SQ Magazine

The UK's Leading Independent Youth Culture Publication

LISTEN: The SQ Showcase – February ’14 Mix

Posted on Wednesday, 26 February by

With a new format for this year, it’s now even easier to enjoy music from the best new local bands. And this month brings you an eclectic playlist of ten titillating tracks to whet your appetite for the rest of the year.

We begin with a track from Brighton quartet The Sleepwalks. ‘Lost, Found & Lost Again’ opens like a Deerhunter track – subdued and patient. But as it grows, the distortion swells to a level that’s reminiscent of fellow Brightonians, TOY. For a new band, their sound is surprisingly refined with a keen taste for crystallised melodies. But don’t slouch back too much into their 80s-flecked shoegaze because two clowders of cats are about to pounce. ‘The Kids Today’ is a track from melodic indie-rock merchants The Clay Cats. Propped up by a steady motorik beat while sharp guitar lines provide the flair, it’s difficult not to notice their visceral attitude.

Four Dimensional Cat on the other hand like to occupy more psychedelic realms. Their eclectic Look Away EP peaks with the thoughtful title track. You’re lured in by cosmic melodies saturated in reverb that epitomises the progressive atmospherics before Ollie Denney’s vocals suddenly explode into a gruff but momentary croon. Armed with synths, effects pedals and a penchant for aggressive songwriting, The Chances will surprise you with its hard-hitting synth-rock. This is especially true with ‘Exist’; it lulls you into a false sense of security with its psychedelic intro that’s textured like a fuzzy dream. But before you know it, edgy guitars and searing drums shatter the calm into oblivion.

The electro-duo of Macaulay Hopwood and Roberta Fidora smash together a concoction of stampeding electro post-punk with a simmering taste of 80s industrial.”

It seems difficult to have a showcase without a grungy garage band. But this month’s representatives are a bit different. Their blend of hearty 90s alt-rock is tempered by flecks of catchy 00s indie-rock but delivered with consideration. And it’s all glued together by Sam BP’s (aka The Evil Son) charismatic croon. In terms of vitality, the playlist fillips here with Curxes’ ‘Avant-Guarded’. The electro-duo of Macaulay Hopwood and Roberta Fidora smash together a concoction of stampeding electro post-punk with a simmering taste of 80s industrial. Then there’s Roberta’s vigorous vocals that manages to rise above the instrumentation with ease.

‘A Boxer Broke My Best Friend’s Jaw’ is the closing track from The New Tusk’s Tropical EP. It has just the right amount of distortion and is surprisingly melodic compared to the rest of the EP whilst remaining raw but not brackish. Michael A Grammar brings a hazy aesthetic that isn’t too dissimilar from fellow label-mates (Melodic) Patterns. Their inviting sound is full of shimmering guitars that beguile and motorik beats that knit their foggy tones with surprising clarity. People are going to notice when these guys release their LP.

A Lily’s organic and electronic elements aren’t in a conflict; it’s an intimate embrace more eye-opening than you could possibly imagine.”

Momotaro have just released their debut LP Second Side and closing track ‘Lucky Window’ is a particularly memorable highlight. It has a wonderful blend of light and dark elements emphasised by the contrast between a glossy guitar and a thick, 80s influenced bassline. It gives the track a cathartic quality made certain by the soulful vocals.

We end the playlist with A Lily’s blissful world of pacifying folk. Intricate instrumentation is considerately arranged in a manner that contrasts light and dark. But the organic and electronic elements aren’t in a conflict; it’s an intimate embrace more eye-opening than you could possibly imagine. A full-length album is imminent and we can’t wait to hear it.

01 SQ Showcase Blog Artwork February

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Want your track in next month’s SQ Showcase? Submit your track to our critic Matthew Yau with the subject: Showcase to matt@sqmagazine.co.uk

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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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