Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour

Enter Shikari

A Flash Flood of Colour

Released: Jan 16 2012

Genre: Electronic/Hardcore

Label: Ambush Reality

Rating: 8/10

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By James Murray

Enter Shikari has always been about breaking boundaries. Rewinding back to their earliest days under the ‘Hybrid’ alias, exploiting the predefined boundaries of music genres was the core aim: ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ shows that this motive remains – their most profound and polished record to date.

In a rather crudely simplified way, ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ sounds like a refined ‘Common Dreads’. As expected, the dubstep/drum & bass influences are heavily featured, however, this time round productions are tighter and as a result the record is a lot more professional sounding.

Opener ‘System…’ ‘…Meltdown’ eases into action with the identical buoyant synth used to introduce ‘Common Dreads’; euphoric keys take the place of a vocal introduction – a subtle hint at the electronic-driven tracks which, for the first time in the history of Enter Shikari, perhaps overtake their hardcore elements. That’s not to say this is an electronic record: ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ is still heavy at times, driven by political rage and robust as ever – Enter Shikari are just perfecting the electronic cross-over sound that they’ve been experimenting with for years.

The opening two tracks are heavily influenced by drum and bass, including the now familiar-to-many ‘Sssnakepit’, which epitomises the new Enter Shikari sound. While the intense breakdowns, relentless rock/synth melodies and trademark Enter Shikari choruses dominate the majority of ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’, the less experimental, toned down tracks are equally, if not more effective. The downbeat ‘Search Party’ is vocally emphatic; evoking the vision of far-reaching fields filled with chanting Enter Shikari fans at mind.

The hit-hat driven ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ showcases the most infectious, dance-floor friendly choruses Enter Shikari have ever created, and as a result it won’t take many listens before it’ll be jammed into your head for days: “That’s the sound of another door shutting in, in the face of progress, in the face of progress”.

Stalemate’ and ‘Constellations’ follow suit with this much softer Enter Shikari sound. Both politically forceful and educating, ‘Stalemate’ acts as an instrumental ode to ‘Adieu’ – though not quite as mellow, the same melodically/vocal hard-hitting formula remains. The entire five minutes of ‘Constellations’ is a steadily progressive message of optimism, beautifully delivered with light keys and heart-felt vocals.

A Flash Flood of Colour’ is a forward-thinking record for forward-thinking music fans. If you’re expecting a musical regression back to ‘Take To The Skies’ look away now. For the pro-evolutionist, this record encapsulates almost every successful trait Enter Shikari have ever possessed – delivered in a musically mature, and as a result, engaging third full-length.

Enter Shikari – Sssnakepit

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Once again, after a truly exceptional year for independent music, Sound-Revolution have collated a list of must-hear tracks. Although this list is titled the ‘Top 50 Tracks of 2011’, take it with a pinch of salt. This isn’t the definitive list of what’s good or what isn’t, rather a collection of brilliant songs that we believe have shaped the past year. Some of these tracks won’t sound like anything ground-breaking, but are perhaps a welcome slice of nostalgia. Many tracks, on the other hand, are new sounds that have emerged over the past 12 months.

It’s difficult to summarise a year of music in a paragraph, so I won’t attempt that – although it is worth mentioning that 2011 has been a fantastic year for creative pop music, a lot of which is featured. Instead, I’d like to thank everybody that has helped out with Sound-Revolution over the past year. It’s been a brilliant year for progress, so thank you very much too all of our writers, and most importantly you, the reader.

–James Murray (Editor)

50

Young Dreams – Young Dreams

Young Dreams create big music. That being said – as busy as those layered vocals sound, you probably wouldn’t predict that this Norwegian ‘collective’ consist of 12 members. It’s difficult to pin down Young Dreams’ music, you certainly can’t throw comparisons around aimlessly. The best way to describe this euphoric slice of indie pop is somewhere between the experimental sounds of Animal Collective and the Beach Boys. With their debut LP set for a 2012 release on Modular, it’s safe to expect more Young Dreams in the new year from these Nordic experimenters. — James Murray

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49

Dauwd – Ikopol

Dubstep isn’t really new and hip any more, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely passed its sell by date. In both the UK and US charts more and more dubstep artists are becoming prominent. It’s difficult to avoid the term ‘brostep’, but Dauwd is much the opposite. ‘Ikopol’ is an intricately produced slice of chilled electronica. Quite rightly, names such as 2562, Scuba, and various names on the Hotflush label have been subject to acclaim this year – and Dauwd deserves equal appraisal. Not quite as accomplished as some of his musical siblings, Dauwd is an artist that has been overlooking by many, so we’re here to point you into the path of this talented producers manner. — James Murray

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48

We Are Augustines – Book of James

It’s been an impressive year for We Are Augustines. The Brooklyn-based folk rockers got a brilliant exposure opportunity through touring with Glasvegas, and to put the icing on the cake their debut album ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ won the iTunes prize for best alternative album. ‘Book of James’ is an emotive affair, a eulogy to lead vocalist Billy McCarthy’s brother who committed suicide in 2009. This is about a deep as music gets lyrically, and few can refuse heartfelt folk that hits home as hard as this. If you’re a fan of anything Sprinsteen-esque, look no further, it’s almost a granted that this two-piece will drive on towards wide success. — James Murray

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47

Tycho – Hours

A late but worthy entry into our top 50 is electronic producer Tycho with ‘Hours’, one of a selection of sublime tracks taken from his latest record ‘Dive’. The beauty of softer, ambient electronica is that it’s easy listening – and as a result is appealing to a wider audience than solely EDM loyalists. The paradoxically named ‘Hours’ is a psychedelic exploration into sound, expressed in a fashion so melancholy that time becomes irrelevant. Building on this tracks remarkable nature is its minimal composition; Tycho certainly proves here that less is more, combining little more than a mish-mash of keys over a straightforward bass line. — James Murray

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46

United Fruit – Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone

Switching to something much rawer, here is United Fruit. For those of you that miss Yourcodenameis:milo as much as we do, ‘Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone’ is a welcome flashback. These Glaswegian rockers are doing more than just rectifying mid 00s post-hardcore, though – United Fruit create original and electrifying guitar-driven rock music. Their incredible full-length ‘Fault Lines’ was released earlier this year, and for us is the best record created by an unsigned outfit in a long, long time. If you like noisy rock music and were ever fans of Fugazi, Blakfish or At The Drive-In, this is well worth your time.

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45

Polinski – Tangent

In case you didn’t know, Paul Wolinski, programmer of 65daysofstatic has a side project – ingeniously named Polinski. The name aside, this is an incredible composition which proves that while minimalism is working for some, this new-found maximilism is having just as much, if not more of a profound effect on the dance music landscape. In ‘Tangent’ Polinski sets the pace with a deceptive introduction, giving this track an even heftier punch when all of its intricacy is exposed. Polinski creates glitchy, intelligent dance music – but so long as you like your music bursting at the seams with energy, this should hit the spot. — James Murray

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44

Mint Julep – Aviary

Another one for 2012: This husband and wife outfit from Portland know exactly what makes pop music good. Those delicate vocals, delivered so emphatically when combined with harmonious instrumentals encapsulate almost everything that pop music should be. Mint Julep are a welcome injection of optimism. Music so positive, teeming with both colour and romanticism isn’t anywhere near prominent enough, and ‘Aviary’ delivers this in a style that’s both hopeful for pop music and hopeful for the listener. Mint Julep have paved the way for continued success. It won’t be long before people quite rightly jump on this bandwagon. — James Murray

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43

Random Hand – Bones

After a successful year having released one of their best albums yet ‘Seething Is Believing’ and doing an unbelievable amount of touring, Random Hand got nominated for the ‘hardest working band’ award at the AIM Independent Music awards. But before all this they started the year by unleashing the first single from ‘Seething Is Believing’, ‘Bones’ with a great video and an equally impressive fan reaction. ‘Bones’ expresses everything we love about Random Hand, a great mix of heavy and aggressive ska and punk with a captivating chorus. — Chris Fishlock

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42

Childish Gambino – Bonfire

Some love him, some hate him, but there’s one thing for certain – Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino can rap. Okay, some might argue his lyrics aren’t exceptional, but his use of black humour throughout ‘Bonfire’ separates Gambino from other artists. Once you can get over the fact that a lot of ‘Camp’ is over-produced and at times an echo of Kanye and Odd Future productions, you might just realise that this collection of big beats and tongue-in-cheek lyrics is actually quite an enjoyable combination. At times it’s difficult to decide whether to take this seriously or not — after some discretion, it’s easiest just to just soak it all in. — James Murray

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41

Cut Copy – Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution

It was never going to be easy for Cut Copy to write ‘Zonoscope’. With the incredible success of ‘In Ghost Colours’, what should have proved to be a difficult follow-up fortunately proved not that difficult. Packed with contagious synth-hooks and plenty of sing-a-long opportunities, ‘Zonoscope’ proves that Cut Copy know their way around pop music. ‘Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution’ epitomises ‘Zonoscope’, feel good neon pop, powered by euphoric simplicity. It’s difficult to say whether their next record will be an ironed-out ‘Zonoscope’ or something completely different – let’s just hope it’s not another four year wait. — James Murray

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40

Smokey Bastard – Aspirations, I Have Some

Releasing their second album ‘Tales From The Wasteland’ to great critical acclaim in late October, one of the UK’s finest folk punk outfits, Smokey Bastard included this beast of a song on the album. Featuring a great mix of instruments including banjo and accordion, ‘Aspirations, I Have Some’ rejects the general traditional folk sound of the rest of the album for a song with a more commercial sing along value, and ends up being one of the greatest tracks on an exceptional album. — Chris Fishlock

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39

The Drums – How It Ended

Sometimes critics approach The Drums with needless belligerence. Music doesn’t always have to be completely innovative, thousands of intricate elements placed together or flaunting vocals with incomprehensible dynamics. The Drums know this. They don’t create the most jubilant music you’ll ever listen to, but despite their unbelievably indie, at times deterring image, The Drums are infectious and pretty hard to dislike. Their lyrics are simple, but so were The Smiths’ – ‘How It Ended’ is one of the most memorable album finales of the year. —James Murray

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38

Trash Talk – Awake
Having cemented themselves as one of the most insane and interesting hardcore punk bands of the last few years, Trash Talk came out with their best track to date this year with the incredible ‘Awake’ taken from an EP of the same name. ‘Awake’ is one minute and 20 seconds of the most fast pounding punk rock that has come out all year that unleashes the immense energy of their live shows into a recorded track. — Chris Fishlock

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37

Swimming – Neutron Wireless Crystal

We might as well admit it, if there’s one style of pop music we can’t resist it’s the synth-powered, joyous type. Nottingham’s Swimming deliver just this with ‘Neutron Wireless Crystal’, a busy indie pop track full of whirly vocals and cleverly arranged instrumentals. Once you’ve got this in your head it’ll be some chore to get rid. If you’re the type to stick your iTunes on repeat all day, it’s probably in the best interests of your family/housemates to avoid this one. —James Murray

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36

Girls – Honey Bunny

‘Honey Bunny’, the second track from ‘Father, Son Holy Ghost’ is a fantastic slice of surf-rock. This track gallops through tempo and instrumental changes while retaining a rhythm that will get your head-nodding. ‘Honey Bunny’ sounds like a true rock n’ roll record but without sounding dated – it’s an incredible skill, to assemble everything good about rock music’s past and re-arrange it into something fresh. ‘Honey Bunny’ offers something for every fan of guitar music, whether you thrive off 60’s rock or anything closer to now. —James Murray

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35

Battles – Ice Cream

‘Ice Cream’ is experimental, funky and fun: There’s a certain quirkiness to Battles that makes them irresistible. With the absence of Tyondai Braxton, who in the eyes of many fans played a huge part in making 2007 full-length ‘Mirrored’ such an emphatic debut, the longer-term fans might have been a bit unnerved by the inclusion of Matias Aguayo. Turns out his straightforward vocals fit in pretty well amongst the clutter and intricacy of layered guitars that are prominent throughout the most part of ‘Gloss Drop’, and indeed every Battles production. —James Murray

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34

Friendly Fires – Live Those Dreams Tonight

‘Pala’ established Friendly Fires to carry more than the ‘indie’ mediocrity tag and, much to Ed Macfarlane’s delight of browsing through ageing youtube video slates, album opener ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ takes abounding aim at sticking its buoyant middle finger right up at eye-popping 90’s acid ravers, if you hadn’t already guessed by the tracks lyrics “You claim your history/ is beyond a man like me/ but I’ll live those days tonight”. Vaulting synths and jarring piano pierces over shattering tempo beats, it’s every thing a disco tune could hope for.  —Hugh O’Boyle

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33

Beirut – Santa Fe

Four years on from the Mariachi-styled ‘The Flying Club Cup’ Beirut have finally returned. ‘Santa Fe’ is one of a collection of endearing pop songs present throughout ‘The Rip Tide’. Unlike the choppy, busier sound of Battles, Beirut have produced a record full or tracks that you can embrace and welcome into your audial globe – without any real effort. If you want to take a step back from messy, self-proclaimed avant-garde tracks that seem to crop up here there and everywhere, grab a cocktail and soak in ‘Santa Fe’. Perhaps not quite as relevant now as during summertime, ‘Santa Fe’ is simple and harmonic. Don’t be misled by the artwork, this record is a lot brighter on the inside. —James Murray

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32

St Vincent – Cruel

Annie Clark, under her pseudonym ‘St Vincent’ knows exactly how to draw attention to her music. ‘Cruel’, as suggested, has a dark streak. At times ‘Cruel’ is almost ominous – when Clark experiments with those dreary vocals it can have quite a sinister impact. It’s the contrasts that draw in so much attention, though. Switching to upbeat, melancholic vocals and memorable riffs – ‘Cruel’ is a track that you can’t quite get your hands on. Is it this, is it that? Quite frankly, it’s a bit of everything. Not only has St Vincent released come of the most exciting music of the year – this sense of mystery just makes it all the more tempting. —James Murray

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31

Youth Lagoon – Montana

The first thing that has to be said here is: Why ‘Youth Lagoon’ when your real name is Trevor Powers? Apart from having the coolest name in the music world, Powers’ has formulated a beautiful composition that progressively builds up into a jubilant and warming finale. Of the debut records to grace our ears this year this is well up there with the best. Powers’ distorted vocals sit perfectly with the whirly, minimal instrumentals that power this track forward. It’d be a bit of an amplification to say this is tear-jerking, but it’s not far off. A beautiful track from a very welcome newcomer. —James Murray

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30

Radiohead – Lotus Flower

We’re certainly not alone when we say ‘The King of Limbs’ was a little disappointing – but then again, few records can top ‘In Rainbows’. To get to the point, you shouldn’t let exceptional work overshadow good work . ‘Lotus Flower’ had been circulating both virally and throughout live shows for almost a year beforehand, but the world couldn’t truly appreciate the beauty of Yorke’s vocals until this single was set loose. Music video aside, ‘Lotus Flower’ is yet another example of the magnitude and allure of Thom Yorke. Such calm vocals shouldn’t be so emphatic, but they most certainly are. It’s a shame the rest of the album couldn’t keep up. —James Murray

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29

Yuck – Holing Out

‘Holing Out’ is a little piece of heaven for anyone in favour of the 90’s grunge revival, which seems to have been increasingly dominant in music this year. Dripping with reverb and lead by fuzzy guitars and drawling vocals, it’s a perfect asset to both the grunge and post-punk genres, quite obviously taking influence from bands such as Dinosaur Jr and The Pixies. The whole song is catchy and full of sunshine, making it clear to any music fan why this is the song which meant that Yuck went from being relatively unknown to the much more popular band we know now.–Rebecca Woolston

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28

Dutch Uncles – Cadenza

If you’ve ever been to a Dutch Uncles show you’ll know that the dance moves of Duncan Wallis are giving Jarvis Cocker and Ed Macfarlane a run for their money. It’s fitting, though – of all the new bands to make an impact this year, Dutch Uncles are the one you’d expect to have that…  little bit odd, front-man. Their up-beat, danceable productions are enough to get any foot to stomp and head to nod. ‘Cadenza’ is opened and led by layered piano loops – and when combined with a pulsating bass drum, simple as it sounds, it’s difficult not to become hooked. Dutch Uncles are another fantastic act that have helped shape 2011 as a huge success for pop. —James Murray

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27

Tim Hecker – The Piano Drop

Never has an album been so appropriately and cleverly named. ‘The Piano Drop’ sounds like the apocalypse – delivered in a genre distantly related to that of dance music. Distorted trancey synths almost solely power ‘The Piano Drop’ forward. This is a track that would be easy to shove aside at first, or to label as ‘pretentious hyped nonsense’, but in fact if you really let yourself in there’s a deep and haunting message buried. It’s not a warning, nor a moral – simply an eye-opener and taster of what Tim Hecker believes the doom-impending future will sound like. —James Murray

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26

Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers

Unfortunately for Tyler, his hatred of the music media seems to have backfired a little. There’s rarely a better example where an artist (or collective in this case) has become a victim of the hype machine – and as a result we’ve all starting to think we’ve heard enough. Let’s hope it doesn’t do too much damage, because ‘Yonkers’ isn’t just the most talked about hip-hop track of the year. It’s daring, far-out and compelling. Most of us like artists that push boundaries, and when a hip-hop collective do just that as well as resurrecting our beloved 90s memories there’s no wonder they were the main discussion of early 2011. —James Murray

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25

Four Tet/Burial/Thom Yorke – Ego

Is this the perfect collaboration? When this team-up was announced music lovers couldn’t predict exactly how this would sound – but everyone knew it would be brilliant. They’ve had their cross-overs in the past, with remixes and such, but this 12″ release is by far the biggest to date. The six and a half minute track beings minimally before progressing into a darker and deeper electronic production. The underlying bass is fairly simple, but it’s the little intricacies that make this track special. Chimes, distant synths and special effects backing Thom Yorkes sublime vocals, as one could imagine, fit together majestically. —James Murray

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24

Emmy The Great – A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep

Emma Lee-Moss, better know to us as Emmy The Great, is one of the most poignant and heartbreaking female vocalists around. When ‘A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep’ was released it was impossible not to share some of Emma’s emotion. Her athiest fiancée split up with her after he’d discovered religion, and this is quite candidly expressed throughout her lyrics. Even without getting too tied down to the emotive or sympathetic side of Emmy The Great’s music, her vocal softness and simple acoustic instrumentals are more than admirable.–James Murray

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23

Atari Teenage Riot – Black Flags

After making their live comeback last year the Alec Empire led political digital hardcore legends gave us their first new album since 1999 this year, a powerful album of incredible tracks. For their latest single, ‘Black Flags’ they got in brilliant rapper Boots Riley (of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club) to add his unique brand of hip hop vocals. ‘Black Flags’ is a powerful anthem with what is easily one of the best bass lines on any record this year, it will have you shouting along with your fist in the air. And with the wave of revolution across the globe happening this year, this track and this band are more relevant than ever. —Chris Fishlock

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22

Mastodon – Curl Of The Burl

At the top of our metal charts is Matodon with ‘Curl of the Burl’. Lyrics aside (what does that title even mean) this is a captivating lead single from their brilliant 2011 release ‘The Hunter’. By the standards of Mastodon, ‘The Hunter’ is pretty rock orientated, and we can see its wider appeal. ‘Curl of the Burl’ is powered by riffs and vocals that verge towards that distinctive Dave Grohl sound. This might be targeted at a slightly wider audience than earlier material, but it hasn’t affected quality. ‘Curl of the Burl’ is intense, infectious and very Queens of the Stone Age; and that’s never a bad thing.–James Murray

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21

Soft Metals – Psychic Driving

Nostalgia is a touchy area when it comes to music. There’s a fine line between resurrecting something great and destroying it. Luckily, Soft Metals beautifully re-construct 80s dance with dreamy electronic synths and hazy vocals. That washed-out synth pop style has risen to the surface of the music blogosphere more so than ever this year, and this is just one of many radiant compositions. It’s easy to become submerged in music like this, and such cloudy vocals offer a welcome slice of romanticism. This is atmospheric electro pop at its finest. —James Murray

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20

Kate Bush – Snowflake

If you got an album this Christmas, hopefully it was this. With approximately a dozen years between albums, Kate Bush is not an artist in a hurry – and that is certainly reflected in her music. ‘Snowflake’ is a calming composition, its entire ten minutes little more than hush vocals and simplistic piano chords. Though the market for Christmas music is well and truly saturated by overly-gleeful pop songs, Bush offers a winter soundtrack that re-ignites a spark of Great British magic. Her quintessentially English style is warming and enchanting – Bush herself is an ode to musicianship —James Murray

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19

Real Estate – It’s Real

Despite their image being almost unbearably indie, Real Estate have proven that they mean business. While ‘Days’ was supposed to be that difficult second album, in many ways its better than their acclaimed debut. ‘It’s Real’ is feel-good pop music, no strings attached.  It’s the little things that make this track so enjoyable, Courtney’s “woah” chrous gives the track an injection of warmth. This is clean, straightforward indie, and quite often that’s all people are looking for. If you can keep your music minimal but make it melodic and original, why not? It certainly works here —James Murray

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18

Washed Out – Amor Fati

Sticking with this synth-pop business for one more: It would be unfair to discuss how brilliantly bands execute the ‘washed out’ effect without mentioning ‘Amor Fati’. Now known (in some ways jokingly, but fairly accurately) as ‘chillwave’, the productions of Ernest Greene are perfectly crafted atmospheric music. There’s a lot of this music doing the rounds at the moment, but that doesn’t play in Greene’s favour – he’s done well to rise above the best with this piece of steady but euphoric synth-pop. Perhaps next time round he might have to reshape the waves a bit, though. —James Murray

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17

Ghostpoet – Survive It

If there is one thing you can take away from ‘Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam’, it’d be the nature of an album hopelessly pigeon-holed. Hip-hop and trip-hop samples, dubstep mashes and new wave pop, Ghostpoet leaves no stone unturned, adopting various influences from his Nigerian, Dominican and British childhood – a dejected essence for Streets and Burial audiences alike, resulting in the listening of this LP to be much more striking. The industrialised number ‘Survive It’ acquaints us with his daily efforts to endure the 21st century and probes into unexplored practices of soothing electronica, clouded in urbanized mists of Obaro Ejimiwe’s drug-like melancholy slurs assisted by Fabiana Palladino’s frivolous chorus, “I just wanna live life and survive it”, making this song well deserved of Sound Revolution’s top 20. —Hugh O’Boyle

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16

Burial – Street Halo

Returning with his first solo work since 2007, Burial fans and purists alike have been waiting long enough for this -he’s certainly a quality over quantity musician. ‘Street Halo’ encompasses many of Bevan’s trademark elements: A steady pulsating beat, solid bass and that all-important vinyl crackle.  The workings of Burial are that of a perfectionist; every tiny element that makes ‘Street Halo’ what it is has been sampled, manipulated and crafted with the finest of brushes. This hidden perplexity allows opportunity for indulgence, as Burial’s seemingly simple production lures the listener into the deeper, more emotive picture. —James Murray

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15

The Horrors – Still Life

For rock survivalists around the UK, ‘Skying; was a breath of fresh air. Establishing their musical integrity, it felt as though the release was a step-forward in maturity for the Horrors – and so it was. Assuredly the best track on here is ‘Still Life’ (every song on the album topples over four-minutes long), a wall of swirling euphoria and reverberation; casts of ambient colours playfully splashed across, unnerving synthesizers, arousing bass lines, simple drum patterns and unmistakeably Badwan’s languid clarion-like croaks. It’s the slow, exuding effortlessness that contributes to its psychedelic ecstasy that buries so deep nothing in the world seems to matter apart from that moment. Of course, that’s exactly how The Horrors want you to feel. —Hugh O’Boyle

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14

Other Lives – For 12

Often compared to Radiohead’s ‘How to Disappear Completely’, ‘For 12’ has its similarities, but it’s more than simply a homage to a probable influencer. ‘For 12’ gallops straight into action, with a pulsating drum beat and country-esque strings. In some ways Other Lives sound like an indie/folk crossover act – but it’s the vocals of lead vocalist, Tabish, that bring this record to life. This Oklahoma group know exactly how to write a powerful track, but they’re lucky to have a dynamic voice that can reinforce emotion and melody so emphatically —James Murray

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13

Sepalcure – Pencil Pimp

As time goes on  Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharman seem to make Sepalcure the main focus of their musicianship more and more so. This couldn’t be better news, as ‘Pencil Pimp’, released on their eponymous debut is one of the most interesting electronic tracks of the year. ‘Pencil Pimp’ offers something a little more dancefloor friendly, while maintaining their attention to details with chimes, haunting vocals and an eerie bass line. This is 6 minutes of progressive experimentation; successful experimentation – as Sepalcure have now well and truly embedded their name into the brains of dance music lovers. —James Murray

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12

tUnE-yArDs – Bizness

When ‘W H O K I L L’ was released earlier this year it caused quite a stir. If you can avoid being deterred by the stylised titles, you might just come to terms with what is one of the most successful and daring records of the year. ‘Bizness’ sticks to the typically chaotic tUnE-yArDs approach, as clattering drums, horns and vocals construct a disordered yet somehow melodic final product. What makes ‘Bizness’ such a refreshing record is its outright musical bravery – engineered solely with the use of traditional instrument samples. While in no way should electronic experimentation be condoned, it’s a breath of fresh air to be relieved off synth-heavy productions. —James Murray

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11

AraabMuzik – Streetz Tonight

Some might have their differences with AarabMuzik – okay, ‘Streetz Tonight’ isn’t completely original. Counter-intuitive? Perhaps, but the reality is when you can manipulate a song as well as in this case, with Kaskade’s 4am, and reinvent it into something as refreshing as ‘Streetz Tonight’, it seems harsh to point a finger. AraabMuzik has done something here that so many EDM producers have attempted, and for the most part failed miserably: Create a record that successfully plays through as a completely mixed-genre effort. ‘Streetz Tonight’ succeeds on its hip-hop back bone, concocted with the most vibrant of dance music styles. —James Murray

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10

Metronomy – The Bay

Tiptoeing subtly into our top ten is Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’, Joseph Mount paying deference to his care-free childhood town Torbay and glamorising it above common exotic visits – “because this isn’t Paris/ and this isn’t London/ and it’s not Berlin/ and it’s not Hong Kong/ not Toyko” – the ballad bobs and gambols frivolously along Gbenga’s languorous bass hooks. ‘The Bay’ shapes on various concepts of sun-kissed 70’s Californian rock-eqsue churns with sharp synth stabs, cultivated both archaically and pastorally to say the least. Ever heard the saying “third time lucky”? ‘The English Riviera’ certainly gives it a run for its money. —Hugh O’Boyle

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9

Summer Camp – Better Off Without You

It’s hard to name a break-up song as happy as this. In some ways it’s a bit discomforting – as you sing along to that irresistible pop chorus it’s hard not to feel a little bit guilty. It’s a shame this record was released so late on, because it has to be one of the most vibrant, likeable summer alt-pop songs of the year. Some have argued writing about fictional characters in a fictionally scenario is lazy and impersonal, we think it makes the record much more artistic. ‘Welcome to Condale’ is relatable, nostalgic and unashamedly sappy. Just try resisting that temptation to tap your feet. —James Murray

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8

Azari & III – Reckless (With Your Love)

Innovators and resurrectors of disco, Azari & III, have caused quite a storm this year with the release of their debut album. ‘Reckless With Your Love’ is a daring, upbeat take on classic house music. This Toronto four-piece are creating music that is both nostalgic and bang up to date, and the best thing is that it sounds like they’re just having fun. This track originally surfaced in 09, but already it has gained a sentiment of timelessness that makes ‘Reckless With Your Love’ as relevant as ever. If you think it’s been rinsed, then you’ll probably be happy in accepting there’s a lot of life in it still yet; If you don’t think it has, where have you been? —James Murray

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7

PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder

PJ Harvey quite rightly won yet another Mercury award this year and her worthiness is most definitely proved by songs such as ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’. Like the whole of her album, ‘Let England Shake’, this song is clearly written to highlight the horrors of war; including the brutal lyrics ‘I’ve seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat’. These sort of lyrics contrast to the flirty, jangly guitar riffs and severely danceable rhythms which are created throughout. The song however, ends in a more unsettling manner, with a slide guitar solo accompanying Harvey’s powerful voice. Like all of Harvey’s material, this song is as creative, as it is brilliant.–Rebecca Woolston

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6

Bon Iver – Holocene

The first words which come to mind when describing this song, as with most music by Bon Iver, are ‘truly beautiful.’ Beginning with two gorgeously overlapping guitar arpeggios, ‘Holocene’ slowly takes shape; arguably at its most beautiful when still very simple, the guitars being joined only by soothing vocal harmonies. A sense of melancholy is obvious throughout, although it seems to be broken by the hopefulness of the intertwining guitars.  The whole song is dream-like, making the listener feel almost as if they’re floating; a perfect blissful state, a phrase which is also ideal in describing the song itself.–Rebecca Woolston

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5

Jamie xx – Far Nearer

Whilst Romy Croft and Oliver Sims have spent their previous year of fame dabbling chin-down in puddles, producer and beats-master of The xx, Jamie XX, has spent his time remixing Gil Scott-Heron’s historical mileiu I’m New Here – stripping it bare and digitally re-processing the aches of Scott-Heron’s past into an introspective glance into the urban future. If that wasn’t enough for his street credit, in the latter of the year Smith went on to release his first single. ‘Far Nearer’ is just one of the sublime tracks to be found on it; clothed in steel drums and vocal auto-tune giving the song an ethereal glow, the ballad proves Jamie XX is indeed the new kid on the block. —Hugh O’Boyle

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4

Wild Beasts – Albatross

Who other to write an album about love, lust and sex other than Cumbrian boys Wild Beasts? ‘Smother’ is an exploration of intimate sounds, the previous Mercury Prize nominees continuing with their tangible jangles and Thorpe’s distinguishing grunts, howls and moans. The authenticity of this record shimmers in the devastatingly affectionate ‘Albatross’, embracing Ben Little’s guilt with entangling guitar rhythms and majestic piano caressed in consolidation of uncertainty and amorousness, “the secrets that I should have shared”. The four-piece have succeeded once again in creating something entirely distinctive, seductive and submersing whilst remaining elegantly discrete and modest, making Wild Beasts one of the finest bands to have arisen from the UK.–Hugh O’Boyle

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3

James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

I wake, but a beaming white light strains me to squint my tired, aching eyes. Slowly and painfully I adjust them to see that I’m poised in a vacuum of foggy mist. What’s happening? Where am I? An easing voice soon comforts me “All that I know is/ I’m falling/ falling/ falling”….whoever these words belong to, they’re true. I’m falling, further and further down. I’m curious, but panicking – still descending into nothingness – I relax, momentarily forgetting my entire existence, and begin to listen. Gut-piercing vocal loops and eerie echoes swirl around and around whilst being attacked by a fuzzing static tension gradually heightening, all fragmenting to grandiose digital arrangement piecing together like a dusty forgotten puzzle. Things start to become too much – I’m struggling to breathe – harder and harder, and then – it stops. I’m back on the ground, 04:37 minutes later, safe. ‘The Wilhelm Scream’. —Hugh O’Boyle

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2

M83 – Midnight City

Anthony Gonzalez has, once again, delivered in style with perhaps his best album and single to date. Active now for over a decade, it seems Gonzalez’ musical creations are only improving with time. From the moment those immense synths kick-start the track into action that feeling of M83 explosion seems imminent. The overwhelmingly energetic ‘Mignight City’ is an adrenaline-pumped slice of frenzied electronica – Gonzalez has taken to the stage and unveiled his evolving talents in theatrical fashion. ‘Midnight City’ is a crossover somewhere between powerful EDM and an incredible daydream; so hectic yet so accessible. This is without mentioning that masterful saxophone solo, an epic finale to the grandiose ‘Midnight City’. —James Murray

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1

The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love

2009’s ‘Hospice’ was never going to be easy to top for The Antlers. Whether ‘Burst Apart’ is a better record is negotiable, but ‘I Don’t Want Love’ is quite easily their most powerful track to date. Fragile and emotional, ‘I Don’t Want Love’ is crafted with the most delicate touch. With his truly exquisite vocals, Silberman manages to simply say the chrous with little melody – yet those four words are executed in a few seconds of vocal solitude; allowing his passion to truly sink in. It’s not just Silberman’s crystalline vocals that make this such a memorising track, the steady drum beat and soothing guitar strumming throughout perfect the heartbreaking sound that The Antlers have quite emphatically created. —James Murray

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At Sound-Revolution our main aim is to to promote independent bands and artists – and to show our readers that there’s much more to music than the regurgitated and generally unimaginative chart music that’s enforced on our everyday lives.

2011 has already been an exceptional year, with more artists than ever emerging from both sides of the musical spectrum – continuously reshaping the landscape of music. The fast paced nature of new music is what makes the future interesting, but getting access to this can be difficult – so we’ve done that for you. James Murray has explored and selected some of the best offerings of the year so far.

20 // Thomas Dybdahl – From Grace

Perhaps this first choice bends the rules a little. From Grace was originally released as a single in 2009 – and will be making another appearance on the new album Songs in July. Okay, you caught us out, July’s the seventh month of the year – but From Grace is a sublime demonstration of heart-warming acoustic music; it would be offensive not to pick out a track from the forthcoming LP for this feature. It’s not often you come across a voice as unique and solid as Dybdahl’s – and it’s even less common for such a strong vocalist to be so instrumentally competent.

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19 // Underground Railroad – Russian Doll

On June 13th Parisian three-piece Underground Railroad proved that they could offer a whole lot more than the raw, omnipresent indie rock sound of their past. White Night Stand is an experimental, forward-thinking rock album – and no track showcases their transformation as well as stand-out single Russian Doll. New-found influences from Radiohead and Liars shine through, and that’s never a bad thing. When a band can switch styles, involve all kinds of different musical elements and boost their captivation at the same time, it’s pretty obvious that they’re doing something right.

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18 // Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

There’s a bit of love floating around at the moment for back-to-basics indie pop. As interesting as futuristic, experimental sounding productions can be, sometimes it’s nice to relax to something a little less intense. LA five-piece Foster The People have mastered the stripped-down pop sound, most notably with their highly successful debut single Pumped Up Kicks. Simplistic guitar riffs, steady drums and chirpy whistling make up this cheerful single – and it’s contagious, feel-good nature makes it practically impossible to hate.

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17 // Various Cruelties – Neon Truth

Every so often you come across a band and just can’t understand why they aren’t more widely recognised. And there are few collectives that warrant this complement more so than Various Cruelties. Sharing similarities with successful pop bands of the 00’s, most obviously Jamiroquai and Maroon 5, Various Cruelties seem to have adopted the successful musical formula of their predecessors. Although not the most innovative of tracks, Neon Truth is a refreshing pop song with no loose ends. For a slice of effortless, enjoyable listening it doesn’t get much better than this.

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16 // The Tamborines – Black and Blue

And now, introducing this feature’s ode to lo-fi – no, it’s not Wavves – it’s London’s own The Tamborines (minus the ‘U’). Band name spellings aside, Black and Blue is fast-paced, fuzzy, up-beat shoegaze. For too long our friends on the other side of the Atlantic have been leading creators of the distorted-pop sound. Exagerrated distortion of vocals and guitars can transform a good pop song into hipster ‘garbage’, but with good clarity to the vocals and carefully thought out production The Tamborines need not worry about elaborate media criticism.

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15 // The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have made an impact from absolutely nowhere. Their debut album released back in February resulted in universal acclaim, and lead-up single Heart In Your Heartbreak put the limelight on this New York indie-pop collective. Although their self-titled debut received favourable reviews, the infectious power-pop outfit that we know of today are still a fresh addition to the music world. With a chorus that just has to be sung aloud, Heart In Your Heartbreak is a highly memorable single from a band revelling in their breakthrough satisfaction.

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14 // Funeral Party – Where Did It All Go Wrong

Although not yet a single choice, Where Did It All Go Wrong is one of the many highlights of debut LP The Golden Age of Nowhere. It’s rare that a mid-album track is produced with such intricacy – and intros and outros don’t get much better than this. Beautiful keys introduce the track in contradictory style – as lyrics focus on inadequacy and despair. And an intense vocal conclusion ties up a solid track well-worthy of recognition. Funeral Party have well and truly hit the ground running – and their radio-friendly style won’t be leaving playlists for some time.

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13 // Atari Teenage Riot – Rearrange Your Synapses

If Sound-Revolution appeals to a niche readership, then ATR are probably the odd-one-out in this feature; but that’s exactly why we love them. No artists or collective is musically comparable to the pioneers and masters of ‘digital hardcore’. The first LP in a decade entitled Is This Hyperreal? is without a doubt a fan pleaser, but as they say “why fix something that isn’t broken”. Musical evolution is a great thing – but manipulating a sound already somewhat overwhelming would be quite a task; it seems wise to leave that to another generation of musicians.

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12 // Young Legionnaire – Chapter, Verse

Yourcodenameis:milo and Bloc Party are two bands with very different influences (despite Moakes making an appearance on a YCNI:M track in 06). In a rather unusual but so-far intriguing band formation, Young Legionnaire were born. From the ashes of one of the most influential post-hardcore bands of the 00s, Paul Mullen seems to have rectified that unmistakable Yourcodenameis:milo sound and given it a refreshing twist. Chapter, Verse is quirky, choppy, heavy and typically post-hardcore – it’s no surprise they’ve made an impact in such little time.

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11 // The Vaccines – Wolf Pack

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Honestly, we expected a lot. When it comes to hype, The Vaccines were pretty much the rock music equal to Justin Bieber. The lead up to this debut LP really did verge on ridiculous. Luckily, it lived up to most people’s expectations. The highlight of a raw-sounding, at times country influenced rock album comes under the name Wolf Pack – an upbeat, typically indie track with hard-hitting guitars that exert an undeniably infectious aura which will lead to two minutes and 24 seconds of uncontrollable toe-tapping and head-nodding.

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10 // SBTRKT – Wildfire

Just this week various websites put up the stream of the self-titled debut album from EDM innovator SBTRKT. And the lead single delivers one of the most deadly basslines of the decade so-far. Melodic vocals from Little Dragon keep this track’s appeal on the surface – tender female vocals overlay a deep and grimy instrumental – and it works. There’s no question that SBTRKT is a good producer, but his self-titled album will surely make him yet another of the reputable artists emerging from this new wave of early-hour dance music.

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09 // Emmy The Great – A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep

If you’re not yet aware of the new Emmy The Great album Virtue, then you need to get out from under your rock and introduce your ears to a female vocalist destined to change the face of folk.  Virute is one of the most lyrically significant releases of the year, and A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep is no exception. Along with deep lyrics packed with imagery and powerful messages comes a genuinely beautiful voice and an all-round talented musician. It’s only a matter of time before Emmy The Great captures the imaginations of women and music-lovers worldwide.

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08 // Friendly Fires – Hawaiian Air

The kings of feel good indie-pop, Friendly Fires, finally released Pala in in May – the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album. It was never going to be easy to follow-up an album that’s already lead to festival headline slots – but Friendly Fires couldn’t have got it any more right. Hawaiian Air conforms to the typical Friendly Fires style; borderline silly basslines and synth-effects give us a taster of what to come before Ed Macfarlane’s eccentric vocals put the icing on the cake. Friendly Fires are simply one of the most fun and dance-friendly bands around.

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07 // Dutch Uncles – Cadenza

Incredible keyboard loops, infectious basslines and one of the most diverse voices in new music – it has to be Dutch Uncles. Yet another export from Manchester’s recent outflow of incredible new bands, this five-piece have created one of the most exciting surprises of the year with their beautifully crafted self-titled album. Dutch Uncles are one of few bands that can convert incredible talent and musicianship into genuinely good music – Cadenza is everything you want from an indie-pop record: refreshing, memorable and as a result of it’s intricacy – enduring.

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06 // Burial / Four Tet & Thom Yorke – Ego

And now for the most exciting collaboration of the year. Fans of new music got understandably excited when rumours started going around that these three were working together – and rightly so, as the results were incredible. The sublimity of Burial’s productions are no secret – add the quirkiness of Four Tet and the calming voice of Thom Yorke to the equasion and you’re left with an end-product that you can’t bring yourself to take off repeat. We’ll just have to hope that this single wasn’t a one off – as more material from these three could potentially be highly influential.

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05 // James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

When James Blake started to make his name known outside of the vast, underground dubstep landscape there was simply nothing comparable to his productions. Until the likes of Jamie Woon swiftly followed, soft, vocal dubstep was a completely new concept – but a concept taken on-board with open arms. He might not be alone now, but there’s no doubt that the London producers debut LP changed peoples perceptions of dubstep forever. Love it or hate it, James Blake is an innovator of  forward-thinking music – and The Wilhelm Scream is a beautiful example of his talent.

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04 // Yuck – Holding Out

It’s a rarity for bands to become as established as Cajun Dance Party once were, pack it in and come back with a new band – but it’s even less common for an established band to come back with an even more polished and potentially successful sound. Holding Out is one of many perfectly composed rock tracks on their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year. Lo-fi guitars, continuous high energy levels and widespread comparisons to Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr looks pretty promising on the eye, and it’s equally satisfying to the ears.

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03 // Wild Beasts – Albatross

Boasting one of the most elaborate falsetto voices in music, Wild Beasts have brought their indie rock sound back once again with Albatross, the lead single from their new album, Smother. Previous full-length Two Dancers was welcomed with critical acclaim, and Wild Beasts have kept up the good form with Smother. Albatross is a fine example of how to create a raw and edgy indie record with an overall tranquil sound. The Kendal four-piece have wrapped-up the beauty of Britain’s Lake District and transformed it into a universal piece of musical nature.

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02 // Jamie xx – Far Nearer

The xx are an incredible outfit, and their 2009 release was one of the best received albums of the year. Since then The xx have lost a band member and stayed relatively low-key – except for Jamie Smith, who goes under the individual pseudonym of Jamie xx. His incredible productions were brought to the public eye when he remixed Gil-Scott Heron’s latest and last ever full-length I’m New Here. With Far Nearer Jamie xx proves that he’s more than a remix producer – capable of pushing the boundaries of dance music production to exciting new highs.

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01 // The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love

It wasn’t until The Antlers released their third album, Hospice, that they got much recognition – but since Peter Silberman transformed his solo project into a collective The Antlers have started to make their mark on modern music. I Don’t Want Love is a beautiful composition lyrically, vocally and instrumentally – an all-round faultless single from yet another incredible album. Vocals so dynamic are hard to come across, especially in indie rock, but when they can be implemented to such hauntingly beautiful effect the results are outstanding. The Antlers just keep on impressing.

In the third edition of Essential Listening Sound-Revolution presents three brilliant forthcoming tracks -a mixture of bass music, indie and folk.

Boxcutter – LOADtime

Barry Lynn, better known as Boxcutter is one of many huge dubstep talents releasing material on Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings. The boundaries of dubstep are being pushed and manipulated as much as ever, and with LOADtime boxcutter demonstrates how a track can be completely unique, but never stray far from its original purpose – to be executed on the dancefloor.

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Sarabeth Tucek – Get Well Soon


The dreary and mellow nature of Sarabeth Tucek is the perfect music for complete relaxation. New York based Tucek has an incredible voice – for fans of vocal/acoustic folk music her forthcoming album Get Well Soon should certainly be explored. Big things are expected from Sabareth, already having her name placed aside Brian Bell’s from Weezer in his new project The Relationship. Look out for the new album Get Well Soon released in the UK on April 11th.

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Cold Mailman – Pull Yourself Together and Fall In Love With Me

Last but certainly not least is this gem by Cold Mailman. Out on February 14th, Pull Yourself Together and Fall In Love With Me is a beautifully executed indie pop record. The preogressively uplifting instrumentals evoke mixed emotions as the dreary male/female vocal combination at no point escalates. The album Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You is out now on Fysisk Format.

 

Horse Guards Parade - Ten Songs

Horse Guards Parade - Ten Songs

Horse Guards Parade

Ten Songs

Released: Apr 11 2011

Genre: Psychadelic Rock / Folk

Label: Piccadilly

Rating: 3.9/5

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By James Murray

The directness of a ten track record named ‘Ten Songs’ at first seems crudely unsophisticated. After listening to the debut album from Horse Guards Parade it becomes clear that what at first seems bizarre is actually very relevant. ‘Ten Songs’ is a psychedelic rock record with no signs of over-production, fashionable eccentricity and certainly no strings attached.

The opening riffs of Everybody’s Going Back To Your House emit vibrations similar to those of Britpop bands such as Doves. Vocalist James Waudby keeps his voice at the core of each track – at times gruff but powerful, dissimilar to Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones or a less melodious Neil Young.

Horse Guards Parade create a dated sound, perhaps not as dated as the origins of London’s Horse Guards Parade (of which the band shares its name), but this record wouldn’t sound completely out of place thirty years ago. Lively drums and short riffs set an aural landscape of proud stallions and patriotism in As The Plane Lifted Its Wheels. With lyrics of redemption and reprisal of desire, Horse Guards Parade keep Ten Songs simple but relatable – “And when the pain is passed, and all the paint is cracked, oh don’t you need me now?”

In contrast to the up-tempo nature of the opening tracks on the record, as Ten Songs progresses Horse Guards Parade introduce a more folk orientated style. Since You Fell Of My Axis adopts typically folk-esque guitars and sluggish, yet prominent as ever, vocals.

Recently touring with the likes of Jarvis Cocker and Pavement, including an appearance at All Tomorrow’s Parties, The Hull based rock outfit are moving forward at pace. Regular airtime on BBC 6music and a session for BBC introducing have been some of many achievements of Horse Guards Parade of late, and their debut album is the latest.

Horse Guards Parade – As The Plane Lifted Its Wheels

Sepalcure - Love Pressure

Sepalcure - Love Pressure

Sepalcure

Love Pressure EP

Released: June 14 2010

Genre: Dubstep / Tribal

Label: Hotflush Recordings

Rating: 4.3/5

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Love Pressure, the debut release from upcoming duo Sepalcure is the latest offering of atmospheric dubstep from Hotflush. The New York based duo, made up of Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) and Praveen Sharma (Praveen & Benoît) have attempted to create a record that truly sums up the appeal of their record label, Hotflush Recordings – late night eclectic dubstep that pushes the ever-growing boundaries of the genre.

The first track on the A-side, Love Pressure is the most dance-floor accessible track of the release. The smooth, relaxed vocals alongside the up-beat kicks throughout the production result in a dubstep classic that ticks all the boxes of commercial dubstep; yet offers a complex illusory aroma. The second A-side, Down, deploys a similar formula, however, the result is less suitable for the nightclub due to the use of underlying samples and effects. The distorted layer that runs through the track evokes a sound comparable to light rain hitting a window; a very dreamy and comforting outcome.

The B-sides to the Love Pressure EP drift even more so towards the celestial, demonstrating the lighter side of dubstep through the use of high-pitched synths and interblending basslines. Every Day of My Life focuses particularly on the vocal samples, combining a range of male, female, clear and hazy samples to create a rather elaborated, yet listenable finish. The Warning, the second B-side of the EP is the most adventurous and unfitting track of the EP. Taking a more progressive route, The Warning is the most effective track – the repeating melodic vocals interweaved with an authoritative voiceover work superbly at absorbing the listener. The inspirational vibes given off throughout the track are creative and powerful, one of Hotflush Recordings‘ most promising debut demonstrations.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: Love Pressure, Down, Every Day of My Life, The Warning

For Fans of: Praveen, Scuba, 2562, Letherette, Balkansky

Resolution 242 - Resolution 242

Resolution 242 - Resolution 242

Resolution 242

Resolution 242

Released: Unknown

Genre: Reggae / Punk

Label: Do The Dog Music

Rating: 4.1/5

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Politically driven reggae group Resolution 242, through their debut self-titled release, have showcased some of the best musical creativity available on the reggae/ska orientated Do The Dog Music record label. Resolution 242 is a record that effectively captures lively reggae instrumentals in combination with a clear and powerful left wing message. The Stratford based three-piece are undeniably superb lyricists, and for the listener, the messages and motives behind each track act as the catalyst for creating an extremely convincing final product.

Although Resolution 242 is a very lyrically potent release, the instrumental side of the record should not be overlooked. In opening track, Bullets In The Ground, the contagious bass guitar riffs and melodic chorus are the obvious elements that make the song so captivating: “rise up, rise up, take your head from your hands / the streets will be a better place, when we stop taking demands”. Throughout second track, I.M.F, Resolution 242 truly demonstrate their ability to write passionately and convincingly. Resolution 242‘s use of anecdotal lyrics helps to boost their political views, such as their opinions on materialism and capitalism – “these digits are a fallacy”.

Not every track takes a complex, lyrical path to emphasise opinion; Pigs and Poets Town both deliver reggae hooks that stimulate comparisons to the like of The King Blues, suggesting Resolution 242 know how to deliver a memorable track as well as a political exposition. One of the highlights of the album comes towards the latter end of War Crimes, closing with a persuasive voice over reinforcing the Resolution 242 warning of media manipulation and their stance “against tyranny”.

It’s fairly evident that the social messages carried by Resolution 242 as a band and as a record are the central focus, therefore for some it may be difficult to engage with the music as well as those with corresponding beliefs. This may well be a factor that somewhat limits the bands success, however, it’s evident that the sole aim of Resolution242 is to create enjoyable and influential music – and in each sector they are highly successful.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: Bullets In The Ground, War Crimes, Poets Town, I.M.F.

For Fans Of: The Skints, Dirty Revolution, The King Blues, Mouthwash