Putting your finger on what Poisonous Birds do is a tough one. When the Bristol two-piece first emerged they thrived on pushing light and dark against each other; pairing beautifully melodic verses with caustic, heavy choruses. Their debut EP Gentle Earth, released early last year, developed this sound, with four tracks of smokey synths swirling around singer Tom Ridley’s gentle falsetto, paired with flashes of heavily distorted guitars and intense drumming.
The band then spent the rest of 2017 honing their craft. Live shows saw them recreating the stadium-ready sounds that populate their recordings perfectly, taking audiences on a sensory journey rarely seen with new bands. Their new EP Big Water builds on the atmospheric, breathtaking sounds they have previously put forth. The lead single of the same name surrounds you, its lush textures being permeated with moments of clarity, but before you can grasp onto them, the song shifts again, morphing into something different entirely. With the band growing both live and on-record, Poisonous Birds are striding ahead into a sonic field of their own.
There are certain voices that stop you in your tracks. And not through their volume or flamboyance. These are the voices that contain such soul and character, that you can’t help but be arrested. This is the kind of voice that Norwich’s Maya Law possesses. Backed for the most part by Bristol producer Gabriel Gifford (FKA Allergy Kid), Maya’s voice dances over the skittering, chilled, hip-hop-inspired beats. Her 2016 album Her or Him teased the heights that Maya could reach, and on latest single ‘Full Circle’ she takes a serious step forward to reaching them.
Seemingly emerging fully-formed, Superorganism have been putting people’s heads in a spin for the last year with their uniquely brilliant pop and, for an eight-piece band from England, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, the group are surprisingly single-minded and uncluttered in their approach. Songs are constructed with simple, sharp percussive stabs, kaleidoscopic synths and shimmering guitars, all focussing around lead vocalist Orono Noguchi’s laid-back, deadpan voice. The group’s catchy, colourful pop has caught some pretty important ears already, with Frank Ocean and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig both fans. Superorganism will surely only keep multiplying.