The first thing you notice listening to Portobello is the beautiful simplicity: the lack of gimmicks and showing off. ‘Money’ is one of such stunning tracks, with distinct dual vocalists giving the eclectic band a glimmering edge. Formed in 2017, the band have developed a unique style over these years, combining funk and indie in a tune that can’t help but settle any violent moods; quell any negative feelings with its beauty.
The Sway released ‘Step Right’ last year, but it’s just as brilliant hearing it come on through your headphones today. There’s a indie-film tone of happiness to it, that reminds you of SPINN or Riscas. The five piece have been shaking up Liverpool with their melodious, personal tracks, and three various singer-songwriters. ‘Changing’ is their 2020 release, and an abundance of range is clear in just these two tracks. ‘Changing’ is less peppy, with a grungier tone to the vocals and a more relaxed tempo.
We don’t have a clue why Fading Blonde haven’t blown up yet. The four piece released ‘Flashing Lights’ last year, and their debut collection of tracks released the same year shows an equal level of promise. The vocals work best when they’re not trying too hard – in tracks such as ‘The Worst’ when they don’t draw themselves out, but blend in seamlessly to drums and slick guitars.
Leyma’s ‘ExtraExtra’ features some of the most relatable lyrics you’ll ever hear, and casual vocals that carve out a distinct, recognisable signature. The production isn’t complex for the sake of it, but layers are added in the form of single echoes and words, that flawlessly compliment the shifts in lyrical direction. There’s enough dimension to keep you going back to the start and giving the tune another listen, over and over again.