The Playback: July 2017

July 2017. Whilst rain and thunder batter the UK the rest of Europe is bathing in sunlight, playing Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” on repeat, leading it to break the 3 billion views barrier on YouTube to become the most streamed video of all time.

The following 5 tracks haven’t quite gained the same amount of views, hits, shares, likes or dislikes as of yet but they definitely deserve your attention so please plug your headphones in, refrain from smashing the replay button on “Despacito” for just 15 minutes and enjoy…

Lao Ra – Body Bounce

Nothing says summer banger like a reggaeton drum beat. I don’t know why but there’s just something about the boom tic-tic-tic-boom rhythm that screams “PLAY ME INAPPROPRIATELY LOUD IN THE COCKTAIL BAR OF A EUROPEAN BEACH RESORT!” Lao Ra, born in Columbia but based in London, obviously is well aware of this secret to a smash summer success. On “Body Bounce” Lao Ra enlists the help of Konshen’s to share the duty of preaching how that the best way to get over a broken heart is to shake your body. This message is conveyed by her sweet chops over one of the fattest bass drums you will hear this year. You can catch Lao Ra play the Notting Hill Arts Club on the 25th of August.

Ghost Car – Woman In The Shadows

With squalling feedback and a Black Sabbath style riff, “Woman In The Shadows” grabs the listener’s attention right off the bat and refuses to relent until it has made its point. Ghost Car have arrived and are serving up precise jabs of socially conscious punk music. The tone of the guitar throughout “Women In The Shadows” is aggressive, powerful and punchy and the vocals have a menacing edge. “It’s time for us to speak” sing Maeve, Clara, Laura & Maria. If it sounds this good then there will be no shortage of people eager to listen. Judging by the strength of their songwriting and production alone these riot girls will be caught in no-one else’s shadow.

Blue Lab Beats – Freedom

Fusing together jazz, funk and soul, NK- OK and Mr D.M of Blue Lab Beats are creating Hip Hop that sounds fresh, modern and alive. Taken from the EP that shares its name, “Freedom” is a warm slice of mellow grooves. The jazz influence can be heard on the electric pianos that frame the bass and J-Dilla like snares. The bassline is funky and filled with pleasantly subby frequencies. Featured artist Louis IV also lends his vocal stylings to proceedings and he delivers his lines with a classy and laid-back style. This duo have delivered an EP which deserves to be heard turned up loud through a wicked sound system. If you liked the track you can hear the guys play live at the Dalston Curve Garden on August the 22nd.

CHAMPS – The Garden Is Overgrown

Having recently been selected by BBC 6 Music as one of the best tracks of 2017 so far, “The Garden Is Overgrown” by CHAMPS sounds like MGMT if they grew up on the Isle of Wight in the 1980’s listening to Echo & The Bunnymen. The track starts with an industrial yet musical alarm whilst a fluttering synth line fades up before the drums kick in. The chorus is made up of icy backing vocals and one of those easy to play but hard to write synth lines that New Order would applaud. You can catch the brothers playing the Ventnor International Festival with a heap of other good bands on the 11th of August before the release of their follow up to the 2015 album “Vamala” later this year.

Free Money – I Want In

“I Want In” is the latest cacophonous anthem brimming with attitude brought to us by Free Money. After garnering plenty of attention from their debut single “Headful”, whilst playing shows with other wild indie upstarts (and previous alumni of The Playback) Goat Girl. Free Money are back with another statement of intent. Fans of The Cribs and Palma Violets will be very impressed by how this very British sounding band can cram so much high octane energy into 2 and a half minutes. Guitars explode after palm muted verses. The drums up the ante in the choruses and drive the riffs and keys into an epic conclusion.


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The Playback