SQ Magazine

The UK's Leading Independent Youth Culture Publication

The SQ Showcase: April ’13

Posted on Thursday, 25 April by

The SQ Showcase April

The winter is finally over! But while we may have survived the treacherous conditions, thousands of sheep did not. No matter, there’ll be a song to mourn their ill-fortune lying around somewhere and nobody counts sheep anymore anyway.

With the warmth comes the inevitable anticipation of heady summer days. Unfortunately, those carefree days aren’t complete without an appropriate track.

If you think you have the perfect summer tune, submit it via our SoundCloud for a chance to feature in an SQ Showcase; your one-stop shop for the best sounds on the south coast.

Phoria – Scope

From: Brighton

Phoria have already featured in our Showcase back in January with ‘Red’, but since then they’ve imploded the blogosphere. Now, there are new tracks to sink your teeth into as Bloodworks EP has finally been released. They recently performed at Brighton’s Soundscreen event and it was remarkable but not entirely surprising how mature and composed they were on stage. No doubt this is helped by their relationship as friends and musicians; three of them have been playing together since the age of six. None of the other tracks on the EP are quite as alluring as ‘Red’ but ‘Set Your Mind On It’ has the quintet purr along in luscious serenity that evokes easy Sigur Ros comparisons. But if you listen to their EP in full, you’ll hear that they are too eclectic for simple “they sound similar to” comments.

Cosmo Sheldrake – Rich (Ft. Anna Roo)

From: Brighton/London

The adaptable Cosmo Sheldrake is so masterful with his loop pedals that it leaves you wondering why any great talent would bother with other band members. If you’re also a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer – which Cosmo is – then you’re pretty much a one-man band but not one of those comical buskers who have all sorts of gear strapped to them. It’s hardly surprising then that Sheldrake draws from many influences ranging from classical, blues and Balkan folk. ‘Rich’ is a buttery sort of track full of subtle glimmers layered upon tight and inventive percussion. And with Anna Roo’s saccharine vocals there’s a majestic innocence that makes this tune rather difficult to dislike.

Plasticine – Hard Being Strange

From: Brighton

With influences from Suede to The Doors, Plasticine craft a nostalgically 90s sound with plenty of grungy flecks and specks. You’d think then that they might sound dated. Not at all. The tight, modern arrangement lifts ‘Hard Being Strange’ and with crunching, catchy guitar riffs, you’re left with something that makes you wish it were still the 90s. In a live setting, you can imagine the quartet conjuring a mosh-pit from everybody’s inner-teenager with this tune but seeing as you’re probably in your bedroom, you’ll probably just be incited into infuriating your parents (or any other well-mannered adult in your household).

Tay Devenny – Shinji

From: Eastbourne

Everything about ‘Shinji’ is understated; from the inebriated singing in the intro to the slow, simplistic beat produced by Knxwledge. It allows the smooth flow of Tay’s lyrics to seep out in a composed and introspective manner: “I reflect on the gifts laid upon me”. This chilled track is so smooth it makes silk look like the Himalayas. The minimalist approach might lead you to think that ‘Shinji’ is a bit one-dimensional and therefore tire quickly but the lo-fi rustling beneath it gives it a rough texture that clashes with the Tay’s polished style. Shame the track isn’t longer.

Demob Happy – Rattlesnake

From: Brighton

It’s a long way away from the grungy heights of the 90s but Demob Happy don’t give a shit what year it is. And neither will you once you hear that bouncing bassline. There are a few bands who have tried to make grunge cool again but Demob have the best chance of them all. ‘Rattlesnake’ is much like the serpentine creature it’s named after; it draws you in with its hypnotic guitars and lo-fi buzz until you’re in a daze. That’s when it bites. And as its venom seeps through your body infecting every blood vessel, your fate is sealed, sending you into a frenzy.

Soccer96 – Call To Arms

From: Brighton/London

Soccer96 sounds like a smorgasbord of 16-bit bloops and beeps filtered through a Gameboy soundboard with equally nerdy levels of math-rock beats. Consisted of Danalogue from last month’s star pick DA-10 and Beatamax, Soccer96 weave a charmingly funky tune that wouldn’t sound amiss as the soundtrack to a Nintendo-themed party. You’d think then that ‘Call To Arms’ might only appeal to the geekiest of hipsters – and in truth, it will – but most of you will find it irresistible to dance to this infectiously fun tune. What’s not to like about a bouncing, goomba-stomping track that gleams at you?

Kill Moon – Shine

From: Brighton

This noise-rock four-piece don’t actually want to destroy our moon (or do they?) but they are making significant steps towards musical acclaim despite only forming last year. There’s no doubt that there is plenty of progression left in their sound; ‘Shine’ shows off the grungier side of their sound with scuzzy guitars while reverb filters gives it a delicate edge. Izzy (vocals/guitars) controls this track much better than their older tune ‘Jupiter’ and is surely a sign of their growing confidence. Just don’t go mad with power and blow up our moon…please.

Luo – Aardvarks

From: Brighton

Sound scientist Josh Trinnaman loves to experiment with noise and is always looking for a resonance that enthrals. With Jake Keeble and Rik Coe alongside him during live sets, Luo weave wonderfully textured tracks full of intricate avenues to explore. ‘Aardvarks’ begins serenely but it’s not long before haunting hums and echoes elevate the track to a spectral level. The glitchy beats are masterful while eerie vocal samples stop you from getting too comfortable. It builds rather patiently and when you get to the heart, the manipulation of the many layers is thoughtfully considered. You’ll be lost in the snaring rhythm and dazzling noises for days so be careful.

Tigercub – Little Rope

From: Brighton

With its steady beat and angular guitars, ‘Little Rope’ may not immediately grab your attention but the mildy fuzzy grunge sensibilities grow and swell until it bursts towards the end. And when it does, the tune erupts with the kind of distorted vigour along with enough poppy accents that melts young women into a sloppy mess. That’s exactly what the three-piece will be doing right now whilst on tour with Dinosaur Pile-Up and if they can amp up their catchiness, the nation is going to become one big cleaning site.

Star Submission

Kins – Aimless

From: Brighton

Hailing from Brighton, Australia but now residing in Brighton, England; Kins have an icy-sharp aggression that stemmed from a strict religious upbringing. It’s not immediately obvious in their tracks but it makes much more sense live. I remember seeing them last year playing a very late secret gig at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar; it was perhaps 4am, if not later. Understandably, I was tired and my legs were weary but I’m not sure I’ve been woken up quicker. The quartet recently released four new tracks and it’s difficult to choose one that best represents Kins but ‘Aimless’ is probably their most accessible track with its warbling bassline and cold keys creating a dynamically chilled vibe that made The xx so popular.
(These are their four new tracks in a set and ‘Aimless’ is the second track. But I demand you to listen to the whole set. Oh and every track is downloadable for free!)

The SQ Showcase is our attempt to provide a platform for some of the best unsigned talent in Sussex. We’ve received tens of thousands of plays since launching this flagship feature in late 2011 and this year, we’re aiming for even bigger and better things.

To get involved, submit your tracks here, or send a message on Facebook with a bio.

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Matt Yau

Matt Yau

Showcase Critic at SQ Magazine
Freelance music journalist with a reputation in Sussex for uncovering new music. Has led SQ Magazine's 'Showcase' since 2013. Obsessive thinker, habitual music listener and timid photographer.
Matt Yau

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