Wednesday 31 March 2021

WATCH: Lacuna Common - 'Window Pane'

As the creator of a blog that very much found its feet within the Oxford scene, I'll always take an opportunity to shout about a new band in the city doing brilliant things, so I'm pretty excited to share this track. Window Pane is the latest tune from Lacuna Common, a four-piece band from the Oxford area. Meeting as teenagers in the surrounding satellite towns, they bonded over their mutual love of classic British guitar music and road racing, and formed the band after a weekend at Truck Festival. A few singles in, this new track is taken from their upcoming EP It's All Talk, due for release this May. In true collaborative Oxford music-scene style, the superb video is directed by BE GOOD frontman Ash Cooke

Talking about the track, lead singer Alfie Frank shares: "It's a song about the feeling of that 'normal life' - cleaning your car on a Sunday, keeping up appearances with your neighbours, doing the same routine week in week out, dreaming about ways your life could be different. You can see it isn't for you and that you don't want to end up like everybody else. There's also a sense of knowing that the likelihood of this happening is very high and that it's not at all a bad thing. After all, there's still something cool in finding the romance in going shopping and locking eyes with a beautiful girl/boy and wondering what would come if you spoke to each other."

On the video, Ash Cooke writes: "In this video we wanted to explore the mundane and repetitive loops of life. Almost like Groundhog Day in a British town. We wanted to show Alfie gradually breaking out of those loops and that gave us the chance to just have fun doing stupid stuff. I've wanted to throw oranges at Alfie for a long time, so this project was a dream come true for me." 

Follow Lacuna Common - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 30 March 2021

LISTEN: Red Moon - 'Emotional'

"I could be still water, so calm so calm so calm in the middle of the storm." 

A couple of weeks ago, Norway's Red Moon (aka Joanna-Deborah Bussinger) shared her latest single Emotional. That's quite the word for it, but I can think of some others: powerful, passionate and elegant. In her tracks, Joanna brings together the creativity that surrounded her upbringing via her mother and grandmother, both painters, and her education at a music academy to make something truly beautiful. I was mesmerised from the first singles last year. Emotional is her second track of the year, following the equally stunning Fragile, and last year's Phase I:XI EP.  

On the track, she shares: "this song is a confrontation between yourself and someone who throws you off balance; like when things escalate in a fight or when it seems like there is no way out of a specific moment. In hindsight, you know things could have been handled differently. I'm still looking to find that "balance" of finding a safe place for communicating in the midst of a fight. Because in the heat of the moment our emotions cause us to misunderstand each other and ruin what we wanted to accomplish through our fight. It's accepting what I am feeling and still know it always takes two to want to solve a conflict." 

Follow Red Moon - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 29 March 2021

WATCH: Organ Morgan - 'Dracula's Toothache'

I've become a little bit obsessed with this since finding it in my inbox recently. What appeared visually and sonically to be just a little bit quirky at first is, in the details, a thing of intricate beauty. If you like a good slice of folk music like me, you'll most definitely love this. Accordion, double bass, wooden spoons, sublime harmonies. What more could you possibly want?

Dracula's Toothache is the debut track from Organ Morgan, released via new London Folk collective Broadside Hacks. Named after the hermetic composer from Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, the project draws on the inspiration of the English countryside. Originally the brainchild of Harris McMillan and Frank Wright, they're joined by Boz Martin-Jones, Maggie Forés and Stefano Amoretti to become a five-piece to be reckoned with. Half a decade's worth of material and years of playing together at folk nights has shaped the project into what you see now. If this is their first release, I can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves for us next!

On the track, Harris explains: "The song came from some unpleasant realisations I had about getting older - I noticed I'd shed many parts of my life that I'd always considered integral, and kept other parts that I'd rather have lost. I found the most reliable image I had of myself was in the way others saw me - it can be difficult to live outside those expectations."

Follow Organ Morgan - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 26 March 2021

LISTEN: Lauran Hibberd - 'How Am I Still Alive?' (ft. Lydia Night)

I'm deep in the inbox, sifting through today's new releases (so much brilliant new music out today - lots on my office stereo playlist here if you fancy!) and taking a little break from getting angry about the all too familiar un-diverse festival line-up announcements to write something here. Feels like a perfect time to share a track by two artists who I would love to see at a festival (or indeed, anywhere)... I'm a little bit obsessed with this new track from Lauran Hibberd, featuring Lydia Night of The Regrettes. It's maybe my favourite of Lauran's tracks so far... seriously a brilliant collaboration. How Am I Still Alive? is taken from Lauran's upcoming Goober EP, due July 30th, and sees Lauran teaming up with producer Suzy Shinn (Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Weezer) once again.

"How Am I Still Alive? toys with the bleakness of everyday life and makes it sound more entertaining than it actually is. Michael (Cera) becomes the focus point of getting through the mundane but plays on the idea of if I actually had him I probably wouldn't want him anyway. That, and the everyday celebration of making it through another day pretty much sums up the last year of my life." 

On working with Lydia, Lauran shares: "Doing a collaboration was something I'd always wanted to do. I've always felt it really important to work together with similar artists instead of working against them, especially in these times. I am super stoked to have Lydia sing on the track; I toured with The Regrettes in 2019 and THEY ROCK. It was so much fun, and I took so much from it, and Lydia is bad ass so YEAH!"

Follow Lauran Hibberd - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 25 March 2021

WATCH: Francis of Delirium - 'Red'

I don't think that I'l ever tire of sharing new music from Francis of Delirium. The Luxembourg duo are back with Red, the latest release from upcoming EP Wading, due on April 9th via Dalliance Recordings. Originally a bedroom project of then 18-year-old Jana Bahrich, originally from Vancouver, she later invited drummer & producer Chris Hewett, originally from Seattle, to join. Their musical styles and experiences blend to make a sound that I simply can't get enough of, and Jana's vocal delivery is some of the best I've heard in a long time. So much power and passion conveyed through vocals which feel intimate yet would certainly feel at home in a stadium.... remember those?

On the track, Jana shares: "Red is the pushing away of someone and justifying it with your anger rather than rationally discussing your feelings. It's believing something you thought to be true and then that being switched. It's the loss of trust in a relationship. You're left angry and confused, unsure of yourself, or who to trust. Instead of communicating effectively, you start to push away, preemptively moving into isolation as a defence mechanism to stop yourself from more hurt."

"Simultaneously the song challenges the goodness I see in myself, as a good friend, someone filled with love is gone, which distances you from this idea of yourself even further. So you're pushing away someone else and pushing away a version of yourself you enjoy." 

Follow Francis of Delirium - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 24 March 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Chloe Foy - 'Where Shall We Begin'

Exciting album news time! Gloucestershire-via-Manchester singer-songwriter Chloe Foy has released new single Shining Star and announced news of her debut album, Where Shall We Begin, due for release via her own label on 11th June. The record represents a piece of work many years in the making, carefully thought through, releasing into the world not a minute too soon. The album was recorded at Pinhole Studios in Manchester alongside an army of musical collaborators, with Chloe co-producing alongside musical collaborator Harry Fausing Smith, who is also responsible for the string arrangements. 

Chloe shares: “For me, this album has come out of a decade of hard graft, trying to balance my craft with making a living, whilst taking my time to get it right. All whilst dealing with the fallout of a huge bereavement in my most formative years. I was finding it hard to work out who I was within this new, alien context of losing a parent. These songs are my most inner and deepest secrets. The kind of things I only express to those closest to me, but for some reason in song, I can be open with the world.”

On lead track Shining Star, Chloe reflects on her father's decision not to pursue his passion in life. She shares that: "my dad was a talented artist and potter, but instead of following that path, he worked an office job in the pursuit of money which ultimately made him very unhappy. It gave me an early life lesson to follow a creative path if it presents itself and to ignore the pressures of society to conform to a certain life. Because it won't necessarily make you happy." 

Pre-order/pre-save Where Shall We Begin here.

Follow Chloe Foy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

LISTEN: Novo Amor - 'Haven' (from Life Is Strange)

I haven't got a press release for this one, but it would feel criminal to keep a track that has instantly come to mean so much and to bring me so much joy away from the site. It's always a lovely surprise to find a brand new track from one of your favourite artists has been released. In this case, the track is Haven by Novo Amor, written for the soundtrack of the game Life Is Strange. Ali describes it as "a personal glory for me, to make music for a game. I've always wanted to since I was a baby." 

I must have listened to this twenty or so times since it was released on Friday. For me, it's the essence of Spring rolled into a 3 minute track. Escapism in a song. It's everything I adore about Ali's music, with David Grubb's violin as ever pairing with Ali's vocals to make the most glorious of tunes. So much love. 

Follow Novo Amor - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 22 March 2021

WATCH: feeo - 'end song'

Oooooh, a new feeo tune! Kicking the week off in glorious style with this one. End Song is her first new music for 2021, taken from the upcoming debut EP feels like we're getting older doesn't it, due for release on 4th July via Oxford's Upcycled Sounds label. (And yes, it does. Somehow I have a 10 year-old nephew as of a couple of days ago... how?!) I loved Yeti last year and knew I'd be in for a treat with this one... so good. It's unlike anything else you'll listen to this week. A rich bed of influences from jazz, folk and reggae combine in the production of this dystopian tune. 

On the track, feeo shares: "End Song is about the stretch of time just before the apocalypse. The calm before the storm. Like a waiting room. Everyone sitting around reading magazines, checking their watches. "Shouldn't this have ended by now?" Looking around the room waiting for God to put his big sandalled foot down and blow us all up."

"Sonically, I wanted things to feel really wonky and broken. I was imagining going into a half-collapsed pub during World War 3, the air thick with dust and radiation. In the back corner is this band drunkenly playing Dub. The drummer keeps falling off his stool. The bassist is missing a couple of strings. The nuclear fallout has gone to everyone's heads. I played bess myself in order to get the jarring metallic twanging that could only be achieved by a total novice." 

And on the music video, which was directed, shot and edited by feeo herself, she adds: "this past year has led me to believe that the end of the world will involve copious amounts of pornography, Benzodiazepine, meme-based conspiracy theories and internet side scroller games; sandwiched between instagram stories full of riots, hyper-consumerism and things exploding. I spliced videos I filmed on phones and webcams with found footage from the internet, in an attempt to recreate the feeling of watching the apocalypse through a laptop screen." 

Follow feeo - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 19 March 2021

WATCH: Maja Lena - 'Sacred Practice'

Rounding off a lovely week of new music with the brand new tune from Maja Lena. Formerly of alt-folk band Low Chimes, she is due to release her debut solo album The Keeper in July via Chiverin. It is an album created within the (understandable) worries and feelings of self doubt brought on by setting out solo - but from what we've heard so far, I'd say she has absolutely nothing to worry about. Every aspect of the project is stunning, with vocals, lyrics and instrumentation melding in the tracks to create something really beautiful. Beyond the music, though intertwined with it, the visual accompaniments - press shots, live videos and the music video below - manage to elevate things even further. The video was created by frequent visual collaborator Aloha Bonser-Shaw

On the new track, Maja Lena shares: "Sacred Practice is a song dedicated to some of the smaller things in life. The daily tasks and Practices that can end up becoming the most valuable, and make your mind a more peaceful place to be. It is also a musing in how sometimes missed opportunities and unwanted change can eventually turn out to be a good thing, and help you to grow as a person..." 

The Keeper is due on 23rd July via Chiverin Records.

Follow Maja Lena - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 18 March 2021

LISTEN: Mathilda Homer - 'Rock Bottom'

A treat for you today, with the first new music of the year from Mathilda Homer. Last year saw Mathilda bring us her gorgeous debut EP Dear Life (with the tune I Hate That I Love You So Little) and her cover of The BeatlesDo You Want To Know a Secret which you might recognise from a certain festive advert. Brand new single Rock Bottom, co-written with Matt Maltese and produced by Danny Casio, is everything you love (or will soon love) about Mathilda, but with a slightly evolved and heavier sound. It's the first in a collection of new tracks and I'm excited to see what comes next! 

The track explores the moments of a relationship during its demise, grasping 'good memories and comfort of the familiar, to avoid coming to terms with the inevitable reality'. On the track, Mathilda shares: "It's realising that it really couldn't get much worse, but something keeps you there, maybe it's the familiarity of that person. Trying to fight for something that you know can't go back to how it used to. Only talking about good memories and not making new ones but you don't want to move on, because it's all you know."  

Follow Mathilda Homer - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 17 March 2021

WATCH: Ski Lift - 'Portal'

Really really digging this one. Portal from Ski Lift is a two-minute burst of glorious indie-pop. I defy you to not sing/clap/sway along to this one. The first of a trio of tracks to be released this Spring, the track is the follow-up to their debut single Comfortable Here from 2019. Starting in late 2018 as the writing and recording project of Welsh songwriter Benji Tranter, he is joined by Ailsa Tully on bass and Jovis Lane on drums. Excited to hear more!

On Portal, Benji shares: "It's a love song to nature, but also a peacemaking process with my new hometown of Croydon - having grown up in the beautiful countryside of the welsh border, I have always found the transition between city and country to be a strange and bewildering thing to experience. But I have learned over the years that you can find vibrant energy in the fields and forests, and peace and solitude in the midst of a bustling city, if you look for it." 

Follow Ski Lift - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 16 March 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Wyldest - 'Monthly Friend'

Another new artist for me today (if I do say so myself, really loving how much this is happening of late... discovering so much and loving sharing it here!) Wyldest has announced her second album Monthly Friend, releasing via Hand in Hive on 28th May. Wyldest, AKA Zoe Mead released a reimagined version of her 2019 debut record Dream Chaos, titled Redream Chaos, last year - a completely new version of the record featuring fragments of the original recordings blended with field recordings and demos. I'm yet to listen in full but I'm really keen to explore, and I'm loving brand new track Hollow, Zoe's self-defined 'empowerment song'. Recent single Wilting is ace too. 

Written, mixed and produced by Zoe herself, the forthcoming album documents her empowerment as a self-sufficient artist and a woman overcoming gender stereotypes and gender constraints. The title of the record itself refers to something which society harmfully teaches us from a young age to be ashamed of, to hide and to fear, but which she now sees as a blessing.

On the new track, Wyldest writes: "Society and corrupt governments are helpless to the strength of what we collectively will become. I like to think that we're all just sowing the seeds of what's to come and it's a pretty unstoppable thing. I wrote this song about change, something that I believe is the only way the human race can continue to exist, so I'm celebrating it, believing that it's happening." 

I'll try and post more on the record closer to the time but I am LOVING this quote from Wyldest and needed to share. 

"Throughout the album, I visit these feelings through metaphors, largely related to nature. I always found it really ironic that women commonly get compared to fruit. Peaches for example get over-ripe and people throw them away, discard them, when in fact they are probably at their most delicious and nutritious. A lot of the time, women are unfortunately subject to a similar fate. When they are young, they are sexualised and therefore their actual intellectual and creative worth can be overlooked. As they age, they get disregarded almost completely, and for what? Because they aren't as useful to men anymore? Perhaps. But why does our ability to reproduce have to dictate our worth? It doesn't and it shouldn't." 

Pre-order/pre-save Monthly Friend here.

Follow Wyldest - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 15 March 2021

WATCH: Merpire - ‘Dinosaur’

This was one of my favourite discoveries in my inbox last week and a track that I couldn't wait to share here. Seriously, it's so so good. The track is Dinosaur from Merpire, AKA emerging Melbour-based indie-pop artist Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt. Somehow, this is my first introduction to Merpire but I am very quickly falling in love via this track, and especially with the creativity at play in the video. Originally written on a ukulele, the track's themes of social anxiety and self-esteem (and lack of it) are reflected in the darker rearrangement of the track helped along by producer James Seymour. The build up and slight musical cacophony reflecting the overspill of emotion when you've been keeping those anxieties at bay. 

The music video for the track was filmed under a trampoline in Merpire's front yard. (Seriously!) And it's brilliant. Bringing in the decor of her early 2000s teen bedroom and all of the props that come with that... right down to the gel stickers, it's a nostalgic ride, that's for sure. Merpire conceptualised the idea herself like a movie script and it was brought to life by long-time collaborator Nick Mckk, with additional set design by Grace Goodwin

Talking about the track, she shares that "'Dinosaur' is inspired by a line in the first Jurassic Park movie when Sam Neill's character says "If you stay still, they' can't see you." Whether it's a fact about the T-Rex or not, I always wished this could be the case with humans - if you don't feel like seeing anyone or you want to smoke bomb from a social interaction you can just freeze and become invisible. Oh no, it's just the opposite." 

Follow Merpire - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 12 March 2021

LISTEN: Louien - 'Better Woman'

A couple of weeks ago today I shared the new track from Norway's The Northern Belle, which featured vocals from fellow Norwegians Siv Jakobsen and Louien, who at the time was a new name for me. I'm excited to have some lush new folk to ease you into Friday courtesy of Louien herself, also arriving via Stay Loose PR. New single Better Woman is the first taste of upcoming EP No Tomorrow, due on 4th June via Jansen Records, and it delivers a slight shift in tone for her. 

While her 2019 debut album None of My Words found Louien dealing with and exploring the trauma left behind by her father's death, the upcoming EP finds her unburdened, heading into new territory, and exploring the here and now. On the process she shares: "I wanted to play around a bit more, not take myself or the songs too seriously as the debut was very heavy and took years to write. I mean, writing a thoroughly happy song might still be out of my reach, but I'm trying to get more than one perspective in there." 

On the new track, Louien shares "Better Woman is about an argument between a woman and her partner, someone she's in love with, but she doesn't know how to get through to. So, she blames it on her lack as a woman; that she isn't good enough, warm enough, funny enough. She wishes she didn't have so many feelings. Maybe she even wishes she was a man."

Follow Louien - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 11 March 2021

WATCH: Low Island - 'I Do It For You'

Earlier this week I needed to come up with a list of some of my top musical tips for the year for something. The easiest/first name to add? Low Island. I am so ridiculously excited for their debut album to arrive. Already, with some glorious EPs under their belts, they've been achieving incredible things - a spot on the FIFA soundtrack, filling up the airwaves on BBCR1 and 6 Music and press support all over the place, but this album is surely destined to be AOTY quality. Crossing my fingers that it gets them all the love and recognition that they deserve. A particularly DIY outfit, If You Could Have It All Again arrives on their label Emotional Interference on April 16th and this new track is the latest in a line of beautifully written and produced tracks to be taken from it. They're really rather good. 

I Do It For You arrives with a live performance video that, when I watched it for the first time last week, had me feeling like I was at a Low Island show for those last few artfully chaotic moments. Just for a minute, it felt like maybe everything was OK. Shows as soon as possible, I hope. About the track, singer Carlos Posada explains that "this song is about someone recognising that they're dutifully putting everything into a relationship that is fundamentally doomed, all for the sake of the 'idea' of love, rather than the person themselves." 

Follow Low Island - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 10 March 2021

EP NEWS: girlhouse - 'the girlhouse ep'

Happy Wednesday! (And, good riddance to you know who, I hope.) Time for something I'm really digging from a relatively new artist, girlhouse. Following up recent singles the fatalist and knuckle tattoo, new track loaded gun is the last to be taken from the upcoming debut offering, the girlhouse ep. Taking sonic inspiration from the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Snail Mail (heck yes) the EP delivers a look into the world of girlhouse, AKA Portland-born, Nashville-based Lauren Luiz

Lauren shares on the upcoming EP that it "follows my story of landing in LA and finding out exactly how ignorant I was to the real world; whether that be relationships, men in general, career, sex, friendships, or battling mental illness and dealing with trauma, it all felt new to me." 

About the new single, she adds: "the last single before the EP, 'loaded gun' is about inherited trauma and the bummer of becoming everything you said you never would. I feel like forgiving people from your past for abuse or neglect that happened to you when you were young and vulnerable is SO important to start forgiving yourself, this song is a moment when I recognised inherited bad behaviour and wanting to take control of my future." 

the girlhouse ep is due for release on May 14th. 

Follow girlhouse - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 9 March 2021

LISTEN: King Casio - 'Big Truck'

A couple of weeks 'behind' on this one but you're getting it now... it's Big Truck, the latest single from King Casio. A new (ish) project with a few tracks under their belts, the band sees vocalist Aaron King teaming up with members of Swedish-formed, London-based Francobollo (of Hoo Ha and We're Dead Fame.... love them!) It's my first introduction to King Casio, and I'd say this is one for fans of Boy Azooga, Willie J Healey and the like. Really digging the track. Oli Barton Wood (Premium Leisure, Lizzie Reid, Declan McKenna) is on mixing duties here too!

On the track, Aaron explains: "the song came to me through the convergence of my cat getting run over and the sudden end of a romantic relationship. These two events informed the feel of the song - how it is sad to lose things but also to be happy to have had them in the first place. Happy sad." 

Follow King Casio - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 8 March 2021

LISTEN: Ella Grace - 'She Looked Like Me'

Looking through my list of things to share to the blog this morning, there's really nothing more timely to share than the brand new track from Ella Grace. She Looked Like Me is the last single to be released ahead of Ella's debut album Reverence, which is due for release on her own label ONEONEONE on 19th April, and it's no accident that this track is releasing on International Women's Day

Newly launched, the label is an exciting addition to years of work that Ella has put into creating a community of hundreds-of-thousands of women both on and offline through podcasts, courses and retreats; space spaces for exploration, expression, growth and conversation. Her hard work was recently recognised via a grant from the Shawn Mendes Foundation, which she is using to launch the label - through which she is continuing to create an accessible, welcoming and diverse space for artists. Watch this space, I reckon! 

On the new track, she shares: "She Looked Like Me is about how I see myself in the women around me. Even if it's just a woman I see on the tube who looks tired and done with her day, working a 9-5 and trying to keep up with the beauty standards of the 21st century I see the power she has beneath the surface and I wish for her to discover it one day. I wish for all women to be able to recognise and reconnect with their unique power and essence because outside of this Patriarchal society there is so so much more to us."  

Follow Ella Grace - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 5 March 2021

LISTEN: JMES - 'Porcelain'

Happy Friday! Again... is it just me that the weeks are absolutely flying for? I swear the only markers of time I have at the moment are quiz shows and New Music Friday and they just keep on happening over and over. Like Groundhog Day but it's just The Chase on repeat. I was wishing the time away for the release of this track however... I've been excited to share this one for a little while now. Porcelain is the brand new track from JMES, AKA 20 y/o Texas-based Caroline Baker. Warning: it's super catchy. Following in the same vein of recent single Ready To Love Again, which explored love in the time of a pandemic, the new track is more direct, inspired by a toxic relationship that the artist was in. 

She shares that... "I wrote 'Porcelain' as if I were an outsider looking at my relationship and its current state. I wanted to separate myself and really look at the full picture and what I would say about it if it was not my relationship. The verses and beginning of the chorus highlight that toxicity." 

Follow JMES - Facebook | Instagram.

Thursday 4 March 2021

LISTEN: Gold Baby - 'Betty'

Happy (drizzly) Thursday... here's a new track from North London grunge-pop trio Gold Baby, one of my favourite releases from last week. With some songs and a band name in tow, songwriter Siân Alex moved to London from Nottingham in 2018, setting about finding fellow musicians. She found Sweden-born bassist Sara Kleppe and Bristolian drummer Scott Hislop and the rest is.... glorious indie-pop history. New track Betty is taken from their forthcoming EP, due on 26th March, which was produced by Ian Flynn at, mastered by Pete Mayer and is supported by Help Musicians

On the EP, Siân shares: "Art is a reaction to, and a reflection of, the world we live in. Even in such politically crazy times, when you're never leaving your house it's harder to make sense of anything - isolation is stressful, and a hard place to reflect on anything from. That said, keeping up a creative practise has been really therapeutic and given me focus. My hope is that when real life starts up again society can rebuild better with a reordered set of priorities, and with a world of people more finely tuned to the things that our bodies and brains need to feel okay. It has been a devastating time, but there's a lot that can be turned into positive change, and I'm optimistic about that." 

On the character of Betty within the song, she shares: "Betty is a representation of all that is beautiful and feminine. She's like a Disney princess and I'm the creepy kid watching her, all mixed up about where I want her to be my mum, or my girlfriend, or whether I want to be her. She reminds me of my mum and I'm thinking about the ways that we're different, wondering who I'm supposed to be growing up into. An amalgamation of memories and fantasy, Betty is an exploration of identity told through a tantrum: that's not who I am, that's not who I am!" 

Follow Gold Baby - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 3 March 2021

WATCH: James Humphrys - 'Three Weeks'

I'm a little late to the party with this one, which has been in the inbox for about a month... but that's OK! I feel like we have it ingrained in us (I do, anyway) that we can't talk/write about tracks and records once they've been out for a couple of weeks but that certainly shouldn't be the case. I was digging through my list of things to write about, and this stuck out to me, partly as it's been rattling around in my head a lot of late, and I wanted to share something upbeat today to lift my spirits (and hopefully yours, if they need it!) The track is Three Weeks from James Humphrys - an artist from Bristol who takes influence from the likes of Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club and Parcels (what a trio!) 

The video (below) features and is directed by Jessie Mei Li, who stars as the lead in the forthcoming adaptation of Shadow and Bone on Netflix. On getting Jessie involved in the project, James shares: "I've known Jessie since my time as a student in Bristol. She has always said she likes my music and so one night out at the pub I asked her if she would like to feature in the video for my latest single. She said yes and as things turned out she did a lot more than just feature in it. She basically thought up the concept and directed the whole thing. Performing alongside such a talented actor certainly took me out of my comfort zone but I learnt a lot and I'm really proud of what we managed to achieve together."  

On the track, James shares "Let's be real, lockdown has been bloody tough for us all - particularly those living far away from loved ones. For me, much of the time I tried not to think about how rubbish it felt to feel so distant and disconnected, and for the most part I managed fine and tried to focus on the fact that this would not be forever - but ultimately, sometimes those thoughts felt pretty overwhelming. This song is me being honest about the situation." 

Follow James Humphrys - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 2 March 2021

LISTEN: Bess Atwell - 'Co-op'

Before I get to rambling, in case you read the blog but don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram... I'm a little blown away that the page had the most monthly page views ever in February (almost double the previous 'record' month) - thanks so much for reading! I have a treat for you today in the shape of a new track, at once witty and soothing, from all round stunner of an artist Bess Atwell. I've long admired her work, and reacquainting myself with her previous releases at the moment is making for a lovely trip down memory lane. She's back with new single Co-op, the first track she's releasing on Real Kind Records, the imprint of Communion from Lucy Rose... an exciting pairing if ever there was one!

Sharing the news, Lucy wrote: "I am so pleased to announce the signing of Bess Atwell to Real Kind Records. She is a phenomenal artist, songwriter and all round person. Her voice is like nothing I've heard before and her way of telling stories and communicating her thoughts through her music is extraordinary. I've honestly never come across an artist like her before and I'm extremely excited for what's ahead of her." 

On the track, Bess explains that: "flipping between past and present tense, I think of this song the same way I think of a memory that keeps interrupting the current moment. It's a snapshot of a time of refuge and routine. It's an illustration of mine and my partner's life together. The relationship seemed to provide me with some sort of permission to recuperate from family trauma, as if realising for the first time that there was a life outside of that chaos lulled me into an emotional slumber. Through the song I grapple with the desire for, and fear of, comfort. I used references to Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway' to depict a vivid nostalgia and an affinity for trivialities that serve to calm when darker thoughts set in." 

The self-directed video (above) is inspired by the context of the track, Bess shares: "the music video, directed by me and shot by my good friend George Ogilvie, directly references one of the lyrics ("half your furniture we found on the street outside"). I didn't want to be too on-the-nose by shooting the video in a supermarket, but I also didn't want to shy away from that bold imagery, so I came up with the concept of shopping for memories/home comforts. The video attempts to marry two worlds at odds with each other - the mundane and the emotional - by contrasting the props, outfit, and setting."

"I associate the song with the boldness of the colour red and that was important to me to capture within this, occasionally whimsical, video. Co-op started out as a bit of a private joke, so I wanted the video to have a self-awareness and sense of humour to it too. I think there can be a tendency, when you're shooting a music video yourself, to try too hard to make it look professional. Instead, I wanted to lean into the fun of making it with a friend. It felt reminiscent of our childhoods, when we would make up plays or dances and perform them to anyone who would watch." 

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Monday 1 March 2021

LISTEN: Sunflower Thieves - 'Don't Mind The Weather'

Adoring this gorgeous new track from pop-folk duo Sunflower Thieves. Originally from Derbyshire and with over sixteen years of friendship under their belts, Lily & Amy moved to Leeds to pursue their musical ambitions. The project has since grown into a performing, writing and producing collective, and this latest offering is a stunner. Due to be released by Come Play With Me on 7" on 19th March, Don't Mind The Weather first began life as an acoustic composition, written alongside fellow Leeds artist Mehalah Ray in early 2020 in Lily's home studio. A little production here and there since... the result is beautiful and ethereal. I wouldn't expect anything less. 

On the track, they share that "'Don't Mind The Weather' translates as 'don't worry, this is where you're grounded and safe', a tale of wanting to make the most of that feeling and stay inside. The message conveyed is that no matter how the seasons and weather may change, the gravitational pull of the moon - the person you feel safe with - will keep you grounded and safe. We based it on the moon's relationship with the tides, and the idea that it's easy to get swept away in everything that's going on, but that there's beauty in that, and the relationship with this person overcomes it all anyway." 

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