This month, additions to our hot pink! playlist include chilling dream pop, slick hip hop, remixes, cosmic jazz, fiery punk and much more to make a last minute punt for your 2020 Wrapped. We are constantly adding to our mix of the best new sounds on Merseyside and here is but a smattering of the bright new voices that are wailing from Tier 2.

 

King Hannah
Meal Deal
City Slang

KING HANNAH’s music feels destined for the longest nights of the year. The duo’s hushed sonic arrangements seem to take true form when gently lit by low-hanging, wide-eyed moonlight. This specular aura is one that permeates through their debut EP, Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, with most recent single, Meal Deal, exuding a petrified stasis, one similarly achieved by Mazzy Star, Slint or late nineties Cat Power. It’s timeless, in that the atmospheric landscape conjured by slides of pedal steal and breathed vocals is one where time doesn’t exist at all. Nothing ticks, but everything stirs – gently levitated and suspended in an air thick and compelling and completely of its own. (ER)

 

MC Nelson
Flowers

Flowers submerges the listener through soulful instrumentals and MC NELSON’s now familiar poised, playful verses. Throughout the track, the lyrics dance above lulling vocal samples and light acoustic guitar melodies, as he uses the theme of nature to ease the listener to his questioning of life, death, and all in-between. It’s a track that leaves much to ponder. (LBE)


Koj

Family Tree

Liverpool’s thriving rap/grime scene is rightly beginning to turn heads on a national level. In the flurry of artists putting the city on the map, KOJ has risen to the fore in the last six months and follows up his debut single with Family Tree, a track which sees this emcee’s emerging talent arrive fully formed and oozing composure. Twisting deft, introspective lyricism with plucked guitar fills that hark back to early Noughties RnB heyday, Koj leans towards the past to assertively drag the roots of Family Tree into the nearest reaches of the future. One to watch for 2021. (ER)

 

LUNA
Lay Like Stars (Haku remix)

The album of remixes of LUNA’s Hello Earth EP aim to “take you from the lonely midnight candle-burning to the thriving 3am dance-floor.” In this reworking of Lay Like Stars, Deep Space Orchestra’s Haku have their feet bouncing firmly on the club floor. The euphoric synth-driven rendering of the original EP’s opener replaces any vocal with shimmering atmospherics and a funkily urgent keyboard riff. The overall effect transposes an intergalactic flight of fancy to a building trance track preparing for lift-off. (ST)

 

Samurai Kip
I Reflect

2020 was when SAMURAI KIP were looking to stretch their skin as one of Liverpool’s best live bands and build up a collection of recordings that matched their on-stage reputation. While there will have been a desire to emphasise their run of singles, it’s unlikely they will have been preparing to drop live duties all together. But in a more stretched out timeline than planned, the Kip have crowned the arduous mountain of 2020 with their most compelling release to date. Those who’ve seen the quartet on the circuit over the years will be well accustomed to I Reflect, but on record, the band have found even more sonic room in its hazy, celestial arrangements. All four members have an elastic presence on the track, pulling away and energetically tightening with rolling bass, pinches of trombone and gravelly vocals drenched in cosmic echo. With the run of singles complete, and live opportunities on the horizon, 2021 looks set to be a big year for the Kip. (ER)

 

Bobby West
All My Years

The latest output from the council estate Sinatra, BOBBY WEST, is drenched in shadowy guitar reverb and resembles the charismatic vocal of the likes of Kevin Morby and Alex Cameron. The track has tales of lovers who are only in it for the coffee, not the grounds – a rolling narrative embedded in every guitar strum and glockenspiel note. By now, West is becoming synonymous with profound lyricism and melodies to match; it’s the perfect song for that winter evening when dreaming of another place to be, but is all we have. (DP)

 

Ana Mae
That I Would Do
Eggy Records

On That I Would Do, we get the impression singer-songwriter ANA MAE is bleary-eyed and blissfully in love. The dreamy guitar progressions and angelic harmonies radiate a sense of unabashed adoration, with Mae’s lingering vocals feeling as hypnotic as the infatuation she sings about. It’s a track that feels handcrafted for a lover, radiating a rose-tinted atmosphere that permeates throughout the song and beyond. (LBE)


Sara Wolff
You Like Talking About Yourself

WOLFF’s knack of shooting through quirky jazz-infused folk with deliciously dark overtones is providing the Liverpool-based Scandinavian with sufficient mileage to amass an already impressive body of work. The sweetness of this metronomic lullaby almost belies the jet black refrain of ‘what have done, you ate my first born son’. Never change Sara. (ST)

 

Courting
Popshop!
Nice Swan Records

When her majesty’s troops rolled into Liverpool in November and bedded down at Pontins where they would stay for the duration of the mass testing programme, it felt like a flippant prophecy had come true. Written back in spring but released a week later was Popshop!, COURTING’s latest single, which opined about taking “the lads on tour, we’ll go to Pontins”. Sadly, the coincidence ends there, and the five-piece don’t have more insight to offer on which holiday camp may be put to use for the roll-out of our now menu of vaccines. What they can offer though is to lean further into a poppier, breezier sound with a charming two-minute slice of Parquet Courts inflected comment on the value or art and selling out. One to be played over, and over, and over again – ugh. (ER)

 

Coughin’ Vicars
Art Damage

Not many could compress the chaos of the last year into a four-track cohesive work. But, through their latest release Art Damage, COUGHIN VICARS has managed to transform the events of 2020 into an explosive, electric EP. Filled wall-to-wall with thrashing guitar riffs and lyrics laced in cynicism, it’s a release that transforms feelings of helplessness to a riotous call to action. (LBE)

 

Big Safari
Felt Hat
Society of Losers  

Let’s thank Society of Losers for wrestling this 2014 beauty from obscurity. Now available on all streaming platforms, the band who would become Mincemeat announced themselves to the world with this super cool slice of motor city garage rock. All fuzzy vocals, feedback and tumbling riffs, it’s no surprise these guys were a firm live favourite in the sweaty basements of Liverpool. (ST)

Words: Elliot Ryder, Lily Blakeney-Edwards, Daniel Ponzini, Sam Turner

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