Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the past few weeks. As usual, there has been a bumper crop. This week, we bring you a singer songwriter who uses low key electronica to their advantage, some massive sounding post rock, the son of a Beatle, a throwback to the 90s (in the best possible way), and more besides. Dive in… It’s all good!


Armed with a mechanical rhythm and pointed guitar lines, there’s definitely more than a hint of Kasabian’s ‘Club Foot’ pulsing through the veins of Kyoshi Station’s ‘Fanfare’. Beyond that, however, this Edinbugh based indie rock act lay down far more of a melody. The angular elements are great, but the song’s real heart comes via a strong vocal, which not only shares a natural power on the verse, but is able to take things up a gear to add a rather pleasing, soaring tone to a decent chorus. With the help of a couple of semi-acoustic interludes, a much bigger beat employed intermittently, and eventually, a heavier approach that layers the groove with distortion and some fierce lead guitar howls, this feels like a complete workout. Feeling much shorter than its five minute running time, it also shows how a great arrangement can be pivotal in holding the listeners’ interest. A great track.

Italian indie rock band Onceweresixty share a very live sound on their single ‘Don’t Get Stuck’. Backed by a rather loud drum sound, a hugely melodic guitar works a ringing sound, often making the recording sound like something from the legendary Fort Apache Studios, and as such, the track has a rather nostalgic feel. Unexpectedly, there’s something about the hushed vocal that’s reminiscent of Lloyd Cole; this goes a long way to giving the track a really melodic edge despite the music feeling a little ragged. Eventually the indie melodies explode into something a touch noisier with hints of very early Buffalo Tom, but a simple hook soon returns to steer the track back to its lighter indie roots. It’s safe to say that listeners who devoured stuff like Buffalo Tom, Superchunk and Pixies will find something pleasingly familiar here.

Dhani Harrison has often released interesting music in the past, but the crossover style of ‘I.C.U.’ creates one of his best singles yet. Atop a slow EDM rhythm, Harrison layers a cold and almost mechanical bass groove, fills spaces with swathes of synth and adds sampled choirs to create a major hook. It’s between the track’s more direct elements where you’ll find the true magic, however. Harrison contrasts the potential coldness with an acoustic rhythm and hazy pop vocal which carries strong echoes of his father’s talent, and this gives the slow, almost trippy electro-pop track a really inviting, very melodic core. It won’t appeal to everyone – especially those who struggle with music that isn’t easily categorised – but those who understand Dhani’s vision for a different style of electronica infused adult pop will absolutely love it.

In terms of very old school melodic metal, ‘The Serpent’ by Secret Society pushes a lot of the right buttons. Its main riff is big and dirty, but still finds time for a hugely tuneful harmonic/twin lead sound on occasion; the bass punches through with a great weight akin to an old Dokken tune; a huge vocal conveys a great presence, but is still happy to allow a few massive AOR harmonies to creep through on a massive chorus. In short, for the style, it’s got some really impressive ingredients and is strong enough to appeal to many fans of old school rock. With lyrics by Paul Sabu and vocals by Ring of Fire’s Mark Boals, it also has a pedigree to help it stand alongside some of the 80s greats. There are a few labels still churning out this kind of hard rock and metal in 2024, but with a great hook and a massive sound, this single has much bigger chops than most.

With a pop punk heart and a poppy edge, Adam Wedd’s ‘This Is The One’ is a track brimming with optimism. Across a bouncing, guitar driven melody, the singer songwriter reflects upon a world of stuff that makes him feel good: a sleep filled night, England winning the football, a temptation-free crossroads, a happy ending when “the guy gets the girl”. In a world bursting with negativity, it’s great to hear an artist unashamedly looking towards the positive, and with music that falls squarely between the harder edges of Coyle Girelli and the shiny, guitar driven sounds of Simple Plan, this track is definitely an uplifting treat.

Georgia Reed’s ‘Back In Time’ seems, at first, to be a track that’s in no hurry to impress. However, appearances can be deceiving. The way she uses her voice in an understated way during the formative moments of the track draws the ear, and beyond its slow burning intro and downbeat sound, there’s plenty more within that sounds great. With a mellow melody in place, the beats increase, creating a superb sound that straddles the gulf between downtempo electronica and sophisticated adult pop, which proves to be the perfect vehicle for the layered melody that sits at the heart of the song. With a few extra harmonies filling an understated coda, there’s a lot more to this arrangement than first appearances suggest, and in creating something that sounds like a hybrid of Lisa Hannigan and Lana Del Ray, Reed has not only shared something very contemporary, but a tune that’ll certainly sound even better over time.

At the end of 2023, Welsh rockers The Black Vultures broke through with a superb debut single ‘Treat Me Like An Animal’. Despite this follow up casting aside some of their slightly bluesier elements for something more full on, ‘Never Say’ still has a lot to recommend it. The main riff attacks at full throttle with more of a melodic metal stance, but once you make it past that, this single has a lot of melody within the bustling sound. Lead vocalist Huw Williams presents himself with a huge amount of confidence throughout, clearly able to tackle the speed driven rocky passages and bluesier chorus hook with equal ease, and in terms of solo, guitarist Aled Owen Jones shares a fantastic tone. It wouldn’t mean much without a great song in tow, and a couple of plays of ‘Never Say’ uncovers a great rocker that has a riff that would be at home at any point over the previous thirty five years, giving the band a timeless feel, and a shout-along chorus hook that sounds as if it’ll go down brilliantly in front of a live crowd. ‘Never Say’ doesn’t really break new musical ground, but it very much shows a rock band on the rise. The Black Vultures are definitely heading for bigger things in 2024.

Returning after eight years, If These Trees Could Talk have rarely sounded better than on their big comeback ‘Trail of Whispering Giants’. Opening with a lengthy synth drone, the instrumental number pulls the listener in very slowly, then with the aid of a slow beat, the band unveils a classic sound where clean guitars lay a chiming melody that’s part atmospheric and part angular riff. The semi-cold sound is immediately alluring, but it’s after dropping into a more groove laden passage things get more interesting when warm bass underscores very proggy guitar. Echoes of Matt Stevens are heard jostling with the lighter elements of The Pineapple Thief, but redressed in the Trees’ own cinematic style. As if that were not enough, the final passages introduce something a little heavier, and bigger riffs are joined by a shrill lead to create something that comes close to being peak post rock.

February 2024