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.
Up and coming new soul singer Hagar Levy hails from Israel but spent a considerable period of her childhood in Belgium. It is perhaps this unorthodox mix of cultures and climes that has shaped her sound.
I must admit this video initially slipped under our radar due to the volumes of emails we have been receiving but with a second track being released last month (which we will hopefully get to soon) we soon paid attention.
“Highway” is an upbeat number with one hell of a riff and a soaring chorus that catches you by surprise every time, the kind of tune that seemingly forces you to stomp your feet and clap your hands. Hagar has clearly been working on her craft and it shows. The video itself is a crazy collage of sweatshop rebellion and dreamscape surroundings that add spice to the track and highlight the talented musicianship on display.
Hagar Levy‘s debut self titled album is out now in Israel and will receive a European/US release date in 2016. Keep an eye on this one, we reckon she’s got a few surprises up her sleeve.
David Rosen is a prolific composer and producer based out of Las Vegas. Although his show reel is filled with ads and film work I am more interested in his personal compositions which have started to make their way to us at Cougar HQ more and more frequently.
“If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” is the first track I ever heard from him and without knowing anything about his background I was instantly drawn to it. With hindsight the the cinematic qualities present in the song are quite evident and the accompanying video works a treat drawiing accompanying the viewer- and the protagonist- on an enticing journey.
Lara Snow introduces herself to the world with “We Are Animals“, her collaboration EP with producer $aFrA. The leadoff track “I Like Snow” is a raw blast of energy coming across like a collision between Grimes and Die Antwoord with a breakdown that would make Refused proud.
The singer has been honing her skills for the past few years working on her songwriting and production skills, collaborating with other people in her scene and setting up an electric live performance with drummer and regular collaborator Jonatan Harpak.
Now that everything is in place “I Like Snow” represents just the first step in a busy few months ahead for the white haired songstress.
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
In addition to releasing one of our albums of 2014Israeli mob Acollective also released their brilliant video for “Breakapart“, one of the standout tracks on said album. How many of the featured records do you recognise?
Acollective are currently on tour, make sure you check out their stellar show!
It may only be the beginning of February but the mighty Lucille Crew have released a contender for video of the year. With it’s irresitible horns and memorable call and answer refrain “Big City” is a firm favourite in the 9-piece behemoth’s live set and now has a worthy video to accompany it.
Lucille Crew return to Europe for shows this summer. The much awaited debut “Lucille Crew: 9 Lives” will officially be released in early 2015.
It’s very hard to describe Dorine Levy in terms of genre. Words like ethereal and celestial are too generalising, and comparing the sound to Bjork or Sigur Ros would be lazy. Sure, there are effected guitars and filmic ambience but what I’m trying to say is there is something entirely unique about Levy’s vocals and the creations she inhabits.
“Lenyrose“, a single taken from Levy’s excellent debut LP is as beautiful as Elizabeth Fraser fronting the aforementioned Sigur Ros. It’s hypnotic rhythms and twinkling melodies are both captivating and beguiling in equal measure.
Levy’s artistic and brilliant take on indie pop saw her debut single at 16 years old sell over 50,000 units worldwide and since then has seen her 2008 EP picked up by fashion brands H&M, Zara and River Island and been selected as a ‘top 5 international acts’ in Australia.
The video to accompany “Lenyrose” is mesmerising. A curious tale of psychological caging and self-discovery, an office worker lives with her eyes closed until she opens the box in which her potential lies. The cinematography is gorgeous and mirrors the song perfectly.
Dorine Levy debut LP ‘Underwater’ is out now.
Post by T.R. Wicks