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The ShortListen - October 2014

The ShortListen - October 2014

The ShortListen - October 2014
04 November 2013

Every day we'll search the globe to find the most interesting new track to give to your ears. Exclusives, remixes, hidden gem album tracks, long-awaited returns and brand new buzz tracks hot and fresh out the kitchen: you'll find them all here.

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist

October 31st

Who is it? Cherry Ghost

What's the story? If there was any justice, Cherry Ghost mainman Simon Aldred would be a national treasure on the same level as Guy Garvey. Their first album, Thirst For Romance, was a truly classic record, with their second, Beneath This Burning Shoreline, adding to their catalogue with aplomb. We're delighted to be able to premiere the video for the second single taken from their third opus, Herd Runners (out now), and, once again Aldred's big-hearted voice is on epic form. Glorious strings weave their way in and out of a truly uplifting track: if they get lucky with a well-timed sporting advert, they could be playing alongside Garvey et al sooner rather than later.

For fans of: Elbow, Super Furry Animals, Richard Hawley

In Three Words: Life-affirming Stuff

October 30th

Who is it? Greywind

What's the story? This is one of the more unexpectedly brilliant tracks we've featured recently. A delicate guitar intro sees angelic female vocals coming in over the top, before suddenly unleashing into a huge rock track out of nowhere. The band is Greywind - a brother/sister duo, Steph & Paul O'Sullivan, who hail from Ireland and - on the evidence of this - are poised for big things very soon.

For fans of: Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon, Jimmy Eat World

In Three Words: Haunting, Delicate, Atmospheric

October 29th

Who is it? ZZC

What's the story? Whatever the merits of Zane Lowe's controversial rescoring of the Drive soundtrack, it means that we're getting a host of new music from some great acts. And the latest to reveal their wares is ZZC - aka Simon Neill, Biffy Clyro's frontman. Where that band's last album, Opposites, was everything turned up to 11, this is the polar opposite: stripped back, subtle, eerie and with Neill's voice at its most fragile. Put simply, it's a fantastic piece of music - and you can imagine it fitting the film perfectly. Job done on both fronts then.

For fans of: UNKLE, Bon Iver, Daughter

In Three Words: Haunting, Delicate, Atmospheric

October 28th

Who is it? Ivy & Gold

What's the story? London duo Jamie Davies and Rachel Wilkinson have been building up an online presence over the last twelve months, culminating in this new video for Behind The Mask. It's an epic slice of dark synthpop, with Wilkinson's distinctive, strong and pure vocals shining through as the track builds around her. It's very London Grammar-esque, but also with the unashamed melodrama of Hurts. A rather excellent combination - hopefully this will get the attention it deserves.

For fans of: Hurts, London Grammar, Bat For Lashes

In Three Words: Powerful Dark Electronica

October 27th

Who is it? Låpsley

What's the story? Låpsley, aka Holly Fletcher, is an 18-year-old producer/singer from Liverpool, who's received a fair amount of hype; not surprising, seeing as she's already been signed to XL - home of Adele and The XX. And those two artists are the perfect reference points for this track, taken from a forthcoming EP. It's a gloriously late-night, relaxed, jazz-tinged piano ballad, minimal and muscular at the same time. If she keeps this up, it's hard not to see her making a huge breakthrough new year.

For fans of: The XX, Adele, London Grammar

In Three Words: Atmospheric Smokey Ballad

October 24th

Who is it? Oh Land

What's the story? The time is well overdue for Nanna Øland Fabricius - otherwise known as Oh Land - to make her break into the mainstream. The Danish artist has been gaining fans of the course of three excellent albums that experimented in twisted pop and electronica with an edge. Head Up High, the first track taken from fourth album Earth Sick, due in November, is more of the same: unashamedly pop but with enough strange sonic tricks and distinctive vocals to make it stand out from the crowd. A tour de force live, we recommend you investigate immediately.

For fans of: Tove Lo, Lykke Li, Annie

In Three Words: Twisted Pop Excellence

October 23rd

Who is it? Layla

What's the story? A perfect autumn track to play while the leaves are falling, this new track from London-based singer-songwriter Layla ups the ante from her previous few releases. A slow and sparse intro gives way to a swooning chorus, while the whole track has a lovely sense of dynamic rare in a lot of records these days. There's lovely instrumental touches throughout - urgent strings, plaintive piano and cooing background vocals - but Layla's delicate vocals are given plenty of room over the top. This is very good indeed.

For fans of: Lisa Hannigan, Cara Dillon, Laura Marling

In Three Words: Sweeping Chamber Indie

October 22nd

Who is it? Bring Me The Horizon

What's the story? Sheffield metallers Bring Me The Horizon are in their 10th year together and, having already amassed some pretty impressive sales on both sides of the Atlantic, they're clearly going for the big time with the release of Drown, a standalone single to mark time before their forthcoming fifth album, due next year. It's an unashamedly epic-sounding record and the most commercial thing they've ever done - probably not a bad move given their date at Wembley Arena later this year. It's accompanied by a truly strange video, which shows they have a sense of humour to go along with all the introspection.

For fans of: 30 Seconds to Mars, Brand New, Linkin Park

In Three Words: Epic Melodic Metal

October 21st

Who is it? Zola Blood

What's the story? London four-piece Zola Blood have been picking up plaudits since they unveiled their first two tracks in July. Now, the remainder of their debut EP, Meridian, has emerged - and it confirms their status as a hugely exciting new band. Our favourite of the two newbies is Eyes Open, which opens with a pulsing Pink Floyd meets Moroder-esque arpeggiator before building and building, like the best tracks on the last Foals album, as vocalist Matt (surname unknown) sings plaintively on top. It will be very interesting to see where they go next - if they have a hit song waiting in the wings, they could be huge.

For fans of: Foals, SOHN, Pink Floyd

In Three Words: Haunting Analogue Pop

October 20th

Who is it? Tennis

What's the story? A nice slice of minimalist pop for a Monday morning; Tennis are a husband and wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, ably assisted by drummer James Barone. Their third album, Ritual in Repeat has just come out in the States, but won't emerge in the UK until next year - but for the meantime, they've released this excellently weird video for I'm Calling, which doesn't make too much sense, but is nicely unsettling and features some great dancing. The track itself is like a sad, wistful, but still groovy Hall & Oates, and you can't go too wrong with that. And a bonus tip - their website is well worth a visit.

For fans of: Haim, Hall & Oates. Haim, Jenny Lewis

In Three Words: Quirky Minimal Pop

October 17th

Who is it? Foo Fighters

What's the story? The first taste of forthcoming album Sonic Highways; for once, the Foo Fighters first single doesn't sound like a Gillette commercial. A few Beatles-meets-Soundgarden verses give way to a funky bridge, which wouldn't sound out of place on a Stevie Wonder track. Three minutes in, though, and the Foos can't hold it back any longer, with an explosive ending, big riffing and Dave's unmistakable howl seeing the track out. The band are clearly not treading water - this is a great portent of things to come.

For fans of: Beatles, Biffy Clyro, Soundgarden

In Three Words: Excellent Epic Comeback

October 16th

Who is it? Blossom

What's the story? Taking mystery to a whole new level, we know absolutely nothing about this band, other than they're from the UK, this is their first release, and it's very good indeed. It's a heady, swirling mix of Pixies and a heavier Stone Roses, with plenty of classic indie reverb-soaked drums and vocals buried in the mix under a wall of guitars. Anthemic, 'my generation' lyrics are present and correct, and the whole thing is delivered with a total belief, as well as a truly psychedelic video. If the NME haven't declared this lot the saviours of British music within the month, then we'll be amazed.

For fans of: Pixies, Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine

In Three Words: Epic Fuzz Rock

October 15th

Who is it? Honne

What's the story? We first featured this West Country duo back in July, with their slinky debut track Warm on a Cold Night. That went on to score 250,000 Soundcloud plays and get them a considerable amount of attention. Now they release new track All In The Value, and it's another classy slab of late night, laid-back R&B. The opening verse is almost horizontal, before a great chorus kicks in. The highlight though: a truly spectacular retro shred guitar solo in the middle 8. Quality stuff that's massively reminiscent of the intro of this forgotten Grosvenor classic. Quality stuff.

For fans of: Grosvenor, D'Angelo, Frank Ocean

In Three Words: Slinky R&B Goodness

October 14th

Who is it? Gemma Hayes

What's the story? Irish artist Gemma Hayes has been doing great things for over a decade now, and the first taste of her fifth studio album is no exception. Going for the sensitive side of her range, rather than the noisier stuff, Chasing weaves and wedges its way into your head, with Hayes' soft vocals luring you in as the song builds and builds. Electronic touches throughout give some nice ear candy before a nicely euphoric last 45 seconds or so. The album, Bones + Longing is due November 17 and should be well worth investigating.

For fans of: Lisa Hannigan, Pure Bathing Culture, Kate Bush

In Three Words: Hypnotic and beautiful

October 13th

Who is it? The Night VI

What's the story? Appropriately, the new song, Heroine, from London-based six-piece The Night VI, is pretty catchy. It's a classy slab of mid-tempo groove, which owes an obvious debt to Fleetwood Mac, with its Jon McVie bassline holding everything together - but there's also elements of Empire Of The Sun and Gypsy & The Cat to bring it up-to-date. It's deceptively simple, but you'll be hitting that repeat button over and over before you know it.

For fans of: Fleetwood Mac, Empire of the Sun, Foxes

In Three Words: Laidback, midtempo anthem

October 10th

Who is it? Ronika

What's the story? After suffering delays in releasing her excellent debut album Selectadisc, which finally emerged in May earlier this year, retro-future-disco queen Ronika is clearly making up for lost time, issuing brand new single Marathon yesterday. Her trademark sound is still intact, but it's bursting with ideas - squelchy bass, funk guitar, synth stabs all over the shop, plus a key change thrown in for good measure. There's almost a little too much going on, but it makes sense with repeated listenings and it's all held together by a classic 80s disco chorus. We'd like to see someone try and run a marathon with just this song playing on loop. Someone take the challenge?

For fans of: Chaka Khan, Madonna, Freez

In Three Words: Retro future disco

October 9th

Who is it? Kate Havnevik

What's the story? Ever since Sledgehammer, it's a truth universally acknowledged that you can't beat a good stop-motion video and - in a post-Gotye world - particularly one that involves body paint. Thus we approve wholeheartedly of the new video from Norwegian artist Kate Havnevik, who unveils the second track from her forthcoming third album, due to land in February next year. The track itself is an excellent dark trip-hop effort which wouldn't have been out of place on Massive Attack's Mezzanine or 100th Window, contrasting nicely with the Jonsi-style bounce of previous track Micronation. Watch and enjoy.

For fans of: Massive Attack, Tracey Thorn, Portishead

In Three Words: Nordic Trip Hop

October 8th

Who is it?Fractures

What's the story? It's a rainy Wednesday, Autumn is coming - so there's no better time for a bit of blissful, introspective, slow-moving music to accompany it. And luckily, Melbourne-based Mark Zito - aka Fractures - is here to provide it for you with his latest track, It's Alright. As well as being a beautiful track, the accompanying video is a fascinating short film exploring the Ukrainian ghost town Pripyat - abandoned since the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986; the featured character retraces his childhood steps to incredibly moving effect. Superb all round.

For fans of: Bon Iver, The Acid, The Album Leaf

In Three Words: Moving and beautiful

October 7th

Who is it?James Bay

What's the story? There's a glut of good new singer-songwriters coming through at the moment, and you can add 22 year-old Hitchin via Brighton artist James Bay to that list. He's currently supporting ShortListen fave Hozier on tour and he's unveiled Hold Back The River to celebrate. It's a classy piece of songwriting with a huge chorus - but it doesn't rush to get there, building nicely and organically. You can imagine this all over the radio; if you don't hear him on Radio 1 pretty soon we'd be surprised.

For fans of: Hozier, James Morrison, Alex Vargas

In Three Words: Soulful singer-songwriter

October 6th

Who is it?Milo Greene

What's the story? LA 5-piece Milo Greene feature not one, not two, not three, but four lead singers. With that many egos it's amazing that they've made it on to their second album, but they have - and this fantastic track is the first to emerge from it. Appropriately, there's some serious Fleetwood Mac/Haim vibes, as well as overtones of Solange's Losing You - a track which seems to have influenced a huge amount of music made in the last two years. It's an immaculate slice of laid-back groove-based indie pop; Control, the album, is released in January and should be well worth a listen.

For fans of: Fleetwood Mac, Haim, Solange

In Three Words: West Coast Pop

October 3rd

Who is it?Mary J. Blige

What's the story? The legendary soul queen is experiencing something of a renaissance recently having featured on the reworked version of Disclosure's F For You to great effect. Since then, she's been busy recording The London Sessions, where she's collaborated with Brit artists including Sam Smith (who features on this track) and (of course - she's never one to miss an invite) Emilé Sande. This song was produced by UK Garage man MJ Cole, who's also come back into fashion in the last few years - and a fantastic job he's done, with a gorgeous rhodes, a gentle house beat that threatens to kick off but never does and a general allowance for Blige to take centre stage. Enjoy.

For fans of: Disclosure, Artful Dodger, Jess Glynne

In Three Words: Understated Soulful House

October 2nd

Who is it?Gordi

What's the story? Gordi is a 21 year-old Sydney-based singer-songwriter and, on the basis of this enchanting debut track, an incredibly talented one. Nothing's As It Seems is an apt title for a track that begins with breezy guitar strumming and a minimal beat, before it grows and grows, with layers of vocals giving a Fleetwood Mac tinge, then at 1:30, a gorgeous low synth takes it into genuinely haunting territory. A standard singer-songwriter Gordi is not: this is great stuff.

For fans of: Fleetwood Mac, Laura Marling, Joni Mitchell

In Three Words: Bewitching Indie Folk

October 1st

Who is it?The Sunshine Underground

What's the story? We premiered the return of Leeds trio The Sunshine Underground back in March, now they pop back up with a new video for the latest single Start. The first three minutes blast by in an indie-techno fashion before it really soars in the final 90 seconds: it's an Ibizan anthem with a suitable accompanying visual, so if you want to keep summer going that little bit longer then get watching and catch them live - they tour the UK through to the end of October.

For fans of: The Whip, Hot Chip, Depeche Mode

In Three Words: Blast Of Sunshine

For more top tunes, check out our previous choices below - just click on the link:













(Image: Flickr/Steven Snodgrass)