Listening Post #15

by Jed Fletcher

Happy Easter fellow music lovers! I’m appreciative of the fact that you may be busy hunting for eggs this weekend, so I thought I’d do the music hunting for you – wasn’t that nice of me? Though slightly heavy on the electro, I hope this week’s entry of the Listening Post will add to the excitement of the latest line-up announcements and the humble beginnings of summer vibes – enjoy!

1. Plucky – Morly

Kate Morly’s music isn’t produced to grab our attention, the Minnesotan’s tracks aren’t of that ilk which immediately appeal to us as our new favourite songs. Instead, the awesome beauty of tracks like Plucky permeates unassumingly from every little element of the song from start to finish.

The artist put aside an academic career in neuroscience in order to pursue her music, and Plucky proves her decision to be a good one. Combining a gentle electronic production with xylophones, the instrumental is, though simple, incredibly effective and marvellously seductive. In tandem with this enticing backing, Morly’s vocals only amplify the potency of this seduction as they mix together the fragility of the singer’s tone with short notes dripping in attitude. Two successful EPs already under her belt, I’m very much looking forward to what else Morly hast to offer us in the near future.

2. Where Are U Now – Bonzai

As she gathers ever more recognition in the realm of electro music, Bonzai is again enchanting us with her unique brand of urban bass. The elusive songstress has been invited to perform on Radio 1 by Annie Mac and has collaborated with the likes of Nao and Mura Musa – fellow pioneers of the modern UK electro scene.

Where Are U Now comes off Bonzai’s latest release, the Sleepy Hungry EP and it’s just great. The song has that highly desirable quality of executing a balancing act of a chaotic sound alongside a certain cleanness of production. As always, the US/UK/Irish artist accents her lovely electronica with tasteful vocals, making Where Are U Now another stunner in a widening portfolio of stunners.

3. Evolve – Phoria

I do love posting Phoria’s work in this column, and the Brighton band have, once again, left me little choice but to include them in this fortnight’s entry. Evolve brings us another little step towards the release of the group’s first full-length studio album, Volition. If you’re not aware of Phoria, I’d simply say that the fact that their track, Saving Us A Riot, was recently put at the top of Spotify’s Most Beautiful Songs In The World playlist is utterly indicative of their work.

Evolve is a faster paced song than usual for Phoria, with light yet prominent percussion and clapping driving the track’s tempo behind various other layers. As usual, the band’s principal vocalist Trewin Howard’s words beautifully blend with the guitars, synths and percussion to bring the track together into a really visceral experience. If you’re not sold yet, the track has a deeper meaning, described by the band as “a mash-up of ideas about evolution and the future of society” – doesn’t that sound intriguing?

4. Physical L.U.V – Evvol

I’m a big fan of Evvol, a three-piece of as many nationalities, but then again I’m a massive sucker for anyone endorsed by Grimes, with whom the band used to tour. Breaking from their normal style, which is more rooted in airy synths and harder bass, Evvol’s most recent oeuvre Physical L.U.V revolves around a funky bass guitar and some shimmery production. Dotted throughout the song are interludes of sombre vocals and French-spoken samples which one can’t help but be drawn to – probably not going to be my favourite song in the next few weeks, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

5. What If I Go? – Mura Musa

Our favourite producer from Guernsey is back! What If I Go abides by Alex Crossan’s usual formula for success as it utilises the same chimes, steel drums and lo-fi drum beats but at the same time it’s hard not to notice some Flume influence in the song’s climaxes. I’m interested particularly in the song’s introduction; we hear an almost indeterminable dialogue of a faded sample which gives way to the drums which are reminiscent of a 90s hip-hop B-side, the rest is, well, Mura Musa – the great vocal work by associate act Bonzai (remember her from earlier in the article?) has to get a mention too.

Listen to the PearShaped Playlist for Listening Post #15 below.