Single Reviews: 15 August 2023: tr!stan., Lucagotbbm, Laura Misch, Fellow Hollow, Ann Annie

Photo by Mathias Reding

tr!stan. - Spiral Ethos 


Operating from his University dorm room in the South West of the UK, ambient producer Tristan Pilkington, A.K.A tr!stan., merges static and evolving synths with cascading tones, mournful strings, and subtle birdsong on the single "Spiral Ethos", a track taken from his most recent EP Certain of nothing. "Spiral Ethos" is a finely sculpted track and provides space to ruminate on the mood created, one of patient introspection that takes many unexpected twists and turns throughout its seven-minute runtime, never landing anywhere that might drastically interrupt the soft and deliciously calming mood. Rhythmically arranged bursts of white noise and nearly-incomprehensible spoken word add a generous hand of experimental ambitions to this otherwise unfettered foray into textured ambient.

Lucagotbbm - Stay Up 


Londonite producer Lucagotbbm may be relatively new to the music scene, having first released his music last year, but he has spent the past five years honing and crafting his skills, of which there are many, as evidenced on his recent single "Stay Up". Vacillating between sweetly sung pop folk profanity, grimy breakbeat, and atmospheric electronica, this track is void of pretence and doesn't acquiesce to commercial demands, even though the pop hooks make it obvious that can do so at the drop of a hat. Late-night-alternative-radio-friendly, "Stay Up" is a multi-faceted sonic exploration of "hedonism and wanting to achieve something", and this theme of philosophical fence-sitting is wonderfully executed in the erratic, yet somehow consistent, shifts in mood, energy, and attitude.

Laura Misch - Hide to Seek 


London-based composer and producer Laura Misch builds a delicately balanced house of cards on her recent single "Hide to Seek", a moreish and intoxicating cut from the upcoming album Sample the Sky. Fusing glitchy production techniques with jazz instrumentation and impeccable vocals, Misch creates a sonic world that stands out as unique but not impenetrable, and the complexity of her arrangements is contradictorily easy to digest and gentle on the ear. According to the artist, this track is about "desire and wanting someone to draw out parts of yourself that you're hiding", and while stoic souls who extoll the virtues of self-sufficiency might wince at the co-dependent theme, there's no denying that Misch's music is capable of bringing resting awareness to the surface. 

Fellow Hollow - Smokies 


If you've ever wondered what Radiohead might sound like if Thom Yorke weren't so moody, check out "Smokies", the recent single from Colombus, Ohio group Fellow Hollow, a three-piece outfit comprised of head honcho Andrew Williams, as well as core members Luke Fleeman and Michael Barnett. This single is taken from the upcoming album "Boughs of Teeth" and is an emotively complex, but ultimately lighthearted exploration of psychological depths. Indeed, Fellow Hollow operates on focused expressionism, employing a bed of acoustic instrumentation, strange electronic flourishes, and gentle songwriting to produce a comprehensive if not ambiguous mood that will get your feet tapping as you ponder the deep philosophical musings it inspires.

Ann Annie - Three Chords 


Ann Annie is the peculiarly regular-name-like moniker of Portland-based composer Eli Goldberg. In the artist's recent single "Three Chords", a simple piano melody builds towards sweeping profundity, becoming more and more capricious and temperamental, etching its way into the listener's emotional consciousness. Joined by double bass player David Allred, Goldberg collides tape hiss galore and jubilant orchestration to produce an otherworldly slice of neoclassical with an experimental core.