1. Wavves – ‘Hippies Is Punks’
This California pop-punk three piece have gathered a healthy fan base over the last few years with the release of 2 albums and several EPs and now they’re here again to unleash more of their catchy riffs. ‘Hippies Is Punks’ is nostalgic to much of Sum 41 and Weezer’s earlier music with loud guitars and plenty of percussion. In the captivating chorus, lead singer Nathan Williams sings “Get me out of your head, and I’ll get you out of mine” before an interlude of summer-sounding “ooh ooh ohhs” and more despondent lines like “I remember why I hate you again” kicks in. It’ll get stuck in your head and is hopefully representative of the rest of their music on their next record which can’t be too far away.
2. Saint Lou Lou – ‘Maybe You’
Saint Lou Lou are 2 beautiful sisters who have been brought up moving between Sweden and Australia, and whose debut single showcases a wealth of talent as dreamy sad-pop makers. Their soft, hypnotically melancholic voices are accompanied by a slow percussive thud, sparse guitar chords, light synths and a gentle keyboard. Lyrics such as “All those times I lost myself in lies / it was you I was trying to find” show an emotional depth and makes this song perfect for reflective bedtime listening. There is little information anywhere on the internet about these mysterious sisters but with such a strong debut, it will be intriguing to hear more music from them.
3. Churches – ‘Lies’
The latest buzz band from Glasgow, Churches have latched onto indie pop with their synth claws, and torn the genre open to create a new vein in British indie music. Epitomising the stereotype of most mysterious breakthrough sensations, Churches have launched themselves from the unknown with a debut track that is a treat for your subconscious music gremlin. ‘Lies’ is insanely catchy. Led by a single authoritative female vocal, the track jumps straight in with militaristic drums and diving samples and is a sonic assault on the listener from beginning to the end that can at the very least be summarised as highly addictive listening, and at most, a shining example of how debut singles can be created. With an aim to ‘make people dance’ and a album on the horizon for 2013, Churches are on a mission to turn even the most sceptical pop listener into a true believer.
4. Strangers – ‘Safe/Pain’
Strangers certainly are strangers to us, having picked one of the most generic names out there. An expansive, emotive, British collective, the band employ synths subtly alongside the mellow vocals of lead singer and songwriter David Maddox-Jones to create euphoric sounds. ‘Safe/Pain’ has the some of the solitary vocal vibes that characterised mid-era Bloc Party, piano driven verses that Keane would be proud of, while the club beats are as modern as the non-nonsensical title and the overall atmosphere is akin to Bastille. The result of this is a fresh, theatrical sound that sees the band straddle the realms of pop and darkwave. ‘Safe/Pain’ is available to download now.
Contributions from Howell Davies, Becci Ford and David Martin.