As I was doing my (somewhat unfruitful) research in order to write this post, I discovered the extent to which Seramic maintains an elusive presence. Having seen him perform I am convinced that he does in fact exist, although if I were going from Internet presence alone I wouldn’t have been so sure. Of course there is his repertoire of stonking tracks which fill the Seramic silence with a bluesy and irresistible melody, but quite who makes them is more of a mystery. Whilst this is frustrating from a journalism point of view I can’t help but admire this attitude: music should always be the focal point, and by representing himself in this way there is no choice but for this to be the case. Have a listen to “I Got You” below: we don’t know where it came from but I have a suspicion as to where it’s going – the starry skies of success.
This week guitarleaves caught up with Hull-based trio King Orange – otherwise known as Oli Witty, Leo Joslin and Tom Green-Morgan – after the premiere of their single “Fifteen” on BBC Radio 1 to discuss all things cats, Marmite and meal-deals. The full interview can be found below:
As I post this I have absolutely no doubt that this track will split opinions. Penned by Cosmo Pyke (another wonderfully-real name), “Chronic Sunshine” is a creative amalgamation of more musical styles than a record store. From the bluesy undertones of ska to soft rock, it seems he wants to pay homage to all that has been before him in the industry. What struck me when listening to this for the first few times was the sudden and unexpected switch between genres. You have to be paying attention to the subtle (and speedy) transitions if the story is to be coherent. That’s why “Chronic Sunshine” is so special – it doesn’t conform to any pre-existing musical forms and simply speaks for itself. Whether you like what it has to say is another matter entirely, but the fact that it is opinionated is definitely something to celebrate.
From time to time you need to bring your head above the water; take that cold breath of air and pause. Leave the stresses of daily life and do something completely different. Wipe away the sweat of monotony. Such is the essence of “A Place You Like” by ISLAND, a London-based mellow pop-rock quartet. Skilfully combining gentle vocals with a simple guitar riff this record symbolises a better place – a hidden oasis in which an escape may be found. Four and a half minutes of tranquility.
As a comment on Youtube suggests, five-piece “dreamy guitar pop” band Swimming Tapes may well be “the best kept secret”. Having been in existence for little over a year it is a welcome surprise to discover the level of sleekness they consistently reach in their tracks. With an air of maturity more in keeping with older bands, they manage to bring a fresh twist to a retro sound, weaving their unique stance through the equally distinct melodies and stories of each record. “Queen’s Parade” is their latest endeavour.
As I sit here typing up this post I feel like a dog who has just unearthed the juiciest bone. In fact it is a struggle to try and write something cohesive because I just want to turn the volume up and askjfiagsjaiubaid for the remaining characters. Let me introduce you to Cosmo Sheldrake – side note, real name – a musician and producer from London. Apparently he taught himself piano by ear at the age of four, a somewhat unbelievable fact until you discover that he can now play upwards of thirty instruments. I am well aware that his music (described by the artist himself as a rehash of an electric mix of sounds) may not be to the taste of the contemporary charts, but things worth listening to rarely are, and while he may have kept a low profile over the last couple of years, there are some legacies which can never be forgotten.
If you’re a fan of hypnagogic pop then you are in for a treat, and if you’ve no idea what the first word even means today will be somewhat educational. Meet Neon Indian, the creative brainchild of Alan Palomo. Specialising in mangled synths and ethereal sounds, Neon Indian is a brilliant example of how versatile electronic music can be. What impressed me the most when listening to his expansive repertoire is his ability to connect a whole range of different sounds with his own unique stamp: he isn’t afraid to try new things; to experiment with syncopation where it normally shouldn’t fit and to synth the living daylight out of anything that so much as flinches. The result is a beautifully current yet retro-inspired catalogue of easy listening. Take a look at “Slumlord” below and prepare to be transported into a world of gyrating walls and oversized floating rabbits: