Week 75 | 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

UP N DOWN by Izzy Camina - BRASH! magazine blog

Artist: Izzy Camina
Track: “UP N DOWN”

Independent artist and producer Izzy Camina delivers dystopian dance pop with new single, “UP N DOWN”.

Pulse-tronic, blunt and fused on a bitcrush; sonic-ricochet cracks the ambient open; and beats land, kick punching deep, tight, and hard; the snare smacked thin and brittle-sharp.  The bass shifts in dark, heavy ripples of sub and low frequency spl; pushing, throbbing, driving the track in animalistic surges of compacted energy.  Synths burst and rip in atonal, shards of electronica; as much sound design as composition.

Camina mouths lines in absence, in abstention, in search of absolution; words drip in vowel and hushed, throated whisper; syllables linger and drift.  Camina’s vocals stacked in odd double, awkward and compelling.  Part mantra, part musing, part meditation, Camina crafts image, thought, and sardonic aside.

A soundtrack to the 21st century dystopian driveby, “UP N DOWN” draws deep upon intoxicating thrill of losing oneself to the filth and stink of the oblivion chase; an anthem for a generation raised in the era of ego, where privacy and liberty have been traded for 15 minutes and convenience, where chaos has been prescribed to act as a catalyst for capitalism, and indifference has been normalized; a generation who, in the absence and impossibility of enlightenment, are, instead, in search of escape through any means unnecessary.  In speaking for herself, Izzy Camina is speaking for all of them.

Facebook.com/IzzyCamina
Twitter: @izzycamina
IG: izzycamina


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 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 72 | 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

Where Will You Run by Hannah CliveArtist: Hannah Clive
Track: “Where Will You Run?”

In great cinematic tones and with compelling musicality, independent artist Hannah Clive delivers a heartfelt call-to-arms in defense of our planet, with new single, “Where Will You Run?”

Shifting from side to side with great weight and ancient grace, vast layers of production and instrumentation surge forward in deep pulses of sub and low frequency. The ambient fizzes left/right with reverse, glitch, and shimmer. Pads grind in the low mid, strings rise in desperate flight, and choirs resonate from a middle distance.

Chorused arpeggio and darken piano note add depth, drama, and foreboding. Cymbals explode in metallic shards and scatter, as beats snap dry and bit-crushed. Loop, repeat, echo, and delay cast odd texture, unnatural act, and sonic contrivement across the massive landscape.

Hannah Clive’s vocals stalk the mighty expanse with tightly coiled anger, her words spat and stabbed in exasperation; apocalyptic visions of a nightmare future, approaching ever more rapidly due to our collective indifference and inaction.

Songs of protest are notoriously difficult, more often than not coming off as preachy, naive, or simply disingenuous. Where so many, including the great and good, have failed, Hannah Clive has not only succeeded, she has excelled. “Where Will You Run?” is a staggering, epic track of great musical depth and even greater importance. It is further testament to the unique and inspired talent of Hannah Clive; but moreover, and so much more than that, it is a rallying call of the utmost imperative and severity. And, in doing so, it asks the most simple, straight forward, and vital of questions to each and every one of us.

“Where Will You Run?”

Facebook.com/hannahclivemusic
Twitter: @hannahclive
IG: hannahclive

 

real talk by I M ArtistArtist: I.M the Artist
Track: “Real Talk” (Self-Made EP)

London-based singer-songwriter I.M the Artist delivers a darkly soulful dose of understated poetry and quiet musicality, with new song “Real Talk”.

Presented in a compelling sparse musical expanse of sweeping ambients, shimmering reverses, and stark sonic elements; ‘Real Talk’ grows quietly in brittle and distant piano progressions, deep subs that bleed down to the noise floor, and bit-crushed beats that snip, stutter, and snap.

I.M the Artist walks the beat with a series of tightly woven lyrical phrases, rich in imagery and thought. The talented vocalist carefully gauging her vocal pace to match the ebb and flow of the instrumentation around her. Voice and production shifting as one living, breathing listening experience.

Fiercely contemporary, “Real Talk” blurs the line between musical composition and sound design to such an extent that one becomes the other; and in doing so, questions the very need to even make a distinction. In very much the same way, so success is I.M the Artist in blending the seemingly opposing genres of ambient, beat, and singer-songwriter, that they cease to be separate; and instead, become something new, singular, and unique.

Facebook.com/i.mtheartistofficial
Twitter: @IMtheartistt
IG: i.mtheartist

 

 super bullshit by lauren ruth wardArtist: Lauren Ruth Ward
Track: “Super Bullshit”

LA-based Independent Artist Lauren Ruth Ward drops a raucous dose of no nonsense old time rock ‘n’ soul with new single “Super Bullshit”.

Fiercely percussive throughout, “Super Bullshit” shifts and shimmies, swaggers and struts, moving like a Travolta-Cat. Six-string acoustics spank and rasp, with slap and rattle, while electrics spit fuse and funky fuzz in riff and lick. The bass line walking like you’re talking in tightly delivered dabs of low frequency; playing off and against, the snap and crack of drumsticks working the pocket with skill and finesse.

Lauren Ruth Ward mouths the lyrics with compelling nonchalance and glorious lazy soul. Her voice, rich in low mid texture and deep tone, draws the listener’s voice into the production. A great disarray of willfully, and wonderfully, untidy backing vocal providing fantastic depth of harmony and vocal variation.

Raw, uncontrived, and very much in the room, “Super Bullshit” is a refreshingly honest and uncomplicated production; trading on sheer talent, inspired musicianship, and standout performance. ‘Old School’ is a tired and overused expression within the music industry; but with so many artists relying on FX, technology, and novelty, kids, it’s time to knock off the bullshit and go back to school.

Facebook.com/laurenruthwardmusic
Twitter: @laurenruthward
IG: laurenruthward

 


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 71 | 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

Wild Love by The TrustedArtist: 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.’

Facebook.com/thetrusted
Twitter: @thetrustedband
IG: thetrusted

 

Pressure by Ellie DixonArtist: Ellie Dixon
Track: “Pressure”

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.

Facebook.com/elliedixonmusic
Twitter: @Elliedixonmusic
IG: ledixon

 

5 Myths EP by FaultressArtist: Faultress
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.

Facebook.com/faultress
Twitter: @thisisfaultress
IG: thisisfaultress

Week 70 | 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

Feel Something EP by Camp CrushArtist: Camp Crush
Track: “Gymnasiums” (Feel Something EP)

New Wave Pop Duo Camp Crush delivers an intoxicating landscape of cinematic synths and epic vocals with new EP Feel Something and the new song, “Gymnasiums”.

Bit-crushed beats crackle, smack, and grind. Vocals drift ambient, distant, elusive and yet persistent. Synth-sonics toll, great electronic bells; the ambient thickening into fizzing rises of an amped fuse. Synthesizer riff chime in gloriously odd modulation and compelling melodic hook. Drums erupt in gated tight reverb, beating and pounding; machined-tribal, surging in pulse and shudder. A bass thickens and drives in a great shifting slab of monophonic low frequency.

The lead vocals stand tall and epic; a great theatrical performance in voice. The stage a multi-dimensional construct of electro-phonics; pad and lead, expansive and brassy. Lyrics projected as though spotlight lit; a world of music hewn from electrical current, exploding and cascading all around; a great globe set real in melody, word, rhythm, and harmony.

“Gymnasiums” is an intoxicating montage of compelling songwriting and vocals, framed by a vast territory of synth-sonics; romantic and awesomely cinematic. It not only draws you into its magical world; it lifts you up and propels you, outwards from this oft dreary life, and away into the heavens; to where the stars dwell. Camp Crush are not just musicians, they are magicians too.

Facebook.com/campcrushmusic
Twitter: @campcrushmusic
IG: campcrush
Better Off Dead by Aimee StevenArtist: Aimée Steven
Track: “Better Off Dead”

Independent Artist Aimée Steven delivers a wondrously rowdy and willfully unrefined mess of raucous drum, blistering guitar saturation, and super cool vocal with new single, “Better Off Dead”.

Gruff and grinding electric six-string riff spanks and rusts, overdriven and gloriously rude; cymbals smash, metallic eruption. Kick landing big, bold, and boomy; the snare, in the room and deliciously distorted on the transient; bassline chugging and grooving in thick, heavy-set footsteps of deep, low-frequency SPL. Guitars rattle, spit and burst in fuzz, grunge, and gut.

Aimée Steven’s vocal strolls, nonchalant and smokey cool, through the great and glorious mess of distortion and noise. Her voice thickening around the lyrics, crafting weight and depth to the words; resulting in a physical listening experience.

“Better Off Dead” is an instantly and deliciously satisfying composition. The production feels grounded and bedded in; tones are fat and massive. The intentionally unrefined recording and processing of the instrumentation create the perfect contrast for Aimée Steven’s uber-cool vocal performance. A bluesy, smoldering, old school soul number delivered in great waves of distortion and fantastic noise. More, please!

Facebook.com/aimeestevenmusic
Twitter: @AimeeSteven
IG: aimeesteven
Eastcote EP by Sam JohnsonArtist: Sam Johnson
Track: “Lost in the Mail” (Eastcote EP)

Singer-Songwriter Sam Johnson crafts compelling drama and inspired musicality in great waves of instrumentation and soulful vocal with a new song and opening track, “Lost in the Mail”, from his debut EP, Eastcote.

Vocal harmonies land tall and theatrical left/right; six-string acoustic spank, Morricone cool; electric wail set distant and ambient; a great surge of instrumentation and wondrous noise. The 3-minute 38-second track breaking and rising in massive waves of sound and open spaces of percussive force and ambient depth. At the center of it all, a kick punches deep and thick with weight and gut; the bass line moving in tightly-controlled turns and runs, holding groove and line. Guitars electric and acoustic burst and pulse in incredible eruptions of percussive force, or rattle and gently spank in palm mute and riff. The production lurching and strutting like a mighty animal of melody and sound.

Sam Johnson’s vocals draw the ear into the depths of the great arena of noise, with soulful grace and well-judged pace, emphasize, and projection. Smart and accomplished producing and mix engineer craft space and breath for Johnson, among the mass of inspired instrumentation.

Impressive musicality and songcraft, framed by well-thought-out production/mix and master, stand, “Lost in the Mail” apart and above the great din of en masse upload. A composition of the highest quality, that both succeeds technically and creatively; successfully marrying the fundamentals with striking originality and imagination. Sam Johnson is very much an artist to watch.

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


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 69 | 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

Wolves by MoxiArtist: Moxi
Track: “Wolves”
LA-based dream-pop duo Moxi burst back into the musical fray with sublime grace, inspired the use of space, and haunting musicality; new single, “Wolves”.

Heralded by a howling pack of pitch-shifted and modulated harmonies, cast in depths and layers of reverb and ambient; the 3-minute 18-second track opens up in cascades of shimmering sonics and sublime instrumentation sat within inspired use of space. Electric six-strings rack in chorus and delay, liquid electricity caught in amber; a bassline shifting in tight runs and stanzas of low-frequency dab and movement; kick landing blunt and dull, stuttered heartbeat. Guitars grinding in short bursts of riff and echo-drenched lick.

Choruses rise with accomplished and deceptive ease, kick and snare driving in consort; six-string doubling bass and riff twisting and turning left/right in compelling counterpoint; ambient pad glimmer and accent width, with additional musical set deep and barely audible; each adding depth, layer, and width.

Anna Toy’s vocals drift, float, and soar across the great, odd, and beautiful electronic landscape; at times ethereal, at times wistful; a spirit voice, projection of introspection; lost in imagery and thought, ancient reference; born of the land and the sky, a simpler and more profound time; forgotten by most, but revered and cherished by a select few.

Instrumentation and voice set at the glorious ballet, movement in balance. “Wolves” expands in slow-burn, silence and surge; a private world made tangible, hewn into musical form. Layer and depth, both compositional and emotional expressed in tandem; because of each other and by means of each other, inspiration inaction of each other.

Great bands and artists are not just engaged in the act of making music, they are married in the pursuit of making entire worlds. And in Moxi’s music, we find worlds within worlds. Great depths of the musical and emotional continent, territory and landscape. Vast, infinite, and without fathom. Presented in the electro-sonics of modernity, yet born of the primal, the blood feud, and the spirit dawn.

Before the settlers brought their cities of steel and glass, before artificial light dulled the night sky, before their toxic smoke made the land cry, before their greed, their lies, and their diseases of the mind; before, when there were a simpler time and an honest line between human, animal, land, and sky. Before, that is when the music of Moxi was born. And now, timeless and out of time, it bears witness to that simpler time.

Facebook.com/moxilovesyou
Twitter: @ilovemoxi
IG: ilovemoxi

 

RKC LP by Rachel K CollierArtist: Rachel K Collier
Track: “Three Faces” (RKC LP)
Independent producer and artist Rachel k Collier rounds off a stellar year of strikingly original and fiercely creative electronic releases with her debut LP, RKC.

Electro-sonics hulk, grind, and swagger. Productions drop down to stalking kick and bass; coiled risers, contorting and snarling; ready to pounce. In great animalistic percussive force, choruses surge, leap, and bound. Drum fills are slung, scattered, and snapped into sharp focus. Tracks shift muscular and athletic; tempos race with a musical element in rapid cascade. Melody transmitted in a battle cry, primal shriek, and rear brain shout. ‘RKC’ moving through its exceptional tracklist with profound physicality.

Collier’s vocals walk with accomplished percussive presence; syllables dropping onto and about the beats, adding additional rhythmic pattern and movement. Whereas most successful productions are built around the lead vocal, Rachel K Collier’s production and vocals are one and the same; a great beast of the arrangement, words, and instruments hewn together at their collective core.

The various genres of electronic music suffer terribly at the hands of indifferent practitioners, seemingly more compelled by dreams of wealth and success, than any love or genuine appreciation for the art form. ‘RKC’ is a compelling and potent reminder that electronic music need not be formulaic, generic or cynical; ‘RKC’ is great testament to the vast creative potential of electronic production, an inspired collection of fiercely original works; collectively driven by an animalist physicality and sublime application of sonic-space, instrumentation, and composition.

Rachel K Collier has done more than just craft her debut LP. She has created an entire world of noise, percussion, and melody. A wild kingdom of the electro-sonics and swaggering sound pressure level. An undiscovered country of electronic music.

Facebook.com/RachelKCollierOfficial
Twitter: @rachelkcollier
IG: rachelkcollier

 

Bonus Heart by Petravita Artist: Petravita
Track: “Bonus Heart”
Stockholm-based rap/hip hop artist and spoken word poet Petravita drops sublime flow onto easy grooves and lo-fi tones, with new single, “Bonus Heart”.

Driven down the middle by low organ drone, sat deep, and modulating slowly; kick ducking underneath with sunken sub and blunt top, striking in protracted counts. Drumstick worked across the rim; click, flat and dry. An electric six-string noodles in loop, idle riff; edge in overdrive, rusted on the tube. Hi-Hat tipping and rasping in a sporadic stanza, injecting lazy pace into the gloriously understated 3-minute 5-second track.

Petravita works his words in burst, laze, and rhyme; shifting from conversational to rapidly percussive, breaking out into melody spontaneously; voice injecting variety of structure into the stripped-down arrangement, giving rise to dynamic contrast and ever-changing counterpoint to the understated instrumentation.

Wondrously lo-fi with compelling groove and hazy, lazy soulfulness, “Bonus Heart” is an act of tenderness presented in oddity; and, though strikingly different in presentation, it is, nevertheless, evocative of Syd Barrett’s ‘Bike’ (Pink Floyd’s ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’); in that, it feels like ‘the other guy’s love song’; an alternate, off-beat, left-field, seldom-expressed love song for the dysfunctional, the maligned or just plain awkward.

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


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 66 | 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

Funani by Toya Delazy Artist: Toya Delazy
Track: “Funani”
London-based South African Independent Artist Toya Delazy delivers a percussive tour-de-force of rich in musical integrity and storming vocals, with the new single “Funani”.

Percussive shards of sharp frequency burst in rapid stabs of brassy sonic awesome; texture shifts in the middle distance, breathy and raspy. Electro-kick pops deep and flat, dry, basic and willfully unrefined; a snare sneezes, smacked tight, playing off hi-hat tickle and tick. An odd, phonic drops right and wide; grabbing and grunting in defiance. Metal rattles and riffs in a syncopated series of fast impacts.

Delazy mouths and swallows lyrics, physical; shifting through a rhythmic structure, break, and form in an inspired run, rebound, and scatter; her words dancing about, around, and between the scattered arrangement; music and voice, one and the same. A living, breathing experience of music; a creation in its own right.

“Funani” exists in a perpetual state of movement; working in tight clusters of a percussive idea, expressed in an engaging array of instrumental timbre and tone. Sounds are often set at odds with each other. The 2-minute 28-second track refusing to sit down and be pinned to one theme or idea. Fiercely original throughout and delivered with accomplished production, “Funani” represents a standout and unique composition. Tonya Delazy is an Artist on the rise.

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

 

Bored to Death by WalrusArtist: Walrus
Track: “Bored to Death”
Indie-rock four-piece Walrus drop an uber-cool dose of funky, grungy surf-rock with new single “Bored to Death”.

Drums tumble into beat, snare snapping and smacking the 3-minute 12-second track into life in double-quick time. A bassline grooves busy and cool at the back; shifting through deft dabs of low frequency. Hi-Hat and cymbal ticking and teasing, rasping and crashing, in glorious roomy real-world space. SIx-strings stab, buck, and riff in lush, reverb and shimmering delay; modulated B-movie cool, with Tarantino Tremolo. Grinding and grunting through gruff distortion and fuzz.

The vocals walk the centerline with an understated, lazy strut; lyrics working rhymes in circles, twisting ideas in concentric stanzas. The voice drawing your ear deep into the depth of the track; allowing the guitars to fold in around you. Dazy, hazy, indie-singalong hooks are delivered with perfectly poised nonchalance.

“Bored to Death” moves like a Travolta look-alike at a neon-drenched diner dive, but hewn of the animalistic noise of a hard-touring live circuit. It is restless and without rest. Smacked with the hard-earned integrity of a band that grinds it out the old school way, from gig to gig and town to town. Walrus is the real deal. And pretty soon, they’ll be coming to a town near you.

Facebook.com/WaWalrus
Twitter: @walrustheband
IG: walrustheband

 

Beyond by Kirsten LudwigArtist: Kirsten Ludwig
Track: “Beyond” (Wasted Time EP)
Stand-out singer-songwriter Kirsten Ludwig crafts a singular composition of quiet grace and inspired musicality with the new song “Beyond”.

Arpeggio six-strings tumble, rattle, and fall in partnership; adrift and restless, suspended in time. Ambients glimmer in the distance, ethereal; seldom physical; shifting in slow-burn modulation. Stings swell in rich, low-mid tones and ancient timbre; a sudden surge of musical weight, thickening the composition for a moment; only to fall back into the silence. A kick pounds deep and set back; punctuating the track. Layers of instrumentation grow out of the darkness; embered tones of the guitar, cast odd and shift-tonal by a chorus, delay, and reverb.

Ludwig floats in absent mind, thoughts and feelings flowing in cascade and run; her voice pacing with the arrangement, rising in soulful wail; only to slip back into the depths of the graceful composition. Ludwig’s vocal trading in lingering and melancholy; great expanses of imagining, desperate yearning, and solitary cry.

Electric riff and lick erupt in grungy fizz and crunch, turning in awkward movements and abrupt fingering; expressive and potent. The production swaying in heavy swagger; odd, breathtaking stanzas of a staggering musical idea; a great emotional tempest of revels new ended, but not, nor never, reconciled.

Kirsten Ludwig quietly delivers composition after composition of striking integrity and singular musical identity. A songwriter of unique aptitude and singular vocal identity. And an Artist who, to the collective shame of the Independent Music Scene, is all too often overlooked and deserving of far greater recognition. A bold and stand out music-maker who continues to take an inspired risk with her compositions; and in doing so, serves as great inspiration for her fellow artists.

Facebook.com/kirstenludwigmusic
Twitter: @kirstenludwig
IG: kirstenlud


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 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