Sunday, 17 February 2019

New Music: Maisie Peters - Stay Young

In the UK this week the opening song on the official Spotify New Music Friday playlist isn’t, as is usually the case, a big pop superstar (they follow in positions 2 to 5 with a variety of collaborations from the likes of Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Yungblud, Halsey, Travis Barker, Zedd and Katy Perry) but a relatively new artist. Whilst we all probably understand that to hook someone in to a playlist you do have to put some big names at the front, I’d like to see Spotify do more of this and take a few risks with lesser known artists at the top of their big weekly playlists. 

Having said that in terms of playlists the artist in question (Maisie Peters) isn’t really a total unknown. Her song Worst of You now nearly has 25 million streams and Place We Were Made now has just under 22 million. She’s hardly one of those artists with a less than 1,000 symbol streams next to her playlist statistics, is she? However, we are now living in an era where certain artists have millions of streams on Spotify but cannot draw 50 people to a gig. Thankfully Maisie doesn’t seem to be one of them with her online success slowly transferring to real life; her show at Omeara (320 capacity) in London next month is already sold out and she has a gig at the much bigger Scala (800 capacity) planned for May. Perhaps naming her as One to Watch for 2018 as I did back in 2017 (here) was a tiny bit early, but it wasn’t a bad tip was it?

The song in question topping the New Music Friday playlist is called Stay Young (which let's be honest is a physical impossibility) and it’s possibly her most pop leaning tune to date with a proper big old catchy chorus and a modern radio friendly production. Maisie has described the track as: “A song about growing up and being lonely in Willesden Green, chasing my dreams and missing my friends and wanting to make them proud.” 

Even if you don’t bother with the New Music Friday playlist this is worth pressing play on.
There’s a video for the song as well and as we all know one thing that is almost guaranteed to get a lot of views and likes on the internet is a cat and so Maisie duly obliges here. 

Maisie Peters - Stay Young

Thursday, 14 February 2019

New Music: Talkboy - Someone Else For You

In my previous post I wrote how it was 3 out of 3 for really great singles from Melissa Jefferson aka Lizzo. The same can be said of Talkboy, an emerging band from Leeds who having already impressed with the tracks Mother and Over & Under and are doing it again now with new one Someone Else For You

It’s two and a half minutes of glorious indie guitar pop based on the idea of trying to be someone you’re not for another person and it's all carried along by some arresting ice-cool vocals from band member Katie Heap that to my ears bear some resemblance to Sophie Ellis Bextor (a very good thing). If you’re a fan of the likes of Anteros or Alvvays the chances are you’re going to love Someone Else For You. What, it seems, makes Talkboy stand out over the hundreds of other indie hopefuls is an ability to pen a really strong song and they aren't limited to one idea.

It’s still very early days for the group, but there’s news of an EP on the way and they’ve confirmed they are playing at Live at Leeds and Stockton Calling so far. Here at Breaking More Waves I’m hoping they make it down to my neck of the woods on the south coast one day, so if someone would like to make that happen that would be great thank you.

Talkboy - Someone Else For You

New Music: Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

When knocking out a soulful power ballad as dramatic as Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You* there’s always a risk that the whole thing could come across as ridiculously overblown. In less skilled hands this may well be the case, but when Lizzo sings it's dynamite: “Got you somethin’ from the liquor store, little bit of Lizzo and some more,” she tells us on the title track from her forthcoming album, an album which, for once, the ‘eagerly anticipated’ tag that music industry promotional people overly use is actually true. What with Boys, Juice and now Cuz I Love You (which  she wrote in 10 minutes with a bit of help from X Ambassadors) Lizzo’s new album due in April looks set to propel her to the stars.

On your own this Valentines Day? F*ck it, that’s fine, get a bottle of wine in and have this on repeat – how could you need anything else when you’ve got Lizzo singing Cuz I Love You?

*Footnote, for fans of 1970’s glam rock – no this isn’t a cover of the similarly titled but differently spelt Coz I Love You by Slade, which depending on your perspective is either a crying shame or another victory.

Lizzo - Cuz I Love You (Video)

Friday, 8 February 2019

New Music: Honeyblood - The Third Degree

OK, first of all can we all just take a moment to appreciate the lizard like way Stina from Honeyblood has camouflaged herself for this promo pic? If this is the effort she’s prepared to go to for this I imagine she’d be an absolute champion at games of hide and seek. 

Now, onto the music… after the first two Honeyblood albums the question I’ve been asking myself is ‘what next?’

More of the same? A radical change in direction which finds Stina embracing electronics and taking her sound to the disco? Fleshing out into a bigger band and maybe throwing in some strings and horns? Stripping it all back to a more rootsy or acoustic project? Going full on floor to the floor heavy metal? All of these things were and are still are possible. But yesterday with the release of some new material there was some sort of answer at least. That answer was classic 60’s ‘girl group’ pop and Motown influences – although to be fair those influences have always been there a bit, take a listen to the ‘Oo-oo-oo’ hooks on Killer Bangs and you can hear it.

With a new album In Plain Sight due later this year and a big UK Spring tour announced (dates can be found by clicking here) The Third Degree is Stina’s sneering 'could’t give a sh*t about you' indie rock take on the likes of The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Chiffons. 

“No no drama drama baby,” Stina sings as she sees an ex out with a new admirer and then makes sure she ignores them. “All the best to the one who comes next, she’s a braver girl than I,” she confirms. And with that, Stina moves on. 

6 years ago Honeyblood first appeared on Breaking More Waves. 6 years! And this new one's a blast. 

Honeyblood - The Third Degree (Video)