Music, Singles, The Revue — December 2, 2017 at 5:00 am

Saturday Sampler December 2nd

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Kick start your weekend with nine powerful tracks on the Saturday Sampler December 2nd edition. Artists from Australia, Canada, England, Sweden, and the US bring you a variety of genres sure to quicken your pulse and delight your senses. We kick things off with one of our favourite new London bands.

Anteros – “Love” (London, England)

RIYL: Blondie, Wolf Alice, Black Honey

In late October, Anteros announced they would be releasing a double AA side. At the time, they shared the first single, “Bonnie”, which has us buzzing for its ’90s-esque indie vibe and reminding us of the music on the Singles soundtrack. They return with the other single, and it is as one would expect from the fast-rising London band.

“Love” is a scintillating anthem that blasts with the attitude of Blondie in their heyday and the modern indie pop-rock spunk of fellow Brit bands Wolf Alice and Black Honey. The chiming guitar riffs and the ’80s crunchy rhythms create an exhilarating vibe while frontwoman Laura Hayden destroys our soul with her roaring vocals and her fantastic songwriting. Don’t mistaken her words as being about a love affair between two people. On the contrary, the song is a surprise political number with Hayden describing the persistent conflict between people over greed, power, and fear. But one thing can conquer everything – love.

The double AA side is out now via Distiller Records, who also distributed Anteros’ awesome EP, Drunk, which had us buzzing for awhile. Anteros plan to release their debut album in 2018, and needless to say we cannot wait for it. We’ve only been waiting over 2.5 years.

Anteros are Laura Hayden (vocals), Charles Monneraud (guitar), Joshua Rumble (bass), and Harry Balazs (drums).

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Belle Adair – “Neptune City” (Florence, AL, USA)

RIYL: Wilco, The Jayhawks, early R.E.M.

If you think you’re hearing a dreamier version of Wilco in the new Belle Adair single, “Neptune City,” you aren’t imagining things. This rising indie band from Alabama mixed their upcoming Tuscumbia album in Wilco’s Loft Studio in Chicago. On it they channel a few legends in their rich sound, including early Wilco and R.E.M. and even a bit of The Jayhawks. This makes them easy to like, but it’s their talent and the depth of their sonic textures that make them irresistible.

Belle Adair aren’t a new band (they formed six years ago), yet for inexplicable reasons, they still are not a household name. But music fans with discerning tastes are certainly familiar with this four-piece – or at least they should be, since there is so much to appreciate in their output, especially this single. While “Neptune City” is essentially an indie pop tune by default, the subtle echoes of both Americana and old-school British folk-rock contribute to its genre-defying appeal. Much like that globally-loved soft drink that began with humble southern roots, Belle Adair satisfy your craving for something sweet with the perfect balance of fizz and aaaaahhh. Do we think they have the potential to become as big as Coca-Cola? Have a listen for yourself to know the answer.

Tuscumbia is available for pre-order via Single Lock Records from these streaming and purchase sites. It arrives January 19, 2018.

Belle Adair are: Matt Green (vocals/guitar), Adam Morrow (guitar/vocals), Hayden Crawford (bass), and Reed Watson (drums).

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Kiko Bun – “Fistful Of Nothing” (London, England)

RIYL: Desmond Dekker, Toots & The Maytals

London-based artist Kiko Bun is a craftsman known for fusing old-school soul and hip-hop into his reggae. Though he’s neither a fixture on American radio nor a regular presence at North American festivals, his reputation in Europe remains strong. Hopefully his newest offering will change that.

“Fistful of Nothing” is exactly the kind of song that needs to be heard from Los Angeles to New York City. Without mentioning any names, Kiko Bun here chastises someone with a reputation of opening their mouth and offering nothing of substance. These lyrics, combined with the fiercely exuberant rhythms and smokin’ hot horns, make this single an excellent introduction to anyone who is just now discovering this talent.

“Shame upon ya
finger pointer
who the fuck are you?
Take the pressure
main of leisure
what you trying to prove?”

This song is out now from Island Records UK and Universal Music Group via these streaming/purchase sources.

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Mark Sultan – “Let Me Out” (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: King Khan & BBQ, Jay Reatard, Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff

For those who don’t immediately recognize the name Mark Sultan, we offer this reminder of his other moniker – BBQ, of the King Khan & BBQ collaboration. Whether you call him a purveyor of psychedelic punk or a master of garage fuzz rock, labels aren’t really necessary. All you need to enjoy his music is open ears and maybe some good dancing shoes, because his new “Let Me Out” single will turn you into a dancing fool.

“Let Me Out” is a hook-filled romp from start to finish. With beats sure to get your pulse jumping and reverb-heavy guitar licks powerful enough to peel paint, this is the tune that will set the mood for your weekend activities. Queue it up, crank it loud, and let the rest of the world disappear from your radar.

The 45” is out now via the Wick Records imprint of Daptone Records. You can get your copy here.

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NoMBe – “Eden” (feat. Geneva White) (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Nick Murphy, Disclosure

Back in April after hearing Noah McBeth’s – a.k.a. NoMBeb – collaboration with New Mystics on “Can’t Catch Me”, we commented that he is “the Michelangelo of a new era” due to his ability to merge numerous influences into one creative song. Once again he has painted a little masterpiece with “Eden”, and this time his apprentice is a rising artist in her own right, Geneva White.

Musically, the song echoes Portugal.The Man in their early days, melding R&B, soul, electronic, and synth-pop into one stunning display of sound. The harmonies between McBeth and White are gorgeous, giving the song a sultry vibe that would make Sade look on in wonder. However, the most startling element of the song is the poetry that McBeth crafts. Religious references are littered throughout the track, which allows the listener to interpret the lyrics and the song’s main messages. Some may hear a love ballad while others may see this as an introspective journey. For us, NoMBe has crafted a song about a person who has been unshackled and found his “Eden” in unexpected places. Whatever the case, McBeth may have just written his sonic version of Dante’s Inferno.

“Eden” is from NoMBe’s forthcoming debut album, They Might’ve Even Loved Me, which is due in January via TH3RD Brain Records.

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Portrayal – “Lost Souls” (Shrewsbury, England)

RIYL: A Place to Bury Strangers, Stillwave, Editors

It was more than a year ago when Portrayal, the English duo of Rob Tranter and Joe Crook caught our attention with their single, “Solecism”. They’re not the prototypical post-punk band; characterizing them as such would be inaccurate. Maybe shoegaze-alternative-post-punk is more accurate, but that term still misses the mark as it doesn’t account for the waves of synth that filter through their music, particularly their latest single, “Lost Souls”.

Like a storm slowly forming over the mountains and about to descend upon the civilians below, “Lost Souls” is a captivating menace of a tune. The combination of shoegaze guitars and harrowing synths create a foreboding soundscape while Crook’s distant vocals sound like Jupiter (who is also the Roman storm god in addition to being the god of all gods), warning us of the impending destruction. But in this case, the destruction isn’t physical but psychological as the duo’s words focus on the troubled times that consume us – from the people, the memories, and our inner demons that tear us apart and eventually turn us into dust.

Portrayal are Rob Tranter (guitars/bass/synths) and Joe Crook (vocals/guitars).

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Rupe Shearns – “Reward” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: David Byrne, Joe Jackson, Grizzly Bear

When you can call on Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear of Grizzly Bear to help you out on your record, you know you have a bit of talent. Check that – a lot of talent. Ignore the fact that Rupe Shearns is friends with the Chrises; the Brooklyn-based artist has some serious talent. He also has quite a sense of humor, as reflected on the title of his new album, To A Deer Outside Ithaca, which is available on Bandcamp. It’s not just the title, but the album’s artwork is equally hilarious yet sad. Once you get past all this you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing and clever album, highlighted by the single “Reward”.

This is one immensely catchy and energetic tune. It is part ’70s synth-pop and part contemporary alt-pop. While we could describe more of the song, we’ll let Shearns do the talking since his description is amusing:

“(I) recorded this song with Christopher Bear from Grizzly Bear, and he pointed out how similar my demo was to Joe Jackson’s “Stepping Out”. It occurred to me how much I liked that song so then I really went for it and lifted as much as I could.”

Here’s a man not afraid to discuss his interests and his artistic approach. He’s also not afraid to take on a couple of grizzly bears, as depicted on the entertaining video.

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Samsaruh – “Beautiful Killer” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: Lana Del Rey, Kate Bush, Marika Hackman

She’s only 19 years old. Nineteen years old! And yet Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Samsaruh has written a song that veteran artists could not come close to matching in its creativity, message, and gripping power. “Beautiful Killer” is an eye-opening song from the young woman who has become a Triple J favorite.

With the smokiness of Lana Del Rey in her youth and the dark, brooding nature of Kate Bush, Samsaruh has created a sultry yet eerie number. The instrumentation (particularly the percussion and stark electric guitar) is tantalizingly paralyzing. Her lyrics, meanwhile, are even more mesmerizing, as she describes how we all have become femmes fatales in our own way. No matter how beautiful we may appear, we all have a dark side. Like the old adage goes, never judge a book by its cover.

The self-released “Beautiful Killer” is out now on iTunes.

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ShitKid – “Oh Me I’m Never” (Gothenberg & Stockholm via Kramfors, Sweden)

RIYL: Angelic Milk, Miss World, Liz Phair

Since the first time we heard Åsa Söderqvist’s project ShitKid, we compared her to a young Liz Phair because, like the American artist, she is fearless and willing to challenge the status quo musically and lyrically. Maybe her music isn’t quite like Phair’s, but Söderqvist in time could similarly break down walls.

Her newest single, “Oh Me I’m Never”, is actually one of her most accessible songs to date, yet it still possesses her trademark oft-kilter ingenuity. Instead of blazing guitars and edgy rhythms, she strips things down and shares a quirky but catchy indie tune. The opening sounds like the start of an Arcade Fire track with the keys-driven melody, but it then transforms into a jittery little pop tune. Focus, though, on her lyrics which describe an uncomfortable situation and are quite timely.

ShitKid’s new EP, This Is It, is out January 19th via PNKSLM Recordings.

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