Sandtimer is a melancholic-folk band from England.
Sandtimer and I have been exchanging emails since 2016 though I have never quite managed to align timing – so it is a pleasure that I have finally been able to get my act together with their latest song – New Year Morning – which came out on the 1st and is the first reveal from their forthcoming LP.
Their back catalogue of releases comprises of music which is of varied approaches to folk influences drawn from around the world that is tinged in sorrowful countenance, expressed particularly by the distinctive vocal with its rich baritone intonations to where the listener instinctively, initially, steers attention. The surrounding layers, sometimes delivered as a duo other times as a quartet, doesn’t seek to fight the voice, rather, adds depth of texture to complement and enhance the overall output and when the ears head towards the instrumentation they discover equally as impressive performance with the weaves of frequencies creating intoxicating flows of sound in which to experience the wistful compositions.
Sandtimer are a case in point where the sum of the parts is far greater than the individual constituents.
The English darkwave quartet Stupid Cosmonaut released the LP Digitalis on the 5th.
Stupid Cosmonaut – Photo by Paul Mallinson
The six track, roughly thirty eight minutes, album (available on bandcamp) has a dystopian oppressiveness that fills the room in shadows of synthesised guitars, distant, yet unrelenting, percussion and immersive electronica.
Though dark in presence, Digitalis, is nonetheless an entrancing LP of ambient soundscape in which the listener feels their body and mind becoming as one with the music and far from feeling threatened by the hidden menace finds themselves hypnotically attracted and desirous of exploring the many layers of the compositions.
My pick of the release being the longest track, running at thirteen minutes, the second on the album – Rephlex.
The Oi Oi’s is a relatively new English brit-blues trio.
The Oi Oi’s
For those of us who haven’t been able to catch them live since their first performance in April they did recently reveal their début single.
Holy Moly rumbles through the speakers akin to a heavy steam engine pressing down on the sleepers. A bass guitar which seems to surface from underneath the floorboards cracking the pins underfoot marks out the territory of The Oi Oi’s as they challenge the sub-woofers to a duel accompanied by a drum-kit struck so hard the listener can envisage the whole set bouncing around the stage with the riffs of guitar bending through the room like a meandering river forming oxbow lakes whilst the vocal, almost incidentally, threads through the composition.
I mean to cast no aspersions towards the vocal content as without it Holy Moly would be incomplete and is an integral part of the song, however, the combinations of instrumentation and percussion is that which fully captures the attention.
It is of little surprise that the guitars are threaded to almost double their length, to enable rapid string change as I can’t image they last a full set on any occasion it would also not come as a surprise that along with the drum-kit having a surfeit of spare skins and sticks there isn’t also a plaster cast on-hand to support broken wrists.
The English alt-rock band The Ringards revealed a new track last week.
This is the third time that The Ringards have featured and on each occasion they have offered something slightly different in influence, attesting to a group of musicians with differing approaches, yet able to melt those ideas in songs in which the listener becomes engaged.
Alice In A Nutshell has a ’60s brit-blues formulation mixed with 00’s garage to create a song which has a warm analogue texturing , clever melodic twists, tempo changes and a flattened dynamic range giving the composition plenty in which to invest the ears and I look forward to discovering more of their music through 2018.
The English electro-beat duo Capes revealed – Rival -their début single yesterday.
If you have ever felt that there is some niggling and unreachable worry which needs itching you will be au fait with the concept of the music of Capes.
Like a deep rooted hornet sting in the sole of the foot the burred edged of synth saws through the nerves whilst the deep drops of bass loops send shivers of pleasure up and down the spine as percussion drives home the pain/pleasure principle leaving the vocal to calmly extract the poison resulting in the audience coalescing on the dance floor with the retro-sounds of minimalist ’80s club.