Thursday 27 October 2022

LISTEN: néomí - 'red balloon'

Fancy some ethereal beauty for your Thursday morning? I've got you. The new track from néomí is a stunner. Following up the before EP from earlier this year, she's back with red balloon and I'm still very much in love - it's a joy to see the evolution of Neomi's sound across singles. 

On the track, she shares: "red balloon was written in the winter of 21. I'd moved into a new home together with my boyfriend and we were going through a tough time. He suggested we write a song together so we went to the piano, sat down having not discussed a lot, and just let the music speak. Little did we know we were writing a break-up song as we parted a couple of months later. Maybe we did know, but we were just very content at that moment creating a song together. I still love that man very much, but love is a very complicated thing as you might understand. The song wasn't finished so months later I decided to finish it up with a good friend of mine. I gave it a twist, as my heart literally burst like a red balloon at that time. Now I just hope that one day I'll be lifted like a beautiful red balloon that didn't rip open."

"The song is about knowing you love someone very much, knowing you want to be with someone still, knowing it doesn't work out the way you want to, knowing that it might be over soon, trying to hold on, trying to let go, losing yourself and for that reason hoping that one day you can cope with the fact you let that one person go and feel gracious again without them."

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Monday 24 October 2022

LISTEN: Siv Jakobsen - 'Tangerine'

"I'm a tangerine, peel me, throw me in the sink. Leave me there to stink."

As opening lines go, Siv Jakobsen has struck lyrical gold. Having recently shared the first part of her Gardening record, we're onto desperately awaiting part two, which is due via The Nordic Mellow on 20th January. The first taste of that half is new track Tangerine. With dream team Marcus Hamblett and Emma Gatrill adding synths and bass clarinet to the track, it's a delectable musical delight. 

The track is told from the perspective of somebody who feels helpless and trapped - "I imagined someone who was held against their own will inside a run of the mill suburban house, looking out from the front room and willing for someone to come let them out. This someone is mentally stuck, a deer in headlights, scared and frozen. Not wanting to stay but unable to leave - worthless in another's world, like a carefully peeled, squashed and tossed tangerine." 

Siv Jakobsen has been announced as UK tour support for Beach Bunny this November - dates here.

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Thursday 20 October 2022

LISTEN: Banji - 'Freshcakes'

I'm not posting much at the moment as I'm really struggling to find the time, but dropping in now and then to share things that I love - and at the moment, that's the debut album from Banji. It's ridiculously good. I've been a fan since the first single found its way into my inbox almost exactly two years ago, and I am all kinds of excited that the album is finally out. It's been a great soundtrack for my commutes over the past few days. You can (and must..!) listen to Freshcakes here, but to whet your appetite, there's a lovely acoustic session from a few days ago below.

Talking about the process of making the record, frontman Morris Brandt explains: "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." 

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Tuesday 11 October 2022

LISTEN: Connie Constance - 'Hurt You'

Agh, I love Connie Constance. Her debut album Miss Power arrives in a few weeks via Play It Again Sam and she's just shared another brilliant cut from it. You know that an artist is brilliant when each new track becomes an immediate favourite, and this is certainly the case with Connie's music - I fell in love with James on first listen a couple of years back, and have gone through obsessions with Electric Girl, Prim & Propa, Miss Power and Mood Hoover since then. I might have a new obsession now.

On the track, Connie explains: "My revenge song, this is a song for all the villains that are just a product of their environment. This is for the Joker and Harley Quinn. In this realm the villain is the peoples champion and anarchy reins. As an artist people think you just get lucky, one song blows up and that's it you're a success over night. 

No one sees the years before that, they don't hear the years of music that didn't make it out the hard drives or the note pads. This song is about the lowest time in my life and in my career when Connie Constance the artist was dead and buried and it's about how I climbed out that grave and didn't let anyone take my love of writing and my hunger to share my music away from me. 

If I wasn't mad before I'm definitely a bit crazy now. But I feel bulletproof cause I had to fight to get my powers back. Nobody should ever have to feel stuck or unworthy. I hope this song reaches anyone who feels trapped, scared or squashed and I hope they listen to it before and after tell their oppressor to get fucked."

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Monday 3 October 2022

WATCH: Divorce - 'Checking Out'

You all love Divorce, right? Of course you do. You definitely should do. Not *that* divorce... the superb indie four-piece from Nottingham. They've just shared Checking Out (my current obsession) with news of their debut EP Get Mean, which is due via Hand In Hive on December 2nd. I cannot wait! If you enjoy this one - check out the equally brilliant Pretty and Services.

Talking about the track, Tiger Cohen-Towell explains: "the track was written when a group of musician friends and I did a songwriting exercise, the challenge being to write five songs in five days. I think it was maybe the 4th day of the process and I wanted to write something that was as far away from myself as possible, I was tired of my own personal narratives. 

I've always loved dramatic country and western ballads and a major inspiration for the track was country-singer Marty Robbins, who writes the most intense 'gunfighter ballads', which are bordering on slap-stick in their incessant violence and all-American heroism. I wanted to flip that on its head by having a female narrator who feels justified in her heinous act because those gunfighter ballads make you root for the underdog anti-hero, even if they are behaving completely irrationally - that's a running theme in country music I think. 'Checking Out' is satirical and humorous, whilst getting into the head of a person who has been pushed too far and had enough of mistreatment in a relationship (although I don't condone murder!)"

Divorce are Tiger Cohen-Towell (vocals, bass), Felix Mackenzie-Barrow (vocals, electric guitar), Adam Peter Smith (electric guitar) and Kasper Sandstrøm (drums).

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