It’s All About That Betty and the Bass

Released on the 15th of September, Bad Magic Tricks Pt 1 is the new EP from Leith trio Betty and the Bass. On their social media pages they describe their sound as country grunge sweetness. That works well as an intro. In order to get the full story though you have to listen to them as they demonstrate themselves to be smarter than the average indie band.

Opening track ‘Another Life’ sees the band get very quickly in to a driving groove which serves as the perfect accompaniment to Lyndsey Craig’s remarkable vocals. You can try and singalong but you are never too sure which direction she is going to head off in. The slower paced ‘EGD’ cements the impression that this band are a force to be reckoned with.  However it is on ‘Bruised Lit a Peach’ that the band shine the brightest.  Inventive and compelling throughout, it’s one of the most satisfying indie-rock tracks of the year.

*Spoiler Alert.* Things are brought to a conclusion with a somewhat demented ‘hidden’ track. I listened to it whilst in a state of confusion caused by severe sleep deprivation and it all made perfect sense. I’m not sure if I should be worried about that or not.

With Magic tricks Pt 1, Betty and the Bass have certainly served notice that they are one to watch and a band you really should make the effort to catch  live at the earliest opportunity.

Betty and the Bass are on Twitter and Facebook.

Buy Bad Magic Tricks Part 1 here.

Also available to listen to on Spotify.

 

A New track from Errant Boy – ‘Means’

After listening to the new track from Errant Boy, you are left with the distinct impression that this is a band who look at things from a slightly different angle than the rest of us. ‘’Means’’ invites us in to their distorted landscape with an enigmatic spoken word intro. Seconds later you have been sucked in to a frenetic sonic whirlpool, trapped in Errant Boy’s rather irregular world.

The offbeat lyrics add to the sense of disorientation, the chorus is unlike anything else you will hear this year or any other year. And when it’s over all you will want to do is take a few seconds to gather your breath before jumping straight back in.

“Means” is the first track to emerge from sessions for an album to be released next year, it’s  one to look out for.

 

 

For more info visit Errant Boy on Facebook.

And Errant Media on Twitter is defintely worth following.

 

Kat Healy – Perfect

Last year saw Kat Healy release the five track EP ‘Wolf.’ Atmospheric and genuinely moving, in an ideal world it would have seen the artists next release receive label funding. That it didn’t is reflective of today’s music industry where new talent has to fight hard to gain any sort of reward for their efforts. When playing gigs to spread the word becomes increasingly difficult as more and more live venues shut down, keeping forward momentum can seem like a tough task. It would be so easy to become discouraged unless you maintain belief in yourself and a brighter future ahead. Kat Healy’s new single ‘Perfect’ epitomizes that attitude.

Released after a successful crowd –funding campaign, “Perfect” is a much lighter offering from the singer. Even when tackling darker subjects Kat Healy’s lyrics have often carried a hint of optimism. On “Perfect” the message is clear and unambiguous, as long as we see the good in ourselves there will be blue skies ahead. The  sparse musical backdrop coupled with the skip along lyrics of the opening verse proves irresistible. On the chorus Healy shines, effortlessly taking the listener with her to a warmer place. It’s a wonderfully uplifting experience , one that is a joy to share

For more info visit www.kathealymusic.com

Youn purchase “Perfect” on itunes. 

Also available on Amazon.

Kat Healy can be found on Twitter and Facebook. 

Listen to “Perfect” below. then why not support the artist and buy it? :

Watch out for L-Space

 

It’s only been a couple of months since L-Space’s last single ‘Space Junk’ was reviewed here. Since then the band have played several live dates and also found time to deliver another slice of idiosyncratic electro-pop.

Released at the tail end of August, their latest single sees the band take another stride forward as they seek to envelop us in their increasingly quirky world. ‘Aloe’ is the slightly disturbing tale of someone being turned in to a giant metal bird. Sound mad? Of course it is. It’s also rather good.

The sparse introduction allows the band to gradually build up the air of menace as the track progresses before reaching an ominously quiet ending. Lily Higham’s voice shines brightly throughout, her dreamy delivery perfect when set against the somewhat sinister musical backdrop.

Comparisons to Mogwai are inevitable. However L-Space show no signs of being suffocated by their influences. It is going to be a whole lot of fun following them as they continue to grow their own distinctive musical world.

To find out more visit the bands website here.

Or follow their rather excellent twitter feed.

 

 

 

Neon Waltz – Strange Hymns.

Caithness, at the extreme north of the Scottish mainland is not a place you would immediately associate as the home of one of Scotland’s most exciting Indie bands. It’s an area of extreme contrasts. The East border is provided by the Moray Firth, a sea that can be placid at times but when whipped up by the frequent winds becomes an angry snarling beast.  The Pentland Firth to the North offers a constant demonstration of the power of nature, the surging tides as the ocean is seemingly squeezed between the mainland and the Orkney Isles making the narrow strait notorious amongst sailors the world over.  Where the land meets the sea varies from gentle rolling beaches to towering cliffs.  The land itself is one of our last great wildernesses, the beauty within its bleakness undeniable.  Yet when you listen to Strange Hymns, the debut album from Neon Waltz, you realise that it’s the only place that its creators could have come from.

Opener ‘Sundial’ hooks the listener instantly, the first of ten tracks, none of which fail to demand attention.  Full on aural soundscapes packed with swirling melodies sit side by side with more reflective dreamlike moments, the balance between the two never less than perfect.  It’s a blend that reflects the landscape that the band grew up in.  The music here is joyous, thought provoking and often beautiful.

‘Dreamers’ is an early highlight. It perfectly illustrates the bands ability to produce songs that are fresh and distinctive sounding. There is just so much to delight and surprise the listener over the course of the album.  Quieter moments, such as ‘You and Me’ are totally captivating. ‘Sombre Fayre’ with its hypnotic opening continues to build over the course of four minutes before reaching a perfect and unexpected ending.

 ‘Bring me to Light’ is simply glorious, a wonderful slice of indie pop that is hard to resist playing on repeat. The same could be said of every track here though. On ‘Heavy Heartless’ Neon Waltz gift us a few minutes of seemingly effortless beauty, lead singer Jordan Shearer’s emotional delivery proving irresistible.

Album closer ‘Veiled Clock’ maintains the high standards right up until the very end, a deceptively simple start allowing the song to grow steadily as the band leave us with an emotional finish.

Some albums engage you instantly, others are growers, requiring several listens before their strength is fully revealed.  ‘Strange Hymns’ ticks both boxes, its hook laden songs proving more potent with every play. It has to be marked down as a triumph.

For more information including tour dates etc check out Neon Waltz on facebook.

You can also do twittery stuff with the band here.