Small Bear Records ended 2015 with the third release from This Heel, logically titled This Heel III. This Heel is the solo work of Martin Månsson Sjöstrand, prolific frontman of Sweden’s Dog, Paper, Submarine (who themselves released a new EP in 2015, with another due in early this year).
This Heel deals in catchy and melodic lo-fi indie-rock. Where EP II was largely acoustic, III sees more electric textures whilst retaining the laid-back feel of the previous record. For those new to This Heel, reference points include the likes of Guided By Voices and Neutral Milk Hotel.
The recently released EP from Ummagma, Frequency, has been included in 30+ “Best of 2015” charts. Ummagma’s sound is reminiscent of 4AD early output with hues of Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Mike Oldfield, Vangelis and Stereolab.
Ummagma is a duo comprised of Shauna McLarnon and Alexander Kretov, hailing from Whitehorse, Canada and Kremenets, Ukraine respectively. Having first met in the centre of Moscow, they moved to Ukraine during the Orange Revolution but now call Peterborough, Canada home.
Frequency is the keenly anticipated follow up to their two debut LPs Ummagma and Antigravity released simultaneously in 2012. The album takes the listener through a cosmic yet introspective dreampop and ambient journey, tinged with shoegaze and synthpop flair. The album features five original tracks, as well as three remixes of “Lama” by several legendary artists, including Cocteau Twins, kingpin, Robin Guthrie and Malcolm Holmes. You may watch the official music video for “Lama” via YouTube.
Nish Goyal is an indie-folk singer-songwriter from Chester. He graduated in Law and worked briefly as a legal advisor before moving to Frankfurt to take up a stockbroking job. However, music has always been a huge part of his life. His first instrument was the piano though these days he is drawn more to the guitar and bass. Early 2011 saw him walk away from his day job and immerse himself in his music. He released a studio album called A Little Validation and a project called The Hedonist EP.
Nish recorded and released an eight track EP called The Rage EP in January 2015. He has recently signed a one album deal with a small indie label in Portsmouth called Coffee Jingle Records and a new album is scheduled for release early this year. He will be releasing the first single titled “In Our Parent’s Eyes” on March 11. Have a listen to some other tracks via soundcloud.
Nish is a regular on Liverpool’s lively music scene, gigging regularly at places like The Jacaranda, The Cavern and Bier as well as open mic nights in Manchester and London.