Introducing: Hella Better Dancer

So, it’s been a very quiet period on this blog as of late. Of course, the usual excuses have been holding back the updates; a new job, moving cities, the holidays, etc. And while it may be the turn of the new year and the renewed excitement that comes with it which has me blogging again, I am happier to say that it is more down to a collection of artists that have me all excited about new music once more, a few of which I will be blogging about over the coming weeks.

The first of these is  Hella Better Dancer. While they hail from Camden, London, there is little else listed online to describe the four-piece And yet, with music as immersive as these guys are putting out, you’ll almost be glad that there are no such distractions.

No doubt about it, Hella Better Dancer’s music is some of the freshest I’ve heard in a long time. Even despite the obvious youth seen in their press shots, they have a rich and atmospheric sound that artists double their age long to pull off successfully- a sound sometimes even captured through nothing more than a Built-In-Microphone recording in a member’s front room.

However, as the video above shows, this is more than just some laptop trickery. Indeed, played live, tracks like ‘Sleep’  are delivered with even greater passion and impressive musicianship than their lo-fi counterparts. Why not see for yourself? The band play The Lock Tavern, Camden on January 20th (more info). In the meantime, be sure to check out the band’s Bandcamp page for some free downloads (link).


Lianne La Havas – Lost And Found (Lapalux Remix)

The trend seems to show that the rise of any new solo female artist seems to bring with it a slew of remixes. Remember Skream’s take on ‘In For The Kill’? The XX’s rework of Florence, or more recently Breakage’s fantastic rework of Claire Maguire’s ‘Aint Nobody’? But hey, if it gets artists like the latter onto worldwide Renault adverts, surely something in the formula is going right.

And so the latest incarnation in this list is Lapalux’s excellent rework of Lianne La Havas. Regardless of your opinion on her (personally, I wasn’t convinced of the hype around her until I saw her performance from TED, featured below), this remix is hard to disagree with. Lianne’s bluesy and swung vocals are teamed perfectly with a subtle bassline and swinging drums that give the track a great flow and sense of movement, great both for the dancefloor or for the lounge.

Single ‘Lost & Found’, complete with this and other remixes, is available on iTunes here.

Siren – Buckets Of Blood/The Surrender

Discovered a great new record this morning in the shape of Siren’s new double-A side released yesterday. Single ‘Buckets Of Blood’ has already been causing a bit of a stir due to the video (YouTube) which showcases the many talents of Siren, real name Stefan Niedermeyer, including being a sick skateboarder and apparently, a penchant for performing on rooftops.

For me though, the flip side ‘The Surrender’ is the one that’s really grabbed my attention. Kicking off with a playful and iTunes-advert-friendly piano riff, the track builds up to a brilliant conclusion with the added vocals of Lucy Rose, a fellow singer/songwriter who can seem to do no wrong at the minute.

I’ll be playlisting this track for my first slot on DIY Radio that kicks off Friday May 5th, so be sure to tune in if you like the sounds of this.