new smuThe New Smu: The best new artists in my inbox this month

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. So here again is The New Smu.

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.

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Johnny Hunter – Endless Days

Punchy, nihilistic post-punk with an air-punch chorus chant and Manicsy guitar solo that feels like it should be filling a stadium. Described as “an ode to the happiness one can experience in the naivety of youth” the sound is, fittingly, as floridly nostalgic as the lyrics. It’s a hair’s breadth away from pastiche but instead blossoms into something spirited and touching.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4

Follow Johnny Hunter on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube

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Edith – The Day We Met

Moody mid-tempo dance with soulful, smooth vocals. Occasionally breaking into bursts of mall-pop exuberance and ending in indie-folk acoustic, this is a more intricate mix of sounds than its effortless exterior gives away on first listen.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 3.5

Follow Edith on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube

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APRE – I Don’t Love You

Sophisticated, addictive synth-pop with a quirky, indie-guitar sensibility. I always enjoy the friction of mixing a bouncy upbeat sound with downbeat lyrics and this is a great addition to the genre.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 3.5

Follow APRE on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube

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CAT SFX – Rodeo

Funky punk rock in the Riot Grrrl mould. Ripping angry shreds through media-fed politics and the eye-rolling predictability of state corruption. It’s not lead singer Caterina Speranza’s first time at this rodeo and she’s sick to the back teeth of it.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 3

Follow CAT SFX on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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Seven Seals – Seventh Wave

Seven Seals tout themselves as being as ‘lyrically literate as they are sonically lethal’, and this certainly fulfils that remit. A stomping great slice of epic guitar rock inspired by Henri Charrière’s Papillon, it has the soaring uplift and balls-to-the-wall grit befitting of one of literature’s most incredible prison escapes.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 3.5

Follow Seven Seals on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube.

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Ruby Tingle – Flood

Opulent and avant-garde but catchy enough for lovers of a good tune. Let the watery ambience soak through and you will find yourself singing the chorus in the shower for weeks.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 3.5

Follow Ruby Tingle on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify

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Single Of The Month

The Shipbuilders – The Moon

Self-described as ‘surf-rock scousers’ this is a fabulously refreshing twist on the genre-mixing a raw, indie-rock edge with big pop hooks, moody Spanish guitar and sweet vocal harmonies. It’s an energetic, exciting sound that feels oddly British, but ultimately sits closer to the drama of Dick Dale or Calexico than to the grimier corners of garage rock or 70s surf punk.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4.5

Follow The Shipbuilders on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube

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Video Of The Month

Barbara – A Perishing Of Cherished Things

Witty fop-pop with a fittingly retro video. A deceptively sunny sounding take-down of domesticated love that comes across like the Beach Boys meets the Beatles, with lyrics by Kenneth Horne. Musically and visually (not to mention the band name and song title) this release is pretentious, ridiculous, theatrical and charming in just the right measures.

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4

 

Follow Barbara on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube

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If you would like to submit your music to be included in a future edition of The New Smu please email me at susan@thesmureviews.co.uk 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 featured here, and in previous months, can be found on Spotify and YouTube.

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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.

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