Single Review – Sløtface – Pitted

A fizzy headed, joyously honest dose of pure pop-punk, at its absolute adolescent best, Sløtface’s new single ‘Pitted’ is an energetically, frank slice of modern life. Third track released in build up to the Norwegian band’s forthcoming debut album; ‘Try Not To Freak Out’, a title which without a doubt will be hard to abide by, ‘Pitted’ see’s vocalist Haley Shea tell the familiar story of protagonist who would rather stay home and watch Netflix on the sofa, while eating a family size bag of Doritos, than venture out into the wild. Forced to stray into the land of alcopops, luckily for all those involved, they soon find themselves quickly transformed into the life of the party. Perfectly encapsulating those blurring eyed, stumbling moments that leave you wondering; did I really scream Beyoncé is the true queen of the world or was that just a strange hazy dream? ‘Pitted’s punchy hook and heartwarming sarcasm create a hopelessly youthful, addictively life-affirming track.  

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Anna Of The North – The Dreamer

Anna Of The North is an alternative pop artist from Oslo, Norway and her new track ‘The Dreamer’ is out today with only a handful of tracks behind her. Washed out synths open the track and remain in the background as the beat arrives and more warped electronica grows from it. Her vocals are easy on the ear and fit in  perfectly with the hazy pop she is producing here. As the song progresses the beat is layered with tumbling drum samples and sharp, snappy percussion upon which this track ends. It transcends the divide between pop and alternative themes and she’s kept tem broad in this case to combine them so well. One to look out for in the future.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Lucy Rose – Work It Out Review

The nice and breezy folk pop that was Lucy Rose’s debut Like I Used To from 2012 was an easy and safe way to get herself established as a solo artist, dipping into the fan-base of Bombay Bicycle Club and others. With her second studio album Work It Out Lucy put an emphasis on her development from her first album and that’s encouraging thing when tackling the well worn notion of the notorious second album and without the safety of her first album being an option for a second, development just has to be the all encompassing term to accompany the album.

‘Our Eyes’ shows that a change of direction seems to be evident. From this she has moved away from the folk-ish elements of her work to a more groove orientated track with prominent bass-lines fused with airy riffs and synth chords. Despite the tumbling percussion, it makes for a subtle track led by her soft wistful vocals that move beyond intimacy and towards melodic hooks. The track has a basic sense of building and deconstructing sound to fixate the listener and provide a peak in sound which is a sure sign of a good pop tune. A solid effort here. ‘I Tried’ is very much set against the light beats of ‘Our Eyes’ and offers up a more considerate approach with simple piano-ballad instrumentation accentuated by echoed percussion and Lucy’s vocal in perfect isolation. From this the song grows darker and bolder with rumbling electronica in the chorus and her isolated and clear vocal becoming a little more distorted and muted. It is a great example of a darker and shadowy song of contemplation which she delivers with all grace and eloquence. ‘Cover Up’ take that rumbling electronica and applies it to a light dance track with the soft beats bouncing off it along with Lucy’s higher, quick-fire vocal. The vocal fluctuates as the electronica sweeps and shifts and features her distorted vocal that’s fed back in reverse in intervals throughout the song. A brilliantly produced song which pulls off a more complex song structure.

‘Like An Arrow’ leans a little more towards the breezy folk pop style of her debut, but at least here she expands upon it with the cushioned beats of a drum machine and an instrumentation that spreads and grows with sweeping riffs and strings. The song perhaps looks a little tame next to the first two singles though. ‘Into The Wild’ is an intimate folk track with the soft scratchy riffs and the echo applied to them and her vocal which is as finely poised and melodic as ever. These tracks do go against the aim of development and whilst delivered well and adding depth to the album, it does little to raise the album to something higher and is too familiar to engage with enthusiastically. ‘Koln’ is a more expansive guitar driven track which offer up nice peaks and troughs musically and allows Lucy to test her vocals, yet tracks like ‘My Life’ see her falling into her comfort zone again. Tracks like ‘Work It Out’ have that bigger, shaking production and really seem to have a purpose too. It’s an odd album. An album of two sides. One side of her album features her gradually developed and expansive sound and methods whilst the other features those idling English countryside daydreams that are distant from musical reality. With Work It Out Lucy has went in the right direction with one foot into that reality, but she’s not quite there yet.

Lucy Rose – Work It Out = 7/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Beck – Dreams

Beck has made a fairly rapid return from his Grammy Award Winning exploits of his graceful and sweeping album Morning Phase from last year. It saw him combine everything from Classical to Neo-Psychedelic and was an album closest to a one-man effort than you can get in the 21st Century, with Beck even scoring and conducting the orchestral pieces of his last album. But now with his so far untitled thirteenth album and the first single from it titled ‘Dreams’; Beck has decided to turn lasts year’s methods on their head. ‘Dreams’ is a typically infectious pop tune with it’s snappy beat, sing-a-long vocals and falsettos. It still retains that acoustic instrumentation that Beck is so synonymous with, but there’s nothing thought provoking or contemplative about this track. Though it’s pretty random, it’s delivered with absolute ease and Beck has no problem being a pop-star in this track. The funk and rhythms fade into a warped interlude before sliding back into pop formation again. It’s been suggested that this song serves the purpose of an upbeat track for Beck to play at his shows, but who knows where his next album will land on the musical scale. Just expected the unexpected.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – HIRA KING – Run

London’s HIRA KING offers up a piece of luscious and rich electronically charged pop with ‘Run’. It’s ridiculously smooth and melodic it could have been taken from Los Angeles in 1988. The clean and pop-like vocals meander gently through the soft-edged synths and samples which fluidly progresses the song and crates a retro inspired track that is simply infectious. A debut EP will emerge later in the year and this track certainly makes it seem like a promising endeavour.

Single Review – Darren Campbell – Remember You

Darren Campbell is a talented singer/songwriter from Dundee and generally plays out an acoustic or folk leaning rock and pop sound which is something that continues to be moving to the forefront of British music with the likes of Jake Bugg on one side of the spectrum, to Gabrielle Aplin on the other. Darren is one you should look out for in this light in the future if that’s what you’re drawn to most, but likewise if you’re a fan of grabbing onto melodic hooks, acoustic rhythms and powerful yet subtle hinted vocals then you’ll enjoy him too. Especially his latest single ‘Remember You’. They have the aforementioned traits that opens with the steady rhythm of the acoustic guitar and is built upon by the lead guitar’s gentle and easy melody. Darren’s vocals give the song an extra element of fluidity as they rise and fall in tone while the utilise they percussion well during the fade before the last go of the chorus to instantly build the sound back up which acts as a bonus hook if you like. The lyrics are ones that almost anyone can relate to or understand due to the telling of love and the loss of it. The musical arrangement manipulates them and projects the emotive feel well. Simple yet effective. Remember You is out now so take a look at the link below and see what you think.

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