Sunday, 31 March 2013

Pawws - Slow Love

Despite being huge fans of electronic music we’ve yet to hear a truly great new album from the synth brigade in 2013. In fact all our favourite records (which include the likes of Daughter, Caitlin Rose and Foals) are based in classic indie / rock / country or folk. However there’s still plenty of time, with what looks like being a very strong debut from Chvrches in autumn and a re-focussed Little Boots (hopefully) delivering the goods in May.

However in the arena of singles the computer kids are ruling with a mighty sceptre. One of the potential electronic dance floor queens in waiting in this respect is Pawws, who has already made a couple of appearances on Breaking More Waves with some demos. Now we get Lucy Taylor’s honey coated vocals and glossy disco synths on Slow Love. It’s a song for those who haven’t grasped that real love can be for eternity, so there’s never a need to rush, no how dizzily romantic the idea may seem at the time. “If there’s a chance that we’re going to last, we’ve got to slow it down,” Lucy advises. 

Pawws - Slow Love

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Good Natured - Lovers

One of the beauties of writing a music blog is that everything is time stamped and dated, so it’s like a little miniature musical history book, complete with embarrassing writing and bad music selections, for everyone to look back on. Having said that when we glance over our shoulder at past chapters of Breaking More Waves we’re pretty content with what we’ve done. Sure in hindsight there may be the odd artist or two who we would have rather not fallen in love with, but that’s just like real relationships isn’t it? Everyone has an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend that brings the statement “what was I thinking,” to the brain in their past. If they haven’t they haven’t lived.

Thankfully since we first became a little bit infatuated with The Good Natured back in March 2009, we’ve had no reason to shake our head in despair. We’re still lovers, not haters and our patience is soon to be rewarded with (finally) a debut album called Prism. From it comes this appropriately titled new song called Lovers which sounds a little like it has come straight out of a glossy 80’s teen movie. “You and I could be lovers, but you and I will never be in love,” declares Sarah McIntosh. Ouch. There’s no doubt who is in control here in this energetic and saucy romp from the opening lines about being on top to the lines “come on boy I’m taking over, time to play my game.” We're assuming that game isn't Scrabble or Top Trumps, but whatever it is Sarah is boss it seems.

Lovers is free to download now. Do it and sex up your life.

The Good Natured - Lovers

Friday, 29 March 2013

Alice Jemima - Nightcall

Besides a New Year Maida Vale session for BBC Radio 1 and a handful of live gigs we haven’t heard much from Alice Jemima recently. That doesn’t mean that Alice has given it all up to go and live in a nunnery or pick strawberries in a field in southern Spain though. It’s just for now much of what she’s doing is being kept under wraps. However, to tide us over yesterday she uploaded a new cover version to the internet.

If you’ve seen the movie Drive you’ll no doubt remember Kavinsky’s electro slow jam Nightcall. Über sexy twilight synths, freaky distorted vocals and a guest spot from Lovefoxx from CSS formed the basis of the original, but Alice takes a far more traditional route. Stripping everything down to just a melody and Hofner guitar we’re able to see what a beautifully pretty song Nightcall actually is. Alice’s vocals are both candy-coated and melancholy, a perfect way to either start the day or end the night.

Alice Jemima - Nightcall

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Float Fall - New Waves

We all know that well worn cliché about how sometimes if you are looking for love, the best place to find it is often right under your nose? It often applies to discovering new music as well. Yesterday we spent a seriously long amount of time (four hours to be exact) wading through the blog in-box trying to experience that punch the air moment of elation that comes from unearthing something new that's absurdly brilliant. We failed.

Then just as we were about to give up, we remembered a pretty and melodic pop song we heard a few days back courtesy of Belgian music blog extraordinaire Disco Naïveté. The track in question is called Someday and the band is called Float Fall. This special duo has created one of those tunes that just sounds exquisitely familiar on the very first listen. Yes, it's a comfort blanket of a pop song, but one that we're happy to have the security of. 

From the cute boy-girl vocals, the tiptoe piano, soft pitter-patter beats, underlying simplicity of the keyboard backing and guitars that grow from nothing to something vaguely reminiscent of Coldplay’s Fix You (the second time that song gets a mention on this blog in a week) we challenge you not to immediately fall in love with it. We've read a number of comparisons with The XX on blogs, which we don't really hear, except for the fact that the song uses some simple electronic beats and has male and female voices. If anything the sweet vocals remind us more of The Beautiful South on their huge UK hit A Little Time. 

It took a number of wasted hours to prompt our brain to remember that the needle in the haystack wasn’t in the haystack at all, but in our back pocket just waiting to be pulled out. We’re glad we remembered eventually. This is lovely.

Float Fall - Someday

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Active Child - Evening Ceremony

For anyone that says that electronic music can’t be impossibly romantic and human, all we can suggest is that they haven’t listened to Active Child. Evening Ceremony, a track from the soundtrack of the film The Host (which we also understand somewhat ironically contains Ellie Goulding’s cover of Active Child’s Hanging On) finds Pat Grossi sounding a little insecure about a relationship or even if there could be a relationship at all . “Even if I wanted to love you, would you love me? Even if I wanted to fall for you, would you fall for me?" It’s a sublime slice of Vangelis styled mellow synth ambience, harp, electronic drum pads and distant chiming bells that will make you want to wrap yourself in someone’s arms and feel their warmth.

Active Child - Evening Ceremony

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Curxes - Further Still

This week is huge for fans of electronic pop music. Depeche Mode released their new album Delta Machine, which whilst not achieving the greatness of the likes of Black Celebration or Violator is a vast improvement over previous effort Sound of the Universe. La Roux returns to the fray with a small number of low-key trial-run shows for album number 2 (we’ll be at her Brighton gig – keep an eye out on twitter for our thoughts about that) and one of our Ones to Watch 2013 Chvrches release their brain tingling loin moistening Recover EP. Finally cult-blitz-popsters Curxes (another of our Ones To Watch 2013, who in their early days were compared to Depeche Mode with a female vocalist) release a new free to download single. Is this all some carefully constructed plan by the synth gang to wrestle the crown away from the ‘guitar music is back’ brigade or merely coincidence? Frankly we don’t care. That old cliché that we like any music as long as it’s good holds true and this new material by Curxes is indeed rather tremendous.

Curxes have been described as dramatic, intense and as the sound of two robots fucking (oh hold on, we said that one) after bombarding our senses with the 2012 sister singles Haunted Gold and Spectre. So it’s pretty easy to assume we’ve all got Curxes sussed; that they’re that loud post-industrial-electro-pop group with a whacked up bad-ass bass who treat everything like a hammer to a nail and then some.

Yet those assumptions and conclusions are just the windows that we see from and Curxes aren’t looking at the same view. In fact they’re not even in the same building. There have been subtle hints of this; from the duo’s version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas that premiered on Breaking More Waves at the start of December (racking up 15,000 plays on Soundcloud in just over 4 weeks) to some new songs that they’ve been gradually sneaking into their live set, one of which is Further Still.

It’s a track that has more in similarity with Bat For Lashes and the quieter moments of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s than it does their usual reference points. Written at a time when, for a while, lead singer Roberta Fidora lost part of herself after the break-up of a relationship, it shows that even the coldest of robots have a heart. It’s soft, tender and beautifully sung; the first time that in recorded form Fidora has really shown what a well formed pair of lungs she has. Apparently this is a woman who recently scored 99% in a high level signing exam and was narked that she didn’t get 100. On that basis one day we fully expect a Curxes opera. But for now we’ll stick with their breed of anti-pop; because Further Still isn’t some quick throwaway thrill, it’s not a quick tongue down the throat, knickers off, thank you very much, see you later. It’s subtler and deeper than that. It succeeds because of its restraint; even when the song sounds like it might attempt to explode it holds back.

Don’t expect everything that Curxes do in the future to be the sound of soft footsteps tripping lightly across dusted undertakers floors though, there’s still a fiery heart there as well. It’s part of their yin and yang make-up that made us love them in the first place; that mix of anger and emotional beauty.  Want an example of the other side? Check out their official ‘1996 remix’ of Chvrches Recover which can be found on the Scottish band’s EP. It’s a pure piece of pummelling laser rave synth aggression of the highest order. It will f*ck with your ears. For the future we hear gossip about the sound of a saxophone squealing like a pig being bum-fucked and a band going batshit mental in a Nordic battlefield, which is probably something you don’t get to hear every day. Curxes are most certainly not one of those bands who are compromising what they do for commercial success.

Further Still is free to download now and when they reach the limit on Soundcloud, you can grab it from the bands website. The Chvrches Recover EP is available from the usual digital stores to purchase now. Not only is it a good week for electronic music, but a good day for bad spelling.

Curxes - Further Still

Chvrches - Recover (Curxes 1996 Remix)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Slow Skies - New Waves

Today’s musical cocktail: Take a tender female vocal reminiscent of a more accessible Joanna Newsom or a more contained Ellie Goulding, with a little of the intonation of Alessi from Alessi’s Ark and mix with calming ambient dream-folk-pop acoustics and serve down on a remote beach in Ireland. The name of this cocktail? We’re calling it Slow Skies and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

We’re not quite sure if this Dublin group are a duo or a trio, their Facebook page currently claiming they consist of Karen Sheridan, Conal Herron and Patrick O’Laoghaire whilst various blogs and an email we received about the band suggesting that there are just two members. However no matter how many musicians form Slow Skies what isn’t in question is the beauty of their music. 

You’ll find their sparse soft string kissed delicacy and absorbing melodies on their debut EP Silhouettes which was recorded in various sitting rooms in Dublin, Donegal and Wexford, and on forthcoming second EP Close which is released on May 4th. Even better it seems that like Breaking More Waves, Slow Skies find a commonality in finding themselves being drawn to the ocean, with one of the songs on Silhouettes being titled Across the Sea and the new EP featuring a song called On the Shore.

Whatever you’re doing today, no matter how busy you are, take ten minutes to swim in the music below. No words we can write can describe how perfect these songs are. So please, just listen.

Slow Skies - On The Shore

Slow Skies - Across The Sea (Video)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Savages - She Will

There’s a lot to be said for a great guitar riff. A noisy blast of ear hammering sonic aggression that manages to be both beautiful and ugly at the same time. Here Savages get it just right. Dark, callous and unflinchingly sexy She Will grabs the physical core of their live shows and transfers it directly to the studio, no messing. It’s already been posted all over the blogosphere this week, but to hell with our ‘lateness’, we’ve been busy elsewhere. With 48k plays on You Tube at the time of writing we reckon there’s still a big slice of the world’s music lovers who haven’t heard it.

The band recently uploaded this statement to their website. “SAVAGES is not trying to give you something you didn’t have already, it is calling within yourself something you buried ages ago, it is an attempt to reveal and reconnect your PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL self and give you the urge to experience your life differently, your girlfriends, your husbands, your jobs, your erotic life and the place music occupies in your life. Because we must teach ourselves new ways of POSITIVE MANIPULATIONS, music and words are aiming to strike like lightning, like a punch in the face, a determination to understand the WILL and DESIRES of the self. This album is to be played loud in the foreground." SAVAGES, 2013

Turn it up loud, annoy the fuck out of everyone who hears it, dance to it, fuck to it, embrace it with your cold hard cash. Pre-order the album (due May) here.

“She will forget her pain, she will come back again, get hooked on loving hard, forcing the slut out!”

“She will, she will, she will, she will, she will, SHE WILL!”

This is our favourite Savages song yet.

Savages - She Will (You Tube Music Stream Only)

Georgia Ruth - A Week of Pines (Video)

Whereas much of the modern world shares its life story through photographs uploaded onto social media websites, Georgia Ruth’s video for her new song Week of Pines visits the nearly forgotten slide show. Even although we’re watching the slides through the medium of You Tube there’s something richly personal and nostalgic about the experience. It focusses on shared family times and how through the ages, whatever format we view those memories on the same things remain important; travel, holidays, pets, cars, relatives and the like. The video will probably make you giggle as Georgia involves herself in the slides – we particularly like the donkey riding shot.

There’s a discussion to be had about how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with their ‘like’ cultures and science of social peer pressure have changed the importance of photographs ( in the past ‘status’ photographs of your breakfast / lunch / evening meal or a drunk night out with friends would have arguably held a lot less value than they do now) but this is a music blog, so let’s not get too distracted on such arguments.

The song itself, which is the title track of her forthcoming album due May 20th is a bit of a beauty. There’s a soft relentless beat (matched by the pace of the slides), delicate harp and of course Georgia’s lilting to die for vocal. On this basis we can’t wait to hear the whole body of work which was recorded over six days last August at Snowdonia’s Bryn Derwen studios and features members of Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog amongst the musicians. 

Georgia Ruth - A Week Of Pines 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Chlöe Howl - I Wish I Could Tell You

We’ve already featured the first two songs from Chlöe Howl’s free to download EP, so let’s make it a threesome and complete the set with I Wish I Could Tell You, recently released to the world wide web. Having used words in the past like sassy and potty mouthed when talking about this new potential pop starlet we also suggested that she’s like a modern electronic pop version of Kate Nash that it’s OK to like (although for reasons we described yesterday, we still really love The Nasher as well), but with I Wish I Could Tell You we get the softer side of Chlöe.

This song finds the singer giving it some  ex-boyfriend angst, finding it difficult to move on from her previous relationship. “It gets a little hard to sleep knowing you were here, this other guy's good for me but you won't disappear,” she sings. What shall we do? Give her a good metaphorical slap and tell her to get on with life and enjoy the good memories? Or give her a cuddle and console her that maybe, just maybe one day if he really loves her he’ll come back to her? Sorry Chlöe, deal with it, he’s gone, stop being so bloody emo. The best way to get over one man is to get under another. So get on with that and forget Mr Right. Oh and while you’re at it tell your guitarist that the distant riff in this song sounds like a slow motion version of the one from Coldplay’s Fix You.

You can download the free EP using this link here. Expect to see Howl treading the boards live soon with a confirmed date at Brighton’s Great Escape and others sure to follow.

Chlöe Howl - I Wish I Could Tell You

Friday, 22 March 2013

In Defence of Kate Nash (Not that she probably wants defending)

Warning: This blog post may contradict some of our other blog posts. We make no apology for this. Life is full of contadictions; but add them all up together and as a whole they make a lot more sense.

In 1982, Kevin Rowland and his band Dexy’s Midnight Runners were riding high in the UK singles charts with his Celtic sound of Come On Eileen (that year’s biggest selling single). Seventeen years on Kevin could be seen in drag, heavy make-up, suspenders and covering The Monkees and Whitney Houston on an album called My Beauty. At the time it was reported as only selling five hundred copies (the reality was it sold 20,000 worldwide). Later when Rowland, still in a dress, performed the songs from the same record at the Reading Festival he was pelted with bottles.

It was just one of the many great so called ill-advised changes in direction in pop; history is littered with them. From Bowie’s back to basics rock project Tin Machine to Moby’s thrash metal album Animal Rights.

And we use the word great here to mean just that. Sometimes these moments of apparent career suicide are actually bloody brilliant. (Read on we'll explain why)

Which brings us to Kate Nash, a singer who on the face of it could easily be accused of dumping herself in the bad-idea trash bin. Remember Foundations ? It was a number 2 hit and only held off the top spot by Rihanna. But then remember last years Under-Estimate The Girl ? It found Kate Nash trending on twitter, but mainly because of people tweeting “OMG Kate Nash has committed career suicide.”

But even though we couldn’t stand Under-Estimate the Girl, we think it’s time to defend Nash a little. We think it’s important to have the Kate Nash’s, the Kevin Rowland’s, the Moby’s and the David Bowie’s of the world in pop music. Sure, we may not like everything they’re doing artistically (although hold fire on the Nash album, because actually there’s some songs on it we really like), but without risk takers what would we have? A world that shifts more and more towards the middle ground, the boring, the beige, planet bland where every artist has their personality sucked out of them by corporate media trainers. More and more pop stars end up saying nothing, because either they have nothing to say or they’ve been taught that saying very little is better than saying something with an opinion and risking losing fans / sales. Twitter has fuelled us to become instant judgement haters on anyone who dares to actually have a voice that’s different to our own, whilst a struggling record industry and recession means that the safest card is to play is the blank one both musically and in terms of attitude. 

Which is why we really love Kate Nash. Having been dropped by her record label she seems to have adopted a ‘couldn’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks and I’m going to do what I want and have fun with it’ attitude. Her gigs have become a weirdly attractive mix of shouting, swearing, noise, grungey vibes, indie pop and lo-fi surf-rock whilst Nash talks about issues that are important to her such as self-esteem of young girls in a very honest way. Her audience may be smaller, but those who stick around are likely to do so for a longer time; because to get hardcore fans there’s usually something else to attach on to other than just the music. Unfortunately most artists have it sucked out of them as they sign up to the club of the new boring. Career suicide? What would you rather do? Spend your whole life being unhappy with what people expect you to be or just be yourself. We’re pretty sure which route Nash has chosen. She won’t give a shit about what we’ve written here, but we 100% salute her for that. We need more of the likes of Kate Nash in pop.

Kate Nash - Deathproof (Video)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Quite Exciting Thing From Curxes

Now here’s something exciting.

That is if you find the thought of spooky taxidermy collections a bit of a turn on.

Which we’ll be honest, we don’t. That would make us a bit weird. But then ‘Igor’ has no such qualms. Read his story here.

We’re not sure about the wallpaper in the video either, but thankfully it seems that there’s no Igor equivalent on the internet when it comes to appreciating those distinctive brown patterns.

No, the reason we’re excited is because it seems that after laying low for a while Curxes (who according to BBC6 Music and Hype Machine were one of the 15 most blogged bands by UK bloggers last year) are about to release new material. The song is called Further Still. We’ve been lucky enough to hear it already. It’s bloody marvellous. We think it’s going to surprise a few people. Think Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets Bat For Lashes. Those expecting another clanking piece of industrial aggression will have to rethink their take on the band. Keep an eye and ear out on the internet around March 25th, with full visual accompaniment that includes scalpels and squirrels following shortly after.

Curxes - Further Still (Preview)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Gabrielle Aplin - Panic Cord (Video)

One pleasures of writing a music blog is to see some of the artists you’ve championed from an early stage go on to be popular with more than just a handful of hardcore in the know music fans.  After all, one of the purposes of this blog is to shout ‘hey we really like this artist, listen to them, we want you to like them to.’ So when others do and then invest in that artist to show that they enjoy them it to a certain extent vindicates what we do.

Gabrielle Aplin is a classic example of this, having now had two top 20 hits in the UK but having first been featured on Breaking More Waves back in the summer of 2011. Now there’s a new single Panic Cord. We say new but actually the original version was recorded nearly four years ago and found a home on her 2011 Never Fade EP. Gabrielle has re-recorded the track and is releasing it on May 5th.

The new version of the song is a little more rustic and loose sounding than the original, but keeps to the formula that finds her sitting comfortably close to the cordon marked ‘the new Amy Macdonald.’ A heartfelt acoustic romp, Panic Cord finds Aplin ruminating on memories of a past relationship that didn’t work and how maybe she was to blame. “We’re just a box of souvenirs,” she sings and if you’re of a certain sort of persuasion, like us, you’ll find yourself melting a little and wanting to give her a hug.

The video finds Aplin in amongst the romantic clichés such as roasting marshmallows on an open fire with her boyfriend, but the clues are there that everything isn’t quite right. He finds amusement on his phone in the pub when he should be staring into her eyes and enjoying time together. Boys, there’s a lesson there. When you’re out with your girl put the phone away and concentrate on what’s important, otherwise she might pull the panic cord.

That’s today’s relationship advice from Breaking More Waves over. Tomorrow we continue our shift to become a relationships advice blog and cover what to do when you find yourself falling in love with a friend. Maybe.

Gabrielle releases her debut album English Rain on May 13. 

Gabrielle Aplin - Panic Cord (Video)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Little Boots - Broken Record

Whilst Little Boots debut LP Hands hit the target more than it missed, when it missed it did so by some margin. Whoever decided that New in Town and the atrocious video that accompanied it was a wise move as a lead single needs (or needed) a thorough talking to. Since that time the Vickster has talked about how Hands was a case of too many cooks (or in this case producers) spoiling the broth. Just when will record labels learn that nearly all the best albums have just one producer? Can you imagine a film where each scene had a different director? It just doesn’t work and it doesn’t work for music either. (Exception to the rule: Greatest Hits albums)

And so to album two, which promises a much more singular vision; focussing on pure hooky pop song writing, contained production and night time electronic flavours, it seems that this time round Little Boots knows exactly what she wants to do and is taking control with captain Tim Goldsworthy leading the studio charge. We recently heard the sweetly perfect calm pop soundscapes of opening track Motorway and now here’s another. Broken Record (which at the time of writing just streams on You Tube) is quite literally a throbbing-disco-candy-stick-hip-thruster of a song with bells on. Quite literally. Ding dong.

Little Boots - Broken Record

Monday, 18 March 2013

Lorde - Bravado (FFFRRANNNO Remix)

Some of our favourite tracks that we’ve featured on Breaking More Waves in 2013 so far include the songs from London Grammar’s soulful debut EP, Indiana’s sexy Bound, AlunaGeorge’s groovy Attracting Flies, Violet’s Where The Wild Things Grow, Chvrches’ synthtastic Recover and New Zealand newcomer Lorde and her Love Club EP (from which we featured the majestic Royals).

Let’s turn our attention to another track from that EP. Bravado is the song that opens Lorde's 5 tracker and there’s a certain similarity in parts to the higher elements of the vocal delivery of Marina & The Diamonds. In fact the opening moments of the track sound like a musical-pop cousin to one of our favourites from Electra HeartFear and Loathing. You can hear the original by clicking here. However, this remix from FFFRRANNNO who is also from New Zealand (it’s just pronounced Frano – the producer’s real name) does all the things we want a remix to do, in so far as it takes the song to new places (a glitchy electronic sort of place, as if Purity Ring are in the building and grinding up and down hornily in the bedroom) and gets us all hot under the collar. Phew we’re going for a cold shower. Crazy.

Lorde - Bravado (FFFRRANNNO Remix)

Tom Hickox - New Waves

If there’s one word to describe the music of Tom Hickox, it’s gravitas. For here’s a singer whose stop-you-in-your-tracks baritone carries a powerful and earthy weight that is simply impossible to ignore. Yet it’s not just about the voice, it’s also about the songs. Take one listen to the solemn The Angel of the North (streaming below) and frankly if you aren’t left stunned into submission there is something horrendously wrong with the way you listen to music.

Born the son of renowned conductor and an orchestral timpanist mother, the  thirty-one year old singer’s tunes possess a poetical and theatrical sensibility to them that lends themselves to being played in grand music halls or candlelit churches. Take the bright lights beckoning ballad of The Pretty Pride of Russia (which has already been used to soundtrack a Doctor Martens advert) as a classic example. Here over piano and strings Hickox sings from a woman’s perspective of her dreams to journey to London. “He said he'll find me a job and a luxury flat with other girls like me and I'll have a salary more than in my dreams to buy jewellery and fur and clothes,” he coos before adding “there's more to life than this, the world must be explored and London is the perfect place for me to be adored.”

Then there’s the Let Be More Your Lover (which you can see a live version of here) a piece so warm and beautiful that it makes you question all the other music you’ve ever heard. Its a deep love song about the longest lasting and truest love - till the very end. If you’re a fan of Antony and the Johnsons this might be the song for you.

We’ve already seen his name tagged alongside the like of Tom Waits, Scott Walker, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen and to those we’d like to add The Tindersticks and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy (when he’s not writing saucy, jokey and occasionally overly smug pop songs) as other reference points. But forget our words, forget the references and for the love of your ears just listen. The Angel of the North can be downloaded for free from Soundcloud below. Hickox’s album War Peace & Diplomacy is due this spring. 

Tom Hickox - The Angel Of The North

Tom Hickox - The Pretty Pride of Russia (Video)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Hockey - Love Is Strange

Anyone remember Portland, Oregon’s Hockey? We vaguely do. We wrote about them a couple of times way back in 2009 and our conclusion at the time was that whilst Too Fake whilst a pretty decent low rent attempt at being LCD Soundsystem, there wasn’t a lot else to get excited about. “The band let themselves down with some unforgivable second rate white funk moments that made even the most excruciating slap bass moves from Mark King of Level 42 seem acceptable,” we said of one live show. Well that was then and this is now and Hockey are back. A new twitter account was recently unleashed with these words in 3 tweets “If U R on the right track, things will come along to show U U R on the right track. Don't get too excited. Stay on the right track. U know we had a twitter account that mysteriously vanished. U know we almost changed our band name,” and a slow jam called Defeat on the Double Bass Line was premiered on Filter Magazine.

However it’s the second song to emerge from the new world of Hockey that has reaffirmed our faith in the band a little. It’s called Love Is Strange and it sounds like the group (who are now just a duo consisting of Ben Grubin and Jeremy Reynolds) have been spending their time playing console games, listening to Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend and creating miniature funky computer grooves that lightly nudge you in the direction of the dance floor. The trouble with pop music is that a band’s window of opportunity often has the shutters closed on it very quickly. The question for Hockey is have those shutters been bolted tight or can Love Is Strange push them open a little?

Hockey - Love Is Strange

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Other Tribe - We Should Be Dancing

Yes, we can all get a bit lost and down in our troubles sometimes can’t we? Everyone’s allowed to go a bit emo now and then - it's OK to do that. Yet according to The Other Tribe on their new track We Should Be Dancing, injecting a bit of rhythm into the bloodstream is one of the best medicines to chase the blues away. With a big clattering percussive edge and tribal house feel this free track from Bristol’s facepainted answer to Friendly Fires and the Klaxons fast forwards us to summer time, sunny festivals and even sunnier smiles. And isn't there just a hint of Depeche Mode in the bass line of this song? We think so.

Like this? Head over to the bands Facebook and grab it as a free download.

The band have a number of confirmed dates in April and May which you can see here and keep an ear out for future forthcoming single Summer Love, which we’re secretly hoping is going to be some sort of weird fresh-faced disco blaster rehash of Summer Nights from Grease. That would be interesting.

The Other Tribe - We Should Be Dancing

Thursday, 14 March 2013

George Maple - New Waves

The name George Maple doesn’t really sound like it was made for a pop star does it? A waffle or sweet manufacturer perhaps, or maybe even a supplier of innovative kitchen gadgets, but not a rather cool Australian vocalist who has recently moved to the UK.

Of course George Maple isn’t the singer’s real name, in reality she’s Jess Higgs and you may have stumbled across her voice on the discotastic Flight Facilities song Foreign Language. Maple’s slinky tones can also be found on a collaborative effort with fellow Australian Flume and a song called Bring You Down. A third opportunity for giving her voice some ear love came on a song called Uphill, her debut solo single released last year.

However, for the uninitiated this is Maple’s first appearance on Breaking More Waves and we’re streaming her forthcoming single Fixed which is released through Tuluum Records on April 15 as well as the video for Uphill. Taking the same reference points as Jessie Ware (in fact every time we hear Uphill we can’t really believe that it isn’t a new Jessie Ware track) Maple’s sound takes a light minimalist touch allowing the beats and vocals to do much of the work, even if that work is relatively restrained. It’s very of the moment, very late night seductive and very non-kitchen gadgety. There you are George, use that one on your future press releases. “Very non-kitchen gadgety – Breaking More Waves.” 

George Maple - Fixed

George Maple - Uphill (Video)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Casual Sex - New Waves

If you follow us on twitter you’ll know that during the last few days we took a little journey to Scotland to listen and watch some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G pop music. Today we continue the theme of Scotland and pop, but this isn’t pop in the way Girls Aloud are pop, nor is it pop music in the way that Popjustice suggests that there is a certain sort of Pop Music For People That Don’t Like Pop Music which is basically pop  that is initially marketed through the likes of Pitchfork, cool blogs and evening shows on BBC Radio 1 etc to gain credibility before it reaches out to the mainstream and all the cool blogs then move on to pastures new muttering ‘sell out’ / ‘not as good as the early stuff’ under their breath. No, this is Pop Music That People Who Like The First Two Types Of Pop Music Won’t Like. I guess if we were being a bit lazy we could just call it indie pop but then when the likes of Scouting For Girls get described as ‘indie-pop’ that term has become redundant and meaningless anyway.

So let us introduce you to Casual Sex. No, not like that. Keep your clothes on. Let's get to know each other a bit first. They’re a band. They make pop music. But it’s not the type of pop music that is likely to make bloggers get cross about ‘major label intervention’ or ‘writing commercial crap’, because that's unlikely to happen. It sounds in places like Edwyn Collins / Orange Juice / early Pulp and even a bit of Franz / Bowie boffing The Clash. Those who have grown up on just a diet of pop like Katy Perry and Britney will say that it isn't pop at all. These are good things. Casual Sex make music that you can shuffle disco dance around your bedroom to and pretend it’s 1981.

Pop music for the most part is a bit like Casual Sex – joyously exhilarating but not likely to be with the same partner for the long term. And that’s fine. Want to enjoy some with us?

Casual Sex - Stroh 80

Monday, 11 March 2013

D-E-W-L - Nobody Make A Sound (Video)

Waiting for a release from London duo D-E-W-L has taken the word hanging to new levels. It was May 2012 when we started feeling all hot under the collar, seductive and smoochy about their online track Red Velvet and it’s only relatively recently that they’ve announced the release of debut single Nobody Make A Sound, which comes from a trip-hop indebted place not that far from Massive Attack. This is night time music full of cinematic slow-motion grooves, a sound that is foreboding and beautifully sinister. Let it slowly invade your personal space like cigarette smoke drifting across the room. Smooth.

If you’re in London you can catch D-E-W-L live at the Shacklewell Arms on March 25th supporting Half Moon Run, the same day as the song is released. Pre-order here.

D-E-W-L - Nobody Make A Sound (Video)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Lorde - New Waves

Ok we’ll admit it, we’ve been rather shallow. Youthful New Zealand pop sensation type Lorde has been cropping up left right and centre on blogs over the last few months, creating a stir on the Hype Machine chart and generally being associated with words like buzz, tastemaker-love and one to watch. Even musical queen of the blog buzz Grimes has been tweeting her love of all things Lorde; but we’ve ignored writing about her. Not because of the music, which we haven’t really got round to listening to, but because of the publicity picture above. Yes sorry, we really are that shallow.

Of course as a connoisseur of new music we really shouldn’t make first impression judgements on anything but the songs. But we all do don’t we? If you saw a picture of a band consisting of four surly tattooed males with long dark lank greasy hair, tattoos, leather jackets and an abundance of beards you’ll probably have already developed a preconceived idea of the sort of music they play. (Chances are it's not going to be electropop or hip-hop). If you don’t then congratulations you’re a far better human being than most, having as 80's synth pop wizard Howard Jones once suggested thrown off your mental chains.

Now let’s take a look at that picture again; a slightly weird looking girl who looks like she’s stepped out of one of the deleted scenes from Lord of the Rings holding a rat and a snake. Frankly, things are not looking good. In fact they're looking rather scary. Our filters and blinkers went into blank it out overdrive and we decided not to listen.

Then our flimsy mind was changed in a second as Lorde uploaded another picture on Facebook (below). She didn't look so freaky here - albeit we weren't sure about having the dog there. A bit of Google searching and we found some other pictures of pre-Lorde like this from 2011 (no dog and a keyboard player who looks a bit like what Howard Jones looks like now). In fact it seems there's quite a bit out there on the internet, including acoustic cover versions on You Tube of The Kings of Leon and Pixie Lott. We decided we’d better press play and then reread the rules of pop. That's how shallow we are.

For Lorde (real name Ella) is making great pop. Million Dollar Bills judders like a d-i-y bedroom Sleigh Bells with the guitar noise button switched off, Bravado is 2013’s slightly calmer Marina and the Diamonds, and then there’s the stunning anti-extravagance anthem Royals (streaming below) with its super smooth and confident simplicity that hooks us in on first listen hook line and sinker.

Lesson learnt? Never judge a book (or musician) by its cover (or press publicity picture). Lorde has the potential to become one of our favourite new pop stars of 2013. Our ears and eyes are wide open, even if she brings a whole zoo and dresses as Galadriel, or decides to pronounce her name like those Finnish Eurovision winners.

Lorde - Royals

Friday, 8 March 2013

Beach House - Wishes (Video)

Do you have a band that you just don’t ‘get’? One of those groups that everyone expects you to like and yet every time you hear them the lights just switch off? It was like that with us for Beach House. We always found them insubstantial and foggily light. We just couldn’t understand what everyone heard in them. Then we saw them live and finally the right buttons were pressed. Despite doing very little on stage the band’s sound was a completely immersive experience; we finally realised their brilliance. First impressions don’t always count, yet unfortunately sometimes once we've made our mind up about an act we put our blinkers on and never give them a second chance. We’ve got a lot more to say about that on the blog tomorrow.

Yesterday the band released a new video for their song Wishes, taken from 2012’s Bloom, starring Ray Wise (Twin Peaks). It’s certainly one of the more surreal half time performances you’ll get to see. The song remains absolutely lovely. We’re now a fully paid up member to the church of Beach House and its congregation.

Beach House - Wishes (Video)

Laura Marling - Where Can I Go?

The movement that got labelled ‘nu-folk’ has taken quite a battering recently from critics, commentators and some sectors of the blogosphere. Much of this can be attributed to Mumford & Sons – the band who we recently heard described as ‘The Waitrose Levellers’ – their mainstream and US success taking them on a journey far from where they started and on the way losing some of those who rode with them at the beginning. Babel was just too much of a stadium pleasing repetition of their debut for some to stomach. The movement also lost some of its early fans as musician bandwagon jumpers tried to emulate Mumford's success by ditching their electric guitars, putting on their waistcoats and grabbing an acoustic but forgetting that the reason Mumford & Sons had success in the first place was a collection of great songs - which imitators failed to produce.

Yet another one of the scenes key figures, Laura Marling has yet to receive such a backlash and as she returns with her new single Where Can I Go?, taken from forthcoming sixteen track album Once I Was An Eagle in May we suspect she may be able to sidestep any criticism. Why? Because this guitar and organ led tune sweeps along with a wistful and warm country tinged sound that is without doubt Marling but also doesn’t sound like the safe career building option that the M&S boys opted for. 

Laura Marling - Where Can I Go?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Indiana - Bound (Video)

The darker side of pop has always been pretty damn arousing and Bound, Indiana’s erotic tale of domination and submission, got us very stimulated when we first streamed it back in January. Now she’s added a visual accompaniment and it doesn’t disappoint either.

When you’re singing about the more adventurous side of sex what better than to shoot a video where you appear to get naked? We’re not so sure about the clip of the tape across Indiana’s mouth (after all we want her to be able to sing, not make muffled grunt sounds) but then analysing that a bit more, would you really want someone singing to you whilst you were getting down and dirty with each other? Wouldn’t it just feel a bit awkward?

Girls (or boys if that’s what takes your fancy) imagine Justin Timberlake bursting into Sexyback or even worse Cry Me A River just as you were arriving at that eyes-fluttering lips-reddening moment? It wouldn’t really work would it? And as much as we enjoy Ellie Goulding’s tunes and on occasion find her quite attractive, if by some strange chance we found ourselves rolling around the bedroom with her we certainly wouldn’t want her doing that throaty Bonnie Tyler ‘woah-oh’ warble that she does on Anything Could Happen just as things were getting a bit sweaty and intense. So, if you’re dating a pop star or potential pop star our advice is always keep a bit of Duck Tape in your bag. You never know when you might need it. Thanks Indiana for helping us think that one through.

Indiana - Bound (Video)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Colourist - New Waves

Look. For a moment let’s forget about w*nking over our favourite Radiohead b-sides and just accept the fact that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a group making music that’s chirpily sweet, has happy as heaven melodies and is throwaway radio friendly as it’s possible to be. The Colourist is such a band. They’re pleasurable on the ears and you can dance to them as well. If you can’t deal with that then we suggest you climb back up your anal passage and wallow there on your own.

Consisting of Adam Castilla, Maya Tuttle, Justin Wagner and Kollin Johannsen out of Orange County, California, The Colourist have just two songs on Soundcloud, although they put out some others (Yes Yes and Oh Goodbye) that have now been taken down. The song that’s grabbed us hook line and sinker is called Little Games. With its choppy guitars and boy girl harmonies it’s just screaming to soundtrack to smiling faces, couples kissing, summertime and running off down to the beach feeling great about life. We could also envisage this song soundtracking an advert and we don't mean that in any negative way, it's just one of those songs. Do you really need to know any more than that? The Colourist seems a perfect name – they’re painting musical rainbows. 

The Colourist - Little Games

Emma Louise - Freedom

Australian pop chanteuse Emma Louise has been biding her time before releasing her debut album Vs Head Vs Heart this spring. It was as long ago as January 2012 when we first featured her on the blog in one of our introducing ‘New Waves’ features with the song Jungle. New track Freedom takes a couple of steps forward without veering from the path, sounding like the bigger lived-a-little sister of Jungle. A smart and soft electronic production make the perfect backing for Emma Louise’s smooth melancholy vocal as she sings about drinking too much and smoking too fast. For one who sounds and looks so healthy you’d never have thought it would you?

Emma Louise has also been previewing some of the songs that you’ll hear on the forthcoming album over on her You Tube channel and judging by what she’s uploaded so far the record will be a must buy purchase if you’re a fan of much of the music we feature on Breaking More Waves. 

Emma Louise - Freedom

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

St Lucia - Before The Dive (Chvrches Remix)

Having finally seen Chvrches live last week we can confirm that their album is likely to contain 100% killer and no filler, so good are their unreleased songs. We’ll have a while to wait for that (hopefully) glorious moment though, as the long player won’t see the light of day until September. So whilst testing our patience, to tide us over, here’s a new remix of St Lucia’s Before The Dive. Vocal differences aside the Glaswegian threesome stamp their identity all over the song, taking away the smooth flows of the original (which you can hear here) and instead giving it a jerky, sexy, sampler stabbing punch.

In fact after about two and a half minutes of the song we’ve pretty much forgotten that this is St Lucia at all and that instead Chvrches have just sneaked one of their own songs out under a different name and taken us to plugged in heaven all over again. This makes us happy as Entonox.

St Lucia - Before The Dive (Chvrches Remix)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Josh Record - New Waves

As soon as a new artist begins to breakthrough and find public interest you can almost guarantee that the cynics will be lurking in the shadows ready to plunge their knives deep. Of course a certain degree of cynicism is healthy to keep things in perspective, but the difficulty for all those with this negative world view is that it’s nigh on impossible to keep the momentum going on just one target. Witness for example Lana Del Rey; an artist that found herself the subject of a heightened level of early career backlash before the internet assassins moved on to their next target leaving Lana to find a fan base who appreciated and cared for what she was doing.

For those looking to fire their bow of bitterness, Josh Record could be the next one to aim for. The reason?  No, not for wearing a silly hat (although the photo above suggests he's pretty gutted about that) but because he’s committed what some may see as the musical crime of getting an education. For attending the London School for Performing Arts and Technology (or Brit School as it is more commonly known) conflicts with dated views that the school just churns out manufactured artists. Yet ask many a musician from the past who had their fingers burnt by dodgy music business managers or accountants and you’ll find that they would have welcomed the opportunity to be educated about the industry they were entering in their time. Besides, not every artist out of Brit school is terrible by default. Adele and Amy Winehouse were both key alumna. OK it also gave us The Kooks, but as Ian Brown of The Stone Roses once said “it’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re at.”

So let's see where Josh Record is at. When he’s not running a young person’s music / film project in London or music workshops in schools and prisons he records his own songs, the results of which are demonstrated on his debut EP Bones. It shows off his considerable talents as a singer songwriter. We’re streaming the lead track from the EP For Your Love below. With a falsetto style not dissimilar to the likes of Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes, Record croons in a way that has the potential to make knees tremble, hearts melt and other body parts do things that they weren’t designed to do. 

Josh Record - For Your Love

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Aquilo - New Waves

Today we introduce a band that come from the cold and wet North-West of England, but on their debut offering they purvey warm sonic soundscapes to chase the clouds away. Calling Me by Aquilo is a slow motion gentle wonder of restraint, yet it still manages to convey a sense of scale. It’s a difficult balance to achieve in these days of bedroom laptop production where (just because you can) the temptation to paint another layer onto the musical canvas to make it even bigger lurks in every corner. Thankfully Aquilo hold things back in the same way that James Blake or Mount Kimbie do, allowing the core of the song to shine through.

Having each originally fronted local guitar based bands (dig around a little on the internet and you’ll be able to find out which ones), Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher (pictured above) first got together in Summer 2012 with a mutual interest in production techniques to start to create their own brand of electronic pop. They were then followed by Fin Kay Lavelle and Lucas Button to complete the line-up as a four-piece.

If we’re talking musical Venn diagrams then we’d put Aquilo in the mellow set alongside The XX, Seasfire and London Grammar; for besides the late night silkiness that all these groups harness in their sound, they all use technology as a vehicle to deliver the melodies, harmonies and atmospheres  that are the key to a great song. Did we mention chill-wave ? Oh, go on then, let's throw that one in as well, as we could imagine this sitting neatly alongside that Washed Out album from a while back. Calling Me opens Aquilo’s account, more is to follow soon.

Aquilo - Calling Me