Thursday, 30 October 2014
The release of Broods really excellent debut album has been a bit of an oddity. Already available in certain parts of the world, our own country of the UK has been starved from listening to it unless you 1. Illegally download it. 2. Import it. We suspect the majority will opt for 1, which is a shame.
We’re also a bit confused about the release of Charli XCX’s next album Sucker, which is also being released in different territories at different times, which will surely leading to even more illegal downloading. Also Boom Clap did very well and was a proper hit (number 6 in the UK, number 8 in the US, and 9 in Australia), but Break The Rules seems to have stiffed a bit, just sneaking into the lower reaches of the UK top 40. We thought it deserved to do better, being the sort of track that you can bounce up and down vigorously to. Then there’s London Queen a bubblegum punk track that’s been pushed out onto You Tube with a Tracey Beaker styled lyric video (which you can see here). We’re not sure where that really fits in the big scheme of things and we’re hoping that before Charli pushes out Sucker she’s got another big radio banger to pull out of the bag.
Which brings us to this remix, in which Charli XCX gets a good seeing to by Broods. We’re not sure where these remixes really fit in the big scheme of things either, but that’s for record labels and industry types to worry about. What we do know is that we like this one. It’s what you’d expect from these two artists when they’re pushed together. It squeezes a little more darkness out of the song than the original. It's a bit industrial and oily. Let it dribble and drum menacingly all over your ears.
Charli XCX plays Heaven in London tonight.
Charli XCX - Break The Rules (Broods Remix)
Wash Away, the second track to be streamed from Coasts forthcoming EP, is top-notch. Sounding like an incoming storm, this rattles with a pleasingly explosive epic-indie sound that comes with a stamp on it marked 'designed for big venues.'
However, we can't let them get away with just a good tune. There's a matter of some lyrics:
“Our Days are lost in a summer haze, our voices soft in the twilight gaze, like an orange peel, you give me the sweetest feel.”
Sorry Coasts, but we have a fruit related issue with this.
Making you feel sweet?
Isn’t orange peel a bit tart rather than sweet? Bitter sweet, we'd give you that, but not just sweet.
Maybe a re-write is required. How about:
“Your sex appeal, gives me the sweetest feel.”
Or something that is actually sweet:
“Like a wagon wheel, you give me the sweetest feel.”
Mmmm….. Wagon Wheels….. all that jam, chocolate and marshmallow. Lovely.
Coasts - Wash Away
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
There’s no doubt that FKA Twigs LP has defined 2014. It's an unsettling and not always accessible piece of work that will disappoint those looking for traditional songs, but with its weird experimental programming and languid warped sonics has managed to sound both futuristic and very of the moment at the same time, capturing the attention of those who like something a little edgier than the average pop album.
It’s for these reasons that it came as no surprise to see LP1 as the bookies favourite to win the Mercury Prize today, even if she lost out eventually to Young Fathers (our own personal favourite alongside Kate Tempest's record).
To coincide with the prize Tahliah has released a new You Tube piece, directed by Kahlil Joseph, which finds her returning to the darkness of her earlier visual work for album track Video Girl. Watch her dancing and singing to a condemned prisoner on death row. Just like her music it takes a little longer than average to get your head around it but once you do, it's quite compelling.
FKA Twigs - Video Girl (Video)
Languid electronic vaguely R ‘n’ B influenced pop has been flavour of the month for a lot more than just a month now (we’re wondering when the backlash is going to come?), but for the moment there’s still a lot of dudes kicking out these late night tunes. Shivum Sharma’s new one is the latest addition to the collection. Despite the lyrics All These Years isn’t a cover version of After All These Years by 80’s power ballad rockers Journey, although the song certainly takes you on a journey; a chilled zero gravity sounding spacey trip. Sharma himself has also been on a journey – although his hasn't been by a rocket to the stars but to Asia for a couple of months, which apparently left him inspired with many fresh ideas for his songwriting.
Production credits go to ex Sneaker Pimp (remember Six Underground?) Liam Howe who has worked in the past with the likes of Marina & The Diamonds and FKA Twigs. The song is taken from Shivum’s forthcoming EP due on December the 8th via National Anthem on either iTunes or 10” vinyl. If you pre-order on iTunes you get this track straight away.
Shivum Sharma - All These Years
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Silverdale duo Aquilo’s star has been softly rising over the last 18 months since they first whispered out to the blogosphere with the exquisite Calling Me in 2013, to the point where they can now call in the likes of Sohn to take their journey to the next level. Human sounds like the perfect headphone music to soundtrack a flight way above the clouds as it has a sense of pushing towards the heights. This is a sublime piece of pop that’s played with a dreamy airiness that makes it sound effortlessly affecting and near spiritual.
Human is the lead track from the new Aquilo EP which is due out on December 8 via B3SCI. They play St Pancras Old Church on 30th October. If you pre-order the EP you get this track immediately.
Aquilo - Human
So here we go with Laura Doggett (again) as the video for Moonshine makes it way to our eyes and ears. Here we find Laura journeying through a forest where someone seems to have left a dry ice and wind machine on whilst some tattooed hunk stares meaningfully out of a window. Then as things progress Laura gets down to smashing up some logs with an axe ( we assume for the fire that is then shown) – maybe she’s trying a bit of one-upmanship on the hunk. “Look I can sing incredibly and smash logs- what can you do with your muscular topless body and tattoos except stare through the window like a puppy as if you’re deep and meaningful, whilst actually you’re pretty vacant.” There’s also a very big moon (obviously), a glass pyramid (not so obvious) and Laura floating above the ground (not a clue on this one). It’s rather like an episode of Doctor Who in so far as we’re pretty sure it all means something, but sometimes it’s all just a bit confusing, but who cares, because it looks great and that’s half the aim with visual art isn’t it? But then what would we know, we’re ‘employed’ for our musical ‘expertise’, nothing else. If someone could explain it all we'd be extremely grateful, thank you.
Laura Dogget - Moonshine (Video)
Saturday, 25 October 2014
This summer we almost choked on our cup of tea whilst watching the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony on our television when amongst the likes of Kylie and Lulu, up cropped Scottish synth pop trio Prides in a festival of dancing tent dreams. It's pretty unusual to see a relatively new band get featured on something quite as large scale. Well done whoever was involved. You can see that moment via some audience filmed footage here.
Whilst this new video for Out Of The Blue, the first song that Prides released and that we featured back in April 2013, has been out for a few weeks now, it hasn’t yet made it onto these pages. (Exam question: 'If Breaking More Waves is a new music blog, when does the music stop becoming new'? Discuss). So here it is in all its very wash of blue wonder. We particularly like the way the band do the nearly coordinated one leg bounce at their keyboards at the beginning.
In other news Out Of The Blue is now featured on the new FIFA 15 soundtrack. Again well done whoever is involved.
The band is also out on a UK tour in February after selling out their recent dates. Ticket links and dates are here.
Prides - Out Of The Blue (Video)
Friday, 24 October 2014
Hurrah! Mystery band Black Honey finally reveal themselves – and guess what? They look pretty much like any other regular bunch of guys and gals in a band. No deformed faces, no extra limbs, no absurdly large or small body parts (not that we can see anyway). We also get some names: Izzy Bee, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor & Tom Dewhurst. Plug that into Google and you’ll find out the name of Black Honey before they became Black Honey, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. (Interesting / not so interesting fact depending on your point of view: when they were that former band one of their first gigs was supporting Haim in Brighton. One of their last gigs in their previous guise was the Camden Crawl this year. We witnessed both shows - their birth and death before the reincarnation so to speak.)
Right, now we’ve got all of that cleared up, shall we get on with the music? This one gives a nod backwards, as it struts like an ostrich with a raw speaker shredding 60’s noise pop sound to it. It features on the bands untitled debut EP, which will be available as a limited edition physical run CD at their gigs, the first of which is today in their home town of Brighton at a yet to be disclosed venue. Want to go? Message them on 07578533359 for details. They also play Notting Hill Arts Club, London on November 2nd.
Black Honey - Bloodlust
“How did you find them?” is a question that music bloggers sometimes get asked. Often the answer is fairly boring. “I got an email about them from their representatives.” However, one of our favourite ways of discovery is still the old fashioned method of stumbling across a band on the bottom of the bill in a small club being watched by just a handful of people. So it was with Brighton’s Troves. With a smug 'we're-so-on-it' smile we made a note to feature them here on Breaking More Waves, way before anyone else had discovered them, or so we thought.
One quick world wide web search later showed that the internet was already way ahead of us. Debut track Youth In Decay already has over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud and 16 Hype Machine listed blogs have featured the tune. Huw Stephens has played them on Radio 1. We obviously haven’t been paying attention – maybe because we’ve been out at too many gigs.
So here are Troves. A three-piece, two boys, one girl. In the live form they manage to do moody melancholy and big euphoria all in the same breath, or at least the same song. In recorded form their sound is a little more subtle with references to 80’s swizzling synth pop. Alongside the likes of Royal Blood, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Salt Ashes, Fickle Friends and Black Honey (more on Black Honey later today), Troves confirm that Brighton continues to be a hotbed of diverse and exciting artists although because of the internet, there's an argument that their location really doesn't matter anymore, does it?
See them next on the 18th Nov at The Hope in Brighton or on the 19th at The Lexington in London.
Troves - Youth In Decay (Video)
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Following three previous tunes, namely Mumbai, Expectations and Options (two of which we featured on Breaking More Waves) comes Miami singer Brika’s fourth single, Gold, the final release before her debut album Voice Memos which is due on November 25th via Art House Records. We quite like the idea of an album called Voice Memos. We imagine Brika singing her weekly food shopping list over some pumping electronica and perhaps some domestic chores and laundry that she needs to remember to do over some deft piano. After all it was good enough for Kate Bush.
However it looks like our fantasies of normality will remain just that that, because Gold is nothing of the sort. Instead it’s a propulsive and uplifting dance-pop belter with not one mention of packets of pasta or washing the kitchen floor. “Hold me close and I know I'll feel fine,” Brika sings before the chorus hits the swagger button and forces you to throw your hands in the air.
Brika - Gold
Stop everything. Brighton based Steptoe & Son obsessed Rory Graham, better known as Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (who we enthusiastically introduced earlier this month) has a new tune and it’s an absolute corker. Imagine George Ezra discovering hip-hop, going deeper and finding a growling hook line “maybe you're going to hell yeah, for all our wicked crimes,” that buries into your head on first listen. This one is pretty incredible and once you hear it you’ll probably understand why his forthcoming hometown show in November has already had to be upgraded due to demand. This man knows how to holler the blues, (with some accompanying rap from Vince Staples on this track) and then some. This big man deserves to be a big name; find salvation in Hell Yeah.
Rag 'n' Bone Man - Hell Yeah ft Vince Staples
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Whilst Royal Blood are taking all the accolades for ‘Best UK Guitar Band of 2014’ it’s worth remembering that they are not single flag bearers. In fact we’d rather the flag was ditched completely and we just talked about good music. Another 'blood' named two piece -Honeyblood - make exactly that.
Having been named on the UK Blog Sound of 2014 long list the group has certainly justified that tip, releasing an excellent debut album (we’re hoping it might sneak in on a few end of year lists) and played many well received shows. With original drummer Shona McVicar now departed and replaced by Car Myers, next up for the Scottish band is a co-headline slot on the NME endorsed New Breed Tour 2014 alongside Superfood.
As part of the build up to this tour Honeyblood has released a new Hitchcock styled video for the song Choker which is based on Angela Carter’s short story The Bloody Chamber. The Choker is a wedding gift given to the main character by her husband. In the book she discovers that he enjoys sadistic pornography and has killed his previous wives, keeping them in a secret room. It’s fair to say that he isn’t a particularly nice chap, but he gets his comeuppance eventually. The story was in turn based on the fairytale Bluebeard.
The director of the video Julian Tardo says of the piece “I wanted to house Stina's reinterpretation of Bluebeard within yet another layer of context - so I suppose it's Bluebeard through the Bloody Chamber through film noir. I like layering these ideas over and over - I think the essence of human reaction becomes ever starker as you bury it in these layers.”
The video is also the second that we’ve featured in 24 hours that uses the colour red to highlight key visual images in a largely black and white environment after Seinabo Sey's effort yesterday.
Honeyblood - Choker (Video)
Wikipedia suggests that musicologists define pop as having a number of characteristics, one of which is a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments. When a new artist breaks through with something a little unique and special you’ll inevitably get a slew of similar artists following in their path. It’s probably why right now there’s a lot of white bearded men who have suddenly discovered sexy r’n’b and why there’s quite a few female singers out there sounding a little bit like either Lorde, Ellie Goulding or Lana Del Rey. This isn’t a criticism on our part of those artists, because let’s face it, much of progressive art, be it music, painting, dance or architecture is fundamentally rubbish – but out of the crap, somewhere something incredible will also be born.
So let’s back track to Lana Del Rey. Yesterday we posted Zella Day’s new tune Hypnotic and immediately compared it to Lana. Today we’re introducing Chløë Black and once again making that comparison. The melody, the vocal intonation and even the subject material (the 27 Club being a term that refers to a number of musicians who died at that age from either suicide or alcohol / drug abuse) could easily be something that we can imagine Lana performing. After all she alluded to the idea of dying young in this interview with the Guardian and now Chløë is doing the same.
“Joplin, heroin, cocaine, Cobain, raise my Hendricks to Jimi no one gets old in this city,” she sings and we’re won over with the gin and rock star reference, the hint of faded glamour and a vocal that once you suck in you find is delivered with more soul and passion than Lana could ever muster. We’ve no idea what other material she has, or if she can sing this well live, but if she can, we could have a star on our hands.
Incidentally, what’s happened to another Chlöe - Chlöe Howl? Are we ever going to get an album from her?
Chløë Black - 27 Club
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Take Seinabo Sey, some very red clothing, a very bleak burnt out forest somewhere in Sweden, a lo-fi Stormtrooper and a gun and before you know it you have your very own pop video. It’s visually quite stunning even although at the end we’re left scratching our heads and thinking what the f*ck was that all about? No scratching the head about the song though. Pistols at Dawn is a peerless piece of dramatic pop and if Seinabo Sey keeps this quality up her album should be something else. Pistols at Dawn is taken from Seinabo’s debut EP For Madeleine which is named after her mother and released on November 17th in the UK.
Seinabo Sey - Pistols At Dawn (Video)
According to the internet Cesare is a Brazilian producer and soccer coach. Thankfully his remixes are supremely better than his national team’s performance against Germany in this year’s World Cup. Here’s an example. He takes blog favourites Fickle Friends and re-works For You into something ready for the dancefloor but never SHOUTS loudly like a Calvin Harris put-your-hands-in- the-air-mother*ckers banger. No, this is smoother, more sensual, more sophisticated, more sun kissed and even to a certain extent more sexy than that. The learning point here is dance music can be subtle and still work.
Fickle Friends - For You (Cesare Remix)
Look, we know all the arguments about how Sound of and Ones To Watch lists at the end of the year are not good music and they aren’t the way art should be treated, but the fact is that here at Breaking More Waves we obsess over these things – irrespective of the subjective right or wrongs. As far as we're concerned in a full on self-centred way, these lists gives us pleasure and therefore we're going to embrace them - after all they're not illegal.
It’s why we currently have a piece of paper pinned to our wall with Ones to Watch 2015 written on it. Currently there are 57 names on that list and over the next month we’ll be narrowing that down to 10 or 15 that we will publish on the blog in late November. Then after that there will be the likes of the BBC Sound of 2015 list and the Blog Sound of 2015 poll both of which are revealed at the very end of November / start of December.
If you read the blog regularly you may have already seen a few hints of some of the artists we’re considering for our own list (and may be voting for with our vote on the Blog Sound poll) and here’s another.
We’ve already featured Zella Day and her Lana Del Rey like pop a number of times before and now we’re doing it again. Hypnotic is even more Lana than Lana (minus any putting on or taking off red dresses that Miss Del Rey likes to sing about), so if you’re not a fan of that sort of music, stop now. If you are then press play because this is a very good tune indeed, full of twangy guitars, beats that could have been taken from a hip-hop record and Zella singing a chorus about how ‘you do it to me so well.’ It’s taken from her 4 track EP on iTunes which features the equally good Sweet Ophelia, Compass and East Of Eden. It’s the best thing you can do with £1.99 today. If you’re not feeling that flush it’s also iTunes single of the week which means you can grab it for free. Why would you not want to do that? Alternatively you can just stream it from below.
Zella Day - Hypnotic
If you’ve been paying attention, read the clues and used Google properly you’ll already know who Clarence Clarity, this new entrepreneur of bubblegunk, is. Once you’ve got that out of the way you can concentrate on the important stuff, like listening to this bat shit mental tune which manages to pack a whole bunch of oddball activity into its four minutes and five seconds of existence. If you’re the sort of person that likes hip grinding funk, Bhangra workouts, demons inside in your head and electrical noise that sounds like someone has just discovered the meaning of life (and really deep down inside everyone wants to hear those four things don’t they?) then Those Who Can’t, Cheat is for you.
Yet despite its warped brilliance 'Clarence' looks pretty normal doesn't he?
It’s out on December 1st via Bella Union. The universe unfolds….
Clarence Clarity - Those Who Can't, Cheat
Monday, 20 October 2014
Like all relationships that start with a rush of heady excitement we thought that our love of Chvrches would eventually wane a little into something more sedate and comfortable.
The trouble is that every time we think that’s about to happen the f*ckers bang something new into our ears and make us feel that music is the greatest thing ever again.
The song is Get Away and it’s taken from a project titled Radio 1 Rescores: Drive - Curated by Zane Lowe that will be broadcast on BBC 3 on October 30th. The venture aims to provide a new soundtrack to the film and features the likes of Banks, Bastille, Jon Hopkins, The 1975 and Laura Mvula. Chvrches contribution is immense; the whole thing’s full of hooks, waves of euphoric synths and just wait for the build about two thirds of the way through. It redefines the word orgasm. Our love continues. It's good to be alive.
Chvrches - Get Away
Here at Breaking More Waves we like comparisons. Some people call this lazy journalism, but that’s fine – paraphrasing our blog brother Andy Von Pip of The Von Pip Musical Express, copying and pasting a press release straight onto a blog or website is lazy journalism, actually giving some consideration to reference points isn’t.
So here are some comparisons. In getting these we asked four different people what artist they thought this song sounded like. Yes we know that’s lazy as well, but we hoped it would reinforce our views. 75% of them said Bastille. 25% of them said Hurts. Not one of them mentioned that Bitter sounded a bit like Aquilo, but then we realised that when writing reference points, if you mention bands that only 0.1% of the population know of it's probably not a very useful reference point. We’d probably also have described Bitter as sounding a bit like commercial credible boy band pop with a hint of chill wave, but then again probably less than 0.1% of the population know what chill wave sounds like.
Which brings us to a conclusion and question:
What is the point of writing about what music sounds like, when as a reader you can just press play and decide yourself? Maybe we should have just written “New tune by Huntar, this is good.”
Now that’s what we call lazy.
Oh, and if you see anyone write “Emerging from the shadows of south east London's electronic scene with his pop sensibilities twisted, 21yr old producer and vocalist Huntar's heart beats in time with the rhythms that birthed him, from the maximalism of Hudson Mohawke to Prince at his infectious best ,” that came from the press release.
Bitter is taken from Huntar's debut EP released on the 8th December. You get the track for free immediate download when you pre-order the EP (here)
Footnote: There's a bit of Chet Faker in this as well perhaps? Right, we're done with comparing.
Huntar - Bitter
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Back in 2013 Emily Burns featured on Breaking More Waves in one of our ‘New Waves’ introducing pieces having impressed with her self-penned acoustic pop and the song Plasters, Glitter and Glue. That song and the others on her Soundcloud have now disappeared and have been replaced with 3 new tracks all of which show a big step forward.
It seems that Emily has found a groove. The guitar is out and in its place there’s a slicker modern production that takes in elements of r’n’b, disco and pop. On Mr Heartbreaker things are slinky and slow and Control is dance floor friendly and hot under the collar.
It’s the third of the newbies, uploaded today, that finds Emily giving us her most assured song to date. Recorded at Abbey Road studios with Pearse MacIntyre and Rob Cass, Enemy is constructed from laid back pianos and loose drums, with Emily singing of the one that got away. Its gentle sound works well, showing Emily's development and new found maturity. Let's hope its not so long before we feature her again on these pages.
Emily Burns - Enemy
Friday, 17 October 2014
We’ve never been to India, the furthest we’ve probably got is one of the local curry houses in our home town, but the new video for the Bon Iver produced song Blood I Bled, the title track from The Staves forthcoming EP, nearly makes up for it by featuring some wonderfully colourful footage. It seems to marry with the music perfectly, seeming oddly life affirming as you watch, from the boy at the top of the human pyramid to the slight smile raised by the woman as she watches the dancers. We can’t think of a better way to end our week than with this song and this video.
The Staves - Blood I Bled (Video)
Thursday, 16 October 2014
If you’re heading out to see La Roux in late November or early December we highly recommend that you arrive early to catch the support act. He goes by the stage name of Meanwhile (his real name is the distinctly normal Tom Andrews) and in terms of live performance he’s one of the grooviest and liveliest new kids on the block.
Having already made a couple of appearances on Breaking More Waves earlier this year Meanwhile is gearing up to release his debut EP, The Element Yes, through Fiction on December 1st. Besides the La Roux slots (which are a very well matched support) he also plays a headline date at the Sebright Arms, London on October 27th.
Early comparisons suggested that Prince was a big influence on Meanwhile’s music – something we wouldn’t disagree with, his small number of shows and songs so far certainly had the funk. New tune All For The Taking takes a slightly different route though. It journeys from smooth lightly pounding electronic music that sounds a little like 80’s weird synth popster Thomas Dolby to a momentary fizzy rock wig-out, before calming things down again.
We’re looking forward to hearing the whole of The Element Yes which has been described to us as taking its name, in part, from those lessons learned in awkward adolescence. Don't forget La Roux fans - get there early - you won't regret it.
Meanwhile - All For The Taking
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Coasts look pretty happy with themselves don’t they? And so they should be. Because their ‘new’ single is pretty stupendous.
It has nothing to do with that Coldplay album, but A Rush Of Blood shows a similar sense of ambition to Chris Martin and co. It’s big. Very big. Which probably means we should be using a word like gigantic, whopper or heavyweight, but we quite like the word big, after all we don’t want to get too bloated and carried away. If you’re a fan of soaring indie rock (take Sons & Lovers as a reference point with a hint of Foals in the guitar picking plus the accessibility of a band like The 1975), then A Rush Of Blood is going to exactly your thing.
The tune was originally released earlier this year but this version found the band joining forces with producers Mike Spenser (Rudimental/Alex Clare) and James Rushent (Does It Offend You Yeah) to re-work and revamp the song and the results are impressive. The track comes from the bands forthcoming EP which you can pre-order here and you can catch the band on a tour that takes in a fair few English cities plus Glasgow in late November / December, including Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth. See you down the front for that one?
Coasts - A Rush Of Blood
An actual conversation that happened at Breaking More Waves HQ today:
“Why do you like so much sad sounding music?”
“It’s not sad, it’s good.”
“No, not sad as in rubbish / terrible, sad as in emotionally down.”
“Are you depressed?”
“Most certainly not.”
“Then why don’t you listen to something that sounds happy?”
“I don’t know. I can’t help what I like.”
“I bet you’re listening to something sad sounding now.”
“Maybe…here, take a listen.”
“Oh my god, this is so heavy, why on earth would you want to listen to this.”
“Give it a chance….”
Half an hour later…….
“Hey, you know that sad song you were listening to?”
“Which one? The new Aquilo tune, I Gave It All?”
“What about it?”
“Well, it still sounds sad, but it’s rather lovely isn’t it?”
I Gave It All is taken from the band's forthcoming EP. Irrespective of your mood we're sure you'll agree that this song is worth your time, because it is (as was correctly identified) rather lovely.
Aquilo - I Gave It All
Liverpool’s Jennifer Davies describes her music as ‘Imaginative, British, kick-ass pop,’ and we certainly wouldn’t disagree with that description. Her debut free to download EP Lapse Of Time is an energetic collection of fist pumping tunes with big shout-a-long choruses. Imagine the sound of Charli XCX’s older sister who spent her time listening to Republica, Garbage and Kim Wilde in her youth and that’s what you get here.
In these days when it seems that 95% of potential pop stars are singing with the sort of sighing lethargy over ‘sexy’ R ‘n’ B beats and electronica that FKA Twigs has already won at, Jennifer’s music stands out like someone inserting a lit firework up your backside. Oh that’s a bit more than kick-ass isn’t it? That’s flaming ass pop. Like the Flaming Lips only in the nether regions and poppier.
A quick bit of Google detective work shows that Jennifer has previously been part of a number of projects including Soft Toy Emergency who picked up some national exposure and played a number of major festivals (we vaguely recall looking at their Myspace page once). Now however Jennifer’s doing her own thing and if it’s possible to mosh to pop then Jennifer has created the soundtrack to do it to.
Jennifer Davies - Choke
Jennifer Davies - Lapse Of Time (Video)
Pieces is the latest track from Brooklyn sibling duo Katie and Ben Marshall better known as Paperwhite, and yes, it’s glorious. Taking all sorts of soft-tinged 80’s reference points they transport us once again to a world where shoulder pads, bad mascara and big hair were all part of the giddy explosion of colour and experimentation - and that was just the men.
Pieces will feature on the band’s debut EP Magic released by Duly Noted, one of Breaking More Waves favourite UK based boutique labels, on November 17th. It’s a song about love at first sight, a concept that the slightly more cynical among us would say doesn’t really exist, except perhaps for that moment when as a parent you bring a baby into the world, but we’re not going to put a downer on the band's enthusiasm. For certainly this music is love at first listen, with the songs upbeat synths combining with Katie’s dreamy vocals to make something that rather like not licking your lips whilst eating a sugary doughnut is impossible not to tap your toes to. Try it – we dare you – you won’t succeed (that's with the music not the doughnut - we're not a cakes and pastries blog you know).
Paperwhite - Pieces
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Vaults are very good at doing sophisticated and elegant aren’t they? Even when lead singer Blythe strapped a bunch of glow sticks to her body on stage (as she did when we saw her a few weeks ago at London’s ICA) it didn’t seem preposterously silly; instead it seemed as if it was the most natural and stylish thing to do ever.
New song Vultures also fits into the Vaults template of dignified sounding pop. It has a sense of reaching for the stars but never over exerts itself, always majestic but never overdone. Built around some stately piano chords this is a lovely sweep of melancholy that we could fly away above the world forever. Luxuriate in it.
Vultures is taken from an EP that will be released on December 1st and will also contain the songs Poison and Mend This Love plus a Maya Jane Coles remix of Vultures. The band will play a small number of dates this November (which you can find details of by clicking here). We’re not sure if Blythe will be wearing her glow sticks again, but whatever she wears / does it will probably ooze flair. Some bands just have it don't they?
Vaults - Vultures
“It seems pretty incredible to our minds that Laura Doggett isn’t already a household name.” Those were our words on the blog back in December last year and we'll probably continue to repeat them until she is, or at least until her voice and songs get the recognition they deserve. Laura is still is a long way from full public recognition of her talents, but since the release of Phoenix in July this year there’s certainly been a gurgle of interest as people begin to hear her powerful emotive voice. Some dates supporting Jon Newman together with another big lunged singer and Breaking More Waves favourite Jetta will do no harm either.
Having already streamed the song via Soundcloud and featured the official video on the blog, today we’re giving Phoenix its third airing on these pages via this stripped back version of the song. It’s titled acoustic, which is a bit odd given that there is electronic kit used, but still we’ll forgive Laura because the quality is all that really matters, not labels. Press play, immerse yourself in it and if you aren’t moved / impressed / stunned then go and stand in the corner with your musical dunces hat on.
Laura will be playing 2 shows at the beautiful Chapel in the House of St Barnabas, London on the 19th November. If you get the opportunity grab a ticket because the combination of the venue and Laura Doggett will be a real treat.
Laura Doggett - Phoenix 'Acoustic' Version Video
Monday, 13 October 2014
Today we’re introducing Shannon Saunders to the pages of Breaking More Waves. She’s another one of those new / not really so new artists, having already picked up 750,000 views of her video for her self-released song Heart Of Blue (we’re going to add a few more by streaming it below), which cost just £9 to make and reached number 48 on the iTunes chart, promoted mainly through the use of social media. Then earlier this year Shannon showed her development from Heart Of Blue as she uploaded the track Sheets to Soundcloud. Within a few days she found herself sitting pretty at number 1 on Hype Machine’s chart. So with Facebook, You Tube and the blogs covered, next stop for this Swindon based singer is (probably) everything outside of the internet, including the radio, and on the basis of new song Silly Little Things this seems like a very near certainty. It’s a thoroughly modern percussive pop tune about outgrowing a relationship, formed from slick studio production and a bass that will have you wiggling your butt until earthquakes are caused. A future pop star?
Shannon Saunders - Silly Little Things
Shannon Saunders - Heart Of Blue (Video)
Local scenes may not be as powerful as they were in days gone past, after all it’s just as easy these days for a band or performer to connect to and be inspired by an artist on the other side of the world as it is one on the next street. However, in terms of music discovery, watching a band play live is still a lot easier to do when a band hails from and plays in your home city.
Which brings us neatly to Kassassin Street, a group that without doubt are one of the most thrilling live acts to hail from Charles Dickens birthplace and home of the HMS Victory in recent memory; that’s Portsmouth – home of Breaking More Waves for those who don’t know. It’s not only us who seems to think so either, their recent set at Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival pulled a crowd that was as big, if not bigger, than some of the national touring bands playing that day and they’re consistently selling out local venues (their next home city show on November 14th is already sold out).
Now Kassassin Street has unveiled their latest assault on the senses, Centre Straight Atom, which is released digitally on November 10th. A pulverizing stadium shaking beast of driving dirty electronics and space rock guitars it manages to grab you by the privates as both a club stomper and indie anthem. It’s like Kasabian with less of the bullshit. Freaky arms flailing dancing (or any other body part for that matter) is allowed to this one.
Kassassin Street - Centre Straight Atom
Whilst the internet has altered and shaped the way we discover and listen to music in ways that many people (including most of those working in the music industry) never dreamed was possible a decade or so ago, here at Breaking More Waves we’re still very much committed to enjoying music in spaces where the way of showing your appreciation isn’t by clicking a like button, but by applause. In this day and age when the boundaries between amateur and professional musicians can be so easily blurred, when it’s possible to use studio production to make those with very little talent sound incredibly good, the live arena is still the place where an artist can be quickly found out. It’s one of the reasons why at Breaking More Waves we try to attend as many small gigs to see new bands as the bank balance will allow – to get a real perspective on an artist’s ability.
There are of course many other reasons for attending small gigs – the thrill, the all sensory experience, the intimacy, the intensity, the price, the hope that the band we see playing to 50 people in a small room above a pub for a few quid will go on to bigger and better things. Yes, we’ll admit there’s a certain sense of self-satisfied smugness to be derived from being able to recount to friends tales of watching artists that went on to be huge, but there’s also the satisfaction in seeing a band that deliver the goods in a small toilet venue being rewarded for their talents and going on to play much larger spaces with the potential increase in earnings, although sometimes in a band's early stages they haven't yet fully learnt how to deliver the goods - they're still developing.
It’s for these reasons why you’ll quite often find us rushing from the day job to do a 100 mile (or more) round trip to see some up and coming band play 7 songs in a half hour support slot in some grotty club or pub on a rainy Tuesday night in November. It’s also why at bigger shows we’ll always turn up early to catch the support acts, because they could quite possibly be the stars of tomorrow.
Here are 5 acts that we caught in small pubs or clubs, sometimes as the support act, that went on to much bigger and better things:
Adele – The Hope, Brighton
The tickets cost just £5, the venue held 90 people. The then 19 year old Adele sat on a stool tucked into the corner of the dark room and played her songs on just an acoustic guitar. Her playing was rudimentary, her voice already fantastic. Before the gig (our second time seeing her in 2007 after having caught her 3rd on the bill below Jack Penate at the Red Roaster cafe in Brighton at that years' Great Escape Festival) we met Adele outside where she was standing smoking a cigarette – we castigated her for potentially ruining her vocal chords to which she squawked with laughter and told us that everyone said that to her. That was in 2007. Global domination followed. Hopefully she has given up the fags.
Radiohead – South Street Arts Centre, Reading (Supporting The Frank & Walters)
We remember very little of this gig except that immediately afterwards we stated (bizarrely) that “Radiohead sound a bit like The Jam,” and that they were a “typically average indie rock band,” which to be realistic at the time they were. It was The Frank and Walters with their bowl haircuts, orange flared trousers and sing-a-long anthem After All who won that night. By the time we caught up with Radiohead again, at a headline show at Shepherds Bush Empire around the time of The Bends, they had become a violently claustrophobic and brilliant rock band and were soon to morph into something more fascinating with their next 2 albums.
The Stone Roses – The West End Centre, Aldershot
“From Manchester….The Stone Roses,” proclaimed the flyer for the gig. Tickets cost £2.99. (Why not £3 we have no idea). The support bands were Jive Turkey and The Colour Mary. We turned up at the venue (a 200 capacity converted school turned arts centre) having read a little bit about the band in the music press but knowing very little else; including what they looked like. In the bar we saw four out of place blokes with bowl haircuts and baggy clothes. “Look at those twats,” someone in our party said. “F*ckin’ posers – they shouldn’t be here,” such was the narrow mindedness of our small town mentality at the time. Two hours later we realised the posers were the band. The music was great, the lead singer couldn’t sing for toffee. We stood at the back and shook our heads in disgust. “They’ll never do anything with that vocalist,” we muttered staring dolefully at our pints. Now The Stone Roses debut is one of our favourite albums of all time. A few years on we saw them play at Brixton Academy – the gig was a glorious celebration, one room full of vibrant head in the clouds atmosphere grooving together. At that point we couldn’t care less if Ian Brown’s vocals were pancake flat or not.
Coldplay – The Joiners, Southampton (Supporting Terris)
“If Coldplay aren’t huge we will actually eat this hat,” we said after seeing them in this 120 capacity back room of a pub. “As long as the lead singer gets his haircut.” Chris Martin got his haircut; Coldplay went on to be huge. For once we were right. We recently sold the Terris album at a car boot sale for 20p. Plenty of copies are available on ebay. If you think that's bad, we couldn't even shift AlunaGeorge's recent album for 10p.
The Killers – The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth (Supporting Stellastar)
Whilst Stellastarr was the headlining band, we turned up to our local venue, 10 minutes walk from home expecting that everyone else would, like us, be there to see the support band The Killers. After all Mr Brightside had received some play on Radio 1’s evening shows. Sadly it seemed not, with much of the audience treating the band with varying amounts of indifference whilst our small group danced madly to tracks that would go on to form the bulk of Hot Fuss, by far our favourite Killers album. Three and half years after this gig the band headlined Glastonbury Festival. We’re not sure what happened to Stellastarr.
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Elliot Power seems to have finally gotten over his publicity shyness as we can now see what the man looks like (or at least we assume that's him in the picture above) and with it comes some new music. On The Windrush is a weirdly hypnotic track with a slightly sinister edge to it. Released through Marathon Artists on November 17th the tune finds Power capturing some of the spirit of past techno masters Underworld with his near whispered lyrics fired scattergun into the depths of Dorian Lutz’s rambling repetitive electronica and beats. Then just as you think it’s all over the track jumps back in for a quick dreamier second go.
The nearly all black and white video which was directed by Sam Pilling (The Weeknd, Drake, Two Door Cinema Club) is set in an area of industrial wasteland and features a rather odd looking chap who looks like he’s plugged himself into the electricity supply for a little too long.
Elliott Power's debut album is due for release next year. Alongside previous tracks such as Sink / Swim (sadly now removed from Soundcloud) it seems like it could be quite an absorbing listen.
Elliot Power - On The Windrush (Video)
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Virtually 6 years ago (on the 15 October 2008 to be exact) we introduced as a ‘New Wave’ a certain Marina & The Diamonds and talked of her as being "someone who has serious potential," on the back of 1 demo CD and some songs on her Myspace (remember that?). Two albums in and with a third on the horizon Marina has had a fair amount of positive critical appraisal, as well as commercial success, having scored a number 5 and number 1 album in the UK and 4 top 40 singles. Yet the big all over the radio top 10 banger (should she want it) has eluded her.
New song Froot, released yesterday on Marina’s birthday probably won’t change that, it sounds more like a taster track than a massive hit. However, this Vitamin C packed electronic discopop tune certainly has some juice, albeit juice that has to be swallowed and allowed to flow around the body a little before it becomes fully appreciated. If you want a reference point we’d suggest Iamamwhoami or Goldfrapp in so far as it’s part of the school of subtle electropop.
Our favourite part is when Marina sings “I’m your carnal flower, I’m your bloody rose, pick my petals off and make my heart explode.” That’s quite a lot more than juicy. What all this means in terms of the new album’s direction is of course still questionable – will it ripen to be all Marina on the dancefloor and dodgy food references or something else entirely? Only time will tell.
Marina & The Diamonds - Froot
Friday, 10 October 2014
Salt Ashes new video for If You Let Me Go (which we streamed on Soundcloud a while back here) is all teeth, limbs, candles and frollicking around in water with her clothes on. We’ve noticed a lot of this in pop music recently; for example here, here and here. Do these people not own any swimwear? There's probably an explanation for all of this (it’s probably called art) but it’s beyond us. The video is a little bit creepy in places as well, but frankly we’re more disturbed by this trend for clothes soaking than anything else – let’s hope she’s not wearing any dry clean only items.
Salt Ashes plays a home town show at Brighton Audio on 22nd Oct and then supports Tove Styrke at a New Shapes show at Notting Hill Arts Club, London on November 5th.
Salt Ashes - If You Let Me Go (Video)
Thursday, 9 October 2014
Five facts about D/C:
1. He played some cello on the song Blame It On Me on the George Ezra album.
2. He’s currently on tour with The Neighbourhood.
3. There’s a second EP on the way to follow up the excellent Epiphany EP which featured the likes of Devil On My Shoulder and Daughter, Daughter both of which streamed on Breaking More Waves.
4. The new D/C EP shouldn’t be confused with the forthcoming AC/DC album, which is a very different thing indeed.
5. Initials are the thing here though as The Fall, a new song from D/C is produced by ADP. We’d like to think that when they were in the studio together they called each other by these initials and not their real names.
Oh, we guess we’d better talk about the music. Press play and you’ll hear D/C’s distinctive gritty soul voice and lush late night electronics. It’s a track to feel as much as hear, full of mood setting ambience and soothing subtleties – a definite 3am track.
D/C - The Fall