The Round-Up (31/03/23)

BOY, this week’s Round-Up is GENIUS! (Thank goodness the music below is much better than our jokes. Check it.)

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Delights – Sweet Spot

Sometimes you just need a vibe fueled jam to get you through the day, and the newest song from Delights perfectly scratches the itch. This track features some amazing sounding bass and guitar parts, just drenched in some beautiful effects that give it that perfect late spring/early summer feeling. [HP]

Also new this week…

Still Blue – Honeysuckle Daydream
The vocals out of Still Blue add a level of interest that sets this track apart from all the other bubblegum indie pop songs about dreamy crushes that haven’t yet lost their shine to the depths of unrequited love. It’s not the soft, melodic Clairo category, but it’s also not the forceful punky sound we’d get from the likes of Beach Bunny. I’m not quite sure what to call it, but I’m intrigued for sure. Also, sending love to the muffled drum track at the beginning as I’m realizing I’m a sucker for a good drum intro. [RG]

Fake Turins – Beatnik
From the second that dance-style drum beat came in, I knew I was gonna dig this song. It’s a slow and understated build, but when the song reaches its conclusion, it has so much more energy than the beginning. Easy song to just get lost in the groove with. [HP]

Keyside – Paris To Marseille
With a nod to Johnny Marr’s guitar tone and Jake Bugg’s vocals, ‘Paris to Marseille’ inspires a nostalgic warmth. Strap into your Adidas Gazelles, grab a pint of Fosters and you’ll be ready to follow this Scouse collective on the gig scene this year. [LW]

Royel Otis – Going Kokomo
I think Royel Otis may have cracked the formula for crafting perfect indie pop. I already thought it from the first time I heard their breakout single “Oysters In My Pocket,” and this new track just confirmed my suspicion. Hopefully more people will catch on to this duo’s potential soon. [HP]

Alex Lahey – Wouldn’t Let Me In
Classic Alex, right here. Driving, snarky and upbeat, ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’ even has some horror-punk undertones making this a lovely future selection for a Halloween playlist (not that I want to think that far ahead…). [TF]

The Pearl Harts – Hypocritical
This track is a banger from rock duo The Pearl Harts, calling out some of the typical hypocritical behavior we see out of musicians (“The boys in the band tryin’ to walk me on a wire, it’s a damn shame, don’t wanna take the blame”). A really solid, deep riff carries the song, so it’s noticeable when it drops out in the bridge, shouts and percussive sounds punctuating the track. And just for good measure, there’s a punchy “hey” shouted throughout the chorus, perfect for audience participation. [RG]

Sorry Girls – Aftermath
It’s funky, it’s fresh and it’s goth – Sorry Girls have made a real bop with ‘Aftermath’. Their ethereal synths call back to Cocteau Twins and nostalgic dream-pop, but they have a modern edge that sets them apart from the ones that came before them. It strikes the difficult balance between the coldness of post-punk/goth styles and the upbeat danceability of synth pop. A track you’ll be happy to have stuck in your head all day. [VG]

TEKE::TEKE – Gotoku Lemon
Gokoku Lemon is the type of song I’d describe as wonderfully off-kilter (with a music video to match, if you’re interested) and the band leans into all of the oddities present in the song. Borrowing from all sorts of styles, the song somehow works perfectly despite sounding like it shouldn’t. [HP]

cruush – Features
cruush are quickly becoming a name to pay attention to in the world of shoegaze and dreamy post-punk. ‘Features’ is one of their most delicate offerings yet, letting soft vocals take centre stage over stripped-back instruments. The song takes its time, building its drums and guitars up slowly and expertly crafting a hypnotic atmosphere you’d happily get lost in. [VG]

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Middle Of The Morning
Jason and crew opt for a simple approach to production here –some piano, light drums, and guitar all play pretty tame roles– but it’s the perfect option for this track. It’s all about the lyrics here as they shine through with powerful, yet precisely controlled vocals. It’s a sharp, candid account of feeling low and alone, with lines like “I’ve tried to be grateful for my devils, and call them by their names, but I’m tired and by the middle of the morning I need someone to blame.” It’s the quintessential track to show that something simple and honest can best a flashy beat or riff any day of the week. [RG]

Jessy Lanza – Don’t Leave Me Now
Jessy Lanza has a pretty incredible ability to write these highly produced electronic dance songs that despite being 90% synths feel just so human. I think it’s largely because of her immaculate vocal performances, which are on full display on this track. Either dance with the beat or fall into the emotions of the lyrics, either way it’s easy to enjoy this song. [HP]

spill tab – Window
You’ve seen spill tab working her way up ‘Ones To Watch’ lists for the last couple of years, and ‘Window’ is proof that the buzz surrounding the French-Korean singer is well justified. Here, her alt-bedroom-pop intersects with grungy, shoegaze elements and a fabulous bassline that gives way to dreamy vocals and understated guitars. ‘Window’ doesn’t confine itself to a single genre or vibe, instead taking you on a journey into the world of spill tab. [VG]

waterbaby – Airforce blue
So maybe I wasn’t sold on the overall production of this song, but I am rapidly getting over it because I’m obsessed with waterbaby’s voice and flow. Her voice is gorgeous and don’t even get me started on the lines “Airforce blue eyes, white lies, first tries, crooked smiles” followed later on by “last kiss, no risk, chapped lips, sometimes I wish we never even tried.” I mean, come on! She doesn’t even need verbs to bring me to the emotions that flood our hearts and minds at the beginning and ending of a relationship. I’ll just be busy geeking out over her skills and waiting to see what she does next. [RG]

Tribe Friday – Swimsuit
Honestly, I was sold at “Swedish, bubblegum emo-pop”. Not sure that’s how I would describe Tribe Friday, but they definitely got my attention, and thank goodness. The dichotomy between the mellow-yet-upbeat verses and the in-your-face, grungy chorus is absolutely on point and the pastel-laden video is just the cherry on top. [TF]

Contributor Key:
[TF] TJ Foster, [RG] Rory Graham, [HP] Holden Predmore, [LW] Lydia Webb, [VG] Vicky Greer

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