Posts Tagged ‘jangle’

10th April 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

I’ve said it before, but it’s always worth saying again: oftentimes, less is more. This adage seems to have informed the latest offering from Milton Keynes hybrid indie quartet Ali In the Jungle: at two and a half minutes, ‘Fuel on the Fire’ is succinct, and based predominantly around acoustic guitar and vocal, it’s a pretty minimalist work, at least on the face of it. But being simple and direct, it’s got room to breathe, and that also means more room to absorb everything that’s going on, and focus on the details. And the details reveal themselves over time and through repeat listening.

‘Fuel On The Fire’ initially cultivates an intimate feel that contrasts with the darker subject matter that informs the lyrics. And as the song progresses, thing get busier, with some quite lively jazz-influenced drumming and more noodly, mathy guitar and a buoyant bassline pushing everything along at quite an urgent pace, and before you know it, there’s a lot more going on than you realise. At times, the vocals soar in a style reminiscent of Mansun’s Paul Draper – which is most definitely a compliment.

Everything comes together to form a rich and detailed sonic tapestry, and ‘Fuel On The Fire’ is a well-considered, deftly arranged rush of a tune.

AITJ  Artwork

Christopher Nosnibor

Ahead of their debut album, Little Pictures Without Sound, due out on 16th July, SENSES offer a second taste of what’s to come with ‘Drifting’. On the one hand, it’s a slice of quintessential indie, drawing heavily on the sound of the late 80s / early 90s jangle – it would be almost impossible to not mention The Stone Roses by way of a touchstone – but on the other, there’s a lot more going on here than some direct and derivative copy.

The chiming guitars emerge through an atmospheric haze and some samples of dialogue, and soar away on a wash of dreamy shoegaze vibes. The song’s certainly appropriately titled, as it floats along… it’s less about verse/chorus dynamics and hooks than it about the overall sensation, as layered harmonies lift the listener and carries them through hues of golden sun and a sense of time without time. It’s blissed-out and mesmerising, and under four minutes is nowhere near enough.

Christopher Nosnibor

Hailing from Hastings, Kids Love Surf came together during the eternal year of lockdown, coming together due to a shared love of dreampop to collaborate remotely from March 2020. Following on from debut single ‘OYO’ which found favour with BBC introducing.

‘Moment’ is everything its rainbow-hued cover art suggests: a dreamy drift of 90s shoegaze, with soft synths and guitars bathed in washes of reverb and effects. The drums are muffled beneath the layers while the bass strolls around amiably, not driving anything, not even holding it down, but simply wandering, and it’s a latticework of jangly guitars that layer away behind a vocal that’s low in the mix and kinda dreamy in a 90s indie sort of a way. There are hints of Stereolab and Disintegration-era Cure in the mix here, and it’s all very mellow and melodic.

As is so often the case with this style of music, I find there’s relatively little to say. That’s not a criticism or complaint, but more of an indication of how, on a personal level, I find myself detached and floating free, how I struggle to engage in the details beyond the effect, beyond the superficial. Because it seems to be less about ]engagement and more about atmosphere, how it speaks beyond words via the medium of music.

The mid-tempo ‘Moment’ is a soft wash of tripping indie that’s easy on the ear, and do you really need a message or much substance beyond that? I’m content to just let it glide….