Wednesday, 16 June 2021

WATCH: M Field - 'Andrew'

The blog's submissions inbox is incredibly busy at the moment and proving a little tricky to keep on top of, but it's all made worthwhile (ish) when I stumble across a gem which I know will become a firm favourite. I've really fallen for Andrew from M Field... it arrived last week alongside news of his self-titled debut EP, due 2nd September. On first listen, I felt a bit of an early Vampire Weekend vibe to the track (a very good thing!) but you might recognise the vocals a little more precisely as Matthew is the frontman of South Africa's indie exports Beatenberg. This one's a little slice of summer-y joy. 

As a collection of tracks, the EP came together a little sporadically, with some written specifically for it and others reworked from old demos. Matthew shares that "there wasn't anything obvious or conceptual tying them together, but I trusted that my overall intention would bind them somehow. And of course, as time goes on and work is done things begin to cohere in unexpected ways. Working with Bullion also led to more sonic unity."  

On the new track: "Like in dreams, in songs everyone is you. But also nothing I say outside of my songs is actually true. The key of Andrew is to D major as 95bpm is to 98bpm - I slowed it down a little bit. The song started with the chorus and it took me a while to find the right verse. I really like the end bit with all the orchestral instruments and hope to do more stuff like that." 

Follow M Field - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

LISTEN: Lauran Hibberd - 'Bleugh'

It might be obvious from my latest playlist update, but right behind the new Dizzy EP another current obsession is the latest single from Lauran Hibberd. I'm not quite over the recent collaboration she shared with The Regrettes' frontwoman Lydia Night (it is seriously brilliant and well worth 3 and a half minutes of your time here) but this one is worthy of just as much love. Bleugh is taken from her upcoming Goober EP, due July 30th. I can't wait!

Lauran on the track..."'Bleugh' is the only sound that sums up my adult reaction to my pre-naive self. It's about always being attracted to people who've nothing going on, nothing to offer you, yet it's that hamster wheel you can't quite jump off. You'll probably find these people in bands called something like 'broken cyclists' or better yet in moody solo projects called something pretentious like 'bora boring'. It's my favourite track of mine, and I've been sitting on and incubating this girl for a while. It feels really good shouting 'Bleugh' btw, I recommend you try it out."

Follow Lauran Hibberd - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 14 June 2021

LISTEN: Dizzy & Flyte - 'Primrose Hill at Midnight'

I'm writing this quickly on Sunday morning before heading into town to see my best pals for the first time in months. Remind me how you do this social interaction thing again?! A quick post for Monday (hi - time travel!) to share the fact that I am completely and utterly besotted with this track and that you should all listen to it, and the full EP, right now. Dizzy just shared their Separate Places EP - a collection of reworkings of tracks from their second record The Sun And Her Scorch, which features guest vocals from Luna Li, Kevin Garrett, Overcoats, Jahnah Camille and on this one... Flyte! I've been desperate to write about this one since receiving the EP a few weeks back so I'm glad that the cat is finally out of the bag - the Flyte chaps are lending their stunning harmonies to Primrose Hill at Midnight and the result is sublime.  

During an Insta live chat between Dizzy's Katie Munshaw and Flyte's Will Taylor a few days back, they discussed the origins of the track. Turns out it actually came about after Flyte took Dizzy to Primrose Hill when they were playing a show in Camden, and Katie talked about how they'd wanted the band to sing that part of the track before they even released the original album version. Seems a bit of a dream collab for both (and for us!) - if you're not aware of one or the other, listen to both bands' recent records, they are so so so good. 

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Flyte - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 11 June 2021

WATCH: IMOGEN - 'Bloodbag'

A lovely bit of serendipity for you today, with news of sorts from two artists who have overcome their fair share of adversity, and brought us beautiful music along the way. I'd planned to share the new track from IMOGEN, and to write about how I'd first discovered her through her support set for Sivu at a London show a few years back. With Sivu firmly on my mind, it was a surprise (and a delight) to find a new documentary style clip on his socials yesterday. The clip explores his Meniere's Disease diagnosis (an ear condition which can lead to dizzy spells/vertigo and hearing loss - less than ideal for a musician), his use of hearing aids and his journey back to creating music with producer Charlie Andrew

More on Sivu soon, I hope. For now: Imogen. She too has a similarly inspirational (but entirely different) story, with surgery a few years back leaving her needing to learn to walk again. If I remember correctly, the show I caught her at was her first after having had surgery. Brand new track Bloodbag, her first since 2019, focuses on the adversity she has overcome, reflecting the trauma she has lived through and the strength and power she has found through the experience. Moving away from the piano ballads of old, the track is awash with drums, brass and synths, creating somewhat of a cacophony at the track's climax.

The video (below) was directed by Harv Frost (Matilda MannPhoebe GreenMolly Burman) and portrays Imogen ascending a spiral staircase into an endless light. 

On the track, she shares: "I wanted to write something that depicted the feeling of being out of kilter with yourself - grasping for some sort of control over your mind, body, existence. I took my literal experiences and used them as imagery to explain some complicated feelings, what happened in the end was an exorcism." 

Not only is Imogen creating gorgeous music (and there's plenty more where this one came from) but she is a director on the Ivors Academy Board and co-chair of the Youth Council. Through both, she is a passionate activist within the industry, working to make the industry safer and more accessible. I absolutely love this! 

Follow IMOGEN - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Bess Atwell - 'Already, Always'

I am so so soooooo excited by this - album news from the inimitable talent that is Bess Atwell. She's following up recent singles Co-op and Time Comes In Roses (both complete tunes) with All You Can Do and news of her record Already, Always - due for release via Real Kind Records on September 24th. With records from Public Service Broadcasting, MarthaGunn and Liz Lawrence too, September is shaping up to be a pretty special month for new music. 

More on the record later - but for now, the new single is a complete gem. On the track, Bess shares: "You can only live in turmoil and guilt for so long. This song was a rare moment of relative ruthlessness. A moment to breathe and stop apologising for the way I felt, and to try out blaming the other person. However, even in an instance of liberation, I didn't want to shy away from the fact that, humanly, a longing for meaning and guidance still nagged at me. I had spent a long time feeling powerless, as if I were my partner's pet. I spent the best part of a year living in his house, eating the food he cooked, being looked after by him. This song is a daydream of a role reversal and an exploration of reclaiming control."

Wishing to create a video reflecting the mundane in a surreal way, Bess enlisted director Dylan Hayes and his DOP Owain Morgan, who filmed with her at her parents' house in Sussex, where she spent the first lockdown. On the experience, Bess shares: "it was fun to see it looking quite so dreamy on film. The idea was similar to that for the Co-op video, the concept being 'the domestic meets the surreal' but executed differently. We wanted to create mundane scenes, but amp them up to a point of surrealism (chopping a ridiculous amount of apples / sitting at a desk with unnecessarily tall stacks of books). I wanted the video to feel weighed down by domiciliary tasks, claustrophobic even. I’m the only person in the video which makes it feel extra lonely when contrasted with the fact I’m preparing so much food.

“I was lucky enough to be reached out to by Bvlgari who kitted us out with wardrobe accessories. It got to a point where I was just having fun playing dress-up which worked to make the video a little tongue-in-cheek – I’m pictured outside, wind blowing in my hair, wearing a black trench coat and sunglasses, almost parodying what a music video might look like.”

Pre-order & pre-save the new record here - it's due September 24th. 

Follow Bess Atwell - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

WATCH: Mazey Haze - 'Sad Lonely Groove'

Dreamy debut single vibes today with Sad Lonely Groove from Mazey Haze, AKA 21 year-old Amsterdam-based artist Nadine Appeldoorn. As the title of the track suggests, the seemingly carefree indie-pop vibes of the track juxtapose with the confusion and loss contained within the lyrics, as the track reflects on the aftermath of a tough break-up. It's the sonic equivalent of dancing around in a field of flowers... if that's your thing. Writing songs since the age of 13 and recording demos since 16, Nadine brings influences from the likes of ABBA, The Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac to the project - portraying her deepest feelings in an explorative soundscape. Intrigued to see what comes next... 

Talking about the track, she shares: "The song is about me feeling the lowest and loneliest I've ever felt in my life. I hadn't built lots of friend relationships yet and I forced myself to be alone with myself. It's about missing the guy I thought I was in love with. It's a stream of thoughts that were circling around in my head all the time. It was the first time that I realised I wasn't able to be happy by myself and was very dependent in the past relationship. Suddenly I had to meet and get to know myself, something I had never done before. When I wrote this song I was still running away from it all."

Follow Mazey Haze - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 4 June 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Public Service Broadcasting - 'Bright Magic'

Oh PSB, I absolutely love you. As Steve Lamacq so beautifully put it a few days ago when premiering their new track on the radio, Public Service Broadcasting exist in "a genre of one". Over the past few years, I've felt that some artists might have been trying to emulate what PSB do, but nobody does it with such passion and endless creativity, and with such marvellous results. After being introduced to their debut album by a friend on a train journey in 2014, I was very quickly drawn into a love affair with their music. There are very few artists where I remember my first listen quite so vividly, which might be saying something... 

Much to my delight, they've just announced their fourth studio album, Bright Magic, due September 24th. A celebration of Berlin and its creative culture, the announcement arrives alongside the first track from the record, the incredibly hypnotic People, Let's Dance, featuring guest vocals from Berlin-based EERA. The track incorporates a guitar riff from Depeche Mode's People Are People and takes its title from a chapter of Rory MacLean's Berlin: Imagine A City. The accompanying video is equally brilliant, with synchronised roller-skaters against a city backdrop, directed by Chloe Hayward

Each PSB record brings with it an overarching theme, most recently the Welsh mining industry on Every Valley and the space race on The Race For Space. New record Bright Magic is an album in three parts (Building A City, Building A Myth, Bright Magic) and brings us to Europe's heart, the cultural and political metropolis that is Berlin. 
J. Willgoose, Esq. explains: "doing this felt inevitable, somehow. In my head, it was whirring and pulsing away for a long time, even before Every Valley - this fascinating, contrary, seductive place. I knew the album was going to be about the city, and its history and myths, and I was going to move there. So it's quite a personal story. It's become an album about moving to Berlin to write an album about people who move to Berlin to write an album..."

Willgoose did indeed move to Berlin, from April 2019 to January 2020, soaking up the city to directly influence the record, and writing and recording in Kreuzberg's famous Hansa Tonstudio. One particular instance saw Willgoose walking the Leipzigerstrasse, the site of the city's first electric streetlight, using a wide-band electromagnetic receiver from Moscow's Soma Laboratories.... "I walked up and down recording electrical currents and interference. You can hear a few of these little frequency buzzes, clicks and impulses in Im Licht (a song inspired in part by pioneering lightbulb manufacturers AEG and Siemens). It's what I was trying to do in the wider sense, I suppose - to capture those tiny little pulses you pick up while walking through a city."

What differs here however, is that the new record uses samples (and, indeed, the English language) sparingly. From the response I've seen to the announcement online though, I'd say that PSB fans are more than happy with the news (me included!) and have taken the single to their hearts already. I can't wait to hear more and see where the record takes us... holiday to Berlin, anyone?

Pre-order & pre-save Bright Magic here.

PSB are touring the UK later this year - dates and ticket links here (on sale next week, I believe).

Follow Public Service Broadcasting - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

LISTEN: Cassia - 'Vitamins'

This gloriously sunny weather calls for some summer vibes in your listening (hence my commute choices of The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club the past couple of days) and I've got just the tune in the shape of Vitamins from Cassia. I've got this one on repeat at the moment! Oh to be in a festival tent singing along to this one... 

Taken from their upcoming EP Magnifier, the track looks at the highs and lows of long distance relationships. Singer Rob Ellis shares: "it's about being in a long distance relationship and the weirdly scheduled calls that become an unmissable fix, almost like a drug. The distance can bring up all kinds of uncertainties and fears but knowing the next call isn't far away is like a vitamin boost that you need to get through the day, like a good berocca!"   

The band called on London based designer Cameron JL West (who has recently worked with Sports TeamEverything Everything and Alfie Templeman) for an incredibly personal animated lyric video to accompany the track. On the video, Rob writes: "we feel like we've had such a crazy journey over the past couple of years. The band has taken us to so many places, and through countless experiences with amazing people. We wanted to fill the video with the moments that we feel mark the different chapters best, from venues in Macclesfield where we played our first ever gigs, to memories on tour and also some of our favourite spots in Berlin (where we're living now). We hope that all the people who have been with us along the way can take something from it." 

Follow Cassia - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

WATCH: Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen - 'Like I Used To'

This has been out a couple of weeks so you'll hopefully have had the pleasure already, but if not... let me boost your serotonin with this absolutely gorgeous duet from Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen. To my slight shame, I've not listened to much solo music from either of these undoubtedly brilliant musicians, but I loved Sharon's collaboration on the Deep Sea Diver record last year, so news of this track had my interested piqued. Hearing that John Congleton had produced and that Griff from Dawes is playing percussion on the track only tempted me more. 

I am so glad I took the plunge... this is a masterpiece. A coming together of two incredible voices, creating art that is nothing short of magical. If you want to feel all of the feelings (but mostly to feel completely enthused and empowered) then get this onto your stereo, pronto.

The track can speak for itself so I'll try not to ramble (to save you time for a repeat listen) but what I do particularly love about this, is from reading the press quotes etc from both artists surrounding the track. It's a perfect example of two women in the industry working together to create something which is artistically stunning, instead of competing or trying to pull each other down, which is so often the case. It's refreshing. The pair talk of admiring one another's art from both near and far, crossing paths on the road, at festivals and the like, and wishing to work together one day. 

Sharon: "Even though we weren't super close, I always felt supported by Angel and considered her a peer in this weird world of touring. We highway high-fived many times along the way... I finally got the courage in June 2020 to reach out to see if she would want to sing together. I got greedy and quickly sent her a track I had been working on."

Angel: "I've met with Sharon here and there throughout the years and have always felt too shy to ask her what she's been up to or working on. The song reminded me immediately of getting back to where I started, before music was expected of me, or much was expected of me, a time that remains pure and real in my heart."  

Here's hoping for more collaborations from these two in the future...

Follow Sharon van Etten - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Angel Olsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

WATCH: Girl Ray - 'Give Me Your Love'

The sunny bank holiday vibes of the past few days make me wish I was at the seaside (or... anywhere, right now) and that thought provides a tangible link to a memory relating to today's post... Rewind a few years, and I was at The Great Escape with team Tigmus. Late one night, we took a chance on a band that none of us had listened to (as is the charm of such a festival) at The Haunt (which a quick Google search tells me has since closed, moved and rebranded?!) That band was Girl Ray, a North London based trio whose first album was the delectably named Earl Grey. I enjoyed their set and have kept a vague eye on their work since, and I'm reaaaaaaally digging this new track which found its way into my inbox this week. 

Over to Poppy for some words on the track... "we worked on this song with Al Doyle and Joe Goddard from Hot Chip in their studio off Brick Lane in London. We had one day left with them, so thought we'd unearth an old demo of a slightly house-leaning song I'd been working on a few months before. It had a really loose structure but the feel of the chords was good so we decided to try fleshing it out. 

It was a really long day filled with a lot of playing around with the mountains of synths that fill their studio. Sections became longer... steel drums were added (along with some wonky backing vocals) and eventually it started taking shape. With all the awfulness of 2020 in our heads - it was important to us that it sounded optimistic and hopeful; a song for future summers where people can dance and enjoy music together one again."

Of the video, which features the full 8-minute long version of the track, Sophie and Iris explain: "We teamed up with our good friend and amazing director Alex Cantouris for another intricate and somewhat ambiguous love spectacle. Though this time we thought that 8 minutes of us acting would probably be unwatchable, so decided to get some professionals involved to deal with the main plot. What started off as a story about a woman having fun at a party, somehow soon turned into a romantic take on Midsommar, without the death and magic mushrooms. A queer Midsommar Night's Dream if you will. We had the best time making it, and discovered a new found love for the Kent countryside (even though one of the shoot days was literally the windiest day of the year." 

Follow Girl Ray - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 31 May 2021

WATCH: Holly Humberstone - 'The Walls Are Way Too Thin'

You all know how much I love Holly Humberstone by now... right? If you're not on the HH train yet then where on earth have you been hiding?! It's not too late though... you're here just in time to fall in love with The Walls Are Way Too Thin, her latest single, which she performed on last week's Later... with Jools Holland. Might be my favourite of Holly's tunes yet. Things are already looking pretty great for her and I'm loving watching her thrive with each new release. That debut album, when it comes, is going to be something really special. 

Sharing the track online, Holly wrote: "I wrote this song about moving to London on my own and feeling very lonely & claustrophobic in my tiny lil room. Everything I knew to be normal had shifted, I didn't really have any friends and felt quite lost so writing this song was hugely comforting and really helped me to cope with everything that was going on around me." 

Follow Holly Humberstone - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

WATCH:: Mysie - 'Seven Nights'

Enormous earworm alert. Heck, I might even roll out 'bop'. I can't shake the new single from Mysie and I'm not sure that I want to... Seven Nights is taken from the new EP, Undertones, which was released via 70Hz on Friday. The label is owned by Mysie's mentor, producer and close collaborator Fraser T Smith. Having won the Rising Star Award at the Ivor Novello Awards last year, you know you're in safe hands when it comes to a new Mysie tune... and this is no exception. My favourite yet!

Speaking about the track, she shares that: "Seven Nights is about the excitement of fast love. It's about doing something out of the ordinary, booking that plane ticket and chasing a love that you want but have no clue as to where it will end up. It's about staying in the moment and enjoying every little part of that love, no matter what the outcome may be." 

Listen to the Undertones EP here.

Follow Mysie - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

WATCH: Chloe Foy - 'Work of Art'

Favourite music video of the week alert. New Chloe Foy is a treat for all the senses. The fittingly titled Work of Art arrives ahead of her debut album, Where Shall We Begin, due June 11th. An ode to gig-goers at its core,  the track celebrates the confidence that playing live has given Chloe. Ah, gig-goers... I'm living in a state of perpetual jealousy of those who've been heading back to distanced gig in the past week. Oh to live in a city with an almost non-existent live music scene at the best of times. Tell me what a gig feels like?! 

On the track, Chloe shares: "For me, music can't fulfil its true meaning without sharing it in a room with others. That is the magic. When I'm singing "Bodies glow, you're a work of art", I'm talking about music lovers together in a room. I had a bit of an epiphany while on tour with Jesca Hoop when I realised you've either got to let go and enjoy it or go through life never enjoying the moment. This was all because of this beautifully warm reception of the crowd each night and their willingness to take me as I was." 

Follow Chloe Foy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

WATCH: Vanessa Gimenez - 'Make It Rain'

I am genuinely delighted about this news: Vanessa Gimenez, who some of you might recognise as the vocalist of Swimming Girls, is back with new music! The band had a brilliant few years, taking in shows around the country (I caught them from the back of a *very* busy pub at The Great Escape back in 2017) before disbanding in 2019. I'm incredibly excited to see that Vanessa has been working on a solo project - Make It Rain is her debut single, and it marks a confident return to the scene. Can't. Stop. Listening. 

On the track, Vanessa shares: "Make It Rain was the first song written for this project. To me it's about retaining that childlike sensibility that is full of hope and dreams. A mindset that a lot of people lose once they grow older." 

Follow Vanessa Gimenez - Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 24 May 2021

WATCH: John Myrtle - 'Spider on the Wall'

Most songs even ever-so-slightly inspired by our lockdown experiences make you want to roll your eyes back into your head too, right? How does a track from the perspective of the spider on your wall sound? The master of quirky musical narratives, John Myrtle has written just that, and tis a dream. Playing on the themes of isolation and, you know, being stuck inside your house, the imagined spider in the song finds what it sees of a human household to be ever so slightly underwhelming. Spider On The Wall is taken from John's debut record Myrtle Soup, releasing on 18th June via Sad Club Records.

John shares: "I thought a song that told a story behind closed doors was very fitting for the time we were all living in. With the whole album being written and performed at home in lockdown, writing and singing as a spider was freeing in a weird way. I was able to leave my house and go write about someone else's. Instead of envying the other people's lives, he's disgusted by them, and finds out that his home is the most comfortable of all." 

Follow John Myrtle - Facebook | TwitterInstagram.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

WATCH: Wallice - 'Off The Rails'

"I'm doing fine, stop asking me what's wrong. I live my life like I'm the only one going off the rails." 

It feels like mere days since Hey Michael and 23 (both absolute tunes) were released into the world but Wallice is back with a new tune which is guaranteed to brighten up your Thursday. Off the Rails is the title track taken from her forthcoming debut EP, due to be released independently on 4th June. Lyrically, this one looks at the choices we make and their consequences, which we might try to blame on external forces. The music video, directed by L.A. photographer and creative Jerry Maestas, reflects the lyrics, and sees Wallice in a Sims-esque game being placed in situations that she can't control. 

"Off the Rails is about feeling like you don't have any control over your life and that the world is against you - and that you're the only one that feels that way. Sometimes there are periods in your life when it's easy to think your life is falling apart, and there's nothing you can do to stop it or fix it. I think sometimes it's okay to sit in that self pity, but also at the same time you have the power to control it and take responsibility for your actions, at least to an extent. Sometimes there are just rough patches, and you have to do your best to get out of them, roll with the punches, and try not to be a shitty person." 

Follow Wallice - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

LISTEN: Max Bloom - 'Palindromes'

I have to say, this new one from Max Bloom is a complete delight. Palindromes is the second single to be taken from his forthcoming record Pedestrian, due on June 18th. The record is releasing via Max's own (and new) label Ultimate Blends, the new home for his future projects. The DIY ethos extends to the visuals - he's designed individual artworks for every song on the album, as well as animations (like the below) for the singles. At the heart, this one is a tender and romantic tune and my heart feels a little fuzzy.

On the track, Max shares: "this song is about how I got together with my girlfriend Anna, who also plays bass in my live band (and co-wrote two songs on the album). We were best friends for years, then she broke up with her boyfriend and we got together quite suddenly. It was completely unplanned, but when it happened it felt like a lucid dream. I wanted to write something to commemorate it (Anna has also written a few songs about it too), and after the darkness and grief of Perfume, it felt cathartic for me to write this song." 

Follow Max Bloom - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Merpire - 'Simulation Ride'

"Sometimes it still wavers but I've worked hard on building my confidence, telling myself over and over through this song that it really does take a village to love someone." 

I absolutely adored Dinosaur, the recent single form Melbourne's Merpire, so I'm delighted that she's back with Village, and news of her debut album. Simulation Ride is due on 23rd July via Warner's ADA. Continuing in a lyrical theme, the new track tackles deceptively simple themes of self-doubt and comparing yourself to others, reflecting Rhiannon's own battles with anxiety and self-confidence. The single arrives with a video directed by Nick Mckk, which is below...

On the track, Merpire shares: "I used to have a day job punting people around the lake on a boat in the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra, giving them a guided tour of the lake. There's one island we pass on the route we nickname 'Bell Bird Island' because the bell birds pretty much own it, very territorial. They're basically farming an insect called a psyllid and protecting it from other birds eating it. They have a symbiotic relationship. The psyllid produces a sugary coating like a cocoon and the bellbirds lick this sweet treat, not eating the whole insect so that the psyllids keep producing the sugar." 

"This loosely inspired the idea of it taking a village to nurture someone. Sometimes I would get so caught up in self doubt, seeing qualities in people that I didn't think I had, that I forgot to see what qualities I had that they might love me for. I constantly put pressure on myself to be happier, more energetic, more sociable. I didn't see myself as an interesting person without that or without my music and when I was feeling tired or withdrawn I'd beat myself up about it, not feeling worthy of company and thinking I was just a boring person who happened to be a musician (and punt people around on a boat in the gardens apparently?!) This affected my relationship. I didn't believe someone could be in love with me when there seemed to be way more interesting people out there."

Follow Merpire - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 17 May 2021

WATCH: Premium Leisure - 'Easy FM'

I live in a perpetual state of being in awe of the music coming out of Oxford, I swear. Forgive my slight delay in sharing this one but... a big fat yes to new Premium Leisure. With contributions from local indie contemporaries Willie J HealeyAsh Cooke (BE GOOD), Casper Miles (Catgod), Mike Monaghan (Gaz Coombes), Jack Kendrew (PETSEMATARY) and Harry Deacon (Palace), Easy FM is the latest tune to be taken from a forthcoming EP, due this summer via Plum Cut Records

As ever, it's a delight, leaving me somewhere between wanting to replay this one over and over and needing another new track, pronto. Luckily for me, there's plenty more Premium Leisure to dive into before the EP arrives. On the track, Chris shares: "The song is a comment on the ease of following trends. And the difficulty of consistently staying true to what really pushes our buttons." 

The video for the track flicks between green screen and live action, and was conceived and directed by Henry Dartnall and Tom Bonsu-Dartnall of Young Knives.

Follow Premium Leisure - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

LISTEN: Mumble Tide - 'Sucker'

Another day, another of my favourite releases from last week via the ever-wonderful Stay Loose PR. I'm loving Sucker from Mumble Tide, AKA duo-come-couple Gina Leonard and Ryan Rogers, who met via Gumtree (true story) when Gina put out an advert searching for a bassist. The track, released on Nothing Fancy Records, follows their debut EP Love Thing, which garnered the duo support from the likes of Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and various blogs (including this one...!) 

Creating music from their bedroom in Bristol, the pair make music in an environment free of the creative judgement that both had experienced in the past. They oversee every aspect of the project - producing, making their own videos and their own artwork. Carefree, slightly chaotic and all sorts of brilliant, Sucker is required listening. Get it into your ear drums with haste. 

On the track, Gina shares: "This one is just a super fun track we threw together. It's about feeling confident and free and moving on (or at least trying to). It's about throwing the baggage off your shoulders and strutting away... but also accepting that it's not that easy."

Follow Mumble Tide - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

LISTEN: Cj Pandit - 'Bad Bad Fun'

To be honest, I've listened to very little for the past week that wasn't the new Cj Pandit EP and I have no regrets about that. I am so so happy & proud of Christian for this. We've never actually met in *real life* but I caught him playing live once towards the end of my time in Oxford - he was supporting at a Willie J Healey show I went to with pals from the local scene, in part celebrating handing in my final assignment. That show was waaaaay back in May 2017 (another gig is long overdue) and it's been such a joy to watch his journey (if at a distance) since then. Early singles as Magique and really coming into his own creatively under his own name. I love all of his musical output so far and I am adoring this EP.

It's late as I type this and I could ramble more, but I'd rather you took the time to just soak the EP into your ears/minds/hearts - it's on Spotify here. If you'd like a taster first, the newest single to be taken from the EP is Bad Bad Fun and it has instantly become one of my favourite songs of the year. So. Much. Love. 

On the track, Cj explains: "This is the euphoric part of these times for me. Mistakes repeated, bad decisions in the name of fun, the chaos and mess, and fall out of said decisions. Apologising, making up, and breaking up. The messiness of being human. I think bad bad fun is a little slice of guilty pleasures we all crave from time to time. I just wanted it to feel like it was bursting out the speakers, a thousand voices singing from the same song sheet, holding each other up and bouncing about in the July sunshine.”

Follow Cj Pandit - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

LISTEN: Matilda Mann - 'My Point Of You'

You always know you're in for a treat when Matilda Mann graces us with a new track, and My Point Of You is no exception to the rule. A track about returning to yourself after a breakup, the faster delivery on this one makes it all the more enchanting. A tiny two minute track, you'll find yourself skipping back to the beginning to get just a couple more minutes with Matilda's completely hypnotic vocals. 

On the track Matilda shares: "I wrote My Point Of You about watching a friend of mine start doing all the things she loves doing again, after being with someone who slowly changed her. Growing back into yourself, and knowing you don't need that person to make you happy, is the best part of a breakup. You're coming back, they're not." 

Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 10 May 2021

WATCH: Madi Diaz - 'Nervous'

Quickly, I wanted to say thanks for all the birthday love. You're genuinely all the best. After a whole bunch of Sunday night procrastination / Monday morning anticipation, I'm staring at my list of potential posts in search of something to write about. It often feels a little 'kid in a sweet shop' when I do that - there's so much I want to share, so much good music being released right now. LUMP are back, there's a brilliant debut EP from my pal Cj Pandit, a new track from the upcoming Dizzy EP, new Matilda Mann and sooooo much more to revel in. 

I've settled (very happily) on one of my favourite releases from the past week, the latest tune from Madi Diaz. The Nashville-based artist follows recent singles New Person, Old Place and Man In Me with Nervous, her third single for ANTI- Records. A song about recognising unhealthy coping mechanisms in yourself, I think it's my favourite of the trio - from the hypnotic guitar lines to Madi's vocals dancing back and forth across them, I'm loving everything about this. The video (below) was shot in Nashville and directed by Jordan Bellamy - inspired by and including a homage to the final scene of Andrei Tarkovsky's film The Stalker

On the track, Madi shares: "You know when you hold a mirror up to a mirror and you get an infinite amount of reflections from every angle? That's what 'Nervous' is about. It's when you're in a loop of looking at yourself from every vantage point until you're caught up in your own tangled web of bullshit. It's about catching yourself acting out your crazy and you're finally self-aware enough to see it, but you're still out of your body enough and curious enough to watch yourself do it."

Follow Madi Diaz - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 7 May 2021

six years of songs (and things)

I'm a bit late to my own party writing this on Friday afternoon, but it felt like the blog was owed a little celebratory post to mark a milestone. 

The lil site that you find yourself on right now turns six today!!! 

Firstly - it's bewildering that it's been a year since I was rambling (far more than I will here - don't worry*) about the site's five year birthday. About my hopes to have organised a gig to celebrate it and announcing a little Youtube project that I had set up with some of my favourite artists playing tracks from their homes just for the blog. 

The stars aligned a little, and sent me videos from Sam Beeton and Irwin Sparkes (as White Tail Falls). Artists I've loved since before the blog existed, and who both inspired its creation in a way. Forever indebted to their inspiring artistry and general loveliness to myself and to the blog.

As a quick aside - I haven't shared anything new there in a while but do have monthly playlists (here's May) of my favourite music videos and performances, and if any artists fancy recording something for it then I would certainly be up for sharing more sessions so get in touch!! 

I have to say that the past year has probably been the best year yet for the blog. Follower counts and page views can be a little distracting but I do love me a statistic, and they've jumped so much in the past year. Twitter followers doubled, Instagram tripled (!) and I'm pretty sure the site itself saw the most views ever for the year. I've had a bunch of time at home from work on furlough over the past year, and it's been lovely to see the extra time that I was able to put into the site reflected in those ways.

More than a year without gigs has been strange - so much of my barely existent social life is usually going to gigs, catching up with pals I've made at previous gigs and through music over the internet. It's been really odd not to see my favourite artists and my favourite people and yet, in certain way, I've never felt quite so connected to the scene...

The number of fellow music fans, bloggers, PR folk, artists, labels and the like who I've interacted with over the past year, mostly through the blog, has been lovely. The blog is so much cooler than me, so I only hope that you're not too disappointed when you meet real life Megan at a gig somewhere along the line. 

I've been back at work for a few weeks now and finding time to keep on top of the blog can be a bit of a struggle. Growth on the site means that submissions have risen and my inbox is teeming with exciting new music. Everybody wants a slice of the CMAT pie. It can be a little overwhelming at times and yet, here I still am. Mostly it's a huge honour to have any kind of audience to share my music-based rambles with. 

Thanks so much for sticking around. Thanks for sharing my posts, for telling me that you enjoyed a post, and particularly the content I was sharing in it. There's no joy like knowing I've successfully spread the word of a release I have a lot of love for. That's what I'm here for.

If you forgot to get the blog a birthday cake, apologies accepted via Ko-fi donations. Joke. But the link is here if you did ever want to support the behind the scenes goings on of the site...

Here's to another year of music based rambles. Maybe even a gig.

Thanks for being the best!!!!

(*OK I lied and rambled a lot again. Oops.)

LISTEN: Ski Lift - 'Moaning Again'

Cast your mind back to March... you remember Portal, right? AKA the absolute belter of a tune from South London trio Ski Lift. They're back, this time with Moaning Again, the second of a trio of singles to be released through Spring. I think this one might even top Portal, which is saying something. Upbeat indie-rock at its finest, the kind of music you'd love to be in a basement music venue (the grottier the better) listening to of an evening right now. The shimmeriest (not a word) of guitars masks the more delicate nature of the lyrics, tackling the hidden nature of mental health problems in the style of a conversation with yourself in the mirror.

On the track, vocalist and songwriter Benji Tranter says: “Moaning Again is an internal conversation - I wrote it during a ‘down’ period, mentally speaking. I suppose I was trying to reason with myself, tell myself that it’s okay not to be okay - that your highs and lows are always relative to wherever your centre of balance is, emotionally. Looking back through the original scrawl of lyrics, there were some darker moments in there that I left out. On this occasion we packaged it up, all-smiles, with an indie-rock bow on top! But even the smiliest, loveliest person can be secretly battling their inner demons.”

Follow Ski Lift - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

WATCH: Rachel Sermanni - 'Travelled'

Life feels all kinds of overwhelming at the moment. Everything seems to be happening at once and there are definitely not enough hours in the day. The blog turns 6 tomorrow (for those who I've bored with the ~origin story~ in the past, it's technically a couple of years older than that, but tomorrow is the anniversary of when I started the site here on Blogger with this URL. I'll probably (when I find some time, or something to procrastinate doing) ramble a little about that soon, but, wow. It's difficult to keep on top of submissions etc at the moment but it is worth it when I stumble across something beautiful in there...

Today, that comes in the form of this utter slice of heaven from Rachel Sermanni. As I type this late on Wednesday night, it's giving my wearied soul some much needed peace. She's a star. It's a really special new tune taken from her upcoming Swallow Me EP, which is due 2nd June. Much of the EP was written while Rachel was pregnant, and this track finds her mourning a particular way of life that she was about to lose to face the unknowns of motherhood - "I've travelled around but I never thought I'd stay."

On the track, Rachel shares: "I was staying with a beautiful family in Portland when I wrote Travelled. This is definitely a depiction of the dark night of the soul situation I was having at that moment in coming to terms with my choices." 

Kicking off in London at Omeara, Rachel tours the UK through to December. Tickets/dates here.

Follow Rachel Sermanni - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

WATCH: feeo - 'feels like we're getting older doesn't it'

Let me introduce you to one of the best tracks you'll hear this week... you're welcome in advance. Oxford's experimental neo-soul singer and producer feeo is back (rejoice) with feels like we're getting older doesn't it, the title track of her upcoming EP, due 4th June via local label Upcycled Records. The track was co-produced by the label's own (and local folk musician) Niko O'Brien. As ever, the production pulls together sounds sourced from far afield into a stunning tapestry. It's transcendent, and feels like we're seeing yet another side of feeo as an artist after recent singles End Song and Yeti

On the track, feeo shares: “‘feels like we’re getting older doesn’t it’ is about being a part of a generation who are too terrified of the future to move forward. Instead we eternalise ourselves in the eyes of those in our present. Both scared to grow up and yet constantly rejecting the naivety of our younger selves. When we were 15, our love letters felt like infatuation and lingering eye contact. Now that we’re older they start to feel a bit more like relationships that only exist when it’s nighttime. Living in the space between a fear of abandonment and total indifference. Sex is now just a token of our physical existence - gone in the morning.”

There's so much to love on the Oxford scene at the moment (as always) and feeo is a reaaaaaally exciting artist - a student of both fine art and computer science, she has a fierce creativity which manifests itself beyond the music. She once again created the video for the track herself, combining artistic camera shots with CGI rendered visualisations. 

“For the video I really wanted to explore the idea of performative physical intimacy as both an act of selfishness and selflessness. In order to perform, we must be perceived by someone else-the affirmation of self is totally tied to how others see us. I was thinking particularly about my own performance of femininity. The idea is that the video is totally self absorbed, totally revolving around me, and yet is a performance that only serves its purpose when perceived by others.”

Follow feeo - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

WATCH: Sarah Kinsley - 'Over + Under'

Pop belter alert. Absolutely loving this from Sarah Kinsley. As is the case around much of the industry, statistics on women in music show a real gender disparity when it comes to producers, and particularly female artists producing their own music. New York artist Sarah therefore somewhat breaks the mould, joining a group of self-producing bedroom pop artists including the likes of Girl in Red, Clairo and Beabadoobee (and closer to home here in the UK, feeo, whose latest tune I'm sharing on the site tomorrow). Not content to just produce her own tracks, Sarah performs everything on this latest single, as on the entire forthcoming EP. The result is simply joyous. All we need is some kind of dance floor.

On the track, Sarah shares: “Over + Under is a record about the only thing we know to be constant - the ebb and flow. In the midst of isolation and lockdown, I felt so stuck inside, surrounded by the same four walls and windows. I began to write, recording this feeling of being over and under in my journals. In the lyrics, I wrote of escaping to a crashing tide, chasing the clouds and searching for stability once more. I was lost in a place I knew so well and yet felt so far away from.

Out of this frustration I found myself one morning staring at my door. A glass cup. A trunk on the floor. My table. I began to knock against these different objects, suddenly creating sound with the same things that had made me feel so stuck. There was an entirely new sonic atmosphere literally in my hands, evolving into its own music. There was so much more meaning in the mundane. The world around and beyond my window was breathing with me, telling me that things must change. Just like the tree in my backyard, I would be something new tomorrow.”

With the release of Over + Under, Sarah announces her new EP The King, due on 4th June. 

Follow Sarah Kinsley - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 3 May 2021

WATCH: VC Pines - 'See You Soon'

I'm always a fan of new VC Pines and I'm really digging his latest track, See You Soon, lifted from his upcoming EP Concrete, which was written and produced during lockdown. Jack's vocals are completely on form here. Superb. Once you've listened to this, take yourself to the streaming platform of your choice and devour his back catalogue - you won't regret it for a second. He's just shared a video for the track, created by Apollo Films with director Adrian Lee - following a recent creative arc reflecting back the isolation and confines that we've all experienced over the last year...

On the video, VC Pines shares: "See You Soon as a song is about the various changes you see in people throughout the night and the different levels of emotions involved, especially at an after party. So with the video we wanted to convey mixed emotions within one person, using mirrors to reflect this. The different mirror shots portray feels of boredom, loneliness, happiness, anxiousness and the cheekiness of 'the devil on your shoulder'. And then towards the end of the video there's a change in the lighting to mark the end of the night when anxiety hits and you know you should have gone home hours ago, mixed in with mirror shots of other feelings begging you to stay..." 

The Concrete EP is due for release via Theory Records on May 26th, and VC is set to play a launch gig at the gorgeous St Pancras Old Church on July 28th. 

"I knew I wanted to do an EP launch show to celebrate Concrete (just like we all would have been able to do a year and a half ago without question) but there's still a bit of uncertainty and all that. My team and I have been looking at some weird and wonderful places that could be adapted to any sudden changes but also maintain that intimate feeling and so we found St Pancras Old Church! I'm desperate to showcase the new tunes for the first time and finally play live to you all again. The intimacy of this venue will provide a unique experience for us all and I think the tunes are going to sound beaut in there."

Follow VC Pines - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 30 April 2021

LISTEN: bb sway - 'Baby Wants Out of The City'

If the idea of a new track from bb sway doesn't already excite you (I mean, honestly?!) then get a load of the catchy whistling on this one. I love me a whistle-along and I adore this tune. Baby Wants Out of the City is the latest tune from the Hong-Kong born and London-based artist, the first on the label 7476. I first heard her through Habits and I Found Out When the Day Had Come last year and I've been keeping an ear out for new music. I think that lots of people will find the thoughts behind the lyrics are highly relatable at the moment, of wishing to escape the city and to find peace within nature. It's a beautiful sentiment reflected in a track that exudes that same beauty in a kind of shimmery and carefree sound.

On the track, bb sway shares: "This song was particularly inspired by Hong Kong, where high-rise buildings are surrounded by big mountains covered with luscious tropical vegetation, and gnarly roots seep into every concrete crack in the city. Having grown up on an island, I was also always surrounded by the sea, and it wasn't until after I moved away that I realised how closely I felt connected to it." 

Follow bb sway - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

LISTEN: Mandrake Handshake - 'Monolith'

The Oxford music scene strikes again with a reaaaaaaally lovely slice of psychedelica. I was listening through some submissions recently, found myself enjoying this and took a closer look at the press release. A couple of familiar faces looked back at me and lo-and-behold, they're an Oxford psych-collective. Of course. Monolith arrives, produced by Stereolab's Andy Ramsay, alongside news of their debut EP Shake The Hand That Feeds You, due on June 18th via Nice Swan Records. It's a 7-minute long rollercoaster of a tune, and it is glorious. 

On the track, they share: "Monolith is one of our only songs with a more personal approach to the lyrics, broadly about coming of age. For us, the track represents a freedom from the restraints of childhood and simultaneously the anxiety of future independence - uncertainty is the price of being free." 

Mandrake Handshake is Row Janjuah (guitar, synth, bass, percussion), Trinity Oksana (vocals), Liv Duval (vocals), Elvis Thirlwell (tambourine, percussion), Erid Nishku (tambourine, percussion), Charlie Arrowsmith (guitar), Dany Jeffries (bass), Shan Sriharan (synth, organ), David Howard-Baker (fluter, saxophone) and Joe Bourdier (drums). 

Follow Mandrake Handshake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

WATCH: Charli Adams - 'Cheer Captain'

"I cried, wiped my eyes, and then smiled. Cause they didn't know I was living a lie." 

Charli Adams is a dream, right? She's recently shared Cheer Captain and announced news of her debut album Bullseye, due on July 16th via Color Study and featuring recent singles Didn't Make It and Maybe Could Have Loved. I'm really excited to hear the record - there's a huge appetite for alt-rock at the moment through the likes of Charli's contemporaries Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, Girl In Red, Billie Marten etc. Always relatable on the surface, the new track is pretty auto-biographical and sees Charli waving goodbye to her youth in Alabama, growing up in a deeply conservative and Christian environment. 

On the track, Charli shares: "Cheer Captain is a resentful and regretful song about struggling with a saviour complex as a serial people pleaser. I desperately wanted to be everything for everyone so I became a customizable human being that often went against everything I actually am. It's always felt like the thesis of this project as I touch on my relationship with religion, my parents, and men.

I grew up in Alabama and I was captain of the cheerleading team in my freshman year of high school and a worship leader at a church. I think it's safe to say I was struggling with my identity, in fact I really hated it all so a year later, I started school online and moved to Nashville for music." 

Follow Charli Adams - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, 26 April 2021

WATCH: Mellah - 'Easy Breezy'

Don't get me wrong, I loved recent singles Hitchin and Habit but I *think* that Mellah might have just released my favourite track of his. Easy Breezy has been floating around in my head (it's more than welcome) since I first heard it a few days back. The track arrives as part of the upcoming Them EP - the first in a trilogy of EPs, all due for release this year and referred to collectively as 333. 

Easy Breezy appears on the surface as a colourful and catchy track, but the hooks sit atop satirical lyrics serving as a comment on society's willingness to ignore things that aren't right, to accept things that shouldn't be accepted. It's an approach which runs through much of his work, and he shares that "I often feel quite a lot of anger at society and how people seem to snub injustice as long as it's outside their picket fence. We willingly consume these sanitised shrink-wrapped little canap├ęs of reality, casually indifferent to the blood in the kitchen. It seems crazy to me that most people aren't angry about it, don't rally to change it."

The trilogy of EPs - ThemUs and Me are releasing on Columbia Records, and Mellah describes them as "scratching a compulsive lifelong tic". Through childhood and into adolescence, Mellah had OCD which manifested as a fixation on the number 3 - "to this day I still see the world separated into 3 parts. One thing, its opposite and together the whole; the liminal space between the two extremes, the point of balance, oneness in duality. For example - future, past, now; birth, death, life; good, evil... human." 

He recently shared a documentary entitled Floorspace - a 7-minute visual biography exploring gentrification, generification, consumerism, capitalism, loneliness, mental health, grief, social media etc. It's brilliant and worth a watch here.

Follow Mellah - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 23 April 2021

WATCH: Banji - 'Dogbreath'

You all remember the brilliant tune Listen from Banji a few months back, right? (I was so read to type 'weeks' and then found that it came out waaaaaay back in November. Time is confusing.) It was a raucous call to arms, a confident debut from the Utrecht 4-piece. They're back with new track Dogbreath and it is just as brilliant... like Listen's slightly calmer but just as cool younger sibling. There's so much going on in the track... I love the comparison to the collage-like sampling of Superorganism (who you should most definitely listen to). Seriously so groovy. Video (below) was created by Pasqual Amade and it sees the members of the band going around town in animal masks on a night-out. From these first two tracks they seem really fun and quirky and I can't wait to hear more. 

On the track, vocalist Morris Brandt shares: "the chorus was inspired by stumbling across the word 'Dogbreath' in the notes app on my phone (I think my girlfriend put it there??) I recorded the hook with this word in mind, and the rest of the lyrics just fell out. I wanted to encapsulate a type of regret. One that is not rooted in truth, but in appearing truthful. Feeling guilt-ridden about your actions, and wishing it would have gone another way, but failing to accept true consequence. Coming up with excuses instead of dealing with it. Like you can't just fix your breath with a piece of gum, you can't change the situation you put yourself in that easily." 

Follow Banji - TwitterFacebook | Instagram.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

LISTEN: Low Island - 'If You Could Have It All Again'

It's no secret how much I adore Low Island and I am delighted to share a little write-up for their debut album. If You Could Have It All Again was released last week via the band's own label Emotional Interference. Recorded, produced and engineered by the band themselves at their makeshift studio in rural France, the record is very much a DIY project and I am so so proud of my pals for the piece of work they've each put so much into. Carlos, Jamie, Felix & Jacob are stars and I'm so excited to see the journey this record takes them on.

I've had a stream of this in my inbox for a couple of weeks and have been revelling in the joy of it on my commutes to work. Since the release on Friday I've listened to very little else. Longer album reviews in the traditional sense take up a lot of time which I don't really have at the moment - I've recently headed back to work and keeping on top of the site alongside a full time job is difficult, but consider this post a *very* strong recommendation for you to wrap your ears around the new record. (Thank me later!)

The release of their debut record makes me reminiscent of my first days as a fan of the band... looking back, I'm sure that I must have generally discovered their music through the Oxford scene, but a specific gig cemented my love for them. Rushing across Brighton to Patterns with team Tigmus to make sure we were front and centre for their set at The Great Escape in 2017 - it was incredible. I've somehow only managed to see them once more since, at a London headline later that year, but have been completely in love with their output since then. I can not waaaaaait to catch them live next to see just how much their live show has progressed since the oh so distant days of 2017. 

While we're all very aware that recent singles Don't Let The Light In, Feel Young Again and Who's Having The Greatest Time are absolute bops, I've enjoyed getting to know the unreleased tracks on the record. Currently, What Do You Stand For is a stand-out for me, and Momentary is easily one of my favourite tracks of the year. A perfect example, within a track, of the contrasts that exist in the band's music more generally. From a tender opening, layers of sound build into what is sure to be a dance-floor filler. The production all the way through the record is exquisite. 

As someone who feels a little bit like I'm stagnating in my mid-twenties (not helped by the pandemic, that's for sure) having come home after university and finding myself in a string of retail jobs, the themes through the record are all too relatable. At times painfully so, but mostly in a comforting way, as in In Your Arms, an ode to Carlos' childhood bedroom. The record 'takes stock of a twenties filled with false starts, heartbreak and cyclical conflict, and carves a path towards a better decade to come.' 

Carlos describes the album as a product of "ten years of trying to make things work - in music, but also in life, a litany of romantic disasters that have coloured the last ten years of my life." He describes the character he inhabits loosely in the record looking back and saying "have I just really fucked this up? Have I made a royal mess of the last ten years?" It's sorrowful but there is also a lot of hope - dark and light, good and bad. The record exists on contrast. It's real life. It's raw. And it's so SO damn good. 

You should most definitely buy/stream the record and grab tour tickets here.

Follow Low Island - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

LISTEN: CJ Pandit - 'New York Time'

It's good to be surprised, right? Cj Pandit is back with a new tune (rejoice) but he's taking a slight detour from his usual brand of indie-pop for a much more stripped back affair on New York Time. Not what you might expect but as much of a treat as ever, that's for sure, and an opportunity to show off Cj's raw songwriting and vocals on this one. He was recently tipped as an 'Essential Emerging Artist for 2021' by the NME (though CMAT has been shouting about him for a little longer...) and with a year out from touring, he's been busy writing and has plenty more to share. All in good time. For now, New York Time...

On the new track, he writes: “I never understood the idea of a song being plucked out of the ether or ‘given’ to you by some kind of higher musical power until I wrote New York Time.

I was at the lowest point in my life, I couldn’t shake New York, or a person and situation there, or the weight of my own expectations for creating. I was manic, working all over the place with so many different people, but then went up to Liverpool to write some new songs. Those few days were a real blur, filled with hallucinations and something I can still never quite put my finger on. Like watching a sunset, the knowledge to describe it never quite matches the sight or the experience of it. It’s the most honest I’ve ever been. I have little recollection of that time, but it’s a period and a song I'm incredibly grateful for that means so much more than I could ever put into words.”


Follow Cj Pandit - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

LISTEN: Matilda Mann - ‘Doomsday'

What a joy to have the beautiful sound of Matilda Mann back with a new tune last week. Despite the name, Doomsday is in fact a soothing tune, full of love and hope. Completely enchanting as ever. It's Matilda's first release since her 2020 EP Because I Wanted You To Know and was written during lockdown, a track celebrating the small things that make life good, and the importance of holding onto those in the darker times. 

On the track she shares: “Doomsday was written in December in lockdown. During that time, we really had to cling onto the small things in life, and sometimes it just felt like it was never going to get better. So Doomsday was written to help people feel, that during the worst times, things are going to get better. We have each other and the small things that make life good.”

Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 19 April 2021

ALBUM NEWS: MarthaGunn - 'Something Good Will Happen'

Joyous news last week from my faves MarthaGunn. After around 7 years of being a band, lots of touring, many brilliant singles and EP releases, they've announced news of their long-awaited debut album (!!!!) Something Good Will Happen, due for release via Communion on September 17th. New single Giving In is out now (video below) and they're heading out on a real life tour (remember those?) later in the year. I love MarthaGunn for their gorgeous harmonies, all too relatable themes and the passion they each exude - a passion to create and to collaborate. They're a really special bunch and I'm so excited to hear the fruits of their labour. Better not wish away the summer months waiting for the record though... 

On the new track, frontwoman Abi Woodman shares: "Throughout my life, like most people, I've had my fair share of ups and downs, emotionally and mentally. This song came about after we had been away on tour for about a month. I had been quite ill and had to miss a few shows. I felt like I had left everyone down. When I got back off tour, I just felt really low. The one person I turn to when I'm feeling low, is my mum. I sometimes feel guilty for baring all my worries upon her, afraid to be a burden. This song is about trying to hide how you feel from others. I like to come across as a strong woman, and I am, so in those moments of fragility, my biggest fear is people seeing me as weak. I tend to hide away when I feel like that. I eventually told my mum how I was feeling and the feeling disappeared within a few days. It's so important to share those feelings with someone and talk about them." 

"This album is us navigating the relationships of our twenties - the failures and successes. Constantly trying to find out who you are as a person, and constantly growing. You don't always grow the same as the people you are with. Sometimes you are on the same path as someone, then suddenly you're not. The overarching theme through this is losing oneself and rebuilding oneself through doing that, you learn a lot about yourself. You're always going to face challenges in life that are going to tell you that you're not good enough and let you question yourself, and it's a constant daily reminder to look after your inner voice, and to treat yourself well by having boundaries."

"I want to connect with people. The beautiful thing about songs is that you don't have to know someone, but you can connect with them through the same song without saying something. I want this album to be able to help people in some way, and give people courage to leave a situation they know isn't right for them, or for the other person. To go after the person they love and to know no matter how bad things may seem, it's just a chapter. Things always get better." 

MarthaGunn tour the UK later this year, starting in Oxford on Sept 30th and taking in venues around the country through October, including London's Moth Club on the 5th. Tickets here.

Pre-order/pre-save the record Something Good Will Happen here.

Follow MarthaGunn - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.