Single Reviews - 10 December 2022 - Hania Rani, West Wickhams, LOMNOUVO, Wieke Garcia, Christof Keller

Photo by Mike van den Berg 

Hania Rani - Spring 


Polish pianist and composer Hania Rani has been asserting her presence as a leading figure in the neoclassical scene for the past few years. With her delicate playing style and compositions built around powerfully emotive themes, her music is mystical enough to elevate it from the more middle-of-the-road piano-based music that has become so popular as of late. Rani has recently announced her upcoming album, "On Giacometti", which will be released on Gondwana Records next February. Joining this fantastic news is the first single from the album "Spring", which features Rani's trademark closely-miked piano sound coloured with an eerie ambience. Despite following similar formulas as contemporaries Nils Frahm or Dustin O'Halloran, there's a uniqueness to Rani's gentle expressions that make her work instantly recognisable and rather inimitable. 

West Wickhams - This is a Hang Up 

indie rock 

Originally from the Isles of Scilly, West Wickhams are an indie rock duo of Jon Othello and Elle Flores. Their recent EP, "Magenta", is an admirable take on gothic rock, with its spiderweb-frail songs subtly shaded by reverb vocals low in the mix, jangly guitars, and measured percussion. The single "This is a Hang Up" from that EP is an unassuming track with a lot going on underneath its gelid exterior. Even though the subdued vibe makes any verse/chorus/verse structure hard to discern, it sticks. There's also an accompanying video of the track synced to a sci-fi b movie, should that kind of thing interest you.  

LOMNOUVO - La terre des Hommes


French pop rock artist LOMNOUVO pits radically danceable rhythms with pensive songwriting and stylish reversed electric guitars on his recent single "Le terre des Hommes". Though the track has a modern, high-quality sheen, there's a nostalgic feeling to the post-grunge sound, and one can hear elements of Noir Desire or even Oasis in the stadium-sized proportions and sentiment. Taken from the album "Les fou​(​le​)​s", which is out now. 

Wieke Garcia - Moriña 


Dutch multi-instrumentalist Wieke Garcia hypnotizes and sedates on "Moriña", a single taken from her recent EP "Earth". The track sees Wieke blend luxurious harp striking curios notes with delicate bass and ethereal vocals to create a track just as suitable for a massage parlour as the speakers of a music academic. Garcia's style of play is charming, with her sense of timing simultaneously being loose and tight, intuitively human, and capable of enchanting anyone who stumbles into her rich and colourful world.  

Christof Keller - Evokation


With cues from the rhythmic simplicity of Steve Reich and the atmosphere-bending sensibilities of Harold Budd, Christof Keller imbues his work with a personal style all his own on "Evokation". Playfully arranged, the track features a reliable triplet formation manifesting under acoustic guitar, piano, synths and hammered dulcimer. The end result can sometimes sound mechanical and directionless, as though soundtracking a video game character who is lost in the woods, though there is enough musicality and awareness of mood to make this track one to return to. Taken from the album "Garden Path" on now on the Heidelberg label MUSIKZIMMER MuZi.