Monday, 24 October 2016

New Music - Martin Green's Flit - The Suitcase

From the moment I first heard about Flit, a new project from Martin Green the accordionist and electronic experimenter with folk trio Lau, I was immediately intrigued. For not only was the subject material, that of social migration, something a little bit different from the norm, but the list of collaborators on the record included a number of people that at one point or other in my life have created music that has moved me in some way. 

These names include Adrian Utley of Portishead, a band that created two of my favourite studio albums of all time, as well as a fantastic live album and were responsible for one of my most memorable performances at Glastonbury Festival (which you can read about here). There’s also Becky Unthank, from folk sisters The Unthanks, whose records have cropped up regularly on my end of year lists including one at the very top (see here). Then there’s sometimes sordid Scottish wordsmith Aidan Moffat from Arab Strap, who besides creating The First Big Weekend (one of my favourite singles of 1996) and the rather excellent Philophobia LP) also once received a review by the NME of a gig at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms which made reference to some tribal style dancing by a small section of the audience. I was one of those dancers. Add in the likes of Karine Polwart, Anaïs Mitchell and Mogwai’s Dominic Aitchison and you have a very interesting project.

With Green and Flit going on the road this week with their multi-media show (sadly I can’t make my local date in Brighton) it seems a good time to feature the song The Suitcase from the record. Starting with a spoken word piece by Aidan Moffat the track then moves into a darkly claustrophobic electronic soundtrack with Becky’s voice bringing a traditional purity and human beauty and Dominic Aitchison providing the lower sounds. It’s one of my favourite pieces on the album, which features songs that range from tragically sad to heart-warming.

'The Suitcase' from Martin Green's Flit ft. Becky Unthank and Adam Holmes from Lepus Productions on Vimeo.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

New Music: Introducing - Cameron Jones

If you’re a musician and you’re sending out your music to blogs and websites, I have to be honest and say that these days the chances of me even opening the email are pretty damn low. There’s 101 reasons for this (OK slight exaggeration – there's about 4) but the main one is quite simply lack of time. However, last night I actually found myself with a whole spare two hours and decided to start wading my way through over 1000 emails that had arrived in the Breaking More Waves in box this week. To put some kind of filter on things I decided to only listen to submissions that were directly from artists themselves, rather than those through a record label, PR or management.

It took only half an hour to find this gem. Cameron Jones is a Herts born songwriter based in London and has spent the last year or so in-between working nights at a local blues bar, playing open mic nights and recording/writing songs in the bedroom. His song Rose is a sad meditative ballad, reflecting on how a relationship’s past happy memories make the present all the more difficult. It’s the kind of reflective and emotional tune that could equally find itself being played to a hushed crowd of seasoned music fans in a church venue by candlelight as it could covered by some wailing wannabe on X-Factor. 

Unlike X-Factor however, Jones seems to understand that there’s as much power in restraint as there is bombast and Rose holds itself back with aplomb. It seems I'm not the only one who is impressed either. Line of Best Fit website have already featured the song and this week Jones was featured on Spotify UK's new music Friday list, so he's getting some decent attention. 

A softly magnificent song.

Cameron Jones - Rose

Thursday, 20 October 2016

New Music: Sølv - I'm Your Gun

Bang. There’s no hanging around with Sølv, despite her mellow unhurried sound. The UK south coast raised singer swept me away with the icy electronics of Losing My Mind just over a week ago and now she’s back with release number two already. If Losing My Mind was a classic Gin Martini, then I’m Your Gun is a smoking Maguey Sour sipped at a bar in a Quentin Tarantino movie with Lana Del Rey sat opposite as your drinking buddy. Throw in some twangy reverb laden guitars, Sølv’s narcotic and strangely familiar purr then underpin the whole thing with some menacing electronics and beats and you've got yourself something very fine indeed.

Losing My Mind might have been a good introduction, but I’m Your Gun takes things up several notches by virtue of its luxurious melodies and fascinating mix of modern production, combined with very old fashioned songcraft. This is first-class slow pop.

Sølv - I'm Your Gun

New Music: Clock Opera - Whippoorwill

It’s been a long time since Clock Opera featured on Breaking More Waves. Their last two songs In Memory and Changeling passed me by somewhat, but new cut Whippoorwill presses all the right buttons – and yet it’s very different from what the band have produced previously. Gone are the life affirming and supremely jubilant sounding pop songs that we heard on the debut album and instead there’s something that comes across as intimately sad. With it’s lyrics of a hole that ‘no fairground ride will fill’ and ‘a conversation scrubbed out on the page’, Whippoorwill is clearly about that most difficult of subjects that, as we get older, we all experience more and more; loss and the void of emptiness that follows.

This is the sort of song that, because no words will suffice, it makes you want to reach out and give the singer a hug. Yet out of the darkness, there is something positive - beautiful music to colour in the black.

Clock Opera are releasing their second album Venn via League of Imaginary Nations and !K7 on February 10th