New Music Editor, Christian Northwood, bestows the summer with some longevity, via tracks from No Violet, Exam Season and Honey Moon.
If you’ve seen Bristol’s No Violet, there’s little chance of you forgetting it. The four-piece have a knack for dredging up dark sounds and squashing them together into razor-sharp hooks; an infusion of grunge and math, with tar-thick guitars clashing with head-spinning changes of pace. There are even flashes of psychedelia woven in, with chiming guitars and woozy melodies.
All this is somehow commanded by the incendiary vocals of Ellie Godwin and it’s this voice that grabs you on first listen. Like Dilly Dally’s Katie Monks, Godwin’s vocals seem constantly pushed to the edge, a serrated snarl that can cut through the band’s heaviest moments, before being reined back in a split second.
Their debut EP, Faces – released via Leisure Records – is a record of intricacies behind a wall of sludgy riffs. Closer, ‘She Goes Her Own Way’ encapsulates things perfectly. Dreamy guitar lines shimmer whilst Godwin’s delicate vocal sways from side to side, before it all ramps into tight grooves and cacophonous noise, battling throughout against Godwin’s yell. One of the most enthralling bands in Bristol right now.
Ringwood’s only indie-emo four-piece, Exam Season are here and ready to pull on your heartstrings. Conceived a few years ago in singer and guitarist Ed Watson’s bedroom, the project’s debut EP Mostly Homely served as a twinkling collection of yearnful songs.
New EP, smol came out last month and expanded on their wistfulness and nostalgia, delivering a slew of angst-ridden pieces on growing up. Yazoo-ode and lead single ‘Strawberry Milk’ perfectly captures the frustrations of youth, flaunting a rare Los Campesinos-like ability to turn the mundane into something significant. Whatever aches you have, Exam Season are here to make them all better.
Honey Moon are crooning their way to the top. The Londoners have returned after a two-year gap and immediately delivered up one of the best singles of the year in ‘(Why Do You Think You’re So) Special’. It’s an absolute treat: a piece of retro-soul that emanates warmth from its lolloping bassline and falsetto vocals, rounded off perfectly by horns. The band take old pop sounds and warp them into something fully of the present, like Dexy’s Midnight Runners did at their best. That’s right, I went there.
Get more new music from Christian every Monday via Tracks of the Week.