- Muma Says by Harker Moon
Muma Says by Britain’s Harker Moon feels somewhat anachronistic, definitely from – and of – another time with its soulful, jazz-influenced grooves. Yet, it is somehow grounded firmly in today’s indie sounds. Perhaps the gritty edgy guitars – that sneak up every now and again – are the anchor. The delicious mix of soul, jazz and rock coalesce perfectly with the husky impassioned vocals of singer Tommy Down. Tommy notes “The happy and nostalgic themes of the song echo the temperamental world we live in, but are intended to leave the listener feeling hopeful for the future.” The one thing I hope is that they keep cranking out gems like this!
2. Nearer My God by Foxing
Foxing may not be easily categorized. One might call them indie rock or EMO, or post-rock, but the one thing that can be said is the St Louis-based band makes extraordinary music. Nearer My God is a perfect example . The track opens quietly enough, until singer, Conor Murphy explodes at the top of his range with the line “I want it all…”. From there, the track soars to great heights, dives into deep sonic canyons, only to charge like an Apollo moonshot to an even greater emotional and musical climax. By the end, both listener and band are sated and spent. The thick, glorious orchestration, the screaming guitars, the ever pulsing rhythms, and Murphy’s plaintive cries are sounds to behold. Nearer My God is an unmistakable treasure.
3. Reverie by Honey Beard
Reverie, by Toronto synth pop duo Honey Beard, is a dreamy love song simmering in a lush 80’s synth-pop vibe. Gorgeous vocals, ethereal keys, and hypnotic downtempo beats gently cradle you, as you become thoroughly lost in its sumptuous layered soundscape. Two thumbs up to Gaz and Tom of Honey Beard for a brilliant track!
4. The Game of Everybody Knows It’s You by V Sparks
Chicago’s V Sparks melds the best of glam, good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, with slick orchestration and plenty of pop sensibility with “The Game of Everybody Knows It’s You”. Sure, the same folks who slam Greta Van Fleet for sounding too “Zep” will undoubtedly target V Sparks for their unmistakeable sonic references to Queen. But I say, phooey! This is a solid band of exceptional players who — knowingly or not — provide a brilliant homage to some of the best rock of the 70s. And, I love it!
5. Soft by Babygirl
Soft by Toronto darlings “Babygirl” is a polished but delicate dream-pop track replete with sighing, gauzy vocals and gleaming guitars. They define their style as “bubblegum EMO”, which is an apt description both stylistically and lyrically. The duo certainly have a knack for creating memorable melodies and hypnotic textures, and the chorus kills– bringing the atmosphere and emotion to a head. This one is definitely on repeat!
6. Hi by Indoor Pets
Hi by Indoor Pets is a ton of jangly fun. Both exhilarating and fresh, this hook-laden track fuses self-deprecating humour with a ton of pumping power-pop that culminates in a kick-ass chorus that will have you singing at the top of your lungs. The song has an unmistakeable anthemic quality that will, no doubt, firmly place it at the top of countless playlists.
7. Red Rivers by D E Y A
Red Rivers is a mesmerizing downtempo indie pop song with delightful vocals. The track has a transportive quality that sucks you into a swirling mix of synths, vocals, and innovative beats. It is both Intriguing and beautiful.
8. Hide Me in Your Spaceship by Big Tide
Big Tide’s Hide Me In Your Spaceship is a fun, upbeat blend of 60s power pop like The Byrds and the ‘70s folk rock of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — original yet familiar. The Liverpool outfit led by singer/songwriter Ben Johnson who infuses the production with shimmering 12-string guitar and his signature Northern vocals. Thomas says: “I’m focussing on songwriting. I want people to feel a level of familiarity when listening to our songs. They have this wholesome feel good vibe, which you don’t hear all that often nowadays.” I Agree!
9. Blame by MaWayy (Lizot remix)
Blame by the USA and Iranian duo MaWayy has received a slick treatment by Lizot, whose remixes are legend. Many will remember his mastery on tracks such as Dua Lipa’s “Electricity,”and DJ Khalid’s “Ocean”. Blame is a rock-solid dance pop number that will, no doubt, be a fave at the clubs.
10. Love You, I by Minx
Minx, aka Madeline Dunbar, is an ocean-hopping DJ/Rapper whose latest track “Love you, I” is an interesting mix of hip hop and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Think Lauryn Hill meets Lily Allen. The track explores the roller coaster ride that is modern romance. Clearly, this is a woman with a lot to say, and there is, no doubt, a huge audience willing to listen. Well done
Bombshell Top Ten – December 2018 By Bernard Frazer of Church of Trees The latest Church of Trees album “The Dark & The Light” is available on Bandcamp, as well as Spotify, Apple Music and most other streaming services