Her Tape #2 is a six-track E.P. released by ‘Her’ in April of 2017. This E.P. was one of those random finds that I now couldn’t imagine not having in my regular playlist. All of the songs on here are made up of an eclectic mix of instruments and singing styles, expertly woven together.
After a french-spoken introduction, ‘Blossom Roses’ begins with a soulful voice singing over a simple organ melody. The chilled out nature of this music just welcomed me into it like a huge wool blanket. Like the one my lady knitted for me at Christmas. The song soon flowers into what I can only describe as being influenced by Zero 7. ‘Blossom Roses’ was such a great escape from the monotony of my regular commute that I had to hear the whole E.P. before I started work that day.
The next song, ‘Queens’, mixes up the singing style from the previous and has an awesome little guitar riff throughout. Just with ‘Blossom Roses’, the song builds up brilliantly to its crescendo. ‘Queens’ gave me some vibes similar to the band Arcade Fire in parts.
‘Jeanie J’ helped the band’s knack for effective arrangement really sink in for me. Just like with the rest of the songs, none of the individual parts of ‘Jeanie J’ appear to be particularly complex, yet they come together to create a beautifully-arranged song.
If you find yourself with twenty minutes spare nad not sure what to do, check out Her Tape #2. After listening to it, it left me wanting another twenty minutes from them.
One of my favourite meloncholic artists, Scarlett Taylor, is back with her latest E.P. ‘3’.
All of her previous releases have been great. So my biggest fear with writing about this one was that I would end up repeating myself.
You see, if Scarlett had released similar songs to her previous album, ‘Churches’, although I’d have been perfectly content, I’d have nothing new to say. Luckily for me, she has tried new things with this E.P. which not only expands the variety in her music, but also gives me new ways of discussing it.
In ‘3’ she has gone down a darker path – even occasionally dipping into some more electronic styles. These new ideas of hers don’t create a completely new sound for her, instead they allow her to take her signature style and enrich it even further.
Anybody familiar with her music will know it’s not the most light-hearted of sounds, and with her experimentation on this E.P. she has given herself fresh ways of exploring the darkness.
Her experimentation has allowed her to bring fresh dimensions to her music, further imprinting herself into the very soundwaves she creates.
I set sail a quarter after midnight Then the ocean dragged me down I believe I’m beginning to see the light
A_QUARTER_AFTER_MIDNIGHT by BAD ELECTRIC
The LUX E.P. by Bad Electric was my first taste of their music with the opening song, “TON_UP”, grabbing my interest immediately. It has a super catchy and deep synth bass line that I just couldn’t help but love. The vocals too are fantastic. The guy’s voice is very reminiscent of Edwyn Collins mixed with a little bit of Lou Reed and David Bowie.
The next two songs, “MON_NO_AWARE” and “COLLISON” continue the synth sauciness. The former being an instrumental, and the latter having a vocal sound closer to Bowie than the opening.
I love how with some of his songs’ endings, he adds in a surprise little twist too. The fresh synth sound at the end of the hypnotic “MONO_NO_AWARE”; The acoustic guitar that finishes “TON_UP”.
The biggest curve ball however is the E.P.’s closing song, “A_QUARTER_AFTER_MIDNIGHT”. This one is a pretty powerful acoustic song after an otherwise mostly synth collection.
This is definitely an artist I’ll be keeping on my radar. If he can make an E.P. as full and great as this, then a full-length album would be off the charts.
Hana Pestle, stage name HANA, is from the same musical camp as artists like Grimes, in that she writes, records, produces and performs all her own music. This makes her music undeniably her own, with its own distinct sound.
Her E.P., eponymously-titled, stands as a testament to her abilities as a complete recording artist and a bloody good one.
The songs on this E.P. are ethereal in sound and feeling, but her powerful, commanding voice gives the songs some real weight. There are lots of cool audio sample effects and loops throughout the twenty two minutes of the HANA e.p. too. I don’t think she’d had much production experience under her belt when making this E.P. but her experimentation and persistence really paid off to give us one of the best E.P.s of the year.
Like my father and my mother I will love you for forever Hold my hand and dive now sister Breathe with me underwater
Underwater by HANA
HANA is someone that truly has that “special something” that you can’t quite put your finger on. I mean, yes she knows the ins and outs of her craft; and yes, she has a tremendous vocal and songwriting talent, but there’s also something that is greater than the sum of the parts.
As an aside, if you ever get a chance to see her perform live you should. I saw her earlier this year both supporting Grimes as well as performing in her band with her. From that performance alone, it’s obvious that she isn’t just a performer of this great music – she is it’s creator and its master. She weaves the music to her will for a truly captivating show that you just have to experience.
About a month ago I shared an awesome song by LOCK called “Click”. I have been listening to this song quite a lot and had become a big LOCK fan based on it. So when I heard about their new E.P. “Everlasting Road“, I was well up for it.
The title song opens with a seductive, twangy, reverbed electric guitar. The vocals are just as seductive and leads into the explosive wall of sound that is the chorus. I can’t tell you how much this song rocks. The second song on this two-track E.P. is just as great, but with a slower tempo and calmer delivery.
Because I’d listened to “Click” over and over again, I kind of expected a similar sound with their E.P. When I heard it, I was taken back, and it has only got me more excited about their debut album. Each of their initial releases have had such an interesting diversity, and have been so expertly done, that for me it only points to a great debut album to come.
This E.p. just exploded into my ears in a way that reminded me of later-era White Stripes. The opening song is hugely-energetic that doesn’t let up for a second. It’s labelled as “pop” on my music subscription but I don’t think that does this E.P. justice. It’s got a chugging, powerful groove that would strangle the life from most modern “pop”.
“Keep your love”, the E.P’s second song starts calmer than it’s predecessor, but soon builds into a big chorus and fuzz-like-effect riffs. I am loving this E.P. already and am already thinking four songs isn’t enough for my newly-acquired thirst for this music.
The third song, “Blue with you”, really slows thing down into a comfortable groove that gives more room for Hannah’s voice to come through the song, and a cracking voice it is too. She weaves this blues-style song with an ease of command. This is another one too that builds up to a belter of a climax and she really does give it some whelly with her voice before bringing it back down to the ground before the final song, “Hey You”.
“Hey You” is a lovely, stripped back acoustic number that shows Hannah Grace is great-sounding with or without her huge arrangements backing her up. As much as she opened the E.P. with force, she closes it with a calm, soothing nature.
Hannah Grace is an artist I’m going to be keeping an eye on over the coming years.