Friday, 7 December 2018

My Favourite Albums of 2018 ( And Why The Blog Is On A Temporary Break)

This is a post to let regular readers know that Breaking More Waves is on a short unplanned break. 

On November 27th I suffered a heart attack and have subsequently been in hospital, where I still am now. It was, to say the least, a complete shock to both myself and my family / friends. Since being in hospital it has been discovered that I was born with a heart defect, but nobody knew until the heart attack.

I will in due course have open heart surgery to fix me up and if everything is successful I hope to make a full recovery and return to normal life. However, until early 2019 the blog will be on hold. 

Until that time keep an eye out on my Twitter as I will do the occasional tweet there now and then. (@BMWavesBlog)

Finally, to keep things tidy, normally at the end of the year I would write numerous posts on my favourite albums of the year. I hope I have sufficient excuse not to do that amount of writing this time, but for the record, in no particular order except alphabetical, here is my top 10, which is unlikely to change between now and the end of the year as I won’t be listening to anything new.

Breaking More Waves Favourite Albums of 2018

Confidence Man - Confident Music For Confident People

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain

Erland Cooper - Solan Goose

First Aid Kit - Ruins

Fröst - Matters

Let’s Eat Grandma - I’m All Ears

Nils Frahm - All Melody

Suede - The Blue Room

Superorganism - Superorganism

Whyte Horses - Empty Words

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Ones to Watch 2019 #8 - Alice Chater

Alice Chater has pop music running through her veins. She’s all about big tunes, a big voice and big dance routines. Not only that, but she’s the only performer I know who brings a bath with her name on to gigs for the audience to sit in. Anyone who has followed Breaking More Waves for some time will know that this immediately endeared me to Alice; she takes the Breaking More Waves geeky obsession with pop stars in the tub to a whole new level.

Having originally been discovered through singing covers on You Tube, Alice has now released a number of bona-fide-big-bangers accompanied by a bunch of videos that place her in the ‘extremely good pop star’ category from the word go. Whether she is stealing a Human League sample and dancing like a loon (on Hourglass) or writhing around on a spider web telling us all that her name is Alice (on Wonderland) its all pointing to Alice’s form of classic pop (think Britney, Lady Gaga, Madonna as reference points) stimulating the ears further in 2019. One to Watch for sure.

Alice Chater - Hourglass (Video)

Monday, 26 November 2018

Ones to Watch 2019 #7 - Lauran Hibberd

Here’s the next artist on the 2019 Ones to Watch list. It’s Lauran Hibberd. She's been a regular on Breaking More Waves since 2016 and I almost included her on this list last year, but it still felt a little too early. Now feels right.

Why choose Lauran? It’s for one simple reason – this woman can write songs and then some. Every time I’ve seen her play (and those times have been numerous over the last 2 and half years) she’s never delivered the same set. “Don’t tell me stories – I’ll write songs about them,” Lauran says on her Facebook. Clearly people have been talking to her. She’s always banging out the new ones. 

But writing lots of songs is one thing – knowing which are the good ones is another – and Lauran knows. Tracks like the cartoonish and vibrant What Do Girls Want, the hyper energised shout along fizz of Call Shotgun and the scuzzy noise pop of Fun Like This are just 3 examples of Lauran’s ability. 

Maybe it’s because Lauran started writing songs in a folk-pop style with a more acoustic bent that she’s been able to develop the craft of putting words and music together in a form that works; and now she has translated that to her cheeky, sometimes ironic indie.  Maybe she’s just a natural. But whatever it is Lauren is now one of the new indie queens of cool, stomping her way round the country supporting the likes of Eliza & The Bear and Jealous Of The Birds and massing streams on Spotify –Call Shotgun already has over 400,000 plays.

What’s next for Lauran remains to be seen, but hopefully 2019 will see some of her own headline shows. If there are, take my advice. I’ve named her as One to Watch for 2019, so go and do just that and watch her when she plays a gig near you.

Lauran Hibberd - What Do Girls Want?

Lauran Hibberd - Call Shotgun

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Ones to Watch 2019 #6 - Easy Life

Back in November 2017 I featured Pockets, the debut single from Leicester based 5-piece Easy Life, which was released through boutique label Chess Club. The first time I heard the song it was a must feature, it sounded so smoothly different to everything else out there. Now a year on, with the band having inked a deal with Island, I’m featuring them on my Ones to Watch list for 2019; and they’re still carving their own groove.

Taking elements of jazz, soul, indie and hip-hop Easy Life make music that suits their name. Easy Life are chill. But not in a lazy way. Because Easy Life make cleverly constructed pop songs. They’ve got hooks, they’ve got vibes a plenty and when you listen, before you know it, you’ll find yourself nodding your head, closing your eyes and immersing yourself in a sound that bears very little resemblance to the place Easy Life come from. If anything, the sound of Easy Life is a road trip with the roof off along the highways of West Coast America. 

Having played the likes of Great Escape, Live At Leeds, Dot to Dot and Reading Festival last year, as well as their own headlining tour, Easy Life’s trajectory seems to be going in one direction only, and that’s upwards. If they can match the likes of Nightmares and Pockets in 2019 it will be a very good year for them and us.

Easy Life - Pockets

Easy Life - Nightmares (Video)