On The Stereo: April 2021
We recall the month in music, showcasing new songs from This Is The Deep, Steen, Novaa, Castells, Junodream and more
LOST IN ORION BY DON LIFTED
A melting pot of rap and alt-rock, there’s a subdued strength to Lost In Orion by Don Lifted (the musical moniker of creative polymath Lawrence Matthews). The lyrics have a poetic feel which carry you through the song’s understated groove.
RED LIGHTS BY STEEN
With its late night feel, it’s perhaps no surprise that Red Lights by Steen is full of soul-searching and big questions which tend to demand answers in the dark. As debut singles go, this soulful alt-rock number is particularly impressive.
DO YOU WANT TO DANCE? BY CENTURY EGG
Packing as many ideas into three minutes as some bands manage in their entire career, Do You Want To Dance? by Century Egg is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fun. The four-piece from Halifax, NS, rock, roll and generally have a great time on this blistering effort.
WORLD GONE BY BY LEON MAJCEN
A delicate acoustic number with something to say, World Gone By, Leon Majcen’s tribute to John Prine, has the feel of something the late great songwriter would put his name to. More than that, it’s a fitting homage to a talent sadly missed.
I’M NOT AFRAID BY ROY
Bringing to mind both 13th Floor Elevators and Them, I’m Not Afraid by ROY is a psych-rock throwback which sounds strangely fresh. The work of Patrick Lefler, the singer’s baroque croon is one of the many elements dragging you deep inside.
BROADWAY BY PEAK FUTURES
Its title and lyrical inspiration might be drawn from NYC but the sound of Peak Futures’ Broadway comes straight from the Muscle Shoals playbook. Helped by some floating organ work, the six-piece collective are at their most soulful here.
SWIMMING BY MAPLE GLIDER
Taken from her upcoming debut album, Swimming is the elegant new single from Melbourne’s Maple Glider. A break-up song with a sepia hue, the healing process is more quiet contemplation than angry exorcism.
NATURE COMPELS ME BY ANDRÉ ETHIER
There’s a pastoral feel to Nature Compels Me by André Ethier which conjures up memories of gazing out across a green landscape from inside an office or classroom. That desire to float away is enhanced by the saxophone of Joseph Shabason.
CROSS YOURSELF BY IDER
With its click-clack beat and tumultuous bass, Cross Yourself by IDER is a rush-hour U-Bahn journey across Berlin. The vocals bring a sense of calm, the stoic worker who has taken this train many times before and is perfectly comfortable amid the hustle.
FLOAT BY CROOKED TEETH
‘Hi, hello, how was your weekend?’ starts Float by Crooked Teeth, the Oxford-based musical project of Jack Olchawski. It’s a suitably simple opener for this affecting folky lament about the trappings of working life and passing of time.
THIS AIN’T YOUR HOME BY NOVAA
We’re heading back to Berlin today courtesy of Novaa’s serene electronica. Though it is a song about the sexual abuse suffered by its creator, This Ain’t Your Home manages to be a poignant message of healing, hope and power.
FALLING FOR YOU BY CASTRELLS
Castells fully commit to Falling For You, their latest slice of heartfelt indie-pop. From Connor Crooks’ passionate vocals to the attack brought by the rest of the band, this is music which makes you want to lay it all on the line in the name of love.
WELLWAVE BY LUCID EXPRESS
Wellwave is the new single from Hong Kong five-piece Lucid Express. Awash with warm synths, spaced-out vocals and chiming guitars, this hypnotic blend of new wave and indie-pop entices you in to its kaleidoscopic waters where it’s safe to splash around.
BROKEN HEART BY STEPHANIE RYAN
‘You threw it all away / that ain’t how love’s supposed to go,’ sings Stephanie Ryan on her melancholy new single Broken Heart. As is so often the case, the country sound provides an ideal accompaniment to a soul laid bare.
LET ME BREATHE AGAIN BY JUNODREAM
Flittering about with nervous energy, Let Me Breathe Again is the latest single from rising stars Junodream. Landing in the sweet spot between post-punk and alt-rock, commercial claustrophobia has never sounded so catchy.
GET THROUGH THE NIGHT BY SIMMONS & MATTEO
The ethereal vocals of GVgrace and smooth sax of Alvin Davis are just two of the elements which make Simmons & Matteo’s Get Through The Night such an enthralling listen. Like the very best pop music, it’s simultaneously complex and simple.
WILLING BY LADY NADE
Described by Lady Nade as a ‘message of acceptance, loyalty and friendship,’ Willing is a soothing salve of a song. So sit back, relax and let the Bristol-based singer’s tender and nostalgic vocals ease your woes.
EYES ON YOU BY THIS IS THE DEEP
With its undulating synths and stabs of noise that could accompany Norman Bates as he emerges from the shower knife in hand, Eyes On You is the eerie new single from East London seven-piece art collective This Is The Deep. Being spied on never sounded so good.
CITY WATCHED ME BURN BY ANNE FREEMAN
Whether to class Anne Freeman’s City Watched Me Burn as ‘melodic Americana’ or ‘twangy indie-pop’ is a debate we’ll leave up to you. What we can all agree on is the sheer catchiness of this song, so much so that it made us think of peak Sheryl Crow.
LOVELY BY LU WRIGHT
A blissed-out beat and laid-back groove provide the backdrop for Lu Wright’s latest single Lovely. Harking back to the early 90s heyday of RNB-inflected pop, British rapper Civil is also on hand to help with this positive change of perspective.
Words: Duncan Haskell