Friday 31 August 2018

LISTEN: Honey Moon - 'Yours, Girl'

After really enjoying their last single (Why Do You Think You're So) Special? I was pleased to find a new track from London 'croon-pop quartet' Honey Moon in my inbox last night. It's a beautiful early morning tune which, as lead vocalist Jack Slater Chandler explains, "shoots straight down the ballad barrel. The recording is intentionally quite clean and simple - no flashy production tricks, no crazy effects, just one single unadulterated slice of dreamy seaside pop. One for the lovers." 

The track comes alongside the announcement of the band's forthcoming EP Four More From... which is set for release by Heist or Hit on 21st September. The band are playing across the UK later this year, with an EP launch show at The Waiting Room in London on 27th September (it's a free gig!) followed by a support tour with label mates Her's across September and November.

Follow Honey Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 30 August 2018

WATCH: Tamino - 'Persephone'

One of my favourite discoveries of the year so far is Tamino - he's a 21 year old singer-songwriter of Belgian, Egyptian and Lebanese heritage, and his music is breathtaking. He's another Communion Music discovery for me - I first saw him play at their showcase at The Great Escape in May, and later at the venue I was volunteering at for this year's Bushstock Festival. His vocals are simultaneously incredibly powerful yet measured, and his range is seriously impressive - to the extent that the first time you hear the high notes live you're left a little shocked!

He has shared the single Persephone, announcing the release of his debut record Amir on 19th October. The record features the single alongside the tracks from his beautiful Habibi EP which was released earlier this year. If these five tracks are anything to go by, it's sure to be a sublime record - you can pre-order it on his site here!

Tamino plays for Communion at The Courtyard Theatre in London on 12th September - grab tickets for the show here.

Follow Tamino - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 27 August 2018

LISTEN: Archie Faulks - 'It Rains'

It's always exciting to share a debut single... this time around, it's from Archie Faulks. You might not be a total stranger to his sound, as he was on the scene a few years ago under the name Tenterhook. Under that name, he played on a Communion New Faces tour and released a couple of EPs, as well as the total tune What I Like. He disappeared a couple of years back, and has returned to release music under his own name for the first time. Debut track It Rains is a soothing showcase of his lovely vocals and features strings from Tom Hobden, always a brilliant addition to a track! 

His first solo show (as Archie) will be in a couple of weeks at Servant Jazz Quarters, on 4th September - that one sold out quickly but fear not, he's added a show at the beautiful setting of St Pancras Old Church on November 12th. Tickets here.

Follow Archie Faulks - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Saturday 25 August 2018

LISTEN: Geowulf - 'Saltwater' (reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder)

I'm really pleased to share this track - not quite a remix, but a 'reimagining' of Saltwater by the lovely Geowulf who released their debut record Great Big Blue earlier this year. Classical duo Pêtr Aleksänder have reworked the track, adding in some beautiful strings, much like their recent version of the Banfi tune Future.

With a few of their own tracks under their belt, including Bells, the video premiere for which is the most viewed post on the blog (check that out here) the duo have recently signed to Communion Music, and I can't wait to hear what they release next! 

Follow Geowulf Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Pêtr AleksänderTwitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram.

Friday 24 August 2018

LISTEN: Sam Fender - 'Dead Boys'

Testament to the scores of incredible artists they work with, it often feels a little like I'm running a Communion Music fan blog. Here's a new track from Sam Fender, one of the latest in a long line of artists I've discovered thanks to Communion. While volunteering at The Great Escape earlier this year, I couldn't decide who to go and see one evening, and took myself along to the label's showcase, catching Sam after Tamino. I'd never listened to either, but have a lot of love for so many of the label's artists - it's usually safe to assume that if Communion likes an artist, I probably will too.

Much the same as with Dermot Kennedy the previous night, it was clear that Sam already had quite a loyal following thanks to a string of quality singles. The latest is Dead Boys, which has been gaining support from the likes of the NME and BBC Radio 1, and which was shared alongside news of a UK tour later in the year. The track explores themes of toxic masculinity and suicide among young men, focusing around the main refrain "we close our eyes, blind our pain, nobody ever could explain, all the dead boys in our hometown." Talking with the NME, he explains that he has lost close friends to suicide and that playing the track to people has made him realise just how far reaching the issue is, saying that "if it gets to one person and they feel like they should reach out an talk to somebody, then it has done a good job." In the interview, he also shares his belief that "archaic" beliefs of how men should behave, in terms of their reaction to emotional stress, is what kills men. There's always room for socially conscious young artists in my playlists - get listening to the track now!

Full tour dates: The Mash House, Edinburgh (29th October); Fibbers, York (30th); King Tut's, Glasgow (31st); The Chapel, Leeds (2nd Nov); The Leadmill, Sheffield (3rd); Soup Kitchen, Manchester (5th); The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (6th); Thekla, Bristol (7th), Rock City Basement, Nottingham (10th); Omeara, London (12th and 13th); Newcastle University, Newcastle (17th). Tickets available through Sam's site here.

Follow Sam Fender - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 23 August 2018

LISTEN: Sivu - 'Trickle'

For years Sivu (aka James Page) has held a really special place in my heart - his stunning vocals, songwriting and the production of Charlie Andrew have made for some of the best new music of the last few years. Tracks like Sleep and Family Tree mean the world to me. Sivu returned last Summer with Sweet Sweet Silent, the follow up to debut record Something On High (2014) - both are sublime pieces of art.

He's recently shared Trickle, a track which was written and recorded during work on the second record, but which didn't fit with the rest of the record. Luckily for us, as James begins to write and figure out where to take his music, particularly in the light of his experiences with Ménière's disease, he has shared the track. In its lyrics and sound, the track is both exposed and exposing, Sivu explains it is about "feeling awkward in your own skin and realising not everything is within your control." 

Follow Sivu online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 20 August 2018

LISTEN: Low Island - 'Holding It Down'

The gloriously talented bunch Low Island are gearing up to release Low Island 17-18, a collection of their tracks so far (categorically not an album) in September, and they've just shared a revamped version of early tune Holding It Down. Consider my interest piqued. I love these guys, not only are their studio recordings some of the best tracks I've heard over the last couple of years (a favourite has to be (Pause)) but they're a wonderful live band, and this new track captures the energy of a Low Island show.

If you're in the Oxford area and fancy catching them live (why wouldn't you?!) then you're in luck as they're launching the collection with a hometown show upstairs at O2 Academy Oxford on 21st September with support from locals BE GOOD (who I completely adore too) and Theo. Grab tickets for the show here!

Low Island 17-18 is being released on vinyl on 20th September, their first physical release - pre-order it here!

Follow Low Island online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

LISTEN: Ferris & Sylvester - '(I Think That You Look) Better In Yellow'

I don't need much of an excuse to share anything related to Ferris & Sylvester... but this is a perfect reason! They've released a new, spruced up version of their tune Better In Yellow and while it's just as beautiful as the original, it showcases a more confident, more powerful duo than the one which released the track earlier in the year. I loved their set at The Great Escape earlier in the year - if you want to catch them live, they're playing the September Communion Music Club Night at Notting Hill Arts Club on 2nd September - info here!

Follow Ferris & Sylvester - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

LISTEN: Jade Bird - 'Uh Huh'

I've made the mistake of not really listening to Jade Bird until now, but after finding her new single Uh Huh in my Spotify new music playlist last week I've had it on repeat ever since. The power and control in her voice is sublime and I'm adoring all versions of the track that I've listened to so far, including these sessions for Vevo DSCVR and CPR's Open Air. The track follows up her 2017 EP Something American and singles Furious and Lottery. 

Her Spotify bio describes her as "Classic, contemporary, and a total breath of fresh air in the current musical landscape [...] that rare, next-generation artist who appears as clued up on the past as she is determined to learn from its lessons: in control, sometimes in your face, and in possession of gifts beyond her years." I couldn't put it better myself.

Follow Jade Bird - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 13 August 2018

WATCH: Leyya - 'Wannabe'

I'm loving this track from Austrian duo Leyya which I just found in the blog's inbox - one of the best things about getting submissions sent by various PR is certainly finding bands from other countries who I'd likely have never discovered otherwise! The track follows up their second album Sauna, released back in January. Leyya are a duo made up of Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer, who among quite a string of achievements have racked up over 3 million Spotify plays, played a bunch of festival slots this Summer, and recently opened for Arcade Fire in Vienna.

With the track repeating the phrase "I wanna be like you wanna be like me" the duo refer to a "problem almost everyone can relate to: Wanting to be like somebody else. Ironically - we find - its often also the other way around." Rupert Höller, who directed the video for Wannabe, describes it as being "about the feeling that there is always someone cooler, better than you and the endless circle this thinking causes [...] In the video, we created a world where two clones are constantly fighting and making up again [...] fighting for their status, both admiring and envying each other, and yet enjoying their company. This abstract world set in the glowing summer sun of Croatia's landscape visualises the absurdity of the dissatisfaction with one's self and celebrates this feeling." 

Leyya tour Europe later in the year, with a show at London's Sebright Arms on 23rd October - tickets here.

Follow Leyya - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 10 August 2018

TOUR NEWS: Banfi (November 2018)

Having seen them play live eight times over the past couple of years, I can pretty confidently say that Banfi are one of my favourite bands to grace the stage lately. I (shockingly) haven't seen them since their UK tour last September - but fear not, following a DIY tour around Europe this Summer, they've announced a tour in Europe and England later this year! They'll be taking in one of their biggest hometown headline shows so far at London's Moth Club, as well as playing shows in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton along the way. Check out this beautiful session of their track June below...

Full England dates: The Chapel, Leeds (11th Nov); The Castle, Manchester (12th); Bodega, Nottingham (13th); Cuban Embassy, Birmingham (14th); Rough Trade, Bristol (15th); Moth Club, London (17th); Heartbreakers, Southampton (18th).

Follow Banfi Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

WATCH: Dizzy - 'Joshua' (Communion & RAK Studio Session)

It's no secret that I'm a pretty big fan of the label Communion and I'm digging one of their latest signings, Dizzy. Hailing from Ontario, I caught the quartet playing live at The Great Escape in Brighton earlier in the year - it was a last minute choice between catching them or heading to my hotel room to catch up on sleep, and I was glad that I chose to trek up to Green Door Store to see them with a couple of friends (staying up even longer for a 1am Gengahr set...) Having never listened to them I wasn't sure what to expect, but was instantly drawn in by singer Katie's stunning vocals. Despite the late stage time, she had complete command of the audience and we were treated to a range of songs from their recently announced debut album, Baby Teeth, which you can pre-order here. For now, check out a live session of Joshua, it's soothing, intricate and more than a little bit dreamy.

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 2 August 2018

LISTEN: Magique - 'Real Love'

It isn't an entirely new track, but I am smitten with this from Magique, shared online yesterday. Last May, I caught Willie J Healey playing live in an Oxford art gallery on the day I'd submitted my last piece of coursework for my degree. One of my last gigs in the city, it was a celebration, and a brilliant gig in wonderful company, kicked off superbly by support act Magique. I was particularly struck by the track Real Love, but it sadly got taken off of the internet a few months after the show upon the release of the equally cracking tune Eventually. I've missed it since and I'm so glad that it's back! If you're a fan of artists such as Gengahr, All Tvvins and Hudson Scott, you'll probably enjoy this one. For me, the sound is familiar and yet unique, the lyrics moving and the tune of the chorus incredibly memorable. Get listening!

Follow Magique - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.