You wait ages for a Mayhem singles round-up and then three arrive in just over two weeks! Here is the third for 2023, it includes a massive fourteen songs that have been passed on to me or recommended during the previous few weeks and months, there are some amazing tracks. It features three bands that have appeared on Mayhem’s pages before. All three are from York, proving that the music scene in my fabulous adopted city is thriving. Let me know what you think of this great collection of tunes! You will find a YouTube link to each song in the title (or a link to the audio of the track) and a link to the artist’s website or one of their social media pages when you click the artist’s name. You can also find the link to a Spotify playlist of all these songs by clicking here.
The angriest track yet from York’s Skylights, also perhaps their punkiest song to date. So it is their punkiest yet, and their angriest yet, but is it their best yet? I certainly believe it is! A band firing on all cylinders and absolutely on fire! Turnbull’s guitar work on “Rebellion” is sensational!
“Black And White” – City Snakes
These lads are taking the fast track from a good band to a great band. This is an incredibly accomplished tune and it is superbly produced. Bass, guitar, drums, and most definitely vocals are turned up to 11. A great tip of the hat to classic rock. You need to see this band live.
“Jackie The Know It All” – The Corsairs
This is the follow-up to last year’s classy single “B-Side” and it is a tune that sticks with you. It has shades of everything from the Kooks, the Pigeon Detectives, the Arctic Monkeys, and classic UK post-punk. All of that is rolled up with a first-class pop sensibility
“Soda & Lime” – Jonny Payne & The Thunder
This sounds like a classic US west coast song, but Jonny is based in Oxford in the UK. If you want a song that will make you feel good and have you singing along then put “Soda & Lime” on repeat. This will be added to my summer barbecue playlist.
“Time To Rest” – Juniper Nights
Soft acoustic style rock reminiscent of Travis at their peak. It has some dark jangly indie guitar but for me what really makes the track is the vocal performance, especially the harmonies.
This lot is all the way from Long Beach, California. They claim to have started creating music to bring the character Fellow Robot to life through music. Fellow Robot is a 140-year-old robot who is the main character from the WIP novel ‘The Robot’s Guide to Music’ written by frontman Anthony Pedroza. I am more than happy to listen to fine rock music like this from a great band while I wait for the book to arrive. Their album is due in May and on the strength of “Talk To Me” it is definitely one to look forward to.
Ryan Brown is an abundantly talented teenage singer-songwriter from the USA. “After Midnight” is a hopeful pop song for these dark times and would give Taylor Swift a run for her money. Her backing harmonies and counterpoint vocals are haunting and add some real depth to a great tune.
“Harder Now (For Love)” – Senses
A great rumble of a tune, Senses from Coventry have aced it with this single. A bit 21st Century Small Faces with some Paul Weller thrown in, this is damned good.
“I Need You Tonight” – Short Wave Craft
A multilayered beauty of a tune with some excellent samples. If you like Moby, Portishead, Air, and others like that you will absolutely love this close-to-perfect track put together by Dominic Owen and Tom Carr. I could listen to this for hours, and I probably will.
“Made Me Happy” – Wesson
Some might say that not much great music has come out of Milton Keynes, if they do then point them straight to Wesson. This tune starts out like a 60s psych-folk track a la Traffic. But then it moves into a magnificent pop-rock song which sometimes has a hint of the 1970s Scottish band Pilot, particularly the guitar sound. The video, inspired by ‘Tron’ is fun too. <EDITOR – If any other Milton Keynes bands would like some coverage, do give us a shout. I am sure we could be wrong about MK music!>
German singer-songwriter knows his way around a beautiful melody and some often dark lyrics, but there is a hopeful side to this track too. The song is about someone having to flee a war with their daughter. I can picture myself meditating life to this song, maybe while drinking a cold beer.
“Wendy” – Holly Henderson
This has a 60s girl group vibe and vocals that Rumer would be proud of. The instrumentation is classy and happy to step away at times from simple tones. A song that stays in your mind long after it is over. A real lesson in how to produce an uplifting and sometimes sad song. I will be playing Holly’s new album ‘The Walls’ now I think.
“Villain” – Alexa Dark
Alexa is Spanish/ American and was raised between Barcelona, Munich, London, Paris, and NYC. The influences from all of those places are apparent in this song which is expansive and cinematic, in both scope and ambition. “Villain” is more than worthy of being a Bond theme.
Swede Hanna Ögonsten’s Spotify bio says “I’m glad you found your way to my silly little music universe in this big cyberspace! Here you’ll find reflections and memories of mine dressed up in danceable alt-pop beats”. I think she is much better than silly and little, her universe is rather big and pretty smart. She is right in describing her work as danceable alt-pop beats though, and “Lost It” is a prime example of a song that is infectiously danceable and memorable. Check out her rather wonderful EP from last year, ‘Bby Boo, Ögonsten & You‘
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