Sometimes emotions don’t come out in the quiet, beautiful way they’re supposed to through music; sometimes they come out as emotions actually are: Raw, imperfect and pissed-off. Anna McClellan harnesses this perfectly. The songwriter released her debut album Fire Flames way back in 2015 (technically not completely new, I know), but her latest album Yes and No, released on Father/Daughter Records, has allowed Anna to truly define her sound. The record began on a road trip, with Anna making the decision to leave her native Omaha, Nebraska to travel to California, her keyboard in the backseat of her car the entire time.
It’s on these keys which Anna maps out her feelings, but from that, her sound expands with layers of sweeping violins, twinkling guitars and other delicate instrumentation clashing against her uniquely raw vocals. The overall effect is that of a musical where the lead role has reached breaking point, eschewing the usual saccharine lyrics for uncertain, stream-of-consciousness self-examination. A truly special, one-of-a-kind artist to clutch close.
When I first pressed play on Captain Süün’s single ‘Beach Burrito’, I thought I’d be in for a ride as breezy and wholesome as the act of having a burrito at the beach. But within seconds, the chiming guitars take a turn and pick up layers of scuzz. The group’s strength lies not in blasting the listener with noise, instead using their motorik rhythms and melodic vocals to draw you in like a hypnotist. The four-piece’s dark combination of surf and garage rock has found a home on Bristol’s Stolen Body Records, and with fans at 6Music the band look set to spread their tendrils far outside of Bristol.
Gork are brilliant dreamers. The Bristol-based five-piece are a bunch of old school friends pulled together by their love of the fuzzy and the weird, of garage-rock and psychedelia, but dragging a personal touch to the fore. Single ‘Gunk’ pulls you in with its soft gang vocals, before letting rip with sludgy, driving guitars, while the band’s first EP Get Porked bleeds with endless fun and experimentation. It’s a charming mix, and with the band building up a reputation for live performances all over the city, Gork are a band to get swept away with.