With the four studio albums they have to their name so far, Belfast’s own And So I Watch You From Afar have perfected an instrumental playbook whose mantra requires a lot out of these musicians. Just about every one of And So I Watch You From Afar‘s songs involves the band tying itself into a series of seemingly irresolvable knots, with tricky time signatures and zip-fast guitar leads coalescing into mind-rattling figures. Yet by the end of each song, the quartet finds its way out. That is a rare act that makes a conservatory-worthy music clinic sound like an absolute blast; for a band of this caliber, it’s easy to indulge in time signatures as an end in of themselves, but these guys have figured out how to make instrumental prowess and infectious songwriting go hand in hand.
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Tristan Kneschke: ZelooperZ lends raps to Shigeto’s latest banger, finding the pair indulging in a healthy dose of bizarre humor and occult imagery throughout “Barry White”. ZelooperZ raps in a room filled with girls entranced by his lyrical skills, their hair waving uncontrollably as the MC becomes a verbal snake charmer. Even an eight-year-old girl becomes bewitched, and while it’s tough to imagine her even being aware of Ghostly International, that’s part of the fun. The whole affair walks several aesthetic lines; between the synthwave pink-blue lights, the slow, reversed-hair beauty, and the cloaked figures, the video leaves one with an unsettling feeling, even though its producers don’t seem to be taking things all that seriously. [7/10]
Adriane Pontecorvo: Filmed on the shores of Ghana, “Water” serves as an epilogue to Sudan Archives’ outstanding debut EP. Her voice and strings mesmerize, as always, and the electronic touches Archives adds are almost ambient, but still structured enough to indicate that Archives is showing us two minutes and 17 seconds of a whole world that she has built herself. Her innovation knows no bounds, and while the slice that is “Water” is barely a glimpse of that, it’s a good one. [9/10]
Last year when first approaching Terra Lightfoot‘s music, I said, “get ready to adore Terra Lightfoot, a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a badass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease. Yep, she could be your new rock ‘n’ roll hero. Drawing from rock, soul, and blues, Lightfoot is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time.” True to those sentiments, Lightfoot is back in 2017 with a new album New Mistakes chock full of soulful rock ‘n’ roll, mega SG riffs, and songs highlighting Lightfoot’s broad musical range. New Mistakes is Lightfoot’s most accomplished music yet, with a tracklist full of variety in tempos and moods, a carefully constructed and produced set of material that highlights Lightfoot’s rapid development as an artist.