This week’s ‘New Releases Round-Up’ features the talents of ‘Twin Kidd’, ‘Amulet’ and ‘Lowrie’, who are all slices of that local-talent pie we consume!
First on the agenda is an upcoming release by indie pop outfit ‘Twin Kidd’. The song is called ‘Retrograde’ and is their first release since they burst onto the scene last year with their EP ‘Fold’. The song starts with an ethereal synth part, giving the song a dreamy atmosphere that’s usually reserved for more ambient pieces of music. The vocals, courtesy of Stef Williamson, are rich in timbre and sit nicely in the mix, which is a blend of bouncy basslines, crisp drums, reverb-laden guitars and new-wave synthesisers. A slower section gives way for some vocal workouts and for Rich Lyon’s synth to do its thing. Some sweet harmonies and backing vocals give the piece a Haim-esque sound and the song soon explodes into its final chorus, where all of the elements come together to create a well-textured pop song. Sam Davies’ drums return for this final chorus, giving the song that final punch. ‘Retrograde’ is well produced, allowing each instrument to be clear in the mix without overpowering the vocals, which carry the piece really well. It’s going to be self-released in June this year so if you’re looking for a feel-good playlist this summer, you can’t go wrong with including this pop gem! They have an upcoming gig at the Nottingham Contemporary this Saturday, so head on down if you’re interested.
Next up is ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, by local rockers ‘Amulet’. The single is the first release in a series of four 2017 singles that aim to showcase the band’s more experimental nature. The song starts with an atmospheric keyboard part, accompanied by a sweeping synth line, before Joe Soltysik enters the sonic picture with some strong & clear vocals, reminiscent of Kasabian’s Tom Meighan. The song’s hook comes from the falsetto leap, which recalls 2013’s rock radio staple ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ by those Arctic Monkeys, maybe you’ve heard of them? A processed drumbeat makes itself known and all of a sudden the song becomes a sparse, sultry, pop cut. Just to show that they haven’t completely forgotten their roots, a smooth guitar solo (courtesy of Jordan Bramley) bursts into the left eardrum, creating a light-electronic, rock-fusion of a song. A dash of the old auto-tune on the vocals doesn’t hurt the track either and shows ‘Amulet’s’ desire to blend the stylings of rock with the newer innovations that technology has to offer. Is that Cher on the phone? They may have changed their style for this song, but the band certainly haven’t lost any of their song writing qualities. I was dubious upon first listen but have been won over after hearing it several times. Soltysik’s vocals are delicate, Bramley provides a piercing solo, Mike Smith’s bass bubbles underneath and Jono Terzza’s drum programming fits the piece. I’d be intrigued to see if this was just a one-off and what their other experimental releases have to offer. If you’d like to catch one of their gigs, they’re performing at ‘The Bodega’ 12th May in support of ‘Short Weekends’, along with ‘Vega Bay’
Third on the ‘New Releases Round-Up’ bill is ‘Lowrie’, with his latest release ‘Hometown Swingers Club’. A grand piano kicks off proceedings, giving the song a classic feel. Lowrie’s vocals soon appear, with a descending melody that manages to fit an impressive number of syllables into a short line. The verses have a nice polyrhythmic feel to them and would provide some difficulty for anyone who isn’t great at keeping time – all sub-standard drummers should invest in a metronome! Some self-harmonisation adds a sweet texture to the piece, whilst some light percussion makes it a head-bopper rather than just a slow, emotive ballad. A reverb-laden guitar solo breaks up the song nicely and shows the eclecticism of ‘Lowrie’ as a musician. The last verse features some overlapping vocals, which are almost reminiscent of the French nursery rhyme ‘Frere Jacques’, but nowhere near the same level of ‘twee’. ‘Hometown Swingers Club’ goes through enough progression to be deemed interesting and is evidence of ‘Lowrie’s’ innovative nature as an artist. It kept me entertained and will not be tossed onto the ‘Synth-Pop by numbers’ pile that so many modern songs are destined for these days. The single is due for release 18th March this year, with an accompanying video to follow!
If this article has piqued your interest, then why not head over to our official Facebook page and give us a like. If you’ve got any upcoming releases that you’d like to submit for review then feel free to drop us a message on the page or get into direct contact with either myself or Will Robinson.
By Oliver Cobbin