Our shout on who you should be listening to this month
Seattle-based, doom slinging three piece Serial Hawk have been bubbling away on the underground for a while but they’ve just released their first full length album and it’s just too terrifying to be ignored. With crunchy riffs and sparse instrumentation they conjure up a menacing American drawl that’s equal parts stoner metal and glue sniffing punk. Their debut album Searching For Light is out on the Arizona based metal imprint Bleeding Light Records and it’s a cut above their earlier demos. Sharper production brings a new sense of purpose to their loose, crushing sound and sees them soaring into the major leagues with a sludgy bang.
Melvins / Yob
When a band has a name as trendy as Psychic Blood (apparently short for ‘Psychedelic Bloodbaths’, and god only knows why they can’t use that name), they have to be pretty good to justify such zeitgeist-y silliness. Luckily, this Western Massachusetts-born post-punk/shoegaze three-piece’s noisescapes make their name just an afterthought. Vaulting, shimmering propulsion fortifies the dark swirl of reverb-laced guitars, and echoing drums and sneered vocals kick and scream against alienation and death on their releases. After picking up some recognition off the back of their latest EP, they’re now deemed big enough to be supporting the likes of label-mates and fellow West Coasters Parquet Courts.
Spectres / Swervedriver
Manchester-based Florentino channels his Colombian roots into a heady cocktail which has just debuted on Mancunian label / club night / collective Swing Ting. In his own words, he is “the most romantic of the romantics”. Through all his hyperreal interpretations of Latin-American reggaeton and souped-up R&B club edits, Florentino’s Soundcloud has long been a hotbed of ringtone romanticism. His Tu y Yo EP is the perfect intro- duction. Contorted Spanish vocal samples somersault across the syncopated bass-lines on Perdido while Split In 2 gradually swells into a heart-wrenching breakdown complete with starry-eyed harps and sentimental strings. This is music for lovers lost in cyber-space, roses clenched between their teeth while they anxiously await a Tinder match. We’re sold.
1 Murlo / Future Brown
What do you get when you put blue wave, drone, witch house and hip-hop through a lo-fi blender? Seventeen-year-old Lauren Auder provides the answer to this question, with a vocal style reminiscent of James Blake and a scope that manages to be both broad and coherent.
Auder currently lives in France but has been casting his net further afield when it comes to pursuing opportunities – he’s collaborated with London rapper Kojey Radical, made a mix for Jimmy Tamborello from The Postal Service and is affiliated with OGZ N THA HOOD, a music collective based in Japan.
Our favourite track so far is In Which Lauren Meets The Lion, where Auder shrouds his delicate vocals in heavy, relentless waves of drone that build up with increasing urgency as the track progresses. His vocals move in the opposite direction; growing steadily more despondent and eventually disappearing as the instrumentation marches on towards a fist-clenching climax, evoking the feeling that he’s been overcome by a force greater than himself.