London’s Hero Fisher sings in a deep voice, loaded with emotion and nuance, which perfectly suits her lyrical content as she says that the “The backbone of all the songs I ever write is that they’re about rising above a hard time. They’re about transformation and a kind of rapture.” Fisher was artistically talented from day one, coming from a family of creative types, and training at art school before devoting herself full-time to music. Fisher takes her greatest influences from a number of the most important female figures in popular music history, including the incomparable PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, and Joni Mitchell.
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Los Angeles’ Moving Units are one of the very earliest American dance/indie rock bands. Along with the likes of the Rapture, Franz Ferdinand, the Faint and Bloc Party, Moving Units fused indie rock with dance in an effort to bring the grooves and dance to indie fans. Of course, this happened earlier in Manchester in the ‘80s with Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses and even earlier than that with Gang of Four, but dance rock really didn’t exist in the US in the late ‘80s and those two Manchester bands only really had small pockets of US fans. Nowadays dance music permeates vast swaths of popular music and it’s hard to believe that they ever stood apart. Moving Units have been there through it all putting out great music that rocked as hard as rock could, while setting bodies in motion on the dancefloor.
Now, Moving Units is set to release their fourth album Damage With Care on April 8th and we’ve got a supercharged banger to share with you in “Opposite of Rhyming”, a tune that crackles with excitement and energy. The track is also available for free download on SoundCloud.
Norway’s Death By Unga Bunga hail from the town of Moss, which is credited with being the garage rock capital of Norway, so the group is very much a garage rock band playing highly energetic, rough and rowdy rock ‘n’ roll. Heavily influenced by the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Death By Unga Bunga wants to wipe out bad rock ‘n’ roll. Guitarist Stian Gulbrandsen says Pineapple Pizza is “a protest against bad rock ‘n’ roll. It’s about demanding processed cheese, intoxication, high peaks, fun and love. But also about the pain from taking in too much of it.”
American roots music artist Eli West has spent years working with many of the best artists on the folk/Americana/roots music scenes, including Cahalen Morrison, Tim O’Brien, and Jayme Stone, but now West is stepping out into the spotlight with his debut album The Both, which was released this week. The record is an intriguing concept album based on the stories of his two grandfathers who were polar opposites and thus sets up something of a duality. One was a prisoner of war in World War II and the other was a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. Both, as in The Both, are American archetypes that illustrate the story of this country as well as depicting countervailing forces that define so much of US history. Thus, it’s perfectly fitting that West chose six American folk/country songs to soundtrack this story, while also doing six instrumental versions of said songs to form a musical duality.
South London’s Lua Sonique have a unique sound among their synthpop brethren that features striking emotive vocals set amidst melodic guitar lines and gentle, almost minimalist electronic beats. Everything feels beautifully balanced and carefully composed with Jordan Reece’s vocals rising to the top, while set amongst utterly gorgeous electronics. Sam Murphy and Alex Hall are the producers in this group and they show a great deal of sophisticated restraint for such young artists, as does Reece. Having already been featured by the likes of BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, we can expect a bright future for Lua Sonique.