One of the finest and underrated songwriters in the UK, Jess Kemp, has released her summer hit ‘Don’t You Cry’, a feelgood track if ever there was one. An established live performer, who is playing at our Indie All Dayer this September, Kemp has been dubbed by us here at Our Sound Music as the ‘female Ed Sheeran’ and for good reason. Her output so far has been nothing short of incredible, and this latest release, ‘Don’t You Cry’ adds to her impressive catalogue. With atmospheric tropical synth, this 80’s inspired track is full of Jess Kemp’s signature vocal delivery and from the very first listen, proven to be a catchy, summer-vibe heavy release. ‘Don’t You Cry’ is our Single Of The Week.
This week’s Single Reviews are a special bumper edition as I actually missed a week last week for the first time since the website launched in late May 2020. For the record, last week’s Single Of The Week was the excellent ‘Not My Girl’ from Murmurs which was revealed as such on our podcast. The Liverpool band has a new song out at the end of the month which is even better, making Murmurs one of the most exciting new bands in a long time...Alt-rock songwriter Edward Sansom has released ‘Suck It Up’, a thunderous, hard rock track that makes good use of the tried and tested quiet/loud/quiet dynamic. With dark and melodic turns of phrase, ‘Suck It Up’ is a welcome introduction to Sansom’s music...The Jonny Ash Band released the demo of ‘Lads Don’t Dance’ a while ago and as usual from this trio, it is nothing short of astounding. Also performing at our Indie All Dayer in September, this Welsh mob has gained a lot of traction since we first discovered them over a year ago. ‘Lads Don’t Dance’ is a raucous, rock n roll tune with the band for the first time employing a more direct, storytelling lyrical approach. The lead guitar doesn’t let up and is the main hook in this pedal-to-the floor three minute aural assault…’Wolves’ is the new release from Mad Hatter’s Daughter, the second single to be taken from their forthcoming album ‘Where Are We Runnin’’. An alluring vocal and glam rock overtones help to create an exhilarating release that was produced by Jeremy Murphy (Adele, Mumford & Sons)...Future Colours bring us ‘Stopclocks’, a well produced and anthemic song from the duo. The little guitar riff in the bridge is something to behold; this emotional release is huge in scope and wouldn’t sound out of place in an arena setting...SHADE are a band on the cusp of something special with a sold out headline show in Manchester next month and their fourth release, ‘Test Of Time’ further impressing us. Following up from the previous ‘Jump Into Heaven’, this new single is a moody affair that escapes from the traditional North-West indie-rock formula. With a sing-along chorus and the fastest lead guitar you’ll ever hear, ‘Test Of Time’ is masterful...The South-East London based Pat Spencer brings us the Jamie T inspired ‘2 Pints Of Stella’. This debut release is lyrically clever and relevant, as well as being entirely relatable. With everything created entirely by himself from the recording of the song down to the production, ‘2 Pints Of Stella’ is a welcome introduction to the passionate world of Pat Spencer, making him one to watch for the future…’Going In Blind’, the debut EP from Jessica Luise is out now. Lead track ‘a.m.’ is a previous single release - melancholic and emotional in equal measure, it is quite frankly nothing short of brilliant. ‘Stargaze’ is a pop delight that is one of the earliest songs that the Manchester-based performer has written while ‘Turn Back Time showcases Luise’s vocal range. Final track ‘Bedroom’ winds down the EP, an acoustic song that really showcases her incredibly captivating vocal tone. ‘Going In Blind’ is a memorable and altogether strong EP release...Award winning five-piece Five Days North bring us the smoothly produced and catchy ‘Champagne Shots’, an euphoric song that draws from classic 80’s music as much as it does from contemporary indie-synth rock. ‘Champagne Shots’ has no pretensions at all and this is the sound of a band who know who they are and where they are going. A sure-fire addition to any summer playlist...The incredibly personable BAXTR are back this week with ‘In Pop We Trust’, their strongest release to date, which is quite the accolade as their three previous releases have been covered favourably by us in the past. The kitsch, proud and self-confessed nerdy trio have produced a delightful off-kilter pop track that as the lyrics state, “there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure” - this is lyrically smart, moving at a whirlwind pace and there’s certainly no guilt in the pleasure we have derived from this less than three minute cutting edge pop anthem…’When In Rome’ by Muddy Elephant is up next, a track about falling in love, packing up and running away on holiday. The North-West based quartet have previously played at Jimmy’s in Manchester and even had previous work played on ITV’s ‘This Morning’. ‘When In Rome’ begins with a tropical sounding intro, the lyrics and catchy chorus cementing the release as endearing, upbeat indie-pop that is tailor made for the summer months...DARLINGs, who took our Single Of The Week a couple of weeks ago with ‘The Devil’, have put out their ‘Glitter Years’ EP which includes the aforementioned song as the lead track. We have written a ton about ‘The Devil’ previously but needless to say it is a 80’s synth inspired modern classic. Second track ‘Sullen Light’ starts teasingly and is a more sombre affair with confident vocal delivery. ‘Performance Flawed’ brings a solid beat and pushes the band’s post-punk influences to the fore. EP closer ‘Hourglass’ is as close lyrically to a love song we will get from DARLINGs, albeit with a catchy pumping chorus. The ‘Glitter Years’ EP is an enthralling collection of songs that as well as being released digitally is also available on vinyl…’Spinning’ by Jody & The Jerms is the hard-working band’s new clap-along release, and one of their strongest to date. Releasing a slew of singles and an EP during the pandemic, ‘Spinning’ is The Bangles in 2021 - perfect female-fronted guitar pop...Finally and by no means least we have Scottish singer-songwriter Brian Cattigan who has already had strong support for his ‘Tell Me Something’ release, with it hitting the top ten of the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. It isn’t difficult to hear why. This stripped back yet full-sounding acoustic song has a strong melody with an authentic vocal. This is classic songwriting - raw, real and with lyrics that demand attention. Teasing a faster pace in places, it is exciting to imagine what else is to come from this talented individual.
With the imminent return of restriction-free live music, our Indie All Dayer in Hull is going to have an atmosphere like no other. Visit here for the line-up and ticket info.