Jack Garratt – “Chemical” – This song starts soulful with singing that sounds like it’s coming right from the middle of a church beefed up with the sound of hands clapping. Then all of a sudden electronic vocal harmonies appear as if out of nowhere and the song drops! When the hook kicks in we’re thrown into a dancy electronic beat that reminiscent of UK garage. This is a real diverse and original piece of music which is musical yet still really relevant and accessible.
Ninet Tayeb – “Child” – A spacious ambient song which uses both synthetic and organic instrumentation with hand clap samples and clean guitar arpeggios. As the song goes on it continues to build and build and build until you’re taken to the second half where it strips it all down to build it all back again. This song is packed full of feeling and a great vocal performance.
Willie J Healey – “Dude Like Him” – This is a fun sounding raw, indie rock song with some great harmonies and a really good pre chorus that I found gave enough dynamic range to keep this from being just any other indie rock tune.
Enemies – “Play Fire” – I love the way the “Doo dah” vocals play around the guitar rhythms in the intro of this track. The hook then takes you back to ease with some ambient clean guitar and some spacey vocal melodies. This tune really blurs the line between song and piece of music, making a real pleasant 4 minutes.
TTY – “CINDY WEI” – A real interesting, real British sounding, Dark and weird tune. The use of samples and the spoken vocals really set the scene of somewhere dark and dingy. It’s a real load to take in over 2 and a half minutes but it’s full of replay value!
Empress Of – “Kitty Kat” – A powerful booming electronic anthem with spooky angelic vocals that bubble the music up towards the hook where the music explodes with an infectious synth line. This is a real simplistic addictive tune.
Rat Boy – “Sign On” – A great British indie/ Ska/ Punk tune with some bleak and thought provoking lyricism.
Xenia Rubinos – “Hair Receding” -This song a great deal of Bjork influence but really takes it into her own with it’s use of sounds and distinct vocal tone. This song layers together some great interesting rhythms with it’s use of samples that all vary in how distorted they are. The vocal lines in this tune again add to the interesting sound of this song creating some unfamiliar but complementary cadences with the instrumentation. To ice this cake a hook is thrown into the song where the instrumentation and vocals take a more simplistic edge and make an awesome and infectious crescendo to the outro of this track.
Gum – “Anesthetised Lion” – A groovy, dancey electronic tune. The synth on this tune holds down a great funky bass line with some gritty tones. The instrumentation in the hook has full on guilty pleasure and retro feel. This middle section of this really turns up the weird with a great use of sounds and distortion that throw all the sense away before throwing you right back into the hook!
Three Trapped Tigers – “Engrams” – This band are quickly becoming one of my favourites and this song is a good illustration why. There’s a real good use of instrumentation without over saturating the whole song with instrument sounds. There’s a real good mix of organic and artificial sounds in their song with scratchy guitar chords some killer techy drums! The spacey synth chords that make the song sound spacious with lead synths that sound like they’re right in your face. This song is 5 minutes long and at no point does it even start to get stale!
Badbadnotgood – “Hedron” – Another great addition from Badbadnotgood bringing a sonically diverse instrumental focusing mainly around a piano melody and the drummer really being given the room to show what he’s got. The second half of this song brings in layers of horns as the piano starts to crescendo using intricacy as well as volume alongside the drums. To my surprise instead of exploding at the end the song more fizzles but my word they do it so well!
Funkedelic – “Aint That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You” – This song is smooth, groovy, infectious! The instrumentation of this track really just tick all the thematic boxes with the clean funk guitar chords and the 90s hip hop synth melodies. The rap features both deliver a real party vibe to the whole song with both flows really kicking back and rolling with the instrumentation. I love the contrast with the raspy, male and clean cut, pretty sounding female vocals in the hook of this tune.
Wildhood – “Psycho Jam” – I love the distorted, damp tone on the addictive as hell bass line of this song. The vocals have this real retro feel but are packed full of soul even but with a more gritty tone instead of that glossy, refined modern neo soul type voice. The hook of this song give the song a real fun feel with the group backing vocals giving a real sing along vibe to the song.