Subsonic Eye – Fruitcake
At its best, lo-fi indie-rock is the kind of music made by very resourceful musicians, forced to find their own methods of writing and recording. While it may not contain the ear-candy of some of the pop hits that radio pummels us with, it does usually feature original songwriting voices.
Subsonic Eye sounds like that to me. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that they hail from Indonesia. And, while they do cite a number of Western indie-pop groups as influences, much of their sound seems as if it was created in a vacuum.
There’s something giddy and experimental about the way they approach Fruitcake. Over a reinterpretation of jagged indie-rock guitars complete with a punchy rhythm section, the singing tells the tale of internal-conflict.
Subsonic Eye sounds like an art-rock group taking on the task of writing a pop hit and bringing all their quirks to the table for this.
The Zangwills – Call
If the internet and playlists did anything is to kill the idea that musicians needed to make music that adheres strictly to a set of industry regulations. Those narrow-minded notions are limited to the era when radio and music shops reigned supreme, and when records had to fit into certain niches in order to get sold to fans of a genre.
The modern playlists and ways of sharing music have not just allowed folks to distribute their favourite songs. It has also allowed musicians to be exposed to many more genres than they would in the past. A musician’s budget for buying records can only be stretched so fart after all. Finally, it’s also eliminated part of the dreadful cynicism and notions of “guilty pleasures“.
Call by The Zangwills sounds like an 80s dance-rock tune that A-Ha might have made. Soulful vocals offering memorable lines run alongside the galloping retro sounding beat and keys.
Like a great, long lost 80s radio hit, Call knows just when to hit its marks. There’s not much bite here, but, instead, there are plenty of memorable melodic lines that make this the kind of tune that many pop stars of old would be happy to have written.