Single Reviews - 13 January 2023; The Fuchsias, Cholly, SHN, Warahenege, Floating Circles

Photo by Hayes Potter

The Fuchsias - Elephante 

instrumental rock

Brighton instrumental two-piece The Fuchsias have released the blistering single "Elephante", taken from their debut EP 'Isle' which asserts the group as a reckoning force in the experimental instrumental scene. Recorded in Brighton and Amsterdam, the track slowly sprawls out around a vast and enfolding composition that seems to abide by its own laws of physics. Despite the absence of vocals, there are clear voices to be heard; in the meticulously produced drums, ambient flutters, and mille-feuille guitars. There's enough moxie in the hard-hitting drums and dark mood for this track to err on the side of post-metal, though its more ambient and experimental leanings make this an alternative piece of music not worried about genre but with keeping its eye on merging disparate elements to form one coherent, albeit dark, sonic picture.    

CHOLLY - Winter Scarf

experimental pop

UK pop technologist Cholly fully embraces experimentation on her recent single "Winter Scarf". The confessional song segues from spacey piano balladry, the high-frequency blow of which makes the piano keys feel like icicles before blasts of muted strings play around warm ambiences and botched vocals, covering the colder elements with prettiness, much like the proverbial scarf in the title. Cholly is the nom de plume of an artist whose real name is somewhat anonymous. Simply stated as Chloe on her Bandcamp, her Soundcloud goes further with 'Chloe T'. However, any internet detective work beyond this goes past music journalism and into the realm of being a stalker. We should respect artists' privacy in the glass house of the internet. From a distance, Cholly has released one album and one EP, and if "Winter Scarf" is anything to go by, we are listening to an artist in complete control of their developed and idiosyncratic craftwork.

SHN - 27 in a 7-Eleven


It takes some time to become accustomed to the accent of Malaysian singer-songwriter SHN on her recent single, "27 in a 7-Eleven". It could be because Chloe Soh, the woman behind the name, also sings in Malay and Mandarin. That's not to say that her accent sounds off-putting or not to a native level. Instead, it lands on some over-pronounced mouthfuls like "freezer section". Thankfully, SHN is good at writing catchy pop with novelty themes. 7-Eleven holds a global cultural appeal. In the USA, the chain of convenience stores was a popular hang-out spot for teens in the 70s and 80s. In South East Asia, it represents the comfort of its selection, and air conditioning gives it a cosy-capitalistic family feel. SHN quirkily sums up the feeling of getting older in relation to the landmarks of our pasts, presents, and futures, places that will probably outlive us. Notably, the song is jovial and fast, a quirky pop song all around, though certainly for those with a liberal taste, others may have to continue shopping.


Warahenege - Blue Atoms 

dream pop / indie rock

Mancunian dream pop artist Warahenge plays palatable hazy indie rock that sounds like it was written specifically for making out. It harbours a similar warm, sweet, innocuous indie rock sound, a la Cigarettes After Sex, Mew, Tame Impala et al. that slots smoothly in the background, though it can be enjoyed with undivided attention. The project is helmed by Praveen Somarathn, who grew up in Sri Lanka and whose music has a colourful sense of life and balance. His recent single "Blue Atoms" is a tightly produced slice of shoe-gaze-playlist-ready style; though it fits more with the modern iteration of shoe gaze (i.e. anything that's kinda slow) and not music that requires guitars so affected by peddles, it looks as if the guitarist is looking at their shoes. But that's just genre nonsense. In the end, this is pleasant music for lovers or singletons. 

Floating Circles - Clinging To The Weekend's End 


This high-spirited blast of unaltered jazz fun comes from a group of Guildhall school of music alumni. Driven by the chipper compositions of Aidan Pearson on clarinet, the group consists of Johanna Burnheart on violin, Matt Hurley on guitar, Jonny Wickham on bass, and Arthur Newell on drums. Playing together since 2017, the group deliver tightly-knit jazz-funk, which is upbeat to a contagious level. These musicians simply sound happy to be playing songs that sound like they were happily written. Finland's Aalto University produced research that shows emotions are themselves contagious, positive ones more so. That explains why listening to this track perks the spirit and is quite an espresso shot in the morning.