Thursday, 14 December 2017

New Music: Johnny Marr & Maxine Peake - The Priest (Video)

I’ve had a few days away from the blog, but during that time there is one piece of music I heard that absolutely blew me away. So better late than never I'm casting it here. It’s the new collaborative single between Johnny Marr and actress Maxine Peake.

As time goes on and we all get that little bit older it seems that Johnny Marr is becoming ever more likeable and ever more wise, the opposite to Morrissey, the man he once had a special creative relationship with, who dives deeper and deeper into a world of hate and awfulness. 

Therefore, it should be no surprise to find that unlike Morrissey's at best patchy album, Marr has created something cinematic, powerful, intimate and graceful. It's staggeringly good. But more than that. The Priest is compelling because it’s so thoughtful. 

Taking as it’s starting point the words of Joe Gallagher, a man who was homeless, that has used his ability with words to make his life a bit better, and delivering them through a female voice from Peake, before casting a young actress in the video (20 year-old Molly Windsor), the whole piece avoids stereotypes and joins the dots between all types of people. This is pop music / art with a social conscience; and it makes you think that anyone could fall into this situation given a bad deal.

If only Morrissey could take a few lessons from Marr. This one gave me goose bumps. A very meaningful piece of work.

Johnny Marr & Maxine Peake - The Priest (Video)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

New Music: Grace Carter - Ashes (Video)

No sooner had Brighton’s Grace Carter appeared on the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2018 list on the back of just one song, there’s a second one to add to the collection. The follow up to Silence, Ashes is a soulful electronic cut that deals with the frustrations of post-relationship mental anguish and not being able to get someone out of your head, even although it’s over. As Grace sings of drowning the memories and being unable to lay the love to rest it’s clear that things are still pretty raw here, even though the delivery is utterly composed and sophisticated, the equivalent of musical satin.

Ashes has drawn in some big guns to work with Grace; the track was produced with Mike Dean who has worked with the likes of Frank Ocean, Beyonce and Kanye West.

Grace Carter - Ashes

Thursday, 7 December 2017

New Music: Kailee Morgue - Discovery

This week lots of music fans have been sharing their data online from Wrapped, the end of year feature from Spotify that shows the statistics behind your streaming habits. Yes, big brother is watching you (or rather listening to you) every time you play a song. My own personal statistics were of no surprise to me; the likes of Lorde, Hannah Peel, Lucy Rose, Stormzy and Alice Jemima being my most streamed artists. What I also found fascinating was that my listening tastes are similar to those of people a lot younger than me and that I listen to a lot of music in a genre called ‘post-teen pop’. Now I’m not quite sure what post-teen pop is, but if I were to hazard a guess, the second release from Kailee Morgue, Discovery, would probably fall into this category. 

It’s the sort of pop music that has that edge, that added depth from the likes of pure mainstream pop, but is still full of melody and accessibility. Other artists we’d put in this category would be Chvrches, Oh Wonder, Sigrid, FKA Twigs, Broods, Robyn and right now, the queen of post-teen pop Lorde. 

“I've been out here searching, all my bridges burning, kept my heart a virgin, for you,” sings Kailee of her relationship with something (music?) or someone. Whatever it is she’s discovered it seems to be her salvation. It's an immaculate pop ballad. Or rather a post-teen pop ballad.

Kailee Morgue - Discovery

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

New Music: Isabelle Brown - Hey Romeo

The second song by Isabelle Brown (who I first featured back in October here) is fearless. Hey Romeo was written and recorded when Isabelle was just twelve – yes you read that right – twelve, and bootlegs Eric B and Rakim. It’s street sharp, cool as f*ck and shows off her influences of hip-hop, soul and jazz. The blurb I received with the track tells me that the song was conceived as a fantasy about singing to someone in a crowd who has no idea that you even exist or that the song is about them.

As I said in my previous post on Isabelle, it’s very early days for her, (she's fourteen now) but on the strength of the two songs she’s put out there’s some serious talent here. Impressive stuff.

A debut project, taking in Isabelle’s early recordings, is due early next year.

Isabelle Brown - Hey Romeo