London band Josephine and The Artizans (JATA) continue their ‘HipHopera’ saga with the release of the third EP in what is proving to be an extremely successful series of records. HipHopera: Act III is another fine example of how the band manage to seamlessly fuse hip hop and opera together, as well as featuring some inspiring, soaring vocals that can be heard on opening track If You Want Peace. JATA also tackle contemporary issues for young people such as finances on tracks like Vitae before the instantly recognisable intro of Loyalty¬ which is taken from a famous Bach composition. The catchy hooks on Second Nature ensures you get into this tune straight away as well as seeing the band hit quite a poppy moment, which draws this fabulous EP to a fitting conclusion.
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.
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.
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.
DRGM are a trio from London who produce their own unique brand of electronic music which can be heard on their latest release, EP Etc, which has come out on the records etc label.
Lead track Felt has an intriguing intro that has an underground feel to it, that grows in a huge track which also has a simple but effective video that goes along with it. DRGM slow things down on Cherryade is a demonstration of the intricacy of DRGM’s compositions as well as verging on the Avant Garde. The smooth and sleek tones of Vanilla mixes things up nicely whilst continuing to demonstrate the outstanding vocal range of the lead singer, adding to the sense of cool that radiates from this band. Drip is the shortest track on the EP which gives it a real sense of the here and now about it that would instantly get anyone moving and should be an instant hit in my eyes.
Overall I would say this record is faultless and the only complaint I had is that I wanted to hear more so hopefully there might be a full length release in the future.
Secret Tongues are a new band from London formed in 2016, there is a certain air of mystery about the band as they only have a couple of songs to date. Glass Beach begins with a smooth, flowing intro that goes nicely into a short and sharp burst of some great guitars that are over before you know it. The understated vocals really round it off to make a great tune that is also accompanied by a trippy video that is not to be missed. There are a couple more tracks to hear on the bands SoundCloud page that fall somewhere between psychedelia and garage rock that make for an intriguing sound as well as leaving you looking forward to hearing more from this Secret Tongues.
London five piece Evans the Death return with their latest album, Vanilla, on the excellent Fortuna Pop label. Whilst the band keep some of the poppy hooks and sensibilities that were a feature of their previous records, they also display a more experimental and raw sound that can be heard straight away on the superbly fuzzy and psychedelic opening track, Haunted Wheelchair.
The wide range of styles covered on Vanilla really stands out on the following two songs with frantic Suitcase Jimmy contrasting the melancholic, No Limitations, in a wonderful fashion to keep up the fantastic start to a record from a band I have admired for a long time. Evans the Death also show a new found maturity in their sound that’s certainly no bad thing and it can be heard on tracks such as the sublime Cable St. Blues.
Hot Sauce is definitely a personal highlight of the album with a bassline to die for that give it a strange funky ballad sound before ending with a fascinating wall of noise. There really isn’t a bad moment on Vanilla as can be heard on the swooning Armchair Theatre which complements brilliant shoegaze moment in the form of Welcome to Usk. The slow and lingering European Bison brings this superb album to a close and is yet another celebration of the amazing Evans the Death.