Following on from his subdued, groovy ‘Black Star Dancing’ EP, Noel has just announced another EP, with ‘This Is The Place’ being the title track from it.
Similar in vein to ‘Black Star Dancing’ ‘This Is The Place’ is very groove based, with a deep bassline being the heart of the track.
The layers of percussion, synths and backing vocals slowly build up throughout the track to create a song that is a brilliant fusion of northern soul and modern dance music.Very much a toe tapper, this one.
This is a complete change from his first two solo albums which seem drab and predictable in comparison to his last full length and subsequent singles. Noel’s voice sounds as strong as ever, and judging by his current output, his creativity and talent for songwriting hasn’t faded either.
The latest EP from Dodie is her best project yet, with brutally honest and open lyrics paired with a selection of the best produced and written tracks the singer-songwriter has put out so far.
‘Monster’ is a brilliant track; it’s one of those songs that appear simple upon first listen, but the instrumental with its groovy synth pattern and developing layers is really deep and complex, and the backing vocals are lovely too. Her best one to date.
‘Not What I Meant’ has Dodie pair up with Lewis Watson, and the duo’s voices blend really nicely together for a really pleasant, chill folky ballad that reminded me a bit of Seth Lakeman. The Title track, ‘Human’ with Tom Walker is another example of how hard hitting her lyrics can be ; specific to her experiences but again so relatable they are especially effective paired with those vocals and haunting melody.
To me, ‘If I’m Being Honest’ sounds like a track that would fit right into ‘La La Land’ or ‘Mary Poppins’, and that’s in no way a bad thing; it plods along in the nicest way and I can picture her walking along in the rain singing it in some kind of musical.
A great EP that shows Dodie just keeps improving, and shows real promise for a potential full album; but if the quality of her EPs keeps up like this, i’m not sure she needs to do one.
This EP follows on from 2016’s brilliant ‘Fading Lines’ album and the quality of Annelotte’s songwriting and melodies hasn’t wavered.
A cover of a track originally by Nick Drake kicks off the project, with ‘Which Will’ being brilliantly interpreted; it doesn’t sound out of place with any of the tracks on this EP or her debut album.
Second track ‘It Changes’ is AA’s strongest track to date. Upbeat and punchy from the first guitar chord, the track is a burst of summery guitar goodness, with the vocal hook being one of the catchiest of the year.
‘Wouldn’t Even Know’ featuring ex-Coral man Bill Ryder Jones is another brilliant track, this one a lot more melancholic than ‘It Changes’, but in no way is it boring, with Bill’s vocals only adding to the track rather than feeling shoehorned in as a feature.
Title track ‘Cannonball’ closes off the EP with a slow, emotional track that really highlights the vocal performance from Annelotte. Overall this is a really, really strong EP that shows a lot of promise for any future releases from Amber Arcades.
Best 3 – It Changes, Wouldn’t Even Know, Which Will
Having heard the lead single ‘Same Place’ before the EP, I had high hopes that the other tracks they would come out with would be a similar standard of lo-fi indie goodness. They were!
‘Same Place’ is a great piece of lo-fi indie pop that will stick in your head for days, and sums up the fun, lighthearted sound of the rest of the EP, but the subject matter isn’t as postivive, with the opening track ‘Oh George’ focusing on evil lizard man George Osbourne, with cutting lyrics like ‘You lied to me and my family’ and ‘ You only think of your own’
The final two tracks on the EP, ‘Skin Surfing’ and ‘Ugly Veg’ are highlights for me, the former having a shoegazey, Elastica vibe and the latter having a bouncy bassline alongside an upbeat, funky guitar riff, rounding the project up with a summery burst.
Kllo are a Melbourne based dance duo comprising of Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam. The EP kicks off with bouncy track Walls To Build, which sets the palette for the rest of the songs very well; Chloe’s vocals blend into the backing track, that wouldn’t sound out of place on a track by Banoffee, perfectly.
Bolide is another great track, with the looping sampled voice thing done in a way that isn’t annoying, like it is on a lot of songs.
Sense is a bit more downbeat than the other tracks on the EP, but that is in no way a bad thing, it shows versatility in the duo; the track brings the EP down a bit for a while before the final two tracks build it back up, but in no way does it feel like a lull.
The highlight of the EP for me was closing track Don’t Be The One, the most chilled out of a pretty chilled out set of songs ends the set of songs very nicely. If this is what a full album by Kllo will sound like, then it will be a great one.