Wednesday, 26 October 2016

New Music: Introducing - Molly Burch

With a debut full length coming in 2017 via Captured Tracks, it’s time to introduce Molly Burch to readers of Breaking More Waves. The first time I heard Downhearted, her debut for the label, I was instantly transported to some sophisticated and fashionable European city in the 60's, Paris or London perhaps. It therefore seems rather curious to report that Molly actually resides in Austin, Texas, but maybe, on second thoughts those country twangs are more at home there than by the Seine or Thames? 

What I do know though is that music is universal and that irrespective of where in the world something comes from, it’s when it finds a place in your heart that matters. Downhearted certainly does that; pulling strings in the same way that someone like Patsy Kline’s music does.

Maybe the wistful romantic beauty of I Adore You, the B side of Downhearted that really is too good to be called a B side, gives a better context to where Burch is at musically. A subdued country-soul affair, it just oozes loveliness. It makes a lot of sense that Molly, when asked to compare her music to a food, described it as hot chocolate: “Because it’s comforting and dreamy but could also make you think of past loves.” 

Hear both songs below and note her name down, because if the rest of her album is anything like these two songs, it’s going to be a must listen / buy.

Molly Burch - Downhearted (Video)

Molly Burch - I Adore You

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

New Music: Majik - Real

Last year I named Majik in my annual Ones to Watch for 2016 list. Some people suggested that this was a bit too early, as Majik was still taking baby steps in the world of music. However, to a certain extent, that was my exact reason for naming them on that list. I felt it was worth keeping an eye (and ear) on those first tentative moves. 

Not that there’s anything tentative about new song Real. It comes fully formed, even if the lyrics are less sure of the world, questioning a relationship. “So can we turn this round or should we let this go?” 

Despite the mental turmoil, the music is a gorgeously smooth elixir of pop and blue eyed soul. It’s downbeat without ever sounding miserable. If songs were a season then Real would most definitely be autumn, moving into winter; it taps into the melancholy of that time. Captivating and beautiful.

Majik - Real

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