Into Music Reviews: New Music January 2023
Well, some might say January is usually a quiet month for music but 2023 seems to be bucking that trend and over here at Into Creative towers we have already been blown away by some of the early tunes we’ve heard this year. So read on, tune in and enjoy the music!
Artist: The Bluebells
Single: Gone Tomorrow
Label: Last Night From Glasgow
There is definitely something in the water. Last year Altered Images released the fantastic album Mascara Streakz, their first in thirty nine years. In 2023, their soul mates, The Bluebells will follow suit in April/May with their new long player, The Bluebells in the 21st Century, again, thirty nine years after their last official album, Sisters.
Ahead of the spring launch, the band have released the first single from the album, Gone Tomorrow and it’s an absolute doozy. The track has a soul/funk vibe of its own and is underpinned by a great vocal by Ken McCluskey and a twinkling and sparkling organ sound courtesy of Andy Alston, ex Del Amitri.
Having heard a few of the new tracks live (at Dr.Bells in Leith), the new album can’t come quick enough. The Bluebells will play a sell out show at Oran Mor as part of the Celtic Connections festival on February 3rd.
Head over to the Last Night From Glasgow website here to pre order The Bluebells new album.
Label: PXXI Records
Now I’m normally quite the reserved kind of guy, not prone to wild statements but I know this, Luna will be one of the best tracks of 2023. They say three minutes is the perfect length for a song and this is more or less on the mark, squalling guitars, a great vocal and as the track goes on, the sound expands, filling the room, an absolute earworm right there.
Marie-Therese’s vocal has a slight hint of menace and this fits the music like a glove. As those three minutes or so come and go, the track ends abruptly and at that point you’ll find yourself reaching for the play button again and again. It’s clear to see some influence here in the music from Lou Reed to Iggy Pop and it’s no surprise that the latter is a huge fan, playing the track on his BBC6 Music Show.
The Dublin artist is currently recording her debut album with Stew Jackson (Massive Attack producer) which is due to land in the summer and for me, is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year. All proceeds from Luna will go towards Neuroendocrine cancer research. For more details, head over to Soundcloud here.
Single: Only Grey Matter Boiling in my Head
Label: Mickelson Records
The American indie/folk rock artist is back with his first release of 2023 and it’s an absolute belter. The first thing that strikes with the track is the deep bass line. Further investigation confirms that comes courtesy of XTC maestro Colin Moulding who is also in production duties here.
It’s a cracking track, the vocal loud, stomping piano, pounding drums and mixes elements of Americana (hints of Springsteen) and post-punk sensibilities. This is a welcome follow up to 2022’s album Known to be Unknown for the San Francisco singer-songwriter.
Mickelson said of the track “Only Grey Matter Boiling in my Head is a humorous song dealing with anger management issues. This theme of self depreciation shows up in my lyrics from time to time. I am also extremely honoured that Colin Moulding played bass. We had several chats about the song and he also offered some great production ideas“.
Mickelson heads out on a U.K. tour in February including a date at The 13th Note in Glasgow on the 17th. For more details on the tour and all things Mickelson, head over to his website here.
Artist: JW Francis
Single: Going Home to a Party
Label: Sunday Best Recordings
Sometimes we just need some no nonsense pop that brings a smile to the face and as JW Francis sings the line “It’s time for you to feel good, it’s time to enjoy you” you absolutely will. There’s hooks a plenty here from the lo-fi bedroom pop star and it’s just a lovely song.
In many ways, the New Yorker is like a transatlantic version of Beans on Toast and you can’t help but warm to his infectious tunes. Of the track, Francis said “Going Home to a Party has a lot of references in it. The beat for example is a sped up version of the beat from The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys. Similarly I wanted the video to have a lot of references related to how people perceive me. I’ve been compared to all 3 characters in the video, Steve from Blues Clues, Mr Rodgers and Bob Ross. It’s always joked that these three pillars of wholesomeness have a dark side so I wanted to bring that dark side to life and portray them cartoonishly getting into hijinks. Like all of my videos though, goodness wins in the end“.
The single precedes the new album Dream House which is released January 27th which coincides with an Edinburgh show at Assai Records, the first of the upcoming U.K. tour. For more details, head to the JW Francis website here.
…………………………………………………Artist: The Gulps
Single: Mirror Mirror
Label: Guindilla Records
We are big fans of The Gulps having both interviewed and reviewed their last Glasgow gig (see link here) so we are delighted to see the band go from strength to strength with new choice cut Mirror Mirror.
The Camden based indie rockers are back with their most accomplished track to date which is both rocking but at times laid back too, the influence of The Strokes is worn on their sleeve proudly and rightly so. The Gulps are heading out on tour in February and take it form me, they put on a no holds barred, energetic show laden with attitude, riffs and a hint of menace. Get along, you will not be disappointed.
Of the new single, vocalist Javier Sola said “It’s a fantasy poetry of a normal day. Influenced by Jack Kerouac’s book On The Road, and its carefree attitude and sense of adventure. Trying to make the listeners feel reflected with the lyrics, looking at the mirror and feeling they’re part of the hedonism of just another day. A free-spirited maverick eager to explore all kicks and an inspiration and catalyst for being in a band. We’re mad to live…desirous of everything at the same time. Even though sometimes it’s all mixed with some beats of deepness, loneliness and melancholy. The track also reflects the different social classes, the cats in the alleyways, our pals, and the loaded rats in the avenues. The tale of passionate adventures and the search for revelation are timeless“.
Protegees of Alan McGee, who knows a band when he sees them, The Gulps head out on the road in February including a date at Glasgow Garage on the 18th. For more details, head over to the band website here.