BOOT WATCH June 2022: 4 new emerging artists to discover this month!
A thick, gloomy bass line and powerful steady drum rhythm combine for a Baxter Dury esc groove to drive the new single from AFTER LONDON forward. Their dark swagger has already captured the attention of industry tastemakers such as 6 Music's Tom Robinson, Amazing Radio's Shell Zenner and Clash Magazine. After a short break throughout 2021 the London outfit have returned this year with a pair of angsty singles that demand your attention and make it clear why they have been turning heads across the national scene.
The forceful message of 'Here, Tonite' is radiated through the cool aggression of the vocal performance. While fuzzy meloncholic guitars swirl around in a Fontaines D.C like atmosphere, the vocals stamp down their authority with a tone that is simultaneously calm and in control yet filled with an unapologetic unrest. The latest single 'Hurricane' relies more on the instrumentals for conveying the gloomy mood. Initially, it has a marching pace that will make you want to strut out your door with a newfound confidence. However, there are occasionally erratic electro stabs that pierce the cool rhythm and add a feral element into the mix. The vocals are calm and confident, rattling off lyrics in a manor that has the dark undertones of The Mysterines and the straight-faced swagger of Dry Cleaning. Hopefully they keep more of this coming and will storm into the second half of the year with as much authority as they have with the first.
Now we enter a dreamier state with Buckinghamshire's Bollo Bollo. Formed at the very start of the pandemic, this new project lands on the smoother side of the Indie spectrum with a style that is largely constructed by sun-drenched guitar patterns that intertwine at ease. Their breakout track 'Mental Mirror' is an introspective cut as the name suggests. It has a really vibey groove that stays solid, allowing the guitars and vocals to float around and feel more loose. The lyrics are quite tightly tangled as it sometimes enters a satisfyingly fast flow that injects a little dose of energy into the mix.
They have recently arrived with their debut EP that has showcased everything that they are about. 'Liquid Heaven' is again appropriately named as it is very lucid yet bright and more outgoing than 'Mental Mirror'. The vocals are crisp and have a really catchy tone throughout but it is the finale that makes this track stand out. The repeated vocal line builds, gaining passion up towards a final chorus. By then, you feel like you have this coiled energy that is ready to spring out. This will be perfect for a live setting! The standout track may have to be 'Last Of Our Summers' as it encapsulates their appeal in an instant. The layers of funky Indie dance patterns and smooth vocals ring of Blaenavon. They create a dreamy soundscape before building into groove ridden dreamland that would make the perfect soundtrack to the few moments of euphoria before disaster in a new Netflix hit.
The Silver Lines
In this day and age is it rare to hear a new band that radiates such a sleazy swagger as The Silver Lines. Their debut EP, appropriately titled 'SLEAZE' is big, bold and designed for inducing a wide spectrum of confident emotion.
'Love Made' is an anthemic stomper that rings of the unapologetically arrogant stadium-Rock of Kasabian. The thick, funky bassline and steady marching drum beat create a solid bass that has an infectious sway to it that will get your head bobbing in an instant. The vocals are spat out with a snarling twang that hits out that audible swagger that is so appealing. The bright string melody then slices through the sound to offer a sweet flavour into cool Rock blend.
'Big O' takes on a crisper and more funky vibe. The disco rhythms provide a danceworthy underlayer for the slick Franz Ferdinand esc vocals to land on top of. The high pitch melodies worm their way inside your brain and stay there long after the song is over. Go and sink your teeth into the rest of the EP, it is packed full of flavour.
Jake Wakeman and the Dreamstriders
Glasgow based songwriter Jack Wakeman describes himself as a medieval bard who’s been lost in time, and his new project certainly does carry an aura of ancient songwriting wonder to it. Him and his dreamstriders arrived last year with a succession of two singles. First, ‘Visions’ put the dreamstriders moniker into practice with a string of jangly guitar layers and dreamy vocals. Then ‘Cosmic Fear’ took a more direct approach with its piercing synth stabs and groove laiden bass lines. Together they offered a good blend of songwriting proficiency and a technical awareness for arrangement and indicated that there was more to come.
Now, he has returned in 2022 with his brand new single ‘Feel Again In Time’ and it is his most considered showcase for his talent yet. There is a really beautifully layered opening to this track as warm acoustics contrast the popping electro drum beat while what sounds like some kind of medieval flute melody and harp plucks pay homage to his ‘bard’ reputation. The vocals then land smoothly with an introspective air, constantly teasing a huge injection of energy but never giving you the pleasure. He keeps his cards close to his chest and keeps you waiting for the bubble of sonic tension to burst. 2 minutes in and it does! The natural drums shoot in and elevate the emotional intensity of the song in an instant. The layered instrumentals remain but each individual melody and hook is amplified to match this new found intensity. The bright acoustic arrangement is comparable to Blossoms in the current era yet it is always the vocals that captivate attention. This is a definite ear worm and Jake is certainly one to watch!
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