Since the turn of the year, I’ve found it hard to get back into the swing of the blogging again. For some reason my passionate, obsessive and rambling writing zone has been harder to access. In saying this, there has been an extortionate amount of songs submitted through the inbox. The show must go on regardless of whatever reflective, mundane and indifferent mood I’m in.
Thousands of musicians are now releasing their lockdown albums, EP’s and singles. Music is in full bloom again after 2020’s slowdown.
A new year brings with it a plethora of new talent to uncover. Some releases have been outstanding and others, less so. I don’t know if it’s by way of burn-out or something but I’ve been struggling to find really original, stand-out tracks in the stack. While we welcome thousands of new ‘lockdown – DIY’ musicians and artists to the world of Spotify and Amazon, the unprecedented influx makes it that bit harder to find those real goose-bump-inducing hidden gems.
Here is the latest episode of the Lockdown Mixtape. In a world filled with loads of new tunes – let’s try focus on the outstanding ones shall we?
LANNDS / O.O.W
It’s not since the early workings of Santigold that I’ve been as perked up by an emerging Indie Electronic artist. Florida-based duo LANNDS have released a pile of criminally under-appreciated tracks on their YouTube channel since 2019. I mean, these two operate at the very top of the electronic sphere – a portfolio that holds no duds or iffy efforts.
Crisp production (Brian Squillace), original ideas and a top-tier lead vocalist (Rania Woodard) is the sum of all parts. This track is upbeat and suitable earmilk to accompany a brisk walking adventure around the park.
I could have shared any one of ten early releases to showcase this act but ultimately settled on the sweet little video for O.O.W. The clip is recorded using iPhone footage with the music itself emanating from a more complex and high-end source. Someone needs to sign these two up (if that kind of thing still happens nowadays.)
Frankey & Sandrino / Boson
These guys have been around a while, their music has been gracing dance-floors for a while – it’s fair to say Boson will be around a while too. Stomping.
Been a huge fan of this German duo since their remix of Kleinemusik‘s Guilt Trip back in 2018. That song crackled and crunched it’s way into my cherished A-List of songs for my DJ Decks. Although my sets were only lone affairs played out in my bedroom, I’m sure some insects were bopping away somewhere with me. Anyway….
Back to Boson: I think this is even better than Guilt Trip and I’m not guilty saying that.
That fella sure does don a farmer cap well.
M3L / SOLO
Trust me, this is a nice one. Since it’s inception in 2019, there hasn’t been too many Afrobeat tunes featured on The Sound Sniffer. Why you ask? The general reason being; my refusal to go near anything with robotic vocal effects in it. T-Pain scarred me as a young lad.
However, M3L‘s single Solo is an exception to the rule. Ever since hearing this one back in December, I’ve been well into it. It could well be the most perfect Afrobeats song there is. For me, it is!
This song brings me back to the late-nights wandering around the nightclubs in Watford when I first moved to the UK. Good memories, long nights.
Dot Never / Drill
South East London has a new live electronica outfit to see when things open up again, Dot Never is the name. For weeks, it’s been Dermot Kennedy impersonators and tracks filled with trap hi hats and big bass floating around the blogosphere. Every so often, an exciting debut single sneaks its way in alongside them. You know the ones! The ones that have you looking forward to the follow-up before you’ve even finished taking in the first. Drill is that kind of debut.
The brooding and intense electronic elements compliment the vocals well which isn’t an easy combination to get right. I’m already looking forward to the next release – Dot Never’s sound would support a Simeon Rogers set perfectly in a London basement. Oh the days of gigs.
Billy Nomates / Modern Heart
If there’s any chance of sneaking in a bit of Billy Nomates into a feature, I’ll do it.
Her debut single NO was my number one song in 2020 – the debut album that followed was also nice and quirky. Although gaining a reputation as a wild and fearsome solo stage entity, for me, Nomates is at her absolute best in the softer songs, Modern Heart being one such example. A distinctive voice that never fails to hit home.
The thing I love the most about Billy Nomates is the fact she shares her unreleased demos up on Bandcamp. Quite often you will find your favourite tracks in a throwaway folder – these are available for download and when you do, it feels like you are holding some sort of secret cryptocurrency. On this note, I’ve got a steadily increasing bank of NomatesCoin.
Follow her Bandcamp and don’t forget to donate and keep the show on the road until the world returns. A Billy Nomates gig is to be one of my first outings for sure.
God there was some mad weird writing in this edition! Until next time!
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man music blog which is still only a baby – Founded by Kevin Coakley, a music writer and ghostwriter, in early 2019. ‘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