Scratch My Progress, the flagship talent development programme from the good folks at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, supported another five artists this year. The culmination of the programme is a five-track release featuring new music from each of the graduates, and as always the standard is high.
First on the release is a new single from songwriter Jack Devlin. Well known around the Belfast music scene, ‘Lies’ is his second official release, and it’s a track that builds from its deceptively soft opening to powerhouse indie. Devlin’s voice is just perfectly strained with passion.
Susi Pagel‘s ‘Pick Me’ couldn’t sonically stand out any more from the rest of this year’s Scratch line up, it’s a track that throws a lot into the mix where less certainly isn’t more. The self described hyper-pop artist throws quick vocals, shuddering beats and heavily distorted guitar that bursts into an unexpected solo.
Feminist queerpunks Problem Patterns are perhaps the biggest artist on the line-up, and ‘Y.A.W.’ is a statement return. An acronym for “yes all women”, ‘Y.A.W.’ is full of righteous anger that exposes misogyny and doesn’t hold back a single bit. A powerful new single.
In start contrast is a new track from Belfast folk artist Myles McCormack with ‘Comfort Zone’. McCormack’s voice is carried along by gentle acoustic fingerpicking and soft inflections of piano and brushed percussion. In a similar vein to previous singles, ‘Comfort Zone’ delicately allows the listener to take in the track’s message.
The final track on this year’s Scratch My Progress release comes from teenage indie songwriter Charlie Hanlon. At 17 years of age, Hanlon already has a couple of strong singles to date with ‘I Lost Myself’ befittingly retaining some of that lofi aspect. There’s charm in the sounds and Hanlon’s swaggered vocal delivery.