I like the number 6. Big fan, always have been. It’s one half of the team that makes up my favourite number, that number being 26 fact fans. For this reason I’m also quite partial to an 8 when add them together. Why 26? I hear no one ask. Well, it’s my birthday. A friend of mine has often commented what that says about my levels of narcissism. I couldn’t begin to imagine what she means by that, but I imagine it says something similar to the opening paragraph of a feature designed to introduce new bands essentially involving discussion of myself and my favourite number.
Anyway, I like the number 6, and after this edition of PULSE I’m pretty sure you will too. We’ve got some good shit lined up for you in the following acts, and a good mix of styles too. Strap yourself in, and let’s go for a ride through the number six and find you some more favourite new music types.
The Good Morning Spider
If all spiders produced music like that of The Good Morning Spider, there’d be considerably fewer sufferers of arachnophobia in the world. The solo project of Swedish musician Viktor Rinneby creates a sound that really is perfect getting any day started off with a good morning. The perfect example of this comes via debut album Outergalactic. A debut that delivers a smoothly lethargic and chilled mix of lo-fi and psychedelia that sees gently fuzzed out instrumentation meet hushed and sleepy vocals.
That’s the good morning aspect explained, what about that spider? Well, to my ears the spider comes in the details of the layers, all intricate and multiple-legged as it wanders over you, kind of massaging you as it does so. I don’t know what I’m rambling on about, I’ve drunk too much coffee today, but the sound of The Good Morning Spider is perfect for lying dazed and confused and comfortingly warm morning sun.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
Rory Graham, aka Rag ‘n’ Bone man, is the sound rhythm and blues for the 21st century as his sound finds its roots planted firmly in the blues and soul soil of the past, the plant has flowered through modern hip hop and rap. For this reason you’ll find the backing to his raw and soulful croon sweeping subdued through crying, blues lead-guitar, rhythmic jazz piano, head-nodding hip hop beats, and modern production techniques that also evoke classic crackling soul.
The lyrics find the meeting point between modern rap themes and earliest sleaziest blues that portray a life of grime, aggressive attitude, guns and a thick weed fugue. The instrumentation is sweet brass and beats, but the real sell here is Graham’s distinctive vocals, soulful and smooth but cracked and gravelly with a hard life.
A six piece coming straight out of Brighton, or thereabouts, having been doing the rounds for a little while now, and when I say they’ve been doing the rounds, they really have. In the time together they’ve toured with the like of Beirut, First Aid Kit, and Sea of Bees, alongside selling out the launch show of their debut album Cadaques. Hell, they even played for Team USA in the 2012 Olympic Village, so it’s about time you wrapped those flaps of skin either side of your head around them.
The band have a distinct and cohesive but eclectic sound, as at any moment a song can pirouette through folk before jumping on a horse to gallop through a spaghetti western soundtrack and then deciding to go for a surf in the 60s. Oh, and all the while there are just vocal harmonies leading you along. It’s just… lovely. So very lovely.
The Cellar Door
I’m just going to stick with the six piece theme for a moment, as I introduce you to The Cellar Door; a young, Seattle-based, group who self-assert that they long to sing of fantastic things. Not only do they sing of fantastic things though, but they make fantastic music too. Though, perhaps I’d be more inclined to call it beautiful, or stunning.
It’s a well cited notion that the phrase ‘cellar door’ is considered to be one of the most audibly beautiful phrases in the English language, regardless of meaning, and it’s an appropriate name for this band to adopt. Though, the lyrical meanings here are just as gorgeous as the sprawling chamber pop this six piece dish out in lush, swinging layers, and genuinely gorgeous vocal harmonies. It’s been emotional.
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