It must be time to cast ears over another clutch of tracks which, courtesy of the wonderful Shauna at Shameless PR and one half of the inimitable duo Ummagma, soon had ears deep in attention and thoughts eagerly contemplating their individual proposals.
First up is Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green, the new single from UK band Candy Opera. This is a Liverpool band which created warm melody woven pop alongside the likes of Aztec Camera, The Pale Fountains and Prefab Sprout in the eighties. Though disbanding a decade later, the ear grabbing release of 45 Revolutions Per Minute by Firestation Records in 2018, a collection of earlier recordings sparked a reunion which gave birth to a host of new songs and an album in The Patron Saint of Heartache which from its release last November has drawn keen praise and attention the way of a band firmly back eager and bolder.
Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green is the second single from that release, following up the lively These Days Are Ours, and a song bearing more of the variety within its larger source. The song immediately caresses ears with melodic guitar caresses amid the thoughtful intimation of keys, its summery air soon embracing the reflective tones of Paul Malone. Simultaneously, swarthy country kissed sighs escape the guitar, the track increasingly evocative and infectious, especially by the listen, as its seduction and craft eagerly blossom.
As we await the release of The Modesty Blaise this coming March, the third album from the UK based popsters and their first in 20 years, Modesty Blaise have just uncaged one thick temptation in the shape of new single Girls Just Wanna Dance.
The track is an instant incitement for ears and fun; its breath mischievous and sound cast with swinging infectiousness upon a just as eagerly catchy gait. Jonny Collins’ warm vocals and accompanying brass courted by skittish rhythms set things off, keys and guitars quickly adding their summery stroll to the party further blessed by the orchestral grandeur of a violin.
With rhythms and melodies only adding to the festivities it was impossible not to break out a big smile and join the song’s infectious call in body and voice, the track a true feel good moment ripe with the craft and imagination of another band we can only be glad are back to add greater fertility to the indie pop landscape.
The end of next month also sees the unveiling of Long Road To Home, the debut album from UK artist Distant Voices. Before then its first single, Lights of The City, is out to rouse up intrigue and fair to say with its eager rock ‘n’ roll, the track has more than whetted our appetites.
Distant Voices is the solo project of London based Valdis Stekelis and one which found its name in a reflection of the times we are all currently firm locked up by. The writing of the forthcoming album began in 2019 and continued, as its realisation, through the claustrophobia of the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns instigated. We are intrigued as to how its tracks have been trespassed or sparked by these impacting times but with Lights of The City you cannot escape a celebration of life with its rousing spirit.
The song provides an instant welcome to its infectious uproar, guitar and vocals eagerly luring ears before the full virulence of the songs catchiness and multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll is freed. Country, folk punk, and indie rock essences all collude in its lusty stroll as too an irresistible pop nagging which reminds of eighties band, The Woodentops. So feeling down or simply want to expend some pent up energy, Distant Voices provide the perfect and rather fine opportunity courtesy of the irrepressible Lights of The City.
Lastly in this round-up we eagerly suggest checking out the new Manntra single. It too comes ahead of a new album and like those above makes for a compelling teaser and excuse to check out the larger proposal.
Manntra is a Croatian folk rock band from Umag which formed in2011 and has since released four well-received albums. The upcoming, Monster Mind Consuming, is the band’s second English-language full-length and if Barren King is the sign of things to come it will make for a compelling adventure through mystical bound landscapes loaded with rousing anthemic escapades.
The single immediately hits its potent stride, its dark canter wrapped in suggestive shadows and fuelled by emotively designed lyrics. Though it has an epic breath to its body and stature there is not a particularly forceful or invasive quality to the track but it still gets under the skin with its muscularly infectious harassment and warrior cast textures as all the while its melancholic and soulful tale sparks the imagination.
By its close just the first time around, we had the itch to explore the band further and, like all of those covered here, a need to check out adventures to come; and for sure we will not be alone.
Tell Me When The Lights Turn Green is out now via A Turntable Friend Records with The Patron Saint of Heartache available @ https://candyopera.bandcamp.com/album/the-patron-saint-of-heartache
Girls Just Wanna Dance is out now via From Lo-Fi to Disco! with The Modesty Blaise released March 26th.
Lights Of The City is out now with debut album Long Road to Home released March 26th.
Barren King is out now via NoCut Entertainment with Monster Mind Consuming released March 26th.
Pete RingMaster 18/02/2021
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