Single Review – Osca – Smoke

As easy as it is to describe South London’s newest four piece talent Osca as another boy band, they’re proving to be way more than that. 2015 is set to be a packed year for the boys with the release of their latest single Smoke set for June 1st. The track sounds like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and London Grammar’s Hannah Reid had a musical baby – A blessing more brilliant for the industry than Jesus Christ was for 20AD Bethlehem. With a barely there reverb, vocalist Jack Kenworthy’s voice is somewhat hypnotic, and aided by the incredibly upbeat chorus a mood change is imminent- whether or not you felt like screaming into a pillow pre-Smoke, you’ll be all rainbows and smiles post-Smoke. BBC Radio 1 are notorious for supporting home grown British acts and are pretty accurate with which artists/acts are going to be big and when. Osca are pretty great, so obviously the lead song on their debut album Blood worked it’s way into Zane Lowe’s Next Hype, and it was played on the Future of Radio 1 show not long after, then being added to the playlists of Alice Levine, Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens. The Chinese zodiac definitely got this year wrong – 2015 is the year of Osca, not the sheep.

Hannah Crowe

Single Review – Shelter Point – Hansei

Shelter Point return with a new track entitled ‘Hansei’ prior to the release of their upcoming EP Weird Dreamers that will drop by on February 23rd. They’ve already been lauded by those such as Zane Lowe as having a bright future. Their brand of delicate and wistful electronica entwined with subtle rock elements such as the gently lapping guitars that form the foundation of this track. These are layered upon by more sweeping synths and wispy drum sections. The vocals too grow from a delicate mould to a more solid and tangible vocal amongst the gradually building sounds. Another well produced and contemplative track from the duo.

Single Review – Shelter Point – Fossil

Keep a keen ear out for Nottingham based duo Shelter Point as they’re starting to gain the attention of a wide range of BBC radio DJ’s from Zane Lowe and Annie Mac to Tom Robinson as they’re dreamy electronica starts to take hold of the airwaves. They’re to release their upcoming EP Weird Dreamers on February 2nd and as a pre-cursor to that, they are releasing the lead track from it with ‘Fossils’. It fits the picture of uprooted and fluid electronic that has only subtle fixing points to the tie the song down. These are mainly born out of the vocals that sometime lift into a falsetto to match the airy instrumental production to pull the song into all directions. A dispersive track with open minded production.

Single Review – Greywind – Afterthoughts

greywind

Greywind are the brother and sister duo of Steph and Paul O’Sullivan from Killarney in Ireland. Their new single ‘Afterthoughts’ is to be released on October 31st with acclaim from the likes of Zane Lowe and Daniel P. Carter already. The track opens in a gentle fashion with smooth and echoed riff along with a isolated, crisp and slightly innocent vocal before fluidly altering her vocal to the ensuing pounding guitars, bass lines and percussion that’s similar to that of earlier pop punk bands of the 21st century which doesn’t sound particularly fresh, yet the delivery and dramatics of the transitions from gentle to unrelenting are amicable as is Steph’s vocal, which holds strong throughout. A song that showcases their practical skill more than anything else.

Single Review – Royal Blood – Little Monster

Royal Blood were formed in Brighton last year by Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. There has already been plenty of fuss and hype over them from the like of Zane Lowe and with them being on the shortlist for the BBC’s sound of 2013 poll and also with the confirmation they’ll be supporting Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park later this year. This is the second track they’ve released as a single and they have not ruled out an album this year either. With the attention and following they’ve accumulated in a rather short period of time, then it could prove to be a shrewd move from them. Their most recent single is ‘Little Monster’ which opens with raging, scuzzy guitars that are recorded in a close up and immediate fashion. The vocals are slightly distorted in a muted fashion on the verses and in a more sharper manner on the chorus as he ups the anti. The percussion is as you’d expect with the crashing and rapid fills. There is your token guitar solo in there too for good measure. It is a song full of energy and pent up fury but it is just yet another variation of Desert Rock. Like most new bands there is absolutely nothing you can put your finger on that is new or unique. All you can do is file them next to QOTSA, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, The Family Rain, Drenge, Deap Vally, FIDLAR etc. etc. etc. I’m in no doubt that they are not the best out of this sludge of scuzzy guitars but if you want another to add to your collection then here they are.

http://youtu.be/BvAdgDcM9X4

Image from www.theguardian.com