A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster
Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis
Artist: The Trusted
Track: “Cigarettes and Chandeliers”
With swaggered guitar riff and bassline strut, thunderous drums and vocals from the gut, The Trusted are stepping it up, with latest drop, “Cigarettes and Chandeliers”. On the back of their alt rock, indie ‘feel good’ noise-fest, ‘No real Control’ (Read my review), the Southend based four piece return with a 3 minute 36 second shot of radio ready rock, full spectrum top to bottom dynamics, with chart conquering slam, a slither of glam and a side order of attitude, straight from the man. Produced by Rees Broomfield and recorded at SS2 Studio, with seasoned campaigner Pete Gleadall, brought in to mix and master, the band’s latest release smacks of quality and well thought out production from the get go; whereas ‘No Real Control’ was a glorious, noisey celebration of Independent music and everything bad for your ears and very good for your soul, “Cigarettes and Chandeliers”, while retaining the Indie beating heart of their previous single, is very much built to be a heavy hitter for the majors and the mainstream. Drummer Dave Batchelor switches out the machine gun, blistering scatter stick of ‘No Real Control’, for depth charge deep explosions and hits; opulently trashy cymbals, rasp and simmer; the drums moving in fits and starts, deftly timed stops and inspired variation of pattern and combination. Fin Cunningham works his bass through the twists and turns of the track; like an F1 driver from the mighty turbo charged era, manhandling the low down grunt and drive , throwing the bass into the tight left and right handers and hairpins of the signature riff; opening up the throttle during the chorus and breakdown, with Senna-esque stabs and heavy dabs, to control the bass in a rapid fire stream of bolts and progressions, working his way up the neck in a series a chicane and high speed corners. With Keith Richard like stone-rolled cool, guitarist Dale Holt-Mead kicks the new single off, with a satisfying guitar hook of pride, pomp, fuzz and circumstance; dashes of crunch and crispy six string noise decorate the verses, bringing width and dynamic; choruses are powered by an array of guitar technique, idea and effect, trading blows between low mid builds and stuttered, hyped, high end blasts and soars; the breakdown shrieks and wails in a climbing, exhilarating, perfect pop rock crescendo. Lead singer Tom Cunningham answer to the impressive creativity and musicality of the band around him, is to step back and draw your ear to him; understated and soulful, with a vocal styling evocative of The Jam front man Paul Weller, Cunningham paints and expresses a series of scenes and ideas, through an accomplished pairing of well written lyric, supported and enhanced by smart use of timing and tone. A soundtrack for geezers to walk down the street to, “Cigarettes and Chandeliers” smacks of Ford Capris and 70s cop shows,of Britain at the breaking point, of concrete high rise and seedy Soho nightlife; an anthem for the ‘have nots’, living in a world run by the ‘have lots’; a song for Saturday night fevers, mad dog 20/20 and diamond white; for the downtrodden and looked down upon, to stand tall and look you right in the eye. With ‘No Real Control’ enjoying regular play on BBC Radio London and carving up 30k+ streams on Spotify from Independent playlist alone, and a string of gigs across London and the South East, often playing two shows a day, The Trusted are very much the real deal and are grinding out old school. Succeeding where many up and coming artists and bands fall short, they are building a genuine fanbase; a ground swell that will raise their stock amongst their fellow Indie acts, catch the eye of major labels and serve to buffer and protect them against the changing seasons of the Industry, tastes and trends. Far from a one hit wonder or flash in the pan, The Trusted are band built to last. And built to do great things.
Artist: Annabel Allum
Track: “Sofa Song”
In lusciously lazy guitar tones and fuzz, roomy drums extraordinaire and magnificent nonchalance, UK based singer-songwriter Annabel Allum drops another trashy slice of home brewed delight, new single “Sofa Song”. The stand out young Artist’s eighth release of 2018, “Sofa Song” is the latest in a stream of new material, live sessions and remix. Hailed as rising star of the alt/indie DIY scene, Annabel Allum’s latest release arrives as hazy, diligently haphazard production, with willfully uneven, and therefore engaging, arrangement. Drums roomy to the point of being on the verge of next door (‘..gonna take off the door.’), with smashy, crashy, boxy snare defly sat, just below the vocal line. Tasteless guitars tones are amp-warm, trashy frequencies pulled up, intentionally not cut; tastefully allowed to swell and build, catching the ear, but never offending it. Bass drags, drones, grinds and grunts, quietly and confidently driving the track throughout. Allum talks the lyrics in a series absent minded yawns; her voice framed in a carefully composed roomy verb, that compliments and contrasts the ‘garage-y’ space of the drums; front and centre; surrounded by sound, but never submerged. Slacker pop gem; pixies and pavements; PJ Harvey and Dinosaur JR; a “Sofa Song” for the clueless, the lost and the confused; a beautiful mess, a perfect fail. A rallying call for the Independent and Alternative, Annabel Allum’s music demonstrates the freedom and possibilities of DIY production; that it is the song and performance that counts, not the studio.
Annabel Allum is currently touring the UK. Find out more via her website!
Artist: Kirsten Ludwig
Track: “Something I Wanted to Know”
With graceful waves of overlapping layers of texture, melody and thought, Canadian born wandering soul and Independent Artist Kirsten Ludwig releases new single, “Something I Wanted to Know”. On the back of two previous singles released this year, the melodic and mournful dream lost in motion, ‘There You Are’ and the darkly shifting, contemplation in introspection, ‘Back to Bed’, the singer-songwriter / Producer and nomad continues her journey of self expression and discovery with her latest release. A sublime use of reverb frames the track, with drifting musical element set wide, creating an ever changing, ever expanding series of sonic landscapes; depths breathe, blossom and blend into one, only to break apart again; the world of the song forever moving left and right/back and forth. Road movie guitar tones drip electronic, chorus and tremolo FX oscillating the loose stream of notes; delay and reverb add echo, diffusion and distance. The drums quiet, laid back and syncopated in offsets, evocative of jazz timings; the well crafted beat waltzing the track. With tasteful and deftly judged use of space, the bass lands in a series of protracted notes; deliberate and elegant. Kirsten Ludwig’s voice serenades the infinite and the silent almighty, lush and trance like in beautifully work reverb and delay; inspired use of double track and oblique stereo placement, further enhance the meditative listening experience. An odd reflection of consciousness, the 4 minute 44 second track both dis quietens as its sedates, engages as it escapes. A stand out musical moment in space and time, filled with nostalgia and meandering exploration, “Something I Wanted to Know” is testament to the great promise of this singular music maker and traveler. Kirsten Ludwig has embarked on a lifelong journey, without map or itinerary, with only the compass of her own spirit to guide her. You’d be wise to travel with her, and delight in the glorious music that will make up the roads and highways of her creative odyssey.
About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!
About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.