Young Summer is a new electronic synth based singer/songwriter whom crafts some more left of the middle dream pop tunes. Her début EP “Fever Dream” is a fantastic introduction to her music which we wholeheartedly give a thumbs up on HPM!
“Fever Dream” opens the EP with a thumbing heat beat kick drum with a pulsating fuzzy bass line providing the undercurrent for more celestial keyboard synths. Young Summer’s vocals are silky smooth like chocolate and are beautifully multi-layered so she sounds like a collage of herself in verses and then punches through the chorus with a more dynamic catchy vocal riff. It’s instantly catchy without resorting to cheese – the perfect combo for dream pop. “The Waves That Rolled You Under” begins really understated with rolling synth arpeggios sonically projecting the waves sung about before luscious guitars and heavily panned vocal collages take over the chorus, The production on the EP is good enough to eat. There’s something about this specific track that makes me think Electro-Enya!
“Letter Never Sent” features a more sombre mood with echoing piano notes and a guest male vocalist Trent Dabbs whom sounds like Alex Wong with his soft thin vocal sound. It’s the moody track on the EP which is followed by the more whimsy free-waving “Half the Time” which incorporates a long of acoustic guitar and muffled drums which have all been softened so it feels like a combing of strings and cymbals with little impact at all. The result is a track that feels very laid back and cosy. “Close To Home” then rounds things off with a simple piano led ballad.
Young Summer has some catchy tunes and a fantastic production value. The combination of a strong vocal and a strong melody is a certain winner – Young Summer crosses the line in front. We want more!
Maria Dunn’s folk root music is as honest as the day itself. Maria has a classic tone to her voice and her master of various instruments makes a formidable combination. Her albums showcase a far more broader range of instruments that just the guitar and violin but this is a beautifully performed number and deserves to be found.
Sometimes I love hearing a song from a genre I generally don’t dive into, being covered in a genre I love. Welcome to Myloe, a band whom do some fantastic music of their own anyway, but have been doing some excellent covers as part of a live series. TLC’s “No Scrubs” gets the alt-rock treatment…. I like! I approve. I spread the word.
Steve Schultz may be releasing his second album Over The Edge this week but he’s just getting us warmed up to his clean and honest vocals and piano based tunes. There’s something very organic and Simon/Garfunkel about Steve that makes everything feel fresh whilst reminiscent of what a lot of people consider the hey day of “real piano music” when Elton John was number 1.
This is the lead single “Shadow” from the latest album. It’s a cracker.
“Tear” is a two-track single that acts as the bridge between Son Lux’s most recent work “We Are Rising” and what the new album will be like. “Tear” won’t be on it so it makes for an essential purchase for all Son Lux collectors.
“Tear Part 1″ opens with vocoded vocals that’s been grilled and burned before taut vibrating strings pitch bend into the mix. It’s eerie presence doesn’t bring percussion until the half way mark as the drums clumsily roll and sway – crashing like a drunk over the slightly awkward sounds. Electric piano provides the sole warmth to the track as even when soothing female backing vocals enter the fray they still feel eerie. The sound is completely unique and completely Son Lux. “Tear Part 2″ then washes away all the organics for a retread of the same riff in an alarming chiptune siren as Son Lux uses his built up vocal montage that he usual sings with to provide some momentary calm. However it soon paves way to something that’s akin to an Atari space shuttle flight at 100mphs. The juxtaposition of the hectic keyboards and slow-moving vocals clashing in tandem makes for evocative listening and its a marvel.
Robin Foster usually does extremely beautiful instruments, full of brooding emotion. Occasionally a guest vocalist pops up and for this track its Dave Pen. This live performance of Forgiveness just simply aches. Fantastic.
Artemis launched her career from the original MP3.com and this was one of the first EP’s I was able to buy from the site when I was old enough to wield a card.
“Treasure” leads the EP off as the strong track with its shuffling acoustic guitar beats and background draw organ giving a tinge of Caribbean flavour to the rock track. The slide guitar works very well as the embellishments. Artemis herself as a smooth vocal that never takes over the song but it can certainly hold its on. “Cruel” then daring goes acapella for Artemis to really showcase her vocals properly. This is a soulful blues number and works very well without instruments. It straddles a fine line between vocal gymnastics and passion and by not going overboard on the warbles the track stands out. “Voices” is an acoustic guitar and vocal track that uses some more unusual chord structures to really stand out. It’s quite delicate and beautiful on the surface but slowly more and more minor chords and clashing of notes creeps in and actually the track builds into a powerful ballad. “Rising” keeps the same style but stays more taut as opposed to building up the tension. The EP ends with “Shameless” which see’s a full band return for only the second time and its a blues rock number. It feels like a different recording session as the production feels different but the track is quite catchy with its offbeat mini chord changes in the chorus. There’s much more keyboard production here too hinting at the more electronic route she’d take after this.
Artemis opened up her musical career in the acoustic rock genre before she took on electronica and so for fans this is fun to hear, for the rest of us its a well accomplished EP and the title track is fantastic.