Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e January 27 2017

In our new feature for 2017, each week we will take five new tracks, and ask our three guest reviewers to give them a few spins and then air their opinions as to whether they deserve a big walloping Yes, or just a big fat No from them.

This week's panel: Ellie Ward - Little Indie assistant editor; radio presenter, DJ and artist manager Hattie Pearson; Caffy St Luce of Rocklands Music Group and The Zine.

Released on January 13 by the quartet, it is the first single since debut 'Blue & The Green' and 'House For You'. 'Moving As One' combines euphoric, pop laden hooks with impressive vocals and intricate production.

Ellie Ward: That opening is the biz - and from there it just gets better, packing a tribal-like punch and rhythm groove. 4.5/5

Hattie Pearson: 'Blue & The Green' was one of my favourite tracks of 2015 so I'm overjoyed to see that Loyal are following up their success with this track. It's got pretty much everything I want from a track - slick production, punchy riff, and sassy vocals. 4.5/5

Caffy St Luce: An aural installation that draws you in sweetly, then brings bottom-end shaking power like a chanting round the camp fire rave. Epic, anthemic production with a real collective sentiment. 4/5

Follow up to last summer's 'Night Trains', this new single 'Vienna' from the High Wycombe four-piece (who we first introduced here just over a year ago - was written and recorded last year at Metropolis studios in London. Catchy indie rock with Sam Hunn's edgy vocals.

EW: Glad this isn't an Ultravox cover! It's nice and sweet; kinda soothing, yet it has flow. Really like the vocals. 4/5

HP: This has got a bit of a Viola Beach vibe about it to me, which certainly isn't a bad thing. I'm looking forward to seeing what else they've got up their sleeve for this year. 3.5/5

CSL: With some tropical pop beats pop, this could have been another generic 21st-century indie, but it's out on its own. Gorgeous riffs, vocals that wouldn't be out of place in 80s Hacienda and a rhythm section that drives like racing car. 4/5

Total score: 11.5/15

Released January 6, new single 'Maslow' is the first release off the forthcoming full-length 'learn to have nothing and you will have everything', out later this year, by the synth-alt rock, South Carolina-based outfit Amy Cuthbertson, a frequent guest on Elvis Depressedly records, plays cello on the track.

EW: Another good few seconds on opening, and while not a bad song in the least, it wasn't enough to hold me for a further three-minutes-plus play. 3/5

HP: Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. 1/5

CSL: Layered beats of instrumental hugeness and star dusted vocals, this is cool pop that threatens to break out of verses and bridges into a stadium sized chorus. I'm very impressed but would love to have exploded with joy. 3/5

Total score: 7/15

London Grammar styled five-piece from Bedford - fronted by the 16-year-old Jeaná Healy; siblings Katie (vocals) and Jed Healy (drums/synth) are also on board - follow debut single ‘Fools Eyes’ with this new track - produced by Kristofer Harris (Bear's Den, Clock Opera, Get Inuit), which came out on January 13.

EW: The vocals are interesting and there's a lot of room for improvement musically. I don't think Healyum are ready to break just yet, but ask me again this time next year! 3.5/5

HP: Lead singer Jeana is 16. 16! Undoubtedly she has a strong future ahead of her and I expect to see these guys doing the festival rounds this year - I'll see you down the front at at the barrier. 5/5

CSL: Instantly the full musical and production package - with a bonus of angel-with-attitude vocals, pulsing beats and powerful dynamic interplay of beats and breaks. Healyum have harnessed decades of influence into something that is now and futuristic. 5/5

Total score: 13.5/15

Ahead of their self-titled EP, out on April 21 via Rumours Music, full-on, 2017's London grrl power four-piece The Nyx have shared this free track 'Home'. Frontwoman Simone Picknett’s strong vocal assault blends effortlessly with the girls’ solid harmonies.

EW: This is one of those songs I can appreciate, but which doesn't quite kick it in the right direction for me. 3/5

HP It's fierce and fast-paced, but not something I'd pop on the playlist personally. 3/5

CSL: A wash of warm pop from the first beat of this major movie soundtrack from the get go. Confident vocals, woven with fused harmonies into a guitar-powered rock anthem with melodic licks, make you move rhythm - this is an adventure of a song that sounds like the band need a big stage! 4.5/5

Total score: 10.5/15

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