Only one great album this month, the brilliant debut from Oxfordshires Trophy Wife. Massive shame it is their last as well as their first. Biggest surprise was the enjoyment I had in some of the tracks on the Stooshe album, I am not ashamed to admit. Josh Kumra’s debut was the biggest disappointment, I had high hopes for this record, I can only hope it is followed by some edgier material.
Josh Kumra – Good Things Comes To Those Who Don’t Wait
Swindon lad done good Josh follows up last years number 1 single collaboration with Wretch32 with this debut album. Although still showcasing his ear for a sweet melody and forlorn lyric it has clearly been influenced by the big label, as it is highly polished and produced, steering a course directly for big chart returns and the middle ground, playing safe and losing a lot of the edge that originally appealed. Nothing particularly wrong with it, but nothing particularly exciting either.
Sadly this debut is the last act for this Oxford band as they are breaking up. And a great shame it is too, as this record is a fantastic piece of work, all edgy indie pop, with a dark boldness like Bastille on a bad day. Endlessly creative use of sound, rhythm and vocabulary mean this is a record that demands repeat listening, blending traditional instrumentation with electronica in a balanced and progressive way. Come back guys, we only just got to know you!
10th album from this long-running Yank band. Most famous for 1998 super-hit “Iris” this album is more of the same kind of torch-bearing anthemic rock music. Full with plenty of college radio friendly melodies of a sort that are sure to be all over Disney-channel teen dramas for the next couple of years it does not break new ground. But the songs are solid if formulaic, and do leave you with a sense of optimism and hope. A pleasant distraction.
Hoping to fill the current girl-band void this London three-piece seems to have more about them than most pretenders. It all hinges on the sassy, soulful vocals that are in your face and highlight the punchy lyrics that make a valiant attempt at being provocative. But while the tunes are addictive, hook laden and very playful it is all a bit lacking in depth and heart. And with the singles up at the beginning it dies a slow death.
Published in The Ocelot Magazine, June 2013