After my little break from writing reviews, the work behind the scenes hasn’t stopped. I’ve been busy digging ditches in the garden, answering submissions and fixing some important SEO things for the site. Last week, it was a real struggle finding tunes to get behind. The unprecedented lockdown saw the rise of new musicians making tunes from home – the quality dried up briefly as a result. I actually downloaded GroovePad on my iPad and made a song myself, it doesn’t even sound half bad either!! That’s how accessible music making has become, but making good original sounding music is another story. It’s my job to find those gems and showcase them on here – I think these four UK based artists tick the right boxes.
Featuring music from: Betsy / Sandtimer / Fake Turins / Sunflower Thieves
Betsy / Behind Her Smile
Behind Her Smile was released yesterday and it’s already been played three times in my shuffle. The subtle whistling, sporadic brass elements and Betsy’s strong deep vocal tumble along pensively. This is one of them epic tunes with choral harmonies accompanying the vocalist and minimal instrumentation. In songs like these, the lead vocals are exposed and in the firing line. Betsy shines bright in this languid, relaxing and powerful piece. It doesn’t need crescendos of noise to tell this story – the minimal nature of the musical arrangement stands out.
The song deals with the theme of depression and anxiety – Betsy touches upon her emotions ‘Behind Her Smile’, to great effect. A solid tune from a strong and talented Welsh singer.
Sandtimer / Different Seas
Another really strong vocal performance to share up here – This time we get to enjoy the musical musings of London Based Indie group ‘Sandtimer‘. Different Seas is a thing of beauty from these lads, who are no strangers to the London underground gigging scene. Pre-lockdown, the lads were frequent visitors to The Gladstone Arms in Borough and were often booked at Sam Bowcher’s Bark gigs. If anyone is into the best indie/folk music London has to offer, please please check out the gigs Sam puts on down there. There weren’t many true music curators booking shows in london pre-lockdown, there will be even less post-corona.
I’m fairly convinced I took in a Sandtimer gig down in Borough last year – they are an extremely strong outfit. Their latest single Different Seas is powerful and emotive. This is another tune featured here that is simple in it’s construction of just piano melodies and vocals. The vocal delivery here has a stunning depth! The band was established in 2014 and consists of Rob Sword, Simon Thomas, Rachel Thomas and Alex Jackson. They have a steady amount of releases available to stream – this new one is certainly worth a listen – Gorgeous.
Fake Turins / LEGS
Ah yes, the collective who have quickly become the focal point of London’s alt underground music scene are back with some new grooves. If mythical rumours are to be believed, the band has up to two hundred and fifty creative members who rotate and shuffle around in packs. The collective are no strangers to unique sounds and instruments, they have been spotted experimenting around with homemade equipment on stage. Fake Turins are like an amazing musical roadshow and have graced many of London’s best music rooms (the ones big enough to fit them all in). No band will be hit harder than them when gigs get going after lockdown, keeping the countless band members separated on stage will be a challenge. Countless sheets of Plexiglas will have to erected around the city.
Their latest single LEGS was released last week and is filled with plucky sounds, intense words and fluttering brass notes. Their support gig with Miami Horror at the O2 Academy has been postponed until March ’21. Check out the new jingle LEGS below.
Sunflower Thieves / Hide and Seek
I actually found this duo on Twitter last week, their lovely harmonies stood out immediately. It didn’t take long for this little tune to become a staple in my music personal music playlist. Hide and Seek is the latest tune from the Leeds-Based pop folk duo, it chimes away nicely. Over the last few days, the weather has been quite unsettled down here in London – I’ve sat in most of the day and this tune has been a suitable accompaniment whilst staring out the window. It is melancholic, smooth and easy on the ear. I could definitely see their tunes being picked up for TV or cinema – it is mood music.
Check out Hide and Seek here – a nicely mellowed out soundscape.
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a music blog which is still only a baby – Founded and run by Kevin Coakley in early 2019. He is a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists we find in our submissions inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE