Tying together elements of hip-hop, pop and electronic sounds Strong Asian Mothers have created a beautiful, rich and textured soundscape as the basis for their new single ‘Hard to Find’.
The single is a follow up to their previous EP releases ‘Lynx Africa’ and ‘Animal‘ which gained a strong following from fans and critics alike.
‘Hard to Find’ is a catchy and instantly pleasing follow up to previous work and is bound to push them nearer to the mainstream. Vocally it’s an appealing, smooth and soulful vocal which sits somewhere between a simpler Nick Mulvey or a safer James Blake. It’s a calm but enchanting tone which never strays too far from where it starts with a careful use of double tracking and harmonies in parts.
Musically it’s simple but effective. There is nothing unnecessary about the production or arrangement with enough going on to keep you gripped from start to finish. The catchy synth riff and smooth bass line coupled with the repeated piano parts are set against a lovely simple but repetitive drum part and lovely pad like textures. They’ve definitely worked on the idea that simple is best, all parts do a job and set out to hep in bringing out the feel of the vocals.
Sounds like: Phoenix, Bombay Bicycle Club
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Written by Pat Dooner
Jagara are three sisters from London making genre-bending mature pop music, or so their press release says.
When reviewing music, we usually enjoy having a good listen through what we get sent before we even cast our eyes on what we’re supposed to think about it, so putting the press release out of mind is a good starting point.
On first listen nothing about their new single ‘Real Love’ drags us in, then nothing is making us switch off either. Musically it is quite simple with an under-produced feel (in a good way), good arrangements with a strange and interesting appeal. There is a vague but pleasing sense of familiarity and that coupled with that by the third and fourth listens the vocals begin to become really catchy means that we can see how this three piece are building up a great reputation.
Jagara have recently been on tour supporting Bastille on their sold out arena tour and we can see and hear the link to a group like Bastille, and fans of Bastille will definitely be on board, even though we feel ‘Real Love’ displays a more pleasant subtlety to it than most of what we’ve heard from Bastille.
There are definite elements of past pop triumphs with plenty of influences rooted in the 80’s but Jagara have used only hints of these to give a sense of something you might know and their abilities as writers and musicians carry these through to make a good, albeit slightly uninspiring piece of music. On the whole ‘Real Love’ will no doubt push Jagara further to where they need to be, it’s catchy, it’s poppy, it’s familiar but it isn’t pushing the boundaries of their abilities let alone the boundaries of music. We feel there is much more to come from Jagara and we’re really looking forward to hearing how the next single or two develops from here.
Sounds like: Shura, Bastille, New Order, Grimes, Blondie
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Written by Pat Dooner
Some songs, while being well made and well put together, just don’t do it, they don’t hit you, they don’t catch you and pull you in. Some grow on you and with time give you more pleasure than you initially expected but some you feel so disconnected from that you just don’t listen again.
Sadly we’re all part of this world where immediacy counts, people need instant gratification from everything in their lives and if it isn’t instant then it’s on to the next. Weirdly sometimes a song that could be classed as timeless and a song that eventually becomes irritating and subsequently stale will both share that ability to grab you and pull you in to it’s enchanting rhythms from the very start.
‘Every Teardrop’ by the Munich-based duo Aggressive Swans is one of those songs. There is something about its simple, yet driving baseline that really appeals. It has a really simple and understated quality with enough poppy appeal to keep you humming the melody for quite a while.
It’s definitely pop, but it’s got more of an edge than your run of the mill pop song. The instrumentation says 80’s but the feel, fluidity and and space between the melody says more 70’s pop. Either way if you’ll either be drawn into it’s immediate pop charm and subsequently find it either timeless or irritating after a while or you won’t. We suspect we’re going to be closer to the first rather than the latter.
Sounds like: Foals, Modern Talking, Arcade Fire
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Written by Pat Dooner