Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Music: Emily Burns - Bitch

Regular / long term readers of Breaking More Waves will recognise the name Emily Burns; she first appeared on this blog back in 2013 with a now long deleted song called Plasters, Glitter and Glue. At the time I compared her to a new wave of young acoustic singer songwriters that were making a name for themselves; Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin and Nina Nesbitt.

Since then Emily’s music has transitioned from vocals and acoustic guitar to out and out contemporary pop which we last heard in 2016 with the Sound of Fractures produced Take It Or Leave It, a quality cut which picked up some traction music blogs. 

Now the 22 year-old is back with new pink hair and her most of-the-moment tune so far. It seems that her momentum is continuing as Bitch isn’t self-released, but through 37 Adventures – a label that has brought you the likes of Rosie Lowe, Jones and Salute.

Bitch finds Emily looking back at a past friendship / relationship and wondering how that person has been doing since they went their own ways and reflecting on what she’s heard of that other person, as they have mutual friends: “You say you’re flying now I’m gone, don’t care about me no more, you think I’m crying well I’m not, I’ve never been quite this sure.” It’s quite a jam and then some. 

Bitch was produced by biLLLy and recorded at Abbey Road Studios, where she works as a receptionist and used her down-time there to record. It’s not the first time Emily has recorded in the famous studios though having bagged the opportunity to record some of her earlier work there a number of years ago after attending a BBC Introducing masterclass session.

Bitch is spikey, full spirited and likely to make the ears of any pop fan tingle with excitement.

Emily Burns - Bitch

New Music: Introducing - Yawwn

Somewhere out there on the internet or perhaps in a dusty cobweb covered library there’s some ancient directory called Band Names Volumes 1 to 10. It contains every single moniker that’s possible for every group and every time a new one emerges their name is deleted from the directory. With the development of Google the directory had to be updated to include all those Google optimised bad spellings like Chvrches or Deadmau5, giving a fresh and almost unlimited supply of ideas for those who are struggling to find something original.

Which brings me to south London double denim wearing five-piece Yawwn. You can probably see where I’m going with this already. In terms of names it seems like this lot drew the short straw – you can just see the jokes about them being boring tumbling in already. 

Thankfully though despite the sleepy name the music is excellent. Debut single Partisan is a melee of slacker grooves, indie rock, weird bubbling sounds, piano stabs and slow bump and grind bass. It also has an addictively simple killer chorus: “I have a feeling that I’ll need you always.” I imagine (and this is complete guess work) that their record collection contains everything from art-school funk, to psychedelic, to straight up alternative indie rock, disco and pop. What I do know for sure however is that this is in no way dull or sleep inducing. Partisan is a preening piece of musical joy. Get ready to stop yawning and get dancing.

Partisan was recorded between the band’s South Wimbledon rehearsal space and Konk Studios, and is the first track off a forthcoming EP. Yawwn played their first shows last November supporting Kane Strang on his UK tour, including a gig at Oslo, Hackney. Partisan is officially launched on 13th January at the very first of their own Club Yawwn nights in SW19 London, which according to the information I’ve been sent includes ‘Meal Deals’. I’m not sure if that’s the name of a band or a packet of sandwiches, a bag of crisps and a smoothie for £3, but either way I like the idea. 

Yawwn - Partisan

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

New Music: Coutney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain

I first came across the music of Courtney Marie Andrews early last year when Leigh from Just Music I Like Blog (R.I.P – the blog, not Leigh) recommended her Honest Life album to me. If I remember correctly Leigh had bought the vinyl in Resident Music in Brighton simply because he liked the very sixties styled cover and the write up that was posted with the record in the shop. Upon listening, I found I enjoyed the songs but as a complete album it didn’t blow me away. Perhaps Andrews’ acoustic country sounds, whilst lovely, were just a bit too samey over the course of a whole record for me.

However, the title track from Andrews’ forthcoming long-player May Your Kindness Remain, which premiered on NPR Music today,  is a revelation and leads me to completely reappraise her work. For this is stunning. Here Andrews steps out beyond just simple country music to something bigger, bolder, warmer and more soulful. It reminds me in places of ex-Lone Justice lead singer Maria McKee’s more mellow songs on her solo self-titled album, particularly with the touches of bombastic gospel that punctuate the latter part of the song (or maybe it’s just because she sings of ‘a good heart’ – the tune that McKee wrote and Undertones man Feargal Sharkey had a UK no.1 with)

In a world that seems harsher and ever more judgemental than before, Andrews takes a step back with this piece of powerful beauty and offers a simple antidote to the subject of her song: “If your money runs out and your good looks fade, may your kindness remain.” She’s right of course. Being nice to people is actually far more important and will make you much more content than what culture tends to push down our throats as 'success', namely monetary gain, physical perfection and attaining status. 

Courtney Marie Andrews plays a handful of shows in the UK in a few weeks time (Glasgow on the 31st Jan, Oxford 3rd Feb and a 2 tiny pub shows in Guildford (one of which is a matinee show and still has a handful of tickets left), then heads over to the US before returning to the UK in April for a larger tour. The album May Your Kindness Remain is due March 23rd and can be pre-ordered from her Bandcamp by clicking here.

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

New Music: INHEAVEN - Sweet Dreams Baby

Indie rock is dead. Guitar music is dead. Bands are dead. Blah blah blah. 

Maybe to you Mr / Ms Music Journalist. But not to me. Music doesn’t die. To treat it as such is to treat it as fashion. Or your latest one-night stand before you move onto your next conquest. Music is for life. Sure, indie rock might not be bursting at the seams with original ideas right now, but that’s perhaps because it has simply reached the equivalent of middle age in much the same way as folk music has. Yet you don’t see people saying folk music is dead just because The Dubliners haven’t had a no.1 album do you? It’s something I’ve argued numerous times on this blog and will continue to do so until this blog stops. 

And if you are looking for change or a revolution in ideas in indie rock then even if it’s not happening artistically, it’s happening in the politics of gender. Whereas in the past indie was dominated by men, now we are slowly moving forward to a position of equality. There's still a long way to go but things are gradually shifting.

So let’s forget all the R.I.P indie rock crap that gets written and just celebrate good music, whatever genre it is.

Here’s one example. A new song from INHEAVEN that follows their debut self-titled album last year. Sweet Dreams Baby is a pure and unfiltered slice of indie rock goodness. The drums pound, the guitars create all sorts of noisy atmospherics and in amongst it all a triumphant chorus gasps. The second best song to feature the words sweet dreams in the title. They've still got to go some to beat Eurythmics though.

The band start a UK tour in my hometown of Portsmouth on January 31st (where they are supported by Brighton’s Thyla and the Isle of Wight’s Freazy) and follow that up by heading out to the USA to support Pale Waves.

INHEAVEN - Sweet Dreams Baby (Video)