Friday, 14 August 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Cosmo Sheldrake - 'Wake Up Calls'

I'm writing this late on Thursday evening, fully aware that I should be sleeping, so I'll try to make it quick... I am very very excited to share that musical genius (a status awarded by me) Cosmo Sheldrake is bringing out a new record in little over a month. Cosmo fans like myself will adore this, but it is also most certainly one for nature lovers. Those of you who spent more time outside during lockdown, appreciating the birdsong from your gardens, may, like me, have been struck by a desire to learn more about your avian neighbours. 

Consider this album an education. A collection of birdsong, layered with Cosmo's recognisably glorious sounds. New tune Cuckoo Song is a beautiful example - with Cosmo singing the Benjamin Britten song, alongside the sound of a Cuckoo singing above Britten's grave in Aldeburgh Cemetery, recorded by soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause.

Over to Cosmo with some more info... "Wake Up Calls was created over a nine year period, using recordings of bird song featured on the red and amber lists of endangered British birds (with the exception of a Robin and a Blackbird, which aren't endangered - yet). The album starts at night with a Nightjar and a Nightingale. The music progresses, track by track, through dawn and day time, round to the evening chorus and back to night with another Nightingale and an Owl."

You can pre-order Wake Up Calls on Bandcamp here.

Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

WATCH: Bear's Den - 'Napoleon' (Live - Fragments)

I try not to have regrets for the gigs I didn't go to (the worst kind of torture... right?) but any tiny regrets bubbling under the surface are being magnified SO MUCH at the moment. I miss live music. How can I not feel like an absolute moron for missing out on Bear's Den playing the Fragments shows a couple of years back. Essentially, the total legend Paul Frith (of The Sea & I and The Hoosiers fame and an absolute master of composition) re-imagined tracks from all three of the band's records with an added orchestra, and the results - from what I've heard so far - are stunning. 

Luckily... to taunt me, the band announced that they're releasing an album filled with studio recordings of the Fragments versions. They shared Fuel on The Fire recently, and just shared Napoleon with a lovely video with footage from the show at EartH in Hackney. On Napoleon, Paul says that it was "the first 'fragments' track we worked on, so for me it holds a very special place representing the genesis of what turned out to be a very special project! I can't wait for you all to hear it and begin your own journey with this music..." 

You can pre-order the Fragments record on CD and translucent vinyl from the band's online store here - it's due on 18th September.

Follow Bear's Den - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

LISTEN: The Staves - 'Nazareth'

My first real introduction to The Staves was seeing them perform a secret set in a wine bar at my first Bushstock Festival back in 2015. The intimate setting, the fact that we'd just seen Alex Vargas and Nick Mulvey play and Nick telling me and a friend (in an apologetically freaking out way) that friend of The Staves, none other than actual Justin Vernon (!!!!) was upstairs, made for a real atmosphere of excitement. Turns out I was really really lucky to be in the room for that set, it was stunning. The sisterly harmonies are something to behold. 

They'd not long released their second record If I Was at the time, and they brought out a collaborative EP with yMusic in 2017, but things have been quiet on the Staves front since. Outside of the band, however, they've been very busy bees. A lockdown podcast, an adorable baby and vocals on music from the lieks of Christof van der Ven, Bon Iver, Lucy Rose, Paul Weller, Flyte & more..... you get the picture: they're in high demand, and rightly so. 

Nazareth is the first new music from the trio in a while, and it has all the elements that you'd expect from a Staves track. Self-produced by Jessica, Camilla and Emily, it is a thing of wonder. Seriously beautiful. 


On the track, the band explains that "we recorded Nazareth in one take on a field recorder sat outside the studio in the summer of 2018. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. We tried recording it in the studio but just kept coming back to this version. It seemed to have the magic. The song was intended to be in the spirit of an Irish blessing or a kind of a prayer, asking to be kept safe - but it pretty quickly became a more personal and introspective lyric. Moments of glory quickly faded. Worrying, trying. How we mean everything and nothing at the same time. To everyone, to no-one.”

Follow The Staves - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 10 August 2020

LISTEN: BE GOOD - 'Cathy'

I'll sit here gathering dust, just wondering... do you get lonely? Cos I do. 

I'd like to think that it's no secret that I completely adore BE GOOD. For those of you who don't know, they're an Oxford-based four-piece making dreamy pop tunes, and they're one of the best bands in existence (proven fact, that.) One of my favourite discoveries made via a submission to the blog in 2017 - the blog and the band have in a way grown up together for the past few years. The last few months have brought some lovely tunes and content from the band, who have just shared Cathy, the first track they wrote in lockdown. Frontman Ash Cooke was kind enough to take some time to send over quotes about the track... I'll let you read those and stop flailing about how brilliant this band is. (But they are!)

Lyrically, he explains that "the song is an imagined conversation with someone who I was separated from during lockdown. I found myself blaming her for some of the negative things I was feeling, but I realised I was being ridiculous so I included her response in the second verse. In that verse she reminds me of everything she's done for me and urges me to figure myself out before lashing out at others."

"Some of the ideas for 'Cathy' had been floating around for a little while, but when we first went into lockdown it was one of the first things we recorded and it came together pretty quickly. We played a gig with Sansha in Peckham a while ago and loved her songs and her voice, so we asked her to remotely record some backing vocals and she absolutely nailed it."


"For the lyric video we went to Hinksey Lake in Oxford at sunset. There's a train track on the other side of the lake and we were crossing our fingers that a train would go past while we were shooting. Luckily enough it happened on the first and only take. We shot another version of the video where I jumped into the freezing cold water at 5am but I doubt it'll ever see the light of day."

Follow BE GOOD - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

LISTEN: Matilda Mann - 'Robbed'

Since Matilda Mann shared her single As It Is back in June (which I hastily added to the blog playlists and shared on the site) I've been eagerly awaiting new music. The next track from her upcoming EP is here and it is sublime. Tender vocals place the track in the realm of the likes of Fenne Lily, Billie Marten and Lucy Rose. Production on this one makes it an intimate listen, sitting perfectly with the subject matter, as it is a track about what can be lost when falling in love and giving everything to the other person.

Talking about the track, Matilda says that it is "the most personal thing I've ever written. It's one of those songs you just sit down and write instantly the whole way through because it's exactly what you were thinking. It's about vulnerability, losing all your senses because of how in love you are. Not seeing red flags and signs. Being too caught up in them. In all honesty, it's about being desperate for love." 


Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

EP NEWS: Ferris & Sylvester - 'I Should Be On A Train'

I've got a lot of love for this pair... Ferris & Sylvester just shared I Should Be On A Train and announced news of their upcoming EP of the same name, due in October via LAB Records. The EP sees them expanding on their signature blend of blues, Americana and folk, bringing in some psychedelic touches and a cover of With A Little Help From My Friends, inspired by weekly covers shared with fans via livestreams through lockdown.

You can watch the video for the track below - it features Super 8 footage shot by the pair during lockdown, interspersed between clips of their last headline show in Amsterdam's Paradiso. There's a really timely nostalgic feel to it and the song is ace as ever!


Talking about the EP, the duo explains that "the world is adapting to a new reality, and we’ve been determined to adapt with it and get creative. It can be difficult in isolation to know how to move forward. People are lonely, overwhelmed and yearning to connect. We were busy writing for future projects, trying to map out the next chapters. But we decided it was more important to give what we can now. All we know is we are happiest when sharing our music and we hope this brings joy to people.

No strangers to the live circuit, Ferris & Sylvester have announced dates in the UK and US for early next year, including London's Lafayette on 1st March. Fingers crossed for them! Tickets and dates here

Pre-order the 12" limited edition vinyl release of I Should Be On A Train here.

Follow Ferris & Sylvester Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

LISTEN: Ruti - 'Closer To You'

Tuesday (every day) means new music... am I right? I'm loving this new track from Ruti at the moment, taken from her upcoming 4-track EP, due to be released later in the year. The track arrives a year since the release of her iTunes chart-topping debut EP Racing Cars, and a couple of years after her The Voice winners single Dreams. From the first listen, Closer To You had me mesmerised by those instantly recognisable vocals. Smooth and soulful vibes abound. The track was produced by Wayne Wilkins, who is known for his work with Beyoncé and Leona Lewis

Talking about the track, Ruti explains that "I had the guitar riff for Closer To You saved as a voice note for literally months, I was just completely stuck for concept and lyrics. Then I brought it up in a session one day and everyone really vibed with it and we wrote to it so easily. It feels like Closer To You has been on its own little journey but I love where it is now and can't wait to share." 


Follow Ruti - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 3 August 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Novo Amor - 'Cannot Be, Whatsoever'

I mostly aim to use this blog to spread the word about music that I love, and I am so unbelievably excited to be writing this post!!! Novo Amor (AKA Welsh artist Ali Lacey) just announced his new record, Cannot Be, Whatsoever, due for release on 6th November. Since finding the title track of his debut record in the blog's inbox in 2018, his music has never been far from my ears. Through the fairly non-stop listening of the record after the release later that year, he became (unsurprisingly) my most listened to artist of the decade on Spotify. Probably on vinyl too, if my record player was counting...! He's a wonderful artist with great ethics and a beautiful team and band working alongside him, and he's a generally lovely person, you can't really ask for more.

The record is just a few months away and new single Opaline (watch the video below) joins previous double single Decimal and Halloween on the track-list. I'm positively itching to hear more and will be playing this one on repeat in the meantime! There is something so special and unique about Ali's music, a simultaneous power and vulnerability, with mesmerising soundscapes that just scream to be let onto a film soundtrack. I'm genuinely so grateful to have found his music. 


The new record is up for pre-order on the website - as with the previous album, the vinyl is going to be made from recycled vinyl pellets. The process means that every record is unique - honestly, streaming has nothing on the beauty of a recycled vinyl record. If the record itself (both musically and visually) wasn't gorgeous enough, there's photography for the project from Dan Harris which is superb, and artwork hand-stitched by Tilleke Schwarz. A lot to love!

Follow Novo Amor - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

LISTEN: Kaisha - 'Something Else' EP

Time for something new.... something, else. Sharing music by an artist who is brand new to me is always pretty exciting, the prospect of introducing readers of the blog to a new artist, and I'm really digging this EP. Something Else is the debut EP from Kaisha, produced and mixed by James Berkeley. Born in Malaysia, she moved to Brighton in 2015 to study music - this EP works as a musical depiction of her journey of musical and self-discovery. Those vocals are silky smooth too. 

Talking about the process, Kaisha shares "this is the first time I've put together a collection of songs that truly represents an honest version of myself and my thoughts. It touches on sour relationships and the process of life we all go through. Having previously struggled with my music identity, the majority of the conflict stemmed from being unhappy with the music I was creating. I always felt like I should've been creating 'something else' - so as a way of honouring my progression in being true to my music, this project is named after that as confirmation that I'm moving in the right direction." 


Follow Kaisha - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

WATCH: Flyte - 'Losing You'

A new Flyte song! New Flyte! Remain calm. Following last year's return with the White Roses EP (featuring The Staves dreamy) the band recently shared Easy Tiger, with a video from Bafta winning director Mark Jenkin. Latest track Losing You is another heartbreaker, with a video continuing the collaboration between Mark and the band. The band recorded the track in LA with Justin Raisen (Angel OlsenAriel Pink) and Andrew Sarlo (Big ThiefBon Iver) producing, and Ali Chant (Aldous Harding) on mixing duties.

Talking about the track, Will explains that "every detail of Losing You is taken directly from the week after a breakup. We actually got back together and years later it ended again but this time the roles had been reversed. It felt strangely poignant singing a song that I was initially directing at someone who’d hurt me, to then turn it around and sing it back at myself. I don’t think Flyte was ready to take on this song until now. We were finally confident enough to just play the song and not add any extra production, and let the lyrics do all the talking. Andrew Sarlo wanted it to feel like the track never left the lonely bedroom. Like the band just came over, jammed out the song and that was that”




On the video, direct Mark Jenkin shares that "the idea for the aesthetic came from spooling through old VHS tapes in my studio and seeing the various layers of recordings reveal themselves. I liked the idea of an old black and white film having been partially recorded over with some home movie footage and the two then seeming to have a bit of a conversation with each other, despite being separated by time and place. Those strange accidental counterpoints only seem to exist in the analogue world. Digital footage of the band (shot by Tee Byford) was then repeatedly looped to VHS, with the colour bleeding and drifting with each new generation. The film element was shot on a Bolex, with the negative processed by hand, scanned, and copied to video tape."

Follow Flyte - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 27 July 2020

LISTEN: Dizzy - 'Roman Candles' (Gengahr remix)

To be perfectly honest I'll take any opportunity that I get to tell you just how brilliant both Dizzy and Gengahr are... so a Gengahr reworking of a recent Dizzy track? Consider me more than a little bit in love. It's taking me back to a beautiful night at The Great Escape a couple of years back, heading from seeing Superorganism to a Dizzy set, having never listened to them before (love at first sight/listen) and staying up late to catch Gengahr afterwards.

Dizzy have their second record The Sun and Her Scorch coming out this Friday (!!!) and I'm loving this single, especially the gorgeous video which I posted about here. Gengahr, who released their third record Sanctuary back in January, have done a superb reworking of the track - you'd better get on your dancing shoes, have a little boogie, and then join me in eagerly awaiting the new record. I can't articulate my excitement enough, this band are really special.


The Sun and Her Scorch is due for release this Friday - pre-order/pre-save here.

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
Follow Gengahr Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 24 July 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Dawes - 'Good Luck With Whatever'

There's nothing quite like (for me, anyway) the excitement of a favourite band (like, favourite favourite) announcing a new record. Especially when that band is Dawes and they already have six studio albums under their belts. You know you're in safe hands with them, and yet they never fail to surprise and amaze. I have so much love for this band and could talk to you about their incredible back catalogue, superb songwriting and impeccable musicianship for days. Just over a couple of years since the release of latest album Passwords, they've announced the wonderfully named Good Luck With Whatever, due for release on 2nd October. 

Along with the album news, they sent lead single Who Do You Think You're Talking To? into the world. It's a bit of a bop. Sharing the track online, the band explain that it is "about the way we bring our baggage with us as we move away from traumatic experiences and relationships [...] the irony of sometimes our newer partners needing to be part of the processing more so than the folks who caused the trouble in the first place."

"As a band it was the first time we've ventured into certain grooves/arrangements for our tunes, so it was fun to push ourselves, see what felt natural and what we could get away with."


Good Luck With Whatever is due 2nd October - pre-order/pre-save here.

Follow Dawes - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

WATCH: Tempesst - 'Mushroom Cloud'

Tempesst are no strangers to this blog... I'm a big fan of their sixties sun-kissed vibes and those tunes you can't help but have a little jig too. Mushroom Cloud, their latest, is more of a slow dance... I'll take it. The second single taken from debut album Must Be A Dream, which is due 30th September via Pony Recordings (cannot come fast enough!!) Once again, the video for the track is directed by drummer Andy Banjanin and features the band performing live. Remember real life (un-virtual) live performances? 

Talking about the new track, singer Toma Banjanin explains that it was "the first song that we completed on the album and it set the tone for a balance of familiarity, the element of surprise and the weighty dark topics that I wanted to explore [...] Mushroom Cloud isn’t my story, though. I found it easier to write this song as a confession from the perspective of the antagonist. It’s equal measures apology, justification and threat, the kind of confusing grey area that only exists within intimate relationships. It’s love that becomes all-consuming and suffocating. It’s that destructive primal default buried deep within each of us. The Saboteur present in every moment of regret... that will do or say anything in an attempt at self preservation.”


Tempesst have recently announced a headline tour for March 2021, including a show at London's Omeara (which I miss dearly!) - tickets here.

Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

WATCH: MICHELLE - 'SUNRISE'

One of my favourite recent discoveries, I found NYC collective MICHELLE recently, as it was announced that they were signing to Transgressive for publishing in the UK. They self-released their debut album HEATWAVE in 2018, a record created in just two weeks and with stand-out track THE BOTTOM (which is so SO good!) Made up predominately of POC and queer members, their music benefits from an equally diverse range of influences, and there is something really refreshing and exciting about the group. 

They've just shared their first single since the record, SUNRISE. The single arrives alongside an animated music video directed by Kohana Wilson, with single artwork from Niko Chang, both fellow NYC creatives. Talking about the new track, the band explains that "SUNRISE holds some kind of a summer air, but more so a longing for someone who could never really show up. A sentiment as sticky, sweaty, and fleeting as summer. SUNRISE is as bittersweet as it is groovy. We're grateful that the first song we're releasing since HEATWAVE gets to be one we've held on to, sang, rewritten, and lived with for so long." 


Follow MICHELLE - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

WATCH: The Big Moon - 'Why'

Absolutely loving The Big Moon at the moment. Their album Walking Like We Do, released just days into 2020 (those simpler times) remains one of my stand-out releases of the year so far. When they've not been busy podcasting track by track and giving music lessons via Zoom, raising funds for Girls Rock London, they've (you guessed it) made a music video in lockdown. 

Talking about the new video for Why, directed by Jonjo Lowe, the band explains that "we managed to make a video in lockdown even though we haven't been together for four months! Hope our fantasy seaside trip takes you somewhere else for a few mins and gives you that break so you can keep doing what you need to do. We certainly enjoyed covering ourselves with green paint. We miss and love you very much. Big thanks to the wizardry of Jonjo Lowe and his team."


The band's headline tour (originally scheduled for October) has been moved to March - tickets and info for that here.

Follow The Big Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Nana Adjoa - 'No Room'

I'm loving the sound and visuals on this one - a soothing tune with a video that oozes warmth, perfect for these drizzly summer days, longing for Summer to return. Nana Adjoa is a new name to me, but she's been steadily gaining support from publications with the release of a string of EPs and singles since 2017. She's just announced news of her debut album - No Room is the latest single taken taken from Big Dreaming Ants, which is due for release on 24th September. Born in Amsterdam to a Dutch mother and a Ghanaian father, Adjoa brings her experiences to her music, exploring issues of race, gender, religion, sexuality and identity in her lyrics. 

The new single explores the concept of small talk, with a delicately crafted layer of sounds representing, Nana explains, "the noise that somebody makes when they're talking to you, but not really saying anything." She adds that she wrote the track "about the feeling of having a conversation with someone which gets stuck in habitual small talk. Trying to control the moment, but leaving no room to discover the moment, each other or something new and unexpected." 


The video for the track is the second in a trilogy from creative director Rudy Asibey, alongside previous single She's Stronger and upcoming single National Song. Talking about the video, Nana explains that "it's vague, but it is a feeling [... we're taken] into this dreamlike landscape, where you (the viewer) and the main character find the room to drift off." The director Robbert Doelwijt Jr adds "I wanted to translate the song's message into the video, which was filmed to look like one continuous sequence with the use of wipe transitions and match cuts. I wanted the video to show Nana on her way to find room to be creative, despite the things holding her back." 

He goes further, explaining that the idea was "to bring Nana's duality in culture and music together [...] we see more of her Ghanaian culture and a journey to finding herself." The video features various Ghanaian cultural symbols - including the mother's dress, a woven Bolga basket, the Fugu cloth and Oware, a strategy board game played in the country. 

Excited to hear more - pre-order the record here.

Follow Nana Adjoa - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

LISTEN: Aquilo - 'Sober' EP

Somehow, I've managed to go through life without listening to the first two Aquilo records (that is soon to be rectified) *but* I am absolutely adoring their new EP, Sober. After a couple of years away, Tom and Ben recently returned with a string of singles, racking up five million streams and making it seem like they had never been away. Their first release since going independent, showcasing their talents as producers, the EP was mixed by Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) and is an open, vulnerable piece of work, a narrative charting the end of a relationship, bridging the gap between records. 

Sharing the EP online last week, they wrote that "this EP is the product of us spending 2 years away from releasing music, travelling and learning more about ourselves, each other and what Aquilo actually is. We've felt anxious, stressed, nervous but more importantly excited to finally let this new stuff breathe."
   

Follow Aquilo - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

LISTEN: Patricia Lalor - 'Self Aware'

There has been a flurry of really exciting EPs coming out at the moment from the likes of Moscow Apartment, Holly Redford Jones and Japan, Man - soon (on 24th July) Patricia Lalor joins the mix with the Do It Again EP. At just 14, Patricia has been rising to fame online for a couple of years, racking up support from Hozier in response to a Cherry Wine cover, and collecting over 140 thousand (!) subscribers on her Youtube channel. The follow up to recent track Alone, she's just shared Self Aware, a track full of haunting vocals, dreamy guitars, and lyricism which brings to mind the likes of SOAK and Brooke Bentham

Talking about the track, Patricia says that it is "the longest song I've written in a while. It was inspired by me wishing to be more outgoing in myself and my music. When I was writing it I was feeling a lil down, but it was one of those things where the song kind of just came out and I had so much fun writing it. At the time I was wanting to be like other people instead of just accepting myself." 
    

Monday, 13 July 2020

LISTEN: Sad Funeral - 'Kazbeg'

"I could really do with your love, baby, I could really do with your love."

Loving this! Anybody with a Fleet Foxes (etc) shaped hole in their live should wrap their ears around this. Kazbeg is the new single from Sad Funeral, the solo moniker of Adam Kane, frontman of Cave Painting and Company (who I think I've actually seen live, opening for The Wombats a few years back.) Having made tentative steps out into the world with Gone and Escape last year, the new track is the first "proper" single of the project. He explains that it was written upon his "return from Georgia with my partner, where I'd been visiting the village of Kazbegi. It's somewhere we'd often talked about going due to the remote and mountainous location."

Feeling the pressures of the music industry through his work in those bands, Adam took some time away from music, looking for inspiration in new places. Kazbeg is a result of that period of reflection and recuperation. Returning to his home of Brighton with a new sense of purpose and enthused after time away, the words and music began to flow. Finding that producer Rob Flynn of Oslo Parks was based just along the coast, the pair rekindled their relationship and worked on new material - Rob features on the new track alongside percussion from Chris Boot (Lucy Rose).


Talking about the track, Adam writes that it "feels like a very positive and natural progression from what was a tentative start at writing by myself following my earlier years with Cave Painting. The song isn't necessarily about a break up but more about a relationship that is lacking in areas being put under the microscope. I've also been writing a lot from different perspectives, one of those being my partners' and I've used the writing process to examine some of my own shortcomings." 

Follow Sad Funeral - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 10 July 2020

WATCH: Christof van der Ven - 'Lucky'

Ah, Christof van der Ven. Legend. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you might have seen that back in May, I was lucky to be made into art by Christof. For my best pal's birthday, he recreated a selfie of us - see the masterpiece here. When he's not busy creating gorgeous art on paper, or cooking tutorials on Youtube, he releases some equally stunning music and has an EP on the way, exciting news! 

As a celebration of Bandcamp Friday last week, he shared the video for Lucky. Talking about the process behind the track online, Christof explained that when writing the record "I often retreated to this bench in Alexandra Park and for some reason I never read what was on the plaque. One day I wrote the start of Lucky and couldn't quite get a chorus and happened to read it. It reads "how lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard". I was sold." 


The video's director Alex Cooper shares that "Christof and I really loved this idea of a guy unable to move on from his partner. He was stuck in a time warp, as Lucky, for me, is all about moving from a place where you’re sad it’s ended, to being happy it happened. I’ve realised in my own life that, after a while, the person keeping grief around was often me, so this video is about someone finally being able to let grief go.... B​ut making sure we did it in an often comical way, as we both felt that there’s always room for levity when talking about topics that can often feel very dark and heavy."

Follow Christof van der Ven - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

WATCH: MarthaGunn - 'Caught Up & Confused'

It feels like only a moment since I was last being all sorts of excited about new MarthaGunn on the blog but it's that time again!!! Caught Up & Confused arrived a few days ago, and is the title track of the bands' second EP, due in late August. There's a vinyl version of the EP available for pre-order here. The video for the track was made during lockdown, filmed on iPhones and edited by Edwin Burdis - as they've posted online "we had to make DIY film sets in the darkest room in our houses. Humph & Al shot theirs in a toilet" - amazing.


Follow MarthaGunn - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

WATCH: Halloweens - 'Divinity Pools'

A lot of exciting Halloweens news and content over the last couple of weeks!!! Just days after we were treated to the first single from Timothy's solo project T Truman, there's a brand new Halloweens tune too. Both are so so good. I love HalloweensDivinity Pools is the first track taken from the duo's new 6-track EP Maserati Anxiety Designed, which is due on 21st August. Check out the video below for some lockdown jogging action...

Once you've had your fill of the new tune, there's a beautiful lockdown version of Ur Kinda Man here, filmed "for the Glasto that never was." Again - did I say that I really love this pair? That video!!! Last but not least - their debut album Morning Kiss at the Acropolis was previously just released online, but there's a limited edition red (signed!) vinyl coming soon and you can join me in pre-ordering that here.


Follow Halloweens - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

albums of 2020 (so far...)

An albums of the year (so far) post!!! Compiling lists of my favourite records in 2018 and 2019 brought me a lot of joy and as we've just passed the middle of the year I figured I would shout about the records I've been loving this year. I'll go into more detail at the end of the year and pick out my favourites (and ramble a bit about how brilliant they are, of course) so for now I just wanted to share a list. There are twenty superb records here (in release order) and a taster from each album on the Soundcloud playlist below - I'm experimenting using Soundcloud a bit more so follow me there for more playlists... possibly.

There are lots of records still to look forward to this year... this month we've got debuts from Oscar Jerome, Rhys Lewis, Love Fame Tragedy, new Dizzy (YES!) a live Stornoway record (it's gorgeous) and more from the likes of Everything Everything, Siv Jakobsen (also gorgeous) IDLES and plenty more later in the year. Can't wait!! 


The Big Moon - Walking Like We Do
Bombay Bicycle Club Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
Gengahr Sanctuary
Franc Moody Dream In Colour
Brooke Bentham - Everyday Nothing
Halloweens Morning Kiss at the Acropolis
NNAMDÏ - BRAT
Laura Marling Song For Our Daughter
The Strokes The New Abnormal
Hailaker - Holding
White Tail Falls Age Of Entitlement
Bryde The Volume of Things
Gia Margaret Mia Gargaret 
Jack Garratt Love, Death & Dancing
Orlando Weeks - A Quickening
Richard Walters Golden Veins
Phoebe Bridgers Punisher
HAIM - Women In Music Pt. III
AJIMAL As It Grows Dark / Light 
Dream Wife So When You Gonna... 

Check back in about six months for the albums of 2020...

WATCH: Japan, Man - 'Cautious'

Very glad to find this in my inbox - Japan, Man (AKA 14 year-old Beirut-based artist Leaticia Acra) just released her debut EP Bad Days, featuring the absolute tune Cautious. Having added it to the playlist back in March, I had intended to share the track to the blog itself but never got round to it, so this is a perfect opportunity - a 6-track EP and a wonderfully heartwarming animated video for the track, directed by Lily Shaul. Creating music while living and growing up in war-torn Lebanon, Leaticia's perspective is a unique one. The result is reflective music which is catchy and full to the brim with charm.

Cautious is Leaticia at her most endearing, calling for empathy and compassion atop a catchy beat - you can't help but move to the track. She describes it as a song "about desperately wanting people to understand the struggles one might experience within themselves. It's a call for emotional intelligence in our counterparts and patience when it comes to getting into any sort of relationship with another." 


Follow Japan, Man - Facebook | Instagram.

Monday, 6 July 2020

WATCH: Dizzy - 'Roman Candles'

For a moment there, I'd forgotten that Dizzy had a new record on the way... remembering brought a lot of joy. I adored their debut Baby Teeth and can not wait to hear the new record when it is released at the end of this month. The Sun and Her Scorch follows the path set by the debut album, exploring themes surrounding the restlessness of suburban living, feeling lost in your youth, etc. In that vein, they've just released new track Roman Candles, alongside a stunning music video featuring frontwoman Katie Munshaw - easily one of the best videos I've seen so far this year!! 

Talking about the track, Katie says that it "is about how insecure I feel being someone who’s pursued music as a job. I’ve often felt jealous of friends who’ve taken more traditional paths in life. Some have gone to university and have 9 to 5 jobs already and have to buy funny things like lawnmowers and cutlery. I know that sounds silly but I have a real fear I’ll never own a home or be able to support a family because of the decision I’ve made, so of course, that’s scary. I think I’ve quit the band a dozen times since we started and then wind up taking it back an hour later because I know it’s just fear talking.” 
 

Dizzy release The Sun and Her Scorch via Communion Records on 31st July - pre-order here.

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

LISTEN: Haux - 'Accidents'

One of my favourite discoveries of 2020, the ever enchanting Haux (AKA rural Massachusetts-based songwriter and producer Woodson Black) just shared new single Accidents. It's the third track to be taken from his debut album Violence in a Quiet Mind, releasing via Color Study on 17th July. Recorded between a Scottish seaside studio and Reservoir Studios in NYC, the record was co-produced by Haux, his longtime collaborator Jamie Macneal and Thomas Bartlett. Acting as a sort of self-therapy which he hopes may be relatable and offer hope to listeners, the record, Black explains, "is about honesty after hiding for so many years." Bartlett describes the process as "a privilege, like being invited into a secret, hushed room filled with someone's most intimate thoughts." 

Talking about the new track, he explains that "'Accidents' is one memory that remained [from childhood]; driving with one of my crushes in the back of my mom's ex-boyfriend's car while he was pretty buzzed wondering if we crashed, would it actually be worse than how we were feeling at the time (being 13 or 14 years old). It's messed up but sometimes when you're dealing with someone struggling with addiction you kind of welcome rock bottom because then at least something might change."


"It takes a lot of energy to sift through the past. I feel like this album has allowed me to retell my childhood with all the parts I chose to forget back then. It's scary to know that the way I cope with difficult times is to forget them. I guess part of growing up is shedding those old coping habits and learning that remembering is actually ok, that it's healthy."

Follow Haux - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

WATCH: Holly Humberstone - 'Overkill'

A new Holly Humberstone track? Yes!!! I loved Falling Asleep At The Wheel earlier in the year, and I'm really enjoying new track Overkill. Written with Rob Milton and Benjamin Francis Leftwich, the track, Holly explains, focuses on "all the thrill and uncertainty and confusion and the many other emotions that come with falling for someone for the first time." 

The video is a lockdown project, which Holly filmed at home with her sister Eleri, explaining in a post online that "my sister Eleri decided to put me through my paces during lockdown. We took an old VHS camera and a torch out at dusk into the forest near our home. She had me follow her through the trees and bushes, as I played along to Overkill. It was basically my version of a 5k run except I had no idea where I was going, it was pitch black and impossible to see anything and I was tripping over twigs n stuff the whole time hahaha." Enjoy!!!


Follow Holly Humberstone - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

LISTEN: Novo Amor - 'Decimal / Halloween'

Rewind a couple of years to 2018, and I was just about to have the absolute joy of discovering Novo Amor, AKA Welsh artist Ali Lacey. Skip through what is probably a couple of hundred (at least) listens of his record Birthplace, a Union Chapel show and getting to look after Ali and the band at Bushstock last year where they played a stunning headline set... and I am very much still adoring the tunes. A treat, therefore, to have not one but two new tracks last week - a double single to make me ecstatic and to overwhelm me with all the sad feelings (... the perfect mix!) 

Both tunes, Decimal and Halloween, are gorgeous, unsurprisingly. I could say more, but in this instance, I very much want to let the music do the talking - and I'm writing this at midnight when I should definitely be asleep. Just know that Ali is without a doubt my favourite musical discovery of the last couple of years. Once you've listened to the new double single below, and cried a little, listen to Birthplace and figure out for yourself why I love it so much (and while you're there, you should most definitely check out Holding from Hailaker and Nano from David Grubb - projects from members of the Novo Amor family.) 


While Ali usually likes to leave the tracks up to fans' interpretation, I grabbed a quick quote from him about Halloween"it's a song I wrote on Halloween night of last year, the day that ended what was quite a bad month for me personally. I hadn't felt motivated to pick up my guitar in a little while and when I did I just felt like all the good things had left my mouth, I was out of things to say, which birthed the first line of the song." 

"The chorus calls back to Halloween of 2011, when I fell and hit my head on the sink and had to have it glued back up. The song was originally just five verses about how shit October was for me and it just got me thinking about that old Halloween and how I'm kind of feeling the same 9 years later. I usually don't like to have such obvious lyrics, but I like how the song lets people in to a more personal side of me, in a way. I feel like the line "I miss my friends that I pretend I don't need" sums me up completely." 

Follow Novo Amor - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 29 June 2020

LISTEN: Matilda Mann - 'As It Is'

Love love love this. New from Matilda Mann, As It Is is the first track taken from her forthcoming EP, the follow up to If That Makes Sense, which has so far amassed over 1.7m streams... crikey! The new EP sees Matilda, who at 19 years old has already racked up support from the likes of Mahogany and BBC Introducing, support slots with Arlo Parks and The Staves, working with Rich Cooper (Billie Marten, Lucy Rose), Rob Milton (Easy Life, Holly Humberstone) and Matt Maltese. Writing her first song at 11, she's been writing ever since, taking inspiration from conversations with friends, and those overheard on the tube or whilst working in a pub.

Talking about writing the new track, Matilda explains that "at the time my boyfriend was in America for a month and I spoke about how I missed him (and how in relationships before, I had never actually missed them when they were away, and it was always a big sign for me.) I had a few friends at the time who were coming to the end of their relationships, mainly due to long distance, but it was dragging on because they didn't know how to let go. I think sometimes it can be quite daunting to imagine yourself single and to lose a part of your life that you've just grown accustom to always being there." 


Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

WATCH: Leon Bridges - 'Sweeter'

I've got so much love for this track from Leon Bridges and Terrace Martin, released a couple of weeks ago. Originally written and recorded for a future album, the pair felt compelled by recent events to release the song at once, as it is written from the perspective of a black man taking his last breath and feeling his spirit leave his body. 

The video for the track (below) was directed by Leon's longtime photographer and collaborator Rambo, and was filmed in the neighbourhood he grew up in in Texas. It's a family affair, featuring his father and friends from childhood - Leon explains "I wanted to shine a light on the black community in Fort Worth, and specifically my childhood community from the Southside of Fort Worth. I had my friends and family with me; this is a celebration of our Blackness." 

 
Leon says "growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence we are taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the issues of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer." 

Terrace adds that "it is always an honor to share a platform with my dear brother Leon Bridges. This is meditation music; it is not music for the ears but rather music for the heart. I truly believe that eyes have been deceiving us for so long but the heart always tells the truth. The heart needs to be repaired. Black folk have been deceived so many years, the only thing that can turn it around is a heart full of love." 

Follow Leon Bridges - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

WATCH: T Truman - 'Holiday'

I'm currently adjusting back to full time work (the real world is really tiring, no?) so apologies for the slightly quieter social media feeds and fewer posts... I'm currently on a day off, crying along with the new Phoebe Bridgers record, eagerly awaiting new Novo Amor premiering in a few hours, and having a boogie to this debut track. An alter ego in place to escape accountability for his lyrics, T Truman is the solo project from Timothy Lanham, one half of Halloweens and keyboard player for The Vaccines, and I am very much here for it. 

Holiday is the first track taken from an upcoming EP co-written and co-produced by his friend and long-term collaborator Geoff Roberts, and features ex-Vaccines drummer Pete Robertson on drums. The track paints a lyrically care-free picture with lines such as - "cos I just wanna forget about things, and have a good time ... take a holiday man, just cos I can, let tomorrow take care of itself." Timothy adds that "if I were to take the lyrics completely seriously, I don't think I'd like me." The video for the track is very DIY, "like an Anchorman feat. Joe Exotic unofficial tribute video, but that's what you get when you leave me in self isolation with a handycam." Loving it!


Follow T Truman - Facebook | Instagram.

Monday, 22 June 2020

LISTEN: Sabiyha - 'Love Me Alone'

If you're following the 2020 playlist you may have heard this track already... I'm sharing it here too as I'm really really enjoying. New from Sabiyha, a London-based British-Guyanese artist who I've been following since I caught her opening up a show for Sam Beeton way back in the slightly simpler days of 2012. Her second track of the year, co-produced by Avi Barath and Andrew James at Deptford Studios, new track Love Me Alone is one encouraging self-love and empowerment. 

Inspired by a period of her life following a string of toxic relationships, Sabiyha writes about the track: “I'm someone who embraces sexuality, however, that does not give people a free pass to treat me like an object. The behaviour of the men I was meeting made me feel 'like poison', assuming I’m someone that I’m not. I was taking that narrative on and near enough shaming myself. I wanted to hear remorse from these guys. This song basically says “I'm over this bullsh*t, I'm not letting this affect my self-worth; I'll love me”. We all have moments where our self esteem waivers, and we question ourselves as people. This doesn't indicate weakness, but the many shades of light and dark that we experience and how we can work through it.”


Follow Sabiyha - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Tempesst - 'Must Be A Dream'

Dreamy news for your Thursday! It may be drizzly outside, but Tempesst are back with their gorgeously sunny vibes with new single On The Run and they're not stopping there.... they've got a debut album on the horizon, Must Be A Dream (that's the album name but it is also a dream, I'm sure) which is due for release via Pony Recordings on September 30th. 

The new track, vocalist Toma Banjanin explains, "was written about a close friend who disappeared for a decade and returned as someone completely different, and it's an ongoing trauma. When I connected the music to the lyrics, to try and finish the song, it felt like it had a rolling rhythm, so the chorus fell into place from there. For me, this song carries a lot more emotional weight." 

The video for the track, below, is directed by Toma's twin brother Andy Banjanin, the drummer in the band and no stranger to the blog - he's directed videos for the likes of Geowulf and Pêtr Aleksänder


The new record was produced by the band's longstanding collaborator Elliot Heinrich and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet CourtsTemples). Though the band are predominantly Australia born - with the brothers being joined by fellow Aussies Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass) and Swiss/American guitarist Eric Weber, they're all now residing in London. That's where the album was written and recorded, in the band's own Pony Studios, a studio space that the band built themselves in Hackney. Can't wait to hear more!!

Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

LISTEN: Harvey Causon - 'Extended Present'

I'm surprised to find that I haven't shared a Harvey Causon track on the blog in the past *but* I'm fixing that with his latest single, Extended Present. The track follows up three singles released so far this year, and it is taken from the upcoming Fourth Wall EP, which is due for release on June 26th. A singer, songwriter and producer, Harvey's work brings a broad collection of electronic influences together with piano melodies, creating tracks which are often both dark and catchy. A tender vocal pulls together the tracks, drawing you in.

Talking about the new track, Harvey explains that "Extended Present is a song about spacetime and gravity inspired by theories of theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. The almost chimerical realisation that time is merely a construct, nonlinear and that gravity and time are interwoven into the fabric of the universe. It was really interesting to work with different people across the globe recording the strings from isolation."


Follow Harvey Causon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 15 June 2020

LISTEN: The Ghost of Helags: ‘Chemistry’

Some new music for your eardrums - here's Chemistry from The Ghost of Helags. They're a dream-pop/electronic duo comprised of singer-songwriter Teresa Woischiski and producer John Alexander Ericson, hailing from Sweden and now living in Berlin. I'm getting some slight MGMT vibes from this tune... there's some darkness and mystery in the sound but it's simultaneously enchanting. Made in the night-time and for the night-time, Teresa explains that "the song was written in January this year on a foggy late night drive from Vienna to Prague. We didn't meet many cars and it was a very dense fog so it felt a bit like driving through outer space." The track was recorded in the hotel room in which they were staying in Prague, within days of arriving in the city. Enjoy!


Follow Ghost of Helags - Facebook | Instagram.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

WATCH: Sam Beeton - 'French Algiers (Innocent Crim)'

What's that, you thought you'd made it through all of the blog anniversary posts? No such luck. Not quite ready to stop celebrating as I received a belated and very very exciting video a couple of days ago. Arriving into my inbox after my first day back at work readying our shop to re-open tomorrow, this was such a treat. Not just a live video, but an unheard track and a short film (which is hilariously brilliant) from one of my favourite musical humans, Sam Beeton. Somehow I haven't seem Sam live since late 2013, and I think this is the first new music (online, at least) from him in... years? Ahhh! Exciting!

A little back story: Sam was the support act the first time I saw The Hoosiers live. He was brilliant and we used to tweet a lot, and I signed up to his 'Record Club' through which he posted out a CD to fans with a couple of brand new tracks, usually once a month. A couple of months after the first show, I organised for him to play at my school fête as part of his house tour. A musician popping round to my house for tea and cake made me suddenly (and temporarily) cool. Over the next couple of years I saw him playing a few more shows, including my first ever gig in London and a support slot for Charlie Simpson

I managed to borrow Sam for some modelling and chatting to camera for a few different projects for my Media Studies class. We made a music documentary extract (complete with blooper video), an album cover and a few pages from a music magazine, which I suppose was my first foray into music journalism - still really proud of that work! 

Anyway, watch the video... and then head to Spotify (or wherever you listen to music) to listen to his 2015 record In The Yard, it's gorgeous. Also, I took his current Spotify photo... claim to fame!


Thanks Sam!!!

Follow Sam Beeton - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

LISTEN: Cj Pandit - 'Eventually'

Eventually is back.... eventually. Hooray!! I have long adored this Cj Pandit tune. You didn't think it was getting away without being shared on the blog, did you? Such a breezy and carefree vocal and vibe... close your eyes and you're wandering along a seafront, or something. Excited to hear that there's a debut EP lined up for later in the year, too! Talking about the track, Cj writes that "Eventually is a song about the cyclical nature of life, and the magnetism we have to certain people we meet along the way. It's a song that's rolled and changed since its inception and has grown with me as an artist and a human being. I think it's been a lesson to myself to appreciate the ebb and flow of friendships and relationships as we grow up, how we can all go and do our thing, and most of the time come back together stronger, more resilient and more human because of it. It sounds like the solstice too." 


Follow Cj Pandit - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

cool music and... why I won't 'review' your track

I’ve been feeling a little inspired by the post I wrote recently about the origins and history of the blog for it’s anniversary. I’ve felt for a while as if I wanted to explore some wider topics in longer, rambling posts (apologies in advance for that) to create some more range in the things I write about. Sort of essay-esque, exploratory pieces on whatever topics spring to mind. Perhaps these are the ‘things’ that the blog’s name so mysteriously nods towards? Here goes for a mildly coherent ramble, anyway. 

I’ve never really explicitly talked about this here because it’s never felt like it particularly needed saying (and still doesn’t, I just had time on my hands and started writing) but as a rule, I try to avoid describing my posts as reviews. In my head, at least. Something about the term has always made me feel a little uneasy. I think that initially, as I didn’t have any musical qualifications or talents to speak of (though I have been trying to learn some ukulele and guitar in lockdown so… watch this space) I thought that I couldn’t refer to what I was writing as a review. In a sense, what right did I have to be reviewing something? Nobody had hired me to do that, I’d just set myself up a website and started to write. Who actually cared? Now though, it feels more that I simply don’t want to 'review'. Referring to a post as a recommendation or write-up sits better with me, personally. It feels positive, and for a blog which was born out of wanting to share the love I had for my favourite artists, that seems a perfect fit. 

While arranging a session video for the Youtube channel I set up recently, I was discussing the blog with Irwin Sparkes of White Tail Falls, whose record was released recently and is an instant album of the year for me - ‘write-up’ to follow, fingers crossed, and there's an interview a couple of posts ago here. Being a generally lovely human being who has always been supportive of the blog, he said some kind things about the site, and that what he loved about it was how positive it was, how I was “spreading the word on stuff that brings you joy.” It’s something that I’ve been aiming towards for the site from the start, and it means the world to have somebody else identify it. Irwin encouraged me to post some of the thoughts that I’d shared with him (so you’ve got him to thank for this ramble, though it was a lot shorter at the time) which basically concluded with the idea that the blog is a kind of online diary of the music that I love, which I let people read. 

I’m the blog’s biggest fan. I’ve been doing this for five years and I’ve surprised myself to have stuck at anything for that long. In ‘normal’ life I work full time and use the majority of my spare time to write posts, update my playlist, listen to submissions and tweet nonsense to my favourite bands. If I didn’t enjoy it, and didn’t love what I was writing about, it probably wouldn’t have lasted this long. 

A few years back when I was living and studying in Oxford and consuming just about as much live music as I possibly could while still getting a degree, I attended a music industry panel as part of Independent Venue Week. There was a really interesting discussion between people from various areas of the music industry. A music journalist, who has been running a local music magazine for longer than I’ve been alive (he knows his stuff) made a point which really registered and stayed with me. He suggested that it was important for a publication to share both positive and negative review to maintain credibility. 

As I’d not long moved the blog onto the new site to 'make a proper go of it' and was still finding my feet with it, I took what he was saying as gospel and thought about it a lot. Could people not trust my blog because I only ever wrote positive things? Did the fact that I was only ever nice invalidate the nice things that I was saying? Retrospectively, it’s a peculiar thing to worry about, especially when the blog was so tiny. Even now, my blog is fairly removed from the likes of his magazine and, well, it isn’t the NME. I doubt anybody else has ever sat looking at the site wishing I’d slate something and stop being so full of love and admiration. The ‘secret’ is that I can’t post about everything, and the things that I don’t enjoy don’t get to be featured… simple. Which isn't to say that if I don’t write about something, I dislike it. There’s only so much time and so many posts to go around. Less posts equals more love going into each post. It’s a balance I’m still figuring out. 

Over time, as I’ve developed the blog and figured out the sort of direction that I want to take it in, I’ve explored the idea more. For bigger publications, it makes sense that readers have expectations. You want to know what your favourite larger publications think about a new release. With multiple writers and constant new releases, there are bound to be quite a range of opinions shared. Art is subjective. Even so - and increasingly so - some negative reviews I’ve read lately have started to sit a little uncomfortably with me. For those writers, it is work and they have to say something, but it can sometimes become too personal. In an age of increased mental health awareness, sometimes it feels like they can go a little too far. 

The conclusion I’ve drawn over the years is that if you were to sneak a look at the never-ending list of post ideas in my spreadsheet, and the submissions I’ve tagged as ‘to write about’ in my inbox, you’d quickly realise that I haven’t physically got the time to write about everything I love. It’s partly why I don’t write so many album write-up posts, because they need far more time and attention to do them justice. One of the best things about the blog being entirely written by one person is that everything you read here is a snapshot into my mind, or a page of the diary. There doesn’t seem much point in me wasting my own time, and yours, by telling you about things that I don’t like. Instead, I’ll continue pouring all the love I can muster into the things that I do enjoy. 

With retail stores looking set to reopen in a few days in England, it looks as if all the extra time I’ve had for the blog will soon reduce dramatically. I won’t get too much into the huge reservations I have about returning to work at the moment, but will say that the prospect of blogging less does make me sad. While at the start of lockdown I was struggling to find any time (despite having an abundance of it) to write posts, when I threw myself into creating some kind of celebration of the blog’s birthday, it sparked something. I’ve never had so much time for the blog and it’s been a genuinely lovely thing to see the blog grow more in the last month than it has in years. In a time where connection is so precious, the blog and the people who support it have come to mean even more than before. 

In short: I love this blog, and this blog is fuelled by love. But I probably won't 'review' your track. I may say some lovely things about it, though. 

(Ramble complete.)