The Other  End – ‘Far From Home’

Way too often less is more and especially in music that trend can be a crucial element when it comes to the ’emotional’ success of a track. But it’s not just about the reduction that matters here, it’s about the interaction of all the other elements – good songwriting, distinctive vocal work, authentic performance and good lyrical content. Ida Knoph-Solholm and Alexander Breidvik from Bergen mastered that challenge perfectly on the debut single from their band The Other End. Far From Home is a tender beauty, carried by sad melancholia and Knoph-Solholm’s gentle vocal performance.

According to the band the track is about ‘almost losing a loved one, without being able to do anything about it’ and it really transports that feeling pretty well, I must say. The fact that it’s based on a true story might also help. The debut EP by The Other End was crafted with the help of producer Iver Sandøy and it will arrive this March, hopefully continuing the duo’s passion for honest and raw emotional sad pop. You can always count me in for that sort of sound and hopefully a few of you will join me on this one. (Norman)

Dream Wife – ‘Hey Heartbreaker’

Photo by Joanna Kiely

By now it feels as if good ol’ independent rock is in solid female hands and judging from the quality of all those young, ambitious and talented women we all couldn’t be more happy about that. The uprising feels real and London-based three-piece Dream Wife is another proof for that. They already caused excitement among us thanks to their catchy tune Let’s Make Out back in November. Now, Rakel, Bella and Alice unleashed another catchy piece of indie garage rock prior to their freshly released self-titled debut album.

Hey Heartbreaker is one hell of apowerful indie pop anthem and also comes with an animated video from Joe Prytherch. It shows the trio in a slightly different mechanical form, inspired by famous Anime movies like Akira. ‘We like to think that in another reality our robot versions are continuing their adventures;’ the band says about the clip,‘Perhaps in the forest, perhaps plotting for a robot revolution, perhaps playing wild, secret rock shows to other robots.’ And that’s indeed a nice thought. If you appreciate timeless attitude of Dream Wife as much as I do, please give this band a chance. (Norman)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’

In January, immediately after our prediction of a successful year ahead for her in December, Soccer Mommy aka Sophie Allison released the first song from her first studio album which is due in March this year. Your Dog is the perfect soundtrack to the ‘quick burst of motivation’ that is usual for the turn of the year. Together with its flagrant video, the song presents someone finding (momentary) strength after feeling weak in a relationship for a long time.

Soccer Mommy’s debut Clean will see the bedroom sound of Allison’s earlier DIY recordings transformed into a more polished sound. The Nashville native plays music since she’s six and, in the beginning, did so mainly for herself. She gradually put more emphasis on recording and producing her songs and decided to release them in 2015 on Bandcamp under her now well-known moniker. This lead to live shows, a record deal and the release of Collection: ‘It was a natural progression. I’d always wanted my music to sound this way, I just didn’t have the means before,’ says Allison. Clean finally arrives on March tne 2nd via Fat Possum and we surely can’t wait for it. (Jessi)

Cat Princess – ‘Fly On Your Wall’

Need some extra motivation to lock your doors and keep your curtains closed? Well here’s Swedish five-piece Cat Princess with their lizard rock stalker song Fly On Your Wall. After the jangled their way through their introductory Please Me EP in 2016, they spent 2017 largely honing their craft live and working in the studio. And having strange dreams, if Fly On Your Wall is anything to go by.

The band say ‘It’s our most straightforward song yet and probably the catchiest stalker-song since Every Breath You Take”. And they may have a point: Fly On The Wall is early Franz Ferdinand-ish art rock given a deranged charisma by singer Nils Krång’s baritone. The guitars chip and sparkle, there’s a weird ol’ synth wig-out, and the titular Fly greases his obsessive way all over the track. Unnerving but infectious listening. And it comes with this extremely slick stop-motion video made by bassist Isabelle Friberg. It’s out now with the B-Side Marxist With A Twist on Rama Lama Records. (Austin)

Farida – ‘You’

Into the valley of early 2018 releases comes Farida, also known as Norwegian/Algerian musician Farida Bolseth Benounis, a professional dancer-turned-popstar with big plans for the year. Farida has released a stream of singles since 2015, but her new single You moves her onto a whole new level.

This is where Farida showcases her ability to the soul that naturally resides in her voice around hypermodern digital pop production. You is a song that doesn’t need chorus fireworks to grab your attention: instead, it wears its rhythm more subtly, a soft, low-key piece of glitchy R’n’B that slinks through its chorus. Keep an eye open for more over the coming months. (Austin)

NBHAP’s Daily Tunes from January 2018

Find all of those songs and plenty of other new music in the following playlist which – obviously – gets updated daily.