London five piece Pumarosa have received much acclaim since rising to people’s attention in the past couple of years and have released their stunning debut album, The Witch, on Fiction Records.The album itself oozes charisma and sees Pumarosa avoid being pigeon holed into one genre showing the diversity within the band as well as a sharp ability to experiment with sounds.
The forlorn, ambience of album opener Dragonfly provides a mesmerising atmosphere which encapsulates this enthralling record.The album’s title track is a truly majestic track which elegantly glides through its understated tones before building into a great ending tinged in psychedelia.Coming in at an epic seven and a half minutes the grandiose Priestess is a highlight of the record with a slow rumbling beginning that slowly graduates into a cacophony of an ending leaving the listener in absolute awe.
The surprisingly bouncy synths contrast the title of My Gruesome Loving Friend is a close to an out and out pop song that Pumarosa come whilst also featuring some introspective lyrical content.The ethereal and harmonious vocals on Barefoot see things slow down a bit, however it is this change of pace that really makes this spine-tingling track glow.As The Witch is brought to a close on a high with the foot stomping Snake, which ensures the record doesn’t have a bad song on it, you can’t help but be inspired by this great band who have all the signs pointing towards a huge future.
Aradia are an experimental post rock four piece from Portland who have self-released their self-titled EP.The drawn out, brooding intro to opening track Exile builds up a huge sense of anticipation before developing into a masterful track full of swirling guitars.Next up is Frantic a slow burner of a tune which leads you into a false sense of security before reaching a crescendo including a closing section which fits the title perfectly.Skin Changer follows the quiet/loud format which Aradia seem to do so well as well as demonstrating on this instrumental record that vocals are not always needed as excellent musicianship can speak for itself.The thought provoking Rotten has more than a shoegaze feel to it as well as featuring an introspective tone that ensures Aradia draw things to a close in a fine manner.
Josephine And The Artizans (JATA) are a London based band, formed by the enigmatic Josephine Permaul, who fuse classical music alongside hip hop to startling results. Hip-Hopera: Act Two is the latest EP in a sequence of highly impressive releases from this group which sees them continue going from strength to strength.
I first came across JATA a while ago and to be honest I was sceptical on the bands concept however it’s tracks like the EP opener, What It Takes, that proves any doubts I ever had. Invictus quickly follows with an infectious intro which verges on 80’s synth pop before delving into the contrasting rap and operatic vocals that manage to compliment each other so well. This short but sweet record concludes with If I Lose Control which features some elegant strings that help this harmonious track flow smoothly throughout as well as emphasising the versatility of this unique band.
The latest offering from Wakefield duo The Do’s comes in the form of the single W.T.F, released on the independent label Philophobia Music.Full of menacing and fuzzy guitars, that has become a trademark of this extremely talented band, the track itself sees them keep up the fine form that has been demonstrated on previous releases.The chorus breaks into a glorious cacophony of noise that leaves you surprised that two people can make such a racket in addition to leaving you with the hope that W.T.F could be a teaser to a full-length record in the future.
Hailing from the North Yorkshire Moors, Avalanche Party are the latest signings to Clue Records and have made their single, I’m So Wet available courtesy of the independent label.As is now expected from anything brought out by Clue Records this is yet another barnstorming track from a band that I already can’t wait to hear more from.This sublime garage rock tune firmly roots itself in psychedelia in addition to guitars that swirl around the chorus that looms fascinatingly over you.I’m So Wet then builds into a track that leaves you with such a sense of urgency that made me go find out about this band as well as making me truly excited to her more from Avalanche Party.
One Day, After School (ODAS), began life as Wakefield musician Dean Freemans solo project which has since developed into a full band which now seems to have found a settled line-up.Having released various singles and EP’s in the past ODAS have now released their debut album, The Invisible Anchor, on Philophobia Music.ODAS describe themselves as Post Everything I’ll try to steer away from too many post rock/punk references as the band have quite clearly stated this for me.
Opener Deepsleep’s pounding beat drives through this instrumental track full of swirling guitars as well as understated keys, which combine for an exhilarating start to proceedings.21st Century Winters somehow manages to breeze effortlessly through the quiet/loud contrast which leads nicely into latest single Hammer & Anvil a brooding tune which stays with you long after its conclusion.The progression of ODAS’ sound can be acutely heard on tracks such as Arc which leads you into a false sense of security before building into a crescendo that is rapidly followed by the album’s title track which sees the band revert towards their sound on previous releases showcasing how much variety The Invisible Anchor carries.
It’s hard to see that the title of, When I loved Music, Everything Was New, isn’t reference to the recycling of bands influences in music which is inevitable, however the virtuosity displayed on the guitars make for a standout moment on the record.The somewhat muffled tones of Becoming Dust make for a shoegaze feel leading into the swooning beginnings of For Coca Cola which builds up into a wall of sound and feedback.The Invisible Anchor continues its rich vein of form with There Is Nothing For You Here which features the quiet and loud balance that ODAS seem to hit so well before being brought to a fitting end by the exquisite Escape Notes which is about as close to punk rock as the band gets.
Although it has been a long time in the make ODAS’ debut album was worth the wait and it somehow manages to leave you with hope despite the occasional post fatalism feel it has as well as leaving you longing for a shorter wait for album number 2.
London’s Divisionists have released their debut album, Daybreak, on the independent label Mount Watatic Records. With distinct melodies that hold this record together, Daybreak has a real sincerity to it which offers the chance for listener and musicians to unite.
Divisionists ensure that the album gets off to an impossibly good start with the mightily impressive Say Can You, a rip-roaring tune that harks back to guitar pop of the 90’s accompanied by fuzzy riffs that tear through the song. The aptly titled Dream Landscape sees some understated tones in addition to the soft guitars that swooon through this track and although the vocal content is low, when they do kick in they are special which allows Divisionists to show that less is sometimes more.
The band also cover a plethora of genres throughout Daybreak which allows the album to remain interesting for its duration and songs such as The First Casulty have more of a traditional rock sound to them, however there is enough of a twist taken on this kind of music to avoid a repetitive sound of the past. The ability to slow the pace right down is also demonstrated on Colours (Song For A Spaceman), a tune who’s key to its effectiveness is held within its simplicity.
All Fall Down sees the band dip their toe into a folky sound which features lyrical content that pulls at your heartstrings making for an emotive moment on this excellent record. Daybreak is brought to a close with its longest track We Must Be Careful a grand tune leaving you yearning for more with glorious harmonies in addition to a virtuous guitar solo rounding off a superb debut album from the talented Divisionists.