Nashville 4-piece Bullydebut album ‘Too Tough‘represented a refreshing return to a time when guitar bands ruled the chart and just about any freak (meant completely as a term of endearment) could write, record and release a hit.
Much has been made of frontwoman Alicia Bognanno‘s internship at Steve Albini‘s infamous Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, a connection that i presume helped the band record the album there, but it would be unfair to turn the focus solely on that. Instead the spotlight should be on Bognanno‘s almighty scream which is somewhat similar to Courtney Love in her ‘Live Through This‘ prime mixed with a quiet-loud dynamic that brings you back to anything cool Kim Deal has ever done with both the Pixies and Breeders.
While patchy at times when ‘Feels Like‘ delivers a hit they are usually knock outs and while Bognanno and co are still finding their footing there are more than enough hints on this record of great things to come.
Bonus points for drummer Stewart Copeland for carrying that name and still deciding to pursue a career as a drummer.
What a journey it has been for singer-songwriter/producer Stephen Swartz, aka Stephen. After releasing the massively viral “Bullet Train” while still at the University of Miami (FL), he went all but silent for two years, leaving his 60,000 social followers wondering if Stephen had left music altogether. Little did they know that he had actually immersed himself even further into music, dropping out of college and moving to Los Angeles, CA to develop his artistry–and himself.
The past two months have seen two new releases from Stephen via Halfway House Records, the independent label he calls both his label and literal home. Increasingly known for his introspection, “Fly Down” is no different, examining society’s issues with vulnerability, masculinity, and self-concept through the allegory of Stephen‘s relationship with a young woman to whom he feels uncomfortable showing pain. The record is a heart-tugging piano ballad backed by compressed hip-hop drums, speckled with electronic production and climaxing with a powerful drop.
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.
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.
Ronny W recently released his brand new video for the single “Never Gone” to coincide with Memorial Day in the United States. This date wasn’t selected at random considering the track’s lyrics were co-written with the Semper Fi Sisters, a charity helping veterans find their feet.
Ronny himself is a veteran of the IDF where, as a tank commander in Lebanon in 2006, he was severely injured and left paralysed from the waist down. Such a tragic outcome would have broken most men but Ronny is not most men. Instead he immersed himself into his music even appearing on the Israeli version of X-Factor. This perservarance saw him relocate to Los Angeles in the past year to focus his attention fully on his music career.
On “Never Gone” he collaborated with longtime friend Ido Sagir who provided the accentuations with his fine Oud playing. It is this willingness to combine modern rock and pop elements with middleeastern influences that makes Ronny‘s music standout in his new town.
One thing is sure, this won’t be the last you hear from Ronny W.
Kosha Dillz recently unleashed his winning Haim sampling remix of the track “Been Down“. It comes with a suitably laidback video shot in Amsterdam and is well worth a spin.
Kosha is throwing his own official OY VEY! SXSW party on Wednesday 18th featuring acts from all over the world including scheduled performances from the likes of Gangsta Boo and Murs. If you are in Austin this week be sure to attend
‘Eclectic‘ is one of those overused words that musos love to hate, but it would be hard to describe Mulato Pintado’s new album without letting that pesky adjective sneak in here and there.
Ranging from Hip Hop to Indie to Garage Rock with Pop overtones and Electronica, the rather awkwardly named ‘336 W 17th ST‘ is as multifaceted as it’s hard to describe – a musical journey through New York City‘s underbelly, peppered with potholes, traffic jams and U-turns.
It’s as if Lemon Jelly and The Pixies moved to the ghetto and gave birth to a multiheaded baby doped up on anxiety medication.
Mutado Pintado, AKA Clams Baker, is a mystery man of many talents, with fingers in many pies – he’s the vocalist in vinyl-only word-of-mouth electro success story Paranoid London, frontman in Warmduscher alongside Saul and Jack of Fat White Family, and vocalist in Save – his collaboration with Colder‘s Marc Nguyen Tan.
Scuzzy walls of sound crescendo into a soundtrack for a panic attack, but on the flipside we get moments of real heart, as you can seein the video for ‘The Tick‘ here:
This album is so fluid it’s probably a music marketeer’s worst nightmare. ‘Eclectic‘. And it doesn’t really seem like Pintado gives a flying fuck.
Officially out on March 2nd, it’s already up for streaming in full on Soundcloud. If I were you, I’d go and have a listen, the opening track, ‘King of the Worker Bees‘, is a great place to start.
I have loved Angel Haze‘s ever since she was dropping mixtapes and rapping on Eminem beats. Dropping her debut album while the credits where already rolling on 2013 meant she missed out on all those year end lists which is a shame because ‘Black Gold‘ was full of great moments.
If you have been keeping up with her on social media recently you will know she has been hinting at some new music for a few weeks now. Finally she’s released new track “CANDLXS” yesterday. Kicking off with a display of her rapping prowess the Troy Noka produced track then gives way to an eery indian flute sample which allow Haze to showcase her singing skills as well.
“CANDLXS” is the lead off track from Angel Haze’s new EP ‘In The Winter Of Wet Years‘, can’t wait to hear more!