Once more it is time to go exploring the nest of intrigue and possibilities that is a new collection of ear grabbing new tracks discovered by our friend Shauna of the band UMMAGMA and SHAMELESS PROMOTION PR. You will not be surprised to know that the investigation was deep and extensive and from it we have drawn out some moments of real imagination and captivation. So first up in our new courtship of goodness…
With his previous album, Memory Box having been a bright light for the synth pop landscape last year, RODNEY CROMWELL returns with a new remix EP via HAPPY ROBOTS RECORDS to spring another evocative contagion upon ears and imagination.
The Winter Palace Remixes EP features remixes from Norfolk electro-chanteuse GEMMA CULLINGFORD (formerly of SINK YA TEETH) and Brighton-based synthwave act INFRA VIOLET alongside its lead single, a track which in its own right was a sunspot of sound and intimation within the 2022 full-length. It also offers a brand new song in Rod, Jane and Freddy (yes a proposition inspired by the musical trio within the legendary kids TV show Rainbow which us of a certain age grew up with and truthfully never moved too far away from even as age did).
London based Cromwell creates a sound which is much more expansive and dramatic than that synth pop tag may hint at yet as proven by the core original version of Winter Palace it has an instinctive warmth and catchiness which even in darker or chiller climes is from the heart of the genre. The track is also atmospherically evocative, from its first breath transporting the imagination to a land of white coated wonder and possibilities before wrapping its contemplation of lost love and the haunting memory of such anguish in an OMD meets KRAFTWERK like adventure and virulence.
Winter Palace is a rousing moment for ears, spirit and thought; an adventure of craft and infection lighting up ears and rousing the senses cast from one of the UK’s truly compelling electronic artists.
The past week has seen Indie rock/post punk duo PARA LIA release their new track, Sunchild. It is the band’s first release since signing with Berlin-based ABOUT US RECORDS and the first teaser of their upcoming new album, In Clash WithThe Zeitgeist, due August 25th.
Cottbus (near Berlin) based, PARA LIA is the union of René Methner (all instruments and vocals) and Cindy Methner (vocals) with its name inspired by their love of Greece. As we suggested, their sound is bred in the rich essences of post punk and alt/indie rock yet as the new track gives evidences of, it also embraces a psych/darkwave suggestiveness in word and sound and atmospheric radiance in breath and invention, a mix constantly fusing inspiring surprise and unpredictability to familiar individuality.
Sunchild proved immediate captivation, its lively rhythms and synth charm instant enticement and manipulation and equally was the emerging PIXIES-esque hue which is further forged in Cindy’s magnetic tones. It is a pull which only grew as René in voice and lyrical weave added to the track’s rousing enterprise and its inescapable swells of incitement.
There is no denying that Sunchild was soon under the skin and burrowing deeper by the moment let alone play and that come the unveiling of In Clash WithThe Zeitgeist we will be eagerly waiting.
An artist also bringing a unique imagination and invention is UK songstress RUTH BLAKE who has recently released new single, Not Your Angel. It is an alt pop track which twists and turns with almost snake like captivation and hypnotism as it courts unpredictability and a union of inner dispute and defiance.
Fans of Somerset based Ruth will be more used to a folkish air to her pop bred adventure so Not Your Angel is a departure with its electronically woven and almost twisted enterprise with its glitch bred textures proving a compelling call on personal instincts for the unexpected and atypical.
Recorded with the collaboration of producer James Yuill (Erasure, M83, Mint Royale and Au Revoir Simone), it is a track also with a fierce air to its breath to echo its theme of “rejecting the idea that our beauty lies only in our capacity to be angelic, beautiful and sweet”, the song described as an antidote for that toxic ideology as it invites women to embrace their own fierceness.
Straightaway the song is nagging at the senses and attention with its electronic lures a trespass as welcomed as Ruth’s subsequent radiant tones and the electronic fuzziness of synths. Its gait is a calm stroll yet is energetically lively in its catchiness around moments of melodic contemplation within electro woven shadows. Just as it is musically gripping so the intimacy of lyric and indeed Ruth makes for the most compelling incitement within another track from the bundle which simply enthralled and hooked instincts.
Taking it from their acclaimed album, last year’s LATENIGHT WEEKNIGHT RECORDS released Loveblind, Colorado’s A SHORELINE DREAM recently unveiled new single Driveaway. It is a track which certainly provided the full-length with one mightily absorbing creative landscapes but now in the spotlight of a standalone proposal it seems to have revealed even more of its crepuscular heart and imagination involving suggestiveness and enterprise.
The band revolves around founding members, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Ryan Policky and guitarist Erik Jeffries, a duo weaving richly flavoured, intimation soaked soundscapes and emotionally and atmospherically haunting examinations in sound and word. Loveblind proved to be their finest moment in pleasure and imagination yet with no better an example as to why than within Driveaway.
Their latest audio-visual proposition is an atmospheric instrumental which simply takes the listener into a place where intimation and personal experience unite. A melodic weaving of guitars aligns with the more shadowy pull of synths as the track calmly explores a realm which is almost familiar yet strange realm. It is like a reawakening of sorts, an emotive re-emergence though which soon discovers a business of energy and life as clamorous sonic waves sweep the track with the repeating cycle further evoking the imagination and thought.
Driveaway is an absorbing encounter which with every listen urges a new adventure in one’s imagination conjuring, a piece of music which tells a fresh story each and every time.
Finally we take you to a track which instantly excited the moment we saw its inclusion in Shauna’s latest discoveries. The reason was that it is a new venture from Andy Partridge of XTC, the band which was our first true musical love. THE 3 CLUBMEN is a project comprising of Andy, Jen Olive and Stu Rowe, a trio of musician who have worked together in varied combinations but for the first time as a threesome in THE 3 CLUBMEN.
Aviatrix is the trio’s first single, a track taken from their forthcoming eponymous EP which arrives June 30th via Swindon based label LIGHTERTHIEF. XTC were wizards of alt indie pop and Andy’s songwriting wizardry to these ears in its own right. The new track is birthed in that same fertile realm and we would be lying if we did not suggest there is an air of that legendry band in its breath if only in Andy’s distinctive melodic weaving and tones but the song and threesome’s sound is pure uniqueness and in no time an addiction of individuality and enlivening adventure.
From its simple nag of a melodic guitar hook to the swiftly joining flutter of flute and Andy and Jen’s captivating vocal union, the track instantly seduced with its rhythmic skittling just as thick a pull. Then with every passing second, lyrical line and unpredictability courting enterprise, Aviatrix spun an expanding web of temptation.
The single is superb, majestic in its tapestry of flavours and mischievous in its quirk pop imagination with every aspect shared a devilment of captivation aligned to rhythmic manipulation, vocal seduction and melodic enslavement. One play was enough to spark our lust and greedy anticipation for even greater invention from the trio, the kind of lust we first felt when we invested way back in the 12” classic that is the 3D EP.
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UPCOMING RODNEY CROMWELL TOUR DATES
Thu, June 8 LONDON – Servant Jazz Quarters
Fri., June 9 READING – Face Bar
Sat, June 10 COVENTRY – Just Dropped In
Sun, June 11 TORMODEN – The Golden Lion
Tickets may be obtained at www.happyrobots.co.uk/tickets
Pete RingMaster 21/05/2023
Copyright RingMaster Review
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