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Single Reviews – End of May 2020

We haven’t published anything for ages, there has been loads of great music released since then so, while some of thee came out ages ago, we’re going to cover them anyway.

James Burrage – Back in The Days

A peaceful four minutes of music, Back In The Days starts with just chiming clean guitars before leading into James’ voice – the first time I heard James sing was live and I was shocked at the sound and the sort of maturity in his vocal style but over time it’s only got better and on this track he’s really nailed the sound. Musically it’s strong, the chord progression feels nice and, while there aren’t actually many instruments used the production makes it sound big. It’s a pleasant, well written, track.

American Blondes – Taste The Water

Technically this came out in April but the video showed up in the middle of May so I’m going to cover it anyway. Another track on the calmer side of things, I particularly like the mix on this one – the vocals, while strong, sit lower in the mix than you might expect and it allows the song as a whole to kind of wash over. The pace is relaxing, the guitar parts are great and the whole song just has an excellent vibe to it. It’s a shame there aren’t any festivals this year because this would be a perfect festival song.

Monster Florence – 26 Ghosts

I was going to hold off reviewing this track until writing about the EP but the video for this is incredible so it’s worth a mention now. Backing music on this feels like a throwback to that older hip hop sound of sampling vintage records and building tracks around them, a single horn loop running throughout beefed up with plenty of bass and strong drums holding it together. The video for this is excellent too, with things being smashed and burned all over the place. The standout part of this track though? Wallace Rice’s verse. The first time I heard this track, about 1:45 in, my jaw dropped – there’s bringing your A game to something and then there’s delivering things like this flawless 45 seconds of rap. Quality.

Pet Needs – Kayak

Back at the end of March, roughly 30 years ago, Pet Needs were straight in thinking of how to get fans more involved during the lockdown, producing the video for new single Kayak with people across the world submitting themselves to be cut into a two minute thirty seconds video by Underdog Media. As far as the song itself goes, it’s an energetic slice of punky music, one of the more livelier Pet Needs tracks that just hits hard and fast – it’d be a good moshing song if we didn’t need to stay 2m away from each other at all times – although they lyrics, which seem to alternate between being about buying a kayak and dying to shift units don’t really link between chorus and verse; in a way they’re nonsensical but in another way who really cares because this song is about pure energy anyway. It’s a song for the live circuit, whenever the live circuit comes back. Bonus points for getting people involved at a time when people needed a distraction.

Anorak Patch – 6 Week Party

This one came out in March (the video doesn’t even feature social distancing – the distant past!) but it’s good so I’m going to include it. Representing Colchester (well, Rowhedge) youth, Anorak Patch are already producing music far (FAR!) beyond their ages and, while last single was fun madness, 6 Week Party sounds much more mature – the track kind of whirs along, the vocals sound absolutely top notch. Beans may have set the tone for Anorak Patch but 6 Week Party is one hell of a progression. Some superb editing on the video here too.

Gibbon – Zigg

A bast of jazz released yesterday this is four minutes of fun madness. A supergroup of top local musicians performing a weird crazy progressive bit of instrumental music just feels like the uplifting thing we need at the minute. The keys are particularly incredible, not to mention the impeccable drums throughout. It’s hard to do a track like this justice with words, just give it a listen, it’s absolutely worth your time.

South Hours – Outside

South Hours have been on my radar for a while due to their live performances but it’s nice to get the chance to listen to them recorded properly. I think it’d be fair to say, based on Outside and what I’ve heard previously that South Hours are inspired by the current wave of indie led by bands like The 1975 and, if that’s the case, then they’ve nailed the sound with this track. It’s pretty slow paced, and the bass kind of whirs throughout the track, with plenty tucked away to create a pleasant soundscape. The vocals are strong, fitting for the style of music and the production is on point too. There’s a lot of music out there with the same influences at the minute but Outside holds up as a strong track within the genre.

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