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Only Real


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It seems the inevitable meeting of surf rock and hip-hop has been a long time coming, so it’s surprising that 22-year-old Niall Gavin’s Only Real sounds so refreshing. Without taking into consideration his attempts to cross genres, Only Real still writes a better reverby guitar riff than your average faux surf indie band. Instead of fey, slacker verses framing his catchy choruses, Gavin lets hip-hop rhymes flow at a rapid-fire pace and backs them with cooed harmonies, all distinctly flavored by his West London accent. The combination of sunshine and grit creates a kind of psychic dissonance — a little breeziness wafting through a bit of weariness.

Only Real’s EP, Days in the City, was released this month as a download and on 12″ vinyl. He also has a single, “Backseat Kissers,” available as a 7″.

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