From Greece to Alaska, the Melodic Tonic ’18 November 21st edition is a whirlwind indie journey. Sample lush indie dream pop, soulful tunes, dark mellow rock and more from these six emerging bands.
Piroshka – “Everlastingly Yours” (London, England)
RIYL: Belle and Sebastian, Cocteau Twins, Lush
Amidst all these recent ‘90s band reunions and supergroup formations comes an unexpected gift: Piroshka. This four-piece outfit features members of British musical legends (Modern English, Elastica, Lush, and Moose) whose collaborative project is one of the year’s best surprises.
“Everlastingly Yours” is the penultimate track from the band’s debut album, Brickbat. Bask in the swirling textures as Miki Berenyi’s vocals leave you mesmerized. While we had no inkling this group had formed, their existence is worthy of celebration. And we’d be lying if we said we weren’t giddy with anticipation for the arrival of their album. Fortunately the wait will be brief:
Piroshka are: Miki Berenyi (Lush), KJ ‘Moose’ McKillop (Moose), Mick Conroy (Modern English), and Justin Welch (Elastica).
Daphne and The Fuzz – “Space and Sound” (Athens, Greece)
RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, Marina & The Diamonds, Lana Del Rey
It seems we discover another incredible artist from Greece every few weeks. While the famed city of Athens is well-known for its ancient past, artists like Daphne and The Fuzz are writing its future with irresistible indie pop. The band’s newest single, “Space and Sound”, proves yet again that Greece is one of the hottest global spots for incredible music.
“Space and Sound” showcases the vocal talents of frontwoman Daphne Lazou. Soft and demure one moment and sparkling the next, her voice conjures images of diamonds and champagne. The production here gives the song an underwater quality that washes over you as you listen. It’s a treat from start to finish.
Based on the charm of this song, we predict great things for Daphne and the Fuzz in 2019 and beyond. This follow-up to her self-titled 2016 debut album is the work of a future star.
Neighbor Lady – “Oh Honey” (Athens, Georgia USA)
RIYL: First Aid Kit, Lucius, Nicole Atkins
From one Athens to another, this tune comes from Neighbor Lady, an indie four-piece from Georgia. We fell hard for their sound at the start of 2018 when we shared “Fine” in January. That smoky, retro tune was the perfect way to kick off the new year; now it’s fitting that we share “Oh Honey” as the year-end approaches.
Swagger. That’s the word that comes to mind upon hearing the first notes of this instant classic. You can’t help feeling ripples of electricity as Emily Braden sings about holding her tongue for too long. Her faintly bluesy delivery is equal parts Nicole Atkins and Lucius with just a touch of Shannon Shaw (Shannon & The Clams). In many ways, this tune is the perfect gift: it offers something for everyone. You get powerhouse vocals paired with vintage-inspired riffs. You also get old-school rock & rock fused with a bit of country and blues. This makes for quite a sassy little indie package.
Neighbor Lady are Emily Braden (vocals/lyrics), Jack Blauvelt (guitar), Meredith Hanscom (bass), and Andrew McFarland (drums).
Foxxxy Mulder – “Easy” (Fairbanks & Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Zola Jesus, Exitmusic, Lunar Twin
As the holidays bring the usual mix of family and festivity, many people look for an escape. Some like to don headphones and create their Albums of the Year lists; others prefer to seek out bands whose 2018 releases they may have missed. Cross off both items on your list by diving into the lush sounds of Foxxxy Mulder. Their recent album, Heretic, features a great many sanity-restoring melodies, including this dazzling sonic gem.
“Easy” is a moonlit oasis of ethereal calm created by Kori Hensell and David Kugler. Lush and inviting, every note draws you further into their sultry lair. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself nodding as Hensell sings, “Come on, let’s go.” Perhaps her surroundings in Alaska give her a creative edge? Or does his Seattle location bring just the right amount of misty atmospheric nuance? Either way, this song’s allure is impossible to resist.
You can get the physical copy from Bandcamp in addition to streaming it on Spotify and Google Play. But honestly, why just stream it when you can buy the tangible magic these two poured their hearts into?
The Storyville Mob – “Where All the Lonely Lie” (Llanrwst, Wales)
RIYL: Joe Cocker, The Bonnevilles, Smoove & Turrell
One song that deserves to be on every playlist is the latest from Welsh indie outfit The Storyville Mob. Their raw, soulful music has energy powerful enough to wake the dead. If your musical library has been in urgent need of resuscitation lately, “Where All the Lonely Lie” is a surefire three-minute cure.
This song marks our discovery of the band; now that they are on our radar, we will keep a watchful eye on their future releases. Their tight instrumentation calls to mind the soulful style of Belfast blues-rockers The Bonnevilles fused with a bit of Geordie soul purveyors Smoove & Turrell. We all need spirited tunes to help us get to the next hurdle in life, whether it’s the end of the week or the end of the year. The Storyville Mob bring the energy and the soul to keep you revived.
The Storyville Mob are: Ben Sterriker (vocals, piano), Mark Hedge (guitar), Jon Williams (bass), and Steve Beynon (drums).
Matt Portland – “Secondary” (London, England)
RIYL: Day Wave meets Noah Gundersen
Finally this week we are delighted to share an emerging artist from London whose name you should learn immediately. We predict you will hear more about Matt Portland in the coming year for one simple reason: talent this pure never lingers in obscurity for long. The raw, honest intimacy he reveals on “Secondary” offers a glimpse into his creativity, but it also reveals his organic approach.
“Secondary” evokes an emotional response usually summoned only by whiskey or a deep conversation with a friend. Portland sounds like the latter who has, perhaps, offered to share the former with you:
“So I sit back and try to write a song
About the only thing that plagues my mind
When I’m sat here drinking along
It’s a long way down”
His mellow vulnerability calls to mind indie singer/songwriter Noah Gundersen accented by faint echoes of dream-pop crooner Day Wave. In other words, Portland has just delivered a melancholy soundtrack wherein solace beckons.
This single is out now on Bandcamp.
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