Sunday, 2 August 2020

Monthly Playlist: July 2020

Uploaded yesterday to Spotify, posted about here today, here’s the end of July Breaking More Waves new music playlist. It’s a bit shorter than previous months. So get your ears round it now and whilst you’re at it have a listen to The Blinders’ Fantasies of A Stay At Home Psychopath, Courtney Marie Andrews’ Old Flowers and E.M.M.A’s Indigo Dream, my three favourite albums of the last month.

The jury is still out on the second Fontaines DC album from my perspective. My initial impressions are, despite the good reviews, disappointment. For me, so far, it lacks the immediacy and connection that Dogrel had, but I’m going to give it some time before making a full judgement.

Playlist (Find it and follow it on Spotify by clicking here)

Into Indigo – E.M.M.A

I Still Like Kelis – Plastic Mermaids (Ajax Roy O’vaque remix)
Tapestry – Winter Gardens
What You Gonna Do??? – Bastille
Lonely Girl – LibraLibra
It’s All So Incredibly Loud – Glass Animals
One More Weekend – Maude Latour
Won’t You Be Happy – Eaves Wilder
Buzzkill – Baby Queen
Lose My Cool – ROMES
My Future – Billie Eilish
Redemption – Hurts
Simply Put - lilo

Here are a few of the tracks from the playlist that haven't featured on the blog this month before:

LibraLibra - Lonely Girl

ROMES - Lose My Cool

Maude Latour - One More Weekend 

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Not Quite A Full Stop. But Nearly A Pause. Breaking More Waves - The Slowdown

Back in mid-March I posted a piece titled The (Temporary) Return of Breaking More Waves Blog.

With the introduction of a lockdown in my home country as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and a period of isolation I decided that with no friends to see, no gigs, festivals, art galleries, theatres, restaurants or cinemas to go to and with the amount of jogging I was doing being reduced it was a good time to bring Breaking More Waves out of semi-retirement and start posting about new music again to help keep me sane. 

I have some underlying health conditions and therefore am slightly more at risk should I contract Covid-19, so have been relatively risk-averse in terms of staying safe over the last few months, but thankfully over this time my physical health has remained good. 

My mental health too has been strong; even although until this week I haven’t seen a friend in real life since February I feel like I’ve weathered the storm so far. I have a theory that being an only child helps – I grew up with limited company when I was young, so I’m used to keeping myself busy on my own at home. I also helps that I’ve been very fortunate to work throughout the pandemic and although my job (working for 2 local authorities) has been challenging, it has been a piece of p*ss compared with working on the frontline in our health services or being made unemployed and now struggling to find work.

However, as things have begun to open up in the UK there is the opportunity to return to seeing some friends and socialise a little and I’ve also got out on the streets running more often. Therefore, I’m finding less time to prioritise writing the blog again and so I have decided to part retire Breaking More Waves. The return was always intended as temporary – I stated that from the off and nothing has changed my mind on that, although I've enjoyed doing a handful of posts the last few months.

However, I will still be running a monthly playlist on Spotify of new music from the previous month (click here to find it and follow) which I will write about on Breaking More Waves and if I feel compelled to bash out anything else about music, I reserve the right to do so here. It’s my blog so I make the rules. Also, whilst I very much hope it doesn’t happen, if the number of cases of Covid-19 in the UK accelerates again and the country goes into another lockdown, the frequency of posts here will probably match that acceleration. 

But for now, this is me not exactly signing off, but making Breaking More Waves the blog equivalent of driving at 1st gear with my foot hardly on the throttle.

Finally, just to add, I’ll still be relatively active on Twitter (here) where you’ll probably find me posting about musicians in the bath a little too frequently. Stay safe everyone. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. This video, released today seems appropriate in a number of ways.

Phoebe Bridgers - I Know The End

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Winter Gardens - Tapestry

Cast your mind back. To February 2019 to be exact. For it was at that time I introduced a new band from the Brighton area called Winter Gardens with their debut single Coral Bells; a mix of dreamy indie and punkish sounds that rattled with energy. It showed promise.

My crystal ball was working well that day because in a moment of spot-on fortune telling I suggested that lead singer Ananda had just a hint of Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins about her vocals - they have subsequently covered a Cocteau’s track - and that whilst there was a lot of energy in the music I could easily imagine Ananda’s voice coating itself over something a little slower and softer.

Now after a somewhat lengthy gap Winter Gardens has finally readied their debut EP and the lead single from it, Tapestry, released yesterday, is a treat. It does exactly what I imagined in that introducing piece. 

For at the start Ananda’s voice is given space to breathe, her voice a giddying and bewitching sound designed to make even the burliest of builders weak at the knees. The tempo is unhurried, the band seemingly realising that there Is no rush to reach heaven. There’s no chorus as such; the whole thing is constructed as one beautiful repeated nursery rhyme, so it doesn’t need it. What’s possibly even more striking though is the sheer power of the song, for when the explosions come, and believe me they do come, you are lost, deliriously lost, in a rich landscape of sound. Ananda’s voice battles to be heard and whilst this could be perceived as a tragedy, that melody, repeated again is already lodged in your brain. It doesn't need to be front and centre any more.


You can pre-order the debut Winter Gardens EP by clicking here.

Winter Gardens - Tapestry

Monday, 20 July 2020

Introducing : Eaves Wilder

If the names Lush, Slowdive, Ride or Chapterhouse mean anything to you then this new artist might just make you raise an eyebrow. 

She’s only sixteen years old, hasn’t played a live show yet and has released just one song; but it’s a good one. Won’t You Be Happy is a blissed-out swoosh of indie guitar pop. It’s already picked up plenty of online press coverage plus national UK radio play via BBC 6 Music (Lauren Laverne) and Radio 1 (Jack Saunders). It's an impressive start. 

Let’s remember Eaves Wilder is just sixteen. When I was that age the most noteworthy thing I’d done was probably get a couple of detentions at school for not giving in homework. Come to think of it, I'm way older now and still have never had a song played on the radio.

The chances of Eaves being drawn to music were probably always somewhat higher than your average kid; after all she’s the daughter of journalist parents (Caitlin Moran and Peter Paphides), both of whom have written for music publications. I wonder how mum and dad would have reviewed her single back in the day? Caitlin once in the early 90’s called Curve’s song Unreadable Communication ‘the most intense piece of music to be recorded this year.’ There’s a very subtle hint of Curve in what her daughter is doing here as well – albeit the intensity on a scale of 10 is more around a 2 to 3 than 10.

Won’t You Be Happy dips its foot into both colourful psychedelia and swirling shoegaze yet also maintains a dreamy but punchy indie-head sound. If you’ve ever heard a Shine compilation you’ll probably feel this fits. The song was recorded during lockdown in her bedroom, but has been given some extra zing by producer Stephen Street, probably best known for his work with Blur and The Smiths. 

What’s surprising about this fuzzy head music of a tune is that Eaves first came to some attention online via a video of her jamming piano to Uncertain Smile by The The for National Piano Day in January. It subsequently gained the approval of Matt Johnson from The The who sent her a signed copy of the band’s album Soul Mining with a note saying ‘To Eavie – Practice makes perfect, keep up the hard work!’ So, whilst this first release frames Eaves in the way of stoned guitar sonics, there could well be some very different dimensions to her music to come in the future. Very early days, but perhaps one to watch?

Eaves Wilder - Won't You Be Happy