Friday, 24 April 2015
“Remember when hip-hop was fun?” Iris Gold asks as her tag line on her Facebook page. She has a point doesn’t she? Hip-hop has become a bloody serious business. And whilst that’s sometimes a good thing (we’re in agreement with the critical mass that Kendrick Lamar’s album is a rather brilliant listen – dense, absorbing, complex, not an easy ride) sometimes what we want music to do is lift our spirits and make us dance our ass off and nothing more. Salt ‘n’ Pepper made us do that. Betty Boo made us do that. Charli XCX makes us do that. And somewhere in between all of those fits Iris Gold.
She has three tracks on line and each of them is packed with grooves, ideas and a cartoonish sense of fun. Our favourite is her most recent upload WOW! an incessant hook-filled piece of bubblegum funk that stomps along with a sass and radio ready shoutiness – we’re streaming it below.
As another one of Iris’s tag lines suggests, clear a path for her, she’s coming through.
Iris Gold - WOW!
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Words like summery, hazy, wistful, dreamy and nostalgic are probably going to crop up a fair amount when it comes to Hazel English and her debut song Never Going Home. In fact nostalgia and the old fashioned seem to surround the way Hazel has chosen to present herself and her work, from the sun-drenched polaroid picture by Brandon Long of The Only Magic Left Is Art, to Hazel’s style, which has a casual near-preppy easy going vintage look to it.
So who is Hazel English? We know for certain that she’s from Oakland, California although she originates from Australia. We think (if we’ve got our facts right) that her old fashioned sound and image permeates right the way through to other aspects of her life (she owns a vintage store), she may have another folkier sounding musical project under a different name, and even her ‘real’ name Hazel English may not actually be her real name. Of course, we can’t be sure about any of that, Google / the internet isn’t always the truth, but the ten minutes of digging we did, if correct, revealed that Hazel is quite the creative type.
But what is certain truth is that Never Going Home is a sweetly jangling, chiming piece of indie pop with a reverb laden tunefulness that wouldn’t have sounded that out of place on the famous NME C-86 cassette from the eighties, and is, in its own small scale way, rather lovely.
Hazel English - Never Going Home
Make Your Way, Slow Down, and remixes of Dive In and Ellie Goulding; those are 4 of the silky electronic productions that have established young Irish producer Embrz aka Jack Casey as being very much one to watch. Now finally there’s new material and it’s dreamy and as delightfully gauzy as you’d expect. Featuring Australian singer Amy Rose (who picked up plenty of blog attention in her own right for the song Awake Alive last year) Embrz adds the sound of strings to this softly coated tune, the vocals drifting across the track almost as if they’re another instrument in their own right. This isn’t a song with a big killer chorus, a big build or drop, but something far more graceful. You won't forget this one, you'll remberz where you first heard it (sorry).
Embrz - Silent
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
The last time we featured Rebecca Clements we wrote: “If you’re a fan of chiming guitars and stumbling clattering drums with a real live feel to them, (take a band like The Cure as a reference point) then Pure Wasted is one to add to your library of music.” It seems that reference to Robert Smith and chums (happy 56th birthday yesterday Robert) was entirely accurate, as now Rebecca has uploaded a stripped down version of the band’s tune Boys Don’t Cry. She's also gone public with the fact that The Cure are indeed a big influence on her song writing. So thumbs up to us for well honed listening skills and thumbs up to Rebecca for having such excellent taste. Of course we’re not sure if Robert himself would approve of a cheesy thumbs up, he’s more of a grab the head as if there’s something gnawing away inside your brain man on stage, so maybe we’ll leave the thumbs up fun to Paul McCartney - he's the master of that (Google image search it you don't believe us).
Rebecca Clements - Boys Don't Cry