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: Miss Grit
Track: Talk Talk (EP)
Brooklyn-based Indie rock outfit Miss Grit delivers a debut EP of striking musical contrasts, emotional depths, and awesome noise. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student, Margaret Sohn formed the band on the back of a winter break spent knee deep in stompbox distortion and feedback delay; the Michigan born frontwoman running her vocals through guitar FX and amp. The resulting four-track EP, Talk Talk feels almost like a sprawling mass of attenuators and pots, switches and dials, soldered and resoldered again across a haphazard terrain of circuit boards. Saturations, loops, stutters, and pitch shifts modulate, oscillate, fadeout and feedback, in great waves of pulsating sound pressure. The experience of listening, every bit as much one of texture and tone, as melody and lyric. Sohn’s vocals wash above, beneath and within the tracks in overlapping layers, often partly submerged; the singer mixing her own voice with that of FX with inspired finesse. Talk Talk takes the form of an odd duet of sorts between Sohn’s own voice and the voice of her guitar. The ever-changing personality of her six-string steel vocal cords, counterpointing and challenging her human voice in call back, shout out and shout down. Sohn’s guitar working through a vast and various repertoire of wail, wah, shriek, fuzz, drive, and crunch. The great quality of Miss Grit’s debut offering will no doubt turn off many mainstream listeners, who will struggle to ‘hear’ through the apparent mess of cluttered sonics. It will, however, delight and enthrall fans of alternative music; many of whom feel bored by the current ultra-conservative, hyper risk adverse, super-slick productions that dominate chart and so-called independent playlist alike. Miss Grit join a rising tide of Independent Artists and Bands who are bringing the noise, the risk and the wonder back to alternative music.
Track: “Ghost 2 U”
The willfully indefinable genre contrarian Jinka drops 3 minutes 41 seconds of inspired alt art pop/experiment in sonic space, new single, “Ghost 2 U”. The Transylvanian, Berlin-based Independent artist, and producer, released her first single, electro-kaleidoscope and melody in deconstruction, ‘Trash from the Past’ in 2017. The intervening years have been spent in her, self-described, ‘laboratory’ shrouded in the structure of sound. The subsequent five releases as much installation art pieces realized in audio, as they were singles. Jinka’s latest track, “Ghost 2 U” continues in her characteristic theme of defying thematic analysis or consistent artistic identity. The production rests uneasy upon a scattered beat, arriving in fits and starts; tight pockets of bit crushed hit and sample burst, erupt and die back in obliquely timed patterns. Trap infused bass drops and heavy drone provide sudden stab and shift/core and weight; one juxtaposing the other, in an intentional act of musical defiance. Jinka’s vocals land in fragmented phrases and vocal hook, cut to shard. Her voice engaging and disarmingly pop, edged with pitch and synth FX. Deliberate and accomplished production works the depth and width of the stereo field, with stylish use of frequency in arrangement and brazen use of pan; ear candy flung violently from left to right/right to left. A chart popstar exploded and reduced to atomic element, Jinka’s self-imposed perpetual state of self-reimagining has yielded that rarest of phenomenon, original pop music with integrity. We can only hope, Jinka’s experiments in the fundamentals and structures of sound keep her working long into the night.
Risen from the dead, prodical Independent cine-scape, sonic alchemists Blossmer return with five-track collection ‘HLLW’ and opening track, “Preacher_Learner”. Having scattered to the four winds on the brink of blowing up, the Sheffield born and breed three-piece return from their self imposed four years in exile, to make good on the considerable promise of the debut self-titled album. Protracted breaks between releases have not always been conducive to continued quality, Manchester based The Stone Roses famously falling short of their debut release, with much hyped/much delayed follow-up,’ The Second Coming’ (unfortunately, in name only). With expectations high and every to lose, “Preacher_Learner” strikes a deep vein of quality with the opening arpeggio of blunted synthesizer tone and accompanying brooding ambiance. The three minutes thirty two second track unfolds majestically as if hewn from an ancient ore of melody, rhythm, harmony, and bass; a great expanding soundscape of pulsating, modulating sonic terrain. A bit crushed beat snips, snaps and smacks the accomplished instrumentation forward; a stutter/skip train line of fragmented iron shards, pixelated, fused digital and modern. The sheer range of musical element and encompassing design is hard to take in all at once and seems to increase with every listen. Vocals walk quiet in deliberate, hushed footsteps across the vast territory; doubles, delays and reverbs add ghosting textures, afterthoughts, and shadows; the lyrics mournful and almost at prayer. In contrast to the all too often shallow and superficial chatter of throw away, pop productions, the music of Blossmer is set deep with weight. “Preacher_Learner” plays heavy, rich in the resonance of musical integrity. Independent Music is littered with the unrealized potential of countless rising stars, Blossomer have returned with a confident statement of intention. They intend to make good on their promise.
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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.