News from Nowhere: …and the human had half

Entry point: Coming up on Love
Personal favourite: Coming up on Love

Hello Wales.

Straight off the bat, I have to comment the similarities between this vocalist and the vocalist of Australian folk-pop band Boy and Bear. News from Nowhere from Swansea, South Wales, aren’t quite as vocally sure footed (or curated in the production process perhaps) as their contemporaries Boy and Bear from Sydney, New South Wales. The similar tonality and melodic choices are there for all to hear.

…and the human had half is a mix of some eclectic instrumentation, with instruments such as an Indian flute, violin, saxophone all being blended in with the more commonly seen pop/folk/rock elements of guitar, bass and drums. There are allusions to Led Zeppelin, guitars drenched in modulation that feel inspired by Kashmir. Followed closely by sections that are reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, in their more experimental era.

The ideas are here to make some quite uplifting and pretty pop songs. If anything the songs are a too raw and underproduced to maximise the impact of undeniably catchy ideas. It might not be what the band have in mind but it’s what I want to hear as I’m listening to them; that odd vocal note to be sung again until it’s right, that drum fill to be a bit less rushed.

…and the human had half comes off as an eclectic mix of songs without being erratic. There are common elements throughout that carry the thread between songs. When the vocals move into the higher registers and the backing vocals kick in, News from Nowhere come off as a more comfortable and confident act and it comes through in their performances.

Worth a listen if you:
Fancy a blend of folk songs, 1970’s psychedelic rock and like your music with a raw edge to it.