Wednesday 20 September 2023

LISTEN: The Staves - 'You Held It All'

You heard it here first: I'm well and truly back in my The Staves era. So many of my favourite artists are coming back with new songs and albums at the moment and I have fallen pretty hard for this one. The duo are back with You Held It All, their first release via Communion Records (a match made in heaven, I think?) and their first new music since the 2021 album Good Woman (my album of the year.) It is almost TOO good?! I haven't much to say, apart from that I love these sisters so much. Crossing my fingers that there's an album on the way, but for now, I'll happily listen to this one on repeat...

On the track, the band share: "You Held It All is a song about understanding, and the knots we tie ourselves in when we don't express our truth; and how much power and freedom there can be when we do."    

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Thursday 7 September 2023

LISTEN: Stornoway - 'The Navigator' (feat. Sam Lee)

Months on, it still doesn't seem quite real that Stornoway are back but they really are - they're several festivals down, have an instore tour and a regular tour on the way, and their new album Dig The Mountain! arrives on October 6th. What a time to be alive! The new music keeps arriving and I think that you could hardly wish for a more dreamy coming together of voices than Brian Briggs and Sam Lee. I'm certain that the band's new track The Navigator is something I dreamt up. I think I must like it a fair bit - a couple of weeks after release it is already in my top three most streamed songs of the year. That good! 

On the track, Brian shares: “this song was inspired by [a] sailing adventure with friends. For me there is no more powerful way to get perspective than to go in a small boat out of sight of land. There is surely no wilder place, no situation where you feel smaller or more vulnerable. We had no choice but to tune deeply into the shifting wind and waves that governed our days. Worries and problems shrank and were blown away. And a shared sense of isolation brought us together as a motley crew, whilst also making us question where we were going in our own lives. 

It was a pleasure to record Sam Lee’s rich, woody baritone on a warm, May day in a Gloucestershire woodland. He made a wonderful addition to the crew!" 

Sam adds: “The wait is over and Stornoway have returned with a bounty of utterly stunning songs. It seems their time away from playing has only made them a better band!”

Dig the Mountain! arrives 6th October - pre-order/pre-save here. Also very much worthy of note is the exciting news that the band are re-issuing their debut album Beachcomber's Windowsill on vinyl via the lovely Dinked (details here) on 8th December. You can pre-order that from a selected bunch of independent record stores (I'd recommend Resident Records in Brighton for a brilliant postal service if like me you don't have one particularly local to you!) 

Follow Stornoway - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Sam Lee - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

LISTEN: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'I Want To Be Your Only Pet'

Welcome to the latest in a long line of: songs I'm obsessed with. Bombay Bicycle Club are just the absolute best, aren't they? I am living for the promo they're doing for their upcoming record. Digging up MSN conversations from the early days of the band? Too pure. A karaoke instore tour where fans got up on stage and performed as part of the band? Incredible. They're clearly having a great time promoting the album, performing and making music at the moment and I'm very much here for it! 

I Want To Be Your Only Pet is the latest in a run of superb singles from the album - with a properly classic Bombay riff that just seems to get better on each listen. The idea of this one rushing over me at a gig some time soon... yes please?! P.S - I managed to sneak an early listen and the entire album is brill, obviously.

On the new track, Jack shares: "I was just playing around with guitar sounds at soundcheck, and started playing this riff. Jamie must have heard something in it because he got out his phone and started recording. For the next few months he would constantly text me to ask "have you written a song around that riff yet?" So finally I did to stop him harassing me. To me it sounds like if Abbey Road era Beatles had a love child with Rated R era Queens of the Stone Age." 

My Big Day is due for release on 20th October - pre-order/pre-save here.

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