Ibibio Sound Machine released their debut release through Soundway Records five years ago. Fronted by British / Nigerian vocalist Eno Williams, they combine elements of West African highlife, disco, post-punk & psychedelic electro soul. From the banging sub-bass of ‘Lets Dance’ to the spiritual, gospel-tinged notes of the album’s opening track ‘Voice of the Bird’, the band have turned in a dynamic and, at times, beautiful take on modern afro-soul music. Folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s South-Eastern Nigerian Ibibio language form the creative lyrical fabric of the album. A large dose of electronic elements and an approach as influenced by their hometown of London as much as by West Africa, give the vocals and guitar lines space to breath without being overwhelmed.
Started as a solo project when he was 16 in his bedroom, London-based Will Dorey, bass player for ex-Palace and co-founder of the reggae record label Horus Records, is continuing to flourish as well as nourish his incredible music. Having released 4 albums, his latest one ‘Filoxiny’, the confidence, warmth, laid-back and freshness of his material considering he plays most instruments, produces as well as records this in his own studio is marvellous and dreamy to say the least.
Dorey draws on various types of influences from Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop to Psychedelia, that touch on different eras, always unearthing tones which are really refreshing. His debut self-titled album in 2014 had some brilliant tracks from a soothing, psychedelic combo which blend together perfectly.
Sea Girls are set for greatness. It’s a fact. Not only does their name offer up loads of puns for journalistic purposes, but they’re bringing something exciting to the table with their refreshing guitar pop sound, crafted into non-stop bangers.
Dropping their debut track last year, every single song they’ve followed it up with have been bold and beautiful and destined to be yelled – hands in the air, eyes shut – as the sun sets at a festival. As the band go from strength to strength, it’s clear they’re destined to make a splash and solidify themselves as your new faves.
From the same village and with the same friends since the first year of school, side by side they formed their first gangs and they very probably partied together for the first time at Turnmills and Fabric. Chris and Liam are like the yin and yang: each of them has something of each other. Just as Taoist concepts are deep-rooted in the ancient rural religions, their intricate and atmospheric music also has something a little rural about it. Swap China for their native Hertfordshire, a county that has the motto “trust and fear not”. Their tracks aim for infinity: they move majestically conquering cities such as New Delhi, Sydney and Lisbon, they play at synthetic electronic music and organic jazz clubs, they were recruited by Khruangbin and even seduced the queen Lana Del Rey with a remix. Anything to establish their own kingdom: Maribou State.
Life is what goes on between one Bon Iver album and another. Or, at least, this is what happens to Justin Vernon. His increasingly complicated relationship with fame and his ego have pushed the author of For Emma, Forever Ago towards unexplored terrains like those of Volcano Choir, The Shouting Matches and now Big Red Machine, a project that actually began years ago when doing a collaboration for a charity compilation together with his brother from another mother, Aaron Dessner from The National. Together they organise utopic festivals (Eaux Claires), create alternative models for the industry (the streaming portal PEOPLE) and they also write music, of course. They are surrounded by so many artist friends that it is surprising that the result of Big Red Machine, the album, is so spot on. It’s a dream crossover, a perfect fit of Dessner’s intimate epic and Bon Iver’s melancholic evocations, of Justin’s experimental laments and Aaron’s astounding progressions. Music as an excuse, as a way and as a purpose.
British vocalist, producer and songwriter Chris Ward, better known to the world as his creative side, Tropics, has released his third album Nocturnal Souls. A little bit chillwave, a little bit polyrhythmic – Chris Ward is totally tropical, but also reminiscent of that snowy animal Caribou. The new album brings together jazzy elements into electronic, pop and a little psych rock sprinkled in.
The KVB is the nom de plume of Nick Wood and his partner Kat Day, a two-piece outfit from the UK who combine an electronic-shoegaze-industrial garage musical aesthetic with an intense visual live show. In the beginning The KVB was Wood’s bedroom project, an opportunity for him to explore different sonic textures outside of the confines of his ‘regular’ musical projects.
The KVB will perform tonight their sixth album, the follow up to 2016’s Of Desire titled Only Now Forever, at Sidecar.