Charlie Ashcroft's Musosoup round-up - September 2020
September’s always a wonderfully diverse time for new music to get unleashed into the wild. On one hand, songs can feel more reflective, mirroring the darker days and longer nights. On the other hand, there can often be an abundance of uplifting late-summer jams which spill over into the autumn release schedule, providing us with some much-needed cheer. The last few weeks’ worth of submissions on Musosoup have certainly followed those respective patterns.
‘Circles’ by Sakura is a superb place to start. The Vienna (via London and Hong Kong) based musician has crafted a perfectly-paced dreampop hymn, full of nostalgic tones and hints of heartache. Great sync potential with this song too – music supervisors take note!
Over in Los Angeles, Laureline are starting to make a real splash. The trio of Ciera Bardowell, Chris Rasmussen and Marian Nutley have unleashed a stadium-ready colossus in the form of ‘Everything Ends Up Ending’. Definitely a band to watch, with shades of Picture This and The Killers in the mix.
The latest single from Ava in the Dark is another one that’s been impossible to ignore. Like an incredible cocktail of M83, Wolf Alice and the Drive soundtrack, ‘Delete Us Forever’ is a bona fide electropop anthem, with the kind of soaring chorus to make you yearn for a post-10pm night out. Or any night out, to be honest.
Sandcastle Jesus also deserve great plaudits for the swirling noise they’ve created on ‘Bombshells’. The Essex outfit remind me of some of my favourite early-10s DIY indie bands (remember Swim Deep? Remember Bos Angeles?) No bad thing at all. 4½ minutes of excellent riffs and memorable hooks.
The closing track on Rey’s wonderful album ‘The Thing About Everywhere’ also popped up in my feed the other week, despite technically having been released back in July. Called ‘The Bees Trees’, it’s a Whitney-shaped slab of folk-pop with some hazy, pastoral undertones. The brainchild of Long Island songwriter and filmmaker Alex Cherney is very much worthy of your attention.
I’ve also included a piece of future-leaning pop for you by the New Zealand-born singer, Talia Rose. Equal parts catchy and equal parts sparse, elements of Imogen Heap and Billie Eilish leap out from the speakers. Now living in Australia, I expect her star to rise on the basis of this top-drawer debut single alone.
Continuing our international journey to Canada, you’ll find Ellyn Woods on brilliant form. Mixing woozy vocals and glacial synths to mesmerising effect, ‘Tangerine’ takes the listener on a thrilling journey. It’s also one of those songs that unashamedly gives itself plenty of room to breathe around halfway through. A gradual, calming slow-down, eventually giving way to a lovely re-build. Very much the sound of an artist hitting her stride.
I only recently found out that Beth from GØSPEL makes music as a solo artist under the moniker WORKWEAR. ‘People Together’ is a fine introduction to what she’s about – late-night beats complementing her voice perfectly to result in something resembling a long-lost club classic. I’ve kept on returning to it, each time transporting myself back to the feeling of riding that last night bus home.
On a different note, ‘Morning’ by Lydia Briggs and ‘Somebody Else’ by Ruth Patterson are a pair of slow-burning piano ballads that separately had the power to make me stop what I was doing altogether.
Often it seems that the songs which have the biggest impact are the ones which start off as the most stripped-down. But how they build! Both have some beautiful string arrangements to add to the emotional resonance of their piano-and-vocal roots. Buckle in and get to know.
Check out all my September Musosoup favourites in this handy Spotify playlist here: