘House of the Rising Sun’. It is a cool and calm affair and whilst graceful, it feels a little unnecessary, that they could have featured this as a B-side and with only eight songs on the album anyway; it hints at a lack of ideas. Tracks such as ‘Hit Me Like A Snare’ aim for rough edged Blues Rock and whilst full of energy, it lacks the thin veil of consistency that any good song needs. In retrospect half of the album is great, but that’s just four songs. It is without album filler, but it has been replaced by nothing else. Given the talent they’ve shown, it is yet another frustrating album that doesn’t deliver what it had promised, but only flashes of it. 

Alt-J – Relaxer = 7/10

Owen Riddle & Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Alt-J – In Cold Blood

Completely contrasting the chilled and haunting tones of 3WW, alt-J have dropped the second single previewing the trio’s third LP Relaxed, In Cold Blood. With binary code, smooth licks of jazz and a brilliant key change, the wonderfully sinuous single is something quite unlike alt-J have ever done before, but also exactly what we’d hope and expect to hear from the Mercury Prize winners. They’ve somehow managed to braid pop, coarse folk and indie rock into one, with a frankly astounding finish. Layers of synth, trombone and expert percussion make up the track, with inflating vocals making the simplistic close all the more effective. The trio explained the track was written back in their “Leeds days” and was unearthed and completed last year, giving it its biting pop edge on a £1.05 Casiotone keyboard from eBay. Worth it, I’d say.  

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Alt-J – 3WW

The Leeds formed Indie and Art Rock group Alt-J are back with their third studio album and their lead single from it. Relaxer is set for a June 9th release and ‘3WW is one track from the list of just eight songs that make up the album. It opens with folk-like acoustic chords which echo into a sparse space with only the additional electronic addition. The opening vocals are reminiscent of old English folk songs in combination with the click beats. The song suddenly bursts into a chorus of vocals and sweeps off into a delicate piano ballad. From here it takes on the shape of a more typical Alt-J track with distortions and more prominent acoustic chords. Wolf Alice’s Ellie Roswell adds to the vocals to accentuate and diversify the song further. It is a shifting track that is dynamic and works in the changes of tone and style well. An interesting prospect for June but will they deliver? 

Owen Riddle

Single Review + FREE DOWNLOAD – Triptocaine – Pale Ghosts

Triptocaine is the dark electronica of Jinny Finkill from Leeds; a producer who has been crafting and experimenting with electronica for over a year. Following on from her Beyond The Astral Plane EP, she has now released a free download entitled ‘Pale Ghosts’. With the help of NoctryneMusic, she has set about merging isolated elements such as dreamscape and dubstep into less travelled and unexplored areas such as dreamstep. ‘Pale Ghosts’ is a direct reflection of this with the sharp pointed bass beat diluted by soft washes and far off whirrings of electronica. Muting the beat in such a way allows the song to flow more easily and the transitions between sections without the beat going into sections with it are seamless and it makes for a fluid and natural sounding track.

Image from https://www.facebook.com/triptocainemusic/

 

Single Review – Marsicans – Chivalry

Marsicans are made up of James, Joe, Olly and Matthew and are from Leeds. With their Indie Pop sound they have been compared to the likes of Vampire Weekend amongst others. On top of this they have played the BBC introducing stage at Leeds festival so they must have something about them right? Well their new track ‘Chivalry’ suggests that they just might. It isn’t hugely profound nor is it the next big innovation, but it is a great piece of rhythmic pop music to brighten and add warmth to what has been a gloomy and damp winter. The shimmering guitars making the rhythm work together with the clean cut lead and both are balanced off with the deep rooted bass line. A combination like this just fires melodic and rhythmic hooks directly at you. It is made all the more catchy and fixating by the vocal moving around a big middle range. With the backing vocals added it offers up a real sing a long quality that should have many of the Indie clubs and festivals bouncing. An all round happy and joyous track that requires a happy and joyful reaction.

http://www.youtube.com/user/marsicansuk

https://twitter.com/marsicansuk

http://marsicans.bandcamp.com/ 

https://soundcloud.com/marsicans

Image from loudencore.blogspot.com