Wednesday 3 April 2024

LISTEN: Bess Atwell - 'Fan Favourite'

Ooft. My fave musical gals are very much smashing it at the moment - I'm devouring The Staves new record on a loop, we're just over a week away from a new Maggie Rogers record (remain calm) and there's new Lucy Rose on the way - what a time!!! I can't get enough of this either - with an Aaron Dessner produced record on the horizon, Bess Atwell recently shared new single Fan Favourite and it is exactly that. Sublime.

Speaking about the track, Bess said: "I wrote Fan Favourite after watching some behind the scenes footage from a popular TV show. Not even a die-hard fan of the show myself - I can't remember what it was now - I found myself emotional watching the cast's wrap party. I felt jealous of the sense of community and opportunity to reflect on shared experiences and history. I pictured my own family's "wrap party" and what that would look like. The sadness, humour, disappointment and joy that would come with acknowledging the huge shared experience we've had in this life. The song also touches on the passing of time, a sense of dissociation, and feeling as though you've missed out on life despite still living it.

Fan Favourite is an attempt at a self-wake-up call so I wanted the production to sparkle, breathe and feel alive, the instrumentation a reminder that life is indeed still there to be lived."

Light Sleeper is due on May 24th via Real Kind Records - pre-order the album here.

Follow Bess Atwell - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 25 March 2024

WATCH: Cosmo Sheldrake - 'Interdimensional (Live from the studio)'

Worth a watch for the snazzy jumpers alone, I couldn't let this video pass by without featuring it here. The magnificently talented Cosmo Sheldrake just shared the latest pair of tracks from his upcoming album, alongside a video of a live studio performance of Interdimensional, featuring HOWL and a brilliant array of accompanying musicians. I'm obsessed with all of it, to be honest. I've said it before and I'll say it again - imagine NOT being a fan of Cosmo! This is just all sorts of magic. 

On the song, Cosmo says "Interdimensional felt as though it came almost in one long thought, but it took about four all night sessions for it to emerge. It is another one that came to me while on a solo musical retreat in Somerset. It is about the feeling of losing the normal sense of self." 

Cosmo's new record Eye to the Ear is due for release on April 12th - pre-order it here.

Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

WATCH: Half Moon Run - 'Can't Stop Loving You'

Aghhhhh, how great are Half Moon Run?! MontrĂ©al's sweethearts are back with new track Can't Stop Loving You (which is ironic because I can't stop loving them either!!!) from the Salt album sessions and it is a stunner. I'll be honest, they've never disappointed - since stumbling across them almost by accident when I picked up their debut album in a multi-buy in HMV over a decade ago (say what now) I've been firmly in camp HMR, and I'm adoring this new track. 

On the release, the guys share: "Back when we we deep in the writing process for Salt, we had been working very hard on a different song for many hours, and were starting to consider going home for the night, when Devon started singing the chorus-line. He later mentioned it had popped spontaneously into his head in the day or two since we’d last been together. We whipped together the arrangement very quickly and recorded the demo-version that very night. 

We always knew we'd find the right moment to release 'Can't Stop Loving You' and the time has now finally come!"

Follow Half Moon Run - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

WATCH: Cosmo Sheldrake - 'Old Ocean'

There's a new Cosmo Sheldrake album on the way. What a time to be alive!!!! Eye To The Ear is due via Cosmo's own Tardigrade Records on 12th April (not long!!!) and somehow I managed to get myself an early listen - it is magnificent. Obviously. Twenty-one tracks! All beautiful and inventive and wild and bonkers and just brilliant! Run is giving me allll of the heffalumps and woozles vibes. Just you wait! More on the record in due course...

Cosmo recently shared a couple of tracks from the album, including the superb single Old Ocean, which arrives with an equally superb video. 

On the track, Cosmo shares "Old Ocean, like many songs on this album, was made almost entirely using solar power. I spent much of 2020 and some of 2021 living in a small off-grid cottage powered by an unpredictable generator, so I made a temporary solar powered studio. Around this time there was a lot of discussion of so-called 'alternative facts', and the idea of truth was becoming ever more slippery in public discourse. In this song I try to make sense of these developments against the ever present back drop of acidification, dead zones, deep sea mining, coral reef bleaching, over fishing, noise pollution, and many other threats that the ocean faces."

“I am very excited to share the music video for Old Ocean directed by Narna Hue. We had a lot of fun making it. Narna created wonders with the amazing sets, costumes and choreography. Shot by the wonderful Tom Jacobs. Many thanks also to the brilliant dancers and collaborators, Wilm Danby, GrĂ¡inne Young-Monaghanm and to Flora Wallace, who also helped make the costumes.”

Follow Cosmo Sheldrake - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 15 February 2024

WATCH: Maggie Rogers - 'Don't Forget Me'

I just stumbled onto the blog, thinking that I should probably write something soon.... and I was greeted with the glorious sight of 500,000 (!) all-time views. Say what?! That's a big number. Whether you're here by accident, or you're a regular scroller of my infrequent rambles - hi. Thank you! 

Now, there couldn't really be anything else that I need to write about right now when my headphones have been slightly consumed with one particular piece of new music for the last week or so. In fact, I got an early listen of this and cried in the staffroom, of course I did. Absolute queeeeen Maggie Rogers is back with Don't Forget Me, the title track from her upcoming third album, due on 12th April (the same day as Cosmo Sheldrake's new album - lord help me.) I've listened a fair few times already and I am adoring the new track. Maggie is making exactly the music she wants to right now, and you can tell. It's gorgeous. 

I have had so much fun at every stage of making this album. I think you can hear it in the songs. And I’m finding it’s sort of the key ingredient to making all of this really fly.

This album was written over five days, two songs a day — three days in December 2022, two in January 2023. It was written in chronological order.

Some of the stories on this album are mine. And for the first time really, some of them are not.

I wanted to make an album that sounded like a Sunday afternoon. Worn in denim. A drive in your favourite car. No make up, but the right amount of lipstick. Something classic. The mohair throw and bottle of Whiskey in Joan Didion's motel room. An old corvette. Vintage, but not overly Americana. I wanted to make an album to belt at full volume alone in your car, a trusted friend who could ride shotgun and be there when you needed her.

This has been such a transformational and special time in my life. I’m so grateful for many years of support and care I’ve been offered to let me come to all of this in my way and in my time. I can honestly say I’m more ready than I've ever been…and most importantly, I’m having a blast. I hope you love this record as much as I do.

Maggie Rogers - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 2 February 2024

LISTEN: Hailaker - 'Lorely'

Picture the scene. You've been living under a rock, and somehow you missed the real beaaaaautiful return of Hailaker. Hey, you might even have somehow slept on Hailaker in the first place? Poor you. Fear not, I'm here to rectify that. The duo (brill artists Jemima Coulter and Ed Tullett) just came back with Lorely, their first new music in almost three years (wild?!) and it is a pure delight. On repeat. 

I should be getting to sleep, so... maybe that's all I have to say at the moment. They're brill - you should listen to them. Let me know when you do!

Follow Hailaker - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 25 January 2024

WATCH: Siv Jakobsen - 'America'

Just over a year ago, Siv Jakobsen kicked off 2023 with one of my favourite albums of the year, her third album, Gardening. It's properly beautiful stuff. If you haven't listened yet: sort it out. It turns out there was a song missing, kind of. One that had been intended to be the opener for the album, but that Siv wasn't quite ready to put out at the time. A year on, America is out in the world and is, unsurprisingly, a stunner. Over to Siv... 

I moved to America in 2009, shortly after my 20th birthday. Fueled by endless episodes of Gilmore Girls and Friends, I wanted to live out my version of the The American Dream. The song “America” is about the substantial grief I felt when I packed up my life and left the US again only 5 years later. After having been convinced for most of that time that I would make it my forever home, giving up that dream felt like a massive defeat.

In most ways I had an incredible experience in the US. I made friends for life and wouldn’t ever take back the time spent there. But when I realised that I wanted - needed - to go home to Norway, it felt like a real defeat. I felt like I had failed; at my life in the US, at my then crumbling relationship, and at my music-career that I was trying to get off the ground at that point. I went home, tail between my legs, realising that 20 year old me had been wrong.

America was the very first song recorded for Gardening. For a long time it was set to be the opening track, a subtle intro to the album ahead, with it’s Disney-esque intro and soft arrangement. However, as the recording process developed it became increasingly clear that although it is part of the Gardening universe for me on a personal level, it didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the record. A bit of an odd one out thematically, and yet right at the heart of it all.

Follow Siv Jakobsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Sunday 14 January 2024

WATCH: The Vaccines - 'Discount De Kooning (Last One Standing)'

Ah, the glorious feeling of a new year with so much exciting new music ahead of us! As if my list of upcoming releases didn't already look completely beautiful, Cosmo Sheldrake just announced that he's releasing the first two tracks from his new album this week. Novo Amor seems to be teasing new music too... and albums from The Staves, Everything Everything, Sam Lee and MGMT are on my radar. 

Two weeks into the year and already so much new music to wrap our ears around! I can't wait to give the new records from Marika Hackman and Emma Gatrill a listen. For now, though, I've been a little caught up with Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations from long-time favourites of mine, The Vaccines. Way to start the year with an album of the year contender. Their sixth studio album and arriving three years after Back In Love City, it is 31 minutes and 34 seconds of pure joy. I love those guys. 

Whetting your appetites here with the current single, Discount De Kooning (Last One Standing). Superb!

Follow The Vaccines - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.