Single Reviews: 24 July 2023: The Dreambows, Olivia Belli, Alba James, Holy Creatures, Rev. Barry Frink and The Bad Buzz

Photo by Ahya Agawis

The Dreambows - SPLAT! 


Sounding like a 7-inch from the '60s you might find by accident at a car boot sale, "SPLAT!" is the intoxicating new single from Floridian collective The Dreambows. Comprising members Stephen Dewsnap, Brandon Rasouli, Trevor Johnson, Dan Potvin, and Jake Ratiner, the group puts forward a highly noxious mood of restrained cool and retrofuturistic sexy-cool while not compromising their strong sense of musicality, underpinned here by repetitive rhythms, colourful guitars, and driving vocal melodies that rise above their subject matter of tarot reading and toast with jam (?).

Olivia Belli - Anima I 


Italian pianist and composer Olivia Belli couldn't play more gently if she tried on her recent single "Anima I". The first taste of her forthcoming album, the track evolves over three minutes of ambient and highly meditative solo piano. The notes composed are only one element of this absorbing track, with piano acoustics and subtle inhalations audible as Belli digs deep into emotive ruminations. Taking its name from the Greek word for 'psyche', this track represents the "auspicious moment just before a journey of transformation begins."

Alba James - Everything! 

experimental folk

French artist Alba James, now based in Sweden, is a purveyor of amorously intimate and admirably experimental soft folk, as evidenced by her recent single "Everything!" Whistles, manic vocal expressions, and distant percussive strikes play alongside timeless and memorable songwriting, which, at a little over two minutes, is neither too sentimental nor detached, with James carefully balancing these disparate elements of her music.

Holy Creatures - Animal 


Brisbanite Josh Lyon, AKA Holy Creatures, whisper-sings over atmospheric shoegaze-tinged indie rock on the debut single "Animal". While the track may not have much bite to its ethereal glow, the serene guitar strums, indiscernible synths, and a persistent rhythm section slowly seep into the eardrums, making an impact with unassuming melodies and somewhat of a psychedelic essence. "I'm just an animal for love," sings Lyon, lamenting the senseless nature of human attraction via this contradictorily high-minded jaunt.

Rev. Barry Frink and The Bad Buzz - Tuesday Night 

post punk

Hailing from Roscommon yet anything but common, Rev. Barry Frink and The Bad Buzz are a musical ensemble who are too blasé for a biography, simply listing "Fuck all ya'll" on their Bandcamp and "We're from Roscommon" on their Soundcloud. One is left to take their music at face value, and the project's recent single, "Tuesday Night", is an acerbic assault on domestic life that proudly proclaims the joys of being socially untethered. Turning the monotony of a Tuesday night into a never-ending search for more alcohol, drugs, and women with whom the narrator can cheat on their wife, this potentially offensive track employs hard-hitting music and idiosyncratic vocal delivery to render the darker sentiments convivial and lighthearted, though no less rock and roll.