Tuesday, 30 September 2014
One of our Ones to Watch for 2014 Flyte return with Light Me Up a tune that continues a string of songs that pop the musical happy pills into the body, even if the chorus alludes to the fact that Flyte aren’t always as perky as their music sounds. “I’m dying out and I need you to light me up,” sings lead singer Will, calling out for someone to make him feel alive again, something that love can undoubtedly do. However, if you’re feeling a bit blue and don’t have anyone to take you to that better place, try this song; it’s nearly as good a tonic.
Light Me Up will be released on the 17th November through Turned Out Nice / Island Records. The band are out on the road later this month, catch them if you can, (dates here) for here’s a group who do all those traditional things like write good songs and then play them well. Whilst occasionally it’s good to have a life changing experience at a gig, most of the time all most of us want are for a band to put a smile on our face before we catch the bus home afterwards and Flyte undoubtedly have the skills to do that.
Flyte - Light Me Up
Monday, 29 September 2014
Remember Jagaara who we introduced back in July with their song Faultline? Today the band release it as a single. This means if you wanted you could purchase it through one of the traditional gatekeepers (© Thom Yorke) of your choice.
To celebrate, here is some more Jagaara related news:
1. The band recently uploaded a video for Faultline which finds them singing in a foggy and moodily lit set behind translucent sheeting. We have no idea why - maybe they're in an isolation unit with a highly infectious disease?
2. Jagaara are out on tour in October and if you live in London, Brighton, Reading, Bristol or Bournemouth in the UK the good news is that you can see them for free (just head here for details). If you live in Norwich or Southampton, you can still see them but will have to pay. If you live anywhere in the North or outside of the UK then it’s either a long trip for you or you’ll have to wait until another time.
3. We keep spelling
Jagaara - Faultline (Video)
Last night Holly Lapsley Fletcher better known quite simply as Låpsley released a new track to the world. In a radical departure Falling Short ditches her previous downtempo beauty for a big booty shaking banger about being in da club with a cheesy mid-section rap from Pitbull.
Actually this may be a lie. Sorry to er....fall short. Falling Short continues where Station and Painter (Valentine) left off, constructed from a deep gorgeous minimalism with some vocal manipulation tricks, but if anything it adds tones of soul and jazz showing that despite the pitch shifting Lapsley has a wonderful voice all of her own. Whilst it's still very early days and we'd still exercise a degree of caution, a Låpsley album, no matter how far off it is right now, seems like an exciting proposition.
Låpsley - Falling Short
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Earlier this year Halsey displayed her slightly edgy pop credentials when she sang about how she liked her bad boys dressed in leather, now she’s going some more with new song Hurricane, whipping up a storm with its lyrics about tripping on LSD, liquor on the lips and ‘climbing inside my body’. We get the impression from her music that Halsey (Ashley Frangipane) isn’t the sort of girl who likes a quiet night on the sofa infront of the television with a cup of creamy hot chocolate. At the risk of pigeonholing her further, Hurricane shares some similarity with the darker electropop underbelly of Indiana and maybe a little of the seductiveness of Banks. “Your voice makes me wet,” one commentator on Soundcloud suggests; time to get some clean underwear at the ready before you listen to Hurricane then, just in case.
Hurricane is taken from a forthcoming EP titled Room 93 on October 28th. Unfortunately Halsey’s website seems to only allow sales to US and Canadian customers, which considering we live in an age of the world wide web is a bit disappointing (especially as you can stream this song anywhere in the world).
Halsey’s out supporting The Kooks (an odd choice perhaps, but still, it’s exposure) on their on their US Tour. Hopefully the rest of the world will soon be hers for the taking and eventually she’ll make it over to Breaking More Waves home country of the UK.
Halsey - Hurricane
Friday, 26 September 2014
Is Jetta about to ditch her flourishing pop career for one in politics? Unlikley, but the title alone of her new song, a cover of I’d Love To Change The World by late 60’s / early 70’s blues rock band Ten Years After would suggest so. Of course even the likes of Billy Bragg or Frank Turner would admit that a pop song can’t change the world on its own, but in a small way it can make someone think and if someone is prepared to think they may change their perspective on things.
However on closer listening, despite the lyrics of the song being somewhat dated (“everywhere, freaks and hairies, dykes and fairies”) Jetta’s transformation of the tune, with its impressively moody cinematic underscore, finds some relevance to today with Jetta singing for the disconnected youth of now. There’s still a massive gap between the people in government and those they represent. “I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do, so I’ll leave it up to you,” Jetta sings, bringing home that feeling of detachment.
This song has already been featured on the trailer for the forthcoming film Nightcrawler featuring Jake Gyllenhall. For many this will be a new song. Want to hear the (quite radically different) original? Click here.
Jetta - I'd Love To Change The World
Sometimes it can take a little while for all of our new music filters to align properly, but with two UK music blogs that both know their stuff (hats off to Crack In The Road and Just Music That I Like) both posting about South Shields’ singer songwriter Brooke Bentham (who now lives in London) it was time that we sat down and pressed play. We’re glad we did. With just a guitar, keys and a warm country tinged voice Brooke’s We’ll Be Ghosts is a tender song that marks the end of summer and with it a relationship; but there’s still some hope as Brooke sings of the chance to rekindle the love . “Can’t let go of what we had, let’s not fight, just make it right,” she coos and we wonder if this is what First Aid Kit would sound like if one of the two sisters went solo.
Over on Brooke's Soundcloud there’s a two more songs, which include a decent version of Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’, which makes a nice change for a new artist to be covering a classic old song rather than the current trend to cover something from just a few months ago.
We’ll Be Ghosts is released on iTunes on the 29th September, but you can pre-order now. Listen to the way her voice soars as the song progresses and imagine it silencing rooms.
Brooke Bentham - We'll Be Ghosts
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Whilst Rae Morris has been embracing all sorts of multi-facetted instrumentation on her recent releases, Up Again (mainly) strips things back to her voice, keys and an exquisite song that finds Rae getting over “the curse of love” and looking towards the future after she’s found the “answers to the questions that are keeping me down.”
“Take my life and start it somewhere else,” she sings as the piano tones mirror the desire to move onwards, gradually growing in strength, striding forward for a new life, leaving you feeling just a little bit emotional and overcome by it all at the end. Lovely.
Up Again is taken from the Closer EP. Rae is off on a huge tour with George Ezra next month - if you're going, make sure you get there early to see her.
Rae Morris - Up Again
Laura Doggett thrust herself into the limelight with the assistance of Sohn and her ‘debut’ track Phoenix, although regular readers of Breaking More Waves will know that’s she’s been writing and recording material for some time before this. However, Phoenix may well prove to be a red herring – certainly having seen Laura play live a couple of times we’d suggest that the rest of her songs are a less likely to grab the affiliation of the blogosphere; not because they’re not worth your time (they are) but because Laura’s sound isn’t fitting in the predominant mould of what many blogs feature – namely electronic / r ‘n’ b / hip-hop / pop or indie rock n roll of its various sources. If anything Laura's material is a little more adult mainstream (and that is no criticism when the quality is there).
Moonshine (a track which until Phoenix was released was streaming on her Soundcloud and has now reappeared ) is a good example of this. It's all about when life / troubles get a little bit too much and some escapism is required. It’s a dreamy song that perfectly fits that moment late at night when you just need to kick back and drift away; let Laura’s voice take you on that journey.
Laura Doggett - Moonshine
Over the last couple of days we’ve been posting a number of tracks that have grabbed our ears whilst we took a 13 day break for a holiday as well as a couple of brand new songs / artists. This is the last of those slightly older tracks, albeit we use the word older reservedly and in the context of new music blogging, where it sometimes seems that anything that’s more than a few days old has the curtains drawn over it, such is the hyperactive attention deficit way the internet seems to exist these days.
For You by Brighton’s Fickle Friends will be well known to anyone who has seen the Brighton band’s live set and continues what has been quite a year for the group, gaining blog love and bookings galore. This song has already been top of Hype Machine’s 'Most Blogged Chart' and picked up a few thousand clicks of love on the world’s biggest and best music blog aggregator. However, these are only small beginnings for the band and we suspect that they’re going to have to work twice as hard if they want to step up to the next level. The reality check is that those momentary clicks of love do not make an instant fanbase; the internet can make things seem bigger and more important than they really are. It’s a really tough old world out there for new musicians – making a living from your art is a very difficult game in 2014.
And so to the song; despite the chirpy guitars on For You the tune isn’t direct from the happy club; it’s actually about realising that a relationship really isn’t going anywhere, no matter how much you want it to do so. It’s difficult to feel sad when listening to it though, because For You follows the trick of surrounding melancholy words with music that will put a spring in your step - that’s the best way of getting over anything isn’t it? This is the musical version of putting your chin up.
Fickle Friends - For You
Whilst enjoying Josef Salvat’s set in the Unitarian Church at Brighton’s Great Escape festival in 2013 we tweeted something along the lines of “Josef Salvat for the BBC Sound of 2014 list then?” That suggestion didn’t happen. He didn’t even appear on our own Ones To Watch list. The reason? Because everything seemed to go very quiet for Josef as the year came to a close. This meant one of two things, he’d either disappeared into that dark hole that musicians sometimes go, never to be heard of again (we’re wondering if a couple of our other tips from last year, namely Mononoke and Eva Stone have jumped in there as well) or that after a clutch of taster tracks and relatively low key gigs he’d disappeared off under the wings of a record label to write and record a whole album.
It seems that it’s the second of these two routes that Salvat has been pursuing, because there’s been a flurry of activity recently. First came the throbbing Shoot and Run and then during the time we’ve been enjoying a holiday a second track Open Season (streaming below) has made a big impression. Warning: Severely big chorus alert. The verses aren’t bad either.
So let’s make a case for Josef Salvat on the Sound of 2015 list shall we? Or if not that certainly Breaking More Waves Ones To Watch 2015 list. There’s a sneak preview for you.
You can hear the whole of Salvat’s debut In Your Prime EP using this link here. It’s very good and we think what Hurts should have done for album 2 rather than trying to be Muse-lite.
Josef Salvat - Open Season
We’re big fans of what you might call ‘classic pop’ at Breaking More Waves. We’re not even quite sure what that term really means, but suspect it includes something that references the pop hits of the past whilst still sounding modern enough to not be dated. It almost certainly has a strong sense of melody and some earworming type hooks.
Sweden’s Dotter with her first offering at least, seems to be making classic pop. My Flower, a track from her debut EP I Am Dotter has some Lana Del Rey like strings at the start, some 60’s styled instrumentation and a chorus that soars with its relationship hunger: “I need somebody to love, somebody who cares about me.” Bless her. It also has a promo pic of her holding a flower, just so we get the whole My Flower idea rammed home.
She’s also had a go at Hideaway by Kiesza (here) but we’d recommend just listening to My Flower on repeat rather than the cover. It is in many ways the very opposite of the band Daughter ( Dotter being Swedish for daughter you see) as sonically the instrumentation is of the 'glad to be alive' variety rather than the morose beauty that Elena Tonra and co specialise in.
Dotter - My Flower
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
La Roux’s second album Trouble In Paradise seems to have fallen into that strange place of being a pop album that hasn’t been hugely popular with the public at large even although music critics and aficionados sung its praises. Her 2009 self-titled debut sold more than 60,000 copies in its first week yet Trouble in Paradise sold less than 9,000.
Much has been made of the lack of support from Radio 1 for the record and in some quarters (Breaking More Waves included) there was a hope that the album might just sneak a Mercury listing to give it a bit more profile, but it seems that at this stage at least Trouble In Paradise is going to be one of those records that for whatever reason just doesn’t connect with more than the hardcore. Whilst as we write Aphex Twin’s crazy wig-out that is Syro currently sits at number 2 in the album charts, Barbara Streisand is at number 4 and Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 release Rumours sits at number 14. La Roux is nowhere to be seen. Who would want to be a new or comparatively new artist whilst the old guard continue to sell by the bucket load? As La Roux herself has suggested in an interview with the Guardian “I don’t think we should all be like the 80s and have 20 cars, be millionaires and be like George Michael or anything like that, but there’s a happy medium that ... isn’t being met.”
So take a listen to this rather sweet remix of Kiss And Not Tell from the album by Two Inch Punch. Like it? Like what you’ve heard of the La Roux record? Think the idea of an album that references Chic, Grace Jones, Duran Duran and even Amazulu sounds like fun? Then rather than going down the pub this weekend for a couple of pints, save your money and spend it on Trouble In Paradise instead. And if you really want to help the artist, then stream it via Spotify or the like after you’ve brought a physical copy as well, because that way you'll be chucking a tiny (abeit really tiny) bit more money her way.
Oh and if you want to leave a cheeky message for La Roux she’s asking you to simply call 01557280014. Don't make the message too smutty though - you'll never know where it might end up being broadcast.
La Roux - Kiss And Not Tell (Two Inch Punch Remix)
Don’t be fooled by Black Honey. Although there’s been some Lana Del Rey type comparisons, there’s a noisy beast with dirty fingernails clawing its way out from within. The Taste unleashes the monster fully by way of a song that manages to place cooing sighs alongside fistfuls of no-holds barred noise and lip-curling guitars. There’s probably going to be a few Wolf Alice comparisons with this one and that’s no bad thing. Watch out for the guitars at the end, the sound of someone getting off big time; that’s some climax. Of course now that another Brighton based band (Royal Blood) have allowed the media to write that ‘guitars are back’ rubbish once again, Black Honey stand a good chance of getting some attention. How long will it be before someone hails Brighton ‘the new guitar band capital of the UK’ we wonder? That of course would also be a load of bollocks – there have always been good bands of all genres hailing from that seaside city, but we give it a month.
And don't be fooled by the artwork giving the suggestion that the band are actually a television. We've seen them in real life. We've even touched one of them and we can confirm that they are real living breathing humans just like the rest of us. They're just keeping their visual identity under the shroud of darkness right now. If we told you who they are / were they might kill us.
Anyway, this one’s a corker. Let it shoot its load in your ears.
Black Honey - The Taste
“That’s not music, that’s just a noise,” said one dissenting voice at Breaking More Waves HQ as 1010, the new track from New Zealand’s FFFRRANNNO, got its first play a few weeks ago when we first heard it. Clocking in at just two minutes and seven seconds, 1010 sounds like Jai Paul (remember him – rumour is an album is still being worked on) getting sample happy with Star Wars Episode 1 : The Phantom Menace and a bunch of screwed up electronics. We’ll take this disorienting batshit mental bedlam over the sort of music with a nice tune that the average mum or dad would like to put on after a hard day at work any day.
As Gnarls Barkley (Are we allowed to still mention him? Maybe not) would sing – crazy. Turn it up bloody loud, put headphones on and screw your ears. Top stuff.
FFFRRANNNO - 1010
If you're a connoisseur of new music / the internet / blogs then you'll probably notice that a number of the tracks we're posting over the next few posts have been doing the rounds over the last week or so. We make no apology for posting these tracks 'late' after being on a short holiday, a holiday that included a trip to the epicentre of San Francisco tourism that is Fisherman’s Wharf, which according to Brika’s Instagram she was at on the very same day we were there. If only we’d known.
Breaking More Waves was very 'early' with Brika’s previous song Expectations back in May when it had just a few hundred plays on Soundcloud. Since then it has received blog adoration, stormed the Hype Machine charts and had over half a million plays. She's now followed it up with Options, a tune that finds her singing of how sometimes love isn’t big enough over loose sounding instrumentation that joins the dots between jazz and electronic soul. This one is ripe for your late night seduction tape and has already received lots of web love. Let’s give it some more of that; because ‘late’ or ‘early’, the important thing is that it’s good.
Brika - Options
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Back in 2011 Breaking More Waves ran a series of blogs written in the singular first person to reflect the more intimate and personal nature of the writing, rather than the plural ‘we’ we have used for a number of years. The posts were called Music That Made Me and as the title suggested they were autobiographical, describing influences and memories from our past and how music is intrinsically linked with many of the experiences in life. The songs featured weren’t necessarily ‘the best’ in terms of the usual frames of reference for critical appraisal, but tracks or artists that were important to us.
Ironically having completed the project, spending 42 weeks wallowing in nostalgia, our conclusion was that irrespective of the rights and wrongs of seeking out the newest freshest shiniest new tunes, sometimes at the expense of older music, it was what we felt most passionate about.
One of the posts in the series ( 8th out of 42 – you can read it here) was soundtracked by the song Please Forgive Me by David Gray. It talked about friendship and about how great friends didn’t need to pass judgement on each other – instead they accepted and took pleasure in each other for who they are. We all make mistakes, but good friends are able to accept that and move on.
The person who inspired that philosophy lives 1000’s of miles away from Breaking More Waves in New Zealand. This weekend we both leave our respective countries and fly out to San Francisco to meet each other in person for the first time in what must be getting on for a decade.
Good, solid, real friends are hugely important - they influence who you are. That’s why Breaking More Waves is taking its longest ever holiday – to spend time with someone very special.
Unlike the ‘big’ blogs (we use the word ‘big’ in inverted commas because we’re sometimes surprised how few plays of songs some of these supposed big blogs actually generate, we suspect their size has more to do with the number of tracks they post and how certain music industry insiders perceive them as being ‘cool’ or influential) Breaking More Waves isn’t written by a large team of writers, or even a small group. It’s just one person. We like it that way, it gives a consistency of character. However, it does mean when we take a break and haven’t pre-written posts to cover the time we’re away (which we have done sometimes in the past ) or continue blogging on holiday, the site stops. This is one of those times.
Breaking More Waves will return sometime towards the end of September. For once, music is taking a backseat.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Some basic thoughts about this U2 album business, which we tweeted earlier, but thought it was worth expanding a little.
Here at Breaking More Waves we’re fans of U2. The greatest and most life affirming gig we ever went to was a U2 show. We know it’s not cool to like U2, it’s never been cool to like U2, but you can’t take the fact from us that we like them, no matter how wrong you might think we are.
It therefore follows that we were actually pleased to receive a brand new free U2 album (which whilst not being their best – it’s no Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, it certainly isn’t a duffer like the unmemorable No Line On The Horizon was either).
There’s some worrying stuff going on here.
Let’s look at that statement from Apple and U2.
They have said that they have an ongoing partnership to ‘transform the way music is listened to and viewed’
So what does that mean?
It appears that Apple are moving towards a model of giving people free albums either by automatic downloads or them being ready to download via iCloud, irrespective of if the user wants them or not. There’s no opt out clause here. Apple aren’t the first media company providing an online service that has decided that customer choice is not an option. Facebook are already doing it and it seems sadly that Twitter is beginning to go that way as well with the likes of promoted tweets, meaning that users are unable to curate their own content.
So what’s next?
In the future will iTunes bombard us with free albums we don’t want? It seems like a distinct possibility.
Then, will Apple offer a ‘no digital trash’ service at a premium price? Essentially if this happened we’d be paying more to get less.
After all albums by big artists these days are nothing more than adverts for other bigger income generating products such as tours. So why not just treat the album like an advert and if you don’t want to hear that advert you have to pay to not hear it. It is after all what Spotify already does.
This is the problem. We’ve all come to expect everything for nothing and live in a world of information and consumer overload. In the future will we actually have to pay to get less?
Is that idea a bit odd and just a bit scary? It would be like someone throwing their rubbish into your garden and then asking you to paying to stop them doing it. Is that idea just round the corner? Maybe it will never happen, but the signs are there that it could.
Oh, and for the record 5 of our favourite U2 songs are Numb, The Fly, A Day Without Me, Where The Streets Have No Name and Bad.
U2 - The Fly
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Everything is coming up roses, or rather Rozes has come up with Everything, her debut track and one that immediately puts her in the electronic pop (with a vague touch of R’n’ B production) camp. It’s a very big camp at the moment, but this one has developed her own bit of space – we’ll even forgive her for the bad spelling, after all how on earth are we going to find on her on Google otherwise?
What we like about Rozes in particular is her vocal. It has a certain kooky left of centre sound to it; the sort of voice that you might have found singing in some alt-folk band perhaps, but instead she’s battling it out with the production as she gives it some heartfelt emotion. In fact it reminds us a lot of Ellie Goulding – which is not a bad thing at all. It may not be boundary pushing (but how much pop really does that?) but it’s too good to discard just because it sounds very of the moment.
Everything is free to download from the Soundcloud player below.
Rozes - Everything
If like us you sometimes like to read the blurb about an artist before you press play (and you're reading this so we assume you do), your mindset has probably already been prejudiced before you listen. Here was the thought process we went through with Kacy Hill before our ears did the work on her debut track Experience:
1. We’ve seen her described as ethereal. We know it's a word that music journos and bloggers like to use a lot, but generally we like ethereal stuff. So we’re off to a good start.
2. She has freckles. Yes we know this has nothing to do with the music, but then pop music has never just been about the music. Anyway, has anyone proved there isn’t a direct correlation between good music and freckles? No, exactly – so until there’s scientific justification disproving our theory, this might actually be a valid reason for thinking that Kacy might be good.
3. She has the initial K. This is very good. Why? Because we have a weird warped thing for artists with names beginning with K and L – it’s utterly illogical – there’s probably some deeply disturbing psychological reason for it, but we’d prefer not to analyse that, the results might scare us.
4. She’s described her song as being ‘inspired by the intricacies of being human and our ability to think into detail and absorb meaning behind subconscious and conscious action,’ which sounds a bit pretentious, but we want our pop stars to be pretentious. After all who wants a pop star describing their song as ‘inspired by working in the supermarket and painting my dining room magnolia at the weekend.’
5. Experience has been compared by others to Broods and FKA Twigs, which sounds interesting.
1. There’s some PR blurb floating around about how she got into writing music accidentally, which is a bit like saying you started cooking some spaghetti bolognaise accidentally. Eg: It's a load of old bollocks.
2. The song was produced by Jaylien Wesley. This strikes fear into our hearts as Jaylien co-wrote Scream and Shout by Will.I.Am and Britney, a song that is a tragic crime against pop. (Sorry Britney if you’re reading this, you’ve done a few classics, but this wasn’t one of them.)
Somewhere In Between Points
1. She’s already been an underwear model, which means the internet is awash with pictures of her butt cheeks. We’re not really sure if we want to see pictures of pop star’s butt cheeks, but we guess that’s ‘the modern way’ (and we say that with a slightly forlorn sigh).
2. She’s also been a dancer – on Kanye’s Yeezus tour.
Then we listened
We pressed play and didn’t worry about the spaghetti bolognaise or Will.I.Am anymore – because this is a slightly leftfield, slightly minimalistic electronic pop song, that certainly sits close to the FKA Twigs school of oddness, although perhaps lacking some of the warped sophistication and possessing none of the eroticism of Tahliah Barnett’s work. There’s more artiness to this song and its accompanying video than we might have expected (a good thing) and the more it's played, the more compelling it becomes. We're not sure if this is just a side project before Kacy gets back into modelling, but if there's more to come, but we'll be listening with interest.
Kacy Hill - Experience (Video)
Monday, 8 September 2014
What was the last great track that Madonna produced? In our books it was quite a while ago; we’d argue that Hung Up was her last truly a.m.a.z.i.n.g work. But if she returned today with new music she could probably do no better than teaming up with Rodaigh McDonald and Jai Paul’s brother Anup, which according to Pigeons & Planes is what has gone down with this song (correction – she could go one better and team up with Jai Paul himself – now that we would love to hear).
However this isn’t Madonna but a new London based artist who goes by the name of just Jones, putting her alongside Tom, Grace, Howard, Norah…er Aled and probably quite a few other famous Jones’s in pop that we can’t think of right now. Her debut track is Deep, which does sound a bit like mid-era Madonna given the gloss of the now. It’s breezy electronic soul pop – we could imagine Jones being an excellent support act for Jungle at this rate – and reckon that quite a few people will be keeping tabs on her from here on in.
Jones - Deep
If you’re a fan of soaring musical landscapes created from chiming jangly indie guitars, iced off with a layer of sweet female vocal, then you’ll probably be giving a little bit of your heart to White Fever. (Even if that heart is only a click on their song on Hype Machine). We’d position the band somewhere between flirting with the fragile beauty of The Sundays (probably the one band we’d kill for to reform and play live) and the more visceral soundscapes of a band like The Joy Formidable when they ramp up the noise. There’s some broad strokes of brilliance in amongst their tune Skeleton Disease, a song that will sweep you up and deposit you on a cloud, utterly lost. Pick from words such as dreamy, cinematic, brilliant, bewitching, enchanting, romantic and orgasmic. Alternatively just use them all.
It’s early days for this Anglo-Scandinavian band, who according to Just Music That I Like (who was very early in writing about them) formed from the ashes of We Walk On Ice, but a debut EP is currently being recorded and mixed plus the quartet have a number of forthcoming live dates in London.
White Fever - Skeleton Disease
We’re not quite sure why but:
1. We’ve never featured Boston MA's Magic Man on Breaking More Waves before.
2. They’ve never played a UK (our home country) show either.
3. They’ve not officially released anything in the UK. (The debate about bands releasing singles and albums in different territories in the age of the internet is an awkward one, one where the words 'prevention of piracy' become even less stable)
Thankfully 1, 2 and 3 are about to be resolved in the following ways:
4. This post kicks things off.
5. If you’re in London and not busy on the 1st October put a note in your diary to nip down to Notting Hill Arts Club where they’ll be playing their first show in this country. Apparently they are exceedingly good live. If you go, do let us know if this is true.
6. They’re about to release a new / old single Texas on 20th October via Epic. It’s already on Spotify in the UK and has been on the web and in other countries since 2013, but this video is a new one. It’s taken from their album Before The Waves (sounds like a prequel to this blog) which will probably see the light of day in this country in 2015.
7. Texas opens with the following words: “You are about to embark on the most wonderful experience of your life,” and whilst we probably wouldn’t go quite that far, the song very quickly explodes into a riotous explosion of hooky synths, guitars and drums that will (like the video) have you bouncing around your bedroom in no time at all.
Magic Man - Texas (Video)
Sunday, 7 September 2014
A few days ago Breaking More Waves favourite Laura Doggett posted an a cappella version of her remarkable song Phoenix online and accompanied it with the following message:
“Hi guys I’ve just posted the a cappella of Phoenix on my Soundcloud, so any of you who fancy making your versions go ahead and download. Tag #phoenixremix and @lauradoggett so I can search for them; I can’t wait to hear what you’ll come up with.”
London based shoegaze / psych outfit The Death Of Pop have responded to the challenge giving the song a radical reworking. Gone are the atmospheric looped piano chords and stuttering electronic clicks, replaced instead by languid sounding guitars. It works rather well. What binds it all together is Doggett’s incredible vocal, a voice so full of depth that it could turn to jazz, soul, indie, rock, pop, electronica or any other musical style and give it real meaning.
Any other remixers / producers / bands / musicians who fancy putting their stamp on Phoenix, there's still time - you can find the vocal only version at this link here to download. You can download the Death Of Pop's version for free from the player below.
Laura Doggett - Phoenix (The Death Of Pop Rework)
Apparently Matt Wells aka Great Skies has described his music as ‘armchair dancefloor.’ That suits us perfectly fine – after all who wants to be bouncing around ‘DA CLUB’ all evening getting extremely sweaty? Sometimes a nice sit down in is very acceptable. In fact, forget all your shots, cocktails and pints, what we’d really like on a big night out is a nice cup of tea or coffee.
And this armchair dancefloor music is good. There’s a whole collection of it on the Great Skies Soundcloud page. The track that has pulled us in is Want Me Close. It hits the zeitgeist button dead centre and then some, with the now de rigueur pitch shifted vocals and shiny electronic production; its mellow, but without ever being sleepy. Then there’s the Coconut Dreams EP, the opening track of which features the upwardly rising Context, but there’s no pitch shifting on the voice here: “I told Matt don’t pitch me up or pitch me down,” he raps over a track that bears some resemblance to an electro-ambient version of The Streets. Elsewhere on the EP you’ll find Don’t Want You which with its deep bassy Disclosure like pulses you’ll probably find the armchair being flung off the dancefloor and your body moving and this house mood continues on Be Yours (Featuring Jordan James). Add in some great remixes of Grimes, Ellie Goulding and Context (him again) and we’re figuring that this Kent based producer has a very bright future ahead of him be it making his own music or producing for others.
Want Me Close is available for free download below.
Great Skies - Want Me Close
Saturday, 6 September 2014
There’s a school of thought that says that once bands have split they shouldn’t reform. We’re not of that school. Not every band reforms for the money. As artists, sometimes the creative juices slow as the years pass and some may want to reinvigorate them by getting together again with the people who galvanised that creativity in the first place. For some the acrimonious divorces that some bands go through, given time, leave the parties feeling sad, empty and missing something in their lives. They realise as they mature that life is too short to hold feuds and want to repair the damage done. Sometimes reforming is part of the process of doing that. But even if it’s just about doing it for the money what’s so bad about that? If your profession is a musician then why shouldn’t you earn from it?
Which brings us to The Primitives. Whilst Breaking More Waves generally focusses on new and emerging talent, we’re also ultimately a new music blog and so that means that if a band reform and put out new material that we think is worth celebrating, then we’re going to wave some internet based flags.
For those of you old enough to remember the first time round, or for those with a good musical education, the Morrissey endorsed indie band from Coventry surged to a brief moment of fame in the late 80’s with a clutch of sprightly indie pop anthems such as Thru The Flowers and Stop Killing Me before hitting the big time with Crash, a Top 10 single and the subsequent album Lovely. Two further less successful albums followed before the band split, until they reformed a few years ago. The reason for the reformation? The death of their original bass player, the band regrouping to play a gig in his memory. In 2011 the band released a new EP Never Kill A Secret and followed it up with an album Echoes And Rhymes, a collection of obscured 50’s and 60’s girl fronted cover versions.
Now The Primitives return with Spin-O-Rama their first album of original material since 1991. From it comes new song Petals, an upbeat old-school indie pop song that will please original fans as well as newer listeners who have the likes of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Fear Of Men or Veronica Falls in their album collections. (That is if anyone still collects music with the advent of streaming). Petals gets straight to the point, fizzling with a joyous jangly guitar urgency, a snappy and sweet melody from Tracy Tracy on vocals and at just two minutes and thirty seconds the song never outstays its welcome. Sharp and exciting, Petals leaves us a little breathless, not bad for a band who are probably old enough to be most modern day indie acts parents.
The Primitives - Petals
Friday, 5 September 2014
She’s done it again. Having already seriously impressed with Hard Time and Younger, Seinabo Sey makes it a hat-trick of dazzlingly powerful pop songs. Pistols At Dawn is like a long lost title song for an unnamed James Bond movie. “Stand down or shown down baby let’s get this done,” she sings with that deep belter of a voice as a gunshot rings out, signalling the (continued) arrival of someone with huge talent and major star potential. This is dark, soulful, emotional stuff that hits you in the gut. Other pop music might as well give up.
This song plus Hard Time and Younger will feature on Seinabo's debut EP For Madeline. Pistols At Dawn also features in the new director's cut version of the Rimmel advert. There are currently listed dates for this remarkable singer in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and France plus a show in London at The Basement, Edition Hotel on the 16th Oct. The rest of the world is Seinabo's for the taking though.
Seinabo Sey - Pistols At Dawn
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Who is Huntar and why is he hiding his identity? We'd like to know.
Here's some possible reasons:
1. He’s ‘letting the music do the talking.’ (Yawn) In which case why not tell us his real name and then just get on with the music? Maybe because if he did Google might tell us more.
2. He’s already had some sort of fledgling musical career as an Ed Sheeran / Lewis Watson styled troubadour but decided to try something different and felt it should go under a different name.
3. He’s actually an escaped convict and is having to hide his identity so the police can’t catch him.
4. His real name is Algenon Picklesthwaite, which really isn’t a very cool name for a budding electronic artist, the blogs really wouldn’t go for it would they?
5. He’s actually called Huntar and isn’t hiding it at all. His parents really wanted him to appear in a dystopian sci-fi film like Hunger Games or Divergent and thought the name might help.
Anyway our money is on number 2, (although wouldn’t it be great if he was really called Huntar?) but we guess for now we’ll have to continue with the ‘it’s all about the music’ route until someone official says who he is. Thankfully in this case the music is good, with Huntar bringing animated passionate lyrics about ‘screaming for more’ and being ‘close and your body is on fire’ against a sultry and atmospheric production (think Sohn as a vague reference point). Basically this is come to bed music and we can imagine Algenon or whatever his name is getting quite a few results with this one.
Huntar - All That I Want
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
If Jungle’s debut album was the soundtrack to your summer then there’s a danger that come autumn and winter as the heat fades it will slide away and be forgotten, particularly in an age when the likes of easy-streaming means that our relationship with music is turning into a polygamous one. There’s always something new and fresh vying for our attention. However, here’s something that might give it a bit of extra longevity amongst the many musical f*cks that are to be had out there in the world of the big sexy bad dangerous internet. It’s via a live cover by Breaking More Waves regulars / favourite (since 2012) The Night VI, who’ve recorded a stripped back version of Drops. It does both bands lots of favours. There’s something irresistibly reassuring about Sophie-Rose Harper’s voice in all of The Night VI’s music, but particularly on songs like this where her royal throatage (is that a word, probably not – who cares ?) is allowed to breathe a little more in amongst the organic sounds.
The band will soon be announcing the release of another EP, which will (hopefully) give us the opportunity to swoon some more. For now though this will do very nicely thank you.
The Night VI - Drops
An overview and some tips both musical and non-musical for Portsmouth's award winning new music festival.
With the UK summer festival season effectively wrapping up at this weekend’s Bestival, music fans who don't want the party to stop will probably have to turn to multi-venue wristband access events rather than pitching up their tent in a field somewhere. Arguably these city based rampages offer better value and certainly more convenience if you want to cram in as many bands as you possibly can with the minimum of fuss.
None are more convenient than Southsea Fest, the second of two music festivals held in Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth in less than a month. Situated on just one road, there’s no danger of having to traipse miles between gigs or getting impossibly lost after a few shandies with this one; it’s all on one street. With venues ranging from small pubs and bars, to mid-sized club spaces to a beautiful Italian Renaissance style Edwardian theatre, all are within a few paces of each other. Southsea Fest is the ultimate festival for new music lovers who want to spend time devouring performances and very little else.
This is the festivals eighth year and the line-up is arguably its strongest yet. You’ll certainly see a large number of bands on the bill that have been featured on Breaking More Waves; Flyte, Fear Of Men, Laurel, Curxes, Prides, Eliza & The Bear, Honeyblood, Eloise Keating, Kassassin Street, Meadowlark, Spring King, The B of the Bang and Wyldest are all names that have graced this blog and play this year’s Southsea Fest as well as a host of other acts including the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses, DZ Deathrays, Ed Harcourt, Blessa, Racing Glaciers, The Cadbury Sisters and Dinosaur Pile Up.
Our tip for Southsea Fest? Get there early. There’s a lot of talent on the lower sections of the bill as well as the evening programme. For example last year we caught a certain George Ezra playing to about 30 people in the Atrium, a small upstairs bar at lunchtime. 1 year on and he’s had a top 5 album and single and is playing a sold out tour, tickets for which cost as much as a ticket for Southsea Fest last year where you could have seen him and about 10-12 other bands.
Our one disappointment with this year’s event is that Breaking More Waves will not be present. Due to a terrible piece of diary co-ordination, we’re on holiday abroad when Southsea Fest 2014 takes place. However, if you’re looking at the line up and feeling unsure who to see, here are 5 acts that we recommend, all of whom will be familiar to readers of the blog. From early timetable information it’s unlikely that any of these acts will clash, although obviously at this stage things are subject to change.
1. Fickle Friends
Last December this Brighton band made their first Hype Machine listed appearance by way of this very blog with a song called I Want/ You Want. By March two new songs, Swim and Play, found the group the subject of some serious internet buzz. Get to Southsea Fest very early because we understand that these guys might be sneaking in near the bottom of the bill – and it would be a crime to miss them.
Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms might be showcasing some of the bigger artists such as Pulled Apart By Horses later in the day, but we recommend an early stop off to catch 2 locally connected acts. First, industrial noise making, budgie loving, emotional electronic drama dudes Curxes will be bringing their shrieking anti-pop to the venue. If you like Nine Inch Nails, Sleigh Bells, Depeche Mode and Siouxsie Sioux then Curxes might be the right band to come and f*ck with your ears.
Not short on drama herself Laurel Arnell-Cullen is another locally connected act gracing The Wedgewood Rooms stage that has been widely celebrated on the internet, particularly for her songs To The Hills, Fire Breather and Shells; orchestrated pop epics that wrestle with potent chunks of romance and darkness at the same time. She’s probably getting bored of being tagged as Britain’s answer to Lana Del Rey, but certainly there’s a sweeping cinematic grasp to her music that warrants some of the comparisons.
2 Scottish girls making a racket with just guitars and drums and lots of angry lyrics, Honeyblood's debut record is one of our favourite indie rock albums of the year. There’s something weirdly uplifting about singing along to the “I will hate you forever,” chorus of Super Rat. Do it.
5. Eliza & The Bear
Our choice of headliner would be Eliza & The Bear. A band who consistently deliver a gloriously rousing, melodic and chest thumping set that will leave you feeling wonderfully alive – afterwards you’ll want to snog strangers in the street.
6. Make sure you see at least one band in the tiny upstairs room at Bar 56 presented by Strong Island. Probably the most intense you’ll have outside of sex – you have been warned.
7. Some people come to Southsea Fest for just one stage. That stage is The Edge of The Wedge, The Wedgewood Room’s smaller sister venue and is traditionally curated by BSM and Alcopop. Expect one in one outs here at certain times and wear as little clothing as possible because you’re going to get very sweaty as the evening goes on.
8. End your night in true Southsea Style at the infamous Ken’s Kebabs. You’ll probably be greeted with a cheery call of ‘yes mate’ and whatever you ask for you’ll be questioned ‘do you want chilli sauce with that?’ We recommend the Messy Burger.
9. If you want something more civilised such as a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a nice sit down in classy vintage surroundings, try The Garage Lounge at the end of Albert Road.
10. After the bands, the dancing, the madness and the mayhem if you still want more fun then remember the beach is only 15 minutes walk away. Skinny dipping time?
Skinny dipping is free, but if you want to come to Southsea Fest (and you really should) tickets are just £18 for 12 hours of music spread across 13 venues on one street on Sept 20th. Buy them from this link.
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
How to fall in love in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Introduce yourself to the music of Slow Skies by way of their debut EP Silhouettes released in 2013.
Step 2 : Wait. For then the fires have time to grow.
Step 3: Your patience is rewarded. Slow Skies return with a new song Ice Field from their forthcoming second EP Keepsake. The opulence of their sound is rediscovered.
Just wonderful. No big builds, no epic crescendos, no big X-Factor big chord changes, just pure unadulterated beauty to fall in love with.
Slow Skies - Ice Field
In amongst the hundreds of new music submission emails we get weekly there will occasionally be one from somebody who has stumbled across Breaking More Waves having found an old post about an artist that name checks songs (often demos) that are no longer available on line, asking if we have copies of these songs to share. We still get a lot of requests for people asking for Marina & The Diamonds’ Mermaid vs Sailor demo EP which we mentioned in 2008, Neon Fashion and Glowstix and Do It Well by Charli XCX which we mentioned here and more recently we've had a small number of requests for Salt Ashes early songs such as Love In The Echo and Edge Of The Heart which we streamed in 2011 when we introduced her to blog readers (here). The answer to all these enquiries is a big fat no.
But the fact that people are asking about the Salt Ashes songs demonstrates one thing; that she’s developing a small but determined group of fans.
Yesterday those fans had something new to cheer as Salt Ashes released a new tune. Well, sort of new, it first surfaced in an earlier form in 2013 – you’ll have to email the blogs that featured it to see if they have a copy if you want to hear it, but we expect you’ll get the same answer as the one we give.
So to the new song. It's called If You Let Me Go.
“You don’t need to rescue me, rescue me, if you let me go,” Salt Ashes shrieks over a tough disco pop groove that threatens to make you lose your inhibitions on the dance floor, taking reference from early Madonna and Nottingham based singer / producer /sometime DJ Ronika. It’s another piece of classy pop from the Brighton singer that will have you thrusting your hips as if you were the hottest thing in ‘da club’. Which you’re probably not. But then pop music is all about fantasy so if you think you are when listening to this, the song has done its job.
Salt Ashes - If You Let Me Go