#65 The soundtrack to spring

Starts with Mirah. Really stripped back alternative pop from Brooklyn. Gearing up for her fifth solo-album (due May 2014), this track ‘Oxen Music’ is suitably melifluous, described by its writer as “a break-up record. It has some moments of darkness, some twists and turns, but ultimately, there’s a resolution.”

Cloud Nothings are a boppy rock band from Ohio who grab the essence of the 90’s rocknroll grunge bands in this new track ‘I’m Not A Part Of Me’. Taken from the ‘Here Or Nowhere Else’ album due April 1st, (released on the famous Mom & Pop label out in the states which is always high quality stuff), I reckon these guys would be an absolute ball to see live!

Not everyone from New Zealand in Lorde or Zane Lowe y’know. There’s a Thomston – a brilliant new electro-pop artist who’s debut EP ‘School Night’ shows off his prowess in the songwriting department, putting him in the same spotlight as Passenger or Ed Thomson but with his own spin. The title track is the stand out track in my opinion, but browse the Soundcloud for a free listen to the whole thing.

On/off troubled /on top of the world artist Kelis has released something incredible on her soundcloud this week. Those of you who’ve been in the Alive And Amplified club for a while may have heard me mention how much I love ‘Make It Wit Chu’ by The Desert Sessions (or QOTSA depending on which mildly different version you prefer). Now Kelis here has released a beautiful bluesy track here. A heads up to the new album ‘Food’ she’s recording with Dave Sitek? Let’s wait and see..

Following on the The Neighbourhood, Sir Sly & Jaymes Young another 20-something Los Angelino has popped up on the music scene with slowed down RnB infused pop – RÁJ. I think though this deserves the full listen though. It could be something massive or one of those stand alone, but enticing tunes you pick out on shuffle every time.

The last time we talked about Tweens it was for some seriously garage punk vibes with ‘Mean’. Their next tune ‘Forever’ is far more chilled, but still sounds like frontwoman BB’s a cool ass biatch you have to pay attention to.

Is is me or does this sound Saves The Day meets Pat Stump vocals? They’re called Fireworks and they’ve got a full-length album coming out next month which could sound ah-ma-zing if this is anything to by. Although still sounding like they’re got some discovery of their own niche sound to find, this is a great introduction to our ears.

Tourist aka William Phillips from London has already been kicking about with some stipped back dance tunes that really caught out attention over the past 18months, but ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ featuring Will Heard (the guy who did the vocals on Sonnentanz) is utterly incredible. Spring anthem – I can hear this over alllllll the radio stations in no time at all.

Whilst the Brits have the likes of Disclosure and MNEK riding high, the Australian’s have a whole different sound to their distinctive dance scene. With the likes of Flume & Wave Racer one side and Sampology the other, I now bring your attention to Peking Duk, a duo from Canberra. Featuring the fresh-faced, albeit husky vocals of Sydney girl Nicole Millar – a future hit for European summer crowds no doubt.

Can I just set the klaxons off please… BRODY DALLE IS BACK!!!! Not Spinnerette, not The Distillers, but damn good solo stuff that shows this gurrrrl still got it. ‘Meet The Foetus / Oh The Joy’, is a song of two halves – the first more melodic, lyrically driven, pop infused, whilst around 2min45 in we’re transformed into a proper rarr punk song that will get your heart racing. Teaming up with Shirley Manson (Garbage) for the backing vocals, you gotta take your hat off to these ladies. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

It never ceases to amaze me what Swedish music can do. From Seinabo Say – The Hives and today’s focus is Little Dragon. Releasing a new EP in May with this as the first single. Love the keyboard bass…

Something is also in the water in Brighton with Royal Blood showing off a robot rock skillset that I have been thirsty for in the world of British guitar music for some time. Pulled Apart By Horses are due back later this year…but in the meantime these guys are totez rad.

We spoke about London trio Lyger just a few weeks ago and already they’ve kicked out another riff run corker. Would love the hear the demo’s of these guys. It could be a massive artist for the guitar scene. 2014 – year of the riff.

And leaving you with The Dirty Nil – raw Canadian punk that sounds mighty fun whatever time of year you crank it up. Having had a sneak preview listen of the EP I suggest you all go favourite their bandcamp page for when it drops.

Elise x


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