Droves - Blonde Diamond - White Room - Hilma Nikolaisen

Droves - Time.

Forming a refracted evolution of darkly singed synth-punk, Droves' anti-ethos to contemporary musical embrace is transfixing. After making their debut at this year's sold-out Yours & Owls Festival, the new project, hailing from Wollongong, blooms into an inspired and precise collision of beautifully dark anomalies.

Dominated by a dark, futuristic '80s influence, the Droves portfolio features ambient synth strikes, programmed drums and ugly guitars soaked in reverb. Droves started out with a goal of bringing electronic dance culture to post-punk by singing dark hooks and melodies over quite powerful drums and subs. The group is Phillip Spiteri on vocals and keys, Taylor McAuliffe on guitar and vocals, Jonathan McKenzie on drums, Tiernan Browne on guitar and Luise Martin on bass.

'Time' is Droves' most stark remark to their stylistic and impressionist darkwave. The group's synthetic incarnation of pop, rock and synth precursors all ceremonially melt into one another in an undeniably visceral manner. They hold the tenacious excitement of punk that's sequenced through a greyscale disco ball.

The track tells a story of the working class that become dependant on alcohol as a means of escape. To Spiteri, he's also able to intertwine his own personal thread. "'Time' plays an important part in a time capsule I wrote to my father whose brain is currently stored in a cryogenics program," explains Spiteri. With grace, Droves' debut EP, 'Bloodline'—due early 2019—reflects on the effects of modern cryogenics and navigates what it means to mourn a debut, which due to modern technology, is not set in stone. FACEBOOK.

Contrasting vocals and mixed harmonies intertwine above the musical backdrop on 'Time' a cleverly arranged song that mixes vocal passions against a darker rhythmic sound. Original and lively, this is near impossible to ignore.


Blonde Diamond - Dark Place.

Blonde Diamond is a Vancouver, Canada based alternative/dream-pop quintet formerly known as Youngblood. What started as a creative outlet for front woman Alexis Young has now begun receiving international recognition for its simultaneously dynamic and ethereal sound, retro-futuristic melodies and bitter-sweet vocals.

‘Dark Place’ is a new single taken from the band’s second EP, ‘Fantasy Love’, which will be released on 2nd November. Slinky and seductive, the song pulses with a simple yet insistent bassline over which guitars and keyboards build to an epic climax as Young sings about the constant search for a love that always seems doomed from the outset, yet ending by expressing that ‘I just want to repeat this.’ A lyric video for ‘Dark Place’ is full of noir-ish imagery that complements the song perfectly.

“‘Dark Place’ speaks to the masochistic tendency of repeatedly making the same mistake and not understanding the compromising effects of that until it’s too late,” explains Young. “Sometimes you really need to have something completely fall apart and be destroyed before you are able to fully understand its value. It is the thrilling allure of pressing the self-sabotage button and watching what unfolds before you.”
The new EP contains six songs, including the April 2018 single ’Better When You’re Close’ (released as Youngblood). WEBSITE.

'Dark Place' opens with a pulsating and gliding electro vibe, that suits the melodic yet determined vocals. It's a little bit dream pop meets dance pop, and it's definitely catchy.


White Room - Shoot.

Brighton indie risers White Room share Shoot, their first release of 2018 and follow-up to 2017 double EP Eight, co-produced by frontman Jake Smallwood and Theo Verney (Fake Laugh, TRAAMS, FUR).

Representing a bold step into a new realm with its tighter, sharper sound, the live bedroom recording captures the band’s performance intensity with their grittier approach suggesting there’s plenty more to come.

Having spent 2017 conquering the festival circuit and receiving widespread acclaim throughout the tastemaker community (DIY, Clash, Dork, Wonderland) and radio airwaves (BBC 6 Music, Radio X), the quintet played their biggest headline shows to date in London (Moth Club) and Brighton (Patterns) this spring, cementing their reputation for visceral, energetic and captivating live performances.

After a summer immersed in writing and developing new material, the five-piece are ready to hit the road again supporting The Blinders on an extensive UK tour alongside the release of Shoot, the first of two follow-up singles to Eight. TWITTER.

'Shoot' is a vibrant and funky indie rocker, that mixes the occasional explosion of power with some hook laden chunky rhythms and deliciously potent vocals.

Hilma Nikolaisen - Only Me.

Norwegian musician Hilma Nikolaisen shares the video for "Only Me", taken from her album Mjusic out on 30 November. The video features artwork by Vanessa Baird (who also did the cover art for Hilma's debut album Puzzler). Hilma explains further: "I am a big fan of the artist Vanessa Baird. In 2016 I was fortunate to feature her work on the cover art for my debut album Puzzler. Baird’s breathtaking exhibition You Are Something Else was really something else. I’m proud and grateful to have Only Me and You Are Something Else connected in this video."

The video for "Only Me" was premiered by Get In Her Ears, who wrote; "Flowing with scuzzy hooks alongside Nikolaisen’s swooning, languid vocals, ‘Only Me’ oozes shades of the mellow alt-rock of the likes of Courtney Barnett or Pip Blom."

Mjusic is Hilma Nikolaisen’s follow-up to her warmly received debut Puzzler (2016). It takes its title from a childhood punk band she started together with her brother Ivar in 1987, at the tender age of five. This time Ivar Nikolaisen (Kvelertak) appears on several of her songs, along with other siblings, and so the mjusic continues. While Puzzler was years in the making, with songs written over a longer stretch of time, Mjusic was conceived in a more spontaneous way. This time Nikolaisen has acted more freely on her intuition and imagination throughout the process. The result is a sparkling album that builds upon her debut, but utterly refined and with more attitude and immediacy.

Hilma played in several significant underground bands during her teens and early adulthood, before she had somewhat of an indie-breakthrough as bass player in her brother Emil’s internationally acclaimed shoegaze outfit Serena Maneesh (4AD). Emil also appears on Mjusic, playing drums on “Only Me” and “Light Shines”. BANDCAMP.

Straight to the point guitar rock and some distinctive and slick vocals make 'Only Me' a very natural rocker. It's warm, uncomplicated and rather moreish.