Who knew I’d actually manage to stick out fifteen episodes of the Lockdown Mixtape and there’s one more in the pipeline for tomorrow too. Over the course of lockdown 2.0, seventy five songs have been reviewed and dissected within this manic feature. It’s been a challenging time for us all, thankfully between a couple of writing assignments and this mad collection of music reviews, I’ve managed to keep relatively sane. Welcome to the penultimate episode of The Sound Sniffer’s Lockdown Mixtape – This is episode fifteen.
Digging For Kanky – Plastic
There’s no better place to start than Digging For Kanky‘s new single Plastic. I was in a reflective, slightly moody mood a couple of weeks ago when I first heard this tune. It fit the form I was in perfectly. The song is a total mood in itself – cutting things right back to the rawest form possible – these lads have released a ruggedly genius song, it may not be everyone’s cuppa, but it certainly is my kind of blend!
Stripped and basic acoustic guitar accompanies the initial vocals – these vocals are quite infectious too, I may add. A subtle background bass note or two accompany the rap verse and continue on throughout to give it a cinematic depth – that is all, the song hasn’t got much else going on – it’s genius. I’ve always been a fan of stripped-back, raw tunes – forget electronic crescendos and over-complicated cadences for three minutes and enjoy the mellow, atmospheric mood of North Manchester’s Digging For Kanky! Outstanding video too – some sort of drug trip – an eerie and mentally unbalanced set of visuals.
Post Pines / The Fall
At first I was dead sure this was some sort of side project featuring Future Island’s eclectic front-man Sam Herring. There have been a couple of off-shoots from the Baltimore band floating through the submissions this year, one example being his bass player’s solo ambient releases. Anyway, I don’t know why I’m still typing about Future Islands, the vocal tone is pretty much the only slight reference point. This is the music of Swedish duo Post Pines and it’s totally enchanting.
The Fall is introduced to us in a mellow way which quickly expands into one of those whimsical, epic indie drum and bass fusion tracks. A wash of well constructed harmonies and supreme beatwork work in tandem here to create a melancholic soundscape worthy of any long winter’s journey. Next time you are on a train, turn to the window, turn this tune on and enjoy! A tune best served travelling at one hundred miles an hour through the countryside or urban jungle. Reflective.
Mickey Newball / Betting On Bad Weather
This is a cool song coming from a pretty cool guy. Mickey Newball is a new Californian indie who writes and records tunes in his rickety home studio. Betting on Bad Weather is his first ever single and it’s bloody brilliant. The song’s subject matter is pretty much a perfect accompaniment for 2020 – We’ve had our fair share of bad weather this year with the virus completely ruining whatever plans we may have had. I’ve begun betting on bad weather this year myself – Will I be allowed home for Christmas? Will I give the virus to my parents? Is it against to rules to see my friends? Mickey’s song is certainly written about his own personal life doubts but the overall theme resonates. I’ve just realised that his review has pretty much nothing to do with the actual song. You’ve got to trust that the song is good and give it a go, only the best make it here. It’s a stellar debut from a wonderful emerging DIY artist.
StanLei / Wake Up
Bristol born, Toulouse based songwriter StanLei is a diamond. It’s not often that I pretty much agree with every single lyric in a song – Wake Up is not only catchy as hell – it’s lyrically spot on, each word chiselled and sung with a supreme sense of sincerity. This is not just a song, this is a call to action and it’s calling people to act in the right way and for all the correct causes (listen below to understand what I’m waffling about). It’s not one bit radical, over-the-top or pushy, she is just shedding light on some world issues in a creative way – really cool work.
Having travelled around the globe as a nomadic seasonal worker, StanLei settled down in France along with just enough musical equipment necessary to construct her debut album (released April 2021) – I’m looking forward to hearing it. Wake Up is a gem.
NYAE NYAE / Growing Down
Ah it’s not like me not to include an electric tune in my lists – here’s one! This episode’s piece of electronic bliss comes from Hamburg based producer NYAE NYAE and features the words of Mara. The song is aimed at shedding light on the painfully tough undertaking of establishing roots and finding a place in life. I know how it feels as I was a wandering drifter for a couple of years in my early twenties, living in a London Hostel and in Groningen, Holland (without a job or a word of Dutch) – I think I’ve found my feet now, who knows? Growing Down is a well written electronic tune and is worthy of it’s place in today’s Mixtape. My laptop is acting the eejet, lagging and typing in slow motion right now so I’ll have to cut the episode here. Speak to you all again tomorrow.
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man 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 found in the blog’s submission inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE