Monday, 25 May 2015

Laura St. Jude - I Can't Stop Loving You

Having spent much of the last two years touring with the now defunct The Amazing Snakeheads, where she provided guest vocals, guitar and percussion (as well as co-writing and singing on the band’s song Bullfighter) Glasgow's Laura St. Jude returns to deliver her first solo release since her debut Fatal EP from 2013

I Can’t Stop Loving You is one of two tunes that form Laura’s new double A-side single. With a hushed Mazzy Star like intimacy that’s both warm and haunting, what I Can’t Stop Loving You definitely isn't is an instant pop thrill. This is something deeper, something with an almost obsessional romance at its heart. That romance is so strong that Laura states: “It is a mantra for those so in love, that to live without is to die.” It’s a song to be played in the dead of night, as it comes heavy with slow burning melancholy, weeping guitars and Laura's calm bilingual vocal.

So dim the lights, find a quiet space and let this one drift over you, creating a darkly exotic David Lynch / Twin Peaks like mood.

Laura St. Jude - I Can't Stop Loving You

Sunday, 24 May 2015

White - New Waves

This year at Brighton’s Great Escape there were two bands that veered completely off the Breaking More Waves radar who seem to have impressed many people who saw them. One was South African quintet Al Bairre, who won over many with their giddying enthusiasm and infectious pop, the other was White, another five piece, but this time from Glasgow.

Rather like Al Barrie, what makes White’s debut track (Future Pleasures) stand out is its energy. Combining a choppy mix of frantic indie disco guitars and a hyperventilating electronic pulse, it’s indebted to the arm of Scotland’s indie lineage that likes to strut on the dance floor; think Orange Juice, Hipsway and Franz Ferdinand as reference points. There’s a hint of The Bravery and LCD Soundsystem in there as well if you listen closely and in another song, Living Fiction, the verses possess the yelp of David Bowie and elements of Roxy Music.

Whilst White might be a new band, they have a past history. Lead singer Leo Condie was previously recording as Low Miffs, whilst other members of the group were in Kassidy, who you may remember, not because of their musical output, but because one of their number (who isn’t in White) was Barrie James O’Neill, the ex-boyfriend of Lana Del Rey. 

White’s name is already getting a small amount of buzz in new music circles, but you won’t find their songs on new music blog aggregator Hype Machine yet. The reason? The band have signed to Sony, who are busy withdrawing all of their artists from Soundcloud, and as they’re only streaming the track through You Tube, that means that Hype Machine can’t pick the music up and potentially stream it to thousands of new music lovers. Let’s hope this decision doesn’t affect the development of fan bases for new emerging acts such as White, in an age where it’s getting harder and harder to break new bands.

White - Future Pleasures

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Night VI - Just Words

“Will this be the one where they let us down?” It’s a question we ask of all our favourite bands every time they release something new to the world. Inevitably it will happen. Even the ones you love dearly will fall over every now and then. That doesn’t mean though that if one indiscretion or moment of failure occurs we’ll be turning our back and looking for something new. It takes a lot more than just one duff song to end that relationship. 

Thankfully we’re nowhere near that with The Night VI. We’re still in the honeymoon phase, even although that part of the relationship should be utterly over by now. New tune Just Words does what every relationship needs to do to survive; it subtly shifts and changes the dynamic of what has gone before, keeping things interesting,  without ever losing the identity of what made it all so special in the first place. Just Words adds a new glossily soft r ‘n’ b smoothness to The Night VI’s sound, it's just enough to make us realise (again) how lucky we are to have their music. If you weren’t a fan of the band before, but enjoy artists like Jessie Ware, this might just be the one to turn you. “Don’t leave me now,” the vocals plead. We’re not going anywhere. No mistakes here.

Just Words is taken from the group’s 3rd EP which will be released in September.

The Night VI - Just Words

Grace Lightman - New Waves

Here’s an artist that’s new to the blog, that we were going to post about yesterday, but then got somewhat diverted by the Hype Machine chart integrity debate. However, better late than never as the clich├ęd saying goes, so say hello (no don’t, this is the internet she can’t hear you) to Grace Lightman. Grace came to us, not through searching long and hard to find new music organically as we described yesterday, but by way of the email in box.

The email concerned tells us that Grace once fronted a London psych rock band called The Hypnotic Eye, mentions references to Kate Bush and influences ranging from Vincent Gallo films to Francois Hardy and Nico. We think what this email was trying to tell us was that Grace is pretty damn cultured and is unlikely to be producing any songs that we can proclaim to be a banging club anthem in the near future.

Certainly Vapour Trails, her debut, won’t be the song to play if you’re having it large in Ibiza this summer. This is something with far more depth; it requires a few listens to fully explore and appreciate its nooks and crevices, which are crammed with interesting flourishes of electronics and opulent off-kilter experimentation alongside the base of a traditional song structure. Those Kate Bush references have some degree of accuracy, but we’d also like to suggest that Lightman’s voice is a little like Snow White in the Disney cartoon, but with a greater weight of melancholy. It's a fascinating start; Vapour Trails is a thing of wonder and even better, it's available for free download from the Soundcloud player below.

Grace Lightman - Vapour Trails