Week 74 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

 

Landscapes by Bamboo SmokeArtist: Bamboo Smoke
Track: “Landscapes”

With sublime melody and scattered instrumentation, Bamboo Smoke’s latest single “Landscapes” is an inspired and singularly beautiful piece of work.

Beats, dusty and homebrewed burst and shuffle; guitar notes countdown subdued, gently chorused to resonate as though submerged; the bass shifts in broken-up dabs of low frequency force and weight. Keys break-open, brittle and beautiful. All across the stereo-field, six-strings, acoustic and electric rattle, sustain, and echo; cascading percussive moments, shards, snippets in time.

Amidst the scattered instrumentation, vocals swoop, lift, and turn; sublime lines of melody, delicately paired with lyrics, ‘Everything about you makes me want to dance’. And the words dance, moving about the ambient; left to right, and front to back; overlapping thoughts, phrases adrift in space and time.

“Landscapes” moves in tumbles and falls, building into rises of fragility that quickly wash away, only to soar again. The production exists in but a fleeting moment; a perfectly judged series of blinks of the musical eye. It captures and captivates, holding the listening in suspended reality; an odd, quite a beautiful world of the band’s own imagining.

Facebook.com/bamboosmoke
Twitter: @bamboosmoke
IG: BambooSmoke


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!


About Tobi
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.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 68 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

Wrestling by Cartalk - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Cartalk
Track: “Wrestling”
In gloriously grungy tones, Cartalk delivers a quiet-riot and tour-de-force in compelling songcraft and inspired production with new single, “Wrestling”.

Electric six-strings rattle, grind, and rake; the stereo field opened up and the 3-minute 30-second track given depth, with competing movements of crunch-blunted tone, delivered in saturated-crafted contrasting timbre. The bass moving fast, with a sleight of hand, across the fretboard; perfectly punctuated dabs of low frequency, flavored with a delicious edge of distorted grit. Drums working a pittapatta of kick and snare; kick landing light, bouncing the track from beat to beat. Snare impacting into the skin, the stick turning and dipping on the wrist. The tip and tickle of the Hi-Hat adding count and pace; keeping the top of the groove, as the bass drives the bottom.

Vocals laze, talk, and shout their way through the verses; conversational and idle, yet building in weight, inference, and quiet intensity; shards of an image, an afterthought, and possibly trade-off in scattered aside; an understated soliloquy, meandering monologue.

Only to break-open in the choruses, a voice on-the-run in stacked double-track upon double-track; rushing and rising in glorious and untidy, indie-singalong-hook. Guitars surge and shift into supersonic, great velocities of distortion cast left/right. The production accelerating and breaking as one; wondrous dynamic movements en masse. Cymbal shimmer and smash cascading across the width of the track; snare landing in rapid-fire smacks of rasping, exploding noise.

Though presented in the homebrewed tones of slackerdom, lo-fi, and hazy, dazy, garage rock, ‘Wrestling’ is, in fact, a deceptively well-crafted production; the composition moving from movement to movement with accomplished finesse and compelling contrast. The instrumentation employed demonstrates a keen sense of musicality in its choice of complementing and competing tone and timbre. The unassuming arrangement creating great depth, shifting layer and width with great, and quiet, success.

The history of rock ‘n’ roll has known more than a few ‘larger than life’ bands who went about their music-making with great and glorious pride, pomp and circumstance. And although the legendary status of the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Pink Floyd are well-deserved; far fewer, truly great bands, went about their work quietly, in compelling diligence and inspired service to their craft and their audience. And it is in this less celebrated, but every bit as impressive, regard that Cartalk begins to stand compared to, and are evocative of, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. For they too were deceptively accomplished in their production, understated in their presentation, standout in their songwriting, and out and out rock ‘n’ rollers.

Facebook.com/cartalkmusic
Twitter: @cartalkmusic
IG: cartalkmusic

 

Selfish Girl by MayflyArtist: Mayfly
Track: “Selfish Girl”
22-year-old producer Mayfly makes a welcome return with an inspired dose of sizzling synthpop sonics and driving electronic bass, new single “Selfish Girl”.

Rising out of the silence, a pulsating, modulating sequencer shimmers from note to note of low mid spl. Kick punches deep and deadened, smacking low frequency and a touch of sub down the center of the 3-minute 28-second track. Snare arrives in stabs of smack and rasp; dry implosions of midrange impact. A second sequencer fizzes and shifts down the gut of the track, providing movement and pace.

Mayfly’s voice travels in breathless rushes of a graceful whisper, placed ethereally and afloat above the center of the mix. Lines are repeated as though loop or percussive sample; building in emphasis through the act of repetition; their inspired melody compelling contrasted by the repetitive presentation.

Throughout Mayfly’s vocal plays off against the instrumentation, drifting into the distance as the arrangement swells and surges. Synth leads meander, almost absent-minded, in the background. The production creating a constantly evolving and contrasting stereo field, as the orchestration grows in complexity, layer, and depth.

Mayfly’s output is protracted at best, with only two singles in the space of a year, but each is an exquisite act of composition. The young producer demonstrating a keen ear for detail and a seemingly intuitive sense of how to build complementing elements and layers. “Selfish Girl” represents further evidence of the striking talent of Mayfly. We can but hope that we need not wait another year for her third single.

Facebook.com/officialmayfly
Twitter: @Officialmayfly
IG: officialmayfly

 

Escape from Mars by CostiArtist: Costi
Track: “Escape from Mars”
London-based rapper and singer-songwriter Costi drops a sublime slice of graceful jazz joints, vocal, wit, and flow with new single, “Escape from Mars”.

Vinyl crackles left/right, snippets of stereo, lo-fi ear candy on the down-low. Piano keys tumble, climb and fall in loop; set back and roomy, gramophone timbre; jazzy with understated opulence. A bassline begins to groove; shifting movements of low-frequency grind, pushing and pulling the track; laid backswing. Beats snap and punch; snare crushed rattle, drum-machine sneezed; stuttered shards. Kick dabbing deep, dull, and flat; popped on top, creating a presence in the mix.

Costi walks his words at a stroll, allowing the beat to breathe; working in loosely syncopated stanzas of conversational thought, observation, and reflection; lyrics rich in wit and insight, compelling undersold.

Unassuming and quietly engaging, “Escape from Mars” is delivered with accomplished and tastefully judged musicality; word and instrument working in effective tandem. The intuitively pitched production, an object lesson is knowing how much is enough. A demonstration of artistic integrity and the great potential of its creator.

Facebook.com/costithe
Twitter: @therealcosti
IG: realcosti


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!


About Tobi
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.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 67 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

"Something in the Way" by USE ft. T.O.L.DArtist: USE ft. T.O.L.D
Track: “Something in the Way” (Grungewave)
Self-described ‘Grungewave’ Artists USE featuring T.OL.D. deconstruct Nirvana’s 1991 release, ‘Something in the Way’ and cast it a staggering stripped-down reimagining of vast, unforgiving sonic landscape, haunted by electro-vocal, phantom and elemental.

‘Underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak,’ phonetics devolved utter constant and guttered vowel; rung flat and electro-atonal, vocoder ghosts; a phantom zone modulates distant, low bass drone and ambient; rising darkness, dank and unforgivable. Whispers shimmer in drift and delay; slivers of reverb, ethereal and unearthly.

“Something in the Way”; kick impacts deep and sunken, low frequency stained dirty; gated snare smacks tourniquet tight, accompanying its funeral drum. Ambiance rises, gaseous and fused with electric charge; static movement, unnatural. Odd synth-sonics pulse and modulate in great mortal breathes of fizzing saturation. Piano keys brighten in brittle desperation and lamentation, only to die back into the nothing.

Both faithful rendition and inspired reworking; “Something in the Way” delivers a singular listening experience unlike any other; though evocative of seminal works, such as Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, The Smith’s ‘Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me’, and Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Something I Can Never Have’, USE have crafted a production of standout originality; a staggering statement of artistic intent, uninhibited and uncompromising; raw, difficult and quite simply beautiful.

Facebook.com/untitledsocialexperiment
Twitter: @USEBOT001
IG: untitledsocialexperiment

Facebook.com/itistold
Twitter: @theworldistold
IG: theworldistold

 

Girl Wilde, Probably Crying EPArtist: Girl Wilde
Track: “BATSHIT” (Probably Crying EP)
LA-based Independent Artist Girl Wilde delivers a noisy slice of alt-punk-rock and aggro-pop with new song “BATSHIT” and new EP Probably Crying.

Synth-sonics pulse blunt and saturated tonal, fused-funk and oddity; a kick dabs flat, deep space vacuum implosion; the snare dry, crisp and willfully unrefined. The bass shifts in protracted drives and turns, form and force from the back of the mix. Sound FXs burst in compression compacted close-quartered noise; from spot, sound to scream. The chorus erupting in grinding, six-string drive and fuzz. Layers of distortion, contrasted by flavor, tone, and timbre, create depth, width, and excitement.

Girl Wilde delivers her words, understated and talk-sung through the verses; overlapping stanzas of vendetta unrealized and wrongs deserving of violent righting; a smoldering epicenter of pending natural disaster. The fuse lit, Girl Wilde’s vocal explodes in the choruses, rushing and burning through the lines; lyrics contorted to frustrated shrieks, energy unhinged.

Hardwired aggravated, hewn from noise; a perfect pop animal for kids to trash their rooms too, “BATSHIT” is an alt-rock aggro-anthem for the downtrodden, disrespected, and denied. A 2-minute 52-second scream-fest. Destruction, given form. Jump up and down until the world shakes. Don’t take it. Don’t accept it. Just go BATSHIT.

Facebook.com/GirlWilde
Twitter: @ImGirlWilde
IG: girlwilde

 

Devour You by StarcrawlerArtist: Starcrawler
Track: “You Dig Yours” (Devour You)
LA-based 21st Century Rock ‘n’ Roll animals Starcrawler drop a deliciously debauched dose of distortion, drums, and detonations with the new song, “You Dig Yours” and new LP Devour You.

Noise. Thunderous, pulsating, noise; delicious detonations of drums and distortion, the track arriving with massive pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious rock ‘n’ roll. “You Dig Yours” whispers lead singer Arrow de Wilde; right in your ear. Bassline running in staggered dabs of low frequency; the kick, a tightly coiled punch; snare hitting with rattle and smack, rattlesnake sucker-punch. Hi-Hat rasping in fizzing metallic implosion and cough. Electric six-string wails in the delayed right to left, sonic howl, with grunting, crunchy riff and grind playing off and against the bassline.

De Wilde’s voice struts and snarls, with gut deep resonance, rusty, soulful edge, and breathy, absent sustain. Words stand tall and defiant at the center of the mix, refusing to be rushed by great, storming mass of rock energy. Confrontational in delivery and offensive in the phrase; each line landing with an implicit and uber-cool ‘f**k you’ attached.

In an age where so many rock ‘n’ roll wannabes have EDM-ed their compositions in the hope of attracting a wider audience and remaining relevant, Starcrawler is a refreshingly unapologetic dose of bluesy swagger and dirty rock. Their sound stinks of 12 bar fret walks, overdriven tubes, and turning it all the way to eleven. Starcrawler is a gloriously noisy and very boozy night at the opera. Turn it up loud. And then turn it even louder.

Facebook.com/starcrawlertheband
Twitter: @thestarcrawler
IG: starcrawler


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!


About Tobi
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.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 65 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

I Know You’re Gonna Let Her Down by Giant Party Artist: Giant Party
Track: “I Know You’re Gonna Let Her Down”
London-based four-piece Giant Party drops a radio-ready dose of new wave groove and neo-synth-pop cool with new single, “I Know You’re Gonna Let Her Down”.

Drums pace the track in shifting strides of quietly confident kick and snare; the kick dropping in dabs of low frequency, while the snare rasps in tight, dry coughs. An electric six-string grunt and grinds in blunt, percussive shards of crunch and fuzz. The bass growling at a short distance, a stalking wolf of protracted SPL. Modulated tones twist and contort through quickly-paced turns, thrilling the ear and adding odd, bespoke texture.

Vocals walk-in in well-timed stanzas of compellingly understated melody; inspired processing creating a shimmering timbre of double, slap, and synthesized. Lyrics unfold in a series of compact phrases. Layers of backing vocal add width, depth, and counterpoint through the choruses as synth pads fizz and expand. The 3-minute 30-second track opening up across the stereo field with musical finesse and accomplished grace.

A slow burn, radio-ready, midnight anthem, “I Know You’re Gonna Let Her Down” demonstrates the Artist maturity and creative depth of Giant Party. Far from the exuberant, distorted mess of most Indie offerings, Giant Party has crafted a track of integrity, judgment, and taste, worthy of the great compositions that so defined the legendary production-indulgent 80s.

Facebook.com/giantpartyband
Twitter: @GiantParty
IG: giantpartyband

 

Baby Blue by Harlequin Gold - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Harlequin Gold
Track: “Baby Blue”
Candian indie-pop outfit Harlequin Gold delivers a sublime slice of grace, introspection, and quiet, understated cool, with new EP and title song “Baby Blue”.

Arpeggio counts time in stand-still, dabs of blunt gently overdriven tones fall and rise; rocking the track in a state of perpetual movement. In duet, the vocals travel in graceful melodic lines of hushed syllables; words delivered at a brisk pace without haste. Delays and reverbs set words hanging, thrown, and lingered.

Drums pound, burst and thump. Deep bass pushes and pulses at the heart of the track; the production gathering speed and complexity. Layers of electric six-string tumble and rattle across the stereo field. Vocal doubles cast left/right open up the width of the composition. Further arpeggio cascade in contrasting, well-judged frequency ranges; creating a shifting landscape of texture and sound. The song surging upwards and outwards; great sonic expanses of wailing guitar note soar to the infinite.

An inspired opening to their four-track EP of the same name, “Baby Blue” goes about its work with an accomplished arrangement and musical sleight of hand. The choices of instrumentation demonstrating an acute awareness for using contrasting timbre to create an engaging sense of depth, height, and width in the production; and working in well-judged service to the standout songcraft in evidence at the heart of the song. Indie-pop of the highest quality.

Facebook.com/harlequingold
Twitter: @harlequingold_
IG: harlequingold

 

Greytopia by Karolina RoseArtist: Karolina Rose
Track: “Greytopia”
Independent Artist Karolina Rose crafts an inspired dose of uber-cool alt-dance-pop rich in musicality and originality, with new single “Greytopia”.

A dance kick punches light and blunt, trading deft blows with a retro beat machine snare/clap; electric guitar spits and spasms in a tightly timed loop; toms fall from barreled and synthetic; bass counts up in dull, deliberate steps of low-frequency tone. Rose paints pictures in vivid terms, odd imaginings; words chosen for sound, form, and meaning, carefully crafted to create a texture of phonic and shades of inference.

The 3-minute 37-second track lurches into overdrive as a sub lands deep into the noise floor; weight and force of massive sound pressure level pulsing in meters of a waveform, felt in the gut; synths modulate, shift and shimmer left/right; a sonic palette set in perpetual movement. The production fizzing with energy in phonic-abstraction.

“Greytopia” successfully marries tried and true dance-pop form and structure with lyrical oddity and musical originality to craft an inspired composition of singular and unique quality. Rose brings a striking depth and integrity to her words; refusing to simply settle for ‘pretty stock-phrases’ that infest so many dance-pop offerings, and instead, delivers a genuinely different lyrical experience; and in doing so, demonstrates that entertain and art can live well together and with great effect.

Facebook.com/karolinarosemusic
Twitter: @karolinar0se
IG: karolinarosemusic


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!


About Tobi
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.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 64 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

 

Untitled by LEDA - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: LEDA
Track: “Untitled”
Scottish-based Alt-pop Independent Artist LEDA delivers a willfully unrefined dose of broken up overdrive and honesty with the new song, “Untitled”.

Electric six-strings strike and grind, fused modulation soaked in blunted saturation from analog circuits overdriven; a protected series of stabs and resonance, adrift without a clear purpose of melody or percussive form; lost to the ambient and the great weight of silence.

LEDA’s voice comes tumbling down in freefall, driving and holding the track with accomplished, understated melody and compelling, well-worked, but loosely fit the rhythmic structure. Her words, a conversation in the absence of another, an uncontrollable stream of consciousness, without censure or contrivement.

Absent-minded high-frequency shimmers and shifts from up the neck, the distant somewhere else; brittle and pained, ill-formed and beautiful in its ugliness. Pulse and surge of reverb, stacked feedback of delay, shudder and sustain from words left to linger and pollute the atmosphere. Echoes of after-thought and aside, break from the stereo wide, in lo-fi tones; 3 – 5 kHz, old telephone calls for black and white times.

A heart-stopping testament to the great power of simplicity, a staggering act of artist honesty; a fundamentally alternative and independent creation, devoid of the superficial or disingenuous; a breathtakingly bold statement of uninhibited songwriting craft and the singular value of commitment in performance.

Facebook.com/isthisleda
Twitter: @fxckleda
IG: fxckleda

Hollow by Tournier - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Tournier
Track: “Hollow”
Essex-based rapper/singer/songwriter Tournier drops a deftly produced slice of true word, stuttered beat, and loop in contrast with new single, “Hollow”.

Synth-strings shift in odd, lo-fi timbre and pitch-reversed tone; stabs in atonal tremolo; a voice setback and lost in ill-defined distance. Kick burts in broken surges of low frequency, stuttered ripples of sub and heavy-weight sound pressure level; a snare snips, dry and electric. Hi-hat fizz and glitch, brittle and teased metallic.

Tournier walks his words with an everchanging gate from stride to shuffle, idle and meander, strut and bounce; laying rhymes to emphasis meaning through phonetic resonance; pushing and pulling at the count of his flow, to reflect the emotion of his thoughts. His voice rising and falling in tone to draw the ear and color the sound of his phrasing.

The production structured in runs, stops, and drifts to echo and enhance the sense behind Tournier’s vocal. The beat in a state of perpetual re-working, refusing to stand still or laze into hapless repetition; but rather insist upon challenging the listener with new pattern and form. Contrasting sonic textures dropped into the track to create further dimension and emotional impact.

Rap is a genre much maligned by indifferent practitioners more interested in self-aggrandizement, than self-expression. Artists like Tournier demonstrate the art form is still alive, vital, and compelling. ‘Hollow’ is a work of musical integrity and a testament to the artistic credibility of its creator.

Facebook.com/tourniermusic
Twitter: @tourniermusic
IG: tourniermusic

Future by Mickey ft. Beatriz Nunes - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Mickey ft. Beatriz Nunes
Track: “Future”
Mickey and Beatriz Nunes cook up a fresh dish of laid back alt-pop hook, smartly arranged instrumentation, and tidy beat with new single, “Future”.

Stratocaster dry six-string riff rattle and slap, electro-pop-sonics chime synthetic in a funky alt-pop hook. Beats stab and smack; the kick landing in funky-tight dabs and thuds, the snare a slight spat of perfectly-timed impact. Raspy dry claps and hi-hat snaps, pop, and burst across the stereo field. A bass shifts and grooves, in turns and drones; low-frequency shifts and weights.

Mickey and Beatriz Nunes working the words back and forth in a lively vocal game of push and pull. The tone of their voices contrasting and complementing each others’, as they bounce back, overlap, support, and counterpoint. Words delivered in percussive stanza and phrase, counting the beat as walking the notes of the melody.

The accomplished production makes effective and smart use of sonic space, framing the silence, pause, and mute with good judgment and finesse. The 3-minute 16-second track working its runtime light; an ever-evolving array of texture and timbre, cascading left to right/right to left. An immensely enjoyable track that adeptly demonstrates pop needn’t be superficial, generic, or superfluous; that it can creative, inspiring, of integrity and credibility.

Facebook.com/mickeymickeyyeah
Twitter: @mickeymickeyeah
IG: mickeymickeyyeaaah

Facebook.com/beatriznunesmusic
IG: beatriznunesmusic


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!


About Tobi
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.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 62 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

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

Tobi's new music monster

Sunday Afternoon by Katie KittermisterArtist: Katie Kittermaster
Track: “Sunday Afternoon”
Singer-Songwriter Katie Kittermaster delivers a quietly compelling slice of upbeat Indie-pop with new single, “Sunday Afternoon”.

Acoustic tones tumble in protracted rake, before opening up into percussive rattle and shake; a kick lands deep and bedded in, and the track builds with a low-frequency push and shaker rasp. Acoustic six-strings playing off each other left/right, the steady rhythmic build broken-up for a 4 count of bars; arpeggio and backing vocals held in amber. Piano keys add depth and weight during the choruses, as strings gently widened the track.

Kittermaster’s vocal walks the beat loosely, allowing the melody to drift; the 18-year-old Artist demonstrating impressive craft and maturity in what is a disarmingly talkative, understated, and well-judged performance.

The accomplished and tastefully ‘hands-off’ production, mix, and master reflects, supports, and enhances Kittermaster’s vocal delivery. The 3-minute 51-second track an object lesson for aspiring Artists in knowing when enough is just enough; a quiet gracefulness and warmth of spirit running throughout.

Artists are oft tempted to the cynical and downbeat as it lends itself more easily to earning the attentions of plaudits and the impression of integrity; but in a world that, of late, feels as though as it is darkening with each passing day, it is of the utmost importance that Artists and Entertainers deliver work of optimism and hope; there is, quite simply, no greater imperative; and it is, in this regard, that Katie Kittermaster has excelled. “Sunday Afternoon” is a quiet triumph; a beacon of light, shining bright against the rising dark.

Facebook.com/kkittermaster
Twitter: @kkittermaster
IG: katiekittermaster

 

The River Bend by Subculture + Rachel ChinouririArtist: Subculture + Rachel Chinouriri
Track: “The River Bend”
Subculture and Rachel Chinouriri come together to craft a bluesy ambient of soulful voice and scattered Acid-Jazz instrument with new single, “The River Bend”.

Bass stalks with deep dab, yet light on its feet. Brushwork shuffles with snare rattle and bleed; percussion landing metallic and blunt in stereo-cascade. Sample rasps in dry coughs and deadened sneeze. Ambient shifts with tonal impressions, too distant for definition; brass bursts in long, shrieked-sustain and shimmering delay. The space of the track fluid and in perpetual flux. Sonics erupt hectic in a well-worked mess of frequencies, random with clear intention.

Chinouriri’s vocals rise glorious from the ambiance; nonchalant and uttered in the swallow and close mouth, words drop like liquid gold; tone, understated, rich and thick with soul. A tour-de-force in voice, delivery, and performance; Chinouriri drawing the ear into the midst of the great undulating swell and surge of accomplished instrumentation.

Evocative of the uber-cool acid-jazz movie soundtracks of Dirty Harry, Bullet, and The French Connection, “The River Bend” is an inspired contemporary brew and exploration in rhythm, melody, and harmony; a living, breathing critique and conversation upon the subject of music and its artistic form; one that opens up the possibilities of creation and liberates the listener from the tired, the generic, and the cynical; a composition that dares you to be different.

Facebook.com/whoissubculture
Twitter: @whoissubculture
IG: whoissubculture

Facebook.com/rachelchinouririmusic
Twitter: @rachelchinourir
IG: rachelchinouriri
Crazy Horse by MillyArtist: Milly
Track: “Crazy Horse”
LA-based Independent Outfit Milly drop a glorious dose of laid-back lo-fi and garagey goodness with new single, “Crazy Horse”.

Thrift Shop beats drop blunt and off-tonal, willfully awkward and intentionally warped; alternating off-balance and sat in odd, indifferent distance by quizzical and curious use of reverb. Six-strings delivered in tremolo and chorus, counting strings and rasping rakes, rattling off-set and played-off against each other; left to right, the stereo-field opened up, messing/smart. Bass drones heavy and deep, grinding the track forward in swells of low frequency.

Vocals land lazy and laid-back; teased by saturation and oft scattered by delay, in short, idle stanzas of gloriously lackluster melody and compelling understated lyric. Seemingly haphazard backing vocals, discarded distant and off-center, provide additional width and depth.

Deceptively effective and well-worked in its production, the 3-minute 14-second track peppered with undersold sonic delights, reverses, and keys, crafting shifting layer and contrasting texture into the composition. “Crazy Horse” slow-burns to a triumphant and chaotic crescendo of awesomely distorted guitar noise and dirty swell, as though the noise-floor itself is rising up to bring the song to a cacophonous and glorious end.

Proper independent, alternative music.

Twitter: @millymusicgroup
IG: millyleband


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!


About Tobi
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.

Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 48 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

 

Molly More I love you but i don't like you Artist: Molly Moore
Track: “i love you but i don’t like you”
LA-Based singer-songwriter/producer Molly Moore crafts compelling contrast with graceful soul pop melodies set against gritty bass swell and dirty swagger, with new single, “i love you but i don’t like you”.

Driven from the low to the mid, the 2-minute 12-second track arrives in mournful electric key stab in reverse, flat-packed blunt ‘n’ hollow kick, and absent texture sampled-backward and ambient. Beats snip, stutter, and smatter; drum-machine toms delayed, looped, and distant; percussive elements land smacked, stubbornly unrefined; the sparse arrangement, unapologetic and unforgiving.

Moore’s voice walks the beat in deliberate, uncompromising strides; working the verses in teasing malice and willfully raw technique; the count exposed for the world to feel. Only to switch-up in the chorus, allowing herself to finesse her flow; shifting word around the click. Backing vocal processed to the point of abstraction, atonal and synth-timbre, add texture and inspired hook.

Both well-crafted pop song of crowd-pleasing build, melody, and hook; and, at the same time, brutal and stark in its production and presentation; ‘i love you but i don’t like you’ makes perfect musical sense in its apparent stylistic contradictions; and in doing so, aptly reflects and expresses through musical form, the paradoxical and yet all too painfully familiar truth of its subject matter.

Facebook.com/mollymooremusic
Twitter: @missmollymoore
IG: mollymoore

 

Headcase by Kyan Palmer and nicopop.Artist: Kyan Palmer + Nicopop + Johnny Mac
Track: “What U Like”
LA-Based Independent Artist Kyan Palmer, Producer Nicopop, and Johnny Mac deliver dance-pop grooves and soulful vocals for the heat and the dark of long summer nights, with new single, “What U Like”.

Cast in grid-tight time, a carefully worked array of percussive sample ‘n’ loop fire in a rich and compelling cascade of sonic tone ‘n’ texture, working width left to right across the stereo field, and depth with smart use of frequency, tone, and timbre to create a sense of shifting layer and ever-changing contrast. Kick punches deep and clean, while the snare lands bit-crushed smacked and saturated soft. Though Melodic, sonic-electro tones are delivered fiercely rhythmic; the entire production enticing you to move, the listening experience as physical as it is musical.

Vocals flow like liquid; shifting from richly natural and full in tone to cooly metallic and vocoder-ed; the texture of the voices in a perpetual state of flux, the FXs processing light on its feet and ever-creative. Words are delivered in a near perfect balance of the percussive and the melodic; phrasing changing up and back to down with compelling ease on the ear.

With production and performance acting as one, “What U Like” moves through its 2-minute 59-second runtime with a compelling effortlessness. Though aggressively market-competitive, the feel of the track is easy-going, laid-back, and understated throughout. Palmer, Mac, and Nicopop demonstrating pitch-perfect taste and considerable finesse in its creation. Having already attracted the attention of Apple Music’s premiere pop playlists, ‘What U Like’ looks set to be ‘what we like’ this summer. If you haven’t already, it’s time to update your summer playlists.

Facebook.com/kyanpalmer
Twitter: @kyanpalmer
IG: kyanpalmer

Facebook
Twitter: @iamnicopop
IG: iamnicopop

Twitter: @johnnymacboogie
IG: johnnymacboogie

 

Superchunk-Acoustic by Foolish Artist: Superchunk
Track: “Like a Fool” – 2019 Acoustic (Acoustic Foolish LP)
Stubbornly independent four-piece Superchunk revisit their 1993 release, ‘Foolish’ and opening track, “Like a Fool” in acoustic hues of rasping chords, percussive arpeggio, and dulcet string.

In absence of their trademark glorious DIY noise of overdrive, fuzz, and crunch, Superchunk’s fourth album breathes a new with an open, at times mournful, at times wistful, and ever-nostalgic musical texture; the re-imagined acoustic rendition allowing themes, feelings, and moods hitherto only hinted at through the frantic energy of distorted sonics to surface and resonate in the forgiving tonality of acoustic instruments.

The 3-minute 37-second track moves in graceful, understated sways and overlapping musical layers of quietly contrasting guitar technique and tone. Drums pad and patter; kick soft-landing in bursts of low frequency; snare cracks from a drumstick, almost dropped; ghost note and accent crafting a fluid shimmer of percussive flow. Bass counts in dabs, forceful but weighted with care; the track given additional width and depth by a string arrangement that is oddly both embracing and disquietening; a familiar ill-at-ease.

McCaughan’s vocals less hurried and charged, with bittersweet hush and worldworn soulfulness; his voice cracking slightly at the edges, tinged with fragility and a raw honesty so characterised by the band’s entire body of work.

So few bands age well; clinging to the myth of rockstar well past its sell-by date; perhaps locked into a tired act of theatre, pedaled by major labels too lazy to deviate from the familiar formula. And it is perhaps in this regard, and because of their fierce and stubborn devotion to the spirit and method of independent music, that Superchunk find themselves free to re-invent, to grow, to age and, in doing so, continue their ongoing conversation with their fans; that raw, unpretentious, and honest conversation of glorious noise that we, their fans, have so valued for so many years.

Facebook.com/mergerecords
Twitter: @superchunk
IG: macsuperchunk


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!


About Tobi
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.

Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 47 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

I dont give a damn album by ORKID - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: ORKID
Track: “Melodrama” (I Don’t Give a Damn LP)
Rising star of the Swedish Independent scene ORKID drops a dazzling dose of smart Electro Pop with her new song, “Melodrama”.

Arriving in glorious lo-fi fanfare of Hip-Hop and B-Movie sample ‘n’ loop, the 3-minute 56-second track drives from the get-go with a dirty bass drone and the gliding hum of sonically blunt synth-oddity. Beats skip and snip, dry and funky; shifting through the groove in snapping rapid-fire. Brassy hook shunts and stabs; an intoxicating blend of leftfield instrumentation blends and hangs together, almost in spite of itself. Each musical element seemingly chosen for their perfect wrongness.

ORKID works the beats tight with her words. Her voice rising sweetly with soulful depth and compelling warmth. Both gracefully melodic and fiercely percussive, ORKID’s phrasing and lyric compelling, odd, and rich in imagination. Additional harmony adds color and contrast; enhancing the emotional and performance dynamic.

Successfully combining influences from Hip-Hop, Pop, Electro, RnB, Soul, “Melodrama” is an impressively crafted alt-pop composition. Well-judged and tastefully understated production add quality and further integrity. First-rate Indie-pop! Listen to ORKID’s new album, ‘I Don’t Give a Damn’ on all major streaming platforms right now.

Facebook.com/itsorkiid
Twitter: @MatildaMeliin
IG: itsorkid

 

in plain sight by honeybloodArtist: Honeyblood
Track: “Gibberish” (In Plain Site)
Glasgow based Alt-Rock awesome noisemakers Honeyblood deliver a storming dose of jump up ‘n’ down distortion with new song, “Gibberish”.

Introduced in stubbornly unrefined/under-produced home-brewed trash and low mid smudge, the track rips open at 20 odd seconds with grasping, rasping guitars, howling gang vocal, and straight up in the gut live drums; snare smacking blunt and flat; the kick a tightly coiled fist of low weight and punch; hi-hat sizzle and cymbal fizz. Guitars soar in saturation and reverb; crash and crunch in dirty fuzz; drive with torque, distortion-fueled hyper-drone; animalistic and futuristic.

Stina Tweeddale spits, shouts, snarls, and sings in a series of taunting phrases, rants, and harmony infused chants. Perfectly imperfect indie-rock-pop vocal anti-hooks for the disillusioned and disbelieving to drink, dance, and shout along to. The 2-minute 31-second track burning through its runtime in anger, frustration, and awesome noise.

“Gibberish” is the fourth track on Honeyblood’s new 11-track LP. Available via all major streaming media platforms right now.

Facebook.com/yumhoneyblood
Twitter: @yumhoneyblood
IG: yumhoneyblood

 

Charlotte OCArtist: Charlotte OC
Track: “Better Off on My Own”
UK-Based Alternative Pop Artist Charlotte OC delivers a stand-out track of graceful melancholy and compelling musicality, with new single, “Better Off on My Own”.

Piano notes drop sparse and somber and an engagingly simple set of musical phrases. Charlotte O’Conner’s voice world-weary and soul worn. Her own phrasing matching the simplicity of the piano keys; the two musical voices paired in an oblique dance. The 3-minute 32-second track builds in understated layers; drums land present and driving, but never over-reaching; the bass running a series of tight low-frequency dabs down the center of the mix; piano climbing with organ and backing vocals.

O’Conner’s vocal builds with the track; well-judged instrumentation, arrangement, and production crafting a natural context for both her voice and word. Her lyrical style conversational and familiar; invoking thought, reflection, image, and suggestion in gently sing-along line and melody.

O’Conner’s work carries a depth of integrity both surprising and impressive for a young artist; her writing and production evocative of the grand old storytellers like Bruce Springsteen and iconic artists like Tina Turner. Strikingly accomplished and very much ready for radio, “Better Off on My Own” provides clear demonstration that Charlotte OC has the potential to appeal to mainstream and independent audiences alike. Very much an Artist with the talent to climb to the very top. And very much the kind of Artist we want to see at the very top.

Facebook.com/CharlotteOCOfficial
Twitter: @charlotteoc
IG: charlotteocofficial


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!


About Tobi
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.

Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 46 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

 

There Is A Wall Art by Skye Wallace

Artist: Skye Wallace
Track: “There is a Wall”
With guitar grunt and low down swagger, stand out Independent Artist Skye Wallace delivers audacious noise in smoldered malice with new single, “There is a Wall”.

Electric guitars have to sound a little wrong to sound right. In tightly fused fuzz and tone-blunted overdrive, the guitars of Skye Wallace’s latest release stab, punch, and sucka in percussive bolts of perfectly pitched imperfection. The drums land pocket tight; snare alligator-snapping at the heel of the deadened kick; cymbal, crash, and ride wash in fizzy rafts of glorious ear candy. The 2-minute 28-second track shifting in an ever-building series of well-worked lurches; giving way to great drives of shrieking six-string riff.

Skye Wallace breathes and chews her words in part performance/part mantra; her vocal both intimate and engaging, threatening but compelling. Verses arrive brooding in the grungy mids amongst the grunt of guitars; smart use of harmonies lift, widen, and swell the vocal presence during the choruses. Skye Wallace playing on and off the beat, switching seamlessly from syllable tight on the count to syncopated ‘push & pull’ melodic phrases.

In following up the haunting and noisy slow burn folk-rock, ‘Suffering for you’, Skye Wallace not only continues to craft inspiring and bold musical statements but also demonstrates the great potential of her creative range. Animalistic and unrefined, yet self-disciplined and unrelenting, “There is a Wall” represents a compelling artistic counterpoint to the expansive expressionism of ‘Suffering for You’; both audacious in intent and unapologetic in action.

Facebook.com/skyewallacemusic
Twitter: @skyewallace
IG: skyewallacemusic

I'd be lying by emma elisabethArtist: Emma Elisabeth
Track: “I’d Be Lying”
Swedish-born Berlin-based singer-songwriter and producer Emma Elisabeth crafts a sublime blend of graceful instrumentation and inspired vocal harmony, with new single, “I’d Be Lying”.

Moving gently in open musical stanzas of rich guitar tone, the 3-minute 14-second track drives in melancholic tones; six-strings are warm in low mids with texture on the string and pick, shimmering in well-worked reverb. Bass and drum land tight, shifting in grooves. The bass, quietly ever-present and forceful in weight. The drums dry, compact and giving width to the guitars and harmonies.

Emma Elisabeth’s vocals stand tall and draw your ear with sweetly crafted melody and hook. An inspired use of harmony providing additional width and depth to the vocals; enhancing and reflecting the emotional resonance of the lyrics.

Drawing immediate and favorable comparison to the music of bands like Fleetwood Mac, Emma Elisabeth’s latest release conjures impressions of the open road, of infinite highways, hazy sunshine rides, and midnight drives lost in idle pursuit of the vanishing point.

Facebook.com/emmaelisabethmusic
Twitter: @EmmaElisabethMu
IG: emmaelisabethmusic

walk like nothing by the land belowArtist: The Land Below
Track: “Walk Like Nothing”
Swedish Independent Artist Erik Lindestad aka The Land Below delivers a synthpop infused dose of expansive electronic soundscape and pulsating drum machine beat with new single, “Walk Like Nothing”.

Deftly timbered synth sonics resonate in percussive arpeggio, shifting lead, and ambient pad; timing, tone, and stereo placement crafting contrast and candy for the ear. Guitars add earthy grit and dense dirt, bedding the track in. A tight to the line bass synth dabs smart brushstrokes of low frequency down the middle. Kick snap-punches; Snare dry and dusty, smacking and holding the center point.

Erik Lindestad’s vocals arrive in a whispered rush; light tone and darkened word. The opposing forces of content and delivery making for an intriguing, enigmatic listening experience that draws and engages the ear.

Inspired choice of instrumentation and smartly worked arrangement creates a richly musical composition, with percussive and melodic element playing off and enhancing each other. Tightly produced and light on it’s the feet, darkness is, nevertheless, ever-present throughout, “Walk Like Nothing”. The production reflecting the paradoxical vocal line; light tone and darkened word.

Facebook.com/thelandbelowmusic
Twitter: @thelandbelow
IG: thelandbelow


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!


About Tobi
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.

Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 44 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

neon fire by mind cinema - BRASH! Magazine Blog

Artist: Mind Cinema + Telepathic Teddy Bear
Track: “Neon Fire”
Mexico-based alt-electronic three-piece Mind Cinema and electro-synth one-man-show Telepathic Teddy bear deliver sizzling synth-sonics, rich ambient hues, and pulsating neo-synthpop grooves with new single, “Neon Fire”.

Driven deep by weighty bass grind, the 3-minute 32-second track erupts in an on-going cascade of awesome synthesizer arpeggio, lead, and pad; layers of electronic modulation arrive in waves, both organic and blast; the stereo field set alight with a firework display of inspired musicality. Tight and dry kick and snare punch and smack down the center with a dazzling array of electronic percussion exploding left/right. The song shifts through various scenes, as the instrumentation forms and reforms to fit around the evolving vocal melody. Well worked use of delay and reverb in conjunction with smartly judged harmony, both natural and pitch FXed, create an ever-changing sense of width, depth and weight to the vocal line.

An unrelenting standard of accomplished production in partnership with ceaseless attention to arrangement makes for a heady and engaging listening experience; the sheer force of creativity akin to the animalistic and belonging to nature. It also serves as a clear demonstration of the talent and ambition of both Mind Cinema and Telepathic Teddy Bear; two musical forces destined for and deserving of success well beyond the borders of their nation.

Facebook.com/mindcinema
Twitter: @mindcinemamusic
IG: mindcinemaband

Facebook.com/telepathicteddybear
Twitter: @telepathicteddy
IG: telepathicteddybear

plasterboard by natalie holmes - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Natalie Holmes
Track: “Plasterboard”
Stand-out singer-songwriter Natalie Holmes successfully blends contrasting musical influence into a singular composition of striking emotional sincerity, new single, “Plasterboard”.

Drawing upon apparent conflicting inspiration from genres as diverse as folk and EDM, chart-pop and lo-fi grunge, the 3-minute 17-second builds with a disarmingly familiar sense of simplicity that belies the great range of musical idea at work throughout the track. Gloriously rustic drones give way to dance kick and contemporary pop percussion; raspy guitar riffs echo alongside ambient pad; vocal shifting from the steady burn of melodic pop to the expansive phrases and harmony of a piano ballad, only to drop into the rhythmic beat by beat of UK garage; well-judged use of instrumentation and arrangement creating overlap and overhang from one musical scene to the next, resulting in an effortless, organic listening experience.

“Plasterboard” moves with a quiet grace throughout; the deeply contrasting musical ideas woven together by a rich core of heartfelt emotion. And as impressive as Natalie Holmes’ uniquely intuitive sense for combining an eclectic range of musical influence is, it is her gift for honest, straightforward songwriting that ultimately resonates in the hearts of her listeners. Very much the modern artist and yet, at the same time, possessing that most vital and ancient of characteristics for storytellers and songwriters, sincerity.

Facebook.com/natalieholmesmusic
Twitter: @natalieholmes
IG: _natalieholmes

EP2 by Body Type - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Body Type
Track: “UMA” (EP2)
Sydney-based garage-rock four piece Body Type drop a gloriously noisy dose of distortion and trash that’ll mess with your head while kicking your a*se.

Delivered in grungy tones of bass line drags and overdriven six-string riff, rake, and grind, the five-track EP rocks and drives with heavy kick and tom, punch-smacked snare, and raspy cymbal ‘n’ crash. Tremolo arpeggio tumble reverb-rich, kick and bass pounding the beat deep; contrasting use of saturation across the various electrics, creating placement, width, and depth in the stereo field. An inspired use of harmony coupled with inventive panning makes for an ever-surprising vocal presentation that engages throughout. The EP shifting from the gloriously noisy to strikingly oblique, odd, and introspective. Fantastic overdriven guitar fizz ‘n’ fuzz giving way to quiet expanses of ambient and sad wonder.

All to easily written off by critique and music fan alike as amateurish or unmusical, Garage Rock and its fellow DIY/Lo-Fi and punk genres have been far too long under-rated and under-recognized; Body Type’s latest release is a work rich in both musical and lyrical idea, willfully unrefined and at times intentionally ill-defined.

Independent music is dysfunctional music for dysfunctional people. It is crafted raw in the realization that many thoughts, feelings, and experiences are broken-up, conflicted, and confused. It speaks to the moments and people that live in the shadows of our lives, the outcast and maligned. And while the great dim of mass entertainment ignores, isolates, and invalidates, Independent Music embraces these ill-formed, broken moments and people.

Bands and Artists like Body Type of writing soundtracks to the lives and moments of the otherwise alone, the denied, or the outright rejected. With the mainstream at best indifferent, if not out and out destructive, Independent Music will be what gets them through the night.

Facebook.com/bodytypeband
Twitter: @bodytypeband
IG: bodytypeband


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!

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


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!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread