Leif Erikson are a London-based five-piece who craft quietly emotive, effortlessly explorative transatlantic pop: five unique life journeys brought together under the namesake of a little-known Icelandic explorer, believed by many to have been the first Westerner to reach the shores of America. And at a time when an increasing number of new bands see depth and substance as a potential commercial risk, lead singer and guitarist Sam Johnston’s socially conscious lyrics project a disarming honesty.
They are returning with a new EP early next year, and we’re sharing new single ‘Matter’ in advance. A swirling, atmospheric cut, ‘Matter’ has a fluid, jam-like structure that expands and contracts gracefully, with vocals entering and receding with ease around bluesy stabs of guitar. Its free nature makes it wash over you like a dream.
NANCY, the enigmatic English dream-pop project of an as-of-yet-unnamed singer-songwriter, has released the second single, “French Cinnamon,” from their forthcoming debut EP Mysterious Visions.
NANCY first emerged on the scene with a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “Boots,” and their love of vintage-pop stylings has become an important component in their androgyne-glam shell. NANCY’s songs find FM radio gold corroding into strange, misshapen forms.
Founded by Landon Franklin and Logan Gabert, the band is a mix of seventies rock with modern sensibilities – in fact, they consider themselves to be a part of a new age for rock and roll music. Their sound is comprised of emotionally dynamic, groove-filled compositions that lay the foundation for Franklin’s thought provoking poetry. Gabert’s guitar leads, abounding in both power and delicacy, soar with an enigmatic finesse. Formed in 2014, this Victoria-based 4-piece has quickly become one of Canada’s most exciting up-and-coming bands. Over the past year, the group has been hard at work playing their way coast to coast across the great nation of Canada. Having added organist Thomas Platt to their line-up in early 2015, the addition has taken the band’s already captivating experience to even greater heights. They continue to progress not only within the world’s blossoming underground rock and roll music scene, but overflow quite seamlessly into the realm of popular music culture.
Everything in Hop Along revolves around Frances Quinlan. Because, as well as being the founder of the band, Quinlan has one of those magnetic personalities that charms you from the word go. It is said, and it is true, that she doesn’t have one voice but 10: she can carry whatever song you want sounding tough, sweet, bluesy or screaming her head off, whatever the occasion requires. She makes you to actually believe in something. Luckily her bandmates (that include her brother on drums) are a versatile and nervy combo that carries Hop Along straight to the golden era of Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel and Modest Mouse. But this is 2018 and they are in Philadelphia. So besides their indoubtable indie rock skills, they offer a wide stylistic range and an empowering feminist discourse. Get on board, this is addictive.
All those times when you refused to believe that Animal Collective were an updated version of The Beach Boys, you were right: the real update of the Wilson brothers’ harmonic Rubik cube is Palm (just listen to Composite, go check it). Although, as this Philadelphia quartet takes on the beach legacy by the most tortuous of the routes (that of wild pop experiments) they also sound like Avey Tare and Panda Bear. So you were half right… anyway, who cares? Palm’s melodious and instrumental talent is a hydra: out of every tune or arrangement that they splice there come several new ones. And all of them are good. Today in concert at La 2 of Apolo. Primavera Club.
South Central L.A. rapper and singer Duckwrth returns with another dose of wavey neo-soul vibes. His ability to blend different genres and still deliver a dope flow makes him such an underrated dude in the current music scene. There’s no doubt he’ll be on everyone’s playlist in the near future.
The band share eclectic inspiration from classic greats such as Shuggie Otis, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. And you will often hear Steely Dan and The Beach Boys humming from within their studio walls. They use and have studied recording techniques from a bygone era, solely using analogue synthesisers and equipment. With musical roots firmly in the jazz and soul traditions they have built a richly textured, flowing, contemporary sound. Their music is characterised by its jerky grooves, mellow, silky vocals and harmonically complex song writing.
Themes of lost love and broken dreams sit gently against a soft, summer backdrop. Ultimately, the sound is unique – it is the product of the band’s bare hands, put together in the space they worked tirelessly to perfect. They’ve already released a debut album called ‘Giving In’ and few days ago their brand new single ’49 Years’.