How about that, it’s October and this is our fourteenth singles round-up of 2020. This one features eight great tracks, which made their merry way into this strange world during the last couple of months. These eight songs are performed by bands and singers from the North East of England, Leeds/ York, Cheshire, South Africa, Norwich, Malmo, New York and London. Two of these acts have appeared on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before; Victoria Owsnett (As a vocalist on Last Of The Fallen Angels current hit) and Alleyways (this is their fifth appearance here at Mayhem Towers) and I am confident that everyone of this lot will appear again sometime in the future. Get these songs into your life now!
“Strings” – Victoria Owsnett
Victoria is a talented singer songwriter from the north east of the UK. She is co founder of the exceptionally good electro band AXLS and you can hear her sublime vocals on the current smash “Phase IV” by Last Of The Fallen Angels. “Strings” is a well grooved dance track with ethereal heavenly vocals from Victoria. I was dancing round the room with my headphones on to this. It is every bit as good, if not better, than her previous single “Thrones”.
“Rude” – Alleyways
Those chirpy funsters Alleyways returned with a classy slice of electro pop, “Rude”. It has a dancey, yet laid back vibe with a saxophone break reminiscent of Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet’s peak. I get a flavour of Haircut 100 in the Billy Whizz riffs. A fabulous follow up to the wonderful “Over It”. Music needs Alleyways and so do you, check them out!
“Northern Rain” – Tim Bowness
How on earth have I not listened to Tim Bowness until now? His career is star studded to say the least. He has worked with some staggeringly talented artists including a long time collaboration with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree). His vocal on “Northern Rain” is wonderfully warm, and has the resonance of George Michael at his best. The music is sparse and haunting and melancholy, but good melancholy. This is truly a song for our current times. When I have finished this singles round up, I’m off to check out Tim’s new album ‘Late Night Laments’!
“The Unfamiliar” – Anna Wolf
This is dark, disturbing, haunting and beautiful all at the same time. Anna is a unique talent in the way that Kate Bush and Bjork are. Her songs tell stories which draw you in and leave you wanting more and more. Ace production from Pop Morrison. I hope there is an Anna Wolf album on the horizon.
“Close” – The Islas
The Islas are the best band to emerge from Norwich for ages, perhaps ever! This is a solid slab on pop driven indie. It reminded me of Apollo Junction at times. The hooks, riffs and emotion drive this banger perfectly. It adds another great tune to the Islas canon. I am still singing the “wo oh, wo oh oh oh” refrain hours later! I want to see this lot live someday!
“Belladonna” – Spunsugar
This is shoegaze with a happy, electro psych feel. Honeyed choral like vocals soar over a driving beat and make you want to sing and dance like no one is watching. The underlying synth riffs are wrought from the darker depths of Depeche Mode. If the charts actually meant anything any more this would be a smash hit. There new album ‘Drive-Through Chapel’ is damned good too.
“Heartbeat” – Oceanator
This track is steeped in a deep appreciation for indie punk with the best jangly riffs on the planet and infectious vocals. Sometimes it’s like the Housemartins spliced with early Blur and a dash of the Strokes. As a taster for the album ‘Things I Never Said’, “Heartbeat” is perfect!
“Make Us Eat” – The Shining Tongues
The Shining Tongues is a new project from Daniel Knowler and Sam Mclaughlin of The Infinite Three and on first listen it is clear that they aimed at epic and hit the target, actually they didn’t just hit it they smashed it into tiny pieces! As well as wanting more of the Shining Tongues this tune made me seek out the Infinite Three again along with Jason Pierce’s finest moments. This song has an almost funereal feel at times and made me think dark thoughts, but wow what an aural experience. This is how to make great music!
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