Updated: May 1, 2021
As 2021 motors on and we look forward to live gigs, let's remind ourselves of some of the great tracks released this year which we can look forward to hearing live.
Turnstiles kicked off the year with their first EP, released on January 8.
As we noted in a review at the time "... the EP is a tremendously powerful blast of anger and rage, tinged with romance and shot through with optimism. It's not the poet-punk of Fontaines DC or the pop-punk of Blink-182. It may not even be post-punk - whatever it is, it is the true definition of existential (authentic, grounded in experience, rooted in reality) and it's perfect for 2021."
It is available on all streaming platforms and there are both vinyl and CD versions available in the Blowtorch Records shop.
In January 2021 Nixer released their fourth single Relax and joined Blowtorch Records.
We were blown away when we heard Relax. A driving synth bassline, a piercing kick, melodic guitar lines and a catchy Irish vocal. The song utters mantras from start to finish about relaxing and letting go of your worries. The song evokes a sense of euphoria - turn it up loud, close your eyes and dance.
Nixer recently released a CD which contains all their singles so far (five) and it can be bought right here.
A very busy January saw another new signing, Soundstrand from Finglas in Dublin.
Their latest single (If It's Easy) You're Doing It Wrong was also released in January. Like all their tracks, it pulls from their goldmine of infectious choruses and wry, witty lyrics. It's all underpinned with brilliant drumming, great backing vocals and a charming, lo-fi vibe which put us in mind of Belle & Sebastian or The Housemartins.
February kicked off with a Stateside signing - Jagged Baptist Club from Los Angeles. In this blog I wrote welcoming them to Blowtorch, I declared my giddy excitement on hearing them. Well nothing's changed.
Latest single Temptation Death House broke new ground for a band normally known as guitar-wielding, atonal sonic terrorists with an unstoppably sexy drum and bass groove.
Their new single Chop x8 is released on May 7.
In March Static Vision dropped their remastered 2018 single I Want You. Beefed up, souped up and punchier than Conor McGregor on a night out on the Shankhill Road, it's a punk reimagining of romance shot through with the gleeful energy of The Ramones, Buzzcocks or The Undertones.
From the opening 1, 2, 3, 4 it's a short, joyful, life-affirming restatement of the primeval power of melody, guitars and drums. Utterly brilliant.
Their new single Casanova is released on April 30.
March saw our newest addition to the roster - Liana Forte from Finland.
We also made Me and My God our track of the week. It is an uneasy listen both lyrically and musically. The backing doesn't allow you to settle as you listen to Liana's characteristic half sung, half whispered, menacing voice intone 'scratch my skin with a metal wire, tear my blood vessels out of my corpse'.
Katy Perry it is not. Dark, edgy and genuinely captivating is where we are at here.
Tracks from Turnstiles, Nixer and Static Vision feature on the Blowtorch Records vinyl compilation album