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The hard-to-pigeonhole South London newcomers produce a debut album that’s as charming as it is eclectic.

"If I were to sum up Paused In The Moment in one word, it would simply be ‘sweet’. Van Susans’ debut album is full of songs touched by the naïve innocence of youth, and while at times this can be a little overpowering, on the whole it makes for an utterly charming album.

It’s difficult to classify Van Susans’ music as being of one genre or another, as there’s a fairly diverse array of songs on the album. ‘Stepping Stones’ and ‘What It Is To Lose’ draw influence from American pop rock, with the former being reminiscent of Less Than Jake-style ska punk. It’s a fantastically uplifting song and interprets American punk rock attitude in a gentler, very British way. Other songs on the album are similarly poppy and upbeat, in particular lead single ‘Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw’, which kicks off the album with its infectiously cute melody and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. And then there’s ‘Popo’, which is irritating, silly and I want to hate it, but I just can’t get it out of my head.”

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 11/06/2012

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London-based Aussies produce an album high on atmosphere but low on hooks.

"There are some albums that steal your heart in full on the first listen, knocking you sideways from the moment you press play and never leaving you. Then there are some that slowly creep into your affections with each passing listen, gradually permeating through skin and tissue and muscle til they become almost a part of you. Sadly, The Temper Trap’s much-hyped second offering fails to do either.

It’s a shame that the band that brought us effervescent, hook-laden indie hits such as ‘Sweet Disposition’ and ‘Fader’ fall so hard when it comes to the very thing that made us love them in the first place – simple melody. There’s not one track on this album that rivals either of those two for sheer catchiness. You would expect a band capable of such great songs to go away and produce an album full of similar ones, but that hasn’t happened here. Instead The Temper Trap have decided to try to take their sound in a new direction, and it hasn’t exactly paid off.”

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 29/05/2012

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LA duo Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton effortlessly fuse the retro with the modern on their debut album.

"Sometimes, for no discernable reason, there’s a flurry of negative critique for a particular band. Whether an established or a new act, music critics band together to snobbishly decree a band not worthy of attention. Well guys, I’m breaking ranks here. Because I happen to like Electric Guest an awful lot. Mondo is smart, well produced and highly enjoyable to listen to. So there.

Many have assumed Mondo is a pastiche, when really it’s more of an homage. It’s entertaining second-guessing their potential influences – motown, soul, funk, r’n’b, indie, electro… There are strands of all of these that can be picked out of various tracks. Combined together, it’s an expert blend of old and new that feels strangely familiar yet also unique.”

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 22/05/2012

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LA indie troupe lose a little of their sparkle upon their return to the capital.

"Foster the People were always a revelation live. While debut album Torches was a fairly typical Paul Epworth indie pop production and slick with it, in live shows they showed off their rockier edge. Tonight at Brixton Academy, it seemed as though those edges had been rubbed smooth. It felt more like a pop concert than a rough’n’ready indie or rock gig, and was all the poorer for it.

Whether touring the same set of songs has taken its toll on Foster, who knows. The band have expressed their desire to get back in the studio and work on new sounds, with the promise of new material by the end of the year. They certainly appeared to delight in playing lesser known tracks at this gig. But even their biggest songs seemed a little flat, particularly in comparison to their explosive shows at Shepherd’s Bush Empire last year.”

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 07/05/2012

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Spellbinding acoustic set cements Adam’s status as a living legend.

"The first time I ever saw Ryan Adams live, a particular conversation stayed in my mind. I asked a die-hard fan at the bar pre-show what his hopes were for the performance. This being his twentieth Ryan Adams gig, he grimaced and said “It depends on his mood. Sometimes he can be grumpy and half-arsed. I’ve seen him storm off stage mid-song more than once. But if he’s feeling happy, it’ll be amazing.” It’s a testament then to Adams’ current state of mind that he’s received rave reviews almost unanimously for this and his previous tour spanning several continents last year."

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 30/04/2012

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Surprisingly sophisticated self-produced debut from East London foursome.

"I’ll admit, I pre-judged Weird Dreams a little bit. It’s nigh on impossible when you’re a born and bred Londoner to hear the words “East London four piece who met in a vintage clothes store” and not roll your eyes. But – and pay attention to this, for these words I do not utter very often – I was wrong.

Choreography is, and I mean this in the least patronising way possible, a very good little album. It’s a jangly, Byrdsian psych-pop gem, and yet it has real edge.”

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 23/04/2012

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Founded: December 2011
Located: Wimborne, near Poole, Dorset (UK)
Acts: Let’s Go Safari, High Heels and Low Lifes, Becca B, Boudicca Rose

"Since its inception at the end of 2011, indie label Red Dragon Records has achieved a huge amount. With four acts already signed and more to come, UnderSong spoke to label owner Tom to find out about the challenges of setting up an independent record label and what the future hold for Red Dragon Records."

Read the full interview here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 23/04/2012

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Brighton pair throw out the rulebook for third album – and score a winner.

"On the surface, it would seem that Blood Red Shoes haven’t changed much since 2008 debut Box Of Secrets. Both their previous LPs have used the services of producer Mike Coffey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals) and so it remains on In Time To Voices. But this album is undoubtedly a game-changer for the duo. It somehow manages to be simultaneously haunting, aggressive, sensual and uplifting all in one tidy package."

Read the rest of this review here.

Originally published on UnderSong on 23/04/2012

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Top Ten... Songs About Rabbits

A playlist feature originally published on UnderSong on 09/04/2012.

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Helena Beats - Top 10 Indie Tracks 09/04/2012

A playlist feature originally published on UnderSong on 09/04/2012.