Best New Music Of The Week // February 2 – February 8, 2015

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Marika Hackman – “Animal Fear”:

Marika Hackman has released a video for “Animal Fear” from her forthcoming album. The video is horror themed B-movie style and is juxtaposed to sliding licks throughout the track. However, it makes you pick out the slightly dark edge to “Animal Fear”. The soft airy vocals of Hackman become haunting especially the backing vocals in the intro. Listening to the track and watching the music video is actually very different which is something missing from most music videos these days.

There’s a reason to watch this video, it’s not hugely eventful but it adds something to the song most definitely. There is something quaintly 80s about the arrangement but this is done entirely tastefully. “Animal Fear” in particular is for fans of Sky Ferreira but on listening to “Ophelia” – also from Hackman’s debut album – you can hear hints of Laura Marling. The album We Slept At Last is due to be released on the 16th of Februrary and personally I cannot wait. Watch the video below, and pre-order We Slept at Last here.

Natalie Prass – “Why Don’t You Believe In Me”:

Natalie Prass has released a video for her track “Why don’t You Believe In Me”, with artist, and childhood friend of 15 years, Erica Prince, coming up with the interesting concept for Prass’ new video. It is based around Prass removing make up to reveal her ‘real face’ but the video really plays with the idea. It’s beautifully awkward and imperfect, at times it looks SO wrong! Prass has said the song’s message is about “self-doubt“, and that it has different layers which the video nicely reflects. The sculpture featured in the video is Erica Prince’s ‘Self Possesion’. There is really one unified message from the two; self analysis. It makes for a very sleek yet kooky looking music video. The self-titled album was released last week and reached number 50 in its first week in the UK album charts. Watch the video below and purchase the album here.

Bleach Blood – “London In The Rain”:

Dance punk outfit Bleach Blood have released a video for their track “London In The Rain”. The video features singer and founding member Jamie Jazz walking around London with his own personal cloud that always rains on him. Bleach Blood have already released five singles from their forthcoming debut album – “Let Your Heart Sing”, “Darling Don’t Dive Without Me”, “Anything, Anything”, “H.O.P.E” and “Pleased To Meet You”, to promote the album titled All Sides Of A Circle, which will be released a month from today on Transmission Recordings. Jazz was previously the guitarist for The King Blues and this connection is somewhat present in Bleach Blood’s sound, although this is an altogether new venture. It will be interesting to see how their album comes together. You can find the video for “London In The Rain” below, you can pre-order the album here.

Mélat + SPZRKT – “We Don’t Have To”:

Austin songstress Mélat has teamed up with genre-crossing singer-songwriter SPZRKT and producer ELHAE, all of whom have converged to create a soulful anthem on the importance of fighting for a strong relationship. This new offering is a continuation (track 5) of Mélat’s Side B series. The lyrics in this track are about fighting the human urge to “start all over” when the embers of doubt creep into an otherwise loving relationship. In Mélat’s own words, “this song is dedicated to all of the strong, non-abusive relationships. The relationships that are resilient enough to fight through any storm without becoming destructive”.

As far as the delivery of this track is concerned, I was particularly taken by the creative interplay between different sets of lyrics and vocal melodies. The constant lifts and changes help to keep the track fresh and unique. These vocal melodies are also used to full effect, with the repetition of motifs. The result is a track that is rich in vocal and production qualities, both of which I found to be inspiring as a listener and musician. I believe the secret here is simple. It’s about approaching every part of a song as if it was a blank canvas. In part, this track benefits from dispensing with the common restraints of genre, and instead focuses on delivering rich moments. Finally, it represents a musical exchange between loving partners.

Juliet Simms – All Or Nothing EP:

Juliet Simms, songwriter, guitarist and lead singer of Tampa Florida pop rock band Automatic Loveletter, has recently released her most anticipated EP All or Nothing via Pledge Music. You might recognize Juliet from season two of NBC TV series The Voice. Just after finishing second place on The Voice, Juliet Simms focused on her fans, who essentially shaped the person who she is today, by giving them what they want, new music.

“By partnering with my friends at PledgeMusic it gives me the chance to connect directly with you guys and cut out the middleman. There will be no outside influence saying that the songs are not ‘radio’ enough, no one to tell me that the art I am making for my fans isn’t good enough or ‘pop’ enough”, Juliet said about her new EP. After over a decade of writing and producing music, Juliet has finally shown the world what she’s been hiding. Her new EP All or Nothing includes six songs, with track six “Not Broken Yet” featuring Black Veil Brides front man, Andy Biersack, purchase it here.

The Jane Doze – “I See Cali (Kygo x Ed Sheeran x Notorious B.I.G. Mash-Up)”:

The ingredients for the best mash-ups seem to require a contrast of genre and artist-type to the extremest of lengths. Mixing Kygo’s calmly tropical house grooves with Ed Sheeran’s clean-cut pop anthem “I See Fire” and the gritty explicitness of B.I.G’s “Going Back To Cali” has made this number by NYC duo The Jane Doze a true smash of a mash-up.

The song doesn’t necessarily flow cohesively by theme or topic in the lyrics, but instrumentally these songs compliment each other in a perfect multi-layered journey of slow and warming grace, mixing acoustic guitars with synthesized organs under the radio friendly chorus of Sheeran singing “I see fire, inside the mountain” in between Biggie’s genius bars. California might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a tropical paradise, but this track is perfect to soundtrack a long drive down a Cali coastal highway.

The Jane Doze comprise of Jen Mozenter and Claire Schlissel, and in their two-and-a-half years as a DJ duo, they have shared stages with Diplo, Calvin Harris, and racked up YouTube hits in the millions for their releases. An inspiration to those who want to give up their desk job to follow their dreams, because that’s exactly what they did. Listen to their “I See Cali” mash-up below.

Blossomer – “Foreign Nature”:

Electronic group Blossomer have emerged with their new track “Foreign Nature” which got its debut on BBC Radio 1 last night. The intriguing, upcoming artists from Sheffield have kept pretty quiet about their new work, which they had been writing and recording through the course of last year, so new dreamlike track “Foreign Nature” came as an unexpected surprise. The track captures the mystery and uncertainty the collective currently bring and is a spacey and electronic fantasy. Blossomer also have few, exclusive and seemingly secret dates set to be played this month with more expected to be added, the current list is here, enjoy their new track below.

Words by Chris Hyde, Phillip Cogger, Andrea Cutts, Sean Fitzsimons, and Lauren Martin

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