A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist
Music reviews written by Tobi Davis
Artist: Lauren Ruth Ward
Track: “Wise Gal”
Singer-songwriter Lauren Ruth Ward delivers a bluesy rock ‘n’ roller with gritty soul and dirty swagger, new single “Wise Gal”.
Cranked, overdriven Velvet Underground blunt, an electric six-string rattles percussive down the left; bass grooves low and dense, with the patter of a 60s-style kick; light on the subs and weighted to move; snare smacks crisp and dry on the transient with a touch a delicious wet in the sustain. The track and band sway as one, guitars rip and spank left/right as the chorus opens up.
Lauren Ruth Ward shifts from uber-cool walking talk to raspy, soulful rises and falls; her voice dancing about the beats, as a guitarist might roll around the rhythm. Lyrics cascade in snapshots of memory and personal reflection; but instead of being passive and distant, the words arrive rich, vital, and steeped in raw emotion. Lauren Ruth Ward’s vocal style more fierce tirade than introspective lemant.
“Wise Gal” rips and sworns with fizzy, psychedelic guitar solos that pan about the track; quadraphonic-like; music and vocal ebb and flow as one, thanks to accomplished instrumentation and the necessary well-practiced musicianship to back it up. Immensely enjoyable and unforgivably groovy, ‘Wise Girl’ is a soundtrack to dust-hot summer road trips and midnight drunk-dancing in the heat and humidity. A raspy, nasty, rock ‘n’ roller for your summer mixtape.
UK-based rock outfit Erica drop their eagerly anticipated third album, featuring a super-tight slice of distortion and soul, new song “Ghost”.
With a crash, the track drops as one, guitars flick in understated riff and grind in muted fuzz and crunch; bassline running in controlled stuttered lines of low frequency, snare punching hard with fierce snapback; the kick bedded deep with a subtle layer of sub. Electric six strings suddenly rip open into blazing distortion, while cymbals splash and rasp; a tightly controlled chorus-heralding of glorious noise.
Woodward’s vocals stand tall with well-worked double and slap; working the melody in a series of evolving steps, his voice breathes with a rock snarl and an edge of grunge ‘n’ dirt.
Years of putting the hours in on the UK live scene have forged Erica into an impressive rock outfit. Well-crafted songwriting is supported and further enhanced by well-judged production and arrangement, “Ghost” every bit the radio-ready release. Yet, despite the abundance of quality in evidence, the listener is, nevertheless, left with one single impression above all others; and that is, Erica is a proper f**king rock band.
Brighton-based independent artist Luvia delivers a somber and soulful waltz, gloriously melancholic in mood and sublimely cinematic in presentation, new single “Kiss”.
808 drops deep into the track, punching dense craters of sub and low frequency. A crate-snare crashes protracted and distant, as though Motown-miced and sat at the back. A heavy bass drone bursts in steady, slow pulses; arpeggio electric strings rattle and shimmer in tremolo and chorus, set adrift in reverb and delay. Strings swoon in saturated fizz and timbre-shift; part virtual, part real, an odd, oblique serenade set warped and wondrous old Hollywood.
Luvia breathes and whispers through the verses in hushed stanzas of shattered image, delivered in snatches and glances. Her voice twisting and turning in teasing phrase, evolving percussive, building the pre-chorus in augmenting layers of expectation. Luvia breaking into mournful cry, soulful wail, and fatalistic shriek in the chorus; her vocal performance an odd, oblique serenade in reaction to and reflection of the string accompaniment.
“Kiss” shifts in short stab and ill-balance swagger; the track collapsing and re-constructing as one, forever malformed, forever beautiful; an eerie, sonic oddity, cast cinematic and willfully obtuse. Striped down in its instrumentation and quietly deliberate in its production; a unique listening experience that intoxicates and drags you under its darkening spell. Draw the curtains, turn out the lights, put “Kiss” on repeat and drown in glorious melancholy.
Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.