Friday, 25 July 2014

Georgia Mason - New Waves

Here’s a mystery. Sometimes we come across new artists or music away from the internet, or read or hear about a musician that we think may interest us, but we don’t have time to investigate that day. So we metaphorically throw them in the modern equivalent of a filing cabinet (the notes page on our phone) and investigate at a later date.

One name that has been sitting there for a while now with a question mark against it is Georgia Mason. The mystery is we have no idea how it got there. If you told us about her let us know please.We’re glad it made it, because Georgia Mason is very good indeed. Her voice is both gritty and delicate, carrying the unique colour of youth with it, but if we were pushed for comparisons we’d go for Duffy (remember her?) Rosie Oddie (and anyone remember her?) plus Berkshire’s Haze. 

It’s not just about the voice though, she’s got the songs as well. The three tracks on her Soundcloud are all top notch. The lead track from her debut EP Running Blind is a timeless string and piano based piece of pop, Reach Out is a soulful jazzy effort once coated with an additional layer of smooth orchestration, whilst No No No is classic retro pop. 

A bit of digging tells us that she’s already come to the attention of Jimmy Hogarth, the producer and songwriter who has worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini, Ren Harvieu and guess who….Duffy. Let’s just hope that Georgia doesn’t decide to go for a bike ride for a bottle of coke and then ditch her management team if she has some success. 

Her video for the song Running Blind features a couple of semi naked blue people (not Smurfs) and Georgia looking very happy just to be singing. You can watch it by clicking here. She’s also recently uploaded a cover version of Hozier’s Sedated which shows off the rarity of her voice even more so than the polished pop tunes and to give contrast to Running Blind we're featuring that below as well.

Of course whether the world wants another singer of Georgia’s nature is up for debate (after all we can’t think of anyone who is less fashionable than Duffy right now) but that’s for you to decide. What we know, without question, is Georgia’s voice and songs grab us completely, irrespective of if her sound is cool / very ‘now’ / zeitgeist / buzzy or not.

Georgia Mason - Running Blind

Georgia Mason - Sedated (Video)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

LUKA ‡ - New Waves

If we were going to write one of those 100 albums you must hear before you die lists, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin would without doubt be somewhere on there. It was and remains a truly groundbreaking piece of work. The reason we mention this is because on listening to Cult by 23 year old LUKA ‡ we could hear a distant similarity to the master maverick himself Mr Richard D James and that brilliant record. It’s the eerie clicks in particular, the ones that sound like they’ve been recorded in a distant cave that give Cult the slightly creepy but fascinating aura. It doesn’t particularly go anywhere, there’s no big drop that so many electronic records seem to have these days, just repetitive sounds cascading and licking around your ears in a simple but beautiful way, but it works.

Cult is taken from LUKA ‡’s (real name Luka Seifert) debut EP, which is a hugely rewarding listen for fans of ambient techno, experimental electronic music, analogue studio sounds and of course of early Aphex Twin. Apparently his Tumblr page Inside The Nest has 150,000 followers, which sounds pretty impressive, but let’s be honest we really don’t care. Let’s just listen to the music.

LUKA ‡ - Cult

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Charli XCX - Boom Clap (Elk Road Remix)

It’s about bloody time isn’t it?

This week Charli XCX is going to have her first proper solo UK chart hit. We say ‘proper’ because the collaborations and the Icona Pop number 1 weren’t Charli in her own right.

We’ve got to say we’re very pleased about this. For 4 reasons.

1. Because the chart needs stars and performers like Charli XCX. Stars that have fire in their bellies.

2. Because it half fulfills point number 11 of this wish list for 2014 that we published on January 1st. Now what we really need to complete the pop dream is points 19 and 20 to happen before the year is out.

3. Because we can go ‘told you so’, having first featured Charli back in 2009 and having blogged her journey up the pop mountain ever since. Doesn't she look different now? (See here)

4. Boom Clap is a very good pop song and deserves to be a hit. It's far better than that Cheryl Cole tune that sounds like a half arsed demo which will probably be number 1 on Sunday (Ok that sax bit is alright we’ll admit)

So let's celebrate. Charli XCX is currently number 3 in the mid-week UK singles chart. This is bloody brilliant. 

Now all we need is a proper UK tour. We believe this is going to happen. Until then, here’s one of the remixes of Boom Clap. Most of them are pretty atrocious but this one’s OK.

Charli XCX - Boom Clap (Elk Road Remix)

What Happened To Our Ones To Watch 2014 (So Far) Part 2

This is the second of two posts where we look back at the artists that we predicted would be Ones to Watch in 2014 and how they’ve fared so far.

6. Mononoke

“We're naming her as one to watch for 2014 on the basis of just the one song we've heard - always a dangerous strategy - but when that one song (Alice) is so good, she becomes one to watch even if only to see if she can keep the standard up with her next release,” we said. Her next releases, both to the internet, were Bones & Glory and Barefoot & Broken. Both were good, although not as breathtaking as Alice. Then nothing. Not even a reveal on who Monnoke was, or at least not officially. Although if you look very carefully (here) you might get the full picture. For the time being we wait patiently and hope that more material will be forthcoming soon.

7. George Ezra

When we suggested that “Ezra’s star was rising,” in our Ones to Watch article in 2013 we really didn’t expect it to rise as far as it has. Sold out gigs left right and centre, a huge UK chart and radio hit with Budapest (which was once a free download available from Soundcloud), a top 10 chart album in the UK and it seemed that he played about 100 shows at this year’s Glastonbury a bit like Ed Sheeran did a couple of years before that. The boy did good.

8. Banks

Queen of the internet, every time Banks has put out a song this year the blogosphere has gone crazy, rather like it did when Beggin' For Thread (streaming below) was released yesterday. The proof of her true potential will come in the next few months though. Will the BBC Sound of / Blog Sound of nominee live up to the hype with an album that manages to be both commercially and critically successful and will her live shows be able to stand the test of the large venues she’s been booked to play? When we saw one of her early UK gigs in the tiny Bermuda Triangle Club in Brighton she was good but not fully convincing. If the album stuns and if she’s upped her game with the live performance then 2014 is for her taking. If not then we might all be scratching our heads a little.

9. Eva Stone

Has yet to release a single. Maybe we were a little too early with Eva Stone? Fingers crossed for the second half of 2014. She did however support George Ezra in London earlier this year and we caught her live at Brighton's Great Escape where we confirmed that this girl has a voice of some magnitude.

10. IYES

Whilst keeping a relatively low profile in terms of live shows in 2014 Brighton duo IYES continued where they left off in 2013 by sparking up the blogs with the songs Breathe and Toys as well as some rather excellent remixes for the likes of Paperwhite and Zella Day. As a result Hype Machine recently featured them in their own Ones to Watch list. As far as we’re aware the band remained unsigned. “We have some amazing news coming soon,” they tweeted on Monday. We wonder if that position is about to change? Continue to keep your eyes on IYES.

Banks - Beggin' For Thread