The final episode of The Sound Sniffer’s Lockdown Mixtape is here. It’s been a mad month, I’ve probably been out of my house for a grand total of thirty hours on the whole. A month adhering to the rules, listening to music, writing and playing a bit of hurling in the field up the road – it hasn’t been that bad but I’m delighted it’s over. Hopefully December will be a special month for everybody – Welcome to the final instalment of the mixtape, I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and found some decent tunes in there.
Charlotte Lansman/ Blind
Some soul vocals from Bristol-born singer Charlotte Lansman to set the tone in this, our final Sniffer’s lockdown mixtape of the year (and hopefully…ever). Blind has one hell of a catchy chorus, the whole song builds up to the chorus and when it hits, you will be wondering where you’ve heard the song before. You haven’t – it’s just one of those infectious ones, the ones that stick. Fantastic work from Charlotte here – a lovely opening track for the day’s musings.
Napri & Rem’s World / Overlooking The Square
Ah here now, is this the best instrumental Hip-Hop beat of 2020? I think it might just be. I’ve spent pretty much the whole year sorting through around ‘n’ about a thousand submissions in this genre. I’m not joking nine hundred and ninety nine of them had sounds from the same downloaded sample pack and absolutely no originality. Could American duo Napri and Rem’s World have just cracked the formula and trend with Overlooking The Square. Chiming strings, wicked bass and supreme use of samples. Yes please.
Marie Naffah / Gabriel
Ah yes, a piano ballad, we haven’t had a piano ballad in ages. There’s something uniquely enchanting about a stripped-down song when it’s performed correctly. Marie Naffah hits the nail on the head with her brand new single Gabriel. The melodic flow of her lyrics in the verses reminds me of the conversational style of Alaska’s Quinn Christopherson (the song about his Dad he performed on NPR especially). Naffah’s words are uttered with great clarity and emotion. This is a wonderful song to accompany my piping hot cup of tea as I type this. Plus, I have an uncle called Gabriel so the theme fits some sort of personal narrative too – insightful journalism yes!
Under Islands / Steady
Some downtempo electronic here to add to the every growing list of features dedicated to this wonderfully emotive genre. Under Islands is the solo project of an Australian fella called Josh Marx and he successfully creates a mellow, reflective and totally absorbing soundscape with his new single, Steady. This is yet another track that fits into that same whimsical style of Kiasmos and Recondite. For one reason or another, this type of simplistic beat with repeated piano notes atop always does it for me. I get all weird and slightly emotional, not in a visible outburst kind of way, but rather where I withdraw and retract into deep thought. Downtempo, in a broad sense, is music for reflection and Under Islands is the latest creator to get the nod. Steady.
ASHE / Wintermute
We finish up The Sound Sniffer’s Lockdown Mixtape with a song sent into the blog from Deadmau5‘s ‘Mou5trap’ label. ASHE‘s barnstorming single Wintermute has all the roaring power you would expect to hear from something with a close affiliation with the legendary mouse-head-wearing producer. I remember when I was sixteen, a group of us from school managed to get tickets for Deadmau5’s gig at the O2 in Dublin. We weren’t wild children by any stretch, but the whole lot of us turned totally feral that night. We drank a whole schoolbag of illegally purchased alcohol outside the venue and were chain-smoking camel blue cigarettes like there was no tomorrow. Deadmau5 blew the whole arena away and the bass nearly killed us.
The aftermath of that gig was ridiculous! We were collected by one of the parents, each one of us were violently sick and one of the lads managed to arrive home to his Mum’s house topless and with two different shoes on (one a size eight nike – the other size eleven Reebok). It was a night that lived long in the memory for us raving mad teenagers a decade ago. Anyways, seeing Deadmau5’s name just reminded me of that night. ASHE is another top tier music maker. The synth-work here is outstanding, I’d love to hear Wintermute on a proper sound system.
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