A selection of some great singles released throughout 2021
Released 20th November 2020:
Although technically this is an EP, as it times at 20 minutes and 20 seconds (hence the name of the song: "Twenty Twenty"), it is one single track, which takes us on a journey of sonic delight (and apparently Ikitan is the God of the sound of the stones). It is purely instrumental, but the vocals aren't missed because the song is both progressive and psychedelic, with enough style changes and tempo twists to keep you intrigued and coming back to it again and again. It is almost like they are guiding you into a time portal, where you completely lose yourself in the riffs and solos that flow effortlessly throughout it's entirety. This is a fantastic debut by the Italian three-piece.
Released 27th November 2020:
The third single from Ask Carol's forthcoming album was released in November 2020, with the video following in April 2021. "Darkest Hour" is a melancholic yet powerful song tinged with paranoia and tension, but also defiance in the face of fear. The layers of effects give it a full sound that defies the fact this is a two-piece band, and although they confess that it was recorded DIY style during the lock-down, the production feels great. Carol's vocals are passionate, spiked with a little angst and attitude, making this an enduring track.
Released 5th February 2021:
The song builds steadily from a rolling guitar and drum intro, the vocals uncover a rising tension before exploding into a no nonsense, catchy chorus that makes great use of swirling backing-vocal harmonies. The keyboards give another dimension to the verse in particular, with an Inspiral Carpets/Charlatans "Indie heyday" style, before the raucous chorus kicks in again; this segues into an angst-ridden blues-rock section that further increases the tension within the song, mirrored by the autumnal video that suddenly explodes into destructive tendencies, ending with another crescendo chorus, into a breathless finale. "Shake" is a deeply atmospheric song that is stylishly constructed, and builds in energy and calls out to your emotions.
Released 11th December 2020:
The Slow Cooked Bears released their second single, entitled "The Grand Scheme" at the end of 2020. The energy and grit shines through in this track, with the guitar growling those dirty blues riffs through distorted tones, over the punchy drums and bass. The lyrics unashamedly call out the woeful state of the world's authority figures ("Devil's in disguise") and our unquestioning acquiescence ("We're partners in this crime"). The Grand Scheme is a raw and visceral song, and another brilliant example of the band's ability to sculpt unique, catchy songs with a serious edginess built in.