Monday, 31 August 2015

Should We Go And See Sufjan Stevens At End Of The Road Festival?

When this year’s End of the Road Festival line-up was announced, our Twitter feed was full of people we follow tweeting with pant wetting OMG excitement about 1 thing: Sufjan Stevens. We follow a fair few people on the 140 character message social network site who probably consider themselves as ‘serious’ music fans and it seemed that for the vast majority of them this was live music reaching an emotional and orgasmic pinnacle; like their version of One Direction announcing a new tour. 

Now let’s be clear – we hate the concept of ‘serious’ music fans. Today the Line of Best Fit website posted this article, talking of how End of the Road consisted of “a brilliantly bizarre clash of musical delights filled with curveball surprise and careful regard for quality and the serious music fan.” Now let’s look at that article. There’s a picture there, which we assume was taken at a past End of the Road. Do those people look serious? Do they look like they are wallowing in depth and careful consideration? 

No; they look like they’re having fun. They’ve got big smiles on their faces. They’re enjoying themselves. Hurrah. ‘Serious music fans’ in not so serious now shocker.

You see, ‘serious’ music fans is a term that is frankly bollocks. What we think the term is trying to convey when used by music journalists is people with a certain sort of taste – a taste like their own, that has developed from having a longer, refined, deeper relationship with music over time, rather than a more casual / easy approach to listening. It’s the sort of taste that festivals like End of the Road Festival cater for, rather than say V Festival with a bill that includes the likes of Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris. 

But what if we happen to like Ellie Goulding? (We do).  Can we no longer be deemed a ‘serious music fan’ because of our taste? Even if we listen to music in virtually every moment of the day we can, have been to thousands of gigs and over seventy festivals, have purchased thousands of albums and constantly obsess over music in the way that most men obsess over sex. Does that not makes us a 'serious music fan'? What if Sufjan Stevens doesn’t really do anything for us? (He doesn't - his songs are pleasant enough, but they don't move us in any way). Does it mean that we’re cast out of the elite club simply for having a different emotional connection to certain songs? 

If we are, well we’re fine with that. We prefer the term ‘passionate music fans’, or ‘knowledgeable music fans’ or maybe ‘well informed music fans,’ to ‘serious music fan’. If being a serious music fan means that we can only listen to artists deemed to be worthy by the music police, then we’re out. Everyone has different tastes – and that’s cool – but just because someone loves One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Little Mix and Justin Beiber, doesn't necessarily make them any less ‘serious’ about the music they love than someone who adores Sufjan Steven’s records. 

So will we be watching Sufjan at End of the Road? Possibly, yes. We’re interested to see if, as so many fans of his suggest, that his ‘sad ornate world’ will move us in the flesh. We're also interested in seeing how the songs from his new record, which is clearly a very personal and introspective piece, work on a main stage at a festival - a place that lacks those 2 characteristics of the album. And if it doesn’t move or engage with us, well there’s always the DJ in the forest. Maybe we can go and ask him to play some Ellie Goulding?

Sufjan Stevens - No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross

Jean Michel Jarre & Little Boots - If..! (Video)

It was with some sense of nervous trepidation that we pressed play on the new collaboration between Little Boots and Jean Michel Jarre. Little Boots is the artist we've written more about than any other on this blog and with Jarre, albums like Oxygene, Equinox, Zoolook, Magnetic Fields and Rendez-Vous hold a very special place in our heart. Kraftwerk is often held up as being the pioneering band of all the early electronic acts, but the sounds, textures and ideas that Jarre was using as far back as 1976 also still resonate today. Maybe Jarre isn’t talked about in such revered tones as Kraftwerk because he wasn’t considered as ‘cool’ as Kraftwerk? 

Well f*ck ‘cool’, f*ck whatever preconceived ideas you have of Jarre or even Little Boots (it seems some that some Jarre purists are a little upset about this song because for them, it’s too poppy and features vocals), because as far as we’re concerned If..! is a rather excellent piece of pop music. It sounds like Chvrches with an extra shot of extra bubble gum flavour, and frankly that’s no bad thing. Well done everyone involved. 

No idea about the video though.

Jean Michel Jarre - If..!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kacy Hill - Foreign Fields (Video)

We tweeted about this song a few days ago, but at the time were unable to post the track on the blog because the video was exclusive to Now, here at Breaking More Waves we really don’t care for exclusives / premieres or the like. We’ve explained why before (have a read here, item number 3 – but in summary we have no aspirations for the blog to be ‘big’ ‘popular’ or achieve ‘success’ in the way that others define success - that should be obvious from the way the blog looks), but the music industry, being an industry, and therefore competitive, has brainwashed itself into thinking that it needs exclusives to be ‘winning’ the competition. 

However, thankfully now the exclusivity period is over and we’re able to stream Foreign Fields by Kacy Hill on the blog for your listening pleasure. You might remember Kacy from around a year ago when she released her first song Experience and we wrote a post that managed to cover the subjects of spaghetti bolognaise, butt cheeks and freckles as well as the music. That post (and the subsequent tweet we put out about the post) got us into a little bit of trouble with some of the moral custodians / judgers of the internet, which was rather ironic as the post was (in its own warped way about music) about how people often make judgements without knowing the whole story, and in that particular case the custodians / judgers admitted that they hadn’t  1. Read the whole article to get context and see that it wasn't just about the physical appearance of a woman - and 2. Tried to understand / ask questions to clarify before making their judgement.

But irrespective of if you remember Experience or that post, if you haven’t heard Foreign Fields yet, we command you to do so. Ok, that’s a bit assertive, but really, it’s worth your time, so pretty please press play. 

Foreign Fields is produced by Jack Garratt and you can almost instantly recognise his signature production style. The track starts with a very minimal, piano led downtempo experimental groove, but it doesn’t stand still with that. Instead it creeps forward towards a rhythmic frenzy that lifts the song off to the stars – maybe, just maybe, a place that Kacy is heading for? After all with Rankin directing the video and connections with Kanye West, Kacy has a head start of most fledgling potential pop stars.

Kacy Hill - Foreign Fields

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Public Service Broadcasting - The Other Side (Video)

Whereas Public Service Broadcasting’s debut album was formed of a collection of tracks with no conceptual link other than the band’s absorbing use of vocal samples, their second long player The Race For Space buried itself deep in concept album territory in a similar manner to their earlier EP The War Room. Compressing a number of stories concerning the American / Soviet contest to put men in space and on the moon, it's a truly wonderful listen and as we come to nearly ¾ of the way through the year we can say with some confidence that it will be featuring pretty high up on our Albums of 2015 list come December.

From it comes this video for our favourite song on the record. The Other Side just oozes atmosphere, with the mounting tension in Mission Control becoming the central force of the piece. Despite the professional and controlled delivery from the announcer, you can hear the joy in his voice as Apollo 8 re-establishes contact and the music perfectly matches that happiness as it gushes forward in celebratory style. Absolutely brilliant and surprisingly emotional.

Public Service Broadcasting - The Other Side (Video)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Aurora - Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1) (Video)

The first time Breaking More Waves encountered Aurora things didn’t look good. 5 minutes before she was due to play, the stage was bare. Having heard her lavish electronic pop songs we were expecting keyboards, computers, electronic pads and lots of kit. It looked like it was going to be a no-show.

What happened next took us completely by surprise. 

Aurora arrived breathless and clearly a little flustered looking, together with a single guitarist. After the quickest of line checks this young woman, from Bergen, Norway began to sing. It was then, in a weird marquee that was part bar, part seated restaurant, part gig venue, that everything changed; as she performed you could see her concerns about her lateness fading from her body and her whole soul immersing herself in the song. And what a song. It was quite simply stunning. 

Anybody who knows us will tell you that being left speechless is not something that happens to us very often, if at all; but Aurora managed to steal every word from us with a set that was so moving, so full of adorable personality, so special, that the words for once had disappeared. It was one of those sets that washed away our 'seen it all before' cynicism of every ‘next big thing’ show that we attend. It made us feel alive and drenched us in love for music. It made every shitty pub gig on a rainy night in November with an audience of 20 people, most of whom couldn't give a shit about who was playing, worthwhile. It made us realise why we love this 'discovery' thing as much as we did when we started. It made us love Aurora.

Today Aurora has released an acoustic version of Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1). Watch it and maybe you’ll see her radiance too.

Aurora - Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1) 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Jerry Williams - Boy Oh Boy

Fun fact number 1: Jerry Williams debut EP was called A Hairdressers Called Sids. Breaking More Waves HQ is approximately 5 minutes’ walk from that very hairdressers.

Fun fact number 2: Jerry has now released her second EP. It's called Cold Beer, and whilst we were typing this post we were drinking exactly that. There’s some fantastic synchronicity going on here, we're sure you'll agree.

Let’s just hope, for our sake, that Jerry’s next release isn’t called Go And Shoot Yourself In The Head Whilst Standing Naked In The Middle Of A Motorway.

If you’re a regular reader you will of course have already seen the video for the disco-pop groover that is Cold Beer (here), which is doing very nicely, having picked up over 20,000 views on You Tube. Now we’re streaming another track from the EP. If you think you recognise Boy Oh Boy it may be because we’ve featured the song on the blog before, but in a more stripped back form from Jerry’s SBTV session. Now Boy Oh Boy gets the full band treatment, thankfully the tune and that confused teenage hook: ‘Boy oh boy oh boy, I hate you but I love you,” isn’t overwhelmed by the bigger production.

If you’re in the south coast area, Jerry’s launch party for the single takes place today (Sunday) at Tiger Tiger in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth from 5-8pm. It’s free entry, so there's really no excuse for not going. Drinking cold beer is of course optional, although it would seem almost rude not to considering the EP title wouldn’t it? Jerry also plays 2 sets at next weekend’s Victorious Festival on Southsea Common in Portsmouth (opening the main stage on the Saturday at 12 o'clock as well as a set on the Nevada Acoustic Stage). There’s also another Portsmouth Festival date in the diary on October 3rd when she plays the newly formed and rather fabulous new music, multi-venue, Dials Festival, (featuring the likes of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Black Honey and Chloe Black) which replaces the on hiatus Southsea Fest, early bird tickets for which can be found on this link here till the end of August. 

Jerry Williams - Boy Oh Boy

Friday, 21 August 2015

Grace Mitchell - Jitter

This is Jitter by Grace Mitchell.

It is one of those rare pop songs - one that doesn’t sound like it’s trying to be a hit by sounding like everything else. It’s a bit edgy, a bit 'need to hear it a couple of times to get it' (but once you get it you will really get it), a bit more than good. There’s even a part where she talks in French, which is always a brilliant thing.

Zane Lowe, ex Radio 1, now Beats 1 host, has already said of the song “This might be the song of the year so far. Honestly. Absolutely a new contender in the pop world make no mistake – Grace Mitchell just took a seat at the table and looked at everyone else and said ‘What?!’

Actually, we don’t think Zane has got this right. Jitter doesn’t sound like a song taking a seat. It sounds like a song throwing its shoes off, and possibly quite a few other clothes as well, and dancing in a deep, dark, sweaty club whilst outside the world ends. In fact, this pop song is so sharp and dangerous that it doesn’t even bother about apostrophe’s in the lyric video at 2.47 and 3.39.  

But Zane's right about being one of the songs of the year. Certainly one of the pop songs of the year. 

No s-l-o-w burn build up with this one either, it’s already out to buy on Grace’s Race Day EP. 

Grace Mitchell - Jitter

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Låpsley - Hurt Me

Well this is rather good isn’t it? Hurt Me, the new single from Låpsley is a shift more towards the middle ground of traditional pop song than her previous more experimental work, but thankfully with the change there is absolutely no loss in all the things that made her previous songs so compelling; the beauty, the heart wrenching emotion and the power through calmness are all still present and correct. 

Before you panic with our use of the words 'middle ground', let’s be clear; Låpsley hasn’t made a club banger bound for constant rotation on Capital FM and is unlikely to soon be found hanging out in the VIP section of Shoooshh or Liquid with Joey Essex. No, this is just the sign of a young artist developing and expanding her musical vision even further, not playing safe and repeating what has gone before, without compromising what made her special in the first place.

Låpsley - Hurt Me

Monday, 17 August 2015

Chvrches - Leave A Trace (Video)

A few days ago we posted a few words about the ups and downs of being a fan of a particular artist. In investing so much love and expectation in a band or singer (and quite possibly money – although it seems these days that for many fans financial investment in their favourite acts is less important than it ever was), at some point there will almost inevitably come disappointment. But because art (and therefore pop music) is often surprising, contradictory, remarkable and accidentally wonderful, it’s often worth sticking with your favourites, because they’ll probably startle and amaze you soon enough again.

As we stated before, one act like that here at Breaking More Waves towers is Chvrches. We’ve struggled with their new song Never Ending Circles, not because it isn’t ‘good’ but because its similarity to previous releases hasn’t really grabbed us yet. (*We reserve the right to change our mind on this in 6 months time when we proclaim it our single of the year or something similar). 

Yet here we are again, once again writing about Chvrches and the new video for their other recent song Leave A Trace - a slick tune that tickles our ears with plenty of pleasure and now there’s a slick splashtastic video to accompany it.

However, it seems that this video has got some misogynists worked up (read this thread linked here if you haven’t seen it; really do some people have nothing better to do with their time than post this sort of crap on line?). “PSA: apparently wet hair makes you a "slut". Nice work, 4chan / humanity,” the band tweeted later. Thankfully we’ll console ourselves that there are millions of people in the world and that thread only has a small number of people posting on it. We hope / believe that the vast majority of humanity is actually OK. Now, back to the music, because Leave A Trace is bloody marvellous. As Lauren sings: “Take care to bury all that you can, take care to leave a trace of a man,” we can feel a big old air punch coming on.

Chvrches - Leave A Trace (Video)

Grace Lightman - Black Is The Colour (ft Parallax Orchestra)

In our introducing post on Grace Lightman we suggested that Grace was unlikely to be producing any songs that we can proclaim to be club bangers in the near future. How right we were. For today Grace has released her take on the traditional song Black Is The Colour (Of My True Love’s Hair), a tune that has followed the classic folk tradition of being passed down over the years from listener to listener, from artist to artist, with everyone from Nina Simone, Mike Seeger, Cara Dillon, Paul Weller, Christy Moore and The Corrs recording it.

This is a bewitching and eerie version, taking the ghostly sparseness that contemporary folk bands such as The Unthanks have used to such effect over the last few years and using stillness as much as instrumentation to create an experimental torch song, with the Parallax Orchestra (former Dry The River member Williams Harvey and cellist Maddie Cutter who have previously collaborated with the likes of Meadowlark, Bring Me The Horizon and Martin Grech) adding beautifully uneasy strings. Pop banger it isn't, fascinating, almost subtly menacing listen it is.

Grace plays her first solo live gig this week at Brighton’s Green Door Store (which is free) on August 19th before she plays The Waiting Room in London on September 3rd. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed (here) as we will be bringing the odd photo or tweet from one of those shows.

Grace Lightman - Black Is The Colour (ft Parallax Orchestra)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Elderbrook - Good Enough

You know those soft white towel dressing gowns you’ll find waiting for you in hotels that are few steps above your typical Travelodge or Premier Inn? Good Enough by Elderbrook is a little bit like that. It sounds all warm and welcoming and late night cosy, as if you’ve sauntered up from the cocktail bar, bleary eyed, ready for sleep with Elderbrook in your room ready to serve up the best honest-to-god silky and creamy hot chocolate you’ve ever had.

Of course Alex Kotz, the man who is Elderbrook, isn’t singing about comforting drinks, instead he’s crooning about a relationship, the staple diet of pop music. But what sets Elderbrook apart is the attention to detail in Good Enough. There’s lots going on here, but it’s all so subtle and gently poised you'll need a few listens to really soak it up. 

Good Enough is taken from Elderbrook's forthcoming Travel Slow EP out through Black Butter on the 21st August.

Good Enough - Elderbrook

Friday, 14 August 2015

Lana Del Rey - High By The Beach (Video)

This week 2 artists who have previously featured heavily on Breaking More Waves from introducing  'New Waves' articles through to year end albums of the year lists toppers released new material, but until today we haven’t featured either. One was Chvrches. Just in case you haven’t heard Never Ending Circles yet you can hear it on this link here. We didn’t feature it because as much as we know and love that Chvrches sound, for us Never Ending Circles was just too similar to that Chvrches sound we know and love. Now that statement is ridiculous and a complete contradiction, but that’s the beauty and agony of a relationship with music. Sometimes things just don’t make sense. We're still trying to figure it all out.

The second artist is Lana Del Rey. Once again our relationship with Lana’s songs isn’t all perfect moments. The first album made us fall in love over and over, but when it came to Ultraviolence it just didn’t connect in the same way. Yet now here she is with new song High By The Beach, lamenting the breakdown of a relationship and abusing some substances on the coast, sounding gloriously trippy, and it is, dare we say it, the best thing she’s done for some time. What this all goes to show is that, music is just like a relationship you have with any human being. There’ll be good times, there’ll be great times, there’ll be some times when things are just plain shrug of the shoulders average, there’ll even be a few times when things seem to have rolled to the bottom of the hill and are irretrievable. But sometimes, it’s worth sticking with your favourites. Have faith. Pop has a funny old knack of delivering when you least expect it.

Footnote: This Lana video appears to be somewhat boring. Then she pulls out the big guns and everything becomes A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. 

Lana Del Rey - High On The Beach (Video)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

FKA Twigs - M3LL155X (Video)

Over the summer we’ve caught FKA Twigs at two festivals, and whilst they were both superb it was the second of those, a mixture of performance art, ballet, theatre and gig at Glastonbury that will hold long in the memory. The picture above is taken from that performance.

Earlier this month Twigs released Figure 8, a song from her new EP and now she has revealed the whole EP, titled M3LL155X

To accompany the EP Twigs has joined the likes of iamamiwhoami in creating something far more sensational than your hum drum every day standard pop video, with a 16 minute piece that is provoking, compelling, fascinating and inexplicable. It is also totally brilliant – out-there alien pop music and art colliding head on. The first of the four pieces in the video, for Figure 8, has the same sense of creepiness as Chris Cunningham’s finest work (although all were self-directed by Twigs) and from there the films go into deeper, with sequences that include live sex dolls, pregnancy and weird catwalk shows in the forest. The pieces are described as "an aggressive statement conceptualising the process of feeling pregnant with pain, birthing creativity and liberation." 

With this work Twigs shows us all just how important great art of any sort from the leftfield is, for challenge, for thought, for being inspired. Allow a spare half hour for this, you’re going to need to watch it twice in a row.

FKA Twigs - M3LL155X (Video)

salute - New Waves

You’ve probably already heard of Mura Masa (if you haven’t play some serious catch up by listening to the groove laden brilliance of Firefly featuring Breaking More Waves favourite Nao and the track Lotus Eater as a seriously good introduction), but you might not yet have come across salute (yes, the lack of capital S isn’t a mistake) who unbelievably is a classmate of MM’s in Brighton. That's a very cool college.

With a whole bunch of tracks already online, Castle (Magic) is salute's first official single, via 37 Adventures. Built around some muted vocal loops, deep bass and synths there’s hints of something more ambient beneath the track, giving it a soft, near classical undercoating. There’s a hook as well, not in the sense of a traditional pop vocal melody hook, but with electronics that sound like a Clanger who has eaten too much green soup (go and ask your mum or dad if you have no idea what we’re talking about – or just Google it). This dude is good.

salute - Castle (Magic)

So Below - New Waves

If you’re the sort of person that likes a blog that is ‘only about the music’ – you’re in luck today. For although we’d argue strongly that music websites are never 'just about the music' (even the ones that claim they are), and that politics, fashion, culture, context, imagery, ideas, concepts and entertainment all have a part to play, with this New Zealand artist, the one song is all we have to go on right now. Even the promo picture purposefully hides the identity of the artist. 

But the tune itself, Drift, with its ominous electronics, air of musical gloom, and desperate words  “Even if you change your mind, it doesn't have to mean that it's over,” is worth writing about. Call it pop noir, dark electronica, midnight music, nu-goth, whatever you want to call it, it’s pop that doesn’t feel celebratory or joyous or even particularly colourful – and that’s fine. Sometimes it’s good to lurk in the shadows a bit. According to the small handful of blogs that have written about So Below so far (we’ve found three, one each from America, Germany and Portugal) she (for we assume the artist is just a she and not a they) has named Nine Inch Nails as an inspiration. So that’s your one tiny piece of tiny context. For now.  

So Below - Drift

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Malka - Wrap It Up

Wrap It Up, the latest tune from Malka is a naggingly insistent beast. It’s the musical version of a frustrated fisherman throwing the hooks out in their multitude until they get a catch. If that makes the song sound annoying, then be advised it’s not – far from it. For Wrap it Up is a dopamine inducing delight, full of clattering rhythms that are going to get you, and plenty of earworm melodies and harmonies. Those melodies tell a tale of endings: “The lights still glow, but we’re fading, fading, fading from this show. Let’s wrap it up and get away from here,” she sings. Time to go then – and listen to this one again.

Malka has also written a piece (here) about the importance of radio and particularly the BBC in supporting independent artists, which we fully agree with. Aunty Beeb is worth the licence fee for its radio shows alone, and that's even before we talk about its TV and internet content. The musical world would be a lot poorer if it wasn't for the likes of BBC Introducing, Radio 1's evening shows and BBC 6 Music. Of course we also hope that blogs like this, in their own small way, help provide some sort of musical filter in a world over saturated with tunes, but the BBC'S importance must never be under estimated.

Malka - Wrap It Up

Monday, 10 August 2015

Kassassin Street - Radio Silence

Incoming transmission from Portsmouth favourites Kassassin Street; Radio Silence finds the five piece raising the rafters with another dynamic and swaggering blend of indie rock, a perfect follow up to To Be Young, which picked up plenty of support from blogs worldwide. Here we find otherwise seemingly pleasant lead vocalist Rowan turn into a rather disturbing creature, singing of wrapping his tentacles (!) around your leg and neck before the song crashes headlong into an enveloping new-wave wall of sound. If you thought the boogeyman in the cupboard was frightening, Rowan goes one better: “I’m in your room under your bed,”  he tells us, and besides these stalker-scary words you can’t but help feel a sense of elation as the song pushes to its euphoric conclusion with its ‘”let’s raise this up” call. 

At Brighton’s Great Escape this year Kassassin Street managed to get a room full of hungover people dancing at lunchtime – that’s some accomplishment. Now they’re spreading their wings and doing what (possibly because of its island geography) so many Portsmouth bands fail to do, and get their music heard nationally, with a full UK tour this October. It takes in the likes of Glasgow, Leeds, Stoke, Manchester, Bristol and of course a date at the mighty Wedgewood Rooms in their (and Breaking More Waves) home city – that one’s bound to sell out. Tickets are available now from this link.

Kassassin Street - Radio Silence

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Let's Eat Grandma - New Waves

Doing this new music blog thing means that sometimes a band or artist crops up on our radar a number of times, but for one reason or another we never really get round to properly checking them out. Let’s Eat Grandma are a classic example. We first saw their name when Adam from Alphabet Bands blog posted about them last year. In the same way that Breaking More Waves sometimes brings the best of our area (UK, South Coast) to the internet before management, labels and the like get involved (for example acts like Laurel, Kassassin Street, Jerry Williams and Eloise Keating are recent examples) Alphabet Bands delivers when it comes to its own local scene in and around Norwich. Soon after that we saw journalist John Robb getting very excited about them on Louder Than War; “Too much talent at their fingertips,” was just one of the superlatives he threw at them. Then we actually caught sight of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth , the two members of this intriguing duo, as they provided some guest vocals during Harry Edwards set on the BBC Introducing Stage at Radio 1s Big Weekend, the first of a number of festivals that they’re playing this year, including Camp Bestival, Latitude and Festival Number 6.

Now they are firmly on our radar and if you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s time to put them on yours. If you like idiosyncratic, scrappy, kooky, eerie yet charming out there multi-instrumental pop music with a sense of its own identity and originality, something that certainly doesn’t come from the mainstream, Let’s Eat Grandma will be right up your wonky street. At just sixteen years old they’re still developing as artists, but from the handful of live videos of their on You Tube there’s enough to suggest that they could be capable of refreshing the parts that other bands can’t reach. 

Let's Eat Grandma - Live at Latitude 2015

Friday, 7 August 2015

Låpsley - Burn

One of the highlights of Brighton’s Great Escape festival back in May was the performance of XL Recording artist and Blog Sound of 2015 winner Låpsley. Having previously witnessed one of her early electronic sets at Glastonbury Festival the year before on the BBC Introducing Stage, which was to be honest a little bit ropey, the improvement nearly twelve months on was vast. In Brighton she was composed, soulful and the benefit of practice was clearly evident. It’s that composure in particular that shines through on new track Burn. This clearly isn’t a song that’s aiming for the pop charts, but a song that shows that Låpsley is in command of doing what she wants to do, irrespective of commercial potential or not. “You may be the one that I’ve chosen, it’s gonna burn if we get closer,” she sings in that confessional mellow tone she has before adding “I’m thinking about the long term, I’m thinking about the future.” It’s another strong argument for less is more – listen to the way the song swells gradually into something rather powerful and then with a single swipe cuts it all down again for a moment. Gorgeous.

Låpsley - Burn

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Night Flowers - Sleep

One of the wonderful things about being a music fan is being able to delve back into your collection and rediscover things, either remembered or forgotten, and find that the thrill of the past still remains now. But of course it can also very much be about the discovery of the new; that’s what this blog is (mainly) about.

This new song, Sleep, from London via Humberside band Night Flowers manages to capture, for us, both of these two elements. It sounds vigorously exciting, the shimmering guitars folding themselves around you like a long lost friend giving a (sonic) hug, but similarly the very newness of it (including for the band a new vocalist in the form of Sophia Pettit) sends a goose bump thrill. 

This is a track to lose yourself in. Indie rock capturing our dreams. Thanks to our blog buddy Just Music I Like for the tip on this one. Sleep can be pre-ordered on 7" using the link here.

Night Flowers - Sleep

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Prep - New Waves

Hailing from Brazil, France, Wales and Somerset respectively but now living in London, newcomers Prep have already gained the admiration of Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud (or N-Robz as we like to call her) and AlunaGeorge with their super smooth, super chilled sound on their debut track Cheapest Flight. It’s one that references Donald Fagen and Steely Dan but with a more modern electronic flourish. It’s the sound of the sun sinking over the city, white leather sofas and creamy cocktails. It's one that will suck you in with a charm that’s utterly irresistible. There's horns and late night jazz-funk bass grooves; we're talking slinky, we're talking seductive, we're talking 70's. Oh yes!

A really interesting start, if only because here’s a band taking a sound that could easily be considered somewhat dated and making it feel fresh, new and exciting again. It will be interesting to see what they do next. Nice graphic as well huh?

Prep - Cheapest Flight