Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Kate Nash - Fri-End (Video)

When Kate Nash announced yesterday that she was about to reveal a new surprise on Twitter using the hashtag #KatesSurprise we decided it was time to nip down to the garden shed and get the ear defenders out again. Because the last #KatesSurprise was the atrocious Under-Estimate The Girl, a vulgar noise that led us to hypothesise that Kate Nash was either carrying out a very clever (but risky) PR stunt, is doing pop music in reverse and / or one of 8 other theories (which you can read here).

In the end having seen Nash live twice this summer we came to the conclusion that quite simply, Kate had got a bit older and changed a bit. After all if you remember your seventeen year old teenage-self compared to what you were like at twenty five you’ll probably realise that life doesn’t stay still and your ideas, ideals, tastes and beliefs mould and grow. To use a cliché Kate seems to have adopted the old adage that ‘I’m doing what I like now and if anyone else likes it, it’s a bonus.’ It doesn’t change our mind that Under-Estimate The Girl is still a crime against music, but we respect Kate’s right to do what she wants to do and even admire her for not taking the obvious route of simply attempting to repeat the likes of Foundations and Mouthwash for the rest of her life. Career suicide ? Maybe. But it's actually nice to see someone taking a risk in a society that is becoming ever more conservative musically and also offer some inspiration and an alternative view of things to her predominantly young female audience. We don’t believe (as we theorised in the past) that Kate is creating the type of music she is now making simply to get attention (although let’s face it, to a certain extent every musician that puts their music out in the public domain wants some kind of attention – otherwise why put it out in public at all?) but because, quite simply, this is what she wants to do.

So with ear defenders at the ready we pressed play on Fri-End, Kate’s new song, complete with Halloween inspired video. Whilst Fri-End isn’t going to appeal to the masses and is hardly a unique and original piece of art, but it is a fizzy energetic surf-punk romp that's way better than Under-Estimate The Girl. It even manages to hold on to some of Kate’s previous pop sensibilities - just dressed in a different way. Yes there’s some guttural shouting, yes it’s a bit noisy, but guess what? Fri-End is actually a hell of a lot of fun.

You can get the song for free by joining Kate’s mailing list.

Kate Nash, we’re sorry about some of the stuff we said in the past. But just like you we're allowed to change. Not everyone is going to think this, but we think that right now, you're kind of A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Kate Nash - Fri-End (Video)

Wanderhouse - New Waves

Ellie Goulding’s Lights has been a huge sleeper hit stateside and as a result has been remixed to buggery by virtually everyone out there. It has to be said that a lot of these mixes are very inferior. So you can understand why when we saw what appeared to be yet another version of the song dropping into our inbox we uttered a weary sigh of resignation and almost pressed delete before even giving it the time of day. Thankfully something stopped us. That something was the involvement of Los Angeles producer Dr Rosen Rosen. This is the man who has produced and co-written with previous Breaking More Waves blog crush odd ball Meg Myers and has turned in remixes for the likes of La Roux and M.I.A.

Wanderhouse is his new project with Portland singer Marie Moreshead (we assume the dog pictured above isn't part of the creative part of the machine) and their version of Lights (a cover not a remix) gets right to the bone, stripping the beats and electronica away to form something sensual, evocative and brooding. Add to that their earlier Hype Machine smash Use Me Up, a powerful yet intricate song whose lyrics could have easily come from the aforementioned Meg Myers repertoire: “You can use me up and I’ll give you everything. Chew me up and spit me out, I’ll love you anyway,” and you have a band / project that are deserving of your attention. What’s even better is that both tracks are free to download. How good is that? You know what to do....

Wanderhouse - Lights

Wanderhouse - Use Me Up

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Paradise - New Waves

Have you ever been in that situation where you realise that your feelings for someone you’ve always just liked have changed? The dawning thought that friendship isn’t enough anymore? That despite all the logic, you’re about to fall in love?

This is because often the best relationships take time.

Just like our relationship with music.

Yes, of course there’s the giddy f*ck of a brilliant pop song. The one that metaphorically pulls your pants down and has you rapturously up against the wall in seconds on the first listen. But there’s also that song or record that is likeable enough at the beginning, but finally after hanging out with you for a while suddenly kisses your ears unexpectedly in just the right way.

Endless Wave by newcomers Paradise is one of those records. Initially it sounds nice, pleasant even, but hardly the stuff of revelation, but then the more you hear it the more likely you’ll be sighing with joy and falling in love. With an earworm chorus, this is a dreamy yet life-affirming pop song that makes us want to snog the face off whoever is standing next to us when we hear it. You have been warned. Pucker up. We’re in love.

Paradise - Endless Wave

San Zhi - Ice Light (Video)

Warning. This post is largely mindless waffle ("aren't they all?" the crowd shouts). If you don't like blog posts about blogging and the concepts behind them go straight to the bottom and press play on the video. Otherwise read on.

Last week we had a small twitter conversation with Mike Taylor of Amazing Radio and The Big Beat Blog fame. He posed a question about music. “How old does something have to be for it not to be considered new?” Our reply was that it largely depended on context; new to you personally, or an audience? Then the next criteria is how musically educated are the audience? 

Breaking More Waves is primarily a new music blog which means that by and large you won’t find us posting about a song released five years ago, unless we’re running some sort of special feature such as last year’s Music That Made Me which was purposely designed to give some background to the authorship of Breaking More Waves and to react against the throwaway culture that new music blogging can arguably help perpetuate.

However our difficulty in deciding what to post as ‘new’ (providing that it meets the most important criteria – that we must like it) is that we don’t know our regular readers. What have they already heard and what haven’t they heard? It’s why quite often we like to write more than just a standard review / description of the music, because at least if as a reader you already know the song or band you might find something of value / funny / entertaining / thought provoking in the text to make your visit worthwhile. It always gives us great pleasure when people say to us that they don’t like all the music on Breaking More Waves but they enjoy reading it anyway.

It’s why yesterday today we posted a ‘new’ act called Twigs.Twigs is an artist that many blogs first posted about this summer, but we hope that our post shed a little more light on Twigs than most. For example the post linked to a piece of music that Twigs was streaming 2 years ago, way before any blog had featured or probably heard of her, which other blogs hadn’t picked up on. This leads us back to the original question; how old does something have to be for it not to be considered new? With only slightly over 100 plays for most people the ‘old’ Twigs track is probably ‘new’. Yet it’s actually quite old.

New music blog? Or new-old music blog perhaps? Does it really matter? Probably not. But then it probably does, because despite our waffle what probably first brought you here was something to do with the discovery or finding out more about new music.

So here’s some more new-old music, as we’ve featured this alluring tune before as a stream in September, but now the band in question, San Zhi, has a video. Except the video has already been on line a month. So it’s not particularly ‘new’ either. But then at the time of writing the video only has just under 3,000 views which means that there’s a huge amount of people who haven’t seen it. We can only hope that you’re one of them. This is San Zhi and the video for Ice Light. New or not it remains absolutely lovely.

San Zhi - Ice Light

Monday, 29 October 2012

Twigs - New Waves

Today’s new artist is called Twigs. She’s a performer who cropped up on many early adopter blogs this summer with the usual ‘we don’t know much about her / them’ type commentary and a provocative not safe for work video featuring a see through bra, a gyrating body and a strategically placed flower. Even now,several months on she doesn't seem to have any sort of website or facebook page and is keeping things low key. Yet the very observant among you (or those with good Google detective skills like us) may have been able to find out a little more about her.

Twigs is London model and singer Tahliah Barnett, although according to The Bouche Diary she has also used the name Twigs Paramour. It’s easy to understand why she started out semi-anonomously with this project; we wonder if the hipper end of the music blogosphere would have paid Tahliah so much attention if they knew that she had appeared in the videos of Jessie J for example? (She first appears around the 20 second mark). We’d like to think they would have done, because the music (or rather the two songs that she’s put out officially so far) are distinctively good;  a mix of dreamy ethereal vocals and slow-mo electronic atmospherics close to the likes of Grimes, Aluna George or a more electronic Lykke Li. Yet indie / alt snobbery can be a funny old thing. For example how many blogs would be exulting Jessie Ware’s praises earlier this year or last if they had known that this autumn she’d be on a daytime  cookery show making dumplings? The music hasn’t changed, but perception of an artist’s credibility does. Right now with her arty videos and clever media positioning Twigs is ultra-credible. Give it a year though and maybe she'll be making chocolate brownies on Celebrity Come Dine With Me.

If you fancy doing a bit more snooping you can find some earlier Twigs material from a couple of years back (here), which seems to take some references from first album Marina & The Diamonds. So the Twigs project and the music that has come from it has developed over time.

More recently you may have already seen Twigs face on the cover of i-D magazine where her youthful gaze stared out petulantly with the word Love formed out of hair on her forehead, although according to one of her biographies she’s been modelling since she was seven years old. This sense of knowing what looks good continues into the video for her second song Ache, which features a man who looks a little like a distressed Bane from Batman writhing around. It’s a little freaky but suits the music perfectly. She's one to keep an eye and ear out for in 2013 we suspect, hopefully because of the music, not her cooking skills.

Twigs - Ache (Video)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Seasfire - We Will Wake

There’s something going on way out west, and no, we don’t mean the Swedish summer music festival. For whenever we turn our ears in that direction there’s some feverishly good (and varied) music coming out of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Devon. From our favourite musical wallflower Alice Jemima to face-painted party blasters The Other Tribe to the shadowy claustrophobic rock of Seasfire.

It’s Seasfire who we turn our attention to right now with the news of a new five track EP being released through Cheap Thrills ((DJ/producer Herve's record label) on Dec 3. The title track We Will Wake is a powerful piece of modern rock music, where brittle beats, soft piano and weird guitar sounds build to a hooky chorus that you can lose yourself in.  “We can dream this nightmare over, we can dream this nightmare away, but it won’t be long till shadows gone and dawn will break.” There’s less of a late night heaviness to We Will Wake than their previous material, from the music right down to the title of the song. Let’s hope the rest of Britain (and the rest of the world) sees the light and wakes up to this band soon.

Seasfire - We Will Wake

Friday, 26 October 2012

Matt Corby - Brother (Video)

With dates in Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham already sold out on his forthcoming UK tour, Matt Corby goes from strength to strength. This muscle will be pumped a little further by the release of the Into The Flame EP in the UK. The lead track from the EP is Brother, which we first featured on the blog in February. The song is now picking up valuable play on BBC Radio and we fully expect Corby to be picking up fans quicker than a whirlwind lifts up debris.

Whilst Matt was in London recently he recorded this stripped back version of Brother. With its falsetto howls, tender intimacies and straight from the soul rawness, it’s well worth your attention. The EP is released on November 12.

Matt Corby - Brother (Stripped back version video)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Violet - What You Gave To Me

One of the problems with the internet is that it makes everything seem bigger and more important than it actually is. Another is that it doesn’t have a pause button. As soon as something is uploaded and anyone has any sort of judgement on it, no matter how poorly thought out or how little knowledge on the subject they have, they can press play with their opinion and declare it to the world. We call this the megaphone of ignorance.

Earlier this year Paul Lester’s Guardian New Band of the Day column caused a bit of a stir by featuring model and Bob Geldof’s daughter and her new band Violet. Normally Paul’s column gets a small number of reader’s comments after it is published, but the Violet feature and its accompanying thumbs up praise led to what seemed to be every lurking reader crawling out of the woodwork with an opinion. Many of these were scathing comments based on the one song that was featured and / or seemed to attack Geldof's right to coverage because of her celebrity status.  Now as any self-respecting music fan will know you should never judge a band on just one song or background, but we’ve probably all done it at some time and occasionally had to eat humble pie later.

It’s why when two weeks after this event, when we wrote about Violet we did so with a bit more knowledge than many of the negative “this is the sort of bland tosh for which the word "meh" was coined,” comments had, because we had seen the band live and like Lester were impressed.

We don’t care if Pixie Geldof is something of a celebrity, or if she has a marketing budget behind her, or if she has a famous daddy. Because all we care about is one single fact; do we like the music? This is what Breaking More Waves is about. Label or not / signed or unsigned / industry contacts or alone, all we’re listening for is something to make our ears orgasm. If we keep ourselves tied up with mental chains we’re limiting our opportunities to experience something special.

What You Gave To Me is one of those orgasms. It’s not a fast and furious short-fused explosion of quivering trembles. No, this is a long slow building moment of pleasure, best played in the low light of the witching hour. Lay back and enjoy its spell. 

Violet - What You Gave To Me

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Celestial Trax - New Waves

From replacing vowels with consonants (with the subtitle The Blvck Ghxst), to a strap line that talks of beats from Shoreditch, Celestial Trax is certainly capturing the zeitgeist right now; and with edgy laptop generated jams the music does much the same. Don’t let that statement put you off though, form your judgements on the quality of the music and the music alone rather than its level of fashion or coolness.

He / she / they (we’re not really sure of real identities at the moment, although there’s a suggestion that they’re a collective) make the sort of electronic future-pop that sounds in equal parts druggy, glitchy, weird and sexy - and if you’re like us you’ll agree there’s nothing better than a sexy tune. (Not this song though). There’s references to the likes of Purity Ring and Aluna George in their sound whilst tracks like Nu Life carry some remnants of the Witch House movement (remember that?) with added laser synth stabs stopping the whole thing becoming too overbearing. You can hear all of this and a bundle more over at Soundcloud here.

Our favourite tune is the horny bubbling and ambient rave-gaze of Family, a collaboration with Vision of Trees, which features a D-I-Y scrapbook style photo video complete with edgy photos of anarchist shop looters, gold bars, hooded figures and images of death. Hear the track below alongside the warmly dripping and vibey r’n’b of White Stare Black Venom. There’s a lot of this stuff around at the moment, but this is some of the best. We like.

Celestial Trax - Family (featuring Visions of Trees)

Celestial Trax - White Stare Black Venom

Monday, 22 October 2012

Gathering Festival 2012 - Review

Oxford’s Gathering Festival, a multi-venue, multi-gig, one day festival located in the Cowley Road area of Oxford might not yet be as established or well known as comparable but bigger events such as Great Escape, Camden Crawl or Swn, but in what is widely perceived as a difficult year for festivals, it sold out and more than held its own against the competition.

Here are 10 things we learnt at Gathering, Oxford, 2012. 

1. Using a church as one of the venues helps reduce hangovers.

It’s easy for these multi-venue urban festivals to simply turn into one monstrous pub crawl with the music acting as a backing track. Thankfully Cowley Road Methodist Church acted as a shield to this, with no alcohol being allowed in the venue. Hence we witnessed silently engaged audiences for both Karima Francis & Nina Nesbitt. “If you’re drinking, don’t drink too fast,” Karima suggested to the audience – certainly god was ensuring that this advice was heeded whilst in his house.

2. The music of Wall is as vulnerable and sparse in real life as it sounds on record.

Playing on the smallest of stages in a record store / cafe ( the Truck Store ) the three pieces subtle, minimal and intimate sounding music was as comforting as the smell of coffee that wafted through the room. No Secrets (streaming below) was just one of several adorable moments that left us sighing with warm infatuation.

3. Some punters are only there for the ‘hits’.

You had to feel a little sorry for Nina Nesbitt. The moment after she’d finished playing current single Boy in the Methodist Church a good 20% of the audience left, we assume to ensure that they were at the O2 Academy in time for one of the days main pulls Bastille, who we understand it eventually became one in one out for.

4. Some groups wear their influences (not just on their sleeves) as well as play them.

With one of their number wearing a Dinosaur Jr t-shirt, scrappy noise merchants Poledo opened Gathering at East Oxford Community Centre with a bunch of forceful  riffs and tunes that sound like a lo-fi version of that very group. Credit to their bass player for pulling some jerky axe hero guitar poses during their set rather than just standing there looking bored like many bass players do.

5. Don’t judge a band by their appearance.

Swiss Lips might have looked like they’ve just rolled out of Urban Outfitters or some other hipster styling booth, but by dipping their heavily electronic influenced sounds in a pot of hooks and energy it was impossible to judge them as anything but pop gold , albeit the audience had to wait quite some time to discover this with the bands set being delayed by what appeared to be technical problems.

6. Don’t judge a band by their appearance #2.

The Other Tribe may look like a warped version of rejects from the Klaxons and the lost illegitimate children of Adam Ant with their tribal face paints and gangly dancing, but their non-stop crowd-pleasing dance mission provided an elated hands in the air party of beats, grooves and sweaty smiling euphoria.

7. Gathering is the easiest multi-venue festival in the world.

No trudging all over the city to arrive at the gig only to find it’s at capacity and then face a long walk somewhere else. Every venue at Gathering was just a stone’s throw from each other.

8. Never write off an artist on the basis of one album or performance– everyone deserves a second chance.

Back in 2009 Blackpool’s Karima Francis was being touted as a ‘next big thing’. It never happened and her debut record The Author failed to create sparks. Likewise when we saw her last time, her Joan Armatrading-esque open confessionals left us thinking ‘so what’ and unmoved. Yet playing to a busy seated crowd at Gathering everything makes sense. Karima’s voice was raw and soulful, her bands simple acoustic sound rich and immersing. Karima struck back.

9. Dan Croll might be a very popular young man.

His set at Gathering saw temperatures rise and a packed venue. The question is was this because some of the other venues weren’t open yet and everybody was just looking for something to see, or is Croll actually a rising star?

10. No matter how levelling and good for your sense of community a muddy field, some portaloos, a tent and not washing properly for three days is, there’s something to be cherished about a festival where in between bands you can nip to Costa Coffee for a sit down and a cappuccino.

We rest our case for this type of festival right there.

Gathering 2012 was undoubtedly a success. Same place same time next year then ?

Here's one of our highlights:

Wall - No Secrets

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Haim - Don't Save Me

If we had to choose a band to spend an evening to hang out with, we’d probably choose Haim; because Haim seem like immense fun. They’re a group that seem to understand that it’s possible to not take music seriously at all whilst at the same time taking the music very seriously. They probably win our award for best in between song banter at any gig we’ve been to this year.

Don’t Save Me is their first single, following on from their debut EP and first cropped up on a few blogs a few days ago in a quite possibly not legitimate radio rip form, but we’ve been waiting for the official stream which made its way onto the internet yesterday. It’s got a strangely glossy soft focus  80’s teen movie soundtrack quality to it – we’re thinking Mannequin, Breakfast Club, Top Gun or Pretty In Pink - and takes only a couple of listens to get under your skin.

The Haim sisters are already being widely tipped as one of those bands that will end up on the end of year tip lists (yes, that’s how it works these days, people tip who may be on the tip lists - at this rate next year people will be tipping who will be on the tip lists for the end of year tip lists). In fact we made our prediction back in August (here). Of course Breaking More Waves will be publishing its annual Ones to Watch list from sometime in late November, hopefully just before the BBC Sound of 2013 list is announced. Will Haim be on ours? You’ll have to wait and see.

Haim return to our home country of the UK this November for some headline shows (we’ll be catching them at Brighton’s Haunt) before some support slots with Florence & The Machine.

Haim - Don't Save Me

Friday, 19 October 2012

Some Things About Girls Aloud and Something New

*We apologise for any swearing in this post. Girls Aloud make us feel like that. In a f*cking good way.

So by now you will probably know that Girls Aloud are back. They have a new single imaginatively titled Something New and it’s sh*t out bricks brilliant. You will also soon be able to purchase Ten, a greatest hits album, released in November, which like all the best Greatest Hits albums will actually contain all of their best songs, because that’s what pop bands are about – singles not albums. So it’s a Best Of and a Greatest Hits.

Here are some further thoughts:

Nicola Roberts is Girls Aloud’s pistol in the pocket.

Girls Aloud’s secret weapon has always been N-Robz. N-Robz is what makes Girls Aloud different. Girls Aloud have finally realised this. Look at where she’s positioned in the picture above. Not to the side, or tucked away at the back but right in the middle. It is this transition from Nicola the ginger that couldn’t dance, couldn’t sing whom no one wanted’ to ‘N-Robz the sexy talented intelligent human and amazing pop star’ that completes the Girls Aloud journey.

After the 2013 tour Girls Aloud must never get back together again.

This tour needs to be like having sex with someone you not only fancy the pants off but love truly and deeply, but knowing that because they are about to die or move to another part of the world to marry someone else you will never get this opportunity again. In other words, a proper final passionate, sweaty, romp.

Girls Aloud are the best female only vocal pop group since the 1960’s. Fact.

Spice Girls ? Pah. Destiny’s Child ? Bleurgh. Bananarama ? Nowhere near. The reason ? None of those bands Greatest Hits LP’s would have so many great hits on it. Nor do any of them have N-Robz.

When the girls tour next year the set must only be about Girls Aloud.

But if they insist on performing solo career stuff only Cheryl (Fight For This Love) and N-Robz (Beat Of My Drum, Say It Out Loud and Take A Bite) should be allowed to perform. Throw fairness out of the window – it needs to be about quality.

It doesn’t matter who you are, tweeting pictures of your food is dull.

The girls need to improve their new twitter feed. It took less than 20 tweets before we saw a picture of their breakfast. Next they’ll be tweeting pictures of their pussies  cats to the world – the ultimate in dull tweets.

The music shouldn’t end here though.

N-Robz should have another crack at a solo album. The first one was the most honest and exciting pop record of 2011. Next time maybe she could transfer those qualities into a commercial success.

The Greatest Hits album will be one of the best albums of 2012.

Those who think that Ten shouldn’t count  in end of year best of charts because it’s a greatest hits and is pop music can f*ck right off. How can any album that has the likes of Biology, Love Machine, Call The Shots, Sound of the Underground and The Promise not be one of the best albums of the year? To deny it shows that you’re some sort of smug intellectual who doesn’t understand pop music.

The new single (below) is something kind of ooooh… No, it’s something kind of f*cking amazing. 

F.U.C.K.I.N.G  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G  No need for asterisks.

Girls Aloud - Something New

Indiana - Blind As I Am (Video)

Fans of the likes of Delilah and perhaps Jessie Ware are likely to become quite enchanted with the cool laid-back down-tempo sounds of Nottingham songstress Indiana. Her debut single Blind As I Am may sound familiar to you having been given some exposure on Breaking More Waves back in June before receiving airplay on Radio 1 from Huw Stephens and Annie Mac at the start of October, however it will only see the light of day as a single on Nov 19th through No Romeo records.

To accompany the song Indiana recently put out the video below. Filmed overnight in an abandoned candle lit school it gives this warm sounding electronic soul tune a ghostly chilliness. This is a lovely slice of subdued pop, that could well leave you breathless. 

We have half a suspicion that you’ll be hearing quite a lot more of Indiana next year, and not because she's raiding lost arks.

Indiana - Blind As I Am (Video)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Alice Jemima - By Your Side (Tony Casanova Edit)

We tweeted about this last night, but we thought it deserved a greater degree of permanency than the few minutes of scroll-down visibility that twitter offers.

By now the name Alice Jemima will be instantly recognisable to anybody who has paid a passing interest in Breaking More Waves over the last year and a half. We seem to have adopted her as our own internet side kick/project and the reasons for this are quite simple; every song she creates and uploads seduces us with her brand of calm simplicity and graceful melody. As a songwriter Alice continues to grow in maturity and confidence and yet this blooming talent from Devon is still only nineteen. It seems that we’re not alone in our love for Miss Jemima either, with a whole heap of blogs pushing the original of By Your Side into the Hype Machine charts and a BBC Radio 1 session booked and about to be recorded for future airing.

So today we’re bringing you something a little different from Alice. It would be easy to argue that her songs are so pure, so perfectly formed, that any sort of production or remix will only suck the soul from the beauty of what she creates. So in theory when Berlin based producer Tony Casanova got his hands on By Your Side and remixed it into a house jam it just shouldn’t work. But it does. As Alice’s soft unhurried voice circles and slides into the track halfway through, negative emotions are washed away. Imagine hearing this with friends or someone you love at the end of a big night out, just as the sun is rising, the ground holding an unreal coral orange glow.

“Let’s dance till the morning light,” Alice coos. Now we have a track to do just that to.

You can listen to the original of By Your Side here and buy a copy of her self-produced, home recorded EP on CD that looks like vinyl here.

Alice Jemima - By Your Side (Tony Casanova Edit)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

How To Write A New Music Blog

This year Breaking More Waves has received a number of emails (well 3 at least - but that's still a number. The magic number in fact) from people asking either can they write for us (our answer – no, this is our vision, go and write your own) or can we give them any tips about writing a new music blog (our answer – you’re probably asking the wrong blog). However as we've been going a while now we've probably picked up a few ideas along the way. So we’ve studiously put together (ie: written in about 20 minutes after getting back from a night out) this guide (we won’t call it a comprehensive guide, because it isn’t, it's just some thoughts, spewing out onto the screen like laptop vomit) about how to write a new music blog. It means that now when that ‘tips’ question comes our way we can just link to this post. Simple.

This isn’t intended as a technical guide to setting up a music blog or how to ensure search engine maximisation (again we’re the wrong blog to ask) or a style guide of how to write, but more a philosophy of things to think about when starting up. So without further ado here’s our short list of new music blog do’s and don’ts.

1. The Rules

There are no rules. It’s your blog, not someone else’s. Write how you want and feature what you want and not what anyone else is telling you. (Deletes the rest of this list)

2. The Objectives

If you’re still reading, have a think about what you want to achieve from the blog. For example if you want to get into lots of gigs for free on guest / press lists you need to start reviewing plenty of gigs. If you want to be sent lots of new music you need to be writing about new music (kind of obvious really). If you want the blog to be a showcase for your journalistic skills (for possible future employment) then you probably need to write lots of different types of articles (interviews, features, news, reviews) to showcase your skill set. If you want to communicate to the world your excellent taste and convince people that they should listen to it then make sure you show that love, enthusiasm and joy you have for the artist(s) in question in your writing. If you want to have sex with Britney Spears then writing a music blog is probably not going to assist you.

3. Be Yourself

Be yourself when writing. This will engage people much more than trying to pen some sort of false prose. It will give consistency and a return readership. Don’t think you have to be highly literate – the best communicators are often those who use the simplest words the most effectively. (Or that’s what we keep telling our non-flowery language self).

4. Don’t Strive To Be The First To Post The Latest Buzz Band

Don’t even attempt to be the first to post the latest hip thing. No one except a few cooler-than-thou blogger types sat masturbating in their bedrooms over their email in box are bothered or interested about this, but once you’ve been writing a blog for a while it’s easy to get caught up in this mentality. The vast majority of people really don’t care how early you are posting songs. First to post is for losers and a game you’ll ultimately never win. 

5. Do Strive To Be The First To Post

If you’re writing a new music blog, sometimes you need to feature music that virtually nobody has heard before. So seek out those great bands and songs that nobody has written about yet – the artists are likely to be hugely grateful for the exposure and who knows, if you think they’re good, maybe others will as well. This is a very different kettle of fish to (4) above where thirty bloggers all get the same PR company email of the latest hot new band and rush to post it the second they receive it. Seek out the great unknown.

6. Decide If You’re A ‘Fan’ Blog or A ‘Critic’ Blog

Love is blind and sometimes it’s difficult to be objective as a fan. We’d recommend that before you get too involved in writing the blog you decide if you’re writing from this perspective (most of Breaking More Waves is now written in this way – positive, enthusiastic, non-critical and romancing the music) or a more objective critical perspective. It’s hard (although possible) to do both. For example if you’re a fan blog and you don’t like a piece of music you won’t write about it, if you’re a critic you’ll analyse / review it.

7. Don’t Worry About Hits

They’ll come if you give it time, post enough and what you are creating is good. 

8. Do Worry About Hits

If after a year nobody is reading your blog, something is probably wrong and you need to rethink what you're doing. After all (and taking into account the 'think what your objective is' tip) if you're writing and creating content you must be creating it for someone ?

9. Networking

We hate the idea of networking (we prefer the idea of real friendship rather than ‘what can you do for me and what can I do for you') but the reality is that if you want your blog to get a bit of a name for itself (and again that depends on your objective) you’re probably going to have to do a bit of networking, either in the real world or the online one. It’s probably pretty important that you run blog related Twitter and Facebook accounts to maximise your reach. (Yes and we are well aware that Breaking More Waves doesn’t have a Facebook page – we never said we were perfect or even followed our own advice – please refer back to (1) The Rules.)

10. Set Up A Blog Email In Box Separate From Your Personal Email Account

This sounds obvious, but we learnt the hard way. What was our personal email now receives on average 80 emails every day from bands, labels and PR companies. Be prepared for the onslaught.

11. Google Your Proposed Blog Name

Ok, this one is slightly about search engine maximisation. If your blog gets well known people will actually start searching for it on Google. We've also learnt through our blog statistics that people search for "Ellie Goulding At Bestival Breastfeeding" which is a bit odd, but that's another story.So make sure your blog has a unique name which isn't confused with other sites.

12. Blog Aggregators Are Useful (But Not Essential)

One good way of directing some traffic to your blog is to sign up to blog aggregators such as Hype Machine (the daddy of music blog aggregators) and the like. Before you can get listed by Hype Machine you’ll have to be reasonably established and posting a fair amount of MP3's.  Have a look here at the criteria Hype Machine use for selecting blogs.

13. Pace Yourself

It’s the reason most blogs fail. Having decided what sort of blog you’re going to be and what your objectives are, think realistically about how many times you can post in a week. Breaking More Waves tries to post once a day during weekdays and occasionally at weekends, but we struggle. A full time job, a family and a busy social life mean that often blogs are pre-written in the early hours of the morning (such as this one – the current time is 1.25am and we have to be up at 6.30am for work), or early on a Saturday before most people are awake. But then we’re pretty committed and good at surviving on little sleep. Most people aren’t, so look at how much spare time you have, decide how much you want to spend on the blog and then prepare and write posts accordingly. We’d advise that you start slowly and then build up a head of steam as you go if you find you have capacity. Too many blogs burn out quickly or even in the longer term because of the classic ‘haven’t enough time anymore’ statement.

14. Ignore All Of The Above

Even the bit about Britney Spears. Who knows what may happen – writing this blog has taken us to places we’d never expect to go and we’ve met people we’d never have expected to meet. Anything is possible. is still up for grabs. Any takers?

Britney Spears - Till The World Ends (Video)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Jetta - Can You Hear Me (Live Acoustic Video)

Last week we introduced a new artist – the incredible Jetta. So this week we’re starting off with some video footage which demonstrates exactly why that word incredible is fully justified. Here Jetta strips back Can You Hear Me to something raw, fully convincing and delivers the song with an easy and effortless power.

If you’re in London here’s our suggestion this week; no, it’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. Do whatever it takes to find yourself £5. Sell your mums Abba CD’s, steal from a beggar, turn to prostitution, just do it. 

Then take yourself down to Camden Monarch on Wednesday 17 October to watch not only the incredible (we said it again – sometimes repetition is the best kind of reinforcement of a view) Jetta but also another artist who we sneaked onto the blog last May – Laurel – who signed  a deal with one of Universal’s development arms Turnfirst in June (hear her beautiful song Next Time by clicking the link under her name). It will be the best £5 you’ve spent this year. Watch Can You Hear Me and see why we’re not wrong about Jetta. INCREDIBLE.

Jetta - Can You Hear Me (Live)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Pawws - New Waves

The unsearchable artist is a new concept that this golden age of Google has delivered. The solution often seems to be unspeakably bad spelling; Chvrches, Curxes and Splashh are all recent culprits that have been featured on Breaking More Waves. Yet if we look back through the learned tomes of rock history, the likes of Def Leppard, Megadeth and The Byrds show that radical spelling has always existed in pop and rock circles, giving two fingers to the grammar police. Yet these days the ability to locate the artist on the internet is becoming ever more important.

Today’s new songstress adopts poorly spelt wordage, although probably for more valid reasons than others. Because Lucy Taylor aka Pawws is otherwise going to be hard to differentiate from raucous lo-fi noisesmiths Paws without risking tinnitus. The only problem with the moniker of Pawws is that we suspect come that Google search a lot of people are going to end up at some sort of dog walking service website.

But seek out Pawws you should, because pretty much overnight this London lass has become our new blog-crush favourite, which is ironic considering that one her songs is called Slow Love and pleads not to rush things. She’s still very new (her first Facebook entry was the word 'Shhh'… on August 8th of this year) but already her nursery rhyme-like electronic jams have us down on our knees, worshiping at her altar. The hooky electronic skips and booty wiggling velvety soft simplicity of Do What We Want is a little like a UK version of Grimes, whereas the lullaby I Can Make You Better is as delicately intimate as they come in both in its lyrical content “I’ll sweep your hair from your eyes and wipe that tear off your cheek,” and its sound; all minimalist clicks and quiet miniature notes.

We’re starting you off with Do What We Want and the synth pulses of Time to Say Goodbye which is pretty much our idea of a musical wet dream, sounding like OMD circa Maid of Orleans with Robyn on vocals. We're feeling like the cat with the cream with Pawws. Maybe you will as well.

Footnote: If the sound of Pawws seems familiar, maybe it's because of this?  We haven't had this confirmed, but certainly they share the same name, very similar voices and look the same.

Pawws - Do What We Want

Pawws - Time to Say Goodbye

Friday, 12 October 2012

Lana Del Rey - Ride (Video)

“We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore except to make our lives into a work of art,” intones Lana Del Rey towards the end of the ten minute video for Ride.

This time last year the internet was full of people arguing about Lana’s authenticity. Now here she is once again showing why authenticity is probably the least important thing in pop music and why the most important thing is being brilliant. Look everyone - Lana is acting. The other people in the video are actors. They are not these characters in real life – they are ‘lies’ ‘cheats’ ‘inauthentic’. But it’s a bloody brilliant deceit; one which we could and will watch over and over again. We’d take great art over grubby boring authenticity every time. 

Lana Del Rey - Ride (Video)

No Ceremony/// - Feelsolow

Today for your listening consideration we return to No Ceremony/// who have previously enchanted this blog with the likes of Holdonme and Wearme.

Their new track Feelsolow is fundamentally a pop song, albeit a leftfield pop song hidden under fuzzy vocal effects and an initial air of intensity and melancholy. Yet as the track develops electronic shimmers appear, the beat picks up a notch and suddenly we’re losing ourselves in some sort of hazy, synthy, pulsing euphoric heaven. “Is it wrong to make you love me?” the vocals ask. Not at all. In fact this is a song not just to make you fall in love with but to make some as well. Although the idea of choosing particular songs in advance of some potential hot-blooded bedroom action is a bit of a cheesy cliché, if we were bringing you back ‘for coffee’ we’d quite possibly put this one on to get us in the mood. Ladies, if you’re coming out for a night with Breaking More Waves, you have been warned.

Feelsolow ? More like Feelsohigh. (It's free to download as well - even better)

No Ceremony/// - Feelsolow

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Skinny Lister - Seventeen Summers (Video)

The single sequence shot film is an ambitious and complicated piece of cinematography. From Alexander Sokurov’s incredible 96 minute master piece Russian Ark to the video for Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy, the unfolding flow of images as the camera moves and rotates through the scenery has a certain mesmerising and hypnotic quality.

So now we can welcome to the fold the rollicking English folk sounds of Skinny Lister and their new video for their song Seventeen Summers from the forthcoming Forty Pound Wedding EP. Ok, it may not have the same high budget treatment of either of the two previously quoted pieces of art but the challenges of getting everything in the right place at the right time remain the same. We bet Sokurov didn’t have to deal with an impatient taxi driver on the streets of Soho for example. Make sure you watch to the end, for the concluding scene made us chuckle a little. (And no that concluding scene isn't one of Lorna's infamous knicker flashing exploits)

Footnote : A couple of days ago we tweeted something about The Unthanks being the best folk band in Britain (not Mumford & Sons) and Bellowhead being the second. Of course as The Unthanks reminded us a few minutes later via 140 characters art isn’t a competition, but if it was then in terms of waist-coated folk types right now we’d put Skinny Lister above the Mumford lot, which by our estimation makes them the third best folk band in Britain; and bronze medal is not to be sniffed at, just ask Beth Tweddle. 

Skinny Lister - Seventeen Seconds (Video)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Meg Myers - Curbstomp (Video)

Today’s video is a bit of a WTF moment.

Having previously weirded us out with Barbie in a wheelchair and scary Scrabble love antics  Meg Myers now continues further into the freak zone and confirms exactly why that we would never ever want this lady as our girlfriend.

For here is her debut video proper for the song Curbstomp – a song we originally featured on Breaking More Waves in March.

Innocent teddy bear tea parties (albeit hosted by an adult), violent multi-coloured toys and murderous bananas all feature in a visual treatment which seems to reflect the lyrical themes of a loss of innocence and someone dangerous who is “addicted to the fire.” 

And yes, despite her apparently slightly oddball mental state, we're addicted to Meg.

Meg Myers - Curbstomp (Video)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Jetta - New Waves

Yesterday we mentioned on the blog how over the last few years the UK doesn’t seem short of big voiced female singers. From Adele to Florence and all those in between, big songs + big lungs = big results commercially. Now this observation is nothing new, lots of commentators have said something similar. However, what normally happens now is that those commentators (who are often male) make some vaguely sexist comment about how the market is over saturated with these female singers which frankly is ridiculous considering approximately half the world is made up of women. 

So today we’re introducing Jetta

This Liverpool born lass has previously worked as a backing singer for both Cee-Lo-Green and Paloma Faith (we can imagine her outsinging both) as well as Jakwob where she laid down her titanic tones on his dubstep track Electrify. However, it’s Jetta’s debut solo single, the authoritative Start A Riot that has put her under our spotlight. Here Zetta captures the current big song zeitgeist perfectly;  with a heavyweight soul vocal and a tune that crashes around like it wants to smash its way out of a box labelled ‘third Florence album’. 

Comparisons will inevitably also be drawn with Emile Sandé and Leona Lewis in the UK, but Start A Riot sounds as if it bubbles with a darker intent than either of those two middle of the road artists. It's is an impressive start. Jetta’s out of the traps now, let’s see how far she goes.

Jetta - Start A Riot

Monday, 8 October 2012

Elle King - Playing For Keeps

If you think you’ve read about Elle King on Breaking More Waves before then congratulations on your excellent memory, for we briefly mentioned the 22 year old New York dwelling singer-songwriter who comes via Ohio via California via Philadelphia via Copenhagen via Los Angeles via a piece from Camden (here) earlier this year.

Today we’re adding a little more. Playing For Keeps, taken from her debut EP is a bluesy country-pop stomp that rather like Elle’s voice crackles with grit. Her voice evokes images of a whiskey soaked Adele going country or the lesser known Rosie Oddie from BIGkids without the manic bouncing. Get ready to be raped by Elle’s rasping tones as she belts out the words “It’s a lonely road where the forgotten go, where your misery finds its company,” in the irresistibly hooky chorus of the song. The UK’s been well known for its big lunged female singers over the last few years. Now here’s America putting up a fight.

Elle King - Playing For Keeps

Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Blogger's Thoughts About Ellie Goulding's Musical Journey As She Releases Album Number 2

It seems a long time since we first wrote about Ellie Goulding as a New Wave on the blog (back in February 2009) and saw her play in front of about 50 people in a more than half empty basement club in Brighton later that year.

For a short while she was the darling of many UK blogs; then the first album came out, a number of critics gave it the thumbs down and quite a few bloggers seemed to distance themselves from their previously excited tips. It seems many of them were expecting something more folky and less pop - her early cover versions of the likes of Bon Iver had thrown them off the scent. For us it was one of those moments when so-called music experts weren’t aligned with our thinking. What we heard was a good pop record full of catchy hooks, modern production and a distinctive feathery vocal – it was one of our ten favourite records of 2010. Thankfully it seemed the public took our view, with the album going on to sell 850,000 copies in the UK and the song Lights has since sold over 2.5 million downloads in the US.

However, further down the road we had to shrug our shoulders and let out a sad sigh when Ellie went for the jugular of the mainstream with her cover version of Your Song. It became her biggest hit and raised her profile further, which is undoubtedly a useful thing to do if you want to sustain a living as a performer in this day and age. It certainly stopped her having to think about a career shelf stacking at Tesco, but the song nearly made us fall out with her – it was too bland, too dull and too sickly.

Tomorrow Ellie releases her second album Halcyon. The single Anything Could Happen, with its slightly odd video is power-pop perfection. So far the record has found critics a little more positive and maybe some of the ‘experts’ who predicted that Goulding’s shelf life was going to be short lived will have to rethink their stance. After all, if there’s one thing that every music expert should know is that nothing in the future of pop music is certain.  

We recommend that if you’re buying Halcyon you get the deluxe version. The reason? It features her collaboration with Calvin Harris called I Need Your Love. In that original 2009 New Waves post we quoted Ellie as saying “electronic music won't leave my brain alone and I have a gravitational pull towards electronic producers.” In 2012 that quote still rings very true.(Insert Skrillex and Ellie Goulding joke here if you must) I Need Your Love is a punchy, bouncy electronic number that works equally well on dance floors as in our headphones at home. 

It would seem that maybe Goulding’s journey hasn’t been very complex after all; she’s largely stuck to her electronic pop map, maybe just critics, bloggers and so called experts just haven’t been able to read it very well.

Ellie Goulding with Calvin Harris - I Need Your Love