The Greek indie-synth artist Σtella released the single Works For You on the 22nd.
Σtella – Photo by Peter Nikoltsos
With a more compact sound than previous material featured Works For You fairly skips out of the speakers like a spring lamb. Combinations of classical folk are jigged into coiled synths which gives the track a neo-traditional feel, with emphasis on higher registers and resulting in a number that freshens like lemon juice.
With emphasis away from the more melancholic deeper tones Works For You presents Σtella in a different light and whilst more commercially accessible, does not suffer from sugar-coating. Inevitably, I miss the more substantial sounds, but even given that, this is a song that I am more than happy to come back to more than once and add to the ‘evening with friends’ playlist.
The England based alt-rock trio Cable35 released a new single on the 17th – Uni Hangover.
Cable35 – Uni Hangover – artwork
Each time I return to Cable35, who sill retain strong links with Malta where they can often be seen playing, they have something new to bring to the table.
Uni Hangover has a much tighter sound than much of the material previously featured and although the pace and volume are less dramatic, Cable35 have lost none of their energy. The track launches from the speakers with an immediate hive of activity. The most notable change being the vocal, which blends inside the music far more than in the past, which is what gives the song its more unified feel.
Although Uni Hangover is not currently being released as a single to purchase it does appear that Cable35 spent some time in the recording studio towards the latter end of last year and I look forward to hearing what else there is in the cupboard.
The Sweden based gauze-gaze project Pokal was introduced last year.
The newest track to surface – Know Your Name.
Focused on very different energy to the initial introduction of Pokal, Know Your Name, initially glides across the room as though skating on freshly buffered ice with emphasis on the smoothly running blades of the synthetics.
There are the unanticipated stuttering steps which gives the output of Arne Barlindhaug Ellingsen its intrigue and out of nowhere pipes break the patterns of triangle and vocal giving the track an hypnotic bridge which stays in the mind. Thereafter Know Your Name girds its loins in a more compacted delivery with percussion become ever more persistent in a sound which grows more perpendicular as it progresses, before grabbing for hand-rail prior to recomposing and elegantly exit from the rink.
The US blues-rock trio Safe Secrets released the five track EP Snakes And Spiders on the 14th.
Opening with Intro – an eighty-five second track that sets up the confabulation of distorted ideas which sit inside Snakes And Spiders and by the very presence of this number the listener is immediately aware Safe Secrets is a band of far greater confidence than that introduced in February of last year, as with no hesitancy they throw in a curve-ball for the ears.
On hitting Toe Tagged, time to turn up the volume and scatter the furniture in a track which features dropping scales with a hefty bass note to conclude the progressions of bars giving the piece a sense of the downtrodden, which is suddenly torn asunder by screaming guitar.
Not Alone Part II is next on Snakes And Spiders and sadly already marks the half-way point. Finding some connection with Not Alone Part I which was the opening track on the LP Let Em’ Hear It, in that it too is a blousy guitar number, here Safe Secrets have tightened the sails with double time drums thwacks in a number that featured in the 2016 New Year Ninety.
The penultimate track – Sugar is marked by a scorched earth flame-thrower that blisters the speakers and is my pick of the release as the trio let their hair down in an all guns firing piece that demands immediate replay.
Concluding Snakes And Spiders (available on bandcamp) is Liars And Lions which discovers Safe Secrets in introspective acoustic opening moment. Their most self challenging piece with sharp clefts demanding of clean edged syncopation and they are able to deliver the precipices of tempo change and unexpected full-stops with alacrity. Perhaps the track that defines their coming of age and sets the bar for future releases.
The Australian rock band Queen Of Darts are scheduled to release the single Can You Get Enough? on the 11th of March.
Queen Of Darts
Made available a few hours ago for streaming Can You Get Enough? finds Queen Of Darts in more compact mode than many of their earlier tracks as a blistering guitar / drum combination battles its way out of the speakers.
Although punchier, the quartet have not lost the melodies that underpin the music for established fans as, Can You Get Enough? has a both raw energy and finesse allowing those who want to give their neck a run out a tempo to facilitate and those who prefer a more sedentary position to also get involved in the composition.
It will be interesting if this marks a new direction of travel for Queen Of Darts to mark their name change as they develop their sound having started life as Soundgasm back in 2014.