“Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” by The Savman
The soft piano opening is brought to an abrupt end by the sound of a gong – a bold move that pays off as “Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” by The Savman quickly shifts up a gear and continues to grow into something spectacular. The gritty guitars add some teeth, musically, to go along with the wry lyrics: we particularly love the line ‘like a crooked tory, in his might and glory‘ – with ‘tory’ being an old Irish insult. We feel this adds some real character to the song, taking it all up a notch. The icing on the cake is then the second-half of the song: this really had us hooked, with its catchy chord progression along with a melodic rock guitar solo. Ultimately if this doesn’t win you over at first, then we guarantee it’ll be a grower than you’ll love after a few repeat listens.
“Oh lala… Comme ci, comme ça” by Valerya
A fabulous song that could make the sun shine on the stormiest of days: lovely vocals with a superb tone deliver the French lyrics transporting us, in our minds eye, to the streets of Paris with blues skies and warm sunshine. “Oh lala… Comme ci, comme ça” by Valerya has tonnes of personality, and a multitude of musical layers: we detect a harpsicord, piano, warm bass, syncopated guitar and, of course, strings. All of these layers work together flawlessly, creating a rich sonic tapestry, over which the vocals dance over spryly, radiating pure joy as they do so. The perfect soundtrack for the warmer, sunnier days that spring brings.
“Feathers” by Deano
Beautiful acoustic guitar sets the groundwork for the song. Sparse piano then further elevates the heart-warmingly emotional song. “Feathers” by Deano is proudly simplistic in structure, which allows the listener to bask in the wonderful melodies without distraction. The lyrics come straight from the heart and are delivered with passion. At times we pick up elements of artists such as The Walla Recovery and Green River Ordinance – we’re fans of both and appreciate the direction that this song has gone. A lovely composition with a heartfelt message.
“Lizard People” by The Qwarks
A stupendously fun song by a band that knows how to combine great music with an equally creative music video – a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour for us all to benefit from. “Lizard People” by The Qwarks takes fuzzy rock grooves and combines them with quintessential British charm – the end result is a song that carries elements of vintage British rock musically, paired with more up-to-date lyrical influences, i.e. of the growth in the belief of lizard people living amongst us. A great song to listen to, and even more fun to watch.
“Perfect Storm” by Amelia Coburn
Deftly taking influence from bhangra music and combining it with traditional English-folk, Amelia creates a vibrant sonic work of art. “Perfect Storm” by Amelia Coburn features enchanting vocals and layers of instruments: from Indian tablas and sitar to Celtic mandolins, the melodies twist and turn whilst the polyrhythm percussion maintains an energy that is then matched by the captivating vocals – Amelia has a timbre filled with character; we love the way she says ‘butter’ in the song, which lets her own personality and identity shine through. As big folk fans ourselves (particularly of artists like Wildwood Kin and The Levellers) we love this and, quite confidently predict, that this will sit as one of our all-time favourite songs from this year; when we look back in December we’re quite sure that this will still remain at the forefront of our memory.