A Weekly Guide to Your New Obsession

By Jeff Knight

Jonquil – “It Never Rains”

Yet another awesome band from Oxford, UK! Jonquil released their EP “One Hundred Suns” a few months ago, and it’s been making some well-deserved noise on the blogosphere. From the first track you can see the bold, new direction the band is taking with their music. They’ve transitioned from orchestral, indie folk-rock to a synth/afro-beat-inspired/indie-pop sound that has been successful with bands like Vampire Weekend. They’ve also taken a few notes from fellow Oxford natives Foals’ angular guitar on a couple other tracks. It all sounds so great. I can’t help but smile when I listen to their track “It Never Rains”—it just exudes happiness throughout. The song has such playfulness about it as the lead guitar dances in and out of the popping vocals and harmonies. The soft, cute synth adds a great floor for everything else to jump up from, giving the rest of the band room to take us to a tropical paradise. This song, along with the rest of the EP, is just a fun listen all the way through. You can pick it up HERE!

“It Never Rains”:

Jonquil will be performing with Bombay Bicycle Club for two nights in NYC at the Knitting Factory and then at the Mercury Lounge on the 13th and 14th of March.

Chad Valley – “Acker Bilk”

If you didn’t get enough of Jonquil, then look no further than this second post! Why? Because Chad Valley is none other than Jonquil’s lead man, Hugo Manuel! You can see here, in his solo stuff, how he might’ve influenced Jonquil’s new direction, but this project is still completely his. When working alone, he gets to flex his creative, electronic muscles out, moulding some soft, dance-y, down-tempo jams. “Acker Bilk” starts off with some far-out vocals and slow building synth-pads; it’s like we just woke up in a dream where we’re greeted by Hugo’s comforting, self-harmonized voice as he starts the story. The dream only gets prettier as the song goes on, with more and more lush synth-pads and airy samples that start painting this wonderful picture. Then the many layers of Hugo’s voice come in more and more, weaving in and out of each other, adding so much to this sonic dreamscape. As the song draws to a close, Hugo almost reaches out with his hand, and gently lowers our heads onto a soft pillow, as we fall back into another dream.

“Acker Bilk”:

Catch Chad Valley at Glassland on the 11th of March!

Girls Names – “Don’t Let Me In”

Girls Names is the first Irish band to be featured OneHundredDown! I saw them perform at the Wheelbarrow in London last week. They put on a great show, even though the crowd was not that into it (you know what British hipsters are like, right?). Check out “Don’t Let Me In”, a song that gives you a warning before you even start listening, for if you do (let them in that is), you’ll find yourself endlessly listening to it on repeat. This post-punk-meets-shoegaze track gives you just what you want: simple but effective drumbeats, ear-pleasing guitar chords, and hauntingly enticing vocals on a very catchy chorus.

“Don’t Let Me In”:

Also check out this cool video for “Séance on a Wet Afternoon”.

Their debut album “Dead to Me” will be released on the 25th of April via Tough Love. Pre-order it HERE!

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