With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 15 October 26, 2020

Heading towards the end of October 2020, is everyone else going to be really glad to see the end of this year? To ease these troubled times slightly enjoy our fifteenth singles round up of the year so far. This one features eight great tracks, which were all launched into the world in the last few months. These tunes are performed by bands and singers from Hamburg, Colombia, Austria, Stockholm, Los Angeles, South London, Washington and Brighton. Six different countries, three different continents! Only one of these acts have appeared on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before; Phoria, from Brighton and I am extremely confident that everyone of them will appear again sometime in the future. Get these tunes into your lugholes now!

“HOY” – Fatiniza Ft. República Cangrejo

Fatiniza has been around a while and hails from Colombia, but now lives in Costa Rica. This song has a fabulous Latin feel that makes you want to dance and to smile. It is the kind of tune that is needed to help lift the mood of a depressed world. Sadly I only speak one language, English, but thankfully music is a universal language. That means “HOY” works on every level, the title, I believe translates to “TODAY” and it is definitely a tune for today. The video depicts people all around the world helping to spread the happy message and that this storm will pass! I will definitely be listening to more of Fatiniza’s stuff.

“Anyone Awake?” – Chris Flyke

This is a rather excellent example of how to produce great synth pop. At times Chris reminds me of Howard Jones and Nik Kershaw. The song draws you in quickly with its tight and instantly memorable hooks. You should also check out the X-Ray Club Mix of the track, just make sure you put on your disco trousers first!

“Uranus – Live” – Manu Delago

Manu Delago is a highly acclaimed percussionist and this track was one of the first to be released from the new album ‘Circadian’. “Uranus – Live” is just the right side of chilled and Delago’s percussion wonderfully understated, but so effective. It might fit into a modern classical genre, but I also sense elements of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.

“Swoon” – The Color Red

The Color Red is the brainchild of Pontus De Wolfe who has initiated an artist and producer collective in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the second release and it features vocals by Sarah Von Reis. It is an instantly accessible and catchy dance pop tune and Von Reis’ voice is at times reminiscent of Leigh Nash (Sixpence None The Richer). A dance remix would elevate this great tune into something very special.

“Roots Enterprise” – Lucid Phase Ft. Sensi Trails

LA based Lucid Phase seem able to fuse blues, rock, dub, reggae and modern ska into a mix that creates such a summery vibe that this song could give you sunburn. I recommend listening to this with your volume cranked high, a cold can of Red Stripe to hand and a freshly rolled fat spliff ready to go!

“In Kilnsea” – Tim Eveleigh

South London folkie troubadour Tim Eveleigh has a relaxed, chilled acoustic driven sound and a very smart way with lyrics. Tim wrote this plaintive, yet beautiful, tune after a holiday in Kilnsea, a small hamlet in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This tune, and Tim’s other songs, have meditative qualities, that I believe many great songs have. It feels autobiographical too, but I will ask Tim to answer that!

“Catch Us” – Waking Bear

This kicks off as a rootsy folk instrumental and builds to a soft prog-like crescendo when Ivy Jordanne’s vocals kick in. She has that powerful and emotional style that Alanis Morrissette does so well and the band are incredibly tight with an apparent ability to play in any number of styles. Put simply this is a great tune, simply six minutes of heaven!

“Fairytail” – Phoria

This needs to soundtrack an epic film, it is a gorgeous, slow building modern classical piece. It is ethereal, haunting, majestic and uplifting at the same time. It might not be the sort of thing I would normally listen to but it is sublime and heavenly!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 11 August 24, 2020

Here we are with our eleventh singles round-up of 2020. This one features seven great tunes, which found their way into the world over the past few weeks. This roundup carries on the guest reviewer approach kicked off when Simon Pattinson, Head Honcho of Northern Radar joined me to review a batch of singles in the 10th Roundup. This time I was joined joined for another Zoom listening extravaganza by Rusty Green, singer and guitarist with Lost Trends, one of York’s finest bands. If the weather is good and COVID-19 infection rates are low I hope to see those Lost Trends boys playing live again on 30th August, in a socially distanced setting, obviously!

These seven tracks feature another great selection of bands and singers from Long Island, Delaware, Glasgow, Whittingham Asylum, Brighton, Los Angeles and North East UK. All of these acts are new to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem except Moodbay and I am sure that they will all feature again sometime in the future. Play them all now, that’s an order!

“Small World”Gamblers

Bill – I love the jaunty funk and Billy Whizz guitar licks. Great harmonies and at times Nick Heywardesque. A really cool summer vibe.

Rusty – MGMT style vocals with classy harmonies reminiscent of Empire Of The Sun. Funky pop with a great funk bass line. A bright tune that contrasts with some very dark lyrics

“Checkered Vans” – Reece Ratliff

Rusty – A very mature voice. Probably not my kind of area, but a catchy, synth driven, bright pop tune. It kept me interested, was that a vocoder in there?

Bill – A love song about shoes, surely there aren’t many of those around? It made me think that I need to buy me some of the Bowie Vans. This is a great song with an excellent hook. It is really all about lost love, not just shoes, and it made me smile. Simply a perfect pop tune.

“Cosmopolis” – Pleasure Heads

Bill – Very clever lyrics that are stylistically reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys for me. This is a great slice of masterful post punk pop that reeled me in immediately. At times it reminded me of Cast and the Zutons. Did that lyric couplet say “voyeuristic wank”? 🙂

Rusty – Vocally it sounds like the Courteeners, I am definitely a fan of the Pleasure Heads now. The distorted bass roughed it up a bit and made it much rockier. The pre chorus was really cool.

“Imago” – Ward XVI

Rusty – Like a heavy White Stripes. A great vocal and I like the way they used the synth. That reminded me of the Horrors and Mr Bungle. The heavier synth notes suggested a bit of Nine Inch Nails. The whole tune showed some great variation of styles.

Bill – Heavy, deep and masterful riffage. I love the vocals. Apparently this is a part of a concept album about being in an asylum. I am really looking forward to the album after hearing this.

“Current” – Phoria

Bill – Very soundtrackesque, like something from the sad part/ death scene of a David Lynch film. But it is also very chilled with a classical element. No real vocal, but there is a great use of overdubbed voices as an instrument. It made me think of Mogwai while on a post speed come down. Also some rather eery and odd scratchy samples used.

Rusty – definitely my favourite so far, fantastically produced. I really love the chord change from major to minor. Personally I would love to create and record a soundtrack one day.

“Karmic Lemonade” – Velvet Starlings

Rusty – The drop into the chorus was truly brilliant. It suggests classic Primal Scream or the Rolling Stones at the height of their powers.

Bill – Like the heavy side of Brit Pop and yet it strangely reminded me of Kula Shaker as a 60s garage band. I sense a real influence from the classic rock of the 60s and 70s. Great rock vocalist and a tight, talented band. I loved the feedback heavy ending.

“Like Nobody Else” – Moodbay

Bill – Classic 80s style synth pop, but clearly with a 21st century sheen. Like some of the best of the Human League or Depeche Mode but with Oakey and Gahan replaced by a, Anna Stephens a supremely talented vocalist. Great hooks with a middle eight that sounded like the Pet Shop Boys at their best.

Rusty – Pop is not a dirty word and this really is great pop. Catchy and yet very dark at times. Gorgeous vocals and I like that they left the ‘click’ on for the chorus.

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