Let’s Talk Music – March 2020 Edition

So life is weird huh? Despite having buckets of time I’ve not been that motivated about posting. Perhaps because I had so many awesome projects and gigs coming up to be posted about that are now all cancelled.

However, although many artists have been pushing back releases due to the COVID-19 situation I do have a few awesome tunes to write about.

Make sure you check out all the artists in this post. They need your help right now perhaps more than ever.

“Twenty//25\\five” (Single) by The Sunset Beach Hut

Before lockdown was imposed and quarantine hell begun, the last act I saw on stage was indie-pop quartet The Sunset Beach Hut. “Twenty//25\\five” is the band’s first single since 2018 and I hope this is a sign of much more to come as I believe they’ve got a lot of promise.

I particularly love the uplifting guitar being accompanied perfectly by a cool bass line and positive beats. I’ve been enjoying listening to this track in the sun, it has almost provided a sense of comfort in this unsettling time being carried by Aphra Smith’s smooth, beautiful vocals.

The song is both brilliant live and recorded – I definitely recommend a listen.

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“The King” (Single) by Shanghai Hostage

When I saw Coventry band Shanghai Hostage at the beginning of March I was amazed by their set – not just their music talent but these guys had awesome stage presence. Would see them again in a heartbeat.

One of the songs they played was their latest single “The King”. I challenge you not to have a bop whilst listening to this track which is full to the brim with funky rhythm and an ace bassline. The fiery vocals from frontwoman Sophie Hadlum really is the perfect match for this song as she sings and perhaps belittles an alpha male figure hence the title, “The King”.

A band not limited by genre which I find admirable as they just let themselves be taken by the music they produce regardless of what “sound” it is. There are definitely elements of rock, reggae and jazz-funk but essentially they create music to make you want to dance. So have a listen and have that dance.

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“Pleasures” (Single) by Big Ginger Kid

Indie-pop duo Big Ginger Kid have released their first new material in about three years and it is called “Pleasures”. Opening with a funky and a little bit jazzy piano chord progression I immediately listened with intrigue.

Compared to their older material they’ve definitely gone in a different direction saying farewell to the guitar riffs and raw drums whilst welcoming a more electronic sound. To me this sounds like a good change for them and it works well. They have certainly mastered the use of synths which many tend to overuse but for them the balance is right.

I like their balance of lead vocals from Luke Pritchard and BVs from Alex Williams. The pair sound like a musical match made in heaven – I look forward to more material from them.

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“i saw you in a dream and then i saw you on tv” (EP) by deepdiver

This is one of those times that I accidentally stumble upon an EP release and I am very pleased that I did. This five-track EP from the West Yorkshire band displays an act which has so much to give.

When I wrote about deepdiver‘s single “joyrider” back in January 2019 – which is the second track on the EP – I said:

“joyrider” is the 90s grunge that has been missed in today’s music scene

I stand by this. They’re bringing back a sound which is loved by so many and they’re doing it well. From “nosebleed” to “weeping sleeping” they provide material full of catchy guitar riffs, vocals made for live performances and an almost dream-pop edge. I would love to see these lads play live at some point.

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“Leisure Broadcast” (EP) by Cave Girl

Back in Autumn of 2018 I saw Birmingham garage band Cave Girl twice in only a couple of weeks. It was a happy accident. Since seeing the quartet live I have loved listening to their single “Red Leather Boots” and wondered frequently if and when they were going to release new material again.

Thankfully they have done and it is the form of a four track EP named “Leisure Broadcast”. Full with their glam-rock sound which does not disappoint it perfectly encapsulates the feeling you get when you see them perform live. Opening track “Greasy Bastard” has that classic Cave Girl guitar sound perfectly layered with bold vocals and rhythmic drums.

“Venus” is a track which takes you through the motions. It is a complex song. The guitar is both uplifting and extremely melodic. The vocals are probably best in this tune and the drum grooves throughout are incredibly catchy.

The next track, “The Duffer” screams rock n roll almost as much as the guitar shrieks in places adding to an incredible sound. I like the use of reverb particularly in this one. Last on the EP is “Lingerer”, a song which builds and builds with thumping drums and clinging guitar until it reaches climax before simmering down. The perfect way to close.

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“Dream for a Walk” (EP) by Vermillion and the Moon

Okay so this is kind of an April release but I listened to it March so I am going to include it. Ha ha.

Birmingham modern rock band Vermillion and the Moon have begun what I hope will be a long list of discography with their EP “Dream for a Walk”. Trust me, an official release from these guys has been a long time coming!

Opening with what I would describe is an instantly likeable tune is “Dead In The Water”. It has that classic rock feel with a cool drum beat and smooth vocals. This is followed by “One Day”. A track which has a pretty desirable rhythm and I really dig the vocal balance between the lead and the light BVs.

“The Hand” opens with a receptive guitar pattern before the other aspects of the song slot in nicely. There are several elements which particularly pleases me from the funky bassline in the latter half of the song to the great vocals. “Hokum Girl” is the closing track on the four-track EP and it is also their first single. A great choice if not only because of the fantastic mix.

I can really hear their musical influences including Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes seeping into their own material. It really is a great start and I cannot wait to hear more from the quintet.

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Thank you for reading. Stay safe x

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