Author Archives: Jo Highfield

Folly Rae – Someone I Don’t Know [TMN PREMIERE]

Folly Rae
Someone I Don't Know

The last time a female artist sang the words ‘shake it off’, the world was overcome with a Swift-sensation. While Folly Rae demonstrates some serious pop-sensibility, there’s a deeper ethereal charm residing below the surface of what is outwardly and unashamedly strong pop sentiment. Her new track “Someone I Don’t Know” might not be so much about shaking it off, but Folly Rae is well on the way to creating her own international storm.

This spacious and hauntingly ornate track has its radio friendly edges, but manages to rub its smooth surfaces against something a bit more rugged. Lyrical depth and radio friendly soundscapes aren’t always such compatible companions, but Rae seems to have mastered the craft of packing punches into pretty parcels. “Someone I Don’t Know” has the darkly eerie undercurrents of Lana Del Ray, but with a distinctly British feel.

“Someone I Don’t Know” side-steps the overly polished effect and plants its somewhat folky roots firmly in the field of darkly ethereal pop-perfection. Garnering hype on home soil, Rae’s previous release “Free Your Mind” was part of BBC introducing, whilst “Someone I Don’t Know” has secured a first play from Huw Stephens on Radio One.

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[Indie] Marika Hackman – Animal Fear

Marika Hackman
Animal Fear

Animal Fear is the latest taste of things to come from London’s Marika Hackman. Ahead of February’s album release- We Sleep At Last- Marika unveils a stray away from the folk roots that roamed throughout her first two EP’s, and makes a venture into more reverb riddled territory. The product is a spacious and haunting offering, resonating with underlying depths and a subject matter ebbing at the surface. Animal Fear depicts the repression of transition into werewolf form; perhaps a micro example of the album and artworks theme: the darkness that lies within and the subsequent tussle with inner demons. Or something to that effect.

Whether or not you believe that Marika Hackman is the full package, she’s certainly intent on providing it with her forthcoming release. Working closely with photographer Glen Erler, the vinyl and cd format releases of We Sleep At Last, will contain a 24-page art booklet, featuring a visual depiction of the albums predominant narrative. Erler’s accompanying artwork is a feature that Hackman gives much emphasis to: On the 18th of February Marika will perform her album to an intimate crowd at The Cob Gallery, which will simultaneously host Glen Erler’s accompanying works alongside ones not featured in the booklet. A fitting visual support.

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[Indie] Close Talker – For the Sun

Close Talker
For The Sun

The precision and complex sound structure, that’s almost angular in it’s execution, has become as much a British affair as a cold summers day. There’s something distinctly London-esque about new track For The Sun, from Canadian four piece Close Talker.

This refined nu-indie effort abstains from explosive outbursts and rather than building to fruition, it’s quality is refined and showcased throughout the 3.28 minutes of majestic composure. Drawing comparisons to early Bombay Bicycle Club, their measured and compact form has also conjured fitting nods to LA’s own Local Natives.

Close Talker’s second full length album Flux, is released November 4th on Nevado Records.

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[Indie] Emily Wolfe – Ghost Limb

Emily Wolfe
Ghost Limb

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand exactly why we live in a world where genre is such a predominant consideration.

Like many others, it’s not occurred to me to premeditate all my record buying. I generally like to casually peruse a store: have a purchasing ponder, a quiet consideration, a vinyl vs disc dilemma. In fact, the only place I rush is home, to ascertain whether newly procured record-in-hand lives up to all expectation. But to be reductive: efficiency triumphs and the genre riddled record shop remains. Without the ‘locate indie here’ directive I may find myself fumbling through a dub step section; and that people, is a place I never wish to be.

We procrastinate, but the point is poignant enough: I don’t know where Emily Wolfe should be placed within our label loving social scenario. The genre dilemma is readily avoided in worldwide webspace. We can attach many a tag to the track, but ultimately new release Ghost Limb is an accolade to authentic sentiment and subject. Emily Wolfe is considerably honest, and if we were all honest all of the time, we definitely wouldn’t sound the same on any two days. So if you’re relying on Emily Wolfe’s previous release Swoon for direction, look away now.

(Disclaimer: For those of you whose heads are swimming with questions like ‘is she really indie though?’ we are succumbing to the social norm and will attempt to categorise).

Ghost Limb (released October 7th) is a starkly haunting and head turning effort, combining the straight forward matter of classic rock, with something a bit more sultry. Featuring the sort of raw riff the mid-nineties would be proud of, Ghost Limb resonates with palpable passion. Whilst the subject matter speaks to the perils of consumerist society, there’s a grabbing grittiness lurking beneath the unblemished but believable vocal.

Save the pop passé stamp, this is a more vintage rock, meets femme sincerity, sort of affair.

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[Rock] Waters – I Feel Everything

I Feel Everything

San Fran five-piece Waters, sing a scuzzy statement of intent via new track “I Feel Everything.”

Waters delivers thrashy riffs and simple sentiments, retaining the raw roots that encapsulated the 90’s alt rock genre. Having worked with Grouplove (the band, not dabbling in orgies) their semi-ethereal charm is evident, but “I Feel Nothing” is executed in a particularly carefree fashion. Definitely one for fans of Cage The Elephant, or a good old fashioned honest sentiment.

“I Feel Everything” is taken from the bands forthcoming EP, It All Might Be Ok via Vagrant Records.

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[Indie] Hurry Death – Goodbye, Lyla Garrity

Hurry Death
Goodbye, Lyla Garrity

Remember being demurely distressed? Standing alone somewhere, pining for a love lost or after a cake when the cake shop shut. Imagining if your life were to take film form for a moment, a sad-scape would creep into the backdrop and pathetic fallacy would take it’s course. Fear not. Tuck your tears in. We have a soundtrack to accompany any morose moment. Hurry Death, an LA based and hard to categorize collective, have released an emotionally charged dream riddled record.

Understated and sentimental, “Goodbye, Lyla Garrity” is perfectly poignant. Whilst Hurry Death in it’s name may emit visions of thrashing metal mosh pits, by nature, the product couldn’t be more removed. Emotionally charged, but distilled amidst a dreamy motionless five minutes: Hurry Death have bottled sadness, then diluted it across a hazy accolade to heartbreak. The simmering, mournful sound will gently fizz it’s way into your bones. If ever a song so encompassed the loneliness of longing and the torturous dread of departure; we hadn’t heard it until now.

It’s not often such a simply stated sadness avoids the emo label so smoothly. But side stepping any cheesy traps, Hurry Death ensure that the scenery of farewell never sounded so nostalgic. I don’t know who Lyla Garrity is, but this is certainly a grabbing goodbye.

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[Indie Rock] In-Flight Safety – Animals

In Flight Safety

You can credit Canada with many a triumph: having mountains of music to admire being one of them. We could write essays on Broken Social Scene’s quiet conquering of all things indie-rock. Or Braids’ fixation with curating ethereal evening atmospherics. But let’s not discuss that, because in “Animals,” Canadian band In-Flight Safety have delivered a guitar driven dalliance that’s well worth chatting about.

Think the sophisticated swoon of Interpol, but exchange the introspection for a somewhat simmering and pop driven performance. Not the serious and composed exterior of Paul Banks or Matt Bellinger, but instead dulcet, demure tones that underlie a playful and summery soundscape.

Without being sultry or self conscious, “Animals” is an exhibition of nu-indie featuring the care free confidence of the 90’s gone by.

As the remnants of summer start to subside, In-Flight Safety deliver a dose of sun sprayed exuberance, before the winter encroaches upon our ears.

Note: Don’t google in-flight safety without the addition of ‘band’. You may stumble across a lecture relaying the perils of carrying your pets as cargo: there’s a high mortality rate involved in this process.

“Animals” is taken from the band’s forthcoming album Conversationalist, releasing 22nd of September via Conehead UK.

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