Words by Karl Johnson
The world has changed a lot since February 2020, now we have a backlog of things to achieve. The combination of uncertainly and hope has a ‘butterfly in the stomach’ effect for the coming year, but what’s for certain is that we will have a whole load of new music, albums and live music potentially to consume. Exciting! This week we were spoiled with new projects, new artists and exciting sounds. We sunk in deep to find some beautiful new music for us all to dig into.
‘Almost A Mother’
On new cut Almost A Mother, West London-based artist Sonia Bernardo crafts a shifting and intricate instrumental soundscape. At points cold and eerie, though balanced with warmer textures, the track’s sleek bass groove and jazz-leaning drum fills provide a perfect home for the stunning vocal melodies. Bernardo‘s vocal effortlessly whips up a storm of emotion with lyricism that lays heavy on the mind after multiple listens. Strip back the layers of the sound and you’ll find sorrow at every turn, the track’s haunting feeling and soulful approach to pop music is completely refreshing. Look out for the full EP which arrives March 28th via Brazilian indie label Seloki Records. Find Bernardo on Spotify here.
London’s Supermilk – the new project of Jacob Popyura of the now sadly defunct Doe – have popped out of the blue and offered up a harmony-driven alternate reality documenting “a tumultuous relationship between two serial killers,” on new single Pelican Pete. The track flies out of the traps and harks back to the height of American college alternative rock radio, with killer pop melodies and an angular instrumental strut. Expect a full-length record from the band in 2021 via Specialist Subject Records. Find the band on Spotify here.
What to make of modern day America, it’s not too different here in post-Brexit Britain, but it’s the Americanisation of a Boris Johnson-ruled UK culture that the Glasgow quartet take aim at on Full American. Mickey 9s groove-addled and politically-charged new single rips into our fascination with consumer culture, lyrically it tears at the seams of funk and disco with a message to all that consumes it’s punchy and unique vocal flow. Find the band on Spotify here.
The Mantis Opera
Taken from their EP expected March 25th on Full Power Records, The Mantis Opera have shared Broken Glass, a track buzzing with electronic experimentalism. The track’s tangled guitar parts bounce between the sincerity of Radiohead and heavier more left-field territory. The song is finished in under four nail-biting minutes, you get the impression that there could be a ten minute cut laying around which would truly blow minds. Though Broken Glass heads towards the experimental, pushing boundaries in structure and patience, the single ends with a jolt that reminds us that The Mantis Opera are here to thrill and not please any pre-determined expectation. What about that EP eh? Find the band on Spotify here.
‘When the Moon Comes Down in Blood’
London art-folk outfit Ceremonial Collection have shared their second single, it’s a sound that seems to strip back the years and the importance of life’s minor details to bring about an otherworldly feeling of freedom and ease. Caught up in folklore and life’s beautiful mysteries, the release coincided with the coming of the snow moon (which usually marks the start of Spring), and explores the touching vocal delivery of visual artist Salomé Wu. A tone of intimate acoustic guitar and woodwind haunts the sound alongside a touching vocal combination that moves directly to the soul, lyrically the storytelling is a call to nature and humankind itself. Find the band on Spotify here.