Saturday 31 March 2012

Skinny Lister - New Waves

Has folk music become the equivalent of what glamping is to camping? Is it now all designer beards, clean acoustic strums, neat waistcoats and frankly just a little bit too comfortable? Have the likes of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons stolen away the dirty earthiness that this genre of music once possessed?

Well if it has then Skinny Lister, a band who have borrowed their name from the Lister family, pioneers in the use of the anaesthetic, are the band to rum-slam and high-kick it back into place. This is a band to stomp your feet, get a bit flirty, swing your skirt tails and drunkenly holler along to. Skinny Lister make folk music that romps along with a wilful and saucy exuberance that we probably haven’t heard since the Pogues. It’s deep set in old fashioned traditional values, yet seems as fresh and alive as the latest blog buzz band.

Their forthcoming album Forge & Flagon is a brilliantly jubilant piece of work. You can imagine men gulping tankards of ale down on wooden benches and slapping their thighs to the sounds of the jaunty accordion on songs like Forty Pound Wedding and Trawlerman. The new single If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down is equally body bouncing, although it’s tempered with the more genteel Plough & Orion on the other side. This band would be perfect for a summer festival, which is probably why last summer saw Skinny Lister playing over 30 of the things, travelling hundreds of miles in a Land Rover with a double bass strapped to the roof and more will follow this year including Blissfields, Camp Bestival and Bestival.

To keep up with their hardworking ethic the band played numerous shows at South by South West Festival 2012 in Austin, Texas where they were accommodated at the renowned Berkman House, a 1930 craftsman ranch house. The building is a location for music and film projects and has hosted artists including Liz Green, The Miserable Rich, Rose Elinor Dougall, and Coma. Whilst the band stayed there they committed a number of songs to video, one of which - Rollin’ Over - you can see below. However, to get a real feel for the bands live experience have a look at the clip from a performance at Spyder House at South By South West at the bottom of this post and you’ll see why this year Skinny Lister are the one band you need to see live.

Skinny Lister - If The Gaff Don't Let Us Down

Skinny Lister - Rollin' Over Live At The Berkman House (Video)

Skinny Lister - Live Clip from Spyder House @ South by South West (Video)

Friday 30 March 2012

Elliphant - TeKKno Scene

Here is a list of bonkers things.

The debut track by ElliphantIn The Jungle, which we featured here and here.

Lady Ga Ga

The duck billed platypus

Eating soup with a fork

This song (obviously)

Brussel sprout flavour ice cream

Headless chickens running around

The second track released by Elliphant - TeKKno Scene featuring Adam Kanyama.

TeKKno Scene is bonkers. It’s standing up and shouting “Me ! Just look how bloody bonkers I am. I’m mad. I’ve even got two capital letters in the middle of my title. And I sound a bit like M.I.A  and she’s a bit bonkers isn’t she? Look I’ve got electronic bleeps that sound like whizzing out of control fireworks. I’ve got street party beats that are equal parts from the Caribbean and Notting Hill Carnival. I’ve got a Swedish rapper. I’ve got flirty pick and mix sounds, a collage of chants and every now and then I bash a little bell. I am bonkers."

Maybe it’s the global economy, maybe it’s the media, but much of the world of pop music is becoming more and more conservative / safe. More than ever we need music that is bonkers. So let’s appreciate TeKKno Scene.

Elliphant - TeKKno Scene featuring Adam Kanyama

Alice Jemima - Taking It Out

Alice Jemima is pretty unstoppable right now. This prolific Devon based singer songwriter seems to be uploading a new song to Soundcloud every week and the quality and consistency remains very high. Yet as fast as these home recorded Garageband gems are appearing we understand that there’s a fully-fledged spell of studio magic being created somewhere behind the scenes.

This week there’s been problems in the boyfriend department and as a result we find Alice drowning her sorrows. “Don’t know why I’m taking it out, on this bottle in my hand drowning him out, maybe if I drink I’ll get a bit high and I’ll forget every little thing on my mind,” she sings in her invitingly sugary voice. The beauty of her tone may not sound angry or confused, but it seems that Alice is like a swan – graceful on the surface but paddling wildly underneath as she sings of her unnamed suitor  “treating me like crap,” suggesting that its a “self-loath confidence thing.”

It seems wrong to find joy in somebody else’s misfortune, but even Alice Jemima’s sad songs sound so pretty it’s impossible to do anything but.

Alice Jemima plays The Cavern in Exeter on April 5th supporting Ruarri Joseph and the Queens Head in Islington, London on April 10th supporting Emily & The Woods.

Alice Jemima - Taking It Out

Thursday 29 March 2012

Delilah - Breathe

‘The industry’s best-kept secret’ was how Delilah was first described on Breaking More Waves. Even though at that time we queried that description's accuracy there’s no doubt that since then if she was a secret, that’s been blown wide open. Her single Go has now sold over 150,000 copies having spent a number of weeks floating around the UK singles chart. She’s also released 2 -4am an 8-track collection that features unreleased tracks, including Joe Goddard's remix of her second single Love You So

Now Delilah is releasing Breathe – revamped from the original version that we posted when we first introduced you to her - with her debut album proper From The Roots Up following in summer 2012. Undeniably referencing early Massive Attack this new version of Breathe remains seductive and soulful as Delilah sings of “this wonderful punishment called life.” If it wasn’t for the lyrics “I can hate what you say and still smile,” for example, this would be wonderful come to bed music.

Delilah - Breathe (2012 Version)

Lisa Mitchell - Spiritus

This is the new single by Australian chanteuse Lisa Mitchell. It’s called Spiritus and was inspired by yoghurt, sorry we mean yoga, but to be honest it could be inspired by anything because we haven’t got the foggiest idea what she’s singing about. Yet whatever it is she’s trying to communicate and we’re failing to hear, Lisa’s mellifluous tones and music sound positively lovely. Remember that Diana Vickers song where it needed a very special translation of the lyrics (here)? Spiritus gets close to that in terms of hard to understand words. But here’s a question; how many songs are there that you actually listen to every word? Certainly we notice on most music blogs the authors very rarely talk about the lyrics or the meaning of the song but can use an inordinate amount of wordage describing what it sounds like.

So what we’re going to tell you instead is how this song makes us feel, because as far as we’re concerned that’s the important bit.

Spiritus elicits the sensation of positivity. It's the kind of song to play on a cloudy rain coated dreary day of nothingness in order to raise the soul. We think Lisa sings "young one, there's a big sun and my love my love my love shines on," which if we've got that right makes absolute sense. Spiritus means breath in Latin and certainly the song has a lightness of touch - the warm melody, the gentle clatter of drums and repetitive keys deftly skip their way into the ears inducing good-vibe brain chemicals. Spiritus carries the troubles of the day away in a simple pop song - even if she's singing about Belgian shepherd dogs or pizza.

Lisa Mitchell - Spiritus

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons - (Live From Dalston Heights) Video

Here are some things we’ve said about Charli XCX over the last few years.

Nov 2009 “A little bit novelty act and lowest common denominator.”

May 2010 “Silly spoilt ninja hipster brat?”

May 2010 “There is something about her riot in a sweetshop zest that makes us want to climb out of the bedroom window late at night and go raving with her.”

September 2010 “She could actually be a very good pop star indeed.”

April 2011 “Saucy pop starlet in the making.”

October 2011 “Something that brings pop music neatly into a calm and considered autumn.”

December 2011 “A much greater maturity.”

March 2012 (Now)  “If this blog was X-Factor we’d probably describe the musical path of Charli XCX as ‘a journey'. It’s now one that we fully want to accompany her on.”

Right now Charli XCX has got things just right. She’s making really great cool sexy pop music. That's as in an admired attitude, sound and style influenced by and a product of the zeitgeist rather than pop music that sounds good in a fridge freezer.This version of Nuclear Seasons recorded live at Dalston Heights is stripped back and not at all lowest common denominator. It is, in actual fact, amazing. We were right in September 2010. Time is the key here. Sometimes in pop you need time to improve. Charli XCX has used that time well.

Charli XCX (Live) - Nuclear Seasons (Video)

Seasfire - Falling (Cruelty Remix)

Floating around the internet somewhere is a Lana Del Rey remix. In fact there are hundreds of the things. We’re pretty sure that if the Breaking More Waves pet hamster could make a remix, he’d have a go at Lana Del Rey first. After all hamsters only live a couple of years and by the time Frisbee (for that is the hamster’s name) visits the pet cemetery Lana Del Rey’s career may be on a similar trajectory, such is the brutal nature of the pop beast, so best to get in quick. Yesterday we even heard a Lana Del Rey remix playing on the in-store sound system of our local Asda supermarket, oddly whilst buying hamster food.

One of those remixes you can find on the internet is by Cruelty. It’s seven minutes and eleven seconds of electronic escapism and provides a handy and seamless link to the track below - a Cruelty remix of Bristol’s eerie popsmiths Seasfire. You may remember them from a New Waves feature we ran in January. Since then the four piece having been picking up valuable exposure in the UK from radio types that you’d expect to give an early nod to emerging talent such as Amazing Radio, Rob da Bank and Steve Lamacq. They’re also heading down to Brighton’s annual new music shindig The Great Escape in May.

Cruelty doesn’t seem to go for short remixes. He, she or they (maybe Cruelty isn’t even a human – maybe they’re a hamster) grabs Seasfire’s Falling and turns it into one monster after-dinner eight and a half minute groove that spirals, twists and turns to reach that higher state. More fun than running round in one of those plastic rodent exercise balls even?

Seasfire - Falling Cruelty Remix

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Rizzle Kicks - Nasty

The rise of Rizzle Kicks in the UK has been phenomenal, the band managing to become bona fide pop stars playing gigs to sold-out screaming crowds of girls (and boys). But if you think their quick-fire delivery would be better suited to some old school hip-hop vibes rather than hanging round with Olly Murs and sampling the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jessie J then this new track will push your buttons. For non-album track Nasty sounds more in homage to Public Enemy (it's actually Nas)  than anything that might fancy its chances at being top of the pops. With Harley’s soft soulful vocals noticeably absent it’s left to Jordan to deliver Rizzle Kicks cheeky banter  “Guns are sexy but when I saw your mum was the only time I had a semi-automatic,” he raps. Naughty.

“Thought you guys lost it and went all commercial, safe to hear this,” comments one person on their Soundcloud player, showing that maybe snobbery is alive and well in every genre of music from pop to indie to hip-hop. 

Rizzle Kicks - Nasty

Laura Welsh - New Waves

Breaking More Waves has a bit of a reputation for featuring female vocalists – this post will do nothing to dispel that - as we introduce Laura Welsh. Laura is a very new artist; that is if we judge artists by their Facebook profiles, which in this case has only been active for 3 months. Yet in that short space of time we’ve already seen the likes of Communion Records, Marina & The Diamonds and our UK blog buddies (we’d use the word lovers if it could be taken in a non-sexualised way – but maybe UK blog family would be better) Flying With Anna, Von Pip Musical Express and The Blue Walrus all scribing about her.

It’s not surprising that Laura is getting noticed. She’s already done the groundwork releasing the Love Live On EP under the name Laura and the Tears in the distant past. It picked up some support from Radio 2; yes, even Terry Wogan played a song from it. Then a stylistic change to a 60’s soul sound led to the moniker of Hey Laura being used and more fans being won without any commercial success. But doing the groundwork is not enough - there has to be talent and Laura undeniably has bucket loads of it.

The music and songs that are now starting to emerge under Laura’s real name aren’t breaking any new ground and veer heavily towards the mainstream, but they’re full of a emotive power that smacks the soul. Ghosts, which is currently available for free download (and streams below) is a piano driven ballad with gospel style backing vocals that finds Laura singing of a sadness deep down in her soul and needing the help to lay ghosts to rest. Another tune 45 is of Olympic proportions -the kind of song we imagine that X-Factor contestants will be covering in three years from now when everyone really has had enough of Adele / Whitney / Amy / Lana / Mariah (delete as appropriate) cover versions. A third track Diggin’ For Gold, which streams on her Tumblr, is a toe-tapping jazz-soul blend of organ fed sweetness and clattering beats that again show that Laura isn’t going to win any points for innovation but has songs that comfortably wrap around the ears.

For now X-Factor cover notoriety is still some way off as Laura Welsh remains an emerging artist, but one that it’s worth keeping an ear out for as the year progresses. It seems that after a first couple of near false starts her new music could be ready for charging to the finish line.  

Laura Welsh - Ghosts

Monday 26 March 2012

Ren Harvieu - Open Up Your Arms (Video)

After the first kiss of any relationship, as the days and nights slowly unravel sometimes you find yourself being let down. It hits you gradually - a soft touch slowly turning into a heavy tear stained slap. What you thought might be love is actually just a lustful hunger being fulfilled for a short time. Sometimes satisfying that hunger isn’t enough – there needs to be something more substantial.

Yet at other times something incredible happens; suddenly the world becomes full of endless exciting possibilities and that little word called love appears solid and unifying. That word grows and before you know it you can’t imagine a world without it.

Such is our growing relationship with the music of Ren Harvieu. Open Up Your Arms confirms everything that we thought about her. An exquisitely beautiful string laden song that soars so high that we’re worried we’re never going to come down again. Love of music is one of the ultimate highs. This song is it. Lana, Adele, you’ve got competition. Truly, truly beautiful. Consider us 100% smitten. 

Ren Harvieu - Open Up Your Arms (Video)

Thursday 22 March 2012

Sansa - New Waves

On Tuesday whilst featuring Lana Del Rey’s new swimming pool location video for Blue Jeans we compiled our five greatest other swimming pool moments in pop. Positioned at the summit of the list, without a hint of irony, was the video for Boys Boys Boys by Sabrina (or to give the song its correct title Boys (Summertime Love). Whatever you think of the song, you have to admit that the video is noteworthy. 30 million views on You Tube speak for itself.

However we now have to shamefacedly admit there was an ulterior motive in posting the Sabrina video and that was to provide a seamless link to today’s new wave – Sansa. Because Sansa has covered Sabrina’s ‘classic’, transforming it from a trashy cheap europop romp-in-the-pool to a gentle, wispy acoustic ballad that sounds remarkably like Ellie Goulding. Who would have ever thought that we would describe Boys (Summertime Love) as perfectly lovely? But we just have. In fact it’s more than that. Sansa herself describes it as a “song of solitude, longing and desire.” To our ears it’s like the first golden kiss of summer on your face – warming, tender and very welcome.

Sansa is a Helsinki based songstress who has already released three albums in her homeland, her first Vagabond Girl way back in 2005, her second eponymous release following in 2009 after a break to attend a film school in Helsinki University of Applied Sciences to study film sound. The third record, Savior was released in Finland late last year but will be released internationally for 2012 in May. Besides the Sabrina cover you can hear some of Sansa’s other songs below, the more Americanised acoustic rock sound of Waiting For The Sky and the gentle clap and strum acoustic pop melodies of Black Brick Wall. Finland may be known for its snowy winters, but with Sansa it finally feels like summer is only around the corner.

Sansa - Boys (Summertime Love)

Sansa - Waiting For The Sky

Sansa - Black Brick Wall

Wednesday 21 March 2012

I Am Harlequin - New Waves

For today’s new wave we’re going to start by using one of those classic blogger clich├ęs. This is an act we almost posted about a long time ago, but for one reason or another never got round to. So today we’re making amends.

Anne Frier is I Am Harlequin, a German born London dwelling artist and multi-instrumentalist who has been making music since 1998. If you press play on the track below you may recognise it from very recently, for Wild One premiered last night on E4's teen drama Skins (Season 6, Episode 9) and her current single Onesome has already received support from radio stations as varied as BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, Q Radio and NME Radio. (Listen to Onesome using this link)

Wild One takes Adele-like piano refrains and couples it with Florence styled vocal structures and melodies to provide something that certainly grabs the zeitgeist. But don’t think that I Am Harlequin is just a of the moment copyist, although the Florence comparisons are going to be inevitable - watch The Kings Daughter with its clattering tribal drums, stormy instrumentation and woah-oh-oh hooks and you'll see what we mean. Look elsewhere online and you’ll find a wealth of other diverse and interesting sounds coming from this talented lady. Choosing to remix Queen's Don’t Stop Me Now could be seen as sacrilege by many, but I Am Harlequin makes it work with new choral vocals, harp and sense of purposefulness that is delightful, whilst Radio Fire (which you can hear and download from this link) sparks with an impressive Regina Spektor jamming with Joanna Newsom vibe.

If quirky belting female fronted edgy pop is your thing then it’s highly likely that I Am Harlequin is going find a place in your record collection very soon. It already has in ours.

I Am Harlequin - Wild One

Queen - Don't Stop Me Now (I Am Harlequin Remix)

I Am Harlequin - The Kings Daughter (Video)

Cold Specks - Winter Solstice

Soulful singer Cold Specks releases her debut album I Predict A Graceful Expulsion on May 21st with a new single Blank Maps to precede it on May 14th. However before that comes this brand new taster entitled Winter Solstice. A piano chimes, heavy drums thump, then horns and a male choir bring the whole thing to a near crescendo, but the earthy restraint in the vocals mean that the song never fully explodes, adding to its majestic Deep South weightiness. Al Specks, the singer of whom Cold Specks revolves round has named Sister Rosetta Tharpe as an influence and that becomes very clear as she sings this song.

If like Breaking More Waves you are based in the UK Cold Specks has confirmed two dates in London on June 19th and 20th at Hoxton Hall and slots at No Direction Home, Latitude and End Of The Road festivals so far. 

Cold Specks - Winter Solstice

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The Greatest Swimming Pool Moments In Pop

The choice of Blue Jeans seems a strange choice as the next single to be taken from Lana Del Rey’s sumptuously brilliant album Born To Die seeing as it has already been the B-Side to the Video Games EP. After all it’s not as if the album is lacking in quality; in our view it would have made more sense to pick one of the lesser known tracks such as the cinematic James Bond number Million Dollar Man or the string caressed Summertime Sadness to give those who are still sitting on the fence or have yet to be won over by the beauty of Lana’s effortless melodies a new bite at the cherry.

However, Blue Jeans it is, and Lana being Lana there’s a seductive new black and white video to accompany the song. You’ve probably seen it already, but if you haven’t we’ve included it below together with a remix from halcyon beatmaster and Breaking More Waves regular D/R/U/G/S who takes the track into the territory of late night trippy bliss.

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (D/R/U/G/S Remix)

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Video)

Of course by slipping into a one piece and diving into the pool Lana is bound to arouse those who find the singer somewhat attractive, but of course she’s not the first pop star to do so. The swimming pool has always been a place for the young and attractive to hang out and display their wares.

Besides Blue Jeans Breaking More Waves presents 5 of the best swimming pool moments in pop for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

Sabrina – Boys Boys Boys

At 31 million views on You Tube and nearly 38,000 likes Sabrina must have been doing something right with this trashy piece of Europop. Just imagine if Lana had let this much nipple appear and had told us that “Boys, boys, boys, I’m looking for a good time.” Imagine if Lana had ‘done a Sabrina’ at around 2.45 on this video.

Kylie – Slow

Sabrina might have been calling for lots of Boys Boys Boys but Kylie actually has them. Whilst the boys are all in their trunks Kylie as a fair skinned girl out by the pool remains sensibly covered, we assume because she forgot her sunblock.

Wham – Club Tropicana

Who could resist George Michael in a pair of tiny white swimming trunks, drinking cocktails and generally larking around the pool. Phwoar girls, he’s the one for you isn’t he? Isn’t he? Mind you, only a 1/15th of the number of viewers as Sabrina. That's an important footnote in the history of pop culture right there.

Britney – My Prerogative

Crazy Britney drives a car into a swimming pool which is a good as an excuse as any to get her writhing around all wet before changing into sexy undies, flicking her hair around and arching her back a bit like Britney does. And because it’s crazy-sex-Britney we’ll forgive her for this very dangerous driving. Don’t try this at home kids.

Kylie – On A Night Like This

Proving that not only is she the princess of pop, but the queen of swimming pools, Kylie gets all wet in her second watery feature. Still not as funny as Sabrina, but Kylie does take her pop very seriously.

Special mentions also to Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy which features pervy cruising around the swimming pool looking at boys boys boys and possibly the worst pop song and swimming pool video ever for Vanilla’s No Way No Way which features the classic lyric “You can buy me with one drink,” and appears to reference the Muppets.There’s a close sentimentality to Sabrina with this one but it lacks the humour, ridiculousness and nipples to set it apart.

Marina & The Diamonds - Primadonna (Acoustic Video)

Remember when we used to feature Marina & The Diamonds a lot on this blog? It was as far back as October 2008 when she first made an appearance, jumping around with an umbrella and suggesting that Lily Allen was ‘quite good until she wrecked it all by turning into everything she’s not,’ which is an interesting statement to look back on in the context of Marina’s current Electra Heart campaign / concept. There’s a reason why we featured Marina a lot then and less now. It is unfortunately much to do with Breaking More Waves being fan-based (rather than professional or wannabe professional) journalism and not being as enamored with the direction she’s taken her art / pop. Sometimes pop music is like a relationship. There are moments of joyous abandon, trial separations, divorces and lusty one night stands. It looked like Marina and Breaking More Waves could be heading for counselling at Relate.

However cast your mind back to 2010 when Marina popped up performing Hollywood acoustically with some knitted strawberries on her shoulders. We liked that. Maybe our relationship needs to get back to those simpler innocent times.

Now maybe to save us Marina has done just that with this film, shot by the same people that did Hollywood, for current single Primadonna, but without the strawberries. Compare and contrast this acoustic version with the attempt-at-a-hit radio friendly version. We’re warming to the commercial version and still desperately want the new album to fully re-establish our love, particularly as she’s leaving Radioactive off the main version (a good move). This acoustic version fully ticks our boxes.

There is a new hope. 

Marina & The Diamonds - Primadonna

Marina & The Diamonds - Primadonna (Acoustic Video)

Monday 19 March 2012

Colour Coding - Perfect (Video) / Had It All

Cast your mind back to the beginning of January and you may recall a new Australian band we introduced named Colour Coding formed from members of Operator Please. 

Over the weekend the group revealed their debut video for Perfect the lead track from their EP Proof. To match the lyrical sentiments the video is sugary-sweet and romantic; girls wouldn’t you just adore a boyfriend like this one? Well maybe, but what we want to know is whether he’s also the sort of guy who won’t complain about cleaning up after your dog has just chewed up his best trainers, will cook you a delicious meal when you’ve both been out and had a stressful day at work and in 20 years-time when you’re forty and sporting a heavy dose of middle-aged spread will he still look at you and tell you that he loves you and mean it? If he is, well maybe then he’s pretty perfect. Otherwise maybe he’s just trying to get inside your knickers. The harsh cynic police can arrest us now.

To add to the video we’re also streaming another track from the bands EP called Had It All. A bubbly piece of tropical indie it shows that these two fresh faced cousins know how to make galloping melodic pop. “You could have had it all, but you messed up,” they sing, a counter to the idealism of Perfect perhaps?

Colour Coding - Had It All

Colour Coding - Perfect (Video)

Saturday 17 March 2012

BIGkids - New Waves

It seems like only yesterday when the likes of Florence & the Machine and Marina & the Diamonds were just the musical equivalent of toddlers, taking their first tentative wobbly steps into the world of pop stardom. The trend then seemed to be for every new band (or solo performer) to take its singers name followed by ‘and the’ something. A couple of others spring to mind. First there was Mr Hudson & The Library, who after his 2007 debut LP A Tale Of Two Cities dropped The Library, shacked up with Kanye West and had major pop success with Supernova. Then there was north London’s gold and glitter croaky soul voiced star in the making Rosie, the daughter of ex-Goodie and ornithologist Bill Oddie. Together with her band she was Rosie Oddie and the Odd Squad. Commercial success alluded Rosie and her gang but the indie-ska-pop of Cola Coka is one to hear if it didn’t grace your ears it back in 2008.

Now with Odd Squad kicked out of touch and The Library put on the shelf, Hudson and Oddie are no longer those musical toddlers; they’re BIGkids – and recently released their debut single – Drum In Your Chest. It’s a stupidly chew-your-face-off catchy earworm of a track with wonky rhythms, shimmying oompah funkiness and boy-girl vocals, accompanied by an equally fun flashmob in a car park style video. We can’t imagine anyone citing Drum In Your Chest as a classic in a couple of years, or even a couple of days, but we’ll leave that sort of analysis to rock purists and critics that don’t understand the joy of life that can be provided a hook and a bunch of crazy music. The fact that BIGkids have got Snow Patrol to mix the song would suggest they’re not bothered about critical acclaim either – although ironically Snow Patrol’s remix is damn fine – adding pulsing Moroder style synths to the electro carnival.

But before you write off BIGkids as just some silly side pop project, have a listen to their raw cover of I’d Rather Go Blind (using this link) and another song  Good For You (below), a late night soul ballad that suggests that if nothing else BIGkids will bring some diversity. Rosie Oddie may yet get her time in the spotlight. We’ll say it again – this music is FUN, and aren't we all really big kids at heart ?

BIGkids - Drum In Your Chest (Single Version)

BIGkids - Drum In Your Chest (Snow Patrol Remix)

BIGkids - Good For You

BIGkids - Drum In Your Chest (Video)

Friday 16 March 2012

Curxes - Haunted Gold (Video)

In the days when a low budget You Tube pop music video can often just be a few random images recorded on an iPhone or stolen from the internet and pieced together in a few minutes you have to admire a band  that are prepared to invest a significant amount of time in the creation process. Built from nothing with several tubs of glitter, an old scanner and a lot of patience this animated video for Haunted Gold by Curxes (which we streamed the audio of just a few days ago and wrote about fully here) saw the light of day just a few days ago. If you're a fan of sexual symbolism, see how many images you can count that could have some sort of 'coupling' reference; there's more to this video than just an arbitrary series of objects. Or maybe that's just us.

Haunted Gold will be available to buy on iTunes from April 10.

Curxes - Haunted Gold (Video)

Thursday 15 March 2012

Rebecca & Fiona - Dance (Video)

Our post last Friday featured some rather top Swedish pop with a song called D-D-Dance, so whilst we’re on a roll let’s do some more Scandipop with Rebecca & Fiona and whilst we're at it, let's keep the same song title minus the stutter as well.

Rebecca & Fiona have in certain quarters been labelled dilettantes, it-girls and scenesters. These  labels may or may not be fair but frankly we couldn’t care. If Peaches Geldof decided she was going to make a pop record and it was excellent, our perception that she’s an attention seeking Boomtown Brat wouldn’t perturb us. Because pop music is all about the end product of the manufacturing process; it’s like buying a car. If you bought an Aston Martin One 77 the chances are you’re not going to be questioning who actually made it - just that it's a great ride when you turn the ignition.

It explains why Sweden, a country that seems to really know and understand pop music in an intimate way gave Rebecca & Fiona a Swedish Grammy for Dance / Electro in 2011 and why fellow Swede Robyn had the two girls as tour support DJ’s on her tour. Their debut album I Love You Man also received plenty of positive praise.

Now Rebecca & Fiona are releasing a new single. It’s called Dance. It’s the best thing they’ve done so far. If this blog was a shopping list of music Dance would be marked essential. With pulsing stately synths topped with drifting feminine vocals it adds a more mature piece to their pop jigsaw. We like it.

Rebecca & Fiona - Dance

Stay + - Guardian

This is a new song by Stay + and it’s called Guardian. You can already tell that from the title of this blog post.

Here are some other facts, that the title won’t tell you. Some of these facts you will probably also find on other blogs. Yet a number of them are exclusives. Yes, if we can’t give you exclusive tracks at least we can give you exclusive facts.

- Guardian is from an EP called Arem.

- The EP will be released on the 30th April.

- The 30th April is the author of Breaking More Waves birthday. Mark it in your diaries.

- One member of Stay + once spent a night sleeping at Breaking More Waves HQ.

- The vocals on the track are performed by one Daniel O’Sullivan. As one Soundcloud comment suggests, they sound just a little like Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode.

- If we were The Sun we’d probably turn the fact about one member of Stay + sleeping at Breaking More Waves HQ into some dirty sordid rock ‘n’ roll story, but we’re not. There is no story to tell. He was very well behaved and we drank tea, ate muffins and if memory serves correctly consumed an evening meal of shepherd’s pie and fresh vegetables. We’re not quite sure if this is the image that Stay + would want to be known about one of their members now, being a ‘cool’ band as such, but to be fair at the time Stay + didn’t exist. And hell, even the coolest people have to do normal stuff like eating and sleeping before they can go off and create pounding liquid pieces of electronic club music like Guardian - perfect for that clubbed out but still raving sunrise moment on the beach.

Stay + - Guardian

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Victoria - New Waves

In theory naming a band in the age of the internet should be easy. One quick Google search should reveal if the name has already been taken. It avoids the problems of the past where a band would find success in one country only to discover another band with the same name elsewhere. The Charlatans had to become The Charlatans UK in the US, whilst a law suit from a lounge singer forced Suede to become The London Suede, but the word Google meant nothing when those bands started. Yet whilst it’s easy to discover if a band name has been taken, a new consideration particularly for upcoming groups is having a name that is easy to find on that Google search.

Which brings us to Victoria; put quite simply they’re a very difficult band to search for on the internet. Ironically Victoria used to be called something else, something that was impossibly easy to find on the web. We’re not telling you what that band name was though, simply because this post is a bit of a cheat; we’ve actually written about this group under their previous name. In fact, we’ve already streamed one of their songs before, albeit an earlier version. So if you want to find out who they were previously go and do your own detective work like we had to or cast your mind back through the distant memories of this blog. Or better still, just enjoy the music and don’t bother with the past. The future is more important.

Victoria do indie rock. Its large and weighty, its big music. We’d file its sonic ambition alongside the likes of U2, The Horrors, White Lies and Haven (anyone remember them?). Whilst not sounding particularly like any of those bands there’s a comparable sense of I-could-do-anything euphoria that bursts forth from Victoria’s effects laden guitars and epic choruses, possibly making you want to hail them as the future kings of rock, that is if the future of rock is brimming with the sounds of vastness. Take a listen to Jessica and towards the end you’ll probably be quaking on your knees as someone momentarily flips the switch to ’post rock squealing meltdown.’ Which is maybe why they’ve named their Soundcloud player Hail Victoria, which we think would be a magnificent name for a band itself except of course a Metal/Thrash/Hard Rock/Alternative/Gothic combo that appears to have a main member called Crashdown RattleSnake has already taken that moniker, even although they don’t seem to have done anything with it.

Despite knowing of their past we actually know very little about Victoria. They’re from London (hopefully their nearest tube stop is Victoria), they go by the names of David Arthur Jr, Matt Kern, Pete P and J Adams and they have the looks of serious intent to match the sound – all black leather jackets, shades and haircuts. They’re just about to enter the studio to finish mixing some new songs which the band hint will show a development. Live shows are likely to then follow.

Whilst we wait for those tracks to see the light of day, for now may we suggest that you ignore Victoria at your peril? They mean business. 

Victoria - Cold Hands

Victoria - Jessica (You Tube Stream - No Video)

Tuesday 13 March 2012

In Defence Of Reading / Leeds Festivals

Yesterday evening the initial line up for the Reading and Leeds Festivals was released. There were no particular surprises; the gradually self-confirming rumours flooding the internet were 100% correct. Amongst the big guns playing this year are Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Paramore, The Black Keys, Florence & the Machine and one of Breaking More Waves favourite bands of all time The Cure.

Inevitably twitter was a flurry with opinions. Typical tweets we saw included “OMG my mum said if we can get tickets we can go to Reading Festival,” “Reading Leeds festival in August. Omfg! So excited!!” “I don’t even listen to music a lot, but I gotta say the line-up for this years Reading Festival is banging.” Others were a little less impressed. “Reading / Leeds – so predictable – so expensive – the festival has lost its soul.” “Probably an unpopular opinion but the Reading Festival Line-Up as it stands really is shit.”

One that particularly stood out for us was one from fellow new music blogger Leigh from Just Music I Like. Over three tweets he explained. “If anyone is thinking about going to Reading / Leeds because a few bands they like are playing…don’t. I made that mistake last year. The reality is that it is now a rite of passage for post GCSE / A Level students, which is fine, but it doesn’t make for a music festival, well a music festival for people who want to enjoy music. If your idea of a festival is incessant chatting and bladdered teenagers, go ahead.” We fully agree with Leigh, it’s one of the reasons why we stopped going to Reading a long time ago. The festivals atmosphere is well documented across the internet.

So why is this post called In Defence of Reading Festival?

Let’s use an analogy. When most people, usually in their teens, become fans of music they normally start somewhere near the mainstream or follow someone else’s tastes. They hear commercial pop music on the radio or songs that their older brother or sister or friend is playing and become enamoured with that. Then as the years go on people either let go of music as the core of their life (with  work, families and other pursuits taking over)  or develop increasingly more complex and niche tastes as they explore music further and further. It’s the same with festivals.

Most peoples festival experiences start at major festivals, be it Reading, V, Glastonbury, T in the Park or the like. They attend because their friends are going, because when you’re young and haven’t had the opportunity to see many live gigs the lure of big names can be incredibly exciting. They become as Leigh stated “a rite of passage,” for teenagers, many of whom will in a few years’ time stop going to festivals or will cultivate deeper and more subtle tastes in the type of festival they like. It’s certainly what has happened to us. It’s why these days the only major festivals (40,000 + capacity) we would think about attending are Bestival and Glastonbury - they're the only big ones that tick our boxes holistically.

We’re glad there are festivals for teenagers to go to and drink themselves silly, have unwashed off their heads sex with strangers and not give a flying fig about the music as long as they could say ‘they were there’. It’s part of growing up - developing experiences which may shape their tastes for the future. It’s hard to imagine when you’re 17 and just want to get off your tits and scream at your friends whilst a band is playing, but as you get older you may want something very different from life and that you may think about music in a different way. But until that time maybe it’s better that all the people who want that smashed, druggy rite of passage are put in the same field just off an industrial estate in a Berkshire town. At least then it gives the opportunity for organisers to manage it properly with a known audience demographic and the rest of us can enjoy the other festivals. 

That’s why we will continue to defend Reading and Leeds Festival's. Just don’t expect to see us there.

Campsite At Reading 2009

Monday 12 March 2012

Dems - Bridesmaid

Today two halves make the whole. Because in the first half of the day we brought you the new video for Inner O by Dems and now this evening here’s another new Dems track, this time on a Soundcloud stream. It’s called Bridesmaid. We might have involved Dems in this two posts in a row business before you know.

Bridesmaid will particularly appeal to people who like us like Gold Panda and Active Child. It’s four minutes and eleven seconds of ear soothing jitteriness. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms it isn’t, because these electronic jitters are more akin to the ripples on a pond; slightly distorting reality but calming nonetheless.

Bridesmaid forms the other half of the single with Inner O which if you missed it you can find here.

Dems - Bridesmaid

Dems - Inner O (Video)

We’re not quite sure what it is about this piece of heavenly electronic based music from Dems that we like so much, but in our world that is currently full of chesty coughs, shivers, sweats and draining pains it feels effortlessly uplifting and heart-warming.

Having evolved from a one man d-i-y artist out of Edinburgh since first appearing on Breaking More Waves back in September 2010 to a 3 piece consisting of David Gardener, Duncan Mann and original member Dan Moss, Dems has supported the much hyped Azealia Banks and also released the House EP. The Inner O is the follow up and is released on April 2nd through Bad Life Recordings. Dems also play the Old Blue Last in London on March 15th.

In terms of word count this is one of our shorter posts on Breaking More Waves, but this is more due to our current malaise than a lack of love for this music which is without question how quality is constructed.

Dems - Inner O (Video)

Friday 9 March 2012

The Concept - D-D-Dance (Video)

You might remember Swedish foursome The Concept who we introduced as a new wave back in January. The bands jubilant joy pop (not to be confused with the horrible and evil LOLpop) has been creating huge smiles wherever it’s heard. The band is tagging themselves as post-hipsterporn which arguably is not the greatest tag line, but we’ll forgive them when they’re making such exceptional pop music.

You may remember the song D-D-Dance, which is still available for download using the new wave link above. Now the band have issued a video for the track which was recorded crudely on an iPhone with a young boy called David as conductor. Warning; it contains flashes of nudity so may not be office safe. The Concept is currently recording a bunch of new songs in Sweden before heading to the USA where they say they intend to ‘live on air-thin-promises until the end of 2012.’ 

Get your dancing shoes on it's time to D-D-Dance again.

The Concept - D-D-Dance (Video)

Thursday 8 March 2012

Alice Jemima - All The Boyfriends

Fundamentally music blogging is someone with an over-inflated perception of how good their taste is, wanting to tell the rest of the world about it. Most new music blog posts boil down to one simple thing ‘Here’s some music I love and I want you to love it to.’

It’s why we started writing about Alice Jemima in Spring 2011. At first she was our little secret, not that we wanted her songs to be hidden. That’s why we posted them on the blog. Now, slowly but surely, others are sharing the secret. There have been features on blogs such as The Music Ninja, My Band's Better Than Your Band, Brapscallions, Flying With Anna and Just Music That I Like in the last few weeks and Alice was tipped by BBC Introducing Bristol as one to watch at the start of the year. Her song Far From Here made it as far as the Hype Machine Top 30 following a Breaking More Waves blog post. This may not seem that incredible but when you consider that these days the majority of the most popular tracks on Hype Machine are Jay-Z, Adele or Skrillex remixes, buzz bands posted by Pitchfork indebted bloggers or music industry led campaigns there’s something quite gratifying about a young independent singer-songwriter from Devon posting her songs up on line and with no PR machine at all people finding love for her music in an organic way.

It’s the word love that we see being written time and time again about Alice Jemima. She’s that sort of artist – there’s something delicate and impossibly romantic sounding about her songs. Maybe it’s the simplicity of them, maybe it’s her sweet voice, maybe it’s the fact that in a musical world where the dubstep remix, Rihanna and Katy Perry seem to dominate there are people out there who want to hear something purer. But whatever it is, maybe it’s time for you to fall in love too? Here’s a new song from this prolific talent. It’s called All The Boyfriends. It’s what real magic sounds like.


Alice Jemima plays The Old Queens Head, Islington, London on the 10th April in support to another Breaking More Waves favourite, Emily & The Woods. Tickets are available here.

Alice Jemima - All The Boyfriends