Saturday, 30 November 2019

Monthly Playlist - November 2019

This is the last new music playlist I’m publishing this year as December tends to be pretty quiet for new releases in the UK.

However, keep an eye out for a playlist (and blog post) of my favourite albums of 2019 towards the end of December and there’s also another playlist already up which features the 10 artists I’m tipping for 2020 which I posted about (here) just a few days ago. Click here for the Ones to Watch 2020 playlist.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of the tracks on this month’s new music playlist. You can find, follow and listen to the playlist, which is updated monthly, by clicking here:

1. Billie Eilish – everything I wanted
2. Jax Anderson – Heal
3. Coach Party – Oh Lola
4. Vistas – Teenage Blues
5. Emilia Tarrant – Black & White
6. Rosalia – A Pale
7. Noisy – Do It Like White
8. Ivey – Talk Talk
9. Rosie Alena – Mixed Messages
10. Matilda Mann – The Loch Ness Monster
11. Alice Jemima – Somebody
12. Hazel English – Shaking
13. James Righton – The Performer
14. Mild Minds – Movements
15. Arlo Parks – Paperbacks
16. Emma McGrath – Fall With You
17. Nasty Cherry – Fuck Modern Love
18. Rachel Chinouriri – Where Do I Go?
19. Confidence Man – Does It Make You Feel Good?
20. Moyka – Ride (Acoustic)

Here are a 3 tracks that you'll find on the full playlist on Spotify as a sampler.

Emilia Tarrant - Black & White

James Righton - The Performer

Matilda Mann - The Loch Ness Monster

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Ones to Watch 2020

It's time for tips for 2020!

Besides the Breaking More Waves monthly playlist of new tracks from the previous month (coming soon), this November I’m adding one further post to the blog and it’s something I've done every year since I've started this thing; and that's my annual tips for the year ahead. I do love a tip list and I do love deciding who should be on mine - to the point where I started a list of possible selections back in April this year, finally deciding who I'm going to pick at the start of this month (the first two selections on the list were my first choices from Spring). So, welcome to the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list for 2020.

Over the last decade I’ve normally posted this before we get too many lists being published, partly because I don’t want to be influenced by other lists and partly so I can play musical bingo of sorts, seeing which of my tips match up with all of the big music industry lists and which don’t. Occasionally I can even claim bragging rights by seeing that an artist that I tipped a year ago (or in the odd case 2 or 3 years previous) has made it onto the BBC Sound of poll nominations or other high profile industry  list. 

However, this year some sites and publications seem to have gone even earlier than normal and I'm a little later so there are already quite a few Ones to Watch / Sound of lists for you to work your way through. My list features 10 artists, some of which have appeared on some of those lists, but a few that haven't cropped on any. They range from artists I first featured on Breaking More Waves 3 years ago to one who released their debut single yesterday. 

I'm still claim bragging rights this year as well. In 2017 I chose Maisie Peters as One to Watch for 2018 and this year a number of the lists already published have chosen her for their 2020 tips including You Tube, Amazon and Dork magazine. 

Normally my Ones to Watch would form a series of individual posts, but now with my time being devoted elsewhere, I’m simply giving a basic run down of the 10 artists I’m tipping in one post.

This year I've tried to represent my geography, so all the acts chosen are either from the UK or Ireland, with 4 of them coming from the south coast, where I'm based.

So without further ado, here are the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2020:

1. Celeste

She captured my heart earlier this year in Brighton and her recent release Strange is the one song that has made me cry in 2019. I'm predicting more tears in 2020 from the songs of this U.S born but UK raised artist who has similarities to Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. She seems to be on every tip list going and that's no surprise - her talent is self evident.

2. Arlo Parks

Neo-soul singer Arlo Parks first featured on Breaking More Waves in January 2019 with her stunning debut Cola. Her smooth unhurrIed delivery and subtle groove make her one to watch for 2020.

3. Master Peace

With a refreshing rawness Master Peace straddles the boundaries of indie, hip-hop and pop. With just 3 tracks on line at the moment, it's his 2019 release Night Time that grabbed my attention. And if continues to release tracks like this 2020 could be his year.

4. Black Country New Road

The first of three bands on this list and another act that first appeared on Breaking More Waves in January 2019 just before they released their debut single. an act from the leftfield that mix post-punk, jazz, post-rock and middle eastern traditional sounds together with spoken (sometimes shouted) vocals, they're not a particularly commercial proposition, but do offer something new and interesting and (if) they release an album in 2020 it could be something quite exciting.

5. Winnie Raeder

Sometimes a voice just stops you in your tracks. In the same way as Celeste's Strange creates goosebumps so did Winnie Raeder's Don't You Dare. In April when I first wrote about it it had less than 1,000 streams. now it has over 1 million. Winnie connects to the listener with music that is deep, honest and beautiful.

6. Sinead O Brien

Originally from Limerick, Ireland's Sinead O'Brien makes music that is a mix of post-punk, performance art and spoken word. She has already supported the likes of Pond and British Sea Power. Ear grabbing and unique.

7. Joy Crookes

Joy Crookes has nearly appeared on the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list a number of times, having been first featured on this blog as far back as 2016. However, it feels like Joy's career has taken a while to really gain momentum and with single Early (featuring Jafaris) having grabbed her Radio 1 playlisting and a slot on Later....with Jools Holland now feels like a good time to push her forward as One to Watch for 2020.

8. Noisy

With just 2 tracks on line (So What? and Do It Like That) Worthing based Noisy are another band not afraid to straddle genres; in this case rock, rap and drum and bass. Noisy's sound is adrenaline packed and full of punch. Cardiac inducing fun, get ready to push the tempo with Noisy. 

9. Coach Party

Formerly known as Jeph, these Isle of Wight indie rockers describe their sound as 'beige indie'. LOL. It's far better than that though. Hooky and energetic, it might be extremely early days for Coach Party with just 1 track released just yesterday, but if they can write songs that fizz and sparkle as much as the 1 minute and 53 seconds of indie dynamite that is Oh Lola, they're going to be Ones to Watch.

10. Sam Tompkins

The final choice on the Breaking More Waves ones to watch is Sam Tompkins. That most unlikely of tastemakers Elton John is already a fan and it's easy to see why. From Sam busking on the streets of his home city Brighton to getting signed to Island records, Sam Tompkins is my final One to Watch for 2020.

There's a Spotify playlist of all of these Ones to Watch as well. Click here.

Finally, for completeness here are all of the artists I have chosen as Ones to Watch in previous years. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh?

Alabama Shakes, Alessi’s Ark, Alice Chater, Alice Jemima, Another Sky, Aurora, Avec Sans, Banks, Beth Jeans Houghton, Billie Marten, Cabbage, Charli XCX, Chasing Grace, Chloe Black, Chloe Howl, Chvrches, Clare Maguire, Clock Opera, Coasts, Confidence Man, Curxes, Dave, Declan McKenna, Dot Rotten, D/R/U/G/S, Delphic, Easy Life, Elderbrook, Ellie Goulding, Eva Stone, Fontaines DC, Foxes, Flohio, Florence & the Machine, Flyte, G-Flip, Gabrielle Aplin, George Ezra, Grace Carter, Haim, Hazel English, Holly Miranda, Hurts, Iyes, Jade Bird, James Blake, Jerry Williams, Joseph Salvat, Jungle, King Princess, La Roux, Lana Del Rey, LANY, Lapsley, Laura Doggett, Laura Mvula, Lauran Hibberd, Let’s Buy Happiness, Lianne La Havas, Little Boots, Liv Dawson, Loyle Carner, Lucy Rose, Luke Sital-Singh, Maggie Rogers, Maisie Peters, Majik, Marina & The Diamonds, Mumford & Sons, Mura Masa, Nao, Off Bloom, Outfit, Pale Waves, Passion Pit, Pink Kink, Pumarosa, Queen of Hearts, Rachel Sermanni, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Ren Harvieu, Ryn Weaver, Seinabo Sey, Savages, Seramic, Sigrid, Skint & Demoralised, Skott, Sofi Tukker, Sons & Lovers, Sophie Jamieson, Spark, Spector, Starsmith, Stornoway, Superorganism, The Blinders, The Milk, The Night VI, The Shires, The Staves, The Vaccines, Tom Odell, Unicorn Kid, Valerie June, Visions Of Trees, White Lies, Willy Moon, Wolf Alice, Xylaroo, Yes Giantess, Zyra

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Monthly Playlist - October 2019

Since putting Breaking More Waves into semi-retirement, only posting these monthly playlists (and perhaps later this year a few other lists) it’s only really occurred to me just how much time running even a tiny blog like mine took up. Whilst an average of around 300 posts per year might not sound like a lot (it’s not even 1 a day) over the course of 11 years it amounts to a significant amount of hours committed when you factor in a full-time job, kids, renovating an old house, going to gigs and having some sort of social life all still happened.

I’ve really only realised how much time it took up since I’ve stopped and found that now I have plenty of time to do other things. This month for example I’ve managed to read a novel, finally discover ‘binge watching’ of Netflix (or at least my version of it – I watched a whole series in a week, 1 or 2 episodes a day), have done a lot of running (and managed to pick an injury because of it) and have spent more time cooking new recipes. Oh and let's not forget Dials Festival, the multi-venue charity festival I help curate and run took place at the start of the month. Tickets for next year's event are on sale at a super early bird price of £15 from this Friday (to find out more click here) so buy early if you want to grab a bargain. I probably now have a relatively ‘normal life’ compared to the blog life and my respect goes out to any music bloggers out there who continue to churn out the posts day in day out for no financial reward.

That doesn’t mean to say that I’m not listening to new music though. My consumption has perhaps reduced a little, instead I’ve been enjoying more back catalogue material, but there’s still a wealth of new stuff out there to be discovered.

This month’s playlist, like every month, represents much of that discovery. Nearly all of it with the exception of one track, has been released in the last month. The playlist is designed within the rules I set out last month (see here) and is designed to be listened to in the order it is presented – it doesn’t work as well if you shuffle it or put the list in alphabetical order. There are some artists that were regularly featured on Breaking More Waves when it was running full time (Chvrches, Easy Life, Alice Jemima) to some who have just released their debut songs (Matilda Mann, Drug Store Romeos, Honey Mooncie). Hopefully you’ll find something that you haven’t heard before and like. Enjoy.

And if you don't already, why not follow the playlist for the monthly update?


1. Craven Faults - Intakes (Pye Corner Audio Rework)
2. Chvrches - Death Stranding
3. Easy Life - Nice Guys
4. Otherliine - Hates Me
5. Sinead O Brien - Limbo
6. Drug Store Romeos - Now You're Moving
7. Amahla - Apathy
8. Sassy 009 - Maybe In The Summer
9. Luca Fogale - Another Way Round
10. Honey Mooncie - Should've Been You
11. Jack Penate - Murder
12. Dry Cleaning - Dog Proposal 
13. Fake Empire - Bloom
14. Matilda Mann - Never Sweeter
15. Biig Piig - Roses And Gold
16. Yaeger - Infected
17. Icarus - Dreams Of You (feat. Rae Morris)
18. Moyka - Ride
19. Alice Jemima - Our Love
20. Joy Crookes - Early
21. King Princess - If You Think It's Love
22. Erland Cooper - Tide III

Monday, 30 September 2019

Monthly Playlist - September 2019

The Breaking More Waves monthly playlist has been running for a while now, but with the site sent to the retirement home for elderly blogs, the playlist, the Breaking More Waves Twitter feed and Instagram will become the main focus of my online music presence, for the time being at least.

In putting together a playlist (or ‘curating’ one if you want me to sound pretentious) I’m following a few basic rules:

1. New music. 

This is a new music playlist. Exactly what is new is open to your personal interpretation, but this is mine. Generally the songs have been released in the preceding month, but occasionally they may have been around a little longer than that.

2. Length. 

The playlist should be not much more than an hour long. Pre-internet when a mix-tape really was an actual physical mix-tape rather than just a collection of songs on line it would be generally be on a C60 or C90 cassette. C120s might have given you 2 hours of music but the tapes were generally poor quality, as to get an hour of music on each side the tape itself was thinner, meaning the tape was more fragile and the quality of the sound was weaker, often with ‘print-through’ echo. 60-90 minutes of music is probably enough for most attention spans and any more music than that in one volume can feel overwhelming.

Also, I make the playlist for my own listening as much as yours, often listening on my commute to work which is generally 45 minutes to an hour. Therefore the 60 to 90 minutes timeframe works for my journey there and back and probably does for most people as well.

3. Monthly updates only. 

So many playlists update weekly it can be difficult to keep up. I like the idea of knowing that at the start of the month there is a new collection of music delivered to me. It’s not too much but it’s not too often. I also believe good music needs time. This doesn’t have to be rushed.

4. Just music I like.

Like Breaking More Waves blog the playlist only contains music I like. I don’t care if it’s something on a major label that you’ve probably heard already or something that is self-released that has received no attention whatsoever. To use a cliché; I make this for myself and if anybody else likes it, that’s a bonus.

5. Commentary on the blog.

I’ll post about the new playlist on the blog here. There’ll be a bit of commentary with it, although to ensure this post isn’t too long I’m keeping it to a minimum this month, except to say that some of my highlights are the new upbeat 60s styled tune from Michael Kiwanuka, Sofi Tukker’s track which is taken from their excellent new house-pop EP Dancing On The People and an absolute beauty from Celeste.

This playlist also contains a handful of newly released tracks from artists playing Portsmouth’s Dials festival (Another Sky, Walt Disco, Eyesore & The Jinx), a fully independent new music discovery event that I help book and run. This year the festival takes place on Saturday 5th October on Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth in 5 venues with a single wristband giving you entry to all venues, subject to capacity. Find out more about the event and get your advance ticket for £20 for a fantastic day and night of new music, by clicking here.

October’s Playlist (Click here to listen to the playlist and / or follow)

1. Michael Kiwanuka – You Ain’t The Problem
2. Georgia – Never Let You Go
3. Mind Enterprises – Monogomy
4. Celeste - Strange
5. Charlotte Lawrence – Navy Blue
6. Princess Nokia – Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T)
7. The Wha - Innocents
8. Sofi Tukker – Purple Hat
9. Another Sky – Capable Of Love
10. Nia Wyn – Stay In Your Lane
11. Sports Team – Fishing
12. Master Peace – Night Time
13. Eyesore & The Jinx – Leisure Time
14. Maisie Peters – This Is On You
15. Elizabeth – Beautiful Baby
16. Lizzo – Truth Hurts (featuring AB6IX)
17. Sinead O Brien – A Thing You Call Joy
18. Walt Disco – Dancing Shoes
19. Oh Wonder – Hallelujah
20. Tindersticks – The Amputees
21. Angel Olsen – Lark
22. Moyka – Bones (Acoustic)
23. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - The Rhythm Of A Dividing Pair
24. Saint Jude – Head Is Spinning

A couple of the tracks on the playlist stream below:

Sofi Tukker - Purple Hat

Celeste - Strange