Thursday, 26 May 2022

LISTEN: néomí - 'not good enough'

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

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

Follow néomí - Facebook | TwitterInstagram.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

WATCH: Wallice - 'Funeral'

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

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

Follow Wallice - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

WATCH: Art Moore - 'Muscle Memory'

Hot off the press album news time, folks. (Hey - am I the press?!) Art Moore have just announced their self-titled debut album, due for release via ANTI-Records on 5th August. The announcement arrives alongside their second track, Muscle Memory, although the members of the band are all long-familiar faces on the scene - they're a trio made up of Taylor Vick (AKA Boy Scouts) and Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks

Having worked on soundtracks with Ezra previously, Sam and Trevor originally joined forces with Taylor with the intention of writing for movies and art projects - "it was like [...] let's think of a movie scene or a photograph or still image and see if we can write some shit around it to see if we can pitch it", says Durkes. "Four songs in, I think, after the first recording session, we realized it was going well, and it was pretty efficient" adds Brooks. "Making music with both Sam and Taylor has always been so easy. I record other artists, and it's pretty rare to be so quickly on the same page with people. We don't have to say much - we kind of get where each other is coming from. It happens way too easily." 

The pandemic saw the trio sending recordings to one another over email, adding a digital aspect to the project. Taylor explains "I think [the pandemic] also probably contributed to the whole idea of life, 'Well, we might as well just make an album, 'cause it's July and things aren't any different'. We were still at home, so we thought we might as well keep using this time." I'm glad they did - because the new track is a delight - listen below!

On the new single, Taylor shares "Muscle Memory was inspired by the many phases of life we go through and the friendships that exist within them that inevitably transform as we continue through life. I wanted to write about this experience from a neutral perspective, one with the belief that it's neither a good or bad thing but simply a given in life. It's a more fictionalized version of my personal experience which was the kind of writing I gravitated towards most in this band." 

Follow Art Moore - Facebook | Instagram.

Monday, 16 May 2022

LISTEN: Paolo Nutini - 'Through The Echoes'

AHHHHH! As if a live Mika medley on Eurovision over the weekend wasn't enough, Paolo Nutini is back!!!!! Both of their debut albums were a permanent fixture in our car stereo in 2007, and listening back to These Streets as I type this (... and get distracted from typing this) I'm discovering that all these years later, I remember every word and every note of it. The end of primary school for me, I guess it was a pretty formative time for me musically - the debut album from The Hoosiers (still my faves) came out later that year and basically shaped my life from there. 

Paolo last released a record in 2014, a few months before I moved away to University, and before the blog existed on this page. His return is the BEST news. We all deserve this, right? I don't have a press release (or, indeed, a direct line to Paolo) for a quote on this one - but just take my excitement over his return as all the encouragement you need to give this one a listen. Then, if you've got the time (or if you haven't) go on a deep dive into the era of music that gets you nostalgic - I'm very much enjoying my little walk down memory lane here! 

Follow Paolo Nutini - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 13 May 2022

TRACK PREMIERE: Joseph Lawrenson - 'Zero Zero Four Zero (feat Jasmine Kennedy)'

It's been a minute since I did a premiere here... but we're in special occasion territory, as the blog is nearing the big 400,000 all-time page views! My premiere of a Pêtr Aleksänder track almost five years ago remains the most viewed on the site (just) and if you liked that one, you're going to love the latest form Joseph Lawrenson

A founding member of the Leeds band Dancing Years, Joseph honed his craft on the road and is now an in demand composer for film & TV. Releasing today, his debut album Songs for Film is a patchwork collection of original works, re-imaginings and reworks, and fresh arrangements of classical staples (think Chopin, Bach.)

Taken from the record, Zero Zero Four Zero is one of the re-imagined tracks, taking the originally instrumental 0040 from Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and adding a vocal performance by fellow Leeds artist Jasmine Kennedy, to create a cinematic pop song with a twist. On first listen to one of Joseph's previous singles I was struck with a similarity to AJIMAL in his own vocal performance, so if you're into him, or Pêtr, you're in the right place with this one. It's no secret I love me some strings on a track so this is a bit of a dreamy one for me. Check it out on Spotify here or below!

On the track, Joseph shares: "Lyrically it explores the idea of someone cheating on their partner, from the temptation to the resulting heartbreak and the devastation of the ultimate betrayal. I took inspiration from a passage in William Faulkner's 'Light In August': 'You will tell me that you have just learned love; I will tell you that you have just learned hope.' I was fascinated by this concept, that hope can be mistaken for love. And this perfectly expresses the feeling of the betrayed person in my song: 'that's not love you feel, it's only hope.' I think we've all mistaken hope for love at some point in our lives." 

The record Songs for Film is out now - check it out here.

Follow Joseph Lawrenson - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Jasmine Kennedy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

WATCH: Matilda Mann - 'Nice'

Wait... writing about another artist on the Heartstopper soundtrack, me? Really? I am completely besotted with the show, and was delighted on first watch to hear Matilda Mann's Paper Mache World soundtracking one of the sweetest moments of the series. I've not watched/thought about anything that wasn't Heartstopper for a couple of weeks (barely an exaggeration) so you're getting Matilda's latest track here as a result. You're welcome, and you'd better watch the show now...! 

Nice sees Matilda working with producer Rich Cooper to create one of her most angsty and self-empowering songs yet. The track arrived with a video directed by Camila Noriega, shot on a recent visit to the LA hills, in which we see Matilda navigating a series of not-so-great dates. 

On the track and video, Matilda shares: "'Nice' is my dating rule. If I go on a date and the only word I can think to describe it is "nice", it's not worth another date. You'd never describe your best friends or your family as just "nice". There needs to be a better first word that comes straight to mind. The music video was so fun to make, up in the desert in LA. We came up with all these date ideas where it's going terribly, and it ends with me having had enough and walking off to play 'Nice' with my band." 


Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

WATCH: Rae Morris - 'Go Dancing (feat. Fryars)'

If you need a big ol' slice of joy in your life today, let me deliver it via this five minute music video. You all know how much I adore Rae Morris and how excited I am for her new record in July - well, there's a new track!!!! Go Dancing features Rae's long-time collaborator & producer (... and now husband!) Fryars. They really are the dream team and this is maybe my favourite track they've both featured on so far. The track is lovely, but the video is just.... a delight! We find Rae back in Blackpool, taking her dancing shoes to the famous Tower Ballroom... where we last saw her in the Dancing With Character video. Brb, counting down the days until the record is in my arms. 


Follow Rae Morris - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

WATCH: Abbie Ozard - 'Rose Tinted'

Question. Do they call it dream-pop because it's pop music and it is a pure dream to listen to? This new Abbie Ozard track backs up my theory. It is genuinely a dream, and aaaall too relatable. Give me all of the tracks that explore being in your mid twenties and being confused as to what on earth you're doing because they are calling to me right now. Rose Tinted is the final track to be taken from Abbie's upcoming Water Based Lullabies EP, which is due via House Anxiety on 1st July. 

Talking about the track, Abbie shared: "Rose tinted was a poem I wrote a few years back when I realised all my friends were growing up and I felt kinda left behind. I found myself covering up these feelings with clothes and messing with the way I looked. I even tried meditating, which I hated because it made me think way too much. It's an observation on how 20 somethings cope with transitioning into adulthood, how they share morning routines online, meditate to stay calm, buy new outfits - that whole 'don't get depression vibe'. I want to be able to soundtrack my generation."


Follow Abbie Ozard - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 6 May 2022

LISTEN: Siv Jakobsen - 'Most of the Time'

Rejoice, Siv Jakobsen is back! It feels like forever ago when I was falling in love with the tracks from A Temporary Soothing (definitely soothing, but not temporary, it turns out). The Norwegian singer-songwriter is back with a song about wanting to forget, and there is plenty more music on the way. Phew. I was in love with this campaign before I'd even clicked play on the track - Siv amongst sunflowers with bright dungarees on? This couldn't be more *my* thing if it tried! The track is a stunner too. Of course. 

Having spent much of her life on the road previously, Siv spent time in her homeland since the last record, reconnecting with her origins - which included visiting a city that she used to live in many years ago, a visit which inspired the new track. "I knew that in going there it might awaken some difficult memories, but I was completely taken aback by how intensely I felt pulled back into who I was and how I felt all those years ago. I realised I had some unpacking to do, so that I could begin to properly come to terms with and understand those memories."

"Most Of The Time is about not being able to forget a particularly difficult relationship from my past. When left undealt with, the memories seemed to heighten in my sleep, in my subconscious, day and night, almost as if I was being haunted. It's about how our past affects our future, how it can affect our personalities morphing into someone slightly different. Being back in this place again after such a long time was a much greater shock to my system than I would have ever thought it could be, and it forced me to unbox a lot of things I thought I had safely stored away in the back corners of my mind. In the end, it's about reminding myself that I am feeling better now, most of the time."


Follow Siv Jakobsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

LISTEN: Cj Pandit - 'If It Hurts, It's Healing'

I've been really bad at blogging lately but I promise I've been listening to lots of brill music - recently basically just Baby Queen on repeat forever... no regrets. A track I've been loving is the latest from pal of the blog Cj Pandit, If It Hurts, It's Healing. It's the third to be taken from his upcoming second EP +44, due soon (ish? maybe?) via Never Fade Records. Tender and uplifting as ever, this one is so gooooood. Love ya Cj! 

About the track, he shares: "I was going through a yearly/monthly/weekly crisis of confidence and identity and just decided to live in it for a bit, to see what I could find and put together. This song was it. Grief is just a version of love breaking down, and sometimes you've gotta let things go. Sometimes, you have to stare in the mirror to see what's going on. If it hurts, it's healing is a little adventure into self discovery and mourning your former self, or something that's been eating you up and defining your character for a big chunk of time." 

Thursday, 28 April 2022

LISTEN: Rachel Sermanni - 'Aquarium Kisses'

How about some folk-y heaven for your midweek (ish) listening pleasure? Rachel Sermanni is back, and she's got an EP on the way, with some of her "silliest" songs to date. Cannot wait! For now, here is Aquarium Kisses, the first track from Every Swimming Pool Runs to the Sea, due June 16th. While the previous EP was written whilst pregnant, made up of four darker tracks which explored the anxieties of balancing motherhood with her career, the new EP is "the light to the previous EP's shadow." Let the new track wash over you... it's a stunner. 

Talking about the track, Rachel shares: "I woke from a dream where an old school friend had led me into a huge aquarium. More like a building with glass, water, and tropical fish for walls. In the glow, we kissed. It was a lovely, playful, sensual dream. This is where the song begins. As is obvious. Each verse that follows is an ode to a past lover. The reasons I loved them, little moments and memories. It has a nostalgic feeling for me which then comes to the present moment with the chorus words (written by Richard Walters) where I hold the hand of my now love. I believe that the chorus and the presence of another's hand in mind is more symbolic." 

Follow Rachel Sermanni - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

WATCH: Tomberlin - 'sunstruck'

So you've just watched all of Heartstopper on Netflix too, yeah? As well as it being reaaaaally cute, the soundtrack is basically cool music and things set to a TV show. Baby Queen, Maggie Rogers, Matilda Mann, Smoothboi Ezra, Noah & The Whale... jeeeeeez. So good. As well as those, it features a track by Tomberlin - perfect timing, as she's got a new record (i don't know who needs to hear this...) on the way this week via Saddle Creek. Recent single sunstruck is lush - check it out below!

About the track, Sarah shares: "This is an aerial view love song that is also not a love song. It is more a love song to forced distance, time alone with yourself, letting go, searching for yourself and the healing that takes place when you make those things an active focus in your life. These things are choices, they don't just happen on their own. You can choose to practice them or you can choose stagnancy. This is a love song to the growth that often can take place if you choose to tend to your own life's garden." 

Follow Tomberlin - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

WATCH: Sunflower Thieves - 'Grown Out Of You'

Am I back? Maybe. Sort of. I had a week off work last week, went to York for a few days and tried to actually take some time away from the blog. I've been pretty slack with is all lately anyway, but it was nice to try my best to avoid it for a few days. I came back to an inbox overflowing with brilliant new music which I'm keen to share - firstly this gorgeous offering from Sunflower Thieves, who just shared their Someone To Be There For EP. 

They're an ethereal duo who create music that I think it's sort of impossible not to like... and this EP is a beautiful collection of tracks. New single Grown Out Of You is an all too relatable (almost painfully so) track which explores the feeling of returning home and seeing that your childhood friends have moved on with their lives, in a different direction to yourself, and being happy for them from a distance. I hear that. 

On the track, the duo add "you forget life goes on while you're away but when you come back expecting things to have remained, it's bittersweet but also easy to accept that things have changed and that you've grown apart from those you once knew so well."

Crossing my fingers to get to the London Memorial show to see Sunflower Thieves opening alongside Elanor Moss - they're touring the UK with Lewis Watson at the moment too (Oxford, Notts, Bristol, London and Birmingham this week.) 

Follow Sunflower Thieves - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 15 April 2022

ALBUM NEWS: Banji - 'Freshcakes'

The exciting album news just keeps on coming... this time it's Utrecht's Banji, with news of their record Freshcakes, due October 14th via [PIAS] Recordings. On first hearing their debut single, I wrote here "if it's a juicy ear-worm you're after, then look no further" and it's been a joy to get to know the band sonically with the run of singles that has followed over the past year or so. Can't wait for the record - and very much enjoying new single Cornflakes. 

On the track, vocalist Morris Brandt shares: "I'm prone to developing little addictions pretty easily. Just the tiny things that get me through my day. The overall subject turned out to dig a little deeper into my own habits - temptations, quick releases, and with that, carelessness. Always being on the lookout for a little bit more than what you already have. Enticement can lead you to concentrate on the wrong things, and make you forget that you always have a choice. Because, if these dependencies develop on a bigger scale, they can have a significant impact on the people around you, and cause you to put up a front. Hiding behind it for the sake of someone else. I was noodling around with these ideas, using metaphors and different voices to inhabit the lines in the song."

Talking on Freshcakes, Morris continues: "Banji's songwriting has always reflected my surroundings and environment. Big themes of this album are struggling with adulthood, self-worth and self-esteem, mental health and frustrations, addiction, and finding your own self-discipline and maturity over time. The lyrics that flowed out of me throughout the making of Freshcakes tend to be built around introverted thoughts, personal social situations, and subjects that I find difficult to dissect. Stressful feelings about mistakes made, expectations unfulfilled, and the guilt that surrounds that. At a young age I've learned to use music as an output for frustration and stress. The main thing that I wanted to do with this record was find a place for those feelings and letting them go, kind of like therapy in a way." 

Follow Banji - TwitterFacebook | Instagram.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

LISTEN: BE GOOD - 'Crying in the Bathroom'

New BE GOOD, everybody!!!!! You all know by now just how much I adore these guys. They're back with their first new track for a while, Crying in the Bathroom. While I might be doing just that thinking about missing their Oxford gig with Cj Pandit and The Bobo next week for Divine Schism, I'm currently just likely to cry about how great they are. In their words, the new track is "a song about perspective shifts, unhealthy obsessions & callousness. First time we've used a banjo, unlikely to be the last." Slow bop. 

BE GOOD play London this Friday (15th) and Oxford next Tuesday (19th) - tickets for both here

Follow BE GOOD - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

WATCH: Maggie Rogers - 'That's Where I Am'

I looooove Maggie Rogers and I am so so so excited that she is back with new music!!!! It feels like a long time coming since Heard It In A Past Life (and SO much has happened since that record came out and brought so much joy and meaning to my life - my fave of 2019) and I am soooooo ready for new Maggie and to be enjoying those witchy feminist popstar vibes live. New track That's Where I Am is taken from her forthcoming record Surrender, due for release 29th July - cannot wait!! The official video (co-directed by Maggie, Michael Scanlon and Warren Fu is a love letter to Maggie's adopted hometown of NYC, and features some notable cameos... 

On the track, she shares: "That's Where I Am is a story I'd been carrying around for many years, the story of a love that had been with me and unfolding for a long time. A lot of the events that Surrender chronicles take place in New York City. In the stark solitude and distance of Covid, it was the backdrop for all my claustrophobic fantasies. The proximity and pleasure of just staring at strangers. The way a night could unfold. Events that interrupt your day instead of having to consciously and deliberately make each decision. I longed for someone to sweat on me. Spill their beer on my shoes. Be too tall for me to see at the concert. The city's music and attitude was a big source of inspiration for the record. For all these reasons, there was only ever one place we could shoot the video."

"I've always said that New York is the city that winks back. It's a main character. It's a friend, a lover, an enemy sometimes. In many ways, the music video is about that New York love story. And on those filming days, it felt like the city was on our side. We got our first taste of true New York spring. That feral downtown explosion when suddenly everyone's smoking on the sidewalks in short sleeves and drinking gin and tonics. The appearance of a few classic New York characters - David Byrne, The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, and photographer Quil Lemons - made the daydream feel complete."  


View the Surrender album trailer here.

Follow Maggie Rogers - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

WATCH: Wallice - '90s American Superstar'

New Wallice!! Yessssss. Fresh from touring the US with Still Woozy, she's back with new single 90s American Superstar, the title track from her forthcoming second EP, releasing via Dirty Hit on 6th May. Written and recorded with friends at Wallice's grandparents house in Southern Utah, the EP is "a hypothetical look into the celebrity life that lots of musicians and the LA entertainment industry crowd seeks. It's fun to think about, "what if I was famous?" and how fame can change people. Especially since I grew up in LA - I love it here, but it's a strange place and it can feel like everyone is just looking for their big break. To me, the EP plays with that perspective and the way people think about that dream."

The title track (which is brill) introduces us to the protagonist of the EP at the height of their fame... Wallice explains that it "is about a fictional relationship in which my partner is showing very LA 'dating a musician' type behaviour. It's kind of a part two to the saga from a track on my last EP called 'Hey Michael'. The chorus makes it sort of a breakup song, and the verses make it a diss track. The first verse has six 90s movie references, and looks inwards at a breakup and what I did wrong. The second verse is blaming the other person - so it's kind of a rollercoaster of emotions." 

Wallice is playing at Brighton's The Great Escape, with showcases at Glasgow and Dublin, and her first London headline show at The Lexington on May 17th. 

Follow Wallice - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

WATCH: Novo Amor - 'State Lines' (Live from Antarctica)

You all know how much I love Novo Amor and it would feel remiss of me not to share this beautiful live performance video, recorded while Ali was on an Greenpeace expedition in Antarctica earlier this year. It's one of my favourite tracks of his, made all the more gorgeous as he performs against the Antarctic backdrop, with whales, penguins and seals the only audience members. 

As beautiful as the music is, however, the video has been shared to help raise awareness for ocean protection, and specifically a petition that Greenpeace are currently running. It's something that Ali has long been advocating for - his Birthplace video was my introduction to his music, and its environmental message was a big part of the reason that I fell so far in love with the project and stuck around to hear more. 

From Greenpeace...

We are urging world leaders to agree on a strong Global Ocean Treaty which will help to protect at least 30% of our oceans by 2030 through a network of marine sanctuaries. Nearly 5 million people globally have signed the petition to protect our oceans. Add your name now and help put the biggest conservation effort in human history into action. 

Sign the petition here

Follow Novo Amor - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

ALBUM NEWS: Jemima Coulter - 'Grace After A Party'

It's shaping up to be a pretty great week (month?) for new music, if a little overwhelming... there's a new Maggie Rogers track in my inbox for starters (yep, I could cry) but today I'm ready to get excited over this gem (you're welcome) from Jemima Coulter. One half of Hailaker, and a collaborator of Novo Amor, S Carey and more, this is their first solo outing and I am thrilled!!! Debut single SST arrives alongside news of the album Grace After A Party, due via Hand In Hive on 29th July. You can pre-save/pre-order the record here.

SST sees Jemima telling the story of somebody who has a fever and, in their ill haze, joins the circus - introducing what is to be the basis of the record, the circus and the clown. They explain "the character I sing about in 'SST' leaves their old life with the clarity that the illness gave them, suddenly free from all of the reason that says that it's a stupid and dangerous idea."

"I wanted to capture the feeling of someone wandering unburdened by the expectations of traditional society and escaping to another kind of life and yet also only doing that because they're out of their mind - crazy enough to know what they really want. It's like the classic 'leaving home to achieve my dreams with nothin but a dime' storyline but I guess pointing out how unsafe that is in this financially-orientated world that doesn't give a f-ck about your dreams so you'd only really do it if you were ill." 

Follow Jemima Coulter - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

WATCH: Bear's Den - 'Blue Hours'

Happy Thursday! I might have woken up to snow (say what?) and it might be a little bit miserable outside, but internally I'm reeling from a couple of overwhelmingly exciting album announcements in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, Maggie Rogers shared a trailer for Surrender (due 29th July) and Rae Morris seems to have just announced Rachel@Fairyland (due 8th July) - they released my favourite records of 2019 and 2018 so this is BIG news and I am all sorts of ready for new music from both. 

First, though, another record I'm eagerly awaiting this year is Blue Hours from Bear's Den, due for release via Communion Records on 13th May. I *might* be in the very lucky position to have already heard the record (ahhh!) and it is (of course) beautiful, but you all knew that! While you've got a few weeks to wait to hear the rest of it (sorry) you can wrap your ears around the title track now - which I think is actually one of my favourites from the record at the moment! It'll certainly go down a treat live - they're touring Europe and the UK across April and May, and North America later this year (dates & tickets here.) 

Blue Hours arrives with a video created by illustrator and animator Ryan Anderson here... 


Talking about the new track, Davie shares: "Fundamentally Blue Hours is a song about communicating with someone that's hard to reach. It's this idea of trying to have a conversation with someone through one-way glass, where they can't even see you and there's a real disconnect with how you're communicating. On one level, it's also an internal thing, where you're trying to get through to yourself. I think the act of writing songs, or even trying to write anything, is the act of trying to communicate, so I think there's something in that which is interesting." 

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

WATCH: EFÉ - 'KIWI'

Some tongue-in-cheek indie-pop for your Tuesday, arriving courtesy of Irish artist EFÉ. A new name for me, EFÉ - AKA 21 year-old Dublin based Anita Ikharo - came onto the scene in 2020 with the release of her self-made debut EP What Should We Do This Summer? Her return sees the track KIWI, the first from forthcoming EP VITAMIN - C, set for release this June. The new track was co-produced with her best friend who.killed.romeo and mixed by Ben Baptie

In the video, which was thought up, directed and edited by EFÉ herself, alongside a group of close friends, we see... "a girl who goes camping, she's brought her laptop, fairy lights and cute magazines, but she can't light a fire or even hunt for food. She is super scared cause she sees a bear but then she falls in love with the bear." 

On making the video, EFÉ adds: "I came up with the concept and directed the video. It was definitely hard to make because it was very necessary that the right location was chosen as well as the right bear costume and right people to work with. I did cry a whole lot, scared nothing would come out right. I had so much fear around the video because of the huge pressure I put on myself to make it good. I also worked on some of the editing and colour grading so there was a lot I had creative control over. I think it was worth it in the end though and shows hard work and the right people around can really pay off!" 

Follow EFÉ Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 28 March 2022

LISTEN: Lizzie Reid - 'Bible'

Happy Wondrous Place day, folks... Paddy from Stay Loose has made the exciting move to set up his own PR agency which launches today!!! I'm excited for him, and to see what brilliant music he continues to share with us all. That rambling is mostly to say that I'm sharing one of Paddy's artists today, the brilliant Lizzie Reid, who has shared her first new material since the Cubicle EP of last year. The EP, which explored the deterioration of Lizzie's first same-sex relationship, saw her gaining much deserved love from press, radio and streaming, and led to her supporting Arlo Parks on a couple of tour dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I love it!

On Bible, for which Lizzie worked with her regular collaborator and producer Oli Barton-Wood, she shares: "Bible is about being nervous about falling in love again. I was feeling something, and that scared me. I wanted to get things right this time, be important to someone, and not to bring my anxieties into the picture. Becoming involved with someone tends to bring up things within yourself. It holds a mirror up and forces me to look at myself through someone else's eyes."

Follow Lizzie Reid - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

WATCH: Superorganism - 'Teenager'

Ah, March 2018... simpler times. Happier times? For me, a lot of that had to do with the release of the self-titled debut record from Superorganism. If you haven't heard it, you're missing out (Night Time!!!! The Prawn Song!!!!) but you most definitely didn't escape Everybody Wants To Be Famous playing all over the radio. I was at HMV at the time, and remember playing the album on the store stereo a lot (you're welcome, people of Peterborough). I went to see the band at The Great Escape a couple of months later, too...  the venue was a much longer walk than I'd been expecting and I found myself almost in Hove for the set, but it was so worth it. Endless fun to be had at one of their live sets!

Four years later and they're back! They've just shared Teenager (featuring Chai and Pi Ja Ma) taken from their upcoming record World Wide Pop, due 15th July. Yessssssss. The video (below) features actor and comedian Brian Jordan Alvarez and is exactly as playful and weird as you'd expect from the band. If you need a little escapism, and to be transported back to your teen years... off you go: 


Follow Superorganism - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 21 March 2022

LISTEN: néomí - 'eyes filled with sky'

A song to brighten up any of those Monday morning blues you might be feeling... following recent release if i wasn't made for love, néomí is back with eyes filled with sky. It is, again, a wonder. Like a soft hug wrapped up in a song. The tracks are both taken from the before EP, set for release in June. 

Talking about the new track, néomí shares that it "felt really emotional to me for a long time. Sometimes you can love someone so deeply that you forget what's best for you. They might end up telling you what they think you want and need, and you might end up believing everything they say. Still the love is so deep, you don't want them to leave and neither can you leave yourself. I hope the song feels dreamy and takes you to places where only eyes are filled with skies. Creating this song was really therapeutic to me. Now, after some time, when I listen to it, I find comfort in the heaviness and I just float away into my thoughts."


Follow néomí - Facebook | TwitterInstagram.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

WATCH: Bloomsday - 'Phase'

I say this all the time but I think that I might be a little bit in love with this one. It's exactly the kind of song that I feel like I need right now... properly dreamy. The track is Phase, the latest from Brooklyn duo Bloomsday (AKA singer-songwriter/producers Iris James Garrison (they/them) and Alex Harwood (he/him). They've released the track recently alongside news of their debut album Place To Land, which is due on 10th June via Bayonet Records

On the track, Iris shares "I wrote this song amidst a very stagnant period, emotionally. I had recently undergone an upheaval of life: I had changed my job, housing, had a new friend group, and new romantic relationships. All of my surroundings had changed drastically in the fall of 2019. I remember I had a moment of stillness after the dust settled, and I was shaky inside. I remember feeling like it was a calm before a storm, which is interesting to look back on now since it was right before the pandemic hit in 2020."


Follow Bloomsday - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

WATCH: Low Island - 'Just Another Dreamer'

What a week last week was for new releases... the return of Superorganism and The Black Keys, new Florence on repeat, new Cosmo Sheldrake and so much more that I can't get enough of.... there is however always space in my playlists (and my heart) for new Low Island! Following on from recent release Everything Before Us, they've released the track Just Another Dreamer and it is (unsurprisingly) brilliant. They never miss. A slower number to begin with, the layers build for a busier outro that I can only imagine being SO good live. My imagination there slightly helped along by another brilliant live performance music video... I must say that this series of videos is making me a little nostalgic for the 360 sessions by Post War Years around a decade ago. 

The track is taken from an EP of the same name, due April 8th via the band's own label Emotional Interference. That day too is shaping up to be quite the release day with new records from Wet Leg, Let's Eat Grandma, Kae Tempest, Dahlia Sleeps, Deanna Petcoff... aren't we lucky?!

Speaking about the track, Carlos shares that it is about "the promise of a future that may never come. The song is a reflection on one of my favourite Lennon quotations: 'Life's what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.'" 

If you like what you're hearing, you can pre-order the new EP via the band's Bandcamp here. It's a digital only release, and they're donating all the proceeds taken via Bandcamp to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Follow Low Island - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 14 March 2022

WATCH: Abbie Ozard - 'Pisces'

"I know you're really trying, our stars just aren't aligning... " 

You're all here for a zodiac themed 'wobbly indie-pop put-down'... right? Pisces from Abbie Ozard is all kinds of brill. The Manchester-based artist is stepping away from her bedroom-pop origins with the track, the first to be taken from her upcoming EP Water Based Lullabies, due 1st July via House Anxiety. Witty lyrics sit on top of a beautifully woozy number... I'm really enjoying this one! 

On the origins of the track, Abbie shares: "after releasing songs about yearning, loss and change I was set on creating a bad bitch anthem that girls, gay, theys and everyone inbetween could feel empowered by. Pisces is about recognising your own strengths, taking control of what you really want and setting your standards high. This song was so fun to write, me and James were in stitches when we were writing it but behind the humour there's a deeper meaning to it all. Don't settle for mediocrity, know your worth and surrounding yourself with people that make you feel amazing."  

Follow Abbie Ozard - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

WATCH: MICHELLE - 'POSE'

Album recommendation time, folks!!!! You all know how much I love MICHELLE, right? They're an NYC-based collective that first came onto my radar about two years ago with this brilliant live session performance of The Bottom from their first record. They had just signed to Transgressive over here and have been releasing a string of superb singles since, but I think that new track POSE might be one of my favourites yet. It's taken from brand new record AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS which I can confirm, after a good few listens, is pretty damn superb too. See for yourself... 

Grab a copy of the record and check out their upcoming tour dates on the website here.

Follow MICHELLE - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

WATCH: Sunflower Thieves - 'Lichtenberg Figures'

Happy International Women's Day, folks! Celebrating with some of my favourite women in music on the girls allowed playlist and by sharing this gorgeous track from Sunflower Thieves. In the words of The Staves (ish) they're good good women indeed. Lichtenberg Figures is taken from their upcoming EP - if like me, you're unsure what those are, you'll know them but perhaps not by name... they're the branch-like scars or patterns which form on the human body or the ground after a lightning strike.) A symbol for finding beauty and strength through vulnerability. The video (below) was directed by Olivia Sofia Ferrara and is brill, as ever... as of course is the track. 

On the track, the duo share: "we were fascinated by Lichtenberg figures because of how they can look beautiful whilst coming from something so intensely dangerous and powerful as lightning. The song is about going through something traumatic and coming out the other side stronger, proving to yourself and others that you're unbeatable."

Follow Sunflower Thieves - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

WATCH: Francis of Delirium - 'The Funhouse'

Oh hello! Francis of Delirium are back and all might be alright, if only for a moment?! New track The Funhouse arrives with another brilliant self-directed video from Jana, and just when we need a dose of their honest no-holds-barred reflections on modern life. As always, every aspect here is superb, right down to Jana's closing "slow it down, slow it down." Perfect. 

On the track, Jana shares: "The Funhouse is largely about how we are adapting to the chaos that is present in our everyday lives. The way it can feel that the world is crashing down around us and in order to protect ourselves, we become numb to the sheer terror of it all. Sort of like walking through a funhouse and attempting to remain unphased by the mayhem that surrounds you."

Follow Francis of Delirium - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

LISTEN: Matilda Mann - 'Four Leaf Dream'

It's a bit of a dreary day so how about something to bring a little joy and comfort? A new Matilda Mann song always does the trick for me. Four Leaf Dream is her first new track since the release of the Sonder EP last year, and arrives just ahead of her first UK headline tour kicking off later this month. More to follow I hope... 

On the track, Matilda writes: "Four Leaf Dream is about letting go of the idea of someone. Sometimes we mould people and relationships to fit this idea we created in our heads - that they're perfect, that this is definitely right. Sometimes it stops you from seeing what they're actually like, and that it's best to let them go. I wrote this a few months ago with Rich Cooper in his studio. It was one of those songs that just so effortlessly came together." 


Follow Matilda Mann - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

WATCH: Ailsa Tully - 'Salt Glaze'

Last week was a bit ridiculous for new music, right? We saw the return of Florence + the Machine, Rae Morris and Nick Mulvey for one - and I am a little bit obsessed with the new Gang of Youths record too. Another new track which has been taking up space in my headphones this weekend is the new one from Ailsa Tully. Released via Dalliance Recordings, new track Salt Glaze touches on themes of family, friends, new relationships and home - it was written while Ailsa and her partner spent time living in her Grandma's old house during the lockdown in January last year. A beautiful home-made video captures this time and sits perfectly alongside the track. It's all just reaaaaally lush. 

Talking about the track, Ailsa shares: "My Grandma passed away a few years ago and the house remains unchanged, it was like a museum of salt glaze ceramic and abstract art pieces which began to absorb into my creativity. This song is about that space and how my partner and I tried to make it feel like home during that period while also knowing that it wasn't ours. It's ultimately a song about acceptance, balance and letting things be." 

Follow Ailsa Tully - Facebook | TwitterInstagram.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

WATCH: Deanna Petcoff - ‘Devastatingly Mediocre’

I'm digging this one, and loving the video too.... the track is Devastatingly Mediocre (brilliant name, but it is anything but...) from Deanna Petcoff. The Toronto-based artist is releasing her debut album To Hell With You, I Love You via Royal Mountain Records on 8th April and the lead track is brilliant, right?

Deanna explains: "I wrote this song when my friend was dating the most boring guy alive. He really was so normal, met the bare minimum of being a decent person, and yet she was so infatuated with him. At first I wrote this as a joke because I always called him devastatingly mediocre just to tease her, but when I showed it to my band they loved it and we decided to make it something real. I think it actually holds a lot of meaning for a lot of people - it's so easy to fall in love with someone just because you want to be in love, regardless of whether or not it really works."  

The video was directed by Michael Pugacewicz and Paige Foskett, who shared: "we wanted to capture the essence of repeating a vicious cycle with dating - how easy and relatable it is to keep dating the same person over and over until you learn whatever lesson you're supposed to learn. We felt like this song really begged us to lean into the campy early 2000s Avril Lavigne skater boy visuals, including the use of a handy cam to elevate the timelessness of this type of love interest, especially since we are seeing a comeback of this era. It was fun for us to put Deanna on a pedestal and give her the power in this video."

Follow Deanna Petcoff - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

LISTEN: Cj Pandit - '1, 2, Free'

Ahhhhh I love this. A reminder to 'back yourself and trust your instincts' from Cj Pandit, new track 1, 2, Free is a delight. It really feels like he is at once settling into his sound and constantly pushing the envelope - finding his unique sound, moving further away from the earlier Magique days (one for the OG fans) and firmly placing himself into our hearts and our playlists with this absolute gem. Each new release has me saying "I think this is my new favourite..." and I love that. This one is from his upcoming second EP, which I can't wait for. It's Cj Pandit's world for the taking, and I'm excited to be on the sidelines cheering him on. 

On the new track, he shares: "When we're falling head first into new relationships, it's easy to second guess each other's expectations and become over reliant on approval, when maybe we should be slightly more selfish. It's not always a bad word. That's what 1, 2, Free is all about, relying on your impulses and not holding people back."

"I was so heavily influenced by the Bee Gees songwriting and recording through the whole process and wanted to cover the song in as many voices and harmonies as possible to let myself float through the messy little world inside my head. It feels like a lift off to me." 


Cj Pandit tours the UK this October - find dates & tickets here!

Follow Cj Pandit - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

WATCH: Wallice - 'Little League'

All sorts of excited to see this in my inbox this week... new Wallice!!!! The LA-based musician is one of my favourite discoveries of recent years - a little bit in love with last year's Off The Rails EP. Brilliant news, then, that she's signed to Dirty Hit and is releasing her second EP this Spring. As a taster of the EP, Little League hits the spot perfectly. In fact, Wallice never misses. 

On the track, Wallice shares: "Little League is about my love of games (board and video) and my competitiveness. I also think people can relate to the fear of not being liked. I can hang out with a single friend for 5 days straight, and still each time they leave I feel like  - "oh no, they probably hate me because of something silly like being too competitive during a video game. This song was influenced by "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" by Radiohead, a band I grew up listening to." 

The video sees Wallice and her producer marinelli starring alongside fellow LA musicians spill tab, Mykey and mazie, as they play Mario Party esque mini-games within a board game. Wallice explains: "I immediately reached out to director Philip Stilwell when I came up with a concept for this video. He did such an amazing job when we had previously worked on my 'Hey Michael' video last year. I knew he could execute the right balance of serious and funny within a short video."

Wallice just announced her first London headline show at The Lexington on May 17th - tickets available here.

Follow Wallice - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

WATCH: Low Island - 'Everything Before Us'

Alright, I love this. My faves Low Island are back with their first new music since last year's If You Could Have It All Again, their brilliant debut album. New track Everything Before Us gets straight to the core of what we all love about the band, the very essence of them. Can I call it groovy?! Because it definitely is... sumptuous synths sit atop Carlos' silky-smooth lead vocals... every element is meticulously placed, and the finished product is a dream. I'm really into this one (can you tell?) and loving the freshly released live video even more... though it's just reinforcing that I really need to get to a Low Island gig this year. 

Carlos describes the new track as being about "profound care for another, looking at love not as a final destination, but as a continuous journey: something to be nurtured and looked after."

Low Island play their biggest headline show to date at London's Village Underground on April 14th, alongside their first European headline tour in Autumn. Full dates and tickets here.

Follow Low Island - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

WATCH: Everything Everything - 'Bad Friday'

Not going to lie, I saw all of the teasing on social media and somehow managed to miss that there was a new Everything Everything track on the way. I hopped on the train back from London last week and took out my phone to catch up with notifications from the evening... and... wait! A new EE song?! Cue back-to-back listens all the way out of London, of course. 

Did I ever mention how much I love this band?! In love with this track - it's EE at their best, and the video is one of their best, too. The excitement, however, doesn't stop there. 

Bad Friday is the first single to be taken from their upcoming album Raw Data Feel, due 20th May. They're even releasing a book (!) - Caps Lock On is a collection of lyrics, photos and archive material from the past 15 years. AND (more!) they're touring the UK in March and April. I think that's you just about caught up...


Head to the Everything Everything site here for album & book pre-order, and to check out the tour dates.

Follow Everything Everything - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 14 February 2022

LISTEN: néomí - 'if i wasn't made for love'

A dream of a debut for you today - I think this one is a little slice of musical perfection. if i wasn't made for love is the first release from néomí (aka Surinamese/Dutch folk-pop singer-songwriter Neomi Speelman). Neomi cites Bon Iver, Bob Dylan and Ben Howard as her main influences, referring to their music as art and poetry - "that's something I also really try to do; make little poems instead of songs." It's a solid trio to look up to, and Neomi's debut has some of the angelic harmonies of The Staves and First Aid Kid. For a debut, this is an all round gem. While the pandemic slowed things down for Neomi, she has signed to [PIAS] and has a selection of songs ready to share - I for one am certainly ready for more!

On the new track she shares: "'if i wasn't made for love' was written in a time where I doubted love in the most possible way ever. And let's be honest, love is the most stupid thing in the world. Think about it: you want someone, you fall in love, you love each other, you hate each other, it hurts, you break up, and you keep doing that because every time you think once more 'this is the one'. With 'if i wasn't made for love', I sing about the beauty and mystery of life. And what love brings to me, and I think also to others. The idea is: if life were simple, love would be simple as well. But in the end, it's wonderful that love is complicated. I'd rather be 'not made for love' than understand it." 

Follow néomí - Facebook | Instagram.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

An evening Lost in the Cedar Wood with Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane

I went to a gig a couple of days ago! Rejoice. Although ‘gig’ perhaps isn’t the right word, and doesn’t do the evening justice. In the candlelit setting of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a 340-capacity space that is part of the Globe Theatre no less (!) I saw two of my favourite writers, Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane, performing their album Lost In The Cedar Wood. Music there was, but it was so much more than a gig - a journey… a magical, bewildering evening of story and song, traversing across timelines and continents. Genuinely mesmerising. Tickets were difficult to come by and I feel SO incredibly lucky to have been there.

Music, stories, nature - this show couldn’t have been any more my cup of tea.

Having seen Johnny once before at the Roundhouse (the performance of Live at the Roundhouse album fame) I was very excited to get tickets to see him and Cosmo Sheldrake playing as part of a series of socially distanced folk gigs in Hackney towards the end of 2020. Sadly it wasn’t to be and the shows were put on hold and were eventually refunded a few months ago - the announcement of this pair of shows at the Globe came at around the same time. The world might not make it easy for me to see Johnny perform live, but it had offered up some kind of gig exchange.

While I’ve been in love with Johnny’s music for nearly a decade now (after buying the Country Mile vinyl at my local HMV on a whim) my love of Rob’s work is a more recent thing. Since starting work as a bookseller in 2019 I’ve gradually been made aware of Rob’s writing - for me, The Lost Spells was my introduction. The pocket-size (ish) follow-up to Rob and Jackie Morris The Lost Words (look it up), I couldn’t resist it upon its arrival into the shop, and have since been gradually acquiring most of Rob’s books. I’m currently reading Underland - slowly, savouring each page. Rob is genuinely a magician with words, and when I found that he and Johnny were collaborating on some music, my heart skipped a beat. The album was one of my favourite releases of last year… here’s what I wrote about it in my AOTY post:

In the past couple of years, my interest in and love for the natural world has increased dramatically, with furlough offering up more time to get into the garden and to go on walks locally. As my curiosity has grown, I've been seeking out writing on nature, and was unbelievably excited earlier this year to find that one of our best natural history writers, the great Robert Macfarlane, was releasing an album with one of my favourite folk artists, Johnny Flynn. A masterpiece waiting to happen, surely.

As I expected, the pair did not disappoint - Lost in the Cedar Wood is something to treasure and an album I will love for years to come. It arrived at exactly the time I needed it and perhaps could most appreciate it. My favourite line, from Enkidu Walked, describing my experience of the past two years - "the birds have my heart and they won't give it back to me." When two brilliant writers come together to make art it was never really in doubt that it would be something truly special...

Fast forward to Monday… negative covid tests, masks on - ready for the first train journey of the year. A novelty at the moment, that’s for sure. Wanting to make the most of the day out, we first visited the eight miles of bookshelves that make up Waterstones Piccadilly, before my first trip to the Natural History Museum in years. The foundations of a dreamy day, by all accounts. Food consumed (Wahaca - yum) it was almost time for the show, so we wandered along the south bank towards the Globe, passing the National Theatre and Tate Modern, and admiring that night-time London skyline for the first time in a *long* time.

There was time for a spot of birdwatching along the way, as a pair of Mute Swans bobbed around in the Thames, with Greylag Geese resting nearby, one eye open to observe passersby. The entire day had this vibe - spotting Great Tits flitting between trees outside the NHM, a Moorhen rooting around in the grass, and a pair of Cormorants flying over… Robins trying to out-sing one another near the Royal Albert Hall… Goldfinches in a tree just off of The Strand… the train journey too offered up Buzzards, Red Kites, Herons and an Egret. I’m incredibly grateful and excited by this new found love of just observing, of watching. There’s a lot to see when you take the time to look.

After an introduction by Robert and Johnny to the ‘world premiere (part 2)’ of the record, we settled in for an evening of stories and music, all surrounding the Epic of Gilgamesh, the inspiration for the record. It was unlike anything I have experienced before - Rob’s narration transporting us into these far distant settings - that of the Epic itself, and of George Smith, who translated it in the 1800s. Johnny portrayed Gilgamesh and George, intercepting Rob’s narration with lines, often witty. The script contained echoes of the music, and of Rob’s work more generally, I think - and suddenly, Johnny would fill the intimate venue with his song, no microphone needed - the audience were silent, and his voice carries with it a certain power. Some of that power is in knowing when to use it, with moments of tenderness interspersed throughout - if they wanted me to leave having felt a spectrum of emotions, they succeeded.

The songs (including two new ones…!) were utterly transfixing. It was incredibly special to experience tracks from an album that I love so much performed in such an all round beautiful setting. A highlight for me, though, was seeing firsthand the love that both Rob and Johnny have for one another’s art. Johnny clearly found Rob’s words as magical as the rest of us, and Rob’s love of Johnny’s music is no secret… at one point he broke the fourth wall (forgiven) to declare just how much he was enjoying sitting beside Johnny while he performed.

Theirs is one of my favourite working friendships, where both genuinely admire the other’s work, and they make up part of a beautiful ecosystem of musicians and writers with an interest in the environment that I very much wish to be part of. I guess, for the evening, I was…

Loitering in the foyer after the show, checking train times, adjusting coats and scarves… and full of the requisite emotions. I’d had a little cry and was full of adrenaline from the final song (with the audience erupting into a cacophony of clapping for the outro of The World To Come, reflecting the album recording which ends with pans clattering). All of a sudden I look up and… Cosmo Sheldrake! Ah! You all know how much I love Cosmo (and was gutted to not get to see him at the initial show with Johnny) and there he was… and just past him, Sam Lee! Folk musician and general hero of the scene, but also the author of the brilliant book The Nightingale.


We had a train to catch, and I didn’t want to interrupt friends reuniting… but just knowing that I’d seen them was a treat. Since the show, I’ve found this thread of tweets by Dr Amy-Jane Beer (author of, most recently, A Tree A Day) who was at the show with Sam as well as Nick Hayes (author of The Book of Trespass). A little bowled over to find in the replies that Merlin Sheldrake was there too - I’m traipsing slightly away from the ‘cool music’ and into the ‘things’ (about time) but my last year or so of bookselling have found me recommending Merlin’s book Entangled Life to just about anybody who will listen. While I didn’t talk to any of these incredible writers, I’m finding something really special in the fact that I got to share the experience with them, spending a couple of hours in that special venue on that lyrical journey…

There’s a chance this show could be taken on tour and I can only implore you to keep an eye out and get a ticket if you’re able to. Pure magic.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

WATCH: Mia Nicolai - 'Dream Go'

I've been a little bit in love with this one from Mia Nicolai since the track released a couple of months back, but didn't find time to write about it then.. loving it even more with this new video and just had to share! Born in Amsterdam to a Russian mother and Dutch father, Mia has been musical from an early age, and eager for new experiences too - this hunger took her to London, Melbourne, New York and Los Angeles (where this gorgeous video was shot.) The track and video, to me, are both bursting with personality - and I'm excited to see what Mia does next! 

Dream Go finds Mia exploring the disappointment of meeting somebody special, making plans, having dreams, and things not turning out how you'd expected. She shares "I was in pain, it felt like the dreams I had in the relationship weren't even close to coming to the right fruition, it hurt cos I really wanted it to work out but it somehow didn't seem to, no matter how hard we worked at it." 

Follow Mia Nicolai - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

ALBUM NEWS: Bear's Den - 'Blue Hours'

Wait wait wait... you're telling me I haven't already written about the new Bear's Den track and album news?! What now? If you've been following the blog for a while it's hard to escape how much I love these guys, and I once again might have had a sneaky early listen of this one... best perk. Many listens later and I confirmed what I could've guessed - they're back, they're brilliant, and I love them to bits. 

Spiders is taken from new album Blue Hours (!!!) which is due on May 13th via the lovely folk at Communion Records

Having both struggled with their own mental health in recent years and being avid supporters of the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) the album finds mental health as it's over-riding theme. Davie explains "it probably speaks to our struggles and hopefully many other people's too. Men are not very good at talking. We're not really taught how to - men have no idea how to talk about this stuff, certainly to each other." The album's title describes "a kind of imaginary space you get into at night, a place where you process difficult things or where you try to figure everything out." 

I'll no doubt be rambling plenty more about the record until (and after..) the release in May, so for now, here's the new track: 

On the track, Davie shares: "I started writing Spiders around the time we left London. In my head, I thought moving would solve lots of problems, like everything will be better. Spiders is a song dealing with the fact that this absolutely wasn't the case. I had this vision in my head that I'd be at one with nature, that I'd be calmer - but all the things that were rattling around in my brain before were still there after the move. The song is about the fact you can't run away from the things that are bothering you." 

"While making the record we wanted to get across a kind of simmering intensity with the song and the idea of someone trying to keep their shit together while wrestling with these darker thoughts and feelings. We wanted to get across a sense of bravery & triumph in saying, "sometimes I can't pull myself out" of these difficult situations. To celebrate the difficult moments because we all have them. They are a universally shared experience even if it feels sometimes like they're not and you're the only one who feels them." 

Follow Bear's Den Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

LISTEN: PRISMA - 'I Never Wanted To Meet You'

Time for a new discovery that I'm really digging at the moment from Danish sister duo PRISMA (Frida and Sirid Møl Kristensen) - I Never Wanted To Meet You. I'm a sucker for some sisterly harmonies, and these, set atop an energetic slice of scandi-pop, are a beauty. Properly love this! 

The new track, inspired by their own experiences, is all about liberating yourself from negative people in your life. Ohhhh yes. On the track, Sirid shares: "I realised that having this person in my life wasn't doing me any good. I needed to make a choice, focusing on what was best for me. I can't have people around me that no longer contribute to my life." 

The track hints more generally at the music they've been creating lately, in its themes and sounds. They share: "there's this new drive in us. We have this energy inside, and we need to get it out. It doesn't have to be pretty, and we don't have to make perfect takes. The important thing is to emphasise the nerve of the music - this specific energy." 

If you like this, join me in exploring their 2020 EP Her. So far so brilliant. 

Follow PRISMA - Facebook | Instagram.

Monday, 24 January 2022

WATCH: Sunflower Thieves - 'I Don't Know Why'

Anyone else in the need of some musical therapy after the weekend? A couple of walks in two of my favourite nature reserves definitely went a long way in alleviating some stress this weekend, but if I was going to prescribe myself a song to help then I couldn't do much better than this gorgeous new one from Sunflower Thieves. It's no secret that I love their beautiful ethereal harmonies, and this new track, taken from an upcoming EP and complete with a brass section (cry) is aaaaall kinds of lovely. Let them soothe your soul....

On the release, Amy & Lily share: "The track is about how complicated close relationships can be. How the differences in the way we live our lives and follow what we think can affect our understanding of each other, and equally of ourselves." 

Follow Sunflower Thieves - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

ALBUM NEWS: Lou Roy - 'Pure Chaos'

Exciting news time! My pals at Balloon Machine have only gone and announced a record by an artist that they love, and who I think you're all going to fall for too... not to mention the music video I'm about to share is full of dogs. Exciting news all round, I reckon. 

I enjoyed recent single Valkyrie (which features a bottle as a the percussive string holding the track together - we love an unusual instrument!) but have SO much love for new single Uppercut. It feels like the perfect introduction to Lou as an artist. Confident, experimental, joyful and unapologetically herself, the track is taken from Lou's debut album Pure Chaos (an ode to finding joy) which was co-produced alongside Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties and is due via Balloon Machine on April 29th. Can't wait! 

Now, dogs! A brilliant song! Go forth and enjoy... 

Follow Lou Roy Twitter | Instagram.