The New Smu – Discovering great new artists is one of the most exciting things about music for me. If you don’t champion the stuff you love, you can’t complain when you only hear the shit you hate on the radio.
There is an endless and thrilling sea of music out there, but it can be bewilderingly vast and not without peril. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet an artist formerly known as Prince. In this monthly review, I will be highlighting some of the most interesting releases I have heard by new and unsigned artists, wading through the audio slush pile so you don’t have to.
Gintsugi – Blind
Edgy and intelligent with raw, intimate vocals and an instrumentally rich production. The tender, breathy introduction belies the sharp, staccato melodies to come, giving it a needling and refreshingly aggressive edge. This is an arresting debut single from an artist whose sound is already intriguing and unusually fully formed.
Follow Gintsugi on Bandcamp and Linktree.
Izzy T – Nuclear
Stompy guitar-based power-pop with a funky, glam edge and an enjoyable turn from British rapper Ben Hunter. Slow, sexy verses and a strong, sassy chorus that deserves to be huge.
Follow Izzy T on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Brother – EZ
Dreamy indie synth-pop that feels like a warm, melancholic hug.
Follow Brother on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Kristian North – Genius of Song
Funky, louche sophisti-pop with crooner vocals and neon-lit glamour. Like you just woke up after falling asleep in your suit. But it was a really cool suit.
Follow Kristian North on Facebook and Bandcamp
Rags and Riches – Crossfire
Anthemic electro-rock with a surprisingly successful mix of metal and country in the vocal delivery. An adrenaline-fuelled aggro pep-talk that sounds like it wants to go out and start a fight, but only if it doesn’t mess up its hair.
Follow Rags and Riches on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Lalalow – Sensory Deprivation
Dreamy, minimalist electronica with a glitchy, gritty production and drowsy, sweet vocals. Romantic but slightly eerie – the feeling of floating through a deep, dark ocean.
Follow Lalalow on Instagram.
Video of the month
The Great Leslie – Out Of My Hands
A slick, witty three and a half minute non-apology detailing a shopping list of character flaws and self-deception. Kind of like an alt-pop version of that scene in Dangerous Liaisons where John Malkovich dumps Michelle Pfeiffer by repeating ‘it’s beyond my control’ over and over.
The video, at first glance, is a standard indie-band affair. However, a fantastically quirky and charismatic performance by lead singer Ollie Trevers turns it into something altogether more intriguing which, like the track itself, is somehow both understated and totally theatrical at the same time.
Follow The Great Leslie on Instagram, Facebook and their official site.
If you would like to submit your music to be included in a future edition of The New Smu please email me at [email protected] and include a link to your track. I don’t care if you have 25k followers or only your dog has heard it as long as it’s interesting, beautiful, weird or wonderful.
A playlist of songs by new artists featured here can be found on Spotify.
All words by Susan Sloan. More of her work for Louder Than War is available on her archive. Find her on Instagram as @thesmureviews and view Susan’s website here.