• James Booton

3 artists emerging in the North-West that you need to listen to! Soup!, Queen Cult & More In Luv



Soup!


It seems Manchester has gained its stake in the thriving Post-Punk scene with their sparky new quintet Soup!. The group emerged in the middle of last year with their debut single '6=3'. It was rough around the edges in a charming way and was built on funk infused guitar/bass lines that intertwined to create a straight faced danceability similar to Yard Act.


They carried forward this form until the back end of the year but continued to develop their sound with ‘Acrobat’, a track which offers a richer and denser tone likely down to more advanced production. This meatier sound is instantaneous as the track opens with a growling bass line and heavy handed dance beat. The guitars almost become percussive, working in tandem with the regular dings of the cowbell to pepper the track with little moments of brightness. These brighter sounds intercept the rhythm and create an audible freedom to contrast the more rigid, mechanical groove of the track. The vocals rarely show too much emotion. They attack the lyrics with a dead pan swagger that is captivating and drags you into the strangely euphoric rhythm of the song.



However, this is not all! The single was paired with the B-Side 'Self Care'. This two track combination works well together as it manages to show two different sides of the band whilst still feeling cohesive as a release. This one takes on a more riff-driven Garage Rock feel but then shifts in moments to blend in with the more intricate base and drum patterns that build a complex soundscape. The final third of the track enters into a more spaced out realm that brings in some winding synth sounds. The instrumentals grow fuzzier and fuzzier, generating a wall of sound that threatens to swamp the unaltered, deadpan vocals. Yet right at the last minute this fuzzy bubble pops and we get one last slice of that infectious riff.


If Soup! keep up their form in 2022 then they are going to be right at the front of the Post-Punk parade. Catch them playing live this Friday at Manchester Academy.

 

Queen Cult


Maccelsfield four-piece Queen Cult are by far one of the most direct and lively female fronted bands out there right now. Their combinations of hard-hitting Rock instrumentals and socially conscious lyrics make them pretty impossible not to be heard. In the last few months the band have released three singles off their upcoming debut EP 'Woman That I Know' (out Jan 28th).


The first of these, 'Show and Tell' is the most melodic of the three. The Grunge tension in the opening guitar line is contrasted with a shuffling drum rhythm and vocals that are loose and flowing. It is these vocals that really make the track. Throughout the verse they have a controlled power to them, gliding across the instrumentals but always threatening a more ferocious delivery. The chorus injects this energy that the vocals teased. It is a super catchy Rock sing-a-long that still contains their thoughtful lyrical content as they sing about fake personality fronts. Everything about the first two thirds of the single are really slick but it proceeds to build with a pounding drum crescendo and then explode into a high-tempo outburst to provide the perfect sweaty moshpit to end the track.



This energetic ending teased what was to come for the second single 'A Song About Consent'. As you can guess by the title this track has a more in-your-face delivery. The vocals radiate an angst from the start and the instrumentals match it with crashing cymbal hits and big Rock chords. The lyrical content is so important and the power of the heavy-hitting instrumentals make it impossible not to listen up!


The most recent release of the three is 'Calm' and it is probably the most mature track in terms of songwriting. It opens quite intimately with just an atmospheric single guitar and vocal that makes you feel tangibly close to the music. Yet, this bubble is soon burst. The chorus asks "where's the storm that hides behind the calm?" and the thick Rock instrumentals seem to have the answer. It has a dense textural atmosphere underneath that then opens up into an expansive dark Rock flurry in the later stages that will leave any small venue shaking when its done. Based on these three tracks the EP is going to be killer!


Queen Cult are playing alongside Libra Libra (you can read our review of them here) on Jan 26th in Manchester.

 

More In Luv


If Queen Cult are sounding a bit intense for your tastes, then take a back seat and let the smooth feel-good sounds of More In Luv wash over you. The Liverpool quartet have been teasing their Indie Pop melodies since the start of the first lockdown, providing plenty of sun dripped uplifting bangers to keep us going through the socially distanced Summers. Now, they have turned their heads down a more emotive path with their new single 'Living For Two' (out February 4th).



The new track builds off elements of their previous singles like the funky 1975 esc rhythms of 'Someone Else' and the slick textural production of 'Like You' but twists them into a more frustrated atmosphere. The background electro elements are what makes the sound so palatable. Swirling synths and strange xylophone notes bubble along in the background. This makes a bustling soundscape with a lot going in which allows their vocals to take a calmer, more measured approach to really press home the emotive side of the track rather than getting stuck in melodies and putting style over substance.


“Living For Two’ was written about being from a place where you’ve never felt protected by the people hired to do exactly that, and despite it all, all you want to do is build a good life for yourself and the people you love.”

Even though this track may be coming from a less upbeat place lyrically it still carries the energy that has earned them their fanbase. A memorable vocal hook leads the charge in each chorus while an anthemic drum sound gives the track some punch, adding a glimmer of euphoria among the frustration. Get listening as soon as its out!


Catch them live alongside Deco @ Liverpool Jimmy's tomorrow night!

 

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