Friday 31 January 2014

Just Handshakes - Kiwi

Single review by

It's always slightly embarrassing (when you spend your life focusing on new music anyway) to hear an amazing new band for the first time and then discover that they've actually been around for years. This would seem to be the case with Leeds' Just Handshakes who have been together in some form or other since 2008 or before. Having said that, it's only recently that they've released their first full album, so hopefully we can be forgiven for letting this lot slip by unnoticed so far. Further investigation of both album and any pre-album recordings will surely be a must for anyone who's in the same boat, as this second single from the record is one of those that's best served on repeat with a side dish of more of the same.

The combination of twang and fuzz on the guitars will take you back a bit (if you're over the age of 30 or so anyway) to those post-grunge years where scuzzy and melodic alt-rock was the order of the day. It will likely be the vocals that stick in the mind the longest though; a soft, sweet and distinctive female voice carries the song with seeming effortlessness. As it drives forth through more of those guitars and crashes of drums, the words are replaced by dreamy sighs and the world seems like a great place to be all of a sudden. It's a curious juxtaposition of dreampop and alt-rock that you don't hear that often. You could lump this in with the shoegaze revival if you like, but we'd say it's special enough to be considered in its own right, not just as part of a scene. Fabulous sounds.

Just Handshakes' website

Buy the single

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