Sunday, 14 October 2018

New Music: Lauran Hibberd - What Do Girls Want?

Lauran Hibberd has the art of writing a made-for-streaming-services indie pop hit down to a fine art. Essentially the golden rule here is no time wasting. No complex introductions are required – just get straight in with the verse and then punch home again with the chorus before the listener skips to the next track. Now you've got them hooked, keep it short, keep it sweet but always leave the listener wanting more. 

The two minutes and forty-five seconds of fizz and fuzz of What Do Girls Want? does exactly that, packing enough cartoon sass and sarcasm into its short life span to make you feel like you’ve just downed a couple of double vodka and red bulls and are now pumped up enough to do it all over again, no messing.

So, what do girls want? Alas Lauran doesn’t give the answer. “Honey if I knew I still wouldn’t tell you,” she sings in a chirpy but unforthcoming manner.  Again she's got this stuff sussed. Never give everything away.  

So without Lauran to help, here are some suggestions provided by the women of Breaking More Waves HQ:

What Girls Want

A nice sit down and a cup of tea. 
A Dog. 

There you have it. A firecracker from Lauran Hibberd plus the answer to one of the big questions in life from Breaking More Waves. Your day is complete.

Lauran Hibberd - What Do Girls Want?

New Music: Introducing - Milly Upton

Normally when a piece is titled Introducing on Breaking More Waves it signifies that the artist has either one or a small handful of tracks released to the world. Today however I’m featuring an artist who has already released an album last year. However, judging by the play count on Spotify which is just a few thousand it seems that Milly Upton will still be new to the vast majority of readers of Breaking More Waves – hence the Introducing title. If you already know her then maybe just skip this post and give her record Baby F.M another play? It's worth it.

Milly’s music is the stuff of the classic sing songwriter. It has a gorgeously soothing quality to it - it’s a record for rainy lazy Sunday afternoons, a record to wake up to, a record that sounds as rooted in the past (1970’s west coast USA to be specific) as it does in the present. Songs like Clean & Good (streaming below) with its twangy guitar and warm vocals will surely remedy any malaise – even if the all encompassing loveliness gets a small kick when Milly sings the word ‘bitches’, which sounds aggressively at odds with the beguiling nature of the rest of the song.

Originally from Brighton, but now based in London Milly has been playing live for a few years now. Your next chance to see her play is alongside Shiners, MarthaGunn and Margot at a Communion show at Notting Hill Arts Centre, London on November 4th.

Milly Upton - Clean & Good

Milly Upton - Orange & Blue (Sofar Sounds Session)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

New Music: LibraLibra - Skin and Bone

With horizontal rain belting down outside, Portsmouth football club playing at home and the band being the early-afternoon opening act on The Loft stage, a tough gig was potentially awaiting Brighton’s LibraLibra at this year Dials Festival in Portsmouth. However, expectations didn’t match reality. The group’s unyielding and colourful noise-pop won the hearts of a decent sized crowd – lead singer Beth Cannon’s gutsy in the zone performance and huge vocal was an art form unto itself – and by the end of the day they were one of the talked about discoveries of the festival.

Which brings me neatly onto their new single Skin and Bone (part of a double header set they released on Friday – the other track being Lillith). If you’re of the mind set that pop music in 2018 has largely become as sterile as a surgeon’s instrument in the operating room, then LibraLibra are here to come and infect things. Because Skin and Bone has absolutely no interest in being anything but as forceful as fuck. It’s a song that mixes a vocal delivery something akin to Beth Ditto of The Gossip and Toyah, slabs of dirty industrial noise, precision military drums and off-kilter on the edge ferociousness. It it was a person, you wouldn’t pick a fight with it.

Skin & Bone will almost certainly scare your neighbours if you play it loud enough. So, you know what to do; throw open the windows wide and turn the volume up. Brutal and beautiful and bonkers. There’s definitely a space for that in pop right now.

LibraLibra - Skin and Bone

Thursday, 11 October 2018

New Music: Plastic Mermaids - 1996 (Video)

This year I’ve witnessed the Plastic Mermaids experience (and it really is an experience – not just a regular gig) twice. The first was in Rough Trade record shop in Bristol. Unlike most in store gigs, it wasn’t a stripped back low-key affair playing a handful of songs before the band nip off to try and sell you some merchandise and get down the pub. Instead it was a full show, with the stage crammed full of technology and even some arena-like confetti explosions. Fast forward a few months to End of the Road Festival where the band opened the Woods Stage on a Sunday lunchtime with a tinsel clad dancing choir, an operatic guest vocalist and one of the most life affirming sets I’ve seen this year. If I was going to point you in the direction of one band to go and see live it would be Plastic Mermaids. They’ll make your heart flutter and maybe even boom.

Now, after quite a hiatus, there’s new studio recorded material. 1996 is everything you’d expect from this band; a beautifully trippy pop song that fearlessly heads off the map yet never feels anything other than being perfectly complete.

It’s accompanied by one of the strangest yet weirdly sweet videos you’ll see all year, as a man falls in love with a robot. The water ski scenes are both hilarious and beautiful at the same time. For those of you who know the Isle of Wight (from where the band hail) you’ll undoubtedly recognise the ex-Tube Isle of Wight railway carriages. Next time I hope they can fit one of the Island's hovercraft's into proceedings as well.

It’s great to have Plastic Mermaids back. 1996 absolutely delivers as a song and based on the material they’ve been playing live, the album, when it comes, is going to be an absorbing and monumental listen.

Plastic Mermaids - 1996