Spanish musical renegade Ghouljaboy is shaping the sound of genre-fluid DIY for a new generation.
Ghouljaboy has ideas. The Spanish musician has seamlessly moved from the trap music he first emerged with back in 2019, into a more natural fit of popping bedroom indie. But these distinctions are just the surface of what Ghouljaboy is all about.
Under this moniker - derived from Sui Ishida's Ghouljaboy series – Jordi Arroyo’s musical creativity finds its home. His initial trap releases came unde...
LA-based rapper, producer and general creative type The Koreatown Oddity has long been a proponent of standing out.
After starting out as a comedian, Dominique Purdy later emerged with a voracious output appetite with an enviable list of mixtapes and albums, including 2020's excellent Little Dominique's Nosebleed – an autobiographically presented album based around a childhood incident. Following up on this cult favourite was always going to be a task.
On ISTHISFORREAL?, his ...
The music of Saddest Factory signee Charlie Hickey is a flickering snapshot of his life.
The moment he was born, Charlie Hickey was surrounded by music. Raised in Pasadena, California, his parents are the “neurotic musicians” he sings of on “Mid Air”, the third track on debut album Nervous at Night. “I listened to them play around the house or watched footage of them playing in their bands,” he recalls. “I think I am very influenced by that. And they're both great songwriters in their own rig...
Label: Columbia Records
Released: 8th April 2022
Everyone’s favourite rootinest, tootinest masked cowboy is back. This time he’s more open than a prairie on a hot summer’s day, readying the campfire stories of the life he’s been living.
Having been drip-feeding pieces – or chapters – of his follow up to 2019’s ‘Pony’, ‘Bronco’ picks up where its predecessor left off. The rollicking ‘Daytona Sand’ gallops into view, before relinquishing the pace up and settling in for a long canter through Orv...
Label: Communion Records
Released: 13th May 2022
Bear’s Den are just a lovely sort of band. Completely inoffensive, they’re a palate cleanser for a rough day; smatterings of sweetly mellowing piano and guitar blending into a stress antidote.
The folk duo certainly have their craft down to a tee, managing to balance the soft-handed touch of their twee DNA with a deft bite that gives it a little kick up the backside. Indeed, it’s hard to take any issue with – but therein lies the problem.
Belgian trio BRUTUS are pushing themselves to the very limit.
Brutus have been whipping up a storm for a while now. Since 2017, the Belgian trio have been toting the kind of power that tears down houses and shapes landscapes. Yet, the biggest change has happened for its three core members – drummer and vocalist Stefanie Mannaerts, bassist Peter Mulders, and guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden – during the months when everything stood still.
Rearing its head while the trio were in the later stages o...
Weatherstate specialise in optimistic pop punk with super dark lyrics.
These are cynical times. Every day we’re overloaded with news and opinions, trying to decipher who’s speaking the truth, all while negativity slides into being the new norm.
Weatherstate’s debut album ‘Born A Cynic’ is here not to reflect upon society’s miseries, but to highlight our current state of mind - or at least that of vocalist and guitarist Harry Hoskins.
Ever since they appeared back in 2016 with debut EP ‘Dumbst...
Released: 8th July 2022
Light and airy, the debut from NoSo is ready to glide effortlessly into your heart.
Chocker with personal meaning, ‘Stay Proud Of Me’ lends itself to the bedroom origins of its pieces. The kind of gut spilling that only comes from feeling comfortable in your surroundings, the echoing melodies preaching inner peace while needing to confront external players.
Even when mastermind Abby Hwong strikes up a match and lets the sizzling embers engulf them (‘Hon...
The buzzy up-and-coming alt-popster has arrived with her debut album.
We've all had conversations with our inner selves. That mystical shadow inside us that narrates our every day, packaging up all our worries, hopes and dreams. Welcome to 'Dear Amelia', renforshort's inner person.
"It's like a personification because she's kind of a human form, but it's just like picturing that… if that makes sense?" she smiles. "I have it written down because I just spit it out of my head and expect it to m...
The Faim are getting ready for action. With their second outing 'Talk Talk', the Aussie four-piece are gearing up to introduce a new era.
For the past few years, globetrotting group The Faim have been firing ideas for their second album ‘Talk Talk’ at each other from Australia to LA. Working via remote sessions, the distance has only strengthened their bond. “[It’s] mainly because we’re all in the places we want to be,” founding bassist Stephen Beerkans explains. “There’s only so long you can...
Captured Tracks-signed JayWood is thriving with a sound built on community and the healing power of music.
Finding his feet in the landlocked city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, songwriter JayWood learned how music can not only be therapeutic but can also offer up a wealth of opportunity for a young boy from the Canadian Prairies. “A lot of creativity comes from Winnipeg because it's like staring at a blank wall long enough,” he explains to me. “Your brain will just start to fill it in, essentially.”...
ULTRAPOP: Live At The Masonic
Release date: 15 July 2022
Live albums are a magical thing. They can transport you; they can offer a band a second chance at showing their worth in their natural habitat; but mostly, they strip away any nonsense – even when nonsense is that bands game.
The Armed are a modern band with modern ideas. So much so that beyond being a rabble of hardcore smothering pop tendencies – particularly on the aptly named, 2021 release ULTRAPOP – they’re also a morphing manifest...
Proof that age is but a number, Anorak Patch may have caused an initial fuss in part because of just how young they were, but make no mistake – this lot more than make the grade on any metric.
Words: Steven Loftin. Photos: Geoff Lawrence.
Idly kicking a Coke can down the street on their way home isn’t an after school pastime for Effie Lawrence, Eleanor Helliwell, Oscar Ryland and Luca Ryland. No, their extracurricular activity is Anorak Patch.
With a brash wind of hypnotic vocals, darting gui...
Most people don’t start their second album before their first is even properly out, but Bartees Strange isn’t most people.
Words: Steven Loftin. Photo: Luke Piotrowski.
The story of Bartees Strange’s creative adventure is never-ending – at least until he decides as such. “It’s never-ending until I end it one day,” he chuckles. “I’ll be like, ‘That’s all I wanted to say’. But I’ve got a few more things first.”
Initially started in October 2020, just as his excellent debut ‘Live Forever’ was re...