This week we’re looking at unsigned material with a bit of social commentary, but there’s also some classic psychedelic 70s influenced rock and atmospheric folk too.
Forest you Hid from Me is folk music with lots of atmosphere and a hint of Radiohead. It opens with an airy synth and intricate picking part, making good use of vocal harmonies and almost retro-sounding rotary pads alongside piano. As it continues to build, it wanders into new territory, adding percussion, culminating in a carefully arranged and pretty lush soundscape. The piece is anchored by the acoustic guitar but by the time the song ends, it feels as though you’ve travelled a distance. This track also does a great job of capturing and adding to the mood of it’s lyrics, the two parts feel very together and appropriate.
This guy writes acoustic music with a raw, lofi edge. The lyrics are the centrepiece against slightly frantic, strummed chords. There’s a focus on themes pretty familiar to us, although Sam has his own way about them and his overall aesthetic is notably different form ours. The imagery is very dreary UK, very working class life. Sam also makes good use of his low and distinctive voice, which immediately sets him apart from other singer-songwriters. Frankly, the darker style and more thoughtful tones and themes covered by artists like Sam and Walshie put them into a different category to many of their contemporaries.
Their music sounds good together and luckily, you can check both these guys out along with The Curves from Watford just before Christmas, on the 21st at the Horn. Here’s the FB event link. I plan on playing our Christmas living room show on the 20th then heading to this if possible. Bring ya friends.
This song’s been on my mind since I saw these guys live at the start of the year. It sets a vibe straight away and the lyrics–lots of ancient Egyptian imagery–pretty much ensured I’d appreciate the tune. King Purple are definitely one of the best old school bands we’ve seen. They have a 90s sound without feeling derivative. It’s psychedelic, it’s got a touch of almost 70s-prog without being pretentious and this song does a lot in a short space of time. All their tunes are pretty awesome. They’re something for those craving the modern torch bearers of the old days, when guitars felt closer to the forefront and riffage was a matter of standard.
This fits pretty nice after King Purple. It’s based around electric guitar and it’s still psychedelic but in a different way. The feel of this song, and the content of the video, is sort of trippy-sinister-funhouse. The circular riff along with the vocals and plodding drums are infectious. It all comes together quite hypnotically. There are some theatrical and unexpected backing vocals that add a lot to the whole thing and twist the song a bit more and for the better. Anyway, it’s quite a banger.
Diamond in the Dirt
There aren’t that many bands at any level where social commentary seems like an essential or genuine part of their make up. Everyone has the one Fuck Trump song, but that doesn’t really count. Not to say bands have to be political, but it’s refreshing when one stands behind a thing and allows it to be part of what they do. Lots of our favourite bands and artists are like this, Hip Hop guys as much as anyone from the rock or folk traditions, and obviously Diamond in the Dirt share some of those influences and the ethos. They have a hardcore punk sound that reminds me of Fugazi and a few of the more intense, guitar based things of that era. Further shout outs for the great video.
Incidentally, I have nothing against Fuck Trump songs, and Diamond in the Dirt have that covered too. When you’re done with this check out Sour Taste. Another great video.
Thanks for reading. We hope we put you onto at least one artist that connected with you. If so, go to their social media and give them so love, tell ’em the Hanging Bandits sent you.
If you got this far and you’re still in the mood for some folk and social commentary well… We got ya. Check out our lo-fi folk piece, Postcards from the Colonies.
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