Wednesday, 10 August 2022

NEW #57 Cruel Sister


It’s time to introduce a new artist who you’ll probably find adjectives such as swirling, shimmering, ethereal and blissful thrown at more times than 10 Downing Street (now known as the Tory Hacienda) had parties during lockdown (eg: quite a bloody lot). Why? Because Cruel Sister (real name Faith Nico) from Dublin does a nice line in the sort of shoegazey noise-pop that was once the domain of the likes of Curve and Ride and more recently has at least in part been rejuvenated by Wolf Alice.

Having put out a couple of tracks last year, Cruel Sister’s third release shows there’s still life in guitars, reverb, distortion and delay combined with some pretty vocals. The song in question is called chihiro, named after the lead character in Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away (Faith’s favourite film) and is taken from her debut 5 track EP released this September. 

Lose yourself in this artist's dark but beautiful wash of sound. There's a claustrophobic video as well which has shades of The Cure being stuck inside a wardrobe on Close To Me (view here) and Chihiro can also be found on this week’s Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist (here).

Cruel Sister - chihiro

Saturday, 16 July 2022

NEW #56 Nell Mescal


If you’re the sort of person that likes to watch Normal People, listen to Phoebe Bridgers and generally get a bit emotional, then Nell Mescal may be the artist you’ve been waiting for.

This 19 year-old singer songwriter from Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland (who has now moved to North London) has just released her second song ‘Graduating’. It’s a rousing coming of age and growing apart ballad, one that quickly builds from a simple piano intro to a swirling, arms aloft at the top of the mountain blockbuster of the highest order. It adds to debut track (and another ballad) ‘Missing You’ that was released way back in 2020 and Nell's recent performance at Barn on the Farm Festival.

The references to Normal People and Phoebe Bridgers are specifically chosen here. The link being Nell’s brother Paul who played Connell in the TV adaptation of the story and whom is currently dating Phoebe Bridgers. However, don’t let these celebrity connections put you off listening to ‘Graduating’. It stands on its own merits – an intimate and yet full-bodied tune that suggests Nell Mescal could well be one to watch.

You can find ‘Graduating’ on the current edition of the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist (here) and watch the video below. 

The song was produced by Steph Marziano who has worked with the likes of Bloxx, Claud and Millie Turner.

Nell Mescal - Graduating 

Thursday, 23 June 2022

NEW #55 Mickey Callisto


On this day fourteen years ago I uploaded my first post on Breaking More Waves. 

Now here we are in 2022. With another. It's my 3,762nd. Wow. I guess that's a marathon not a sprint.

Today's new artist is the antidote to all those Ed Sheeran / Lewis Capaldi / Sam Fender / George Ezra bloke types. His name is Mickey Callisto and he does interstellar space age sizzlers. 

Just don’t expect Mickey to be standing behind a keyboard, distant from a crowd, looking bored when he plays live - because Mickey is a performer. An arse slapping, strutting, body popping, hands in the air, hip thrusting joy of one. Think electronic pop bangers with Freddie Mercury in a club. If you don’t have fun at one of his shows please check your pulse – you are probably dead.

Mickey only has two songs on line: there's the glossily neon sounds of Destructive Love and the hyper-synth-active This Is The Real World, a tune aimed at over privileged who don't understand how regular people live. It's on this one you can hear a hint of Freddie Mercury in the vocals. 

If you want some colour in your pop and that colour is gold, listen to Mickey Callisto. If Breaking More Waves was having a birthday party today, Mickey would be our choice of entertainment. Expect some more bangers from him soon.

Mickey Callisto - Destructive Love

Monday, 30 May 2022

NEW #54 Medicine Cabinet


In the dim and distant days when music blogs were a force to be reckoned with and every fledgling band wanted their debut demo up on a tastemaker site, the idea of the ‘buzz act’ was commonplace. These days however, the buzz, if that is still the right term, seems to sit on TikTok, but the concept remains the same; if you can get people talking about you, greater things and opportunities may await.

The last band I remember there being a fair amount of buzz-chat on music blogs prior to the band releasing anything was Black Country, New Road (I joined in on the act in this post here), but more recently I’ve noticed a small amount of revival for the blog-buzz.

First, with what seems like an almost too heavy load of expectation, is The Dinner Party, a six piece that have yet to release any material but are already scheduled to join The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, London this summer. Second is today’s new band, albeit the internet tongue wagging going on for this lot is a bit more low-key.

They’re called Medicine Cabinet and they’re from Scotland.

Like The Dinner Party they have, until very recently, not released any music, but earlier this month their debut single The Signs dropped on streaming services. A mix of danceable pop and bum-wiggling retro indie The Signs pays tribute to bands such as Blondie and Altered Images, reminding us all that guitar bands don’t just have to be shouty angry lads wanting to be the next Idles / Shame / Yard Act / Fontaines DC and that it’s ok to be a bit bubblegum and fun. 

I caught the group at this year’s Great Escape festival and it struck me that their approach is as much visual as  the music. There’s no normcore down-styling here. Medicine Cabinet seize your eyes and take me back to a place when I first set eyes on bands like Manic Street Preachers and White Stripes – bands that wanted to stand out with the way they looked as much as the music. Medicine Cabinet are glamourous, cool and look like they’d be a lot of fun to go shopping with. They have the haircuts, the cheekbones, the shades, the clothes. 

And there’s the music as well. Live it all comes together. Sometimes model and now lead singer Anna Acquroff is a tiny ball of energy on stage and their songs already seem to be fairly well formed. They're not a band who are getting noticed just because of their style.

Now with a single out, what they need is a hit. Over to you TikTok perhaps?

Medicine Cabinet play the Windmill, Brixton on 6th July 2022.

Medicine Cabinet - The Signs