Thursday, 27 November 2014

Ones to Watch 2015 #9 - Chløë Black

Chløë Black picked up a lot of blog attention with her song 27 Club which many people assumed to be her debut tune, although some Google digging we did for an earlier blog post showed that Chløë isn’t a total newcomer, having previously released under the name Chloe Leighton, as well as having the likes of I Would Never Die For You lurking on the internet and a song that took the same name as the most addictive TV series ever; Breaking Bad

However, it was 27 Club that really grabbed people’s imaginations (including ours) partially because of the voice, but also the subject material (the 27 Club being a term that refers to musicians who died at age 27 from either suicide or alcohol / drug abuse). Comparisons to Amy Winehouse singing a Lana Del Rey track were inevitable. It seems that there’s more good stuff to come from Chløë with co-writes alongside Justin Parker (yep, another Lana reference, he co-wrote Video Games) and Arcade (who helped produce Iggy Azalea’s Fancy) in the bag. 

Big voice. Big tunes. Big possibilities for Chløë Black in 2015? We hope so for the lady who tags her music as 'goth and soul'. 

Chløë Black - 27 Club (Video)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ones to Watch 2015 #8 - Josef Salvat

Pop music is a funny old beast. Some artists seemingly appear out of nowhere and are immediately everywhere (of course the reality is that they’ve been working at it for a while but just haven’t entered the public arena until they think they’re 100% ready – and that readiness includes getting all the right marketing and promotion tools in place as much as it does having a fully brilliant body of work ready to release) whereas for others there’s a slow drip feed and gradual build of momentum before any sort of significant public recognition is achieved.

Josef Salvat could have easily fitted into the first category, after all he made his first appearance on Breaking More Waves in the first half of 2013and at that stage had already picked up by a number of blogs before us. Yet a year and a half later Salvat still isn’t a household name, far from it, but all the signs are now there that come 2015 there will finally be an album. There’s been a debut EP proper ( In Your Prime) in the later part of 2014, dates supporting one of last year’s Ones To Watch Banks on her short UK tour and his own smaller scale tour next year already booked, so it finally seems things are pushing forward.

Yet irrespective of if Salvat becomes a household name or not, all the signs are there that his album might just be the sort of lyrically intimate but musically euphoric pop to cherish. From the self-destructive lyricism of Hustler (below) to the dramatic and poised Shoot And Run, Salvat appears to know how to write a classy tune.

Josef Salvat - Hustler (Video)

Josef Salvat - Diamonds (Cover)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Ones to Watch 2015 #7 - Ryn Weaver

Having gate crashed the internet this summer with OctaHate, Ryn Weaver got a number of music commentators on the world wide web pretty worked up. Why? Because it seemed there was some serious industry backing in the promotion of the song. Benny Blanco, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos and Cashmere Cat produced the track, Charli XCX co-wrote it and the likes of Jessie Ware, Hayley Williams and Tom Krell of How To Dress Well all quickly tweeted about it shortly after it was released. The words “manufactured pop act,” were the words that came to many minds, a concept that here at Breaking More Waves we couldn’t care less about . We’re don’t carry the same mindset as Nottingham singer Jake Bugg, who once told The Sunday Times "Manufactured pop bands, they don't have any heart, they don't have any soul. It's really sad for me, when you work hard at what you do with your guitar, and then you pop the radio on and it's like some weird trumping sound coming out of it.” This of course was said by a man who doesn’t even use his real name to perform under and whose debut album was co-written with a number of hired co-writers, including one who has written Kylie Minogue and Liberty X. Maybe we need to have a conversation about the word manufactured Jake.

Our point is this. In this day and age arguing about the process of manufacturing and authenticity in rock and pop is a bit silly. Pop has always been about collaboration. Even the most ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ band will often use an engineer and / or producer in the studio to help them create the best recorded sound – this in itself is a manufacturing process. What is so inherently bad about collaboration? Any artist that thinks that they have all the talent themselves and don’t need help from others has a very high self-deluded opinion of themselves or really are bloody good. Some are good singers, some good song-writers, some good performers, some good producers. But very few are all of these on their own.

So we come back to Ryn Weaver. Her debut EP was the product of many talents. It was that collaboration that produced a recording of quality pop. But one excellent EP is very different to a brilliant album or a long term career. It’s why Ryn Weaver has to be One to Watch in 2015, can she (and whoever she works with) deliver the goods time and time again? Time will tell.

Ryn Weaver - OctaHate (Video)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ones to Watch 2015 #6 - The Shires

Most of the acts listed on Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list have already featured on the site at some point over the last year or so, many of them a number of times, the list effectively being a summary of some of the best acts we’ve featured who we think are going to go on to a prosperous 2015 either creatively, commercially or both. A large number of the acts featured were originally introduced under our New Waves feature.

However today’s pick is the exception to the rule. With a debut single titled Nashville Grey Skies it probably doesn’t take much brain power to deduce that The Shires play country music. However, the spelling of grey should also give a big clue to the nationality of this duo. They don’t come from Tenessee or Texas but from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in the UK, hence the name. The Shires music is rooted in the traditional sounds of country, but they give it their own UK twist as they sing of gin and tonic and village greens.

With a groundswell of popularity for country music over the last few years in the UK with acts like First Aid Kit and Caitlin Rose finding sizeable audiences and with Taylor Swift becoming one of the most talked about stars worldwide (albeit now with a move to pop) The Shires could be next in line. This is a band with an ability to connect to trad-country fans with those simple old fashioned virtues of strong songs and an ability to play live. They have a chance of not only finding a loving in audience in their homeland, but in the same way that the UK took black r’n’b and rock n roll music from America in the 50’s and sold it back to the States with its own UK twist, The Shires could do so with country in 2015. 

The Shires are Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes and signed to Decca Records early in 2014. They have so far released 2 singles and The Green Note EP, which got to number 1 in the iTunes Country charts. The EP includes a cover of Reef’s Place Your Hands that transforms that beast of a song into a thing of pristine beauty. They won’t be lighting up the blogosphere, getting approval from Zane Lowe, and the so called tastemakers will probably sneer at their ‘uncoolness’, but for those who like country music, aren’t concerned with trends or fashion and just like good songs (Nashville Grey Skies is a real earworm - you've been warned) whatever the genre, keep an ear out for The Shires.

The Shires - Nashville Grey Skies (Video)

The Shires - Young Hearts (Cover)