1. Haerts – ‘Wings’
Very little is known about Haerts, a Brooklyn band that are perhaps so alternative, letters don’t need to be in the right order. ‘Wings’ – the début track from the group – has an airy and spacious nature to it that is the trademark of their label Neon Gold, alongside the indie, shimmering guitars and keys. But it’s got the pace and the integral layers to be a pop tune as well, driven by the soaring vocals of the female lead singer, taking cues from a whole generation of ballads past. The track is available for free from their Facebook page.
2. Air Traffic Controller – ‘Hurry Hurry’
Originality is just rampant today as the Boston collective is fronted by Dave Munro who guess what, served as an air traffic controller in the Navy. Moving away from naming difficulties, ‘Hurry Hurry’ starts with a marching band drum beat; an incessant, inescapable pace that sets the tone for the rest of the track. Simple, but infectious alternative pop follows, coupled with lyrical content that is an indictment of modern life today. Think Passion Pit, stripped back and sped up. Their album Nordo is available now.
3. Strange Talk – ‘Cast Away’
Strange Talk are just one of a recent batch of new age electro-pop bands that are forming and breaking out of Australia (particularly Melbourne) in recent years, following in the footsteps of Cut Copy and Gypsy and The Cat. A whirling cacophony of synths break out to lead into some catchy hooks, and lead singer Stephen Docker keeps the energy flowing with his breathy, post-tropical vocals. ‘Cast Away’ is the first single a new album scheduled for 2013, and their self-titled EP has already been released.
4. Cheatahs – The Swan’
Recently featured on NME and recent signed to Wichita Recordings, things look up for the London four-piece. Grungy melodies with a real focus on rocky riffs, as opposed to many of their contemporaries are central to ‘The Swan’ here, although the spaces between and production techniques are a distinct nod to the atmospheric nature of 90s shoegaze, replicated too in the slightly dispersed yet elegant lead vocals. ‘The Swan’ is part of the Sans EP which comes out on October 22nd.
Contributions from David Martin.