Musical Discovery: ‘Glue’ by Fickle Friends

With a growing fanbase and a big debut imminent, all eyes are on the Brighton electro-pop band Fickle Friends when it comes to their next release. For a while now, news outlets have reported that the five-piece group are to unveil their debut album in the summer, but with the announcement of an August EP (entitled Glue), could that be delayed? Even if that is the case, Fickle Friends continue to build the hype around their music, as they revealed the title track from the record late last week.

Bouncy synths introduce a track which sounds far more electronic than previous singles such as Brooklyn and Hello Hello. However, it isn’t long before it is balanced out with the traditional guitar riffs which are such a strong part of Fickle Friends’ style. Accentuated notes tense up the track ahead of the song’s catchy chorus, where Natassja Shiner’s soft and smooth vocals add to the euphoric, plucky electronic guitar and bass.

It’s yet another groovy track for the band to add to their already impressive collection, complete with summer vibes to keep us hyped throughout the season until the big EP release. Even when the band said in a recent newsletter that the song was ‘kinda born out of frustration from lots of writing sessions that hadn’t gone all that well’, there’s no dip in quality when it comes to this new single.

So, if this is indeed a teaser for bigger things to come (that debut album), then Glue certainly is a single which perfectly summarises the upbeat electro-pop vibe of Fickle Friends, and will no doubt be a great opener to the three-track EP coming our way on Friday, August 11.

Musical Discovery: ‘Symphony’ by Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson

You’d have thought that a song called ‘Symphony’ by the electro-classical band Clean Bandit would involve bursts of violin and cello. Yet, with orchestral flourishes only appearing in the background, it’s another pop song by the trio which has this imbalance between dance and strings.

It’s a track much like Extraordinary and Dust Clears in nature. Bouncy, light synths and snappy drum beats are at the forefront underneath the vocalist’s sound, with the occasional, classical flair. In this case, it’s the artist behind Lush Life – Zara Larsson – and sings with pure, soft vocals reminiscent of her ballad, Uncover.

This track came out on Friday – the same day that Larsson’s debut album, So Good, was released. In that sense, Symphony‘s delicate nature was the perfect track to coincide with the record. It shows Zara in her true form, displaying her vocal talent. For fans of Clean Bandit who have only just been made aware of the Swedish singer, it’s certainly a great way to introduce herself.

As Larsson’s vocals take centre stage (both in the song and literally in terms of the music video), everything else – including Clean Bandit’s contribution – feels somewhat supplementary. There’s even an orchestra in the video, despite the classic elements of Symphony not being at the forefront of the song. Despite the lack of strings and the absence of a move towards the style shown on their debut album (New Eyes), that is not enough to be dismissive of this particular Clean Bandit track.

As with every collaboration, the trio always manage to pick a mood and singer which work well together. In this case, Zara Larsson leads a soulful single complete with impassioned verses and fluttering choruses. It continues the pop vibe of Tears and Rockabye, albeit with a completely different tone this time round.

Musical Discovery: ‘Closer’ by Elephante feat. Bishøp

It feels like only last week when I was reviewing another Elephante song. Last time it was Temporary Love x Walking on a Dream, which I wrote about on the 7th March. Therefore, it’s fair to say that Elephante is amazing for releasing amazing music regularly and all for free. Today, Closer feat. Bishop is this week’s Musical Discovery!

To begin with, I definitely saw some vocal and instrumental styles typical of the electronic genre. Bishøp’s voice is soft and relaxing, which reminded me of Kaskade’s vocals in Deadmau5’s track, I Remember. It’s a style which is common in today’s dance scene and it makes a calm change from hardcore club anthems.

However, that is not to say that this song doesn’t have its own uplifting synth melody in the chorus. When you compare it to his other tracks like Age of Innocence and I Want You, the style of electronica is different. This time, the hard, poppy tunes are replaced with a fuzzy sound, which adds to the idea that this track is perhaps a bit more laid-back than his other releases.

In all honesty, that’s fine by me – Closer makes for a calming, feel-good song to listen to in your spare time. It’s a wonderful change from a string of hardcore dance anthems from the DJ. As we saw with Black Ivory, it’s great to see Elephante explore and bring us new and exciting music.

What do you think of Closer? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Temporary Love x Walking on a Dream’ by Elephante

If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you’ll know that I recently wrote a Musical Discovery post about Elephante. Well now, the DJ has released a new track, which sees him remix Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun. After listening to the song on Soundcloud, I decided Temporary Love x Walking on a Dream is this week’s Musical Discovery.

With an introductory house melody similar to Example’s style, I was immediately interested. I then noticed some familiar vocals, and it was only after consulting Twitter and Google that I realised that it was a remix of Empire of the Sun.

However, whilst that explained why ‘Walking on a Dream’ was in the title, I couldn’t find anything called ‘Temporary Love’ – that was until I found out it was a previously released track by Elephante. But, after giving the song a listen, I wasn’t keen on Brooke Forman’s soft vocals, and think the audio samples taken from Empire of the Sun really do the song justice.

With vocals that match the progressive intensity of the track, Elephante does it again with a feel-good remix that is also a perfect club anthem.

The other great news about this track is that a free download is available via. Soundcloud. If you’re a fan, I’d definitely suggest grabbing the track.

What do you think of this song? Is it a good remix of Empire of the Sun’s classic track? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘The Sound’ by The 1975

A few weeks ago, I played this track on my radio show on Siren FM. I remember liking it but I didn’t review it for a Musical Discovery. It was only after a friend suggested it to me that I decided to review it this week.

Admittedly, I’m not so keen on The 1975’s style, but The Sound is the closest to their original style. It begins with a chant-like opening, and throughout there are driving piano stabs (which, if you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you’ll know I love those in a song). Once again, Matt’s whining vocals make the song euphoric and uplifting. The verse style fits perfectly with the instruments to create a poppy anthem.

Finally, I have to admire the instrumental solo towards the end of the track. Once again, the piano stabs remain, but screeching guitar riffs play alongside them and make it a perfect track to dance along to. Whilst I don’t like their new style, this is a song I’ll definitely be listening to again.

What do you think of The Sound? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Like An Animal’ by RÜFÜS

Recently, my favourite artist and DJ Madeon revealed his ‘Good Vibes’ playlist on Spotify. Now, since his style of electronica is right up my street, I knew that the songs he had picked would be brilliant. Of course, I was right. The playlist included tracks such as Empire State of Mind and Human Nature by Michael Jackson. However, one track in particular which caught my eye was Like An Animal by RÜFÜS, which is this week’s Musical Discovery.

With plucky guitars and mellow synths to begin with, Like An Animal definitely gives off a sense of slight tropical house. However, the style of electronica develops when a bass is introduced in the bridge. The chorus then leads to the song shifting to a more club dance track than tropical house. Nevertheless, the groaning vocals of RÜFÜS make the chorus catchy and memorable, as well as upbeat. Madeon has certainly done a good job with picking this vibrant and feel-good track.

If you wanted to listen to Madeon’s Spotify playlist in full, then you can do so here.

What do you think of this track, or Madeon’s playlist? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: January Tunes

At the start of this month, I had all my Musical Discovery posts for January planned out, written and scheduled weeks in advance. However, as the days went by, I realised that I had found a lot of new music this month. Last week, I was desperate to let you all know about Frances, so this week is a round-up of my January tunes!

 

Good Times by Ella Eyre:

First of all, thanks must go to OliviaCheryl – as I stumbled across this song whilst browsing her YouTube channel (definitely go subscribe, by the way).

Anyway, after listening to this track, I was surprised that there was no mention of a drum and bass artist in the title of the YouTube video/song. In my head, I could tell that the drum-and-bass progression had to be typical of one DnB DJ – was it another collaboration with Rudimental? DJ Fresh? Wilkinson?

It took a moment to investigate, but it turns out that Good Times was a collaboration with Sigma – it’s just there was no credit to them in the song title! I was kicking myself when I realised (the song’s style was typical of the duo), but nevertheless it’s another triumph for both Ella and the DnB DJs. The music video was uploaded in July last year and whilst it’s still popular today – it was probably a great summer anthem when it was first released.

Also, I would go as far as to say that this is up there with her collaboration with Rudimental on Waiting All Night. Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of Ella Eyre (at least not her original work) and so I would say that she really shines in these DnB singles – where the pressure of a fast-paced tempo is on and she can experiment with her vocal range.

Lastly, as well as the song being a feel-good summer anthem, the music video is full of euphoria, pugs and kittens – what more could you want?

 

Calling Out by Penguin Prison:

 

You may remember a while back that I reviewed Elephante‘s remix of Calling Out by Penguin Prison in a recent Musical Discovery. This time, however, I was keen to listen to the original version.

Whilst I wasn’t keen on Penguin Prison’s other tracks, it was interesting to compare this version with Elephante’s remix. After listening to both of them, it was clear that Elephante was respectful to the original, and that Penguin Prison’s version is just as funky – with a bouncy drum beat and strong guitar rhythm. Usually, I am not keen on remixes, but this is another track where I am keen on both a remix and the original.

 

Miracles by Martin Jensen feat. Bjørnskov:

Earlier this month I reviewed a few tracks from RAC, and that was after stumbling across his music on Facebook. Now, the social networking app’s ‘promoted’ sites has directed me to another artist I might like. This time, I came across DJ Martin Jensen’s, Miracles.

Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed with the beginning of the song. Soulful vocals from Bjørnsjov don’t quite fit in with the light piano melody. Thankfully, as an electronic melody and slow drum beat are introduced, the song finally develops a reliable and consistent tempo. Whilst this relaxing style appears in the opening verse, a simplistic synth melody paves the way into a similarly euphoric and ‘bouncy’ chorus.

In a video on his Facebook page, you can see where Martin Jensen originally got the idea for the chorus from. The wavering synth melody actually comes from an audio sample – taken from the ‘duck army’ video which went viral last year. It may be bizarre, but this audio sampling isn’t apparent when you give the song a listen.

Overall, the backing synth and jumpy drum beat in the chorus – combined with Bjørnskov’s vocal talents – create a chilled house melody that’s definitely worth listening to. Also, with the song only having been released in November last year, it’s fair to say that Martin Jensen may go on to achieve great things in 2016.

 

Which of these tracks is your favourite? Comment below!

Liam