Greg: Dreamy intro and really vibe-life video. It's clearly great production but isn't just that, it's a really good song. Reminds me of Moderat. After listening to it I feel: sad and also nice.
Chris: The glitchy rolling beat is a beauty and the track itself is a dark beast from start to finish with moments of euphoria when the piano kicks in. The video itself is filmed amazingly and it’s eye-catching. I’m a bit confused by the storyline but that’s fine with me! Overall a great song and I want to hear more.
Sam: Despite its long running time, this is a song that deserves time to unwind and flirt. Clapping, tense beats get you hooked while the emphatic and stunning vocals draw you deeply into the song. It is a sort of cross between James Blake and Orbital but it goes much further than that. I was more gripped by the compositional mood than the lyrics but, as a whole piece, it is one I will return to with intent and faith.
Ducks! – Pinprick In
Greg: This is wonky electronic pop and I like it thank you very much. I didn't expect a band called Ducks! to sound like this, but I'll get over it. After listening to it I feel: like visiting Berlin and attending a Ducks! gig.
Chris: Poptastic but also a highly sophisticated house-style banger with a fat synth bassline. Not sure I’m going to Berlin anytime soon but let’s hope they are coming to the UK! I want to say ‘wonky’ but Greg stole that one first!
Sam: I love the blend of Moloko-style house/electronica and the unique Ducks! exclamation. As I try to envisage the story, I am distracted and thrilled by the restless and mesmeric chorus. Not only can this get people dancing in Berlin clubs but its utilitarian vibes are perfect for luxurious beaches, sweaty festivals and intimate moments. What more could you ask for?
Zoe Konez - The Sweetest Thing Is Love
Greg: This is a lovely song. I'd hope to see it in a film. Piano is nice isn't it. This is good songwriting with no fat on it. After listening to it I feel: like trying to find love.
Chris: Zoe Konez just keeps climbing that songwriting hill in a perfect steady fashion. The chorus build up has is wonderful; touches of Imogen Heap come to mind. A new direction for Zoe Konez here and it’s a teaser for what’s to come.
Sam: I am familiar with Konez's work and can feel her growing in confidence with every step. A lush and yearning vocal carries endless tenderness and grace while the sterling and proud piano line drives the song forward. Mixing R&B, soul and pop into a mature-yet-youthful expression of love; expect this songwriter to go far and hit some big peaks.
Nerves – Fear & Dread
Greg: Here's some hefty rock music to enjoy. Not my usual thing but this is pretty belting and I like the vocals. After listening to it I feel: pretty angry.
Chris: It’s like getting way too drunk and waking with a banger of a brain ache. Then just when you think you’re back to normal you trip over and fall through a thorn bush backwards. Nice work Nerves. It’s intense and angry – what a belter!
Sam: The meaty and swaggering riff reminds me of Songs for the Deaf-era Queens of the Stone Age while the snarling vocals are punk-laced and ready to fight! Joining bands like Slaves, IDLES and Shame offering their own brand of grit-and-punch, this is a personal, catchy and individual number that will definitely NOT get on your nerves!
The Fleas - Sister
Greg: This is a pleasant song isn't it. Thought it was going to be midtempo pop, but it kinda bursts into Bloc Party drums with horns. I like it when the singer says “geography”. Not sure about the vocoder. After listening to it I feel: like getting my trumpet out the loft and learning to play it again.
Chris: The Fleas do know how to write a great pop song. Piers’ vocals are on point with an uber catchy chorus to match. Seriously a fantastic band and one of the best you can catch live this year.
Sam: It takes a little while for ‘Sister’ to get into its groove but the song soon gets underway! Little elements of, oddly, Prefab Sprout mix with delicious horns and affecting wordless coos. Maybe the percussion could have been mixed higher and given more weight but that is a minor grumble. ‘Sister’ is a great track I can see being played on a station like BBC Radio 6 Music very soon.
Words by Greg Sanderson, Chris Sharpe and Sam Liddicot