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: I Wear* Experiment
Estonian cinema-scape/electro-groove outfit I Wear* Experiment, drop 4 minute 29 second dose of Baltic neo-synthpop cool, new single, “Almere”. Hailing from the Estonian capital Tallinn (on the banks of the Gulf of Finland), Hando Jaksi, Mikk Simson and Johanna Eenma aka I Wear* Experiment, began grinding out a slow burn rise to International recognition back in 2013 with debut release, 4 track EP Crickets Empire I. In the subsequent five years, the Nordic 3 piece have earned ‘Debut Album of the Year’ for 2016 release Patience at the Estonian Music Awards, glowing reviews from tastemakers The Line of Best Fit and Louder Than War; landed supporting spots for both Hurts and Kasabian, with 2016 and 2017 spent touring heavily across Europe and Asia. Latest release “Almere” is a driving, pulsating blend of deftly crafted overlapping musical stanzas; engaging lyric and synth-sonic; framed by smartly worked production and quietly dynamic mix/master. The track moves forward in soft-footed, confident strides; sequencers fizz and oscillate, playing off each other in counterpoint; beats skip and shuffle, with well judged dabs of bass line; the rhythmic structure making intelligent use of sonic space. Johanna Eenma’s vocals catch the ear and draw the listener into the song; the talented singer moving gracefully from percussive phrases to open melodies; tasteful vocal processing, adds pitched harmony and abstract tones, set deep in the reverb. With 3 minutes becoming the new standard for singles, in emerging age of streaming media, “Almere” runs a weighty one and half minutes longer than a ‘playlist friendly’ 180 seconds; but the track makes light work of its runtime; a tight punch of well worked Nordic Electro Pop, perfect for playlist and radio play alike. I Wear* Experiment are very much ready for the International stage and well deserving of any and all success that comes their way. Without doubt, a band to watch in 2019.
Artist: Only Girl
Track: “Crave” / Release EP
Sweeping melodies and graceful harmonies, production kept on the down low and beats with a touch of lofi, Independent Artist Only Girl releases four track EP, Release. Having recorded her debut EP, Feel it in 2014, the talented, young singer songwriter dropped a further two records over the next two years, before switching it up in 2017 with a string of five new releases; totaling 12 separate titles, including remixes, acoustic and live versions; 2018 has continued in the same prolific vein, making Release the seventh drop of the year. The South London based Artist’s latest, draws on a wide range of styles/genres, from the down beat, soul bitten electronica and groove of “Crave” to the stripped down, beauty and simplicity of ‘Gabriel’; the EP bound together by glorious vocal arrangements, rooted deep in gospel and soul. Tasteful production gentle builds instrumentation around the lead vocal; giving space and support, with quietly musical moments and dashes; so well judged, and therefore, so easy on the ear, it’s easy to miss the impressive range of musical idea, carefully crafted into the EP; the various genres, styles and elements, intuitively blended from one to another. At the heart of it all, vocals rise and fall in bittersweet stanzas; inspired use of backing vocal, enhancing and enriching. Having already earned support from BBC Radio, Spotify and taste-maker publications like Clash, Line of Best Fit and Fader, Only Girl is quietly building a reputation as a serious artist of the highest quality; and whereas many UK Artist struggle to make an impact in the American market, with sublime vocal and songwriting, partnered with first rate production, Only Girl has every chance of becoming a success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Track: “Earth Says” / Consider This EP
Norwegian pop odyssey sonic engineers Pre-Echo deliver five track EP, Consider This. Having only released their debut single, the eco-concerned, neo-synthpop guilt trip, 3 minute 6 second ‘who did this’ earlier this year, the Oslo based five piece have been quick to find and establish their ‘sound’. Consider This is an impressively accomplished musical work, particularly for a band so early in their career. Tracks burst open with contrasting instrumental idea and construction; the EP evolving in dynamic surges of imaginative and inspired juxtaposition. Drawing upon guitar, bass and drum, complimented and countered by analogue synth and sample, the band deliver a rich phonic palette of compelling musicality. Drums lands with both punch on the beats and trash on the cymbal; guitars are raw, yet scattered, re-imagined and reinvented by FX; both bass and guitar evocative of the work of Roger Waters and David Gilmore, during ‘The Wall’ era of Pink Floyd; synths feel chunky with texture, the band opting for analogue other virtual. Andrea Louise Horstad’s vocals run like a stream of consciousness, a reflection in frustration, meditation upon inequity; lyrics preoccupied with this injustices and inanities of this world, rather than the passing or superficial; many Artists talk ‘depth’ in interviews, but few write in into their songs. Andrea Louise Horstad is one of the rare lyricists, able to engage the listener upon subjects of importance and weight. With only five songs to their name, Pre-Echo, nevertheless, manage to impress as a band of substance and credibility. Already capable of so much, we can but imagine and wait impatiently to witness, the dizzying heights, Pre-Echo may well reach in the coming years.
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!
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