New Music: The Hics, Little Death Machine, Steve Rich & The Hills

Rounding up some new sounds for you, first we have The Hics, a band manufactured in one of my old stomping grounds – the music factory that is… Pimlico, south London. This six-piece met taking the classical/jazz course at the quirkily-shaped Pimlico School and they release their first EP, “Tangle”, today on SQE. Mellifluous instrumentation and deftly interwoven vocals make for an enticing mix – high production values and slow, enticing rhythms explain why they’re releasing this in the US first, and why word is spreading so fast. Someone, somewhere is having sex to this as I type.

I’m not sure you could change direction any more radically than to switch to the devastating impact of Little Death Machine. Daniel Cross (guitars, vocals and programming) and Clare Tsangari (drums) pack a powerful punch and the video (augmented by Jamie Kendall’s arresting design) is an impressive piece of work delivering sparkling visual thrills from a pretty basic set-up. The song suffers from a few too many ideas making it hard to follow, but in the simpler, stripped-down sections in particular this is rocking stuff and it is going to be interesting to see where these guys go next.

Finally, we move onto mellower, mandolin-infused moments with Steve Rich & The Hills and their new single “Someday, Someday” which is out right now. You can probably hear in the world-weary, hoarse vocals, some of Steve’s life story – a past riddles with substance abuse being turned around, not least through his music.  “Someday, Someday” was written in the soft light of a sunset in France and it doesn’t take much to imagine this soundtracking evenings sat out on the veranda, drinking in the fresh air and cold beer.

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