Dark and intriguing, we’re currently being fascinated by the sound and style of Izzy Flynn. New track Faith – her third single – starts slow but builds beautifully into an epic piece that we can’t stop listening to, and you can expect to hear a lot more about her during 2017.
Listing some of her inspirations as Joni Mitchell, Leonardo Da Vinci, Frank Ocean, Frederic Chopin, Esperanza Spalding, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill and Keith Jarrett, it is fair to say that the London-born singer/songwriter is not an artist who can easily be pigeonholed.
Having trained in jazz at Leeds College of Music, her own style is a fusion of the freeform musicality of her learning and the structural accuracy of Da Vinci’s body series. Alongside the Abstract Orchestra – an all-star Hip-Hop Big Band that have recorded and toured with huge acts such as Amy Winehouse, Jamiroquai, Submotion Orchestra – Flynn has performed around the world. Most recently they supported Mos Def, De La Soul and Afrika Bambaataa.
Flynn graduated with a First Class Honours and Composition Award on the BA Jazz Degree at Leeds College of Music. Primarily influenced by electronic, jazz and R&B styles, with rich harmonies and memorable melodies, her dark and alluring sound could draw comparisons with the likes of James Blake, BANKS and FKA Twigs. And like those artists, Flynn curates every aspect of her creative output. Not just a singer/songwriter, she takes inspiration from her icon Joni Mitchell, viewing her work more as a complete project. While she writes both the music and lyrics, she also performs all keyboard, synth, lead vocal and backing vocals herself. She is heavily involved in the music production and her own artistic styling.
It’s clearly a labour of love for her, and it certainly won’t be too long before many more people get to love her work too.
Izzy Flynn – Faith
Izzy Flynn – Medicine
We’re absolutely adoring the synth-pop perfection of And The Echo, a collaboration between Winn McElroy and Morgan Pennington of Oxford, Mississippi, US.
Listening to their album, it was hard to pick which track to feature on the blog, so we went with two – the wonderful summery Okinawa, as well as the anthemic Smoke And Mirrors. The group will be featuring on our Sync List 5 playlist on Soundcloud which is out in the next few days.
And The Echo – Okinawa
And The Echo – Smoke And Mirrors
It’s rare that a band can be around for 16 years and six albums and still do no wrong, but that’s how we feel about Hot Chip.
The London band’s output is diverse so categorising them is tough, although for those that feel the need, synthpop or alt-dance seem fair descriptions. But for anyone not familiar with this innovative band, there is a great catalogue of tracks to get acquainted with. They also put on a great live show too so keep an eye out for their appearances at various festivals this summer – only shows in Portugal, Germany and Spain have been announced so far but more will follow.
Both of our vid selections are from last year and are tracks taken from the latest album Why Make Sense? which was out in May 2015. First is the superb Started Right, followed by Need You Now – accompanied by a mind-melting trip to Dungeness for what is a clever and intriguing little film.
Hot Chip – Started Right
Hot Chip – Need You Now
Of the many bands we’re hoping to catch live for the first time in 2015, Swedish newcomers Last Lynx are top of the pile.
Founded in 2011, the Stockholm-based band has a great indie pop sound that manages to incorporate both light and dark shades to its catchy melodies.
Our two picks of their tracks so far are Curtains and a great live version of Killing Switch which are both well worth a few minutes of your time. Enjoy!
Last Lynx – Curtains
Last Lynx – Killing Switch (Live Version)
We’ve had this on the playlist for a little while now and felt the need to share Big Brown Pills From Lynn by Norwich-based band Ducking Punches on this ‘ere blog.
Ok, we have to declare some family connections here so technically we’re biased, but putting that aside, this is still a great track from a band that has got a loyal and committed following for their regular live outings – a fanbase that was boosted in no small part by a support slot with Frank Turner on his European tour last year.
The single is from the album Dance Before You Sleep.
Manchester band Mutineers have been around for a little while now and have been busy bothering the indie chart list with singles Tell Me Why and Love, It’s a Killer.
But our favourite track so far from these guys is Infidelity, taken from the album Friends, Lovers, Rivals.
Mutineers – Infidelity
Drawing obvious comparisons with the likes of London Grammar, Låpsley‘s beautiful and engaging voice is left in peace to do all the work in the track Falling Short with the barest minimum of added production. It’s a wonderfully melancholy piece that gets better with each listen.
The track is from the EP Understudy, out on 5 January.
The mesmerising Memorials by Laurel has a suitably beautiful video to go with it. The talented 20-year-old’s Holy Water EP was released on 15 December and, as well as Memorials, also includes the track Come Together, a collaboration with Sivu.
Currently stuck in our heads is this track from Foster The People soundalikes Kid Astray. Back to the Ordinary is a strong offering from our favourite Norwegian indie-pop band. We’ll be watching them closely throughout 2015.
We’re looking forward to Interpol returning back to the UK in March 2015 and couldn’t help but reflect on whether this US band has returned to the dizzy exhilarating heights of their 2004 album Antics.
All the Rage Back Home was the first single from the 2014 album El Pintor which, by all accounts is up there with Antics after intervening albums Our Love To Admire and Interpol missed the mark a little despite there being some admittedly big highlights on each.
Here’s a quick comparison of two of our favourite Interpol tracks – a whole 10 years apart!…
Interpol – All the Rage Back Home (2014)
Interpol – Slow Hands (2004)