Welcome to our Friday night episode of The Sound Sniffer’s Lockdown Mixtape – the feature that, by the looks of it, will carry on forever and ever. This episode is an especially high quality affair – many of the songs displayed here are the tip of what 2021 has had to offer on SubmitHub thus far. Supporting underground music is getting that bit harder due to the massive influx of new acts appearing from the coronavirus creativity cracks. A simple list of five suitable tracks for the blog is harder to source. Thankfully, these ones managed to filter through. I’m proud of this particular list – have a gander.
Orions Belte / Lotus
Sometimes an instrumental three-piece is just what the doctor ordered. I had an early-year obsession with a similarly assembled trio called SOTO last year. Those three Brighton-based doctors were making such mellow sounds. Fast forward exactly a year and Orions Belte have appeared to pepper my speakers with subtle bass, shimmering guitar and crisp drum patters. Lotus is a lovely piece from these talented Norwegians. You can’t get more socially distanced than their live rendition here. Mountain-top performances could be the future of music, if so, I’m well in for that.
God I love this blend of music – it takes the edge off a stressful day.
Stephen Babcock / Bukowski
Ah yes, some really really well executed stripped-back folk here from Stephen Babcock. I’ve been lucky enough to have had an early few listens to this one before it’s official release this afternoon. It was good on first listen, even better on second glance – now, I’m literally singing along to it! Babcock’s vocal is not dissimilar to one of London’s finest imported folk singers, Samuel Nicholson. Bukowski is soft, authentic and written beautifully. It gets better each time you listen. Find a relaxing area of the house, boil the kettle and flake out to this gem.
I must look up this Bukowski fella, Modest Mouse raved about him too.
Thomas Valverde / Rave
This has to be one of the most erotic musical things I’ve ever seen. The minimal orchestral chimes of Rave and the video that accompanies, work together seamlessly. There’s something very enchanting about watching these ravers bop away to the cinematic, beat less composition Valverde has composed here. Two minutes of pure euphoric bliss – stuck for words to describe it actually. This has blown me away – great concept.
God, I loved going to raves in my younger years. However, the ones I went to weren’t as glamorous as this and the music was less intellectual. Thomas Valverde is an accomplished pianist – Rave is one of his more refined compositions. He is well capable of performing the most complex of Frederic Chopin pieces too – scroll through his YouTube channel for these.
Marie Naffah / Wasteland
Wasteland is the new single from London based songwriter Marie Naffah. I’ve featured Naffah on the blog recently, the sparse and beautiful Gabriel got the nod late last year. That was my first experience of her talents. This latest single follows in the same lofty vein, albeit a more up-tempo track on the whole. High grade production + smooth vocals make this Londoners music so accessible and easy on the ear. There’s a bright future ahead of her by the looks of it. Could write a hit.
Freedom Fry / Corde Sensible
Beautiful – just beautiful. Corde Sensible is French/American electronic indie duo Freedom Fry‘s new single. It surfaced this afternoon and offers a taste of what’s to come on their forthcoming third studio album ‘L’Invitation‘ (released this spring). On this evidence, I’ll be getting the wallet out and investing in this record. There’s something really sexy about the French language isn’t there? I couldn’t translate the lyrics but I’m fairly sure she’s singing about roses and chocolate.
The chirpy little keyboard melody is tasty. Freedom Fry are the business, I better scramble through their back catalogue and see what I’ve missed until now. Fresh.
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.
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