Music Reviews: February 2024

Words: Gemma Cockrell, Maddie Dinnage, Phil Taylor
Tuesday 13 February 2024
reading time: min, words

This month, we review music from Louis Croft, Molly, Alfie Wallace, Cheap Dirty Horse, Serena Jasmine, LYVIA, Charity Stow, Tom Shawcroft and Betsey B...

Louis Croft
This Town (EP)
Following singles One Day A Dream Came To Me and Make My Way Home, Louis Croft has released his EP This Town, a tribute to Nottingham and beloved football club, Nottingham Forest (other local football clubs are available). With jangly guitars and warm indie tones, his sound has a similar feel to the early work of The Lathums - if their success is anything to go by, Croft is onto great things and the Jake Bugg comparisons that he is receiving only add to the feeling that he has the potential to reach wider audiences. Gemma Cockrell

Burning Bridges (EP)
'Smooth' hardly begins to describe the sound of local artist Molly, exemplified perfectly on her latest record. This five-track EP spans genres from soul to chilled alt-pop via funk, and a beautifully paced and reflective journey. Opener Wear Me Out showcases Molly's most sultry vocals and stays low key, packed with hazy intrigue. From there the record opens up, but oh, so, subtly. Look out for Jayahadadream guesting on Burning Bridges, an expansive soundscape of nighttime urban raps and beats, followed by an exquisite segue into the piano-anchored closing track, Unique. A memorable record curated with precision. Phil Taylor

Alfie Wallace 
Runaway (Single)
Coinciding with his set on the Confetti Presents stage at Hockley Hustle back in October, local indie-rock artist Alfie Wallace released his wistful new single Runaway and we have had it on repeat ever since. The track begins with an urgent yet euphoric percussion beat, interwoven with a dreamy chime which serves as the unwavering heartbeat of the track. The singer’s vocals are achingly indie-esque, not too dissimilar from the likes of Sam Fender; this up-and-comer is one to have on your radar. Maddie Dinnage

Cheap Dirty Horse
On The Rob (Single)
When I was first introduced to this band, their songs were described as ‘big rowdy queer-trash folk-punk tunes’ and I was sold immediately. On The Rob has seen widespread success with over 450k views on TikTok, because that’s where all the cool kids find their music nowadays. Telling tales of stealing from the big, nasty corporations of the world (“If Robin Hood was alive then Robin Hood would”) the track is four minutes of pure fun that is guaranteed to stay in your head for much more than four minutes. Make sure to keep an eye out for their more recent single, the powerful love-filled queer anthem P.R.O.T.E.C.T.T.R.A.N.S.K.I.D.S., while you’re at it. Gemma Cockrell

Serena Jasmine
Rerooting (EP)
Infused with positive vibes and good energy, Rerooting became the soundtrack of my autumn after seeing it performed live at Hockley Hustle back in October. Highlights include the uplifting Sincerity, the incredibly catchy Money Mind, and lead single The Game, which will definitely get your head bopping as alluded to in the lyrics. Another golden moment I must mention is One Way Flying, which is complemented by additional vocals from Ranger. An essential listen if you need reminding that nothing is permanent and you have full control of the direction your life takes. Gemma Cockrell

Trippin (Single)
Following an appearance on ITV’s The Voice UK in 2022 and a spot on the Courtyard Stage at Splendour Festival back in 2023 (doesn’t it all feel so long ago now?), Trippin by LYVIA is a track which has a low-key feel to it while remaining simultaneously upbeat and catchy. The vocals flow seamlessly over the instrumental as if they were truly made for each other, and it’s no surprise that the song has received so much love and support from LYVIA’s vast social media following since it was released back in September. Her latest single Bumblebee continues in this direction. Gemma Cockrell

Charity Stow 
What The World Wants (Single)
Local singer-songwriter Charity Stow has made good use of a Youth Music NextGen grant to produce this upbeat, Americana-tinged song all about discovery, acceptance and exploration. It opens gently but soon kicks into gear, settling into a pacey tempo. The musical message is presented confidently early on and then explored through subtle variations as the track develops. There's a great sense of freedom, not least through the vocal delivery: Charity sounds completely at ease right from the start, and even more so towards the end where she launches into an incredible, liberated falsetto. She sounds free and in charge and it's great to be part of that as a listener. Phil Taylor

Tom Shawcroft 
love you, always (acoustic) (Single)
Following the success of the wholesome hit single love you, always, Tom Shawcroft releases an acoustic rendition of his much-loved track. The raw, acoustic instrumentals only heighten the feeling that this tune is truly made-with-love. Complete with plonky guitar melodies, love you, always (acoustic) has everything you could possibly need in a poppy confession of love. Tom is definitely in his Lover era. Maddie Dinnage 

Betsey B
Too Many Times (Single)
2022 Future Sound of Nottingham winner Betsey B is back with her new single Too Many Times, a track which takes on a more pop-infused and upbeat approach than her previous more acoustic-leaning offerings. On this track, her vocal tone emits the feeling that she is having more fun than ever before while singing the song, her voice lending itself perfectly to this experimentation with a new, more upbeat style. Gemma Cockrell

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