Wednesday, 11 July 2018

New Music: Sigrid - Schedules

It’s been an odd week or so at Breaking More Waves, simply for the fact that pretty much everything new I’ve pressed play on has been at best average and more often than not way below that. So, glory be to Sigrid for coming along again and saving pop music (or at least stopping this blog from becoming a graveyard of nothingness). Schedules, a live favourite, is the final song from her Raw EP that she’s been slowly revealing over the last few months. And I adore it.

There’s so many things to love about this song. There’s a oh-oh hook. I’m a big fan of the oh-oh or the woah-woah-woah in a pop song. Sometimes you need throwaway lyrics as much as you need deeply personal, poetic and well thought out ones. Then there’s the cleverer lines: “I think we’re a hit,” she sings. As a relationship? Or as a pop song? Both I'd say. Then, and this is probably my favourite thing about Sigrid, her vocal always has that slight raspiness to it – just jagged enough to give it that extra level of raw emotion. In an age when it seems that there are buckets of autotune just waiting to be splashed over every pop singers vocal, it’s great to hear something undiluted. The fact that this song is also quite sweary adds to that even further.

Sigrid wins at pop again.

(Note: Breaking More Waves will be quiet for a few days now whilst I head off to Latitude Festival. See you next week).

Sigrid - Schedules

Monday, 9 July 2018

New Music: Let's Eat Grandma - I Will Be Waiting

When Let’s Eat Grandma first appeared on Breaking More Waves in 2015 I suggested that whilst there was an awful lot to like about Rosa and Jenny’s idiosyncratic, scrappy, kooky and eerie music, they were still very much developing as artists. Cut through to the start of 2018 and as the duo released the single Hot Pink that development was clear. 

I perhaps cheekily (or perhaps realistically) suggested that the rules of pop decree that as a developing artist you have to do the really weird album first. Then the underground pop one. Then for album three go for the mainstream and worldwide success whilst retaining elements of what made you special for albums one and two. Now there’s no guarantee that Let’s Eat Grandma are going to follow the rules all the way through, but certainly they’ve hit the nail smack bang on the head with the second record. It’s been met with almost universal praise (I say almost because this review (click here) described it as a mainly ‘sterile pop album’, which is frankly ridiculous – I can’t think of any word further from the truth than sterile) but elsewhere everyone from the Guardian to Pitchfork gave it the thumbs up. Of course, just because a record gets critical adoration doesn’t mean mass commercial success, and let’s face it I’m All Years is still a long way from being a mainstream pop record; but as a listening experience that’s to its advantage.

From the album the band recently released I Will Be Waiting (streaming below) a slow building track that deals with opening up and clearing the inner head space. It sounds not that dissimilar to something that Chvrches might do, which is rather handy as Let’s Eat Grandma have just been announced as Chvrches support act for their European tour (which as yet still doesn’t include any UK dates). Let’s Eat Grandma also play their biggest headline show to date in London at Heaven on 27th September. Hopefully there will be a few Breaking More Waves readers at that one? See you down the front if you're one of them?

Let's Eat Grandma - I Will Be Waiting

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

New Music: Boniface - Dear Megan

Micah Visser aka Boniface seems like a sensible chap doesn’t he? After all there’s no stupid promo pic of him lounging around in a bath without water or sitting uncomfortably on a hedge like other musicians I've featured on Breaking More Waves. No, just a nice straightforward one of him sitting on a sensible but stylish chair. 

Of course the trouble here is, and at the risk of massively generalising, sensible looking people often make quite boring music. But there’s the problem – I’m generalising. Because Boniface makes very good music. That’s why I’ve featured him on the blog before and that’s why I’m featuring him again here. 

His latest, Dear Megan, is a hyperactive alt-pop banger: “Meet me in the middle of the night, it’s easy,” he sings. Ah, now we’re getting to the true bonkers and exciting inner pop star here. Because let’s face it, meeting anyone in the middle of the night isn’t that easy if you’ve been up since 6am working for your employer. But then pop stars, like all creatives don’t really do early mornings do they? Still, that’s OK when they’re doing the good stuff. And this one is the good stuff. Oh, the joy of pop!

Boniface - Dear Megan

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

New Music: Introducing - Your Smith

The first time I heard The Spot by ‘new’ artist Your Smith my immediate thought was that it had an uncanny resemblance to All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow – the one song by Crow that surely everybody knows?

One quick Google search later and it turns out that Your Smith isn’t that new. (But she isn't Crow in disguise either). She’s actually been releasing material as far back as 2008, first as part of the band Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps and then as a solo artist under her own name. In 2016 she put out Let ‘Em Say with Lizzo and the smooth tap dancing jam of Trying Not To Love You, marking a progression from her earlier folky roots to a more contemporary modern pop sound.

Now as Your Smith she’s got a new haircut (always important in the world of smash hits – don’t listen to those who say this stuff isn’t important – haircuts are an ingrained part of pop culture) and the new name. Of the new name she says: “The change in name is less of a reinvention and more of an engagement with that part of me. I’m still me. I’m still your Smith.” I guess the same applies to the haircut as well.

Her debut EP under her new moniker has been produced by Tommy English (B├śRNS), Stint (Carly Rae Jepsen, Nao, AlunaGeorge) and Nicky Davey (Internet, Syd) and The Spot is released via Neon Gold Records who I haven’t featured anything from on this blog for an age. If this is an All I Wanna Do for the year 2018, I’ll take that. 

Your Smith - The Spot