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Helsinki – Better Way

Helsinki

If you always trying to find more music that makes you feel good or reminds you of a good time, then you’ll be glad you came across Helsinki a four-piece from Ghent, Belgium, who definitely know how to enjoy themselves on stage.

This is a video of the track ‘Better Way‘ released last year as a single from their EP ‘The Band Not The City‘. It was shot at various locations on their Benelux tour last December. If you haven’t heard ‘Better Way‘ before, it’s a track that makes you want to use all manner of adjectives that aren’t typically a part of your vocabulary – words like “rollicking” and “boisterous”. It’s one of those rare radio-ready indie-rock cuts whose character and dynamism grab you from the get-go and, once done, beg the question: how far can these folks go?

Lead vocalist Thomas Vanelslander has an absolutely infectious tone to his vocals, Pim De Wolf’s bass blasts a chiming riff while the guitar playing by Joos Houwen rings in your mind as it bounces off the tight and lively drums which Ace Zec plays. It’s a belter of track enhanced by an awesome video, check it out below.

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Paisley – Changes

Paisley

Sometimes you only realise how good a track is when you get the opportunity to revisit it at a later date. A casing point is the track ‘Changes‘ from Dresden based indie-rock band Paisley, it was one of three tracks released by the band on their debut EP ‘….Introducing‘ in March last year. Since then, the band, Liam Floyd lead Vocals and Guitar, David Barth Lead Guitar, Fabian Catoni Bass and Luis Darko on Drums have been working hard to build up their fan-base through their live performances and have now released their first video for ‘Changes‘.

This track is a real powerhouse rocker in all senses, an explosive shot of tuneful, irresistible guitar rock that drops hooky guitar riffs, thunderous rhythms and an anthemic chorus. The guitars are particularly lively and enliven the track whenever they’re given centre-stage (which is quite a lot), the central riff is utterly addictive. The robust, commanding lead vocal of Liam Floyd reminds us a little of Alex Turner, it grabs hold of the track from the outset and never let’s go. Cleverly, Paisley manage to build up the rousing chorus to greater heights by stopping the sound dead for 5 seconds near the end, before launching it for the finale. If, as suspected, the band have stadium-filling in their sights, then this is the kind of track that should go down a storm in bigger venues.
Paisley is a band we are looking forward to hearing more from and hopefully get the opportunity to see live in the near future.

 


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Lost Winter

Sometimes the best songs are the most simple, uncomplicated ones. Lost Winter understand this and are the kind of band who have the uncanny ability to create melodies and lyrics that hit that sweet spot time and time again. After releasing four EPs (Winter, Summer, Spring and Autumn) in the last three years and now just a duo, Richard Westwood and Charlotte Francis have just released their debut album ‘Long Distance Journeys’ In a world where everything has to be intense, in your face, and hurtling along at 100mph it’s wonderful for an album to give you a feeling of being transported to wonderful place, where music tugs at the heartstrings.
The album is the bringing together of the influences and experiences of the band in the past year, Richard has recently taken an interest in the piano compositions of the talented Francis MacDonald, classical composer and drummer for Scottish band Teenage Fanclub and Charlotte has recently given birth to her son and the pregnancy inspired her poetic lyrics. Previous releases have been mainly based around electronic indie-pop, but the pair have laid themselves bare for their debut album, stripping their sound back to just a piano and the gorgeous vocals of Charlotte, with a slight sprinkling of strings.
The album leads with ‘Song of Love’ a spine tingling ballad, Charlotte’s heartfelt tones melt into the lush chords of the piano as she sings “Listen to my song of love, the one we have been dreaming of”. Flawlessly flowing from one track to the next, the lyrics are heartfelt and cleverly written, on ‘Walking Mind’ “Sleepless nights” are to compared to “Traffic Lights, turning red to green, up and down” Although the sound of strings is used sparingly, when heard on tracks ‘Hold On’ and ‘Is Anything Free’ along with gorgeous, subtle harmonies they gently lift the songs further. The album finishes with a flourish, the final track ‘Vanishing Light’ features bass and drums, but their low-key use only adds to the beauty of the track.
‘Long Distance Journeys’ leaks with passion,love and talent, and will have you reaching for the skip back button as you crave to listen again and again.

The album was released on August 28th and can be purchased from bandcamp


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Embers In Snow

One of our favourite artists of all time is the Cocteau Twins, who created ethereal soundscapes that were truly timeless . Nearly twenty years later another artist has released an EP that has grabbed our attention in the same way, the EP is ‘Foresight’ and the artist Embers In Snow. Although the sound is sparser, there is a greater atmospheric feel to the music, creating twenty-four minutes of uncompromising beauty and intelligence.
Embers in Snow is the single-man led musical project of 21 year old Songwriter/producer Rakat Zami, hailing from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and this five track EP has been in development for over a year.
The EP opens with ‘Locked Souls’, a track that drifts on a tranquil cloud of synth amidst gentle keys and some delicious pulsating ukulele strings. As the sound develops Zami’s lucid vocals and lyrics melt into the track as it slowly reaches a crescendo before gently fading away. Safira follows, a sublime piece of work that has been around for a while, but has never sounded better than on this EP. It soars on a fuller sound that captivates and entrances, wrapping its wings about you, sheltering you within this place of safety and fortifying the spirit for its inevitable re-emergence, stunning. Written by Tilok Adnan, the third track is The Gathering, and it sees Zami’s vocals, sung over an acoustic guitar, at their most confident, delivering poignant lyrics about holding on to the past. ‘Fall’ is possibly the weakest of the five tracks, only because of the standard of the other four, it delivers a song from the heart with it’s clever well-written lyrics. The final track is ‘Bonfire’ a song that brought Embers In Snow to our attention, a beguiling, almost haunting track with delicate vocals sung by Tilok Adnan, supported by a sparse, minimal arrangement giving it a sense of mesmerizing beauty.
Some people may call this EP “ambient” but that is misleading. Ambient music is intended to function as a backdrop, but these original five tracks demand and reward close attention. Every listen it gets better and better. An artist with a great future in front of him and a wonderful vision for his music.