GIFT HORSEHappy Clappy

I’m a huge fan of acts chock full of personality, and oh my word, this Glasgow duo are the epitome of exactly that, as fully displayed in their stupendous debut album.

They dive right into a swirl of majestic disarray with the stunningly titled Custard Tart, before reeling back considerably for the dreamily weird Sempiternelle Danse Moderne, dotted with intriguing lyrics throughout, and from there, the pair zig-zag across a variety of styles and manners, all of which are just as engaging as the last.

Such notable choices include Little Trip, which unpredictably descends into beautifully manic chaos, then Five Starlings is mysteriously atmospheric for the majority before bursting into a boisterous finale, and Girl On Fire keeps you captivated while it consistently evolves throughout its duration.

2021 is only just getting started, but Gift Horse’s first full-length record will definitely go down as one of the year’s most delightfully unique and awesome releases, and hopefully this leads to bigger things for them because they are special indeed.


LIZZIE REIDCubicle     

Lizzie’s music is of the lo-fi variety with a faint folky tinge that exudes these warm, comforting vibes. There are tender guitar chords in electric and acoustic form at different intervals, and they are the primary element of the angelically rippling melodies that proceed super smoothly, at no point ever being too intense or vivid, it eases you up and gets you totally lost in the content, distracted from everything else.

There’s a very organic feel to the content and the general sound which perfectly ties in with the equally organic nature of the lyrics in which Lizzie explores herself, analysing her mindset and her feelings through the process and the aftermath of a relationship, and what makes Lizzie so refreshing is that there is no sense of spite as you would usually get with this type of theme, she’s incredibly sincere and gracious, and as a result she comes off as very humble and utterly likeable.

Highlighted by the likes of the soulful Been Thinking About You, the nice Tribute, and the absolutely perfect feline-finished Seamless, Cubicle is one of the most flawless debuts to emerge from the Scottish scene in recent memory, and certainly one of the most heart-warming, which is something that has undeniably helped fill an empty void in the midst of the current times we live in.

Thanks so much Lizzie, it’s clear by the universal love and praise between I and many others that we all badly needed a record like this right now, and I’m personally extremely grateful for it.



If you’re involved in or at least have a routine awareness of the UK hardcore scene, then you might have heard about Oxford quartet LASTELLE, and the reason for that is simple: they’re pretty freaking good, and their forthcoming Delicate EP definitely cements that belief.

Distant Bodies is about as perfect an opener as you can get, with the band hammering out everything they’ve got right from the gates, with the insanely strong and passionate dual vocals matching up to a tee, belting out engaging lyrics as they go, and the guys continue to breathe a mighty life throughout Only Apathy, with a smashing, emotionally fuelled chorus to boot.

A transcendent melodic riff sequence signals Coping Without A Cure, and the hardy power of that introduction is retained throughout the rest of the song, backed up by steadily paced yet hard-hitting, battering beats of the drum.

That remains the case in Departure, with a distinctly extra oomph in the bass tones, and after the thickly atmospheric Reverie interlude, they smoothly ease into the finale, A Letter Unread, which resonates with a grand and even graceful of sorts scope, bursting at the seams with a climatic wave of feeling and empathy.

While a lot of acts of this genre are usually in favour of making their mark with the heaviest output of music possible, which I must emphasise is not a bad thing whatsoever and I’m always down for that, LASTELLE switch their focus in favour in creating powerfully sentimental and relatable content, and they achieve that impressively, in turn making a lasting long-term impact on the audience and spurring them to return and feast on it again and again.



Pearl’s latest release treats us to deliciously vibrant and regularly adapting soundwaves reaching from influences such as disco, mainstream chart pop, hippy-era rock, and Pearl’s bread-and-butter, some good old fashioned country.

A few cuts have an easy-going chilled out mood to them, including the likes of What I Need, and Imposter and its succulent accompanying sax. Don’t Feel Like Myself has a sweet, sparkling air, Take Your Time is such a dream with the implemented flashy sound effects and tones, and the writing is at its best in the serene title track.

The choruses are a consistently strong point, often being quite infectious and hook-laden; cases in point: Slipping Away, All The Way and Sweet Sunshine Wine. As Long As You’re Mine has a steady bounce in its step, and Only For Tonight, while maybe a little too similar to ABBA’s Dancing Queen, is such an incredible opener that has you immediately invested and buzzing for the rest of the album.

While certainly not without its spots of repetition and derivation in parts throughout, Magic Mirror is overall a marvellous record that puts you in a positive mood during and after being given a spin, and it can easily be classified as Pearl Charles’ most superb work to date.


ZEAHORSELet’s Not (And Say We Did)

We get here a series of chaotically groovy tracks racing along to a brisk and bouncing pace based around sweet, gritty riffs, thickly churned out basslines and great, catchy drum beats.

The vocals have a cool, plainly punky edge to them that gives the music that little extra sprinkling of frontal aggression, with the lyrics often matching up to the tone too, and the choruses tend to be just as rampant as the invigorating verses, if not even more so; The Ladder and the nippy One Of Everything being the major focal points.

The land down under has produced a range of cracking rock and metal acts over the past year, and this Sydney outfit are no different, continuously showcasing their development with this superb third record in their arsenal that is from bell to bell a juicy, high-octane blast.