Song reviews

  Black Smoke by Strange Acres

Black Smoke cover art

Deeper and darker

“Black Smoke” hides the hypnotic voice of Molly Grace in an endless tunnel of reverb and dislocation with the rest of the band plodding along grimly but purposefully in her footsteps. It’s a deep dark song that punches above its expected weight and, consequently, would make a great soundtrack to the eternal rain that seeks to wash our souls clean of sin.

Review date:  October 17 2013

  Blue angel by Luna Green

Blue angel cover art

Dark green

Equal part melancholy and enigma, Sweden’s Luna Green throws a bleak lyrical sophistication into the folk song mix with "Blue Angel" that turns the song right around and points it at the city and the municipal graveyard. The long lost granddaughter of Leonard Cohen? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

  Elemental by Willow Beats

Elemental cover art

Australian synth pop

“Elemental” does seem a bit quaint on initial acquaintance but, after giving it a bit more attention, its offbeat retro synth sound and floating female vocals got to me. Not enough to displace Lykke Li from the pinnacle of my affections but close enough for a cuddle at least.

Review date:  October 12 2013

  Camels by Tarsiers

Camels cover art

Welsh psychology

Tarsiers are a three piece band from Cardiff – or so it would appear – but nothing in “Camels” suggests a Welsh heritage. Whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion, of course, but this song would not be out of place in the basement of some Saigon nightclub circa 1968. It’s time for the past again.

Review date:  October 12 2013

  Halloween by You Left End Of Story

Halloween cover art

No idea

OK, not sure what happened here as I doubt that this song was supposed to last a mere 32 seconds. That said, any more of the discordant musical musings of You Left End of Story - “Halloween” is the song, by the way– and I would have had to hunt him down and kick him repeatedly. Wait a minute, perhaps the “song” was meant to be ironic?

  Creeds by Curtain Closed

Creeds cover art

Italian indie

Curtain Closed give us a nicely competent take on indie rock Italian style with “Creeds” that is pleasingly energetic if a bit awkward in execution. Nevertheless they show more potential than most.

  The Good Life by Elizabeth Rose

The Good Life cover art

Australian synth pop

It would be easy to see “The Good Life” as merely proof that Australia’s Elizabeth Rose has been able to absorb her parent’s record collection and replay it all as up-tempo electro pop but that is perhaps  too simple and convenient a viewpoint to take. Nevertheless, it is true that the lack of originality in presentation does detract from what would some might class as a pretty pop song.

  New Road by Rodina

New Road cover art


Mellow and melodic almost to a fault, Rodina go baby smooth with “New Road”. The silky vocals of Aoife Hearty could easily grace an album of the smoothest jazz yet she remains just wistful enough to suggest a more ethereal musical direction was the aim of this song. Tasteful is the word and the word is duly given.

Review date:  October 8 2013

  The Love by Nadine Carina

The Love cover art

Swiss charm

Enigmatic if leisurely in her approach, Nadine Carina does however manage to walk that line between European quirkiness and the dark shadows of life with both confidence and nonchalance. Give it some time and “The Love” will work its magic upon you and that bodes well for this lady’s future.

  Romeo by A Beautiful Friend

Romeo cover art

American influence

You’ve got to wonder what has happened to the teaching of geography in schools for, once more, a Swedish singer songwriter has managed to sound more American adult oriented rock than many of those native to the good old US of A. If they still had FM radio then “Romeo”, with its peak period Fleetwood Mac vibe, would be the song that would break A Beautiful Friend into the big time.

Review date:  October 8 2013

  One Night Stand by Nathalie Raedler

One Night Stand cover art

America bound

Nathalie Raedler marks herself out as an uptown girl with a modern attitude as she shoots down her suitors with “One Night Stand”. Although the song is perhaps more a girl power sing-along than a feminist anthem, our Nathalie nonetheless struts her stuff with both confidence and style. I hope she gets the attention she actually wants.

Review date:  October 6 2013

  You're The One by Ashley Collins

You're The One cover art

Glasgow diva

Now, I will state up front that I regard Ashley Collins as the saviour of the moribund Glasgow music scene and “You’re The One” has done nothing but reinforce that opinion. You have to fight them at their own game and dearest Ashley goes all big ballad emotion to take “You’re The One” all the way to the finishing line. Trust me, she will be the next Michael Bublé (or at least a girlie version of Michael Bublé if you get my drift).

Review date:  October 6 2013

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