Independent label Philophobia Music have resurrected their 3×3 EP series, which sees them take three EP’s, consisting of two songs each, from three separate bands and putting them together in a limited edition package. The label is also planning on making the series an annual release which sees them provide material from three great acts this time round in the form of Slurs, JJ Swimsuit and Bad Idea.
First up are Newcastle trio, Slurs whose grungey, slacker pop riffs hit you straight away on Real Pressure before the menacing bassline of Mockery further tightens the bands grip on you. JJ Swim suit is another solo project of Tim Metaclafe who has featured on this blog in various guises over the years and the dream like soundscapes he provides embrace you immediately allowing you to float away into a world of your own. the differing sound of these two acts contrast each other perfectly as well as displaying
Philophobia Music’s willingness to showcase a whole variety of artists.
Some bands just seem to pass me by and I have to say that Bad Idea were one of those until I listened to this EP and I have to say I instantly regretted not hearing them sooner as soon as I heard the lo-fi, fuzzy intro to Better. This two piece from Leeds then wrap things up perfectly with the sweet melodies Bailing which make for yet another superb release from Philophobia Music in addition to being a great introduction to three impressive acts.
You can get the EP here.
Benjamin Shaw recently released his latest album, Megadead, which also sees him team up yet again with the fabulous independent label Audio Antihero.
The smooth intro of Megadead Dot Party eases you into the beginnings of this record before the whole lo-fi goodness All Body Start Feeling Down reverberates superbly around you. Megadead also sees Shaw take on a far more experimental sound with electronics than I have previously heard from him as can be heard on tracks like PUSH IT DOWN and although he still carries a sense of melancholia there are still moments that shimmer with positivity like on the sublime Terrible Feelings!
The pace is almost brought to a halt on Blue Teeth Thursdays which has a subtle majesty that leaves you yearning for more before Shaw strips it back even more on the magnificent A Brand New Day which slowly but surely builds into a huge ball of feedback. Megadead truly does take you on an epic journey which bring you to a fitting end on the introspectively, haunting hole which goes through a whole range of emotions.
You can get the album here.
The Mountain forces the Future and the Force cause the Rain (The Mountain) is the fifth studio album from Mi Mye. In addition to this Jamie and Emily from the band have also formed the independent label Coble Records of which The Mountain… will be its debut release.
Opening track Before the Storm sets the tone for the entire record in beautiful, mesmerising fashion which has soft understated tones that bring out an endearing fragility that immediately makes you stop in your tracks. Mi Mye show it’s not all-out low-key affair however on OK So which builds into an epic tune which has a grandiose feel that instantly surrounds you, previous single Your left side is a particular highlight on The Mountain…which yet again displays the versatility and charm of this band.
Although Mi Mye will always have a Scottish feel due to lead singer/songwriter Jamie Lockhart’s origins I, amongst many others, will always class them as hailing from my hometown especially the affinity that Wakefield and Lockhart seem to have. This album really takes you expertly through a range of emotions which can be heard on the wonderfully melancholic If you draw a Diamond which brilliantly combines soft, simpler sounds with subtle intricacies. Closing track That night in Thurso ensures things get off to a fitting conclusion, featuring a big group sing along which encapsulates yet another lovable album from the great Mi Mye.
You can get the album herehere.
Black Ribbon is the latest project from Tim Metcalfe who has previously released material under various guises, as well as being part of several band. This record sees Metcalfe team up with the independent label Philophobia Music, of which he has been a stalwart since the label’s incarnation 10 years ago.
As soon as the screeching industrial synths of opening track, Receiver kick in you know your instantly onto a winner with this album before the darker, more brooding tones of Cowboy can’t help but remind you of Trent Reznor in his heyday. The infectious beat of tracks like Surveillance is a recurring theme throughout Strobe, the tune immediately lodges itself in your head before building into a rousing finale.
The distorted synths and guitars of Plug X make this a must hear, stand out tune that despite coming in at over six minutes long, I for one would have happily had it carry on for twice as long. Although I have spoken about how Strobe is dipped in nostalgia Black Ribbon do more than a good enough job of giving it a modern twist as can be heard on the understated, melancholic Cop Slang. This album really sounds like it could soundtrack a video game from my youth especially on album closer, Tulsa which feels like your preparing to face an end level boss, while also concluding what is truly an exceptional record.
You can get the album here.
Georgia Fearn is a 17-year-old singer/songwriter from Wales and she has released her debut album Perfect on Paper.
Opening track L’Amour is a piece of chamber pop perfection and ensures this record gets underway to a blinding beginning. Fearn manages to effortlessly cross between genres throughout the album as can be heard on the folky tones Misty Mae before going into the grandiose, Avant Garde Be Careful What You Wish For. Perfect on Paper also leaves time for some floor fillers in the form of tracks like Sharp Objects which has a hook that draws you immediately in leaving you longing for more.
The album’s title track emphasises the lyrical and vocal maturity that features heavily on this well-crafted pop record. You are also taken through a whole whirlwind of emotions on the pic journey that is Perfect on Paper and nothing quite tugs at the heartstrings like the yearning, piano led Emptiness which is full of sorrow yet somehow leaves with the remnants of what feels like hope. This record really is a fine debut effort and I would be very interested in hearing how Georgia Fearn will develop her sound in the future as well as looking forward to any upcoming releases from this talented teenager.
You can get the album here.
Wakefield’s Chloe Juliette Beswick has released the album, Popwitch on independent record label Philophobia Music.
The hauntingly atmospheric Intro leads superbly into the wonderful lo-fi shoegazey tone Apocalypse Eyes which immediate puts this record onto a pedestal from which it does not return. Beswick also displays she is far more than a one trick pony and is able to cross between genres with ease on the brilliant Roses which is full of breezy indie pop guitars that allows you to lose yourself in its undeniable charm.
Popwitch also contains a raw, emotiveness which can be heard on the slowed down, blissful track Treeface that surrounds you in a cocoon of sumptuousness. The hypnotic vocals really soar on this record and really help in taking tracks like Little Rooms before the brilliantly brooding slow burner Covered in Hate brings this excellent album from a uber talented musician to an end.
You can get the album here.
Halifax band Violet Disguise have self-released their latest single, Bones and although it came out last year it is only a recent discovery to myself. The track is an excellently crafted lo-fi tune, which along with the bands DIY ethos are two things which I absolutely love which any long-time readers will be more than aware of. As soon as I hear the garage rock guitars of the intro to Bones I knew that Violet Disguise were truly a band that I wanted to get behind. The heartfelt vocals on the chorus combine with some glorious melodies to really take this track to another level whilst also giving it a sound that could easily be an instant indie hit. Since hearing Bones I’ve learnt that the band have had a couple of members leave so I really hope they can work something out that will enable them to release more material in the future.