Sep 24 2015

PREMIERE: Lee Eller “What Would I Do”


We fell in love with Lee Eller‘s brand of lo-fi indie pop here at Cougar Microbes HQ from the minute we first heard “What Would I Do“. The track is an elegant yet moody slice of electro-pop that hints at great things to come from the young artist.

Born and raised as an only child in Manhattan you get the perception that Lee‘s childhood was somewhat unconventional. With no older siblings around to pass on new musical discoveries and so Lee was uncovering new sounds for herself and developing a diverse palette.

A chance visit to the Middle East saw her uproot her life and relocate to Tel Aviv beginning to mix with the local scene and explore new sounds. There are a couple of covers online form this period that, while a little rough around the edges, suggest a budding artist with growing confidence in her talent.

A few years on and Lee is completing the recording of her debut ‘Wrote To You‘ EP and we have been assured the rest of the tracks will be just as exciting. While we wait for the next single to drop we are happy to keep spinning the near pop perfection of “What Would I Do” on repeat.


Sep 16 2015

SAL VITRO first single from Cirque Du Sleaze

Cirque Du Sleaze lo res

If you were looking for an anti-ballad to play on repeat this Summer, call off the search. Searing through the ins and outs of a throwaway, shallow affair, ‘It’s Not Love’ is a track for anyone who’s ever enjoyed something fleeting.

Hailing from Dublin, Sal Vitro relocated to London and can now unveil their debut album ‘Cirque Du Sleaze’, a celebration of Rock’n’Rolls excessive pleasures and potential pitfalls. A fresh spin on good no-nonsense meat and potatoes rock, the album combines fine songwriting, rabble rousing vocals, and sleazy, bluesy, devil-may-care fun.

Touring with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Jeff Beck and Richie Sambora has rubbed off on these lads, and turned them into fine live performers – rocking out to audiences of 10,000 strong. Catch them before they start turning out in stadiums regularly.



Sep 11 2015

Noa May Interview

Noa May by Salit Krac

Noa May‘s music has a way of crawling into the back of your mind and staying there for months at a time. While her first single “Play Me” was a gloriously tense and moody affair it’s follow up “The War Is Over” represents the flipside of her talents; deceptively upbeat while discussing an issue that is clearly important to her. Both tracks were taken from her excellent debut album “New Born Beast” which was one of my biggest surprises in the past year.

While she is working on her follow up release we caught up with Noa to discuss PJ Harvey, her passion for Arak and bringing back Nina Simone:

Cougar Microbes: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?

Noa May: I’m ashamed to say I woke up at 4pm today because I am still a little

jet lagged

CM: Describe your music to the uninitiated?

NM: I’m both passionate and neurotic with a dark sense of humour and I think this is reflected in my music. I guess the over all sound would be loosely named alternative but I’m not sure that label applies to everything I do.

CM: How have you been killing time on the road when on the, hobbies?

NM: On the road I seem to be unable to leave the “real” world behind and I binge on political commentators and economy sections. I do have a passion for Arak, an unsweetened anise-flavoured distilled alcoholic drink that is popular in the middle east.

CM: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any Venues you hated?

NM: I loved playing at the Radio EPGB in Tel Aviv, it has the perfect balance between chaos and intimacy and I can’t wait to return there later this year. Thankfully I haven’t had any bad experiences with venues yet, hopefully that won’t change.

CM: Is there a song you are simply sick of playing?

NM: Some of my older materials have gone through a ton of modifications for precisely this reason. I just think it’s a natural process every musician goes through, a certain point you just have to let go and move forward

CM: What is the songwriting process like for you. Are you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?

NM: Inspiration comes at very random times: in the shower or at dinner with my parents, just before falling asleep I’m often hit with a blast of ideas and I have to force myself to get up and write them down or they will be lost forever. Often these are my best materials so I don’t want to lose them

CM: Favourite track of yours and why?

NM: I have a special connection with my first single “Play Me” because it always brings me back to the first time I wrote it and also the first time I played it in front of an audience.

Noa May by Salit Krac

CM: If you could record any cover what would it be?

NM: I have already recorded a few covers including the Pixies and Gil Scott-Heron , I love paying tribute. Next, I would love to do a PJ Harvey track because I love and respect her so much but at the same time, now that I think of it, that may be really daunting! I adore her never ending creativity and would want to do it justice

CM: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?

NM: There isn’t too much tinkering once the track has a shape, even my vocal take are often the first ones. I love that initial rush and am wary of overdoing it so these early deliveries always strike me as the strongest

CM: What came first, the lyrics or the melody?What are your views on auto tune?

NM: Good question, its probably 50/50 for me. Recently i’ve been working with other musicians and I had the pleasure of focussing on the impact of my words much more.

CM: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?

NM: I recently heard a musician called Noga Erez and I find her so refreshing. She has some amazing songs

CM: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourself?

NM: I loved getting featured by Tom Robinson of BBC 6 in his Fresh Faves batch. They said I write ” prettily-accented ditties, this one in particular hits the spot” which was very flattering.

CM: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?

NM: It was ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. I was on vacation with my parents and we bought some cassette tapes for the journey. Instead we ended up listening to ‘Nevermind‘ on repeat.

CM: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?

NM: While answering these questions Alicia Keys’ New York track came on the radio and it’s been stuck in my head for the last hour, good timing.

CM: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?

NM: I saw both Julian Casablancas and Son Lux recently and both were inspiring in different ways. I wish I could have seen The Strokes in their prime but this was a decent replacement

CM: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down ,which artists would it be and why?

NM: I would definitely bring Nina Simone back in a blink, she still had so much to give and her presence in todays musical landscape is really missed. If you had to twist my arm I would take away Bieber, nothing against the kid but I’m sure even he would agree Nina‘s contribution is far more essential



Aug 4 2015

Dirty Vegas release Do What You Feel

Do What You Feel lores

Last month the Grammy award-winning British house duo Dirty Vegas return with their brand new single, ‘Do What You Feel’ – taken from their new album, ‘Photograph’ out this September on Italian dance label D:VISION.

Charged with acoustic guitars and feel-good vocals, ‘Do What You Feel’ is just the kind of vibrant summer anthem you’d expect from the South London lads, who first shot to fame in 2001 with their iconic debut single ‘Days Go By.’

Paul Harris and Steve Smith have been making music together for nearly 20 years. 2001’s debut single ’Days Go By’ catapulted them to Grammy success, winning the group Best Dance Recording. In the rollercoaster two years that followed, they released their eponymous debut album and headlined their own worldwide tour, in addition to supporting like-minded artists such as Moby, Underworld and Groove Armada. They went on to sell over 1 million albums and were named No.6 in Billboard Magazine’s ‘Top selling Electronic artists of the 2000’s’.

All eyes are now on their fourth album, ‘Photograph’ due out later this year, featuring the new single, ‘Do What You Feel’, and last year’s ‘Let The Night’ alongside nine other brand new tracks. ‘We feel like this new album is some of our best work to date,’ says Dirty Vegas. ‘It’s a journey back to our club roots.’

Check out the excellent remix package if you have a chance.


Jul 29 2015

Weekend Videos: Jen Charlton – Blame It On My Family

Singer/songwriter Jen Charlton has led a nomadic life calling New York, London, Toronto and Tel Aviv her home at various stages of her career and this cross contamination of cultures has seemingly seeped into her music.

Her latest single is deceptively upbeat with a deeper/darker layer lurking below. Even though it was released earlier this year it seems like a great track for summer

“Blame It On My Family”, produced by Yves Galula, showcases an artist who is comfortable in her own skin delivering a pop burst that you will want to return to again.

Blame It On The Family Cover



Jul 20 2015

Weekend Videos: Coma7 – No More War

Judging by the increase of emails in our inbox quote-unquote guitar music is making some sort of a comeback in 2015 spearheaded by the comebacks from the likes of Refused and Faith No More as well as a slew of young bands who have stepped up to take their mantle.

One such band sitting in the wings waiting to shine is Coma7 who are gearing up to release their debut EP ‘Hunger‘. In their 5 year’s existance the band has seen more than it’s fair share of ups and downs including the shocking murder of their former guitarist Eran. Faced with such adversity most artists would crumble but somehow the Israeli 5-piece has found a way to channel their anger and frustrations into their music. The result is a calculated burst of energy seasoned with emotion.

The release is preceded by the excellent DIY stop-motion video for the track ‘No More War‘, a formidable behemoth that sets out the band’s agenda from the get go. The track is the sonic equivalent of someone smashing your door down and proceeding to improve and decorate your entire home, exploding through the headphones like there is no tomorrow before firmly implanting it’s melody in your mind.

Make no mistake, this is not the kind of music you are likely to hear on mainstream radio but scratch beyond the surface and you will find plenty of melodies to go around and an unmistakable groove to nod your head to. Furthermore, the lyrical theme offers a refreshingly honest window into how the band feels.

Fans of the aformentioned Refused as well as Rage Against The Machine will appreciate the blend of aggressivness and passion displayed on ‘No More War‘ and it’s partner track ‘Yeti‘.

Coma7 will release their ‘Hunger‘ EP in September 2015 and plan to tour in 2015/2016



Jul 10 2015

Refused release comeback album Freedom

refused freedom album cover

When this blog started several years ago Refused had already been defunct for over 10 years. In those early days I kept a list of bands I wanted to feature on these pages but there was no way I would have imagined I would get to write about the seminal Swedish legends.

17 years on from famously proclaiming “Refused is fucking dead” and subsequently earning a cult-like following Refused are fucking back. With this infamous breakup in mind eyebrows will be naturally raised at the motivation for this unexpected reunion but arguably in 2015 we need this is the band we need more than ever. The world has changed a lot, and not necessarily for the better, and who better to call out all the bullshit.

The album shows the guys still have it offering familiar breakbeats, sharp riffs and Dennis Lyxzén‘s inimitable vocal delivery. Perhaps the pace isn’t as intense as in the past, after all these guys are no longer the 4 teenagers that came together in the 90s. Still ‘Freedom‘ manages to bring you back to that era while still sounding relevant today.

Refused are on tour this summer with Faith No More.

Freedom” is out now on Epitaph




Jul 7 2015

vōx releases ‘Put The Poison In Me’ single

vox - Kris Punturere - 6_zpsr9dykrhp

Los Angeles based artists vōx returns with “Put The Poison In Me“, a track that sees her stripped down to just her haunting vocals and a piano accompanyment. Previous releases incorporated a melancholical electronic element but on this latest outing she shows she is equally comfortable when the light shines directly on her.

The track is part of a limited edition Vinyl EP released by Turntable Kitchen. Check out her previous output and put that name vōx on your ones to watch list for 2015/2016.