Song reviews


  My Heart is a Yoyo by The Tranq

My Heart is a Yoyo cover art

Swedish indie

So determinedly retro that the song seemed more of a pastiche than anything else, “My Heart is a Yoyo” shows Swedish band The Tranq to be purveyors of pretentious pop music just like you used to get when A-Ha meant something musical. Whether that is actually a good thing is open to debate.

Review date:  June 8 2013

  The Black Lodge by Jenny Gabrielsson Mare

The Black Lodge cover art

Swedish exotica

You get a whispered intro mentioning Laura Palmer and you get a minimalist swing Badalamenti groove. You get enigmatic lyrics and you get whisper in your ear sensual vocals. “The Black Lodge” is Chris Isaak in a dress only I can (practically) guarantee that Jenny Gabrielsson Mare looks better in a dress than Chris Isaak ever would.  With a bit more reverb, this would be a wicked game.

Review date:  June 4 2013

  The Human Race by Jens Wennberg

The Human Race cover art

Musical volvo

“The Human Race” finds Jens Wennberg up to his usual tricks with acoustic guitars and distant drums leading the song towards the restrained melancholy of his voice. If you liked his previous releases then you will like this one too.

Review date:  June 4 2013

  Mobile Homes by Banana Beach

Mobile Homes cover art

Quirky indie pop

With wishing to stereotype an entire nation, “Mobile Homes” is exactly what you would expect of a (slightly) quirky Swedish indie pop band. Banana Beach do what is expected of them and – in a meaningful way of course – make their mark.

  Headstrong by Elvira Stitt

Headstrong cover art

Glasgow songstress

With the song truly in her heart, Elvira Stitt demonstrates a surprising – especially for one so young -- mastery the of big ballad style with “Headstrong”. She handles the poetic lyrics with poise and feeling which is much more than might reasonably expect of a singer songwriter on the way up. Genuine Glasgow talent and I don’t say that very often.

  Sharpshooter by Hungry Kids of Hungary

Sharpshooter cover art

Indie popsters

Summer must be on its way and Australian indie poppers Hungry Kids of Hungary look set to the official provider of a sunshine song for the season. “Sharpshooter” is nicely edgy in its sonic style and has the all important big chorus to get you singing along. I am feeling the heat already.

Review date:  May 26 2013

  Working For The Man by Man’s Ruin

Working For The Man cover art

Experimental Scottish folk

Rolling it on down the river are Scottish and Man’s Ruin. They claim to be an experimental folk band but “Working For The Man” is nothing less than toughened up country rock mixed with big city words. All credit to them however for sounding like red meat is their staple diet.

Review date:  May 26 2013

  Disappear by Whales in Cubicles

Disappear cover art

Bristol boys

Noisy indie rock from Bristol band Whales in Cubicles, “Disappear” shows them to be a band that operates within the limits of the genre but who remain capable of taking things further. The evidence, as always, is in the lyrics.

Review date:  May 26 2013

  Karelia by Bernard Et Bianca

Karelia cover art

Deep swedish indie

Swedish five men and maids in a row doing the deeply meaningful deed thing, Bernard and Bianca go quite large on the emotion with a swelling chorus driving “Karelia” along. It’s a bit indie, it’s a bit power pop and it is sure to get them over the half way mark on the bill at any major European festival this year.

Review date:  May 19 2013

  Summer Wine by Daniel Badeie

Summer Wine cover art

Swedish import

Driven along mercilessly by a nervous guitar, “Summer Wine” seems a positively whimsical song for someone like Daniel Badeie. That said, a good pop song is what it is and, with summer approaching, “Summer Wine” should find many friendly ears ready to fall for its inescapable charm.

Review date:  May 19 2013

  In the Basement by Harriet Jones

In the Basement cover art

On the way up

Another day another singer songwriter. Harriet Jones has an appealing voice and – assuming she wrote "In The Basement" – a pretty solid songwriting skill set. However, the clumsy and clunky arrangement robs the song of any momentum leaving Ms. Jones rather more exposed than she needs to be. If thus song were to be re-recorded professionally then I am certain that she would make a much better impression.

  Lend a hand by William Freeman

Lend a hand cover art

Escape from Lossiemouth

Another day, yet another singer songwriter. This time it is the turn of Scottish wandering minstrel William Freeman to take a shot at fame and his song,  “Lend A Hand”,  is a touch melancholy, played with sensitivity and dexterity and would nicely accompany a walk on the mellow side. A convincing performance then but, perhaps unfortunately for him, there are many more like him out there.

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