Each week Little Indie takes three guest reviewers and six new tracks, and after giving them a spin through the headphones, they then give their opinion on each.
This week's panel: Young teen (14) singer-songwriter, Tom Mouse Smith; Little Indie editor, Linn Branson; owner of Pacemaker Music Management and Nexus Music Blog, Michael Edgson.
DANIEL MOORE - HOLLOW
Released just before Easter, Daniel Moore makes his debut in his own right after producing several of Brighton-based Echochamp Records' artists such as Sulky Boy and Manuka Honeys. “Feel so hollow,” is the repeated line that he delivers over understated guitar, subtle drums and swooning harmonies.
Tom Mouse Smith: Really interesting voice. Can’t stop listening to it! 5/5
Linn Branson: A new name on me, but the opening seconds are pretty lush, as is Daniel's baritone. It's damn catchy too with that - is it an organ? - section. 3.5/5
Michael Edgson: Nice tones, feeling the vibe and it's different to what I would normally listen to. 3/5
Total score: 11.5/15
SAY SUE ME - OLD TOWN
From the South Korean alt-rock-pop-gaze quartet's upcoming second album, out April 13 on Damnably. The four-minute number - which follows last November's 'Good For Some Reason', a split 7" with Japan's Otoboke Beaver - bounces along on a flow of sweet and catchy pop riffs.
TMS: Lovely tune, but I couldn’t help thinking it would have been better if it was shorter. A three-minute edit would work. 3/5
LB: I don't know if they do, but I can picture them all performing some fancy footwork in time to this! It's cute, sweet pop, a little too sugary for me personally, but it's got a nice effervescent flow to it. 3/5
ME: Cut the introduction down from 30 seconds to get to the meat of the track quicker. Could do with the vocals having more space as they sound a little masked in places. But, all little things. Overall, the feeling is nice and has a summer feel. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
THE NINTH WAVE - SWALLOW ME
New single (released April 6 through Distiller) from the Glasgow quartet, taken from their upcoming second EP (out April 20), 'Never Crave Attention'. Lyrically, about 'being used and is based around an observation of a dysfunctional relationship and the damage caused. For the victim, the realisation of the situation they are in is hard to swallow.” Catchy, punchy, with a dark undertone, the vocals of Haydn Park complemented by Elina Lin.
TMS: Wasn’t instantly hooked but a few listens down the line and it’s got me. Excellent tune. 4/5
ME: Wonderfully atmospheric. Again, would've preferred a shorter introduction to get straight into the track. Nice arrangement and has a catchy chorus. 3.5/5
Total score: 12/15
GIRLS NAMES - 25
First single from their fourth album, 'Stains on Silence', out June 15 on Tough Love, by the Belfast quartet. Frontman Cathal Cully leads on this majestic, atmospheric cut: "I want to bathe again / I want to swim again / In a pool of twisting bodies / blackened gold."
TMS: Really like this. It's made me go and listen to more by them. I’m now a fan! 4/5
LB: Classy and polished. Love those drums, and the textures they create on this are really addictive and quite haunting. 4/5
ME: Solid build up. Introducing new elements continuously to keep the listener engaged. Very immersive in parts and offers something different to the norm. 4/5
Total score: 12/15
BAD BREEDING - PSYCHIC COPPER
Two minute savage blast from the Stevenage anarcho-punks, taken from their upcoming EP 'Abandonment' out April 27. Unfiltered, incisive and furious, it is an intense and impassioned cut that addresses toxic masculinity.
TMS: Not really my thing, but I can appreciate it’s a well-made, well-crafted tune. 3/5
LB: BB never give less than 100 per cent or rock a track at less than full speed. An intense mosh pit blaster. Great stuff. 4.5/5
ME: Think this would need addressing in the mix, but I'm wanting them vocals right in your face. Punk feeling, give me them vibes!! Bowl me over!! 2.5/5
Total score: 10/15
STEREO HONEY - WHAT MAKES A MAN
The London four-piece follow December's debut EP ‘Monuments’, with first single since signing to LAB Records. Swirling guitars, rolling drums beats, it builds in intensity behind Pete Restrick's controlled falsetto. Based around the Emma Payne poem ‘The Boxer’, "it concerns a figure that starts to unravel. In the song the figure, like the boxer, is broken, clinging to some vestige of manhood even as it reveals itself to be fantasy. And yet, this figure clings to this fantasy with desperation, because it’s the only thing that is known to it. Masculinity is regressive, it teaches young boys not to show vulnerability, not to talk about their feelings, never to show weakness, not to be afraid."
TMS: My favourite of all the tracks. I feel like I’ve known it for years. Sounds great in the car! 5/5
LB: I love Pete Restrick. Not only does he possess one of the best voices going, but his lyrics are always so articulate and based on interesting subject matter. 4.5/5
ME: Atmospheric, impactful and well balanced. Lyrics and vocals are haunting. Just a great arrangement and delivery. Simmer down and take my money. 4.5/5
Total score: 14/15