• James Booton

Best of the North-West





Rosellas


Striking a well considered balance between heartfelt emotive songwriting and an upbeat Northern camaraderie gives Manchester quintet Rosellas an irresistible sing a long quality with an added layer of depth. Their latest three track release encapsulates all aspects of their sound. The first and title track from the release 'Damaged' lays intricate guitar layering as its foundations before building an upbeat tension that leaves you waiting in anticipation for the anthemic finale that is to come.



The second track 'The Edge' is perhaps the best embodiment of their style. It has an acoustic swing similar to the likes of The Lathums that you can imagine being sung back by a packed out crowd in the local pub. This sense of community really comes through with their bittersweet charm and leaves a lasting feeling of warmth after every listen.



HOL


Your initial impression of Blackpool's Hollie Findlay is hugely dictated by which song you stumble across first. Her solo project HOL sways from one direction to the next between every song, however, her new debut album 'The Chapters' places the perpetual twists of her music in a cohesive pattern with an intriguingly abstract concept. As the title suggests, the record is split into seperate chapters; Lost, Oblivion, Solitude, epiphany & petrichor ( "a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather" - I didn't know what it meant either) that depict the journey of a young teen as they move into the adult world.





Each chapter captures a different emotion on the musical journey. It is an album that should be taken in as one as it guides you through its content drifting from ethereal floating vocals and laid back beats to scuzzy bedroom recordings packed full of character. My personal favourite has to be 'NYC' which falls towards the end of the album in the epiphany chapter. In this track her vocal prowess shines through as the lyrics pierce the muddy riff whilst maintaining a fuzzy head bopping energy throughout.



Narcissus


The epic roar of Narcissus' electronica is distinctively and undoubtedly Mancunian, conveying the musical heritage succinctly in each track. The outfit were the first to be signed by 42s records, a record label spin off from the beloved student club 42s who have built up an impressive roster of local talent from around the city including Shader and Skylights.




'Cuttin thru red tape' is their latest single in collaboration with vocalist Becki Fishwick. The track pours with a northern swagger and messy energy with a host of different elements blending to produce a thick wall of sound led by the powerful anthemic drums. The electronic groove elements soak the sound in nostalgia of Madchester and the days of The Haçienda.



Beside Manners


Liverpool's Indie rockers Bedside Manners have been on our radar for a long time now. They burst onto the local scene in 2018 with 3 singles that combined the raw angst and guitar led power of the North's musical greats with an instantly catchy delivery reminiscent of both The Subways and Liam Gallagher at times.



Since then they have gained the majority of their acclaim through their high intensity live shows with the next coming in October at Liverpool's O2 Academy (tickets on sale now). Their latest single 'Out of Control' leans towards more to the new wave of post-punk with a thick heavy chorus sound similar to the likes of Kid Kapichi. Like the title suggest, the new release is frantic. The swirling punk atmosphere is littered with fast paced instrumental layers before building into a final full throttle attack to close the track. These guys certainly have a knack for creating an infectious moshpit mentality and their incredible consistent quality makes them one of Liverpool's most exciting new bands so be sure to keep tabs on them in the future.



The Left Backs


Another Liverpool band who have been plugging away for a number of years now are The Leftbacks. Originally hailing from Northern Ireland, the Indie/Grunge-rock trio is made up of Belfast-born lifelong friends, who draw from an array of influences such as The Strokes, Nirvana, The Libertines and The Ramones. Since their 2017 EP 'The Morning After The Night Before' they have been steadily releasing a sleuth of upbeat energy packed singles. Their most recent release is the perfect track for breaking down the lock down drudgery and getting into the Indie party mood.



The new release 'The Feeling' is instantly palatable with a rolling drum cadence complimented by the euphoric guitar tones. The slightly distorted vocals float between all elements of the sound and produce a soaring sonic happiness that is so needed right now. This singe follows on from 'Welfare Lady', a more hard-hitting offering delivered with a no-nonsense punk attitude. The trio are a band you can rely on for a sonic energy hit any time of day so be sure to watch out for them in the coming months.



LISTEN TO TRACKS FROM ALL THESE ARTISTS AND LOADS MORE IN OUR NORTH WEST PLAYLIST









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