We’re back with another week of undiscovered talents for you to get your teeth into. I’m really beginning to get into this whole malarky of scouring the interweb for hidden treasures. It’s so exciting to come across these artists and see the amazing work they’re doing. Take a look for yourselves.
Justine Bennett » For All Of Time
Listening to this track, you can’t help but be in awe of the talent and artistry of Justine Bennett. Not only does her angelic voice captivate your attention from the moment she starts to sing, but the gentle production, softly rumbling guitar part and whispered percussion make for a truly wonderful listening experience. It turns out there’s a lot to catch up with in terms of Bennet’s music. She has been releasing music since 2010 and my goodness does that experience and depth of identity come through in this most recent track. ‘For All of Time’ is a timeless song in itself and one I imagine I’ll return to again and again for its artful delivery and downtempo warmth.
Bells Fell Silent » Big Night Won
There has to be a place for this song in some kind of dark, epic, scandi drama. There’s no stopping this music from getting under your skin. Whether it’s the war-like beats, chilling and atmospheric harmonies or droning bass synth that roots you to the spot whilst you listen, you’ll still be there, captivated all 3 minutes and 51 seconds later. I’m such a fan of artists who are able to use their production and arrangement skills in a restrained and effective way with the only purpose being to serve the song. ‘Big Night Won’ is a revelation from this nordic based songwriter and one I don’t plan on keeping to myself. Check out the suitably weird and wonderful music video for the song and submerge yourself in the darkness.
The Magnolias » Goodnight, I’m Going To Sleep
There is something haunting about this song from The Magnolias. There is a quiet confidence underlying the whole track from the bare opening to the jostling drums and synth that elevate the production and lift the vocals, further skywards. I have to say that my ear was drawn to the details: the 90’s style reverb on the lead vocal and the gritty guitar distortion. The whole production is reminiscent of what a Jeff Buckley track might sound like if he were here to dazzle us with his modern-day offerings. Exceptionally executed and wonderfully controlled in its ebb and flow between sweet, introspective songwriting and the bolder more edgy sound of a band with a 90’s flare.
VISSIA » I Believe In You
‘I Believe In You’ is an original take on a classic Neil Young song and it’s certainly made me believe in the talents of Vissia. Wow, that’s some of the cheesiest segwaying I’ve done, but it’s true. The vocal prowess of this young singer from Alberta is what really stands out in this cover version. Not only does she deliver in her unquestionably strong lead vocal but the stylised harmonies and glimmering, uptempo feel are where things really kick into second gear. Somehow, with such a simple arrangement and subtle embellishments Vissia has made this song utterly her own. Seriously, Neil who? I’ve been guilty of not giving cover songs the time of day but with ‘I Believe in You’ it really does feel like you’re getting a great insight into what the artist might be capable of and in the case of Vissia, I’d say that’s quite a bit.
Femi Jaye ft. Habeeb » Tree Man
Femi Jaye takes you on the most chilled, laid back and velvety journey with this track, ‘Tree Man’. There isn’t any beating around the bush, or should I say ‘hemp plant’, this song is pretty much a love song to the green stuff. I’m saddened to say that ganja really isn’t my thing. I wish it were as if I could experience the blissed-out paradise described by Jaye in ‘Tree Man’ then I feel I’d be even more happy and relaxed right now. What drew me to this track was not the subject but the sheer quality of the production and smooth chocolatey vocals that gently undulate through the whole song. Soft marimba and shuffled percussion encase you as you drift off into the crowd and two-step your way through the rest of the night. Listening to the good vibes from ‘Tree Man’ is high enough for me.
CESTRA » Monument
Opera meets underground electronica? I’m not quite sure how to describe this song by British artist Cestra and that’s kind of what I love about it. There’s a fascination and admiration I feel when it comes to these genre-defying artists. How do they do it? How can someone strike such a fine balance when dipping into all these in-between palettes of sound? Artistry and talent may be part of it. As a listener, you are just there for the ride, entirely trusting your guide and simply delighted to discover all the unexpected and hidden treasures along the way. This is perhaps one of my more ambiguous reviews, but seriously, just listen to ‘Monument’ or any of the stunning tracks by this artist and try and put it into words.
The Vice » Things I Tell Myself
As soon as that simmering cymbal and what I presume is a distorted guitar melody comes in, you know your curiosity is going to win out with this one. You can’t help but stick around to see where this track goes and I don’t think it disappoints.
Pop driven lyrics and melody that is just catchy enough to be nodding your head to by the end of the track, but with enough of an edge and stylised delivery to sit beautifully amongst the sizzling production and carry off the offbeat indie style. The Vice have that idiosyncratic sound that every band seeks as they try to diffuse their creativity and ideas into a singular identity. I feel this band has achieved that in ‘Things I Tell Myself’. You feel like you’re listening to a set of people who have no preoccupations other than doing exactly what’s needed for the song. Sounds pretty good to me.
Bloom’s Taxonomy » Locked In
For all its swelling synths, pulsating bass and driving beats, somehow I found myself almost in a space of meditation listening to ‘Locked In’. Even as you leave the vast and undulating landscapes of the first minute and move into the ‘new age’ metropolis which follows, there is a truly compelling aspect to the track which runs throughout. I was ‘locked in’ listening in a state of transfixion from start to finish. This artist deftly navigates the organic and the industrial, creating moments to ground the listener in earthy textures and details before whisking them away again into the dazzling techno-driven topography that fleshes out this artful contribution from Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Kid Cuisine » Something Better
‘Something Better’ has that ring of truth to it that I think we can all relate to right now. The monotone style of the first verse melody lends itself perfectly to the lyric, enough for you to be right there with Kid Cuisine, sharing in their lacklustre ‘fedupness’ of it all. Just in time, you feel the warmth of the beautiful harmonies and as the track builds and guitars and drums swarm your ears and there’s a sense of catharsis as both you and the artist get it all out of your system. For me, the artist has nailed that juxtaposition between communicating the sad and painful truths of life against the freedom that comes from saying that s**t out loud and having others nod their heads in agreement and appreciation. It helps when it’s delivered over an infectious beat and skywards, melodic vocals. On another note, this guy is writing, recording and making all the videos and artwork for his own music. Pretty impressive, I think you’ll agree.
Make sure to follow our playlist on Spotify as we will be updating it and adding more hidden treasures every Thursday.