Hockeysmith – “Hesitate” single

Hockeysmith are a pair of sisters from Cornwall who make alternative electronic music.

Infused with Trent Reznor-like guitars and big, fuzzy bass synths, their single “Hesitate” plays on the contrast between the big and heavy, and the beautiful and the melodic. There are a lot of dominant elements in this song, but the cut-up nature of them means that there is room for the more delicate, unpredictable elements like the vocals and the pad synths to jump out. The vocals are excellent, with both a pop, and a soul feel to them that borders on the likes of modern Drum and Bass, and Massive Attack. They are definitely the strongest feature of the track. Overall it’s very nicely composed, and a real interesting listen.

The band are fairly secretive across their social media channels, but the video for this single was featured on Noisey, exclusively, today, so the sisters are obviously doing something right!


Norma Jean Martine – “No Gold” single

The Great Escape festival is throwing out a lot of talented acts this week, and Norma Jean Martine is one that has quite a buzz surrounding her online.

Norma is a singer-song writer from New York, and her single “No Gold” is a classy, upbeat pop song that is dominated by her rich and luscious voice. Songs like this are made for radio: a big powerful chorus, a lively middle 8, and an even more powerful outro that sees her move  away from her usual silky and sultry tone. She reminds me very much of Adele – which says ample about her quality and execution. Ok, so the style is a tried and tested formula, but here, it is the strength of her voice and the song writing itself that earns her a place on the tips of many-a-people’s tongue.

Norma is steadily gaining traction in the UK scene: performing a session with Huw Stephens last month, as well as slots at a number of UK music festivals this Summer. I predict we’ll be hearing a lot more of this gorgeous lady in the months to come


Softengine – “Something Better” Single *Eurovision Special*

Softengine are a Finnish five piece singed to Sony (Finland). As such, this isn’t an “Introducing” feature as these guys are already on their way, but their single is so good that I think it deserves a mention nonetheless.

Those of you who have been watching the recent Eurovision Qualifiers will already know this song, and if you don’t, you’ll believe me when I say that this was the only decent rock track to be played that night; and it rightly earned them a place in the final (well done chaps).

Trust Finland, home of Lorde, to put forward rock; and an actually credible act at that!

The calibre of “Something Better” places it alongside many of the top-tier rock bands that are played on Kerrang etc on a daily basis in my opinion. The strong falsetto in the chorus makes it instantly recognisable, and it doesn’t have that “Oh, that’s Europop” vibe to it that puts so many of us Brits off. Ignore that they’re in Eurovision – this is a good band.