Thursday 25 November 2021

LISTEN: Wallice - 'Wisdom Tooth'

Alright, not to alarm anybody... but I'm going to an actual gig today. Ahhh!! Rescheduled three times thank to *everything* - White Tail Falls' gig at St Pancras Old Church is finally happening and I am very excited. So I'm writing this... yesterday? Time travel, obviously. Trying to keep up the momentum I'm feeling with a string of beautiful tracks shared this week from Prima Queen, Baby Queen and Sunflower Thieves. Another brilliant one today, Wisdom Tooth from Wallice

It's been a pretty solid year for the 23 year-old, and she's heading into the new year (can we talk about that yet? too soon?) having just signed to Dirty Hit. The new track is her first release on the label, following the recent Off the Rails EP - superb if you haven't heard it yet! 

On the new track, she shares: “I wrote this song in a session with my long-time collaborator and best friend marinelli the day before I got my wisdom teeth out. The doctor had just called to say that I’d also need a bone graft to fill in the space in my jaw where the tooth used to be. It really shook me up and there was no way we could write a different song after that. Getting your wisdom teeth out is an event that many people have to go through, it's a physical sign of growing up. In the song ‘Wisdom Tooth’, I conflate this experience to getting rid of a person in your life as a milestone of growing up too. It shows that sometimes people can grow apart and though it can be hard, it might be better to leave a relationship or friendship rather than keep on trying to make it work. It also talks about how there are little reminders in your life that can bring you back to that person mentally, even though you have moved on.”

Follow Wallice - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

WATCH: Sunflower Thieves - 'Sirens'

It's dream-folk time, pals. If you're not aware of Sunflower Thieves yet, you're missing out, but there's time... and discovering them through new single Sirens is a pretty exciting way to go about it. The Leeds-based duo is made up of lifelong friends Amy and Lily, who have some pretty remarkable sister-like harmonies under their belts, and sing songs of friendship and connection. The new track - the first from upcoming EP Someone To Be There For - is no different. Completely magic, like a warm hug on a chilly day, and elevated by a beautiful video directed by Olivia Ferrara which just premiered on Clash, too. 

On the track, the pair share.. "Sirens' is a song about friendship, inspired by particular people. When things feel overwhelming, tuning into a relationship or friendship with someone who needs you can keep you grounded, and keep you both moving forwards."

Follow Sunflower Thieves - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

WATCH: Baby Queen - 'Wannabe'

Surprising myself once again by discovering that I haven't shared anything by Baby Queen here yet... (honestly, how?!) Fixing that now with latest tune Wannabe, which follows September's mixtape The Yearbook. Baby Queen, AKA South African-born London-based Bella Latham, is really finding a home for herself amongst contemporaries like Lauran HibberdSelf Esteem and Wallice... and I have to say I'm very much here for it. 

Describing Wannabe as somewhat of an "underdog's anthem" she explains: “It’s a song I wrote about the way other people have perceived me throughout my life. I feel like I’ve always had something to prove to other people and I’ve always been trying to fit into an ideal of who I should be and how I should behave. That changed when I became Baby Queen. I found a place I belonged and people who fully accepted me for who I am. By the standards of the people I grew up with, or used to try so hard be friends with, I might be weird or crazy or “the girl who kisses other girls” or a total wannabe, but by the standards of my people, I am great just the way I am. The song is an invitation to accept yourself and embrace the labels that are given to you by small minded, boring people. If this is what it means to be a loser, then I hope I’ll be a loser for the rest of my life.”

Follow Baby Queen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 22 November 2021

WATCH: Prima Queen - 'Chew My Cheeks'

Time for one of my favourite discoveries of last week... fell a little bit in love with this one the second I set eyes on the video. Completely enchanting. The track is by Prima Queen - an indie/alternative rock band fronted by songwriting duo and best pals Louise Macphail (Bristol, UK) and Kristin McFadden (Chicago). Chew My Cheeks is their first release on Nice Swan Recordings and was produced by none other than The Big Moon (legends!)

On the track, Prima Queen share: "Chew My Cheeks is a song that centres on an unhealthy obsession with someone who is slightly out of reach. We wrote it in lockdown last year when we were remembering what it was like to idealise people you don't know and to use them as a form of escapism. We ended up watching The Matrix in isolation together around the same time and were really inspired by the world in which the movie creates." 

"It was incredible being able to work with The Big Moon since they've been such a big inspiration to us and we look up to them so much. They really understood our vision for the song and we were so impressed with how they were able to bring it to life."

Follow Prima Queen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 17 November 2021

LISTEN: Bear's Den - 'All That You Are'

New Bear's Den day. It's new Bear's Den day! In a pretty grand blog perk, I might have heard this last week... as a huge fan of the band, it was pretty dreamy to stumble across the press release! All That You Are is their first track since last year's Christmas, Hopefully EP (a stunner) and announces their return from a hiatus of much of this year, opening the door to new music (*frantically crosses fingers*) - and I love it. Vintage Bear's Den, you might say.

On the origins of the track, the band's Andrew Davie shares: "'All That You Are' is a song that was born on Bear's Den's first ever tour - The Austin To Boston tour way back in 2012. It's been a soundcheck jam for so long and feels like an intrinsic part of what Bear's Den stands for as a band even if it's been unreleased for so long." 

"It's a song fundamentally about hoping for happiness for someone else even if you can't be the one that makes them happy. It's also about not being ashamed about looking for that same happiness for yourself."

"In a way it feels like a mission statement of the band to reconnect with this song from way back when and to perform it unashamedly with a bold and beautiful string arrangement from Sally Herbert and some beautiful performance from some friends of ours both old and new. The opportunity to work with Sally Herbert was a real dream of ours, together with the fantastic Matt Douglas on Clarinets/Saxophone and Paul Frith on horns. We hope you enjoy it."

Follow Bear's Den - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

WATCH: Cj Pandit - 'Boyfriend'

Two posts in two days? Currently unheard of. Couldn't resist sharing this one though - pal of the blog Cj Pandit is back!!! Dreamy times. Back in May, he released the brill Just Before You Disappear EP and he's back with the follow-up and one of my fave Cj tracks - Boyfriend. Feels as if he's stepped things up a notch on this one... I'm loving it. 

On the track, he shares: "through the whole process of writing these songs, I wanted to embrace imagined personas, build scenarios and ask questions in my head that we could then leap from. 

For Boyfriend, it was what would happen if Prince, Bowie and Peter Gabriel all got fucked up and wrote a song together. And every time something would make us laugh, or question whether we were pushing things too far, we dialled them up more. I wanted to embrace the outrageous ways of performing, the escapism of the wild nights we're all getting back to. 

To me it's the song to strut around your bedroom whilst you get ready, and is playing loud whilst you walk into CBGB's for the night of your life." 

Cj is currently on tour supporting Saint Raymond, as has a sold out Leicester headliner coming up on the 26th. A headline UK tour follows in February - ticket info here

2nd: Stereo, Glasgow
3rd: The Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
4th: The Louisiana, Bristol
7th: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
8th: Bodega Social Club, Nottingham
9th: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
10th: The Lexington, London

Follow Cj Pandit - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 15 November 2021

WATCH: SOFT LAD - 'Singapore'

I don't know about you, but I've been completely rinsing the Self Esteem record lately. Fucking Wizardry is, to be frank, a fucking bop. As is the entire record. Unsurprisingly then, my interest was peaked on the arrival of the latest brilliant submission from Paddy at Stay Loose... the debut solo track from Sophie Galpin, AKA SOFT LAD, AKA multi-instrumentalist and musical-collaborator for the likes of Self Esteem, who she's currently on tour with. Fourteen years in the industry, collaborating and playing alongside a variety of artists, has led to this moment... dare I say it was worth the wait? Really digging this one. 

On Singapore, Sophie brings every aspect of queer love together into a four-minute (I'm saying it again...) bop. Singing along is optional, but difficult to resist. The track arrives alongside a video directly by Olivier Richomme and Sarah Jenny Johnson

About the track, SOFT LAD describes: "this song describes a break-up and that bit initially after where you look back for one last time then take that first step forward as a person on your own in the world. You feel like shit, and your friends tell you that you're going to be fine and although intellectually you can rationalise it, you can't truly feel it for a while until you get the perspective. And intertwined with that feeling of loss, you also have this feeling of relief of at least knowing where you stand and breathing it all out. You suddenly have time and re-realise you can do whatever you want at any given time." 

Follow SOFT LAD Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 4 November 2021

LISTEN: VC Pines - 'Be Honest'

Did I feel a little bit jammy having a stream of this one over a week before it was released? Yep. Love me some VC Pines. Be Honest is the first track to be released following his Concrete EP back in May. The track sees him exploding from the confines and pressures of the last year with a new direction but that gorgeous vocal and soulful sound that we've all come to love... you'll want to wrap your ears round this one pronto. 

On the new track, he shares: "Be Honest is a culmination of things, it was written towards the end of 2020 - the year of fuckery. So the beginning has this distrust and wariness I think we all had at the time. I wanted to convey my own mental health struggles and of those around me due to these strange, uncertain and lonely times. The tune explodes into this 'no fucks given' feeling that boils and spills over into a sense of paranoia." 

"I'd definitely been burning the candle at both ends when this song formed, so I think it's a small yelp for help but at the same time, encompasses the nervousness of the youth of this country. Working on this with Tobie Tripp was dreamy, we really focused on every layer, from BVs to brass to flute and then he sprinkled his magic string playing on top. It has this meatiness to it, but because each layer is so in and out, it has this child-like 'dares' quality to it which I love." 

On the evolution of his sound, he adds "I've definitely taken a more alternative direction, focusing more on contemporary and unique sounds and pairing them with soulful vocals. I love working with huge contrasts, so for me, using sounds as imagery as a way to paint a modern picture, paired with the occasional 'classic' instrument such as trombone or rusty xylophones, and a classic soul voice is a perfect juxtaposition."

VC Pines has announced a UK tour for February and March, starting in Dublin at Whelans on 24th Feb and taking in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Brighton and finishing up at London's Jazz Cafe on 9th March. Full dates and ticket info here.

Follow VC Pines - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

WATCH: APRE - 'Waste My Time'

New APRE - rejoice! Waste My Time is the third track to be taken from their upcoming A001 mixtape, due 1st Feb. I've been a full-time subscriber of the APRE fanclub (is there one? can I join?) since seeing them open for Friendly Fires a couple of years back and can't wait for the mixtape.. recent singles All Mine and YOU are brilliant. They never miss! If you fancy seeing them live, they're in the midst of a residency at London venue The Social, delivering an immersive experience of the mixtape with art installations and live performance within a retro-themed narrative. 

On the new track, the duo explain: "'Waste My Time' is about egos and how they take over and control you and you don't realise it until it's too late, leaving you taken advantage of, making it even harder to remove yourself from the relationship because you are trapped by their ego, almost forcing their morals and beliefs to become your own.

Follow APRE - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 1 November 2021

WATCH: Lauran Hibberd - 'Charlie's Car'

This one has been stuck in my head for a few days now... no complaints here. Fresh from releasing anthem after bop after god damn tune (honestly, obsessed) Lauran Hibberd has signed to Virgin Music and shared her first single with the label, Charlie's Car. If you like what you're hearing (obviously) then check out her Goober EP here while we all eagerly await the debut album. Soon please! 

On the new track, Lauran shares... "I think everyone has a 'Charlie' in their life. It's ironic that this totally unreasonable behaviour is something I find myself thirsty for. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? This track is definitely just a down spiralling array of unhealthy events that I find myself (as always) coating in infamous comedy." 

Follow Lauran Hibberd - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.