Thursday, 16 June 2022

LISTEN: I SEE RIVERS - 'Your Love'

Following on from yesterday's Siv Jakobsen post, how about we stick with some more brilliant Nordic music? Though they currently live in Wales, I SEE RIVERS (AKA Eline, Gøril and Lill) are all originally from Norway. Having impressed fans (like me) with their beautiful harmonies and fun performances (I saw them supporting Cosmo Sheldrake in 2018 and loved their set - especially the fact they were knitting merch along the way, if I remember correctly...) the trio released their debut album Deep & Rolling Green in 2020. 

The timing of the release meant that they weren't able to perform shows to promote it, instead sticking to online events. Finally, however, they're heading out on the belated D&RG tour this month! To celebrate, and to mark the start of another chapter (I hope!) they've shared their first single since the album, Your Love

Talking about the track, they explain: "the song itself portrays a relationship that is coming to an end from the perspective of someone who is obsessively trying to find rhyme or reason in the words and actions of the other part. The almost anthemic chorus contrasts the painful acknowledgment that the relationship is not working out anymore and is now only ground for pain and difficulties."


Follow I See Rivers - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

LISTEN: Siv Jakobsen - 'Birthday'

With my birthday impending next week, it'd be rude not to share a track called Birthday... right? I was delighted to see Siv Jakobsen was returning last month, and when I'm just about getting over the stunner Most Of The Time she's back with another new track. Aaaaaaaagh. Brilliant - and relatable - as ever! She's also sharing details of three UK/EU shows this September, including London's The Slaughtered Lamb on 29th. 

On the track, Siv shares: "I imagine a vast pool of ended relationships where both parties sit at their own gloomy ends, greatly disliking or even hating the other. I wanted to write a song with this in mind, that there are often two deflated and angry hearts involved, both feeling the same anger, the same sadness.

The song is also a retrospective look at a hard time in my life - my 25th birthday - with a strong realisation that I would never want to go back, no matter the circumstances. To me it encapsulates a mutual feeling of wasted effort and time toward something that was doomed to fail from the beginning." 


Follow Siv Jakobsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

WATCH: Maja Lena - 'No More Flowers'

Reasons to smile today - Maja Lena is back!!! She released the stunner of a record The Keeper just over a year ago, and she's back with news of her second record Pluto, releasing via Chiverin Records on 18th November. First single No More Flowers is out now, once again produced by the legendary Rob Pemberton and with a video directed by Martha Webb - both are a joy, and exactly what I love Maja for. 

Talking about the new track, she explains: "No More Flowers marks the acceptance of a close friendship ending or changing course, and deciding to stop putting energy into something unreciprocated. I'd been re-watching Studio Ghibli films at the time and fell in love with some of the earlier heavily synth driven soundtracks. I liked the idea of some of the parts sounding like creatures from another world in conversation with each other, which Rob managed to emulate better than I could imagine. Despite the song not being of a particularly happy theme, I wanted the music to feel fun and uplifting, as sometimes change can be a really good thing, even if it doesn't initially feel that way."

Having worked for 13 years on a natural horsemanship yard and on a no dig permaculture vegetable growing project, Maja is immersed in the natural world - so it is a starting point for much of her music. She explains "I find the repetitive motions of walking, seed planting, sweeping really beneficial to writing music. I'm also very introverted so I find working alone out on the land quite recharging, it can in turn give me energy for music and gigging. My love of nature and animals feeds into the sound. I like to find sounds or riffs that might conjure landscapes in my head, for this album that's otherworldly sounds or creatures in particular." 

While the previous record was very much placed in the pastoral, this one is set in an alternate world close to Pluto, a decision inspired by Maja's increasing fascination with science fiction in TV, literature and art. Intriguing... I can't wait to hear more! 

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Monday, 13 June 2022

WATCH: Memorial - 'Honest'

I went to a gig! I had a last minute day out in London on Thursday to catch Memorial at House of St Barnabas, a members' club in the heart of Soho with a chapel hidden away in it, and it was such a delight. I've been enjoying their record for the past couple of months, and it was a treat to see them performing the tracks from it - as well as a couple of covers, and even a couple of brilliant new tracks - with a full band, including Jools Owen (Bear's Den) and Ally Mackay (Marthagunn). 

As if the Memorial guys weren't enough, they had Elanor Moss and Sunflower Thieves opening for them - three artists that I love and have supported through the blog. A bit of a dreamy evening all round, and in a stunning space too. I'd not realised how much I missed getting to introduce myself to artists and other people at shows as the person behind this blog (especially when they say nice things about it in return!) and getting to tell artists I love how brilliant they are in person, too.

Since the show, I've been in a little bit of a Memorial bubble, so when I was thinking about what to post next, it had to be their latest single and video. Honest happens to be one of my favourites from their self titled record, too. 

Speaking on the video, the pair shared: "we had an incredible time filming this video. We had the wonderful privilege of using a boathouse and surrounding grounds in The Lingholm Estate with massive thanks to Joe and Jenny (the owners) for letting us stay the night! The video centres around the main character (Jeremy Zinunu) who has a comfortable life, but suffers from feeling numb and lost, we act as light relief, but eventually he needs to find the strength in himself to not need us as a distraction. 

Jeremy and our amazing director Gregg Houston both braved the freezing cold lake for some of those beautiful shots, we can't be thankful enough for that and everything else they and the team managed to achieve. It was essentially a holiday for us, boating on the lake, curry outside with a nice fire and staying in a beautiful holiday home."

Follow Memorial - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

LISTEN: Lutalo - 'For Now'

Time for a look ahead to another of this Friday's releases - this time, it's Once Now, Then Again, the debut EP from Vermont-based musician and producer Lutalo Jones. Performing as Lutalo, they're adding a gorgeous string to their bow with recent single For Now, another brilliant sample of what is to come on the full EP later this week. 

Discussing the EP, Lutalo shares: "I tend to grapple with a lot of existential questioning, I wanted to capture what it feels like to be a twenty-something in this time period, reflecting on our relationship with technology, the internet, relationships, world governments, housing... all while discovering what it means to be an adult and how our definition of what that looks like begins to shift. The vision I have for this project is not so much genre-based as it is sound-based, and that sound is just a reflection of me. I didn't want any boundaries because I'm not trying to replicate anything that's come before, I only want to be adding to music in some way." 

On new track For Now, Lutalo explains: "this one follows my perspective as a black person interacting with self proclaimed allies to the struggles that Black and Indigenous groups in the U.S. face. My base understanding being that they don't genuinely have to care about our struggles and will continue to do whatever makes them feel righteous in the moment. Even if that means not listening to what these demographics genuinely need as support. My understanding is that I'll continue to be in a situation when I have to save face to just survive, like many others put in the same situation. Leading to the line 'For now I give that smile.'"  

Follow Lutalo Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

WATCH: PRISMA - 'Drive'

... two posts in two days?! *gasp* 

I loved discovering PRISMA a couple of months back with their single I Never Wanted To Meet You. In fact, I loved it so much that I wrote "I'm a sucker for some sisterly harmonies, and these, set atop an energetic slice of scandi-pop, are a beauty." I'm therefore delighted to share that the Danish sister duo are back, following up their Inside Out EP with new track Drive. Yay! The track is accompanied by another superb video, which sees the sisters actually driving off into the sunset at the end of it - and a rather lovely Danish sunset it is. 

On the track, sisters Frida and Sirid Møl Kristensen share "we have tried to create a sound universe where you as a listener get the feeling of driving fast. The song provides a very concrete description of an exciting car ride, but we also want to make room for the listener's interpretation of the word 'Drive'. It can be your personal drive, a work drive, etc. This song is a tribute to all the people who go out in their everyday lives and chase their dreams; a tribute to the side roads; a tribute to the journey."

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Monday, 6 June 2022

WATCH: Bloomsday - 'Voicemail'

I have been very bad at remembering to post here, or finding time to... so I'm kicking the week off with a Monday post in the hope that it might inspire some more to follow. Easing the way into the week with another beauty of a track from Bloomsday. I'm really enjoying this duo, made up of Iris James Garrison (they/them) and Alex Harwood (he/him) - Voicemail is from their debut album Place To Land, due this Friday (10th), which I can't wait for. Any track with gardening metaphors in it gets a thumbs up from me!

On the track, Iris shares: "I wrote this song in the lockdown of 2002 as well, earlier on. It was originally called 'Propagation song' since the first lyrics I wrote for it were "I grew a propagation from the roots we planted." I felt that I was growing into someone new at the time, and that the person I had met was helping me trust in my new growth, that they had helped plant new roots in my self emotionally.

"If your leaves start growing away from me, I'll know it's meant to be" is expressing that brevity can be beautiful. Some people come into your life, you learn something essential from one another, and then you grow apart. I wrote this song as a voicemail that was never sent. Things I wish I could express to this person that I couldn't because I was unfortunately ghosted (sigh)." 

Pre-order Place To Land here.

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Thursday, 2 June 2022

WATCH: Maggie Rogers - 'Want Want'

Is there anything that a new Maggie Rogers track can't cure?! Goodness me I love Maggie so much - and this one felt like a personal reward from Maggie to myself. I've been snowed under with some work this week, seeing my inbox gradually getting fuller but unable to delve into it. A couple of hours after I finally finished up with the work thing, a new track from Maggie debuts on Radio 1... yes please! Previous single That's Where I Am will be happy to get a bit of a rest in my speakers because I will be listening to Want Want on repeat for the foreseeable future. 

Want Want is an unashamedly joyful track on sexual desire, or as Maggie puts it - "sex and sensuality". I'm already imagining this one in a live show and.... yes?! Please. Again. Luckily, I might not have to wait too long for my next live Maggie show, as she's heading to the UK on the Feral Joy tour in November, with a date at Ally Pally on the 10th. The joy and pride that I feel knowing that Maggie is headlining such a venue...

Originally written in quarantine with Maggie's long-term collaborator Del Water Gap in Maine, the track was produced by DWG and Kid Harpoon at Electric Lady Studios in NYC, Real World Studios near Bath and Sid's Palace in Scarborough, ME. The video for the track, directed by Warren Fu, sees Maggie performing the track at a karaoke bar in NYC's Koreatown and you can watch it below...

Want Want is taken from the upcoming record Surrender - due 29th July (pre-order here.) Full details of Maggie's upcoming UK and Europe tour here

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Thursday, 26 May 2022

LISTEN: néomí - 'not good enough'

How about some more soul soothing from néomí for your Thursday morning? Her music has been a delight to discover over the past few months, through singles teasing the release of her before EP, due in almost exactly a month's time on 24th June. not good enough is the latest taster from the EP, and another delightful listen. There's something in Neomi's vocal delivery and the production of the tracks that makes them feel so utterly intimate, as if we're not listening to music at all, but in the room with her, in conversation. 

"This song is about losing the love you have for yourself. Sometimes the world can bring a lot of insecurities, along with opinions from people about you that you didn't even ask for. It actually is a reminder for myself and to anyone that listens that feeling "not good enough" doesn't mean it is the truth. It is a "I don't care" message for those who said you are "not good enough" to fit in." 

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Wednesday, 25 May 2022

WATCH: Wallice - 'Funeral'

Happy Wednesday, pals. If you missed it on Twitter and Instagram, the blog hit 400,000 page views last week... yikes! I celebrated by vanishing from the blog a little (life!!!!) but I'm dipping my toes back in the water / procrastinating looking at my inbox with this brilliant new video from LA's Wallice. Funeral is taken from her recent 90s American Superstar EP and the video is maybe her best yet...

Wallice shares: "The video for 'Funeral' was really important to me. It's my favourite song that I've made so far. I pictured a concert-like celebration instead of a traditional solemn funeral, sort of taking the heaviness of a funeral and treating it lightly. In my videos I like to incorporate my lyrics in a literal way, but I also try to capture the tone of them as well. This video walks the line between melodramatic and sarcastic in a way that really captures my sense of humor. The video is also more broadly a symbol for how I'm evolving as an artist - the "death" of cowgirl Wallice is meant to mark the end of that era and the beginning of the next." 

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