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Singles of the month: October 2023

Small Talk - Lost In The Moment

Radiating an anthemic drama and laced in soaring synths, the new single ‘Lost In The Moment’ from Bournemouth quartet Small Talk is a beautiful slice of Indie Pop joy.

The track lays down The Killers esc electronic textures that create a poignant tension before completely immersing you in their huge Indie sound. We love it when a track’s tone matches that of the lyrical sentiment and this is one of those tracks for sure! The densely layered instrumentals all ooze with a free-spirited euphoria that will make you want to completely forgot your troubles, go out and lose yourself in the moment, dancing away to this undeniable banger.

Bands like Vistas ring to mind as the combination of slick guitar lines and synth hooks means that there’s just so much melodic interest packed into one song that you can’t help but want to dance along. Small Talk are in fine form right now and are definitely ones to watch!

English Teacher - Nearly Daffodils

Leeds based band English Teacher are never afraid to get bleak. Perhaps a reflection of the time they formed, on the precipice of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lily Fontaine’s lyrics have remained consistently witty, sardonic and, most importantly, down to earth.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Pozuelo

Their latest effort 'Nearly Daffodils' is a reflective and simmering track, propelled by an undercurrent of unfulfilled potential that is both specific and universal. Not too dissimilar thematically from a track like Radiohead’s 'Nude', the vulnerability and honesty displayed throughout wonderfully translates a personal state of mind.

Lily Fontaine’s subtle and subdued delivery throughout the track perfectly reflects the type of numb feeling the band are so evocatively attempting, and succeeding, to communicate.

“Sometimes it tears like a freight train”, the opening lyric on the second verse, is a beautifully sincere and blunt way to describe a feeling of epiphany and reality. The skittering drums with bursts of snare fills, alongside the propelling bass, provide a palette of kinetic energy that is patient enough to finally burst by the track’s end, in a moment of pure catharsis and euphoria.

This is the type of track that really sets apart a band, and one that should generate enormous excitement for their upcoming future efforts!

Words by Marlon Loria

Blossoms - To do List (After the breakup)

'To do List (After the breakup)' is the newest track from Indie giants Blossoms and their first since leaving their record label Virgin EMI. Following this departure, they have teamed up with fellow Stockport artist Findlay, to release an Indie Pop tune detailing how to move on after a break up.

The melodic track samples lyrics from the work of writer Rupi Kaur’s poem of the same title. The poetic essence of the song is evident not only in the lyrics but the sound itself, Blossoms juxtapose melancholy lyrics with their trademark synth-guitars and upbeat drums. The addition of Findlay emphasises the track's theme, establishing a back and forth between the two artists that speaks to the complexity of heartbreak.

In interviews, Blossoms have elaborated that the sound of the track was inspired by English Rock Bands such as New Order and James, this is evident in the electronic sound the track produces, making it reminiscent of the late 80s to early 90s Manchester sound.

Fans can catch Blossoms in Dublin City on 11th November, before they head off to the U.S.A.

Words by Mya Kupfuwa

Paris Paloma - drywall

Derbyshire born, London-based, Paris released her debut single 'Narcissus' in 2020 and has since released an EP and a string of follow up singles, yet this new release 'drywall' is certainly our favourite yet.

Her previous single 'labour' is thematically similar, with lyrics that talk about a relationship that has run its course but it is tonally different to 'drywall'. “He’s punching walls again/Cohesive arguments evade him” she sings to open the song, her voice as smooth as rich chocolate.

Soft drums and a swinging acoustic guitar join her vocals and make up the production, which is quite sparse, but expertly crafted, making sure her words have the maximum impact. Paloma’s delivery is rather incredible, she sings in an almost light-hearted way in stark contrast to the emotive lyrics. This means that the song doesn’t feel heavy and allows the lyrics to slowly worm their way in to the listener’s mind.

“I used to think of him a caring thing/Knuckles on his drywall/I’ve tried all of the parenting/Descent into hysterically rippin’ into ribbons/The things he knows he isn’t and severing ties” Paloma sings boldly in the chorus with layers and textures to her voice that are captivating and bewitching.

'drywall' is a track that seems like it would be cathartic to sing, and the songwriting is eye-opening and poignant, as is anything she pens. It is a stunning, dazzling track that proves Paris Paloma is one of the most exciting talents on the Alternative scene today.

Words by Lucy Skeet

Floodhounds - Quicksand

One of the UK's most exciting Rock newcomers are Yorkshire's Floodhounds who combine hypnotic melodies with a huge, engulfing soundscapes and gritty riffs that will hit you to the core. Having played alongside Kid Kapichi, The Blinders, King Nun and Strange Bones, you can tell that the rest of the Rock scene are well aware that these guys are one of the hottest new noisemakers in town, and their new single 'Quicksand' has gone and reinforced that tenfold.

The thing that instantly strikes you on this track is the dark, grumbling tone of the guitar. It has melodic flow yet menacing tone that radiates with an angsty, rebellious spirit that demands attention. The drums too have a really punchy and powerful impact as they drive the song forward with a steady beat.

However, it is the chorus that really showcases their best traits! Every element becomes elevated, combining in style to create a huge noise that you can't escape. A soaring synth line adds a cool hook in among the noise and the echoed vocals attack the mic with an anthemic power. A lot of the melody of this song comes from the bright backing harmonies and Pop Rock back and forths that you can't help but want to sing along to. Big instrumental stabs have power and punch while chanting vocal calls give the track an infectiously tribalistic feel.

Tom A Smith - Fading Away

Sunderland’s fresh faced, 19-year-old Indie songwriter Tom A. Smith launched his most convincing and compelling track to date on October 12th with ‘Fading Away’, accompanied by a charming music video containing footage of Smith from over 10 years ago that utilises the metaphor of space travel to depict his ongoing self-discovery.

Ironically, despite vulnerable lyrics about feeling increasingly disillusioned and lacking direction, sonically ‘Fading Away’ is more assured and balanced than any of Smith’s prior releases, proven with a satisfying call and response between dazzling, Strokes-esque guitars and a jittery, pulsating bassline.

Hugo White of The Maccabees helped produce the single and his influence is evident, ensuring the blend of guitars fashions a euphoric ambience that his old band would be proud of. This is married with Smith’s raspy yet passionate vocal delivery that oozes a confidence not observed on previous efforts.

With three EPs released in under a year and a half, alongside almost 30 dates in his upcoming headline November and December 2023 tour, the impressive Smith is braced for liftoff onto festival mainstages in 2024, so go and see him in an intimate venue whilst you still can!

Words by Ben Cole

Bull - Start A New

After over a year away, York’s finest Slacker Indie band Bull have returned with their latest single ‘Start A New’ to accompany their gigs at Leeds’s infamous Brudenell Social Club and London’s Moth Club earlier this month.

As the title suggests, ‘Start A New’ is an instantly jovial number, building on their underrated coming-of-age debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ to produce a delightfully simple track that advocates for one thing: a refresh.

Following a short opening of cosy acoustic guitar, the track sizzles into life with layered vocals and Pavement-inspired instrumentation that continues throughout, generating a warm feeling of revival and acting as the musical equivalent of a morning espresso.

Bull’s July 2022 EP ‘Stuck Between the Virtual and Physical World’ was more experimental, bouncing between the Talking Heads and Clairo-infused Indie Pop. With ‘Start A New’ written amidst 2020 lockdowns, perhaps the song does not just act as a revival for fans, but for the band themselves, freed from COVID-19 restrictions and able to construct a new sonic direction, proving themselves as ones to watch in 2024.

Words by Ben Cole

Lip Filler - Limelite

Right from the very first seconds of Lip Filler’s new single 'Limelite' you can tell that it’s going to be an angsty, in-your-face ordeal! The early vocal shout makes you stand to attention and perfectly sets up the Punk attitude for the rest of the track. It isn’t long before the deep bass line and sharp, scratchy guitar tone kick in, adding to this discontented sound.

However, the band then cut out to allow the vocals shine through…and shine through they do, landing much more melodic than the initial instrumentals had hinted at. From this point the track takes on a more Indie feel with bright guitar chords and expressive vocal flows.

Yet, the darker Post Punk sound is never too far away as it returns periodically to offer a more sinister atmosphere. This constant t battle between melody and angst creates constant interest and a sound that both lovers of mid 00s indie bangers and modern Post Punk anthems can enjoy!

This single is a very clever new release that teases two sides of their sound and beautifully weaves warring sonic emotion in a mature, assured fashion.


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