Any O’Neill & CeeCee - Spellbound or Hellbound

You know how everyone’s always saying it’s so easy to write and record music these days? All those DIY bedroom musicians out there with a laptop and an app… where’s the challenge, the peril?

Let’s hear it, then, for a band that raises a palm and says ‘no!’ to the easy life. Any O’Neill is that band; their recording process involves making or reclaiming every piece of equipment they use, from pre-amps to drumkits. The tea is fairtrade, the CD-sleeve card is recycled, and the resulting sound is exuberant and joyous.

Admissions EP was released on Nov 29th, available from Bandcamp:

Candy Cigarettes - Stockholm

Candy Cigarettes is the project of producer, singer, songwriter, and self taught multi-instrumentalist Lane Mueller. Stockholm starts out as an acoustic lament, gets itself some multi-tracked vocals, and finds a delicious guitar sound to lay behind the chorus before sprinting off into an outro that you might not see coming. All this in just under three minutes, by the way.

Featherweights - Sandwich Babies

Seems I’m starting to carve out some sort of Scandinavian niche for myself. Featherweights met in Berlin, but have since returned to their native Malmö, where they record beautiful acoustic tales: “some are about love, some have childhood memories in them, one revolves around a birthday night and one is about those times when everything you do feels like dry shampoo”. You can download all the tracks for free (*hint* you can always pay for it if you like it) from the Featherweights Bandcamp page.

If Fionn Regan and Regina Spektor ever get together they would make a decent Featherweights tribute band.

The Planets Collide - Message in the Sky

Say, is Message in the Sky taken from landmark and much revered (with dewy eyes) “madchester” compilation Happy Daze? No, but that’s not a bad guess. It’s actually the work of Tasmian electronic artist Stephen Dunham, and it appears on his Spacemen 3 and Primal Scream inspired self-titled debut EP, released a few months ago. Gary Crowley would love it.

Saigon - Golden

Something kinda retro in the keyboards of Golden, too. Sweden’s Saigon have been described as “avant-rave” and “industrialists”; I will settle for “euphoric dance-pop”. Think Polarsets meets Delorean at a party hosted by We Have Band.

Syvia - Soon

Synths plus riffs plus heavy beats plus lots of ooh-ooh plus some pretty lush production makes Soon a Juke box Jury hit!

Expect Syvia’s debut full-length album FWD in early 2015.