Monday, 30 April 2012

Worship - Leviathan

There’s not a lot of humour in the printed words of those who write about the genres of indie / rock music is there? It’s as if having a joke just isn’t appropriate for the material; in order to be seen as taking the music seriously it’s necessary to write earnestly about it. Yet with pop music it’s perfectly acceptable to have a giggle.

Worship sound very serious. They have observed the Rules of Rock Chapter 3, para 6.7 which clearly describes the method for obtaining the perfect degree of solemnity to your music. Yet take a look at the photo of the band accompanying this post. There are two things of note. First and most importantly, whereas previously Worship was a four piece they now appear to be down to three. Secondly notice how only two of the band look very serious. These two seem to understand in that in order to create densely moody electronic influenced rock music you need to look the part and that means NO SMILING. But there’s a traitor in the midst. For lead singer Tim has a definite grin breaking out. If we were either Jordan or Tom we’d be examining his MP3 player very closely. We reckon he might be COMMITING THE CARDINAL SIN and be sneakily listening to happy sounding major label pop music. He’s probably in his bedroom right now learning dance routines to Katy Perry videos and will soon be suggesting that maybe the band should take more influence from Lady Ga Ga. In fact whilst we were enjoying (yes enjoying !!!) the gloomy, atmospheric brilliance of Worship’s new free download Leviathan, the ‘wub-wub dubstep influence’ klaxon sounded a little. Surely an indicator of nights in listening to the UK Top 40 singles?

So sorry readers if we haven’t written anything serious about the music (or the music at all) in this blog post, but when the music is seriously good (as this is) all we really want you to do is listen. Now has anyone got Katy Perry’s number? Maybe she would fancy doing a remix?

Worship - Leviathan

Friday, 27 April 2012

Violet - I Come Undone

It’s two weeks since our first date with Violet, the band fronted by model, Sloane, fashionista and celebrity daughter Pixie Geldof. This was, we should hasten to add, not an actual date where we went for a meal, traded stories about our travels, regaled each other with embarrassing tales about our lives and then went ‘back for coffee’ round Pixie’s house, but a musical one in a London pub. Pixie sang, we watched, listened and were more than reasonably impressed. In fact we were impressed enough to feature her group as a new wave on the blog, albeit with a song that was, quite frankly, less than average. Today that changes.

Because we’re off on another date, of the internet kind and this time we’re staying for coffee and having breakfast the next morning as well. It’s all because of I Come Undone, a sweeping kiss of a song that possesses the sad desolate yet soothing sound that wouldn’t be out of place on a soundtrack to the likes of Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive. Geldof’s vocals are full of restraint, the guitars and drums seductive enough to make you forget about the celebrity associations of the performer. Preconceptions are completely banished.

Violet release Y.O.U (the half-baked song) and I Come Undone (the excellent song) through Luv Luv Luv on May 7th and play some support shows with Spector in Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol, Cardiff, London and Nottingham next month. They also play at Brighton’s Great Escape festival at The Haunt on the 10th May.

Violet - I Come Undone

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Queen of Hearts - The Neon Queen Mixtape

This is a first for Breaking More Waves. We’ve never featured a mixtape on the blog before and arguably we still haven’t. Let’s face facts, whilst this is undeniably a mix it is most certainly not a tape; it’s an on-line stream. At over 45 minutes it's also far too long to fit onto one side of a tape, unless it was a C120 cassette and everybody knows they were rubbish, always jamming and unraveling in your cassette player. However apparently we’re obliged to call it a mixtape and as it comes from one of our favourite electro-pop ladies Queen of Hearts we’d happily call it a mix hedgehog if she asked us to. 

So why finally feature a mix tape in what is coming up to our fourth full year of Breaking More Waves? 

There’s one simple reason; because it’s amazing. Really amazing. It’s almost as if someone has organised a disco with all of our favourite pop girls (alas excluding Nicola Roberts). Just look at that list below. There's Little Boots, Marina & The Diamonds, Jessie Ware, Icona Pop, Charli XCX and the Queen herself who sneaks in an exclusive track called What Is Love? at the end. Unfortunately it’s not a cover of the Howard Jones classic from the 80’s but we’ll take it anyway. This is the musical version of full on sweaty, sexy rumpy-pumpy for an hour. 

As if the Queen hasn’t been good enough to you already with just that mix there’s also a new Ghost Beach remix of Neon (we posted the original here), which is released to the retail world via ATG records on the 14th May.

It can’t get much better than this can it? Time for a dance. Here’s the tracklisting:

Queen of Hearts - Neon (Lightwaves Remix)
Little Boots - Every Night I Say A Prayer (Tensnake Remix)
Icona Pop - Manners (Kitsune Extended Mix)
Perseus - Seychelles
Queen of Hearts - Shoot the Bullet (Aluna George Remix)
Aluna George - You Know You Like It
Jessie Ware - Running (Disclosure Remix)
Charli XCX - Stay Away (T.Williams Dub)
Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principal (Over The Top Remix)
Queen of Hearts - Where Are You Now? (StardonE Remix)
Sebastian - Arabest
Azealia Banks - Bambi
Marina & The Diamonds - Primadonna (Evian Christ Remix)
Eli & Fur - Sea of Stars
Queen of Hearts - What Is Love? *EXCLUSIVE*

Queen of Hearts - The Neon Queen Mixtape 



Queen of Hearts - Neon (Ghost Beach Remix)

Maker - Missing (Cave Painting Remix)

“When all is said and done, touch me while I’m young,” may be one of the most shoulder-raising eye-screwing uncomfortably strange lyrics you’ll hear on a song on Breaking More Waves, but feature it we did. The lyric in question is from Missing a song by Brighton’s Maker who first came to our (and quite possibly your) attention at the start of February.

Now the band have got all remixed by Cave Painting and the result is one of those times where, whatever your thoughts on remixes you have to admit that the result is pretty creamy. Sounding stripped and vulnerable the minimalist touch to the first half of the track is spaciously simple before Cave Painting beat things up with percussion, handclaps and odd organ stabs. Nice.

Maker - Missing (Cave Painting Remix) (Free Download)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Purity Ring - Obedear

We’re thinking of running an internet TV show for bloggers. It will be called ‘The Cool Factor’. Bloggers will audition by showing how quickly they can copy, paste and embed the latest buzz track onto their blogs. The fastest ten will then take part in the live shows where they’ll have to demonstrate their ability to check their emails, Soundcloud, You Tube, RSS and twitter feeds in search of the buzz at super-human speed with the audience clicking on little red hearts (that look a lot like Hype Machine love hearts) to vote for their favourite blogger.

If the only blog you ever look at is Breaking More Waves then this will mean nothing to you, but if you regularly scour the internet for the best in new music then you’ll probably have come across this phenomenon, seeing certain songs becoming rapidly ubiquitous on blogs over the course of a few hours. Such is the fate of the new Purity Ring track, Obedear. It's found bloggers falling over themselves to get the song up on the web - go search for it on Google or Hype Machine and you'll see what we mean. 

Is this form of 'buzz blogging' a good thing or a bad thing ? Certainly most new artists value the exposure a huge number of blogs posting their song can give - artists after all want their music to be heard, otherwise why release it at all?

In the short term this spike wave of listeners on the internet can be invaluable, but in the longer term there needs to be something more from the artist than just a couple of songs that the buzz brigade get excited about.  We've noticed that sometimes it's better for an artist to be just be picked up by one or two blogs and slowly as they release more tracks their online presence and exposure  grows organically. We've seen evidence of this with at least two acts that we've been writing about over the last year, initially we were acting as a blogging one-man fan-machine, but slowly but surely other blogs that we would associate as our blog-buddies, with overlaps in taste, style or attitude are beginning to pick up on them and their exposure and fan base is growing. There's no buzz, just good music.

So this is for those who take a more leisurely and / or single-read approach to music blogs. If you already read lots of them what follows you'll probably already know. We're joining the buzz, because there's also good music here.

With an album due in summer 2012 through 4AD, Megan James and Corin Roddick who are Purity Ring produce this taster from it, full of choppy plink-plonk electronics, pitch shifted female vocals and menacing undertones. That description probably doesn’t sound that different to the much of the weighty volume of electronic music that gets pushed out onto the internet by laptop bedroom producers every day. What sets Purity Ring apart in the melee for blog coverage is a leftfield pop sensibility that also carries a slightly more menacing undertone. There’s a ghost in their machine and we like it.

Born out of the buzz of the internet for sure,  but that they do what they do very well and we would be posting on them if one hundred or zero other bloggers had featured them.

Purity Ring - Obedear

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Little Boots - Every Night I Say A Prayer

Earlier today we posted about Victoria (a new band) and suggested that this blog isn’t about girls. To a certain extent this was a lie; for there’s no doubt that we post a lot of music with female singers. In fact Hype Machine lists one of our main tags as female vocalists. Female is not a genre of music, but there’s absolutely no doubt that we often find the female tone more enamouring than the male one many a time.

So this is about Victoria, girls and blog posts. 

Once upon a time there was this particular girl called Victoria. She was pretty A.M.A.Z.I.N.G at the start. We had one of her songs quite literally stuck on repeat. When we used to feature live reviews on the blog we got very excited about her. But then it seemed to fizzle out, like some relationships do. It wasn’t just a 'it’s not you it’s me' moment, we think a third party had to take some blame as well. The release of New In Town as a ‘big single’ and the accompanying video were seriously misguided decisions by her record label. The not-so-huge commercial success of the song and the subsequent album (which was largely a decent record, just with the odd filler track) led to talk of the ‘curse of the BBC Sound of List’ which young Victoria had topped. By summer 2009 we were panicking that Victoria might go to desperate measures to achieve wider public success – would a lad-mag boobs out cover be on the horizon, or maybe an appearance on some low grade celebrity reality show?

Thankfully Victoria / Vicki / the Vickster didn’t do any of this and instead took herself away, spent some time in her garden (or whatever it is pop stars do when they’re not being pop stars) and continued making music. After all Lady V had already grown thick skin after auditioning for X-Factor and not making it through when she was a teenager. Not being a star of Ga-Ga-esque proportions probably wasn’t going to bother her, or was even on her agenda in the first place.

Then last November came Shake. It was a very good rubbery sounding dance record. She was back in business in our book. Now comes Every Night I Say A Prayer, another disco belter complete with euphoric hooky chorus, seductive 90’s house bassline and hands in the air piano tinkering. It is also very good.

For the second time today, we say hail Victoria. It’s good to have you back Little Boots

Little Boots - Every Night I Say A Prayer (Free Download)

Victoria - Crossfire (Video)

Victoria can be a lot of things; a girl’s name, a lake, a city, even a now defunct German motorcycle. But this isn’t a blog about girls, lakes, cities or motorbikes, although blogs probably exist for all of these things. Sometimes they even collide head on. You might find a girl writing a blog about German motorbikes.

But this is a music blog and therefore we are interested in the music of Victoria who we first introduced in March 2012 (although they made a fleeting appearance the year before in a different guise, but you’ll have to do your own detective work on that one if you’re interested.)

Now the band has released a new song via You Tube, cropping up first on the ever excellent Killing Moon Ltd website. Crossfire is a riotous smack of a tune that drawls its way across a soundscape of warped electronica, noisy guitars and thwacking drums that makes us think of the likes of Kasabian, Interpol  and The Big Pink for starters. “You said I’m the only one,” snarls their lead singer with menace and swagger. This is edgy, snarly indie rock music with a very satisfying bite. Hail Victoria.

Victoria - Crossfire (Video)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Louise & The Pins - Falsest Start

The phrase ‘effortlessly beautiful’ is one that crops up every now and then in music writing. We may have even used it ourselves once in a while. Yet the phrase implies laziness – a characteristic that maybe we wouldn’t associate as a particularly good one. Yet there really is no other way of describing Falsest Start by Louise and the Pins other than ‘effortlessly beautiful.’ It really is. And if this is the sound of laziness, it’s only lazy because Louise sings of a relationship unraveling and that she doesn’t want to fight for it.  “Try if you can just to hurt my heart, you and me babe were the falsest start, now I’ve got nothing to lose,” she dejectedly sings.

To think that this song is only a B-Side (to Bell Jar, out now, which we featured here) says an awful lot about the quality of the songs that Louise and the Pins have to offer. We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again, this is effortlessly beautiful.

Louise & The Pins - Flasest Start

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lana Del Rey - Carmen (Video)

As we predicted back in November last year, now that Lizzy Grant aka Lana Del Rey’s album has been released the hype / buzz / internet craziness has begun to calm down. Most noticeably the negative internet lynch-mob who lamely dissected every aspect of her physical appearance has moved on. With the LP having had a chance to settle for a while, we’re very confident in saying that come December Born to Die will be cropping up on our best of 2012 list, even though the critics reaction was mixed. However, take a closer look at the journalists views on Metacritic and you’ll see a marked geographic contrast; all of the high scoring reviews of the record were from UK journalists, whereas the vast majority of the low scoring ones were from the U.S.

We’d hazard a guess that this is because, despite sharing the same language and much of the same music, the U.S. still has a very different take on pop music than the UK. Rolling Stone described the album as “dull and dreary,” and Pitchfork described it as “a collection of torch songs with no fire.” Both sentences make us want run up to the journalist in question and shout “YOU DON’T GET IT DO YOU?” They don’t understand that not every record has to be backed with overpowering passion, the fitness equivalent of ‘going for the burn’. Some of the best modern pop music is about the stuff that subtly smoulders without ever igniting. Take The XX’s debut album as another example.

Freshly uploaded to the web this weekend comes a new video for Carmen, a song from Born To Die. The video has the same home-produced pieced-together format that the likes of Video Games and Kinda Outta Luck possessed and reminds those of us who appreciate Lana Del Rey of what engaged us both musically and visually about her art in the first place.

Lana Del Rey - Carmen (Video)

Alice Jemima - Million Dollar Man

You’re probably thinking that the world really doesn’t need is yet another Lana Del Rey cover version. Right ? No, wrong. Or at least when they're as good as this the world needs to listen. Honeydewed singer Alice Jemima takes this Shirley Bassey styled showstopper from the Born to Die album and transforms it into something else entirely; a delicately tantalising version that nuzzles gently up to your ear rather than seducing you with pouty provocative glamour as Lana did.

There’s been some truly terrible takes on Miss Del Rey’s output in the last few months. Ignore them all and take this one instead. It makes everything better. In l.o.v.e.

Alice Jemima - Million Dollar Man

Friday, 20 April 2012

Crybaby - When The Lights Go Out (Video)

We started the week with Danny Coughlan aka Crybaby and so as we draw toward its close we’re going to finish with him as well.

Filmed in the tropical environs of Weston-Super-Mare this is the video for his new single When the Lights Go Out, taken from the romantically brilliant eponymous album. Is it too early to start suggesting a Mercury 2012 nomination for this record? Maybe that’s a little over enthusiastic, but why not? A great song needs a great tune and Crybaby has an abundance of them, not only musically but with his turn of phrase that makes simple details sound so wonderful.  “Plucking at your heart strings rattling their cages, butterfingered lovers ripping out the pages,” he croons. It’s gorgeous stuff.  “We trace her steps across linoleum in kitten heels,” is another one. It evokes a sense of reality and romance all at the same time.

It’s record store day this weekend. Sure, go and queue for all those limited edition vinyl goodies, but whilst you’re there grab yourself a copy of the Crybaby LP. You won’t regret it if you're a fan of sad but beautiful songs, or even just fine music. Here's the video, which despite the comedy animal costume is full of the sad stillness of being lonely.

Crybaby - When The Lights Go Out (Video)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Staves - Pay Us No Mind

If we were curating the stage at a music festival The Staves are probably the band we’d choose for the early Sunday afternoon opening slot – that moment when (hopefully) tired punished bodies are basking in the sun, when everyone is beginning to wonder how they’re going to keep going for another day. Their music is just the tonic – soothing, melodious and pretty much perfect.

Last month we featured the title track from the three singing sisters EP Motherlode and today we’re giving you another slice from it. Pay Us No Mind is a gorgeously downbeat tune featuring the bands trademark harmonies. The Staves are here to capture your hearts for sure.

The group are out on tour in the UK right now, after playing SXSW and supporting Michael Kiwanuka earlier this year. They follow that up by supporting Bon Iver stateside before returning to the UK for some festivals including Nova Festival, Deershed Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival.

The Motherlode EP is out next week.

The Staves - Pay Us No Mind

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Unicorn Kid - Pure Space

Unicorn Kid has been around for quite some time now, we first featured him on Breaking More Waves back in August 2009 when he was making music at the age of about 3 or something. Now he’s out of the pushchair and running amok. See him above proving that he has finally learnt to count to 2.

Last year Unicorn Kid was responsible for the really quite brilliant Tidal Rave EP which featured the glistening-shouty-rave-mental True Love Fantasy. Now he’s back with Pure Space (renamed from the original title Dolphin Dance), which unless we’re very much mistaken sounds incredibly similar to Boys of Paradise from the previous EP – it’s certainly got that same The Clangers* go raving sound to it. It was originally available for free download, but for reasons unknown his publishers put an end to that after a couple of days - seems to be a bit of a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted to us**, or as Unicorn Kid himself tweeted "some ppl just don't get it." Come on record industry - if an artist wants to give his music away for free, it should be their right to do so. 

Unicorn Kid is currently out on tour with Major Lazer and an album is promised this summer.

*Kids TV show from days past when probably even Unicorn Kid’s parents hadn’t even been born.

**Although apparently the track is still available to download for free from Pitchfork at the moment - we don't know but we wonder if it's another of those self-serving 'exclusives' that commercial sites use which have nothing to do with music and is all about generating traffic? Here's the link if the download is still there.

Unicorn Kid - Pure Space

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Caitlin Rose - Piledriver Waltz (Video)

Yesterday on Breaking More Waves we wrote about fan-blogging (here). Essentially this is blogging purely born out of a love of music and particular artists that the writer has become a fan of rather than any sort of egocentricity. Being a fan blog makes things very easy, you just write about the music you like. Things that some self-serving blogs get wrapped up in, such as how many hits you get, having ‘exclusive tracks’ on your blog or being seen as relevant become redundant issues.

But being a fan has its dangers. Sometimes love is blind and you can lose objectivity, both as a writer and a listener. Of course the question as to what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ is purely subjective but usually there will be a weight of critical mass that will determine this, even sometimes if wider public opinion will be very different from what the critics say. These days everyone’s a critic, we all have our channels. You Tube comments are just one such channel.

Taking a look at Caitlin Rose’s cover version of Piledriver Waltz, released for Record Store Day as an exclusive 7", backed with another Arctic Monkeys cover, Love is a Laserquest and then read some of the comments following. It seems that Alex Turner / Arctic Monkeys fans have been out in force and a lot of them do not like this at all. “How in any way can a yank country singer compare to Alex Turner, this is shite.” ”Killed an amazing song. Die.” “What the fuck is this? Turner, what is she doing with your beautiful song?” are just three of the more insulting views expressed. Is their love blind or are we just wrong? Because we find Caitlin’s airy vocal and cowboy style slide guitar backing utterly divine. But then we’re a fan.

Caitlin Rose - Piledriver Waltz

PartyClub - New Waves

A couple of days ago we tweeted a link to a perky piece of pop music masquerading as an indie song called Young & Free. It’s a tune so playful, so rapturously happy sounding that if it didn’t raise your spirits a little you are most certainly dead to joy forever. It came from York band PartyClub (pedantic types please say nothing about the lack of a space in between the y and C, it’s meant to be that way and any attempt to critique the appearance of the grammar misses the central thing here – the song). Anyway one quick 140 character reference point didn’t seem enough, so here’s a post of 260 words.

Like all great music that celebrates the joy of youth from Alright by Supergrass back to Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy by The Tams, PartyClub’s sound makes every floor seem sprung with energy and the rest of future life seem irrelevant. The band themselves describe it as indiebounce (again no space grammar freaks – get over it) a tag that it’s impossible to disagree with.

The zingy effervescence doesn’t stop with Young & Free either. Another older track Our Path spasms like someone’s shoved a bunch of ice cubes down your pants, whilst Shake will get you doing exactly that. Serious muso times who only listen to Radiohead etc will hate it, but those who sometimes just want to jump up and down on their bed and sing a long with a hairbrush will love it. Find these songs on the bands Soundcloud (here)

Young & Free was released yesterday through itunes (buy here) and is the York 4-piece’s debut. It’s also picking up some valuable airtime through Radio 1’s BBC Introducing playlist slot. Enjoy Young &  Free – it’s the sound of indie music feeling the sunshine.

PartyClub - Young And Free



Monday, 16 April 2012

Queen Of Hearts - Neon (Lightwaves Remix)

Here’s something about the way we run Breaking More Waves. We’ve talked about this before but sometimes things need reinforcement. We’re a fan blog. We’re not a blog that’s trying to earn money. We’re not about posting the latest buzz band with no thought just to get lots of hits and ‘likes’ on Facebook (we don’t even have Facebook). We’re not aspiring to anything else - a career in the music industry for example. We're not an industry insider. We’re just like you – a fan of music. Only we think (often mistakenly) that everyone should like the music we like. It’s why we write a blog – to tell people about that music. 

Some of that music is by unsigned artists, some by artists on indie labels, some of it on major labels.  If the artist is indie or major doesn’t concern us. We just like to tell you what we like, discuss it a little, maybe provide some context, analysis or description, have some fun with it, sometimes make a few analogies to sex, relationships and food, tell you how it makes us feel and that’s about it. Along the way through this blog we’ve made some great real life friends (not internet friends) had the opportunity to attend gigs and festivals without paying a penny (which still feels such an alien and almost unjustifiable concept to us), judged the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition, been featured in the national press and radio and even be called a ‘tastemaker’. Weird.

However, what this blog is and always will be about is being a fan of music.

It’s why when we find an artist we love we will post as many times as possible about them, in our own small way trying to support what they do and get their music out there. The artists that we write about often pretty much define Breaking More Waves.

Queen of Hearts is one such artist. We’re into double figures with the number of times we’ve featured her. We posted her new song Neon last week, it’s 100% ear sex and confirms that 2012 is the year of the queen.

Lightwaves is the DJ / production project of Jan Rosenfeld, the singer with Yes Giantess, who was another of our ear-sex bands (before they split).

Put Queen of Hearts and Lightwaves together and what do you have? Double ear-sex? Double penetration? It’s certainly the antidote to all of that banging each other into oblivion that we talked about last week. Lightwaves remix gives Neon a subtler but funky turn on the dancefloor, a post-coital embrace perhaps? It's free to download now.

Queen Of Hearts - Neon (Lightwaves Remix)

Crybaby - New Waves

One of the most common questions we get asked as a music blogger besides “how do I get my music on the blog?” (the answer is here) and “how do you find the time to write the blog?” is “where do you discover all the music you write about?” The answer is a multiple one. Sometimes it’s through our email in box (from PR companies or bands directly), our Soundcloud drop box, the radio, live gigs, other blogs, random searches or trawling our way through support band listings for venues. However, today’s utterly fantastic new artist was discovered in a more unusual way – in a record store.

Picture the scene. We’re leafing aimlessly through the CD’s in a well-known independent record emporium when in the background a swooning voice begins to croon. “I cherish the heartbreak, more than the love I lost.” Instantly there’s a shiver down the spine. As the song plays, sighing expertly of candy coated kisses and a happy ever after that just wasn’t on, it becomes abundantly clear that we’re not going to be leaving the store quite yet. At least until we’ve seen if this record, whoever it is, can offer more than one song. In modern terms, it was a bit of a Shazam moment.

Four songs in and we notice that the pretty girl in the floral dress and DM boots thumbing through the jazz section opposite us has the same mesmerised just-fallen-in-love look in her eyes as we do. She’s not really looking at the CD’s at all, she’s finding any old excuse to stay in the shop and listen, just like us. What is this music? It sounds timeless. It’s grand but never overstated. There are songs of love and sorrow. There’s a moment on a song called Twist of the Knife where the singer perfectly mimics Morrissey with his “Oh oh oh,” coos. There are moments when we hear a drum that sounds like it didn’t hit its last beat on a Phil Spector recording. There’s a definite similarity to Richard Hawley and a little of Roy Orbison as well. It’s wonderful. Really wonderful.

The music we heard in the store was the sound of Crybaby, the pseudonym for Bristolian singer-songwriter Danny Coughlan (formerly of folk rockers Babel) from his debut eponymous album released through Helium. It is quite simply a beauty of a record – melancholic, emotional and perfectly crafted. Rather like Michael Kiwanuka’s record Home Again, Crybaby owes much to its reference points but that doesn’t detract from its quality. It is one hundred per cent evocatively nostalgic, but for those who argue that there’s no point in listening to something that steals so obviously from the past, we’d like to suggest that they miss the point. Emotions and feelings that we feel as humans haven’t changed, the best music lasts for ever and great art should never be forsaken just for the cause of progression. Deal with it.

With Crybaby Danny Coughlan has created something utterly flawless. It’s hovering around album of the year territory. Go and find it and touch your life with beauty.

Crybaby - I Cherish The Heartbreak More Than The Love That I Lost (Video)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Dear Prudence - New Waves

Naming your band after a song originally released by The Beatles and covered by Siouxsie and the Banshees is an almost guaranteed way of getting attention from Breaking More Waves. Yet that attention soon drifts away if the song isn’t up to scratch.

Thankfully Valentine, the debut single from the Brighton based Dear Prudence, with its New Order style bass guitar and feisty female vocals from the tattooed Madi Ponica that proclaim “Valentine, with a heart as black as mine, through lonely eyes, we'll watch the world from outside, valentine, just let the roses die,” commands our attention. It’s a strange concoction of sounds that mixes some of the sonics of the more alternative end of the 80’s new wave musical spectrum with plenty of added value mainstream sounds from the same decade. If that sounds like a mess, then don’t worry, it isn’t. Everything is absolutely fine.

There’s more of that New Order guitar sound on the b-side China Doll, which because Madi sings of being “like a china doll in my hands,” immediately makes us remember T’Pau. Now there’s a band you don’t see being referenced very often on new music blogs, even if our attempt to shoe-horn it in was a little awkward.

Dear Prudence have already been getting their name out into the big wide world, including a debut TV appearance on the BBC’s review show and have been confirmed to play Bristol’s leg of the Dot to Dot festival on May 3 and the Live at Leeds event on May 5. The single is released on May 7 through Carousel. 

Dear Prudence - Valentine



Dear Prudence - China Doll

Friday, 13 April 2012

Violet - New Waves

Let’s get this out of the way right at the start shall we? A lot of people are going to come to Violet with preconceived ideas. For this is a band fronted by one Pixie Geldof, the model who has faced ad campaigns for Agent Provocateur, Diesel and Debenhams, the sister of party girl celebrity Peaches Geldof and daughter of rock musician turned feed-the-world hero Bob Geldof.

But let’s just for a moment imagine that you know nothing about Pixie and that Violet are just another new band battling it out for the attention of your ears. It may come as a surprise that they are actually rather good. Or rather a recent live show at the Barfly in Camden pushed aside any bias that may have been lingering on our part. However, a word of caution - Y.O.U - the one song streaming online at the moment is at best average. With its simplistic pedestrian join the dots musicianship it’s hardly going to set the musical world ablaze or win any awards. In fact a recent article about the band on the Guardian’s New Band A Day column almost sent the page into meltdown as the good people of the internet raged against what they heard and read. “If you listen to her, I doubt that you will be able to hold your lunch down,” one commentator said. Well our lunch is in place, but Y.O.U doesn't inspire us in any way.

So why cover Violet on the blog at all? This is something we've been wrestling with all day. There’s hundreds of other bands who have one average song on line that could do with the small amount of exposure we’re able to provide. Is this not all about our interest being roused because of Geldof’s celebrity? No, it’s because as a music fan, we went to a gig, enjoyed what we heard and now want to tell you about that. Our difficulty is that the one studio song available leaves us shaking our head - and not in a getting-our-groove-on-into-the-music way. Geldof has a bonus in terms of publicity in the media because of her parentage, like it or not everyone will get equal priority. Stella McCartney got a similar headstart, but McCartney has continued to produce high quality designs and so has been celebrated by the fashion world. If Violet are to succeed then the music is going to have to be better than this - but at the gig we thought it was, and no we weren't drunk.

For this is what we thought at the show. Violet’s best songs make slow-drawn, candlelight come to bed lullabies. Warning: girls if you’re in our vicinity and we put a Violet on the stereo the chances are we’re wanting to see you naked. Admittedly our seduction isn’t going to go anywhere near the likes of Marvin Gaye, Barry White, George Michael or any of those other sexy music clich├ęs. For Violet’s sound is more subtle, indie-country-atmospheric-rock compositions fronted by a singer who has a touch of the lazy-Lana’s (Del Rey obviously) to her vocal. It’s a voice that can hold the notes and even illicit the odd goosebump when Pixie let’s go a little. The question now is will what impressed us at the live performance be turned into something of merit in the studio, or will Violet let us down?

If music is about relationships, our first date in a London pub went swimmingly, but when we ‘go back for coffee’ there’s a nagging suspicion that it may not end well. The most important factor of all good music and relationships is time. Let's see how that pans out.

Violet - Y.O.U

Queen Of Hearts - Neon

OK. Let’s take a deep breath. Keep calm everyone, because this is the new single by Queen of Hearts.

We’ve ‘embedded’ her quite a few times before on Breaking More Waves and even named her as one of our Ones to Watch for 2012.

Now the great jury of electro-pop has returned and has delivered its verdict on this new song.

*DRAMATIC X-FACTOR STYLE PAUSE.....

And they charge the queen with being guilty of producing the hottest, sexiest, vampiest, pulsing piece of electro pop of 2012 so far. A while back we described another electronic act Curxes as ‘the sound of robots f*cking’. Neon is the moment where the robots grow skin, grow that little bit softer, grow that little bit more sensual, but still want to bang each other into oblivion on the dance floor.

Although we’ve pretty much loved everything Queen Of Hearts has done to date, this is the best yet. Utterly amazing.

We’re going for a lay down, this is all getting too much.

Queen Of Hearts releases Neon on the 14th May alongside another song Tears In The Rain via ATG Records. Put it in your diary now.

Queen Of Hearts - Neon

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Camden Crawl 2012 - Preview

The UK festival market is depressed and over saturated, the evidence is clear and damning – last year Truck festival went into liquidation, Standon Calling was reportedly well undersold and this year we’ve already seen the cancellation of big guns such as Big Chill and Sonisphere.

Yet one breed of festival that appears to be relatively untouched by cancellations as yet is the multi-venue urban festival. The concept is simple. Buy a ticket, exchange for a wristband plus timetable and set off to see how many bands you can catch over the course of an afternoon / evening. In austere times the advantages to your wallet with this type of festival can be significant. Tickets are cheaper, you can avoid paying exorbitant prices for food from vendors that have got you over a barrel in a restricted market and travel and equipment costs may be lower. Plus there’s the advantage of the possibility of a comfy bed at the end of a long day with no one off their faces bawling their head off in a half collapsed tent covered in puke two feet away from you.

There’s a sense of history with the Camden Crawl – it is the original multi-gig event having initially run between 1995 and 1997. Then it was just one evening and ran between just a small number of venues, with no corporate branding, no queues to get in and showcased some of the newest indie bands, with the ticket price including a compilation CD of all the acts playing. The ’97 event was known as the Intercity Crawl and hop skipped and jumped from Camden (Wednesday) to Manchester (Thursday) and Glasgow (Friday). After that the crawl ran no more until 2005 when it relaunched with 40 bands playing in 10 venues over the course of the evening. Since then it’s continued to expand to this year’s bank holiday extravaganza that encompasses over 300 artists and events, an opening party at Koko, comedy and spoken word, pop quizzes, a record fair, hip hop karaoke, musical bingo and much more all within a 2 mile stretch of north London.

Like any multi-venue festival the usual rules apply, namely when the more popular acts play in small pubs they are likely to be over-subscribed, so plan in advance as soon as you get your timetable (unfortunately times are not released in advance) and get to those locations early if you want to see those bands.

And talking of bands, here are 4 recommendations from Breaking More Waves of acts appearing at this years Camden Crawl. Our Camden Crawl 2012 review will follow very shortly after the event.

Lucy Rose

An acoustic chanteuse with just a smidgeon of indie rock and a big dollop of acoustic beauty in her sound, honey voiced Lucy Rose has been regularly featured on Breaking More Waves, including being named as one of our Ones to Watch for 2012. So now it’s 2012 why not go watch her as we suggested as she warms up for what will her very busy summer and a forthcoming album.

Lucy Rose - Night Bus (Acoustic Demo)



Willy Moon

Another solo act that we put in our Ones to Watch 2012 list, Willy Moon is currently the smartest dressed man in pop and very much occupies his own niche – a mix of 50’s retro Bo Didley rock and jive mixed with more modern hip-hop beats. It was his loose limbed videos that first got our attention back in August 2011, but the question is will his live show match up?

Willy Moon - She Loves Me



Novella

For those who want something a little scuzzier, something that maybe sounds a little more like the bands that appeared at the original Camden Crawl back in 1995, then Novella fit the bill very nicely indeed. Novella is Sophy Hollington, Hollie Warren and Suki Sou. They met in Brighton and formed the band in February 2010 before moving to London. Fuzzy guitars, swirling tunes and lovely listless female vocals, Novella are probably the least commercial of these four recommendations and all the better for it.

Novella - Santiago



St Lucia

Our final choice is St Lucia, who is Brooklyn based Jean-Philip Grobler, although he’s originally from South Africa. His electronic pop sounds are awash with summery vibes typified by Closer Than This streaming below, and he’s bringing them to the UK for the first time this May, including the Camden Crawl. His debut EP is out now on the boutique label Neon Gold.

St Lucia - Closer Than This



The Camden Crawl is on the 4-6th May (opening party only on the 4th) and tickets are available here.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Music Festivals 2012

This post serves as an index for all of our festival previews and reviews for 2012, we will be adding links to each preview and review as they are posted during the course of the year.

Whilst Breaking More Waves is fundamentally a new music blog, designed to get pretty excited about music that is new and amazing, we also like to fully emerge ourselves in the summer shenanigans that make up the UK festival season. (And for the first time ever we’ll be attending a festival outside of the UK this year).

Our first preview follows tomorrow, as we kick start our festival season with a couple of urban muti-venue events – The Camden Crawl and The Great Escape, before we grab the sunblock, wellies and tent to head out into various fields this summer. We are still confirming one or two more but in the meantime we’ve listed and linked to all of festivals we will definitely be at.

In the meantime if you want to capture our highs, lows and everything in between at the festivals as they happen why not follow us on twitter - you can find us here.

The Camden Crawl  (Festival website)                 
(4-6 May)  Preview   Review (Saturday) (Sunday)                        

The Great Escape  (Festival website)                    
(10-12 May) Preview (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) Review (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)            

No Direction Home  (Festival website)                  
(8-10 June)  Preview   Review                                                     

Blissfields   (Festival website)                              
(29 June – 1 July)  Preview   Review           

Camp Bestival  (Festival website)                 
(26-29 July)  Preview   Review                        

Flow  (Festival website)                              
(8-12 August)  Preview   Review  

Festi Belly (Festival website)
(25-28 August) Preview  Review                                 

Bestival   (Festival website)                        
(6-9 September)  Preview   Review

Southsea Fest (Festival Website)           
(15 September) Preview  Review

Gathering (Festival website)
(20 October) Preview  Review

All Tomorrows Parties  (Festival website)   
(7-9 December) No preview / review (our time off!)               

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Ronika - Automatic (Video)

The last time we featured Ronika on the blog we made some comments about the heights of pop stars and suggested that she is pretty tiny. We have since been corrected and can now 100% confirm that Ronika is in fact a very tall lady standing a long way away.

So whilst we’re waiting for her to get closer, why not take a look at her new (ish) video. It was actually released on March 27, which was a whole two weeks ago, so consider us a huge failure in terms of being an on-the-case new music blogger, but the way we figure it is that this video has had just over 3000 views so far - that leaves over 7 billion potential viewers worldwide waiting to be informed about Ronika’s incredible surfing ability that you will see demonstrated in the film.

This blog is called Breaking More Waves. The title is something to do with our location near the sea and our love of it plus the ebb and flow of the tide of music that surfs, breaks and sometimes crashes. This video was absolutely made for this blog. It even shares our same hi-tech hi-art visual design concepts that make this blog and this video one of the most revolutionary and visually stunning you will ever see. Honestly.

Ronika plays the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, London tonight and supports Little Boots live return at Xoyo, London on the 4th May. 

Ronika - Automatic (Video)

Friday, 6 April 2012

In Defence Of New Music Blogging

Home-taping is killing music, the internet is killing music, Spotify is killing music, iTunes is killing music, the music industry is killing music. It seems that with every evolution in the way music is recorded, distributed, promoted and sold, somebody claims that music is being killed. Yet despite these claims a quick search of Soundcloud, Bandcamp, You Tube or a blog such as this will show that music is still very much alive. Thousands of people are creating music every day. They’ve been doing so since the first day of time. Music itself isn’t dying – maybe the music industry is (or at least it’s changing) – but all over the world people are continuing to make and perform music. Sure, the prospects of having a long-term sustainable career as a professional musician may be dwindling, but the beat of creation goes on all the same.

Recently Sean Adams, founder of Drowned in Sound responded to a piece on MP3 music blogs dying a slow death on Evolver FM (Edit : Sean wasn't saying that blogs were dying, just responding to questions regarding an article saying they were). He said “I hate this constant churnover of new music. In fact, I’d argue that an obsession with the new has been more damaging to music than piracy. This constant desire to upgrade, regardless of quality or the depth of relationship you have, seems ever so fickle for both bloggers and music fans.”

He has a point, although unfortunately his opinions that the obsession with the new is more damaging than piracy weren’t backed up with much factual evidence. Sean is right though, there are blogs that seem to post MP3 streams or You Tube videos the moment they come out, in what appears to be as much as about appearing relevant and on the case as it does about love for the music. As Sean suggests “There is so much blind love and excitement, with people reposting tracks faster than the time it would take to listen to the entire song, let alone form an opinion on it. I think there is a loss of editorializing and providing context.”

Sean’s concerns seem to come from a traditional rock journo perspective that a fan should develop a relationship with a band and that the most important ingredient of music is time. It’s not something that we disagree with. However, alongside this traditional view we’d like to offer another viewpoint, that’s less set in the world of the rock-hack and finds more relationship with the world of pop music, where the long term is often not a consideration and a quick one night stand is considered more acceptable.

The internet works fast. It speeds up everything we do. Information flows at a rapid rate. Technology works faster than ever before. It’s why the ‘upgrade generation’ need to have the latest phone model. Why perfectly good working order TV sets are replaced with ‘better’ versions. These days, keeping up is everything to an increasing amount of our ultra-speed modern society – the ‘buzz blog’ has been born out of this necessity to keep up. 

But even if keeping up isn’t particularly important to us, as a music blog that firmly sits in the category of ‘fan journalism’ when we discover some music we adore we want to tell readers about it. Not in six weeks time, not in two weeks time, but now. Because that’s what love of pop music is. It’s a rush of chemicals that make you want to punch the air and shout “yes, this is f*cking brilliant.” It’s like meeting someone that you’re instantly attracted to and thinking “I don’t care if it isn’t going to last, I want to have sex with this person today.” But our point is that sometimes one night stands do develop into long term relationships, other times they don’t; that’s the luck (or skill) of the lottery of pop. Who would have thought for example that 25 years after the release of her first single Kylie Minogue would still be going strong and have a huge fan base? That’s longer than The Smiths kept going.

Sean says that “I think one of the biggest problems with music right now is people devouring things for short periods of time and constantly ‘upgrading’ to the next, newest, shiniest, hottest, jammiest thing.” He’s right, this is certainly happening. But is it actually a problem? Only if you’re someone trying to make a living out of music. If you’re just a fan of music, when you hear something good then you want to devour it. You don’t owe the artist or anyone involved with them anything – as an independent blogger you’re free to do what you like, you’re under nobody’s payola. Sometimes (to modify the words of Shakespeare) the appetite for a certain band or group will sicken and die, because that’s how pop music (and increasingly rock music) works. Yet sometimes, maybe only occasionally, something will stick and remain to be chewed over for a longer period.

Here’s an example. It’s the new song by Foxes. We first wrote about her in summer of 2011 when she was using her name of Loui Rose. We also named her as one of our Ones to Watch for 2012. So it’s fair to say we’re a fan. If this was a real-life relationship rather than a musical one we’d have probably done the whole “I want to have sex,” thing by now, actually got down to the nitty-gritty, done it, enjoyed it and thought there may be a future in it. Now we’ve begun to see if the relationship was actually strong enough to survive. White Coats is good enough for us to currently think it will. We’d like to urge you to spend some time with her as well. That sounds wrong and rude, but let’s remember it’s the musical seduction we’re talking about here not real love making.

So yes, there’s the buzz of the new (albeit this track has been out a few days – a long time in certain sectors of the blogosphere), but we hope that like everything we put on this blog you get something else out of reading – be it entertainment (even if it’s just a pathetic sexual analogy), some context, discussion or additional information. That’s why we don’t believe music blogs are dying at all and we don’t believe they’re killing music, far from it. We firmly believe they are supporting it and moving the conversation forward. We totally agree with Sean that the best music needs time and that the ‘churnover’ without editorial adds very little (when we post a track on twitter with a link to Soundcloud or You Tube we're well aware that we're adding to the 'churnover'), but music has to get heard in the first place and in their own small way blogs can help do this, rather like John Peel used to do with his radio show. That’s why we’re defending the obsession with the new – it excites us, some of it will develop into a longer lasting love and hell we’d rather listen to this Foxes song right now than The Beatles for the 1000th time, which frankly is akin to necrophilia. But we guess some people get a kick out of that.

This is our last post for a few days, we're taking a break for Easter. See you later next week.

Foxes - White Coats