BOOT WATCH - Jan 2021
2021 is up and running and although there have already been some ups and downs but there has been plenty of new music to keep us all going throughout the month.
On first impressions I doubted whether Kettering's Anna Mae Kelly was my kind of sound. Her vocal and songwriting talent was clear from the start yet I thought that it might be too poppy, too soft and sentimental. Yet this preconception that I gathered merely from her opening vocals turned out to be completely wrong! Anna is not just another young singer-songwriter with one catchy single that might stick in your head for 30 seconds and then leave you right after. At just 17 she has created a sound personal to her, packed with punch and an emotive ferocity reminiscent of Florence and The Machine or 2011 Adele.
It is true that her vocal style leans more on the commercial pop side than I would normally go for, however she uses her voice to its full effect. In her latest single 'Waver' she allows the deep piano chords and her vibrant, versatile vocals to build an enticing base. Yet, the chorus really lifts off! The back and forth between her powerful side and softer, more ethereal side creates a perfect dynamic that hits your ears so harmoniously. When you have this sonic match up backed by such a huge instrumental power it is hard not to get sucked in to the sound. Many of you may have the same doubts of whether to lean to such a pop orientated track, but I have to say "Go there"! Just listen and feel the impact of her captivating blend.
Brighton's eccentric trio Hybrid Kid have been growing an audience across the South coast with their energetic live shows and characterful post-punk sound. Their debut album, 'The Minor Escapes', arrived last year bubbling with bittersweet melodies and sprinkled with intriguing guitar patterns. For a three-piece they manage to drag you extremely deep into their sound with tracks like 'Picture House' creating an atmospheric swell that overtakes the vocals in some places and spiraling deep into the songs sonic emotives.
Listen to tracks from all these artists as well as all our favourite new tunes on our Spotify playlist.
Their latest single '123' takes a slightly more light-hearted approach. It combines a slack jawed vocal phrasing with appealingly messy and energetic instrumental backing. The loose form and raw retro atmosphere takes you back to care-free times and builds a sound that could me taken from the Skate 3 soundtrack.
With Brit-pop guitar tones and a sound that radiates a love for music, Spangled transport you straight to a messy moshpit at your favourite summer festival. The Manchester four-piece offer just want you would want from a young band - some sing-a-long chorus's, a few tongue & cheek lyrics and an infectious attitude. It is obvious just from seeing there pictures that they love making music and this comes through in their music. You can feel the genuine enjoyment in making their songs and that kind of attitude towards music really does rub off on you while listening. As a new band they might not be the slickest and the tightest performers but they have something which is invaluable... a 90's spirit that doesn't take anything too seriously while still caring enough to produce a great line of singles.
Their latest release 'Nosedive' like many of their tracks carries an uplifting tone similar to the first DMA's album. It is builds an atmosphere that is just designed to be in a small venue having a laugh with your mates watching a young local band an escape from whatever is going on in your life. Although simplistic at its core their sound and energy might be just what we all need right now!