Monthly Favourites #22

Winter is fast approaching and the nights are drawing rapidly darker. However, the autumn season isn’t quite over yet, and we’ve got the perfect playlist to lift your spirits during the night skies. As always, every band and artist listed here is slightly different, so it’s worth going through the whole list to see what you like.

Review by Jane Howkins

Photo by Minami Deguchi

Minami Deguchi – Weight Of My Crimes

Minami Deguchi is a solo artist of Japanese-Australian descent, creating a wonderful piece of pop-punk in latest release, Weight Of My Crimes. The track has a classic pop-punk sound, made complete with biting riffs and a frantic beat. The guitars sound really amazing here, reaching some heavy heights in an incredibly stylistic way. The verses are a little mellower, running nicely until the anthemic chorus ramps the tension up. There’s even a little screaming thrown in for good measure, appealing across multiple genres and styles.

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Fallen Letters – Remain A Memory

It’s extremely rare we get to hear new music from India, so alt-rockers Fallen Letters are very welcome indeed! Remain A Memory has quite a grungy sound, opening with a subtle guitar arpeggio, alongside a huge rhythm section. The vocals simply ooze emotion and passion, as they carry through the track with soul. The chorus elevates things further, introducing a slew of heavy guitar riffs, creating a nice change in pace. There’s also a fab guitar solo towards the end, showing just how talented Fallen Letters really are!

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The Crystal Teardrop – By The River

The Crystal Teardrop is a band influenced by the music of the 1960s, with By The River characterising that sound perfectly. It opens in a psychedelic manner with an Eastern-twang, in part due to the awesome sitar used here. The production has that amazing 60s sound, full of huge drums and a throbbing bassline, really taking you back in time! The vocals follow the main melody of the track in perfect style, adding a really distinctive vibe to the music. It really is an amazing piece of work, making By The River a must listen for all!

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Jon Gilutin – Night Passage

Next up we have the fantastic Jon Gilutin, taking this review in a very different direction! Night Passage is an instrumental jazz track, showing some proper skills! It’s more of a smooth jazz type of song, featuring a vast array of instrumentation, including a gorgeous trumpet (performed by legendary trumpet player Randy Brecker), an organ and a cool rhythm section. The main melody seeps throughout the track in a wonderful way, as the busy drums provide a diverse change of pace. The music breaks down about halfway through, before kicking back in again in full throttle.

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VANDA – Honeydew

If jazz isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like a manic electronic pop song? Honeydew is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in a long time, opening with a fast bassline and a whole slew of synths. The main chord sequence is amazing, getting stuck in your head straight away. The music drops down occasionally, before building back up again, keeping you constantly on your toes. It takes another turn later on, removing the synths and adding in a lovely acoustic guitar melody, showing just how skilled VANDA is! Her vocals are sublime too, utilising the vocal effects perfectly here.

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Ugly Sundae – Dance With Me

Ugly Sundae is a rock band that mix elements of alt-rock, grunge and post-punk into their music, making for something quite distinctive! Dance With Me is a little raw in terms of production, but this sound actually works pretty well with the genre of music. The song is characterised by a set of spidery guitar melodies, alongside a fast beat, as the dark bassline pulsates darkly in the background. The music breaks down on the bridge, creating something a little mellower, as the eerie guitar lines float around in the background. It’s great to hear a band trying something different!

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Mira Ceti – Esker Mila

Going in a completely different direction is Mira Ceti and new tune, Esker Mila. The track is one of the most unique on this list, as it’s more of a chant than anything else. The vocals are incredibly impressive here, as Mira mixes different vocal lines together, creating wonderful layers. A steady tribal drum beat thuds along in the background, allowing the vocals to really shine through on this glorious piece of music. It’s incredibly evocative, seeing the vocals rise up to a hauntingly beautiful crescendo, as more percussion effects are added in the background. Why not try it and see what you think?

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Edie Yvonne – Queen Bee

We’ve actually featured Queen Bee before, but I felt that Edie Yvonne’s track was so good, that I just had to share it again here! It’s a catchy pop banger, containing a set of soaring vocal harmonies. The lead vocals are great, but the way the backing vocals are used is also immense, creating some wonderful sounds in the background. The rhythm section is absolutely on point too, as the prominent bassline plays against the drums in a funky way. The synths are also unforgettable, bubbling along in perfect style. Definitely one to watch!

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Girl Shaped Gun – Denim Jacket

Perth indie band Girl Shaped Gun are set to take the world by storm with their summery guitar licks and upbeat melodies. denim jacket is a little raw soundwise, but it actually helps to make the track sound more genuine, as the different vocal lines inject some soul into the music. The tempo is raised from the very start, with some lovely guitar licks that really make the sound explode. The solo is epic, simply bursting with energy, showing just how talented this band truly are. It’s great to hear a band with more than one vocalist too, elevating Girl Shaped Gun well above their peers.

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Linda Conway – Strongest Of Bonds

Linda Conway is an artist who has only just started out on her musical journey, but already she’s headed for big things! Strongest Of Bonds is one of her first tracks to be released, fitting the folk/singer-songwriter genres well. It’s quite a slow track, but it’s all the more beautiful for it. The main instrumentation comes from a simple set of piano chords, underpinning Linda’s strong vocals. However, this simplicity really allows the vocals to shine through, creating something that is absolutely haunting to behold. I can’t wait to hear more of Linda’s stuff in the near future!

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Monthly Favourites – playlist by York Calling | Spotify