Thursday, 29 January 2015

Laura Doggett - Old Faces (Video)

Laura Doggett has started 2015 in a way that many new artists can only dream of. Her song Old Faces has had national exposure in the UK thanks to featuring on the trailer for popular TV series Broadchurch and found its way on to BBC Radio 1 via the In New Music We Trust part of the playlist. Then there was her stunning concert by candlelight in the intimate setting of the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in London, a breathtakingly beautiful Jacobean style galleried theatre space. We were lucky enough to catch the show. Not only did it show off Laura’s incredible deep-set vocal talent (keep an ear out for Beautiful Undone, which if the studio version is anything like the live take will have you physically and emotionally melting), but also her charmingly sweet personality that almost seemed at odds with her singing voice. 

So a good start to our #1 One to Watch for 2015.

Whilst there has already been a studio performance film for Old Faces, yesterday saw the release of the fully choreographed video proper, a simple but stylish black and white piece which finds Laura in almost goddess like form. We’re streaming that below.

If you want to go and see Laura, various opportunities are cropping up, including this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton, supporting BBC Sound of winners Years & Years in London in March and most importantly her own mini homecoming headline tour of the west of England, supported by none other than an artist who we’ve championed almost to excess over the last few years – Alice Jemima. Alice may have nearly disappeared of the musical scene over the last year, (whilst hitting over 2 million plays on her Soundcloud) but keep an eye and ear out for her in 2015, as things are just beginning to bubble. Tickets for the mini tour can be found here.

Laura Doggett - Old Faces (Video)

How Much Do You Spend On Recorded Music?

Last year on Breaking More Waves we conducted a project to record exactly (down to the penny) how much we spent on live music; not only the amount we paid for tickets, but associated costs such as travel, drinks, merchandise and accommodation. (You can find it here). The project was well received and so for 2015 we thought we’d try something similar and document everything we spend on recorded music. 

What we’re interested in is not just the amount, but the forms we consume music in and where we purchase from. Are we the great saviour of independent record shops, an iTunes whore or has Spotify killed our music purchasing dead? Is it all just stream, stream, stream? Or is there just so much free music out there that we don’t need to spend at all? What do you spend on music a month? Do you believe it is important to part with cash for music or do you think it no longer has any value in the recorded form?

With the live music project we provided a monthly report, however, for this project we’ll be posting a little more intermittently, with maybe 4 or 5 blog posts during the course of the year.

We’re really not sure what we’ll find out or conclude at this stage, but here are the statistics taken from our lovingly created spreadsheet as we near the end of the first month. The data is for up to midnight on the 28th January (see also the notes at the bottom of this post).

Recorded Music Spend 2015

Number of LPs purchased:  5

Number of EPs purchased: 3

Number of singles purchased: 0

Total % spend on formats

Where the money was spent 

As you can see in January we haven't spent a penny in record stores, all of our spending has been on line, most of it with Amazon. 

Some music nerds might suggest that buying from Amazon and not from an independent record store somehow makes us less of a 'true music fan', there's an implied lack of effort from just buying from Amazon as well as the moral issue of supporting your local business or a global one. On the other hand we could argue that spending £15 on vinyl LP a month from an indie store makes you less of a music fan than someone who buys multiple records and spends a vast amount more in doing so from Amazon. We'll leave that debate for you to ponder on - maybe that debate is a pointless one anyway? Does anyone care how big a fan you are? 

As far as what retailers we've used, we suspect that as the year goes on this will change, but it will be interesting to see what the final split on spending is and what our underlying reasons for choosing that method of purchase are. 

And now the all important figure..... 

The total spend for January 2015 was £85.76

We'd be interested to hear roughly how much you spend, what format you choose and where you buy your music from. Feel free to comment below, or as seems to be the preferred method these days, let us know on Twitter.

Notes (for those of you like us who like to know the geeky detail)

*We’ve included records that we’ve pre-ordered this month, even if they’ve yet to be received or released.

**Where a record comes in a bundled package such as CD + Download or Vinyl + Download we’ve counted the physical item rather than the download.

*** Where ordering online (in this case all purchases) we’ve included the cost of postage and packing.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Kate Tempest - Bad Place For A Good Time

It was a joy to listen to Kate Tempest being interviewed about her Mercury prize nomination last year. There was a refreshing positivity to Kate’s words and expression, thankful for the fact that people were understanding the intention of her record that she described as ‘a ridiculous album that we were so excited about.’ Now with a UK tour just around the corner, starting in Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth, there’s a new non-album track, Bad Place For A Good Time, out for your listening pleasure.

Once more it’s Kate’s love of words that comes across immediately, creating evocative imagery of the city over a solemn piano, buzzy electronics and beats. “There must be more to life than pixels,” Kate raps and initially it seems to be a down and world weary track, but then Kate finds hope: “There’s always some small bit of peace to be found,” she concludes. 

Kate Tempest is pretty damn special.

Kate Tempest - Bad Place For A Good Time

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Slow Club - Tears Of Joy (Video)

What would it be like to be on tour? If your brain operates in any way similar to ours and you’re not a musician or part of their team you’ll probably have pondered this question at some point in your life.*

It seems to us that bands can spend an awful lot of time sitting in a tour bus / van / car doing nothing of any real value. Some of the possible options to fill that time seem to be:

1. The tired / lazy option: Basically sleeping and not a lot else.

2. The rock n roll option : This probably involves lots of booze, lots of drugs and lots of sex with people that you probably wouldn’t be having sex with if it wasn’t for the fact that you are in a band. This option is probably less realistic in the car or van scenario unless you have very open minded band mates and is more likely in the bus scenario. Basically the larger the band the greater opportunity for bad behavior.

3. The keeping yourself busy with stuff that is designed to keep yourself busy option: Video games, books, films, listening to music, facebook, twitter or inventing your own entertainment such as playing noughts and crosses on misted up windows or a jolly game of charades / I spy etc.

4. The writing new music option: We once heard a rumour that David Guetta writes a new track on his laptop every time he takes a flight. This would explain a lot. 

5. The business option: Everything from sorting out your accounts to doing radio interviews over the phone. Fundamentally everything else that is associated with the music business that isn’t about creating music. This is the efficient band's option of choice.

6. The annoying option: Fundamentally stemming from being bored and not being able to do any of the above, this option involves doing anything that annoys your travel partners, often when they’re trying to do something else. 

7. The filming the dreaded ‘tour highlights’ video option: Which will involve you staring out of the window looking thoughtful, you getting up to some high 'comedy jinx' and quite possibly you strumming an acoustic guitar.

Here’s a new video for Slow Club’s Tears of Joy from one of our most played records of 2014, Complete Surrender. It’s THAT dreaded tour highlights film, in which we see the group ticking off a number of the above including the tired / lazy option and the keeping themselves busy option (noughts and crosses feature). Thankfully there's none of the sexy druggy rock ‘n’ roll option. 

There’s also a model railway, which is nice. And some previously unseen footage of Charles ‘keeping it real’ and doing some ironing. You wouldn’t get that from Lady Gaga would you?

*Footnote: If any bands that we like would like to invite us on tour for a week, we’d be more than happy to oblige. We’re pretty clean, well behaved and easy to get on with, so we wouldn’t be any bother. We could probably write a blog about it and make you world famous. Possibly. Thanks.

Slow Club - Tears Of Joy (Video)