Sleep on these at your peril…
Walking Shapes, ‘Taka Come On’
New York indie quintet Walking Shapes’ debut ‘Taka Come On’ deals in the kind of unashamedly dancefloor-friendly hooks that pitch them as a US Two Door Cinema Club with added balls. Early single ‘In The Wake’ runs on glimmering guitars and a general air of Modest Mouse classic ‘Float On’: expect the rest to be just as giddy.
Lower Dens, ‘Escape From Evil’
Moving on from 2012 LP ‘Nootropics’ sleek and shimmering synths, ‘Escape From Evil’ turns the focus inwards. A deeply personal album centred on singer Jana Hunter’s own personal and emotional development, it’s lyrically intense but packed full of big 80s washes and dreamy layered soundscapes. A multi-faceted listen.
If you like a challenging listen, then Santiago-born trio Follakzoid’s newest might be your March purchase of choice. Harsh blasts of industrial noise and undulating motoric rhythms unfurl across four tracks – all around 11 minutes long. There are glimmers of light among the shade, however, and the result is nothing short of hypnotic.
Hannah Cohen, ‘Pleasure Boy’
New York-based soloist Hannah Cohen releases her second LP this month. A beguiling combination of expansive synths (think a more pop-orientated Beach House) and Hannah’s baby-voiced coo have led to Lana comparisons, but there’s a more forward-thinking angle to ‘Pleasure Boy’ than Del Rey’s stylised nostalgia.
Formation, ‘Young Ones EP’
London duo Formation fuse dance, funk, disco, soul into modern dancefloor fillers – sound familiar? But if on paper the band are Jungle mk II, on record they’re a more interesting proposition. Like a lost signing from James Murphy’s DFA label, they're indebted to the slick sounds of NY more than the urban thrum of London – check their 2nd EP for proof.
Dune Rats, ‘Dune Rats’
Totally awesome, bro. Aussie trio Dune rats deal in snotty FIDLAR-esque punk and their longform debut is, largely, an exercise in no frills fun. There are moments of respite though – think an amped up Mac DeMarco – that show the Dunies have more to them than just a Mallrats obsession and a cupboard full of weed.
Gucci Mane, ‘Dessert Mixtape’
Alabama rapper Gucci Mane is a prolific guy, having already dropped three albums entitled ‘Breakfast’, ‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’ in recent weeks. Now, he’s followed it up logically with ‘Dessert’ and its three tracks are the perfect way to finish off his productive run, particularly on Eminem-namechecking centrepiece ‘Play Too Much’.
Moon King, ‘Secret Life’
Canada duo Moon King are gearing up to support Unknown Mortal Orchestra on a UK tour this May and though ‘Secret Life’s Sky Larkin-esque indie rock might have little in common with their tourmates’ burbling psych explorations, there’s something equally experimental at their core. Check ‘Apocalypse’s warping time signatures for proof.
Beech Coma Compilation’
London and Leeds-based new music label Beech Coma drop their third compilation this month, rounding up the best of the music streaming on their site into one easily digestible lump. Gauzy slacker rock and sweetened dream pop reign supreme, with Bruising’s fuzzy fun coming out on top.
Stay Bless, ‘In Paradise EP’
The chosen moniker of London musician George Cassavetes, Stay Bless deals in tropical tinged pop with a light-hearted flutter. If the chipper bounce of lead single ‘Paradise’ seems a little too wide-eyed for you, however, just listen to the lyrics: “Oh god there goes my soul/ Wasted on that fucking girl”. More interested now?
Helsinki, ‘A Guide For The Perplexed’
The solo project of Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell, Helsinki has slowly been ticking along in the background for a number of years now with tracks dating back to the late 2000s. Don’t think of this as a second fiddle project, however. With guest spots from Pete Doherty and Albert Hammond Jr, it proves Drew’s a talent in his own right.
Yung, ‘Alter EP’
The latest export from Denmark’s thriving punk scene (see: Iceage, Lower), Aarhus-based quartet Yung are a thrillingly visceral and uncompromising proposition. On their latest – ‘Alter EP’ – they make a case for throat shredding vocals and propulsive nihilism that’s hard to ignore.
Purity Ring, ‘Another Eternity ‘
Canadian duo Purity Ring - producer Corin Roddick and vocalist/lyricist Megan James – continue on their genre-defying path with second album ‘Another Eternity’. Its backbone may be rooted in electronic pop, but with an array of EDM drops, trap beats and indie ethos added to the mix you’d be wise to just listen and make sense of it yourself.
Yumi Zouma, ‘EP II’
Full of low-key, effortless synth-pop that places itself on the French Riviera lounging with a Martini, it’s easy to see why the limited run of Yumi Zouma’s second EP has already sold out on its physical release. Luckily, however, the internet exists and the breezy likes of ‘Alena’ and ‘Dodi’ are still within reach.
Lowell, ‘We Loved Her Dearly’
A technicolour slice of playful, experimental pop in the vein of Santigold, Toronto musician Lowell’s debut is one of the month’s most exuberant. Her other nearest touchstones are pop’s other current high water marks Sky Ferriera and Charli XCX, which should do all the convincing you need.