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L AY L A

Black Mud

Review by Valerie Scanlon This five track EP is the excellent follow up to “Yellow Circles”. “Smokestacks” is a big production track but still has her instrument of choice piano. With the big beats it is less acoustic than her previous work but it is gaining quite a lot of interest online. The track is just a fantastic mix of several instruments matched with her pure and gentle vocals that balance out perfectly. Second track “Black Mud” is more like her previous work on Yellow Circles. Her pure and sweet voice is so sweet, with less of a big band feel lets you really hear her vocals and piano which is the backbone. It also heightened by the brass featured. Fans of Gabrielle Aplin will enjoy L A Y L A. On “Immortal” there is a greater mix of several instruments again with brass, drums and piano this song providing an incredibly catchy backing. The backing vocals also suit her tone superbly. Produced by ANT WEST, “Red Heart” sees his input in its most prominent way. The intro is completely stripped back with just some soft electric guitar and piano building it all toward a great chorus. The approach of the instrumental here combines with her vocals perfectly. Final track ‘Holes’ has a great vocal flow to it that almost sounds like a poetry reading. This builds into a great song including a string section. A purity and elegance is found for everything from the vocals, lyrics and the instruments. The almost haunting feeling of her voice whispers across the background to enhance the appeal here.

8

All the songs here have great substance with the piano completing each one. Her voice is just superb and the comparison to other female artists is rightly merited. As I said, it is a fantastic follow up to her previous EP.

.......................................................................................................................... THE ACTIONS Indefensible

This London band has a dark side to their style that pours out on “The Echo”. It all sits in place and the clean way that it glazes over on everything in the tempo excites. How the urgency builds has a clever exactness to it that necessitates all of the running, while commandeering a New Wave feel in the other nuances that show in the details here. The synthesised feel to “Counting All Days” counteracts everything prominently. The noir in the organic has an allure that flirts its way through superbly. The focus to everything is vibrant. How it is all expressed defines everything and comfortably slips into gear to produce a thorough feel that branches out tellingly here. The disco feel is cursive here and this also stands it good stead.

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The eponymous “indefensible” is next. There is a large ensemble feel from the detailed intro and its long running time. This leads it into a state of flux that is very interesting to hear. Rather illustrated by the way it lingers, the track has a sense of risqué to it that hangs on this inviting quality tellingly. “So Still” opens with a disparate feel. There is a sharp tinge to this that equates well, while the revered vocals seem to usher in an autonomy that stirs it all. As shown in the way they allow things to progress musically in the later stages. The fifth and final track here is called “Clouding Over (Part1)”. It develops in a very interesting way, The slick and morbid feel of the play loops carry over everything in a Lynchian way that catches something dystopian and stoic in the process. Highly invested and charged it embraces an alternative leaning that is equally cumbersome and collected.

May Issue (2014)  

The May 2014 issue of Unsigned & Independent features interviews with Mineral, Sinnergod, The Sacreblues Band, Ingrid Frosland, Hoda Mohajer...