Tuesday, 17 January 2017

New Music: Sofi Tukker - Johny

You know that moment at the party when you can sense that everyone wants to dance, but they’re just waiting for the right track to drop? First there’s a little bit of head nodding, smiling at each other, drinks are knocked back, the occasional shoulder is dropped, the hips start to swirl and then as the music grows (and someone turns it up louder) people start to groove. Johny by Sofi Tukker is that groove. It's delicious.

With its bassy sass and slinky guitars Johny speaks the language of dance, even if like me you can’t understand a word Sophie is singing except for the “Johny can you hear me,” line. 

To get fans involved with the release of the song (which you may well already be familiar with if you’ve played the EA Sports' FIFA 17 video game) the duo has launched a "Johny" hotline +1 866-445-6469 (international charges apply) where fans can call in to enter for a chance to chat with Sophie and Tucker or win select prizes. There are 3 options when calling:

Press 1: Listen to Johny 

Press 2: Leave a voicemail for Sophie and Tucker 

Press 3: Enter into a contest for a chance to speak with the band

And on Friday between 5:30 - 6PM EST callers who press 3 will have their call forwarded directly to Sophie and Tucker's mobile phones for an opportunity to speak with the band! My tip: If calling don’t just say “Hey guys I love your music.” Try to think of something interesting to ask. Can they translate the words of this song for you, perhaps? Or how they felt when they were told they were on the infamous Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2017 list? No don’t, that’s embarrassing for me when they just answer with “The what?”

Sofi Tukker - Johny

New Music: Introducing - Keir

F*cking hell.

Just watch this video. 

This is Keir

This is Squeeze Me.

This is incredible.

I really don’t need to say any more.

Keir - Squeeze Me (Maida Vale BBC Introducing Session)

New Music: Maggie Rogers - On And Off

With debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading due soon, the creator of my favourite song of 2016 and one of my Ones to Watch 2017 (as well as, it seems, virtually everyone else’s tip) Maggie Rogers brings something different to the table with new song On And Off. Whilst there’s still the charismatic vulnerability to the lyrics as she sings of emotional instability and having someone there to help her stay afloat: “When I feel like I’m drowning and then I see you, it’s okay, it’s okay, I'm okay, I’m alright again,” this one is all looped electronics, bass throbs and subtle production tricks that is about as far away from her folk roots as its possible to get. Probably most of us need someone to help us stay grounded from time to time, but music itself, when you connect to them, can sometimes be an anchor as well. Maybe this one, or one of Maggie’s other songs could take you to that place? 

Maggie hits Breaking More Waves homeland of the UK at the end of February for 2 sold out shows at Omeara. If you haven't got a ticket, keep an eye on my Twitter feed @BMWavesBlog where I'm sure I'll be posting some words or pictures from one of the shows. In exciting news I can also confirm she'll be supported at the gig by Mosa Wild who you can read about by clicking here.

Maggie Rogers - On And Off

Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Music: Introducing - Hydra Lerna

Here we go again. Pop stars and musicians in the bath. You know how I bang on about it quite a bit? Well, despite some earlier assurances that I’d stop, I can’t do it quite yet. Partly because nobody has really got to the bottom of the tub in terms of explaining the deep psychology of why so many musicians get in the bath to promote their music, but mainly because they just keep cropping up on line. 

Of course, simply doing a bath promo pic doesn’t mean automatic selection for inclusion on this blog – good songs come first and foremost. 

Here’s the latest one that ticks both the bath and quality tune boxes.

Hydra Lerna has appeared on Breaking More Waves before, albeit in a different guise. Since then she’s got some blue hair and recorded some brand new electronic pop music, the first example of which is the pristine yet venomous song Hydra – a song of scheming hearts and suffocation. “You’ve got power, but I’ve got poison, I can take you down,” she coos, creating an intriguing and slightly disturbing piece of pop that has a hint of the spirit of Vince Clarke pre-Erasure (The Assembly, early Depeche Mode etc) with an added touch of scientific dark minimalism. It’s certainly easy to imagine that the label Clarke produced work for (Mute) would go for this one. But then who needs labels these days? 

Pop music isn’t easy to get right, especially the sort of slightly interesting pop music for people that don’t necessarily like mainstream pop music. This one gets pretty close to doing that. As I said - a box ticker in every respect, right down to the bath. She's actually remembered to remove her clothes before having a soak, something that a certain type of musician seems to forget, suggesting they're not really taking things seriously.

Footnote: I also like the fact that Hydra’s first single is called Hydra. Popstars and musicians should do more of this. For example, The Frank & Walters (some of you may remember them – they had Radiohead as their tour support back in the day) had a song called We Are The Frank And Walters, S-Express had Theme From S-Express and The Monkees had Hey Hey We’re The Monkeys. Surely in today’s ever increasingly narcistic society every band should have a self-referencing song? At least Kanye knows where it’s at with his rap I Love Kanye. Mind you, he hasn't done the bath pic yet - so he's not fully there.

Hydra Lerna - Hydra