Friday, 18 August 2017

New Music: Introducing - Maisie Peters

Listening to all of the Spotify UK New Music Friday playlist can at the best of times be quite an endurance test even for the most hardened of new music fans. However, this week there’s plenty that hits my buttons marked ‘Quite Good’, ‘Very Good’ and ‘Excellent’ amongst the dirge; a couple of those songs I’ve already posted (Pale Waves yesterday and Flyte earlier today) and there’s also the likes of Fickle Friends, Off Bloom and Anna Of The North that could all have all easily have found their way onto these pages.

One of the most intriguing songs on the list is right near the top. Alongside the as usual commercial high fliers such as Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus you’ll find the name Maisie Peters. Maisie describes herself as a 'singer songwriter from Brighton who likes writing songs with too many words in them and prefers the term vertically challenged'. Yesterday 17 year old Maisie picked up her AS-Level results (she got 3 As) and today she releases her debut single proper after a few years of developing an audience through You Tube. 

If you like early Kate Nash you're almost guaranteed to like those You Tube tracks such as Maybe (below) and Over You. The single Place We Were Made sounds like a breath of fresh air amongst the paint by numbers pop of much of the rest of the New Music Friday list. It's a delightful and evocative acoustic piece which finds Maisie singing of teenage life in a small town; fake ID, stealing gin from a friends dad, talking about boys, fires on the beach. There's still a hint of similarity to Nash's songwriting here, but Place We Were Made veers off in a folkier direction that defines Peters as very much her own artist.

Maisie Peters - Maybe (Video)

Maisie Peters - Place We Were Made

New Music: Flyte - Faithless

Here’s another old song that has become a new song, released today. Faithless by Flyte first got a mention on Breaking More Waves back in 2013. This is what I wrote at the time as I introduced them: “Here’s a band who know how to write a real corker of a tune, with all that basic stuff that so many bands forget; great melodies, harmonies, variety and an accessible inventiveness that draws you in further. We hear elements of Tom Petty, Orange Juice, Roy Orbison and Talking Heads in what they do, as well as The Beatles in this gorgeous song called Faithless.” Ah yes, the days when I used the royal 'we' even though it was only me and then realised that was a bit weird. 

Quite why Faithless has taken so long to get an official release is beyond me. (Possible answer – the music industry is a bit useless – but I’m sure there’s a better reason than that). Anyway, better late than never. Take a listen to Faithless below. It sounds utterly out of time and out of place with most modern music, and is so much better for it. What a song. On repeat x 1000.

Flyte - Faithless

New Music: Alice Jemima - Home

Appearing on streaming services today with no fanfare pop singer songwriter and long-time Breaking More Waves favourite Alice Jemima returns with a new song. Of course, what is new to the casual listener often isn’t new to the fan, certainly I’ve heard Alice play this one a number of times live. 

Home is the musical equivalent of a peach. It’s certainly a little bit fruity. It's all about desire. Here we find Alice singing of wanting to go back to someone elses place, trying to erase the memories of a ‘love I used to know’ from her head. But it goes further than that, with Alice singing of ending up in a romantic situation under the stars on a rooftop. “Hoping you feel this to, kind of thinking you do, by the look in your eyes, by the kiss you’ve just supplied.” 

Home wasn’t featured on Alice’s debut album, but this is far from some cast off / b-side material; with its hook that seeps softly into the brain and slinky mix of electronics and indie guitars that Alice does so smoothly and so well, this is as good as anything else she has released. It also does that classic singer-songwriter trick of opening the song with the line that will eventually become the chorus to place it immediately in your head even before you even realise that it is the chorus. Sneaky.

Alice has been playing a number of UK festivals this summer including Secret Garden Party, Boardmasters and Camp Bestival with The Big Feastival being her next stop.

Alice Jemima - Home

Thursday, 17 August 2017

New Music: Pale Waves - Television Romance

If you were to eat a piece of cake and the first slice tasted delicious you’d probably be tempted to have another. But would that second slice be more enjoyable, less enjoyable or about the same? And if you enjoyed it just as much, would you eat another slice and then keep going, slice after slice until you had eaten the whole cake? 

It’s a bit like that with the new Pale Waves song Television Romance for me. I really liked their previous tune There’s A Honey; it was an extremely hooky piece of indie pop. But.....Television Romance sounds an awful lot like that, particularly the chorus where you can virtually sing the chorus of There's A Honey over the top of the song and it doesn't sound wrong. So in theory I should like this just as much. But it's a dilemma. Because is that second slice really as good as the first? If I'd eaten the second slice without tasting the first it would have definitely been superb.

What I'm trying to say (badly) is that our tastes and perceptions of music are affected by what has gone before. It's not quite as simple as just listening to every song in isolation.

Let's continue this idea forward. What if the band released a whole album of songs that sounded very similar? Would I like that? Probably not. For me it's why a band like Oasis became ever less exciting with every album and why David Bowie always kept my attention.

If music is the food of love, give me excess of it, but make sure that it continues to interest me, challenge me and take me to new and exciting places, otherwise eventually the appetite will die.

So that’s a thumbs up for Television Romance,it is ultimately a good song (and yes, like the previous tune it sounds a lot like The 1975 version 2.0 / rebranded), but there’s going to have to be more variety in the future to keep me engrossed. 

Pale Waves - Television Romance