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: The Trusted
Track: “Wild Love”
UK-based four-piece The Trusted round off a stand-out 2019 with an upbeat dose of compelling well-crafted Indie-Rock with new single, “Wild Love”.
Bleeding in from the sonic vista haze, guitar feedback shimmers and resonates in golden tones; electric arpeggio’s cascade in reverb and echo; dancing off and around the golden guitar light, left and right; in ambered time stood still. Fizzing riffs burst open in well-judged double, delay, and ambient triple; immediately engaging hook delivered by Dale Holt-Mead in sizzling saturation.
Bassline and drum working as one to create drive and groove; Finlay Cunningham’s bass shifting across the fret in swift, precisely timed run and dab of low-frequency force and weight; the pitta patta of Dave Batchelor’s kick and snare, punching and snapping in tandem with each other and support of the bass.
Tom Cunningham’s vocals stood center stage and drawing the listener’s ear deep into the midst of the band’s compelling and hard-worked musicality. Lyrics trading blows from the casual conversation to the enigmatic and poetic; unfolding in layers of engaging image, thought, and aspiration. Cunningham allowing his voice to drift off the beat and catch your attention with aside and shout.
‘Wild Love’ shifts through its 3-minute 45-second runtime in a series of carefully composed indie-rock stanzas; each member of the band delivering both impressive musicianship and inspired creativity, successfully emphasizing the changing dynamics of the track with a quiet, unassuming confidence that feels natural and easy on the ear.
And although born of, and very much forged by, the stage and the live show, The Trusted have delivered an instant indie-rock classic; built for the radio and the drivetime hour, “Wild Love” is a quiet-riot, a soundtrack to infinite highways, and escaping the dull, grey days.
Never you mind the darkening winter nights, the chaos and confusion of Brexit and desperate December election fights, the static of socials, and all the world of reasons and arguments why not; crank open the speakers and let The Trusted strike the brightest of lights; and blaze, blaze like it’s the end of days.
‘We’ll run where they can’t find us, baby we run, it doesn’t have to be this rough, we can hide in our wild love.’
Artist: Ellie Dixon
Independent singer-songwriter and Producer Ellie Dixon drops a fiercely percussive slice of soul and groove with new single, “Pressure”.
Guitars dab and stab left/right, playing off and against each other; metallic percussive shuffles, chinks, and rattles wide around the stereo field; bassline joins with force and weight, doubled up with kick; low punch, landing tight and right for the count.
Dixon works the beat with her words, trading on clever use of cliche and well-judged use of repetition to create a compelling vocal mantra. Though tight to the grid, Dixon has wisely left her vocals enough room to breathe; thus, retaining her voice’s natural sense of timing.
Additional use of FX to create a double, echo, and pitched counter adds depth and width to the lead vocal line, while the 2-minute 55-second track shifts in smartly worked stops and starts; teasing sonic space, throughout. Dixon delivers an inspired series of musical change-ups, dropping variations of arpeggio, keys, and breakdown.
The rapid pace of changing production textures injects an engaging sense of pace into “Pressure”. The track refuses to stay still, perpetually looking to surprise and delight you with the next sonic stanza. Quality work throughout from songcraft, to performance, to production. Very nicely done.
Track: “Icarus” (5 Myths EP)
Independent and multidisciplinary artist Faultress crafts a compelling musical world of theatre and myth, sonic oddity and intriguing wonder with new song, “Icarus” from her new EP, 5 Myths.
Harmonies lift out of, and taking form the silence; great expanses of gracefully modulating sustain, ancient organ, and primal tone. Faultress’ voice drifts, thinned by distance; saturated as though transmitted or, perhaps, projected ethereal. In shuddering reverse shard, her vocal joins in full; imagery and contemplation, delivered in cascading lyrical stanza; countered by mantra thrown left/right working in compelling percussive repetition.
Sonic oddities pop and burst, creating rhythm; a snare drum smacking dry and crisp in texture; kick drum landing dull, deep, and blunt; dabs of low impact, earthly roots. Chords grind in slow-motion; pushing the track in protracted surges of low-mid sound pressure.
“Icarus” shifts in great masses of seemingly inevitable musical energy, only to breakdown and reform in scattered vocal and structure re-constructed; a kaleidoscopic, ‘theatre in the round’ of vocal, word, and thought; composition in careful contradiction of itself, perfectly polarized by opposing observation, theme, and social value.
Complex, unsettled, and utterly engaging. A singular original musical creation. And one not to be missed.