Friday, 12 January 2018

International Playlist #017: Andy Cooper, Y Cledrau, Blurred Out, NEWMEN and more

Info: We're back with our first independent International Playlist of 2018, there are a few tracks in here from towards the end of last year that I didn't get around to covering in December, but definitely deserve the shout outs. I'm kicking off with the outrageously gifted rhymer and poker of fun Andy Cooper from California who is a bone fide advocate of traditional hip hop and soul, I won't go into too much detail just now, as his latest album, The Layered Effect, will be out soon and I'll save my thoughts until then, but 'The Perfect Definition' is the perfect apetiser.

Next up we have Adrian Underhill's beautifully produced 'Weather' from forthcoming album C U Again which is out on the 9th February. The Toronto native giving a sweet and smooth taster of what we can expect with his plodding electro-pop single.

Late last year we were blown away by the kick ass single 'Meadows' by Oakland, California band Blurred Out, and we're delighted they have shared a new track with us in the shape of 'Modern Waves'. It's quite a different proposition, looser than the lo-fi scuzz of 'Meadows', and it's a delightful arch into indie-ska, dancefloor shuffles abound.

Frankfurt, Germany is our next port of call with the delicious sounds of NEWMEN who also featured here last year. There's an ultra-retro 80's disco feel to new track 'Debbie Harry', which unsurprisingly, given the track's title, has a northern soul English groove, quality stuff again from a quality band. The second half of this track in particular is pure magic.

There's a pained beauty to solo act George Holman's moniker The Peacock Effect on new single, 'We Are All Flowers, Growing Then Dying', the song-title is bleak, but from that place an ultimate appreciation of existing blossoms, if you'll excuse the pun. The pulled ping of the electric guitar notes compliment the fluid acoustic picking perfectly, and the Exeter man's vocals just pull everything together so perfectly and in harmony. 

Young Galaxy Photo: Cameron Mitchell

Montreal, Canada duo Young Galaxy recently released their latest single 'Under My Wing' from the appropriately titled forthcoming album Down Time which is out on the 6th of April. It's a Todd Terjian downtempo voyage which is both disarming and filled with escapist wonder all at once. L.A.'s SPELLES unleashes a potent slice of indie-rock with 'Light Me On Fire', it's raucous, affirmative and filled with a cool bluesy braggadocio, for fans of Florence & The Machine with a West Coast flavour.

South London's Oscar Jerome delves deep into rootsy soul-funk on 'Smile On a Screen' which dives straight into psychedelic blues rock with harmonic licks, drifts into contemporary U.K. hip-hop and then comes out swinging from the corner of the ring. With each listen I love LUME's 'Tip Of Your Thumb' more and more, it's unashamedly a contemporary piece of atmospheric electronic rn'b and it's got grooves to spare, the kind of single that invokes involuntary body movements. 

I finish with a complete zinger from the ongoing and burgeoning Welsh music scene, the amazing Y Cledrau's 'Ildio i'r Cyffro' from their brand new album Peiriant Ateb. It's no secret I adore independent Welsh music as it parallels it's Celtic brethern on this side of the Irish Sea in terms of quality and output over the last 4 or 5 years .Y Cledrau are at the top of the pile, writing the kind of music Belle & Sebastian were / should be now. Diolch ffrindiau!

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