Review: Harriette "Hatchie" Pilbeam has been in the incubator of London label Heavenly for roughly two years now, with the label slowly establishing the artist before this debut with a slick run of 7" singles and promo material. Colliding breathy synth pop with reverb-drench folk, a touch of trip hop and good old-fashioned indie, Keepsake presents the debut opus from an emerging talent that's helping define what Shoegaze can be for 2019. Highlights include the Enya-like "Secret" and the melancholic two step beats of "Stay With Me". With touches of Boards Of Canada to be found in Hatchie's music too, there's a deep musical brain behind these beats and it should not be slept on. Check. It. Out.
Review: If you are an Australian and listener of triple j then you'll already be well aware of the music by Melbourne's own Alex Lahey. For the rest, allow Dead Oceans to introduce a singer-songwriter not afraid to take the stage in a pair of Blundstones and checkered flannelette shirt. Her raw yet supercharged style earns itself a second release on sub-label to Secretly Canadian - that in 2019 has already released music from John & Yoko, Jens Lekman and Cherry Glazerr - with Alex Lahey's sophomore album finding its reference points in a world located somewhere between the emo punk of Paramore and Bruce Springsteen's star spangled rock. Elsewhere the music has been described as surf rock meets '90s riot grrrl, with the artist going to some length to keep Melbourne's effervescent garage rock scene on the map.
Review: With touches of ska laced through tropical themes of guitars and other stringed instruments that are tied together with lyrics dipped in punky undertones, the music of Sacred Paws has comfortably found its niche. "Run Around The Sun" is their follow up to the debut album "Strike A Match" from 2017, and their sound has found its arc by fusing together a strong danceability of fast paced finger picking riffs with skittering drums and vocals that sometimes swoon into a generation X, post-90s grunge kind of feeling. With bigger hooks and choruses adding more to the band's already varied sonic, Sacred Paws are something to dance around.
Review: You pretty much know what to expect from Tacocat at this point - no nonsense indie-punk stylings and humorous, direct lyrical narratives, as well as their uplifting take on post punk, with clear inspiration from bands such as The Pretenders and Blondie. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the new wave, synth-driven stylings of album highlight "Grains Of Salt", the power pop of "The Joke Of Life" and "Rose-Colored Sky", concluding with some respite in "Miles & Miles". The socially conscious lyrics in places will no doubt provide some optimism, too. This Mess Is A Place is a triumphant album that will provide sing-a-longs and fun in great helpings.
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Thom Yorke's impressive third solo album, "ANIMA", is available on wax (and in a fetching shade of orange, too). A future classic that continues the legacy he started with XL Recordings back in '96 (with his solo debut The Eraser), ANIMA is well worth picking up, as Yorke and co-producer Nigel Godrich offer up evocative, off-kilter songs built around the twin attractions of the Radiohead man's distinctive vocals and skewed backing tracks rich in layered electronic noise, body-bending sub-bass, discordant synthesizer parts and intriguingly jaunty drum loops. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the creepy, lo-fi ambient swirl of "Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)" and "Dawn Chorus" (a blissfully dewy-eyed early morning soundscape), to the low-slung, post-trip-hop hum of "I Am A Very Rude Person" and the fizzing, jazz-fired thrust of "Impossible Knots". Melancholic, yes. Deep and self-effacing, of course. Nihilistic, not really. Percussive futurist sub-pop is back.