Monday, 11 October 2021

NEW #37 - Etta Marcus

 

Today’s new artist is about as new as they come.

Etta Marcus is a 20-year-old Londoner who last Friday released her debut song Hide & Seek. No, it’s not a cover of that Imogen Heap track nor the often forgotten (but not in these parts) UK top 20 hit by Howard Jones.

It is instead a composition she wrote together with Matt Maltese (he of As the World Caves In fame) and someone called Joshua James Henry Scarbrow. It’s one of those tunes that sneaks up on you quietly; and if that sounds a bit sinister, so are the lyrics: "You can wash your skin you’ll still find me within your darkest dreams" she sings at one point. Later on, she adds: "Whether you want me I’ll walk on broken glass to get there, I’m gonna find you." Let’s just hope that this is Etta just playing around with a narrative sung from someone else’s perspective and doesn’t mark her down as a musician with creepy stalker like tendencies. If she turns up at a gig with a knife and a slightly crazed look in her eyes it's time to run.

Irrespective of the somewhat menacing tone of some of the lyrics, there’s a dreamy tone to the music, with Etta’s voice sounding both calming and beguiling. It’s a fine, dare I say it beautiful, start; those darker lyrics being matched with something far more romantic. 

Hide &Seek is taken from Etta's forthcoming debut EP titled View From A Bridge.

If you want to catch Etta early, she’s playing at The Social in London on 14th October alongside George Cosby, Mulimba, Ewan Mainwood and some guest DJs,

You can find Hide & Seek on this week’s Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist on Spotify, a playlist that showcases the best of the week’s new releases be they from established acts through to debutantes such as Etta.

Etta Marcus - Hide & Seek

 

Friday, 8 October 2021

NEW #36 - Daisy Brain

 

Ah the early 90’s. Heady times. Britpop just kicking off, grunge, even the Prime Minister at the time (John Major), despite being a Conservative, at least seemed to have a degree of respect and care for the population he represented, compared to the charlatans we have in power now. (Actually I’d quite like to have chief Charlatan Tim Burgess in charge of the country – I think he’d do an OK job).

But here we are coming to the end of 2021 and there are a whole bunch of artists that sound like they’ve jetted in straight from an episode of Channel 4’s edgy youth show The Word. The latest of these tatty round the edges but quite possibly heading for brilliance artists is Will Tse who performs under the name of Daisy Brain.

His cocktail of grunge-laden guitars, catchy rock / pop songs and just a hint of emo can be heard to fine effect on his recent debut EP Let’s Go Camping. There's also previous single Boring which is full of dirty headshaking riffs and big hooks designed to make you want to put on a slightly holey striped jumper, a pair of Doctor Marten boots and mosh.

Born in Singapore to Chinese and English parents Will now lives in the UK. Following a stint in Leeds he moved to Hackney in London where he has written and produced his music in his bedroom with assistance from his pal Dan Hvorostovsky. He’s already been out on the road supporting Yungblud and next year has a handful of his own headline dates lined up including a show at Camden Assembly.

Expect to see his name cropping up on a fair few Ones to Watch lists for 2022. Yes that's 2022 not 1992.

Daisy Brain - Boring

 

Saturday, 14 August 2021

NEW #35 - The Big Heat

 

Today’s newest addition to the Breaking More Waves collection of new bands and artists is a boy / girl duo that hail from Sydney and London. Last Friday they released their debut single in what appears to be a spectacularly low-key way, with seemingly no promotion at all except a post on their social media, which is a shame; because the song in question, Band Aid, is a rather charming old-fashioned and heartfelt indie pop song.

Despite the seemingly quiet start to this band (currently they have 50 monthly listeners on Spotify) The Big Heat are not novices. Lucy Taylor, the London based one of the pair, has written for Dua Lipa (Be The One), sung vocals on Kele from Bloc Party’s solo single What Did I Do and had a past electronic project called Pawws which featured on these pages way back in 2012 (named as ‘our new blog-crush favourite). Meanwhile Dave Jenkins Jr, the Sydney one, has his own solo project called Not A Boys Name and has played with the likes of Daniel Johns of Silverchair and Vera Blue.

Band Aid sounds like a perfect retro summer pop song. It harks back to a time when big glossy production was less important than all those simple things like hooks, melodies and quirky instrumental parts. If I didn’t know better, from their sound I’d have guessed that The Big Heat was a group of floppy fringed charity shop wearing students doing art history degrees who once supported Belle and Sebastian. Don’t hold my incorrect judgements against them though – savour The Big Heat and enjoy the music.

The Big Heat feature on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist (here).

The Big Heat - Band Aid

Friday, 13 August 2021

NEW #34 - Billie Flynn

 

Billie Eilish, Billie Marten; now it’s time to introduce another new musician and she’s another one called Billie. This time it’s Billie Flynn from Cornwall who describes herself as a noisy introvert. Based on the two songs she has on line so far the introvert tag is easy to understand, but noisy less so. Why? Because just like the two aforementioned performers, Billie Flynn sings in a hushed and serene tone.

It’s a way of singing that, particularly since the arrival of Eilish, has gained more respect. Gone are the days when you either had to belt them out like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey etc or sound like virtually every gutsy-warbler on X-Factor. Can you imagine Eilish appearing on that show at its peak? When performers on America’s Got Talent used You Should See Me In A Crown and Bad Guy as backing tracks, Simon Cowell, Mr X-Factor himself, commented that he didn’t like Eilish’s music at all. It’s probably just as well that X-Factor UK has been cancelled. Times have moved on and Cowell clearly hasn’t. The chances are that Cowell wouldn’t be impressed with Billie Flynn. If that’s the case, he would be a fool.

But enough of the high waisted trousers one and his lack of love for softcore. It’s time to take a listen to Billie Flynn. A newcomer to Gabrielle Aplin’s Never Fade records, Flynn’s new single Someone’s Daughter bears quite some resemblance to Billie Marten’s earlier material and also that of Breaking More Waves favourite Rosie Carney. Combined with her debut Hey Stranger what we have are two delicately captivating compositions that win you over - albeit quietly.

You can hear Billie on this week's Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist - a specially selected list of new releases from the last 7 days that's refreshed weekly and is never more than about an hour long. Find the playlist by clicking here.

Billie Flynn - Someone's Daughter