Picture by Owain Jones

Usually you’d think that music would be winding down at the end of the year, but this week has seen more incredible Bristol releases then pretty much every other week this year. If you don’t believe me check them out below:

Harvey Causon – Alliance

This first track off the young Bristol-based artist’s new EP is a perfectly formed, intricate spacey, pop song. With the lush, sparse instrumentation coupled with his smooth, beautiful vocal, it’s easy to get drawn in. Like a less murky Spooky Black, Harvey has crafted a forward thinking, and impressive, first taste into what his music is about.

Karma Repair Kit – Moodswinger

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the grunge quartet, but it has definitely been worth the wait. ‘Moodswinger’ is a menacing, winding take on their sound that, combined with the creepy as fuck video, will send chills down your spine. From the tar-thick guitars to the shredded vocals, this track is the band’s own twisted anthem.

Cousin Kula – Ode to Lyle

It’s hard to believe that this is only Cousin Kula’s second track. The effortless blend of funk bassline, the dual R&B vocals and psyche breakdowns, is so confident, so smooth that this sound like a band on their second album, not second track. Like a more loose and flowing Jungle, or maybe a more tropical Foals, ‘Ode to Lyle’ is a bold release from the young band.

Hope Tala – skit

‘skit’ has been gaining a bit of steam recently, so I thought it best to bring it back to people’s attentions. The song feels like an intrusive bedroom demo, like something we were never supposed to be allowed to hear. It’s so raw, so personal, so simple. Hope, who’s from London-via-Bristol, mixes stripped back piano and her fragile tender with R&B melodies to create something completely new. On ‘skit’, her storytelling ability shines through, hooking you from the first line.

Spectres – Dissolve

Although this came out a few weeks ago, I thought it’d be worth sticking it back in for those who haven’t seen the band’s dirty, disgusting, dick-heavy video. It see’s Spectres being turned into live art and caked in mud, whilst a group of men shout and strip in their peripheral. The track fits the visuals perfectly; it thrashes like an animal in its death throes, with static and feedback whirling underneath the hypnotising bassline.

Thee MVPS – A Song For Baron Willoughby

Finally, in one of the last week’s of the year, Thee MVPs have gifted us with an album, and topping it off is surf-punk banger ‘A Song For Baron Willoughby’. With guitars played at 100 mph, a slurred vocal from singer Charlie and a killer solo all present, all the hallmarks of Thee MVPs are there, proving once again why the band are so god damn exciting.

American Enthusiasm – Holy Wow

Although this track still retains Am En’s lo-fi charm, the driving drums and energetic guitar lines have elevated the duo, and serve as a great introduction to their new EP of the same name. The song’s mix of lo-fi surf guitars and the impassioned vocals is so simple, but so effective.

ThisIsDA – The Sufferbus

Since releasing his stunning EP 21 & Done back in June, Bristolian ThisIsDA has hardly rested on his laurels. Instead of sitting back and pushing the singles out, the rapper has been releasing beautiful visuals for the tracks. This time ‘The Sufferbus’ has gets the treatment, and the video has ThisIsDA turned into cartoon form to accompany one of the best tracks off the EP.

Kodie Shane – Sad Feat. Lil Yachty

If there’s one song title to succinctly sums up 2016 it’s this one. Inside though, ‘Sad’ has a catchy hook with a emotional depth that maybe you wouldn’t have expected from one of Lil Yachty’s Sailing Crew. Bursting with youthful angst, even Yachty sounds a bit bummed out on this cut.

Neurotic Fiction – Mediator

The latest addition to Bristol’s Art Is Hard’s Pin Pals Club, ‘Mediator’ is a fast punk romp. Both simultaneously calming and exhilarating, the tune is well worthy of pin badge status.

Come back next week for more tracks (I can’t promise it won’t be ‘Last Christmas’ 10 times)