Tuesday, 23 April 2019

New Music: Brika - Blinded

Brika’s new song Blinded is by far her most ambitious to date and possibly my favourite thing she’s ever done. It starts with a crackle and some single drips of piano that gradually evolve into a rain of notes, a storm more reminiscent of something from a classical-ambient record than an artist usually associated with R‘n’B pop. It doesn’t end with the surprises there either. There’s Brika’s effect-laden vocal, what sounds like suspiciously like a banjo and a backing track that sounds haunting, mysterious and almost modern Celtic.

It’s bolder and more experimental than anything Brika has done before and it opens up the idea of all sorts of future possibilities – and it’s those possibilities that make me excited just as much as this rather intriguing piece of music.

Brika - Blinded

Monday, 22 April 2019

New Music: Golden Fable - Finery

Have you watched the Netflix show The OA? Do you remember how after watching series 1 you (probably) felt a little bit WTF? Especially after THAT dance. If you did you might feel the same after viewing the new video from Welsh band Golden Fable who return with a new single Finery, which is taken from their forthcoming album Alchemy. Featuring two members of Manchester’s Kapow Dance the performance you see is strangely captivating, tender, physical and beautiful – but also downright weird. The comments on the video say it all. First: “Lol I found this while looking for a Fable soundtrack chill out music mix. WHERE AM I?! What is this? Why internet, why?” Second: “This is brilliant.” Personally, I could (and have) watched it over and over and what helps is the beautiful music that accompanies the performance.

If you know Golden Fable’s previous work, you’ll already be familiar with Rebecca’s celestial voice and it’s in the best form on Finery. But that’s not all, the string laden music is also superb; stirring without ever being bombastic it swells and rises much like Rebecca’s voice. Is it folk? Is it rock? Is it indie? I don’t really know or care – but it absolutely moves me. I'd take this over 1000 BTS's or Ariana Grande's.

You can pre-order the new Golden Fable album by clicking this link here.

Golden Fable - Finery

New Music: Talkboy - Wasting Time

There’s been more than one occasion now where a writer has stated that comparing one artist to another in terms of what they sound like is lazy journalism. That’s bollocks. Cutting and pasting a whole press release and then passing it off as your own is lazy journalism. Equivalence, especially in new music writing, is a useful tool to give a reader at least a vague sense of if the music might be something that appeals to their tastes. It isn't lazy – it requires a bit of thought.

Which brings me to Leeds based sextet Talkboy. So far I’ve seen them compared to Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire, Alvvays, The Big Moon, Sophie Ellis Bextor (that was me) and on new single Wasting Time the intro has the trippy feel of The Beatles more LSD influenced moments. The point is that Talkboy, whilst sitting in the indie rock / pop genre, are exploring lots of different avenues within it.  “One of Yorkshire’s most exciting indie prospects,” the press release tells me. It’s not wrong – screw it if I’m being a lazy there. (If you think I’m the only one so Google the words ‘Talkboy one of Yorkshire’s most exciting indie prospects’ and play spot the copy and paste job!) I’d go further than just Yorkshire with the praise for Talkboy though – to at least the north of England - maybe even further. 

What makes them deserve the hype? At its core the answer is the songs. They’re inventive, hooky, well-constructed and bloody enjoyable. Wasting Time is another example. Dealing with the conflict of the world of adult responsibilities whilst trying to enjoy the here and now of youth it’s chock full of melodies, harmonies and is wonderfully executed in every respect. If this is how Talkboy waste their time, let’s let them do more of it.

Talkboy play a number of festival shows over the next few months in the UK including Live At Leeds, The Great Escape (Alt Escape Show), Long Division Festival, Blue Dot and Y-Not. 

Talkboy - Wasting Time

Sunday, 21 April 2019

New Music: Abbie Ozard - Growing Pains

The last (and first) time that Manchester’s Abbie Ozard appeared on the blog was almost a year ago with her single Average Disguise. Since that track she’s released a further single Gone and a cover of East 17’s Stay Another Day, at Christmas time of course. Now it’s time to catch up with Abbie through her latest release and her best so far - Growing Pains.

She describes the song as talking about a young person’s perception of love and the confusion that comes with it. “I wanted to write a song that makes teenagers feel less isolated when falling in and out of love and struggling with identity and acceptance.”

The sound is Abbie’s chirpiest yet and if you’re a fan of old school indie – the sort that in the 80's wasn’t afraid of the floppy fringe and dancing bashfully in the corner with a pint of snakebite and black – you’ll probably like this. There are hints of artists such as Hazel English and Rose Elinor Dougall here, and even perhaps the more pop moments of The Cure, so if those names mean anything to you, it’s probably time to press play. 

Words like summery and dreamy are almost inevitably going to crop up when describing this song - and let's face it there's a lot worse things in life - so embrace it.

You can catch Abbie at Liverpool's Sound City on May 4th if you're from that neck of the woods.

Abbie Ozard - Growing Pains