January hasn’t started the way it started last year which is an absolute god send. It’s been a pretty slow month with quite a few new tunes being released here and there. Ed Sheeran made a massive come back by releasing two singles at the same time after what seems forever away from the music scene. David Bowie released a small EP on what would have been his birthday. This 4 track EP used some of the tracks from his previous album Black Star but also included some new track. My favourite being No Plan. Most of the festivals in UK have also released their line ups for this year one of which being Reading and Leeds who have some amazing headliners. The likes of Kasabian, Two Door Cinema Club, Fatboy Slim and Rat Boy are among the line-up. There have been mixed opinions about the line-up but I think it’s amazing compared to last years.
5) Soft Error – Mechanisms
These guys are back with a new album released around the start of the month. The new album Mechanisms has been one that I listened to throughout my exams this month as its futuristic and symphonic sounds helped me get down and focus. Recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland in the well-known Greenhouse studio it really is full of every electronic opportunity going. This duo known as Tom and Rupert started Soft Error as a new artistic beginning for them to venture onto rather than just a musical project like so many others. This album offers the world something new at every track and really shows off the musical backgrounds that the pair have. This is especially evident in the song Everybody Runs. This lyric less track has a gradual build up to what turns out to be an immense tune full of future based sounds. It makes you feel like you are running and that you have things to do and places to be. Highly recommend to listen to it if you need to get things done quickly.
4) Passport To Stockholm – Better Days EP
Now going back a bit I rediscovered this EP during this month. It has to be one of my favourite Passport To Stockholm EP’s out of the two they have released. It’s such a simple and beautiful little 4 track EP that it’s hard to not love. Its full of all of their classic sounding songs with a few twists thrown in. I would say that no folk fan is complete without this little EP in their music collection. Every track is incredible but there is one that stands out, Better Days itself. It’s so lyrically perfect it is that difficult to talk about. Everything from the way every instrument seems to club together to make one seamless track and the fact that the vocals seem to also just slot into the track nicely. It all works together to make a beautiful sound that is so different from the traditional folk music that it is also strangely similar.
3) Young Kato – Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow
Now onto number three for this month which is a new-found band for me. A good friend of mine recommended Young Kato to me this month and I’ve been obsessed with their album Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow. Every track on this album is something slightly different and is almost horrifically catchy which is a pretty amazing achievement for a debut album. This 6-piece band from Cheltenham really know how to make a big hit as picking out one favourite track is really rather difficult. Although Drink, Dance, Play and Remedy are truly original catchy tracks the one that does it for me has to be Sunshine. What did it for me, so to speak, is the whistling. You hardly ever find whistling in a pop song anymore so for that to suddenly happen almost unexpectedly makes the track for me. The whole lyrical element of the power of the sun also makes the track stand out from the rest of the album. If you’re a fan of The Hunna or Circa Waves you will definitely be a fan of these guys with their indie pop vibes.
2) Ed Sheeran – Singles
Now at number two is Ed Sheeran’s brand new two singles. After being away for a good few years he came back and was an instant hit with his new tracks and album release date. He simply changed his profile photos on all of his social media accounts and everyone freaked out. Who knew the colour blue could be so exciting! Both Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill where instant hits reaching number one and two within a week of being released. Since then it has been a discussion in every friendship group going of which out of the two tracks is the best. Most that I’ve been in say that Shape Of You is the better track of the two. I disagree. My favourite track has to be Castle On The Hill. It’s got a classic sounding Ed back story like many of his older songs have and it sounds more like him as a musician. Shape of You is more of a chart-topping track but is still rather good none the less.
1) High Tyde – Fuzz EP
Now right at the top spot this month is High Tyde and their 2015 EP, Fuzz. After seeing them live supporting The Hunna this week I have been listening to their EP’s none stop. This one is by far my favourite due to its more varied track listings. You’ve got Feel It with its more toned down intro which builds up into the more intense guitar and drums build up that I know from the gig. Then there is the sexier track Mustang Japan. I say sexier because the vocals are slower but the guitar still as powerful as ever. It is at its most powerful during the tense solo which I absolutely love. The lyrics not only sound sexy but also are incredibly catchy and full to the brim with sass as well as sexiness. But my favourite track of all has to be Talk To Frank. When they did, this track live it was incredible. Fast paced and full of drama with a steady beat. What else could you want in a track. This is the teenager track of this EP as its full of youthful things including a very skilful guitar solo. This is a key album for any Lonely The Brave or Catfish and The Bottlemen fans. High Tyde are definitely ones to watch out for and I would definitely recommend catching them on their up and coming March UK mini tour.
Buy the albums here:
Soft Error – Mechanisms: https://www.roughtrade.com/artist/soft-error
Passport To Stockholm – Better Days EP: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/better-days-ep/id1095818786
Young Kato – Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow: https://youngkato.tmstor.es/
Ed Sheeran – Singles: http://store.edsheeran.com/uk
High Tyde – Fuzz EP: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fuzz-ep/id952706362
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