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
NNAMD├Ć - 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.