Sunday 23 June 2013

Breaking More Waves Reaches 5 Years Old - Some Conclusions From Half A Decade Of New Music Blogging

Today Breaking More Waves is five years old. Hurrah! We guess that makes us old enough to jack in blog nursery and go to proper blog school. Hopefully we’ll get to learn something there.

Mind you, we’ve learnt quite a bit over the last five years. And so today, as it’s our birthday, please allow us to be a little navel gazing and babble on a bit about 5 things (the number seems appropriate) we’ve learnt about new music blogging. Here we go....

1. Prescriptive ideas about what a blog should or shouldn’t do are pointless.

Everybody (particularly bloggers) has their own idea about how a music blog should be presented and work. Post frequency, length, content, design, music choices and the reasons for them are all issues that at some stage every blogger probably considers and maybe revisits at certain points during the life span of their blog. Yet the point is that blogs are by and large personal beasts, free from the constraints of editorial control or a house style and therefore every blog author should be able to do what the hell they like. In the past we’ve criticised the type of blog that simply puts up a video or MP3 with no commentary or context. We’ve since revised our view on this sort of blog. They’re not the sort of blog we like, or visit, but they have as just much right to exist as any other. Ultimately we all find the type of blog that suits us best.

2. We’re still not sure what others think of as a successful blog, but on our own terms we believe Breaking More Waves is a success.

Quite often it seems that people judge a successful blog as one that has a lot of readers or is deemed as an influential tastemaker. Yet that’s not how we judge our own success – and we do believe we have been successful.

Our success is much more internalised. It’s the simple fact that we’ve kept this up reliably and consistently for five years. This is our 1724th post. We’ve toughed it out, even in the tough times. That’s the equivalent of 2-3 novels. We achieved this with a full time professional career away from music, a busy family life with two children and we still manage to get out to probably way more gigs and festivals than the average music fan. But then we guess we’re not really an average music fan. Blogging isn't something we do in our spare time, it's something we make time for.

The new music blogging world is a pretty transient beast. Since we’ve started we’ve seen many come and go, so we’re really proud that Breaking More Waves still exists. Breaking More Waves may not be as eloquently and beautifully written as some, it may not look the coolest or be as on the case as others all the time, but like a parent-child relationship, we’re really proud of what we’ve created.

3. Fun seems like a dirty word in some parts of the music blogging world. We blame Pitchfork for this phenomenon.

We quite enjoy not being serious about music writing. But we’re still deadly serious about music. There's quite a lot of people trying to be so serious that we sometimes wonder if they actually enjoy it at all.

4. In theory sitting at a laptop listening to music and then writing about it is a pretty unsociable experience, but we’ve learnt that it’s far from that.

In the five years of Breaking More Waves we’ve had the pleasure (through the blog) of meeting all sorts of wonderful people, not only online but in real life. From the artists who create the stuff that we dissect, to the people that are supporting them professionally, to other music bloggers, to real life readers, we can honestly say that 99% of them have been lovely, amazing and incredible people. And in a handful of very special cases, through bashing out the crap we throw out onto the internet every day we have developed friendships that extend far beyond the world of music. Whenever (if we ever) call it quits, it’s those friendships that we will take and value the most from our experience of music blogging.

5. We still love music. More than ever.

This is probably the most important thing we’ve learnt. We’re utterly and completely obsessed with music. Still.

As author Nicholas Sparks stated: "Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day." We hope that in producing this blog you get a sense of our continued and ardent love for music.

Yet obsessive love can be tiring. So as it’s our blog birthday and as this week it’s the Glastonbury Festival (we’re setting off on Wednesday), we’re taking a short break. We think we deserve it. We’ll be back sometime around the beginning of July. Until then, why not follow us on Twitter where we’ll no doubt be tweeting some of the sights and sounds of the UK’s largest ticketed music festival, come mud, sun or anything in between.

Happy birthday to us, here’s to another year of new music blogging. Thanks very much for reading. It's been a great half decade.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Lulu James - Step By Step

House may have been born underground in the windy city of Chicago and taken a morphing journey that partied its way across Ibiza, but these days it’s back ruling both the pop landscape and the clubs. Even Newcastle upon Tyne (not the first place you’d think of when it comes to club classics) is getting in on the act with this new block busting (and maybe blog busting?) pumper from Lulu James.

Step By Step aims directly for the dancefloor, its clean repetitive jabbing flow designed to move bodies wherever it's heard, but it has a secret weapon; Lulu’s voice. By god can this girl sing, adding real character and substance to the sequenced robotics of the track.

Step By Step got its radio premiere last night via B.Traits on BBC Radio 1 and now it’s out there for you all to get your groove on, whatever device you listen to music on. We’d recommend a huge booming club soundsystem, but please check with your neighbours first that this is OK, we don’t want there to be any altercations.

And yes, before any of you point it out, this is another track by an artist beginning with L, making 25% of all of our posts this month so far L-club members. We're getting obsessed.

Lulu James - Step By Step

Friday 21 June 2013

Little Daylight - New Waves

As female fronted electropop seems to be part of the lifeblood of Breaking More Waves you’d probably have expected us to have already become a little fired up about Little Daylight, especially as they help corroborate our theory that right now is a great time for the L-Club - bands and singers with the initial L.

So today we’re making amends and providing our first coverage of this Brooklyn three piece who consist of Nikki (vocals and synth) Matt (synth, guitar and vocoder) and Eric (bass and synth). Having built up a head of steam on line with a bunch of remixes (Passion Pit, Niki And The Dove, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and more) and a couple of their own songs, the hooky synth riffing powerblaster of Overdose and the slower dreamy Name In Lights, the band are due to release their debut EP Tunnel Vision on August 6th.

Preceding the EP, comes Little Daylight’s best song yet. Glitter & Gold is like a neon multi-coloured alcopop-giddy version of Chvrches, complete with sugary oh-oh hooks and punchy electronic sounds left right and centre. We’ve already got the likes of Little Boots, Little Dragon and er… Little Mix, now pop’s next little thing that could be big is Little Daylight. They’ll wash the gloom away.

Little Daylight - Glitter & Gold

Little Daylight - Overdose (Video)

Thursday 20 June 2013

The Royal Concept - On Our Way

It takes about 30 seconds of listening to realise that On Our Way by Stockholm’s The Royal Concept (formerly just The Concept) is a life affirming and irresistibly hooky summer anthem. “Everybody clap your hands and shout,” they sing, this tune truly being an ode to joy. On Our Way even features the often thought of as nefarious crime of whistling, but in this case it's totally OK; it's the best tune to do so since Peter, Bjorn & John’s Young Folks. In summary, if don’t feel alive when this galloping song is finished then you might as well jump in your coffin and put the lid on.

Back in 2012 they made us D-D-Dance, now we’re going all stuttery again with euphoria. Absolutely glorious. We’re moving to Sweden right now.

The Royal Concept - On Our Way

Avec Sans - Hold On (Video)

Here is a new song from Avec Sans. They’re one of those boy / girl electronic pop duos and we like them quite a lot. So much so that we named them as one of our ones to watch for 2013.

We were beginning to wonder if bestowing this title to Avec Sans was actually a kiss of death as things appeared to have gone pretty quiet in their camp, but all of sudden things are happening. First there was the sparkling ethereal remix of Curxes’ Further Still and now there’s this.

Here are 5 thoughts about Hold On.

1. Choosing a song title such as Hold On gives ample opportunity for a band to sing about a multitude of situations. Maybe a health and safety perspective could be explored, perhaps singing about ensuring that if standing on a London Underground tube train you hold on to one of the poles, rails or straps positioned in the carriage when it comes to a stop, for otherwise you might have a little tumble. Or maybe the song could deal with the difficult and often complex issue of having a few drinks at a music festival and then realising that there’s a queue for the toilets and that you literally are going to have to hold on? Alas Hold On doesn’t seem to be about either of these two things, which is a little disappointing. However, the silky rich electro pop tune that Avec Sans have created isn’t disappointing at all. Immaculately produced, it throbs and breathes with seductive digital age synth sounds.

2. Watch the video and ask yourself, wouldn’t this band be an ideal support act for Chvrches? If nothing else between them they could ensure that the Pet Shop Boys legacy of men with baseball caps playing synth pop continues well into this decade.

3. When Avec Sans first appeared on line there was quite a lot of talk about the bands ‘mystery’ identity. Now we’ve done all the ‘let the music speak for itself / they’re just shy / they’re just trying to create intrigue / actually they’re not very interesting people so why bother telling us anything about them,’ theories to death and frankly its getting boring. So let’s just move on. Besides we’ve been given names of the two people involved (Alice Fox and Jack St James) and in this video you actually get to see what they look like properly for a while. Isn’t that enough? Otherwise where do we stop? Soon we’ll be wanting to know where they buy their underwear from (we reckon he’s a Calvin Klein sort of guy and she’s a no-fixed brand but always classy undies kind of girl, for the record.)

4. Avec Sans now have four original songs and two remixes available for free download from here, which is very generous indeed. We recommend you grab them all.

5. On a more serious note, Alice posted the following message on the bands Facebook page recently.

Last week my friend Chris, someone I've known since I was a kid, decided to take his life. We grew up together, when we were 11 we held hands in the dark in a cinema for about ten minutes and he was in my first ever band at 14. We were called Seth and Boothroyd and we were bloody awful. We got disqualified from a battle of the bands when our drummer went AWOL.

I've got a sadness I cannot shake. I feel like if he'd just waited out the pain or spoken someone it might have been different.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK. This breaks my heart.

The CALMzone (CALM) is a charity I fervently believe in and last year did some work with to try and get their helplines running round the clock, which they now are.

I suspect a lot of us have been in that place where it's painful just to get through the day. But please try talking to someone; perhaps it's easier to talk to a stranger

Breaking More Waves would like to suggest that you download all of Avec Sans tracks for free and the money that you would have normally paid to own them you donate to The Calmzone, which you can do so by clicking this link.

Avec Sans - Hold On (Video)

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Lanterns On The Lake - Another Tale From Another English Town

Lanterns on the Lake and their songs pretty much encapsulate why we love writing a music blog. Starting with that point of early discovery (in our case back in January 2010) and then following the bands progression, with a number of blog posts, falling deeper and deeper in love with their music. Then an album is released and it fully lives up to expectations (in this case we named Gracious Tide Take Me Home as our 5th favourite of 2011). For us this is what Breaking More Waves and some of its peer group blogs do best; getting behind a band, celebrating them and generating a genuine enthusiasm that motivates others to investigate. It feels so much more natural and organic than websites and magazines that are often led by the PR machine and sales / hits / income streams.

However, we now have to admit to a failure. Last month Lanterns on the Lake returned to the fray with new song Another Tale From Another English Town and we didn’t even make a whimper about it. So much for our undying love. However, today we’re making amends and turning up very late to the party, because ultimately good music lasts for way longer than a ‘must be relevant / got to keep up’ rushed post on a music blog. So even if you’ve heard it before, press play again. “We don’t want to fight, we want the quiet life,” Hazel coos over and over. Oh, it’s gorgeous; both weighty and delicate this song is as close as most of us will get to a languidly sad heaven today.

Another Tale From Another English Town is taken from the band’s 2nd long player Until The Colours Run, which according to the group's website ‘was recorded during a time of financial and personal adversity, and as a result, Until The Colours Run is more soulful and dynamic than its predecessor.’ Lanterns On The Lake embark on a short tour which started yesterday in Southampton with the album being released on 9th September through Bella Union.

Lanterns On The Lake - Another Tale From Another English Town

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Foals - Bad Habit (Video)

We haven’t really talked enough about the third Foals album. Ok, we haven’t really talked about it at all here, but the point is we really should, because it’s a fine record. It finds the band growing in stature and confidence, being a much looser production than previous work, sounding free of any mental chains that may have tied them in the past.

Yesterday the band posted a new video for Bad Habit, one of the songs from Holy Fire. It shows a dishevelled and dehydrated Yannis stumbling through the desert (a Spanish Sahara perhaps?) after a lady who just like the band certainly seems to have loosened herself from any constraints that were holding her back - she's stark naked. We just hope she remembered to put on some high protection sunblock first. 

Foals - Bad Habit (Video)

Monday 17 June 2013

Chlöe Howl - No Strings (Video)

Chlöe Howl is an interesting potential pop-star in waiting, in so far as she has been positioned as a little bit edgy (she swears in her songs) and a little bit cool (the indie blogs like her) and a little bit not-manufactured (she’s been out there, with little fuss, playing the beer sodden toilet venues to small crowds – we caught her in a three quarters empty pub in Guildford on a weekday night, playing to what appeared to be a bunch of friends/ industry types and not many others.)

We’re wondering how long this image will last? We’re suspecting the early adopters perceptions and attitudes may take a bit of a rethink when she attempts to battle it out with the likes of Olly Murs and Jessie J for chart position. Chlöe may have described herself as a 6 on a scale of 1 to Pitchfork in a recent Popjustice interview but we suspect that by the time the album comes out she’ll be more of a 2.75. After all there will probably be a new Bon Iver or Radiohead record to salivate over by then.

But let’s not worry too much about the future, because pop is as much about the here and now as it is the difficult third album (although the speed the internet works these days it’s probably more the difficult third single that needs worrying about than the long term).  So here’s a new video to accompany No Strings, the song that first introduced Chloe to the world last winter. It contains snogging, some bed action and Chlöe wearing a Velvet Underground tee-shirt which we suspect gets her another Pitchfork point or two. 

Chlöe Howl - No Strings (Video)

Wall - Left To Wonder (Video)

Is there something going on here? From the winning performance of Britain’s Got Talent to Laura Welsh’s Cold Front video, it seems that shadows and silhouettes are bang on trend. Next in line is the new(ish) video to Wall’s ditty Left To Wonder, our favourite track from the Shoestring EP. It’s actually been on line for a couple of weeks, but we’d like to add a few more plays to its total count, plus it’s been a quiet 24 hours for great new music, so we thought we’d delve back a little.

Listening to Wall’s music is like the uncomfortable frisson of excitement between two people in separate relationships who realise that, no matter how wrong and how restrained they are being, they want to kiss each other, but they're not sure if the other person thinks the same. It’s the sound of being intimately close and yet still very distant, the moment where the thrill of anticipation physically tingles.

This is the antithesis of stadium rock. It’s music that has a fragile china intimacy that also holds a sadness within.

Wall - Left To Wonder (Video)

Saturday 15 June 2013

Lolo - New Waves

Today we’re introducing a ‘new’ artist called Lolo. Some of the more eagle eyed or eared amongst you may recognise her as Lauren Pritchard, who released an album called Wasted In Jackson in 2010 which had some minor commercial success with its mix of mainstream soul, country and gospel, and included the Ed Harcourt song When The Night Kills The Day which was produced by Marcus Mumford. Before that she also starred in the Broadway version of Spring Awakening where she played Ilse, a runaway outcast kid.

But now Lauren is under a new guise and if anything her debut track as Lolo is brasher, darker and more potent than any of her previous blue eyed soul outings. Big crashing drums and string sounds bring to mind Massive Attack (there seem to be a lot of artists taking reference to Bristol’s finest at the moment) but with a slightly tenser, rockier edge that suits her big Adele-with-grit voice.

We’re not sure if this track is one of those hype-tastemaker-under-the-radar things or a proper single, but either way, it’s a premium piece of big lunged pop.

Footnote: Remember how we talked about a Breaking More Waves L-Club? We're welcoming Lolo as our newest member.

Lolo - Weapon For Saturday

Friday 14 June 2013

Chvrches - Gun (Video)

See above.

It’s the date that The Bones Of What You Believe Is released. Put it in your diary now.

Take the day off.

Crack open the champage.

Dance around in your underwear with it on the stereo.

That's all.

Here’s the new video for Gun.

Chvrches - Gun (Video)

Blissfields 2013 - Preview

Having started as a private party for friends in 2001 Blissfields has gradually developed to become one of the best small festivals in the UK. It has a reputation for booking a very strong undercard of rising bands; from Mystery Jets playing to about 700 people in 2005 before they became an established group, to what now seems an incredible three pronged attack of Super Furry Animals, Laura Marling and this year’s Glastonbury headliners Mumford & Sons all gracing the main stage in one glorious evening in 2009 when the capacity of the festival was still only at 1,250. Last year Blissfields again managed to get in early with the likes of Jake Bugg, recent top 10 hit-maker Passenger, Charli XCX (who played to a handful of people on the main stage as nearly everyone on site attempted to cram into the Bradley bubble second stage to see Charlotte Church) and now chart big guns Bastille who return as the 2013 headliners.

2013 looks like being another big year for emerging talent at the festival with the likes of Breaking More Waves featured and approved artists London Grammar, Chlöe Howl, Josef Salvat and Matt Corby all playing. Added to that is a smattering of old-school festival favourites like Dub Pistols and Zion Train and local acts, many of whom have found their way to Blissfields through local competition heats. One of those is Breaking More Waves home city band Is Bliss, surely the most perfectly named band to play Blissfields?

In addition this year the festival features a brand new cinema stage. Promising a comfortable and chilled atmosphere this will feature a selection of short films specially chosen by the festival from public submissions for those who want a break from the music.

So what makes Blissfields a yearly must return to event? It’s because its charm and appeal runs deeper than just its well curated line up. It may have moved site from Bradley Farm to Vicarage Farm near Winchester and increased its size to 3,000 paying punters, but it has still managed to retain much of the atmosphere of its earlier days by holding onto and valuing its independence and keeping a local all-inclusive character. For example this year at Blissfields there will be a real ale bar selling 10 beverages including 4 local real ales and ciders. There's also a well run kids area run by Angel Gardens that will include all sorts of arts, crafts and a fire show in the evening.

It’s the combination of that atmosphere as well as the artists playing that has resulted in Blissfields 2013 selling out well before it starts, in a year where many festivals are struggling to shift tickets.

Blissfields runs from the 4th to the 6th of July with limited music on the 4th although the campsite stays open till the 7th. Acts playing include Mystery Jets, Bastille, Friends, London Grammar, The Staves, Public Service Broadcasting, Matt Corby, Chlöe Howl, Theme Park, Clean Bandit, Josef Salvat, Blaenavon, Sam Smith, Marika Hackman, Bondax and Arlissa who streams below. You may remember from her debut with Nas called Hard To Love Somebody?

Blissfields may have sold out but if you've missed out on a ticket you can get a flavour of this compact but totally complete festival in the video below. We'll be bringing a full review of Blissfields 2013 in our usual '10 things we learnt' style very shortly after the event.

Arlissa - Ghosts

Blissfields 2012 - (Official Video)

Thursday 13 June 2013

Embers - Part Of The Echoes (Video)

Embers are such a cinematic sounding band that their music was always going to be well suited to a proper visual accompaniment. So here it is, a video for the noise symphony that is Part of the Echoes. There’s fireworks, forests, girls jumping in the air in slow motion with their hair twirling round, lots of water, falling petals, wet t-shirts (not like that!), plus a sexy boy and a sexy girl running, snogging and getting wet together. We’re not sure what it all means, but it feels bloody romantic, joyous and explosive and will make you want to jump into rivers with someone you love. (Note: Before jumping into a river with someone you love please check the depth, that the current is safe to do so and most importantly that your other half can swim.)

Would the video have the same effect if it was backed by say Everything Everything or Union J? Probably not, but that's the point isn't it? It isn't.

Embers - Part of the Echoes (Video)

Emily Burns - New Waves

Today’s new artist has already recorded at Abbey Road and played London’s O2, yet the chances are you’ve not heard of her. So let us introduce you to 18 year-old Emily Burns from Rugby, Warwickshire and if the likes of Nina Nesbitt and Gabrielle Aplin are your thing, then Emily could just be your new favourite singer. There are five songs on Emily’s Soundcloud page and every single one is a big scoop of sugar coated, chocolate sprinkled, hook laden, melodic acoustic pop.

So how has Emily already played the O2? OK, first we should clarify it’s the Indigo 02, not the huge Arena venue next door. How did Emily get there? By entering Live and Unsigned and negotiating her way through the heats to bag a place at the final in London. She didn’t win the competition, but as we all know the best artist never usually does (exception to the rule: Girls Aloud). Since then she’s attended a BBC Introducing masterclass session and following that was given the opportunity to record at Abbey Road. Not bad going for someone who is only just old enough to buy a drink in a pub.

Emily’s songs are typical nuggets of the life of a teenager and of course that means relationships. “Maybe we’re not perfect we’ve got flaws, but I know that I’m always going to be yours,” she sings on the two minute ditty You Make Me Free which subtly reminds us a little of Birds by Kate Nash in its lyrical simplicity and directness, but with the delivery of a female Ed Sheeran . The Sheeran influence continues on Making Time, in fact it wouldn’t surprise us at all if the ginger one co-wrote this, it’s so similar to his style. It’s not all the joys and excitements of never ending teenage love though: “Take me to A&E, they can fix my broken heart,” she sings on the summery sounding pop of Plasters, Glitter and Glue which we're streaming below. Bless her.

Next on Emily’s adventures are some selective festival slots this summer – keep an eye out if you’re at T in the Park or The Secret Garden Party on the smaller stages. Emily will be cropping up there. She'd make a fine way to start your day.

Emily Burns - Plasters, Glitter and Glue

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Kate Nash - OMYGOD (IMOL Remix)

The last time we checked in with Kate Nash back in March was with a post called In Defence Of Kate Nash (Not That She Probably Wants Defending)*, a minor rant about how pop is rapidly becoming a pack of blank beige coloured cards. The next thing we knew the post had found its way onto Kate’s own website My Ignorant Youth. We can only guess that someone in team Nash agreed with our thoughts.

Now here we are again, but no rant, just love, for this sultry remix from IMOL better known as William Bowerman, who has played drums for the likes of La Roux, Marina & The Diamonds, Chew Lips and Summer Camp. The remix retains just the vocal hooks, stripping away the original strutting bass, lo-fi drums and guitars and replacing them with something akin to the musical version of a Mr Whippy ice cream, all smooth, summery and soft. For more tasty treats with The Nash in the UK, Kate has recently just confirmed some new shows for October including one at Shepherds Bush Empire, London. Until then, you know what to do, just press play.

*More pure discussion / defence type posts coming soon, we've been a bit quiet on this front and we have words to say about THINGS, so be warned and watch this space.

Kate Nash - OMYGOD (IMOL Remix)

Public Service Broadcasting - Theme From PSB

The groundswell of love for Public Service Broadcasting (J.Willgoose seen performing in Brighton’s superb Resident Records store above) in the UK has been rather wonderful to watch this year. The reason for it? To use a marketing term – unique selling point. We really can’t think of another group like them.

As somebody on You Tube recently commented “It's like wandering through a forest and finding paradise, but it's a small one that no one else save for a few people know about.” This is true, but paradise is growing. Their use of vocal samples that completely integrate with the music, their quintessential polite Englishness, their emotive and moving live shows that also make you dance and laugh, their ability to sound like a BBC Radio 4 documentary, a rock band and a pop group all at the same time, these are just some of the reasons why Public Service Broadcasting are becoming many UK music aficionados new favourite band.

Theme From Public Service Broadcasting is the new single, taken from the debut album Inform Educate Entertain and is released on 12th August, including on a rather snazzy pink vinyl. It’s probably the only song that you’ll hear all year with a 1958 speech from pioneering American news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, some jerky cartoon rhythms that you can dance to but would never be heard in a nightclub and a banjo that doesn’t give any hint of Mumford & Sons. Really, what’s not to like about that combo? 

Public Service Broadcasting - Theme From PSB

Tuesday 11 June 2013

MØ - Waste Of Time (Video)

One of our highlights of the 2013 Great Escape Festival in Brighton was alt-pop queen in waiting .  Her set in Digital alongside the equally superb Lulu James and Chvrches was filled with so much energy that it wouldn’t surprise us if Duracell or Lucozade were already after a sponsorship deal with her. Coming on like Lykke Li’s younger more petulant sister, MØ’s air punching / pointing, hair flipping, gymnastic strides dancing was infectious, mesmerising and demonstrated (in the same way that Charli XCX manages to do in her live shows) that to be cool / edgy doesn’t mean that you have to stand there looking moody, staring at the floor ignoring the world. It’s possible to be cool and dance your arse off, particularly if the dancing comes across as feeling the music in a natural way rather than some overly thought out routine.

So here’s MØ’s new video for forthcoming single Waste of Time which she revealed, released, unveiled, put up on the internet today. To our way of thinking it doesn’t have enough of MØ in it, but you get a hint of the hair flips and general awesomeness (we hate the word awesome it’s over used, but in this instance, it’s OK to use it) of the way she moves. Oh and then there’s the song. It might not grab you fully on first listen, but go see her live and then suddenly the whole thing is transformed into something that much more.

MØ if you’re or asking, or dancing, we’d like to come along and throw ourselves around on the dance floor with you please. Waste of Time is released through Chess Club / RCA Victor on July 7th.

MØ - Waste of Time (Video)

Laura Welsh - Cold Front (Video)

When we first heard that Simon Cowell had been egg-lobbed by an intruder on the final of last Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent TV show we wondered if the self-confessed Anti-Cowell himself / our blog buddy Andy Von Pip from the Von Pip Musical Express had somehow managed to sneak into ITV’s studio and do the damage. Alas it wasn’t but the good yolking by all accounts overshadowed the Hungarian shadow dancing winners Attraction.

Now it seems that shadows are everywhere (and we don’t mean the Hank Marvin type), or at least here they are in the video for Laura Welsh’s new single Cold Front, which we wrote about and streamed on Breaking More Waves via Soundcloud recently. Now we have a visual version and let's just say there's some top-notch flexibility in it.

Laura Welsh - Cold Front (Video)

Monday 10 June 2013

Elliott Power - Saw [Did]

Damn those mystery artists and their skills to cloak the internet and the mighty Google search from our prying eyes. We can’t blame them though. Take an act like the helmeted robots Daft Punk and their ability to create an incredible aura around Random Access Memories, their fourth proper LP in twenty years. It’s an album that went to number 1 in pretty much every country in the world, including the U.S, where previously their best Billboard position was number 44 with Discovery. Yet despite being hugely commercially successful and massive stars, Thomas and Guy-Manuel could walk down the street of pretty much any town or city and not be recognised. Their anonymity has not only assisted their musical career through the intrigue and enigma that its creates, but has helped protect them from the ridiculous non-private world of celebrity.

Elliott Power has a long way to go to reach the dizzy heights of Daft Punk.  If they’re on the top penthouse floor of the skyscraper he’s not even opened the ground floor lift door yet. Yet apart from revealing his name he’s done well so far in keeping everything else about him under wraps. All we have to focus on is the music. So let’s do that.

Saw [Did] might only be a B-Side (we featured the flip side here in a new waves feature), but it itches the ears with its dark funky bleepy rhythmic insistence and spliffy inner city atmosphere. With the whispered unsettling vocals and funky trip hop beats the name of Tricky is once again the obvious reference point and it’s certainly not a bad comparison point to have, Maxinquaye being (alongside Bjork’s Post, PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love and Radiohead’s The Bends) one of the best albums of 1995 amongst the Britpop splurge. Combine this track with Sink / Swim and this debut single is a vital purchase when it is released on 24th June, even if we don’t know anything about Mr Power.

Elliot Power - Saw [Did]

Glastonbury 2013 - Preview

So far Breaking More Waves coverage of summer festivals for 2013 has centred around multi-venue indoor events, but as the weather gets (hopefully) warmer, it will be time to get the tents, sleeping bags, wellies and sun block out and head off to various fields in the British countryside.

We start with the daddy of them all; Glastonbury, or to give it its full title The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.

It’s the daddy for two very simple reasons. First it’s the most established festival in the UK, having developed from its 1970’s hippy roots to its more mainstream identity that it is now and secondly because of its sheer enormity. If you’ve never been before (newcomers make up approximately 30% of Glastonbury’s yearly population) be prepared to be blown away by its size. The TV coverage you might have seen simply does not prepare you for the reality. To put Glastonbury into perspective, it’s like the whole population of Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth debunking to Worthy Farm for a long weekend. It’s huge. There are over 60 stages within the 8 miles of perimeter fencing that surround the 1,100 acre site.

Every year when the Glastonbury line -up is announced there’s a wave of negativity centred around the acts on the main stage and the headliners. Yet much of this negativity comes from people who have never been to the festival and have no understanding of what makes Glastonbury what it is. To use that well-worn cliché it really isn’t about the headliners. Last time we attended we watched 4 bands on the main stage all weekend. There’s such a plethora of undiscovered delights amongst the nooks, crannies and hills of Glastonbury that you can immerse yourself in, for pretty much as long as you can possibly stay awake. To try and describe all of these areas would require a website of its own (or rather why not just look at the very comprehensive official Glastonbury website), so instead here are just three of our recommendations.

The Crows Nest

Set within The Park area (pictured above) which is like a mini festival within the main festival itself, after a steep and tiring climb you’ll find the Crows Nest; probably our favourite venue at Glastonbury. Occupying one of the highest points on Worthy Farm, this part tipi, park shack gives fantastic views of the site and seems weirdly removed from the rest of the festival. The beauty of the Crows Nest is its intimacy and that the line up isn’t declared in the main program. Past years have seen the likes of Stornoway, I Am Kloot, Summer Camp, Metronomy and Frightened Rabbit play secret sets there. In 2011 we caught both The Bees and Caitlin Rose playing to tiny crowds at this venue. Example was also due to play there but pulled out his team supposedly declaring ‘the venue wasn’t right for him’. Whatever is on there this year is almost bound to be great, but shhhh don't tell anyone OK?

Sensation Seekers Stage

No trip to Glastonbury would be complete without spending a few hours in the theatre and circus fields (watch out for the unexpected walkabout performers as you wander through this area) and if it’s dry it’s lovely to spend time at the Sensation Seekers Stage; it’s the one that is almost guaranteed to have you in stiches. Expect the oddball and eccentric here. For example Glastonbury’s website promises “Dick Pulsing and Shona Norksof our Australian Fitness Gurus share their Morning Glory with you – lots of high-energy thrusts and plenty of jerking around,” and “Scarlet Lady, truly a multi-tasker, and a beautiful one to boot… Shackles, balloons, a whip, a ladder, and fire. Need we say more?” We’re looking forward to the thrusting and shackles. Sounds like fun.

The Pussy Parlour Nouveau

Located within the Dance Village area this venue used to be housed inside a beautiful old wooden spiegeltent with bench seating surrounding the dance floor. For 2013 the Pussy Parlour is having an upgrade into a traditional circular tent with mansion frontage and bespoke décor. Glastonbury promises the venue will be in the style of a lounge bar with a large stage, a bar with seating and tables, and plenty of room for dancing. Of the acts playing here Saturday in particular looks a treat for new music fans, with the likes of London Grammar, Delilah, Laura Mvula and Sam Smith all scheduled to play on that day. Sam Smith first came to many people’s attention with his vocals on Disclosure’s Latch and likewise London Grammar have added their touch to the closing track on Disclosure’s debut album Settle. The track, Help Me Lose My Mind streams below.

If you’ve never been to Glastonbury before, for a full round up of what to take, where to camp, what to see and pretty much every question you would want to know answered we recommend the unofficial site GlastoEarth for further reading.

Our full Glastonbury 2013 review (our seventh time at the festival) will follow after it finishes, although we’re expecting a few recovery days before it goes on line.

Disclosure / London Grammar - Help Me Lose My Mind

Sunday 9 June 2013

Iamamiwhoami - Y (Moby Remix)

After the tease and mystery of the viral video campaign that started in 2009 and ran through 2010, the physical release this week of iamamiwhoami’s Bounty album seems to be a somewhat missed opportunity in more ways than one.

First, although the songs have been available for digital download since they were first placed on You Tube, the very late arrival of the CD / DVD package and vinyl means that the possibility for maximum commercial gain is probably smaller than it would have been if it had been scheduled to be released immediately after the video series was finished.

Secondly having given fans the chance to pre-order the physical versions in advance of release date from the towhomitmayconcern website, the album was further delayed due to production problems. Then when it finally hit letterboxes yesterday morning the DVD included with the album package wasn’t the Bounty videos at all, but those from the Kin record which was already available when purchasing Kin. Let’s be clear about this, the visual side of what iamamiwhoami does is as important as the music, so many fans will be very disappointed with this error.

Towhomitmayconcern posted a statement on their website about the mistake yesterday and hopefully will resolve it soon.

However despite these blunders the good news  is that iamamiwhoami has been and continues to play a series of concerts to promote the release. If these shows achieve anywhere near the levels of adoration from the audience as her flawless, imaginative and stunning debut London gig that Breaking More Waves witnessed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last year, then those in attendance will get an absolute treat.

To help promote the release of Bounty iamamiwhoami has revealed new remixes of the addictive song Y (one of our personal favourites and a cornerstone of Bounty) for free download, one by Joe Goddard and one by Moby. It’s Moby’s that we prefer, which retains much of the original but takes it to higher levels of bewitching brilliance. We’re streaming it below together with the video from back in 2010, which is still as bizarre and marvellous as it was almost 3 years ago.

Iamamiwhoami - Y (Moby Remix)

Iamamiwhoami - Y (Original video)

Saturday 8 June 2013

Pawws - Time To Say Goodbye

“Pretty much our idea of a musical wet dream, sounding like OMD circa Maid of Orleans with Robyn on vocals.” Those were our rather excited words last October about Pawws (real name Lucy Taylor, once again confirming our love of all things female and all things beginning with L as explained yesterday) when we posted two demos Time To Say Goodbye and Do What We Want. Since then there’s been a slow drip feed of love for Pawws online, with the Madonna meets Chvrches in a neon discothèque groover Slow Love making hips wiggle and ears prick up all over the world.

Now the great news is that Pawws pretty pop perfection is becoming a physical reality, with a debut single through ASL records (who have previously released rising stars Josef Salvat and Sivu) on July 8 both digitally and on vinyl. Slow Love is of course making the cut, together with a new shiny version of Time To Say Goodbye, which if you don’t like the OMD / Robyn coupling could be replaced with Depeche Mode and Kylie perhaps? The point here is that these songs are sparkling synth pop gems but with enough depth, quality and memorable melodies to ensure that they’re not just throwaway.

Take a listen to the all new Time To Say Goodbye below and then  get your dancing shoes on and click the link for Slow Love.

Pawws - Time To Say Goodbye

Friday 7 June 2013

Law - New Waves

With some murky electronics, handclap style beats and a voice that sounds like a drugged up Nina Simone or Laura Mvula rocking your earlobes, you are entering the intriguing musical world of Edinburgh based artist Law, real name Lauren Holt.

Law blew up on a number of blogs back in April but we’ve taken a little longer by new music blogger standards to get round to posting about her. It was of course inevitable that Law would eventually make these pages though, because she’s Scottish, she’s making sounds with laptops and most importantly she has a name beginning with L. These are all things that we love and although music is never just a box ticking exercise (emotional connection doesn’t work as simply as that and music is all about connecting with people), hitting a few of the right spots straight away can certainly help. Law now joins the Breaking More Waves L-club that includes Lana Del Rey, Laura Marling, Laura Mvula, Lorde, Lucy Rose, Laurel and even one of our favourite bands of the year Chvrches (OK, not technically an L but they are the masters of bad spelling and they do have a lead singer who is also a Lauren).

Currently there’s just the one song by Law (Hustle) on line, which has hooked us in with its clattering rhythm and unique almost unintelligible vocal, accompanied by a rather odd looking, grainy VHS style video which streams below. If you want to hear more, for the moment you’ll have to catch her live. She’s just starting to play a few shows, and whilst she doesn’t appear to have a Facebook account or website with much information you can connect with her via Twitter.

Law - Hustle

Thursday 6 June 2013

Lorde - Tennis Court

Cast your mind back to the video of one of the best pop songs of 2013; Royals by New Zealand’s Lorde. It ended with a tennis court and a piece of music that seemed to signal the start of another song.

Well that song has now been released to the world and it’s called Tennis Court. See what she did there?

If, like us, you appreciatedliked, absolutely bloody loved Royals, possibly more than your own boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / children, then the chances are you’ll feel the same about Tennis Court. To a certain extent Tennis Court sounds like the sister song to Royals with the same style of vocal delivery, unsmothered production and honest, wide-eyed innocent lyrics. “Pretty soon I’ll be on my first plane. I’ll see the veins of my city, like they do in space,” is the line that grabs us, just because it displays how new to the big wide world Lorde still is as she marks out her place as one of those pop stars that makes us want to be a teenager again.

On repeat. On repeat. On repeat. On repeat. On repeat. Lorde is currently making 95% of other new pop music redundant.

(Also check out her new sparse and beautiful treatment of The Replacements Swingin’ Party here)

Lorde - Tennis Court

Queen of Hearts - Wicked Game

The rules of pop chapter 4.6 state that when musicians change their hair style, sometimes things go badly wrong. The transition from the beautiful long flowing locks to the short crop, or vice versa, can often say so much about what’s going on in the space inside their head. That radical new barnet may well be the precursor to your favourite and respected indie-rock act announcing that their new album will be the progressive jazz record they’ve always really wanted to make.

So what about a change in hair colour? Do the rules apply there? We couldn't find anything in the pop rule book about that.

So, to test them out we invited Breaking More Waves blog crush electronic babe Queen of Hearts to go from dark to blonde and then make some new music.*

The results are now in.

What we get is the sound of Queen of Hearts taking the cold heartbroken stabs of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game and giving the song an icy electronic sound that fits perfectly with the sad and cynical lyrics of not believing in love anymore. It seems that at least in Queen of Hearts case we can throw our hair theories out of the window.

On this basis, when the Queen of Hearts album arrives later this year it’s unlikely to be full of improvisations worked out with a hoary, hairy heavy rock band. It seems that the queen is staying true to the beat of her synth heart.

 *Actually,we didn’t ask her at all, because if we did she’d have probably said no and for the purposes of this experiment we needed to know what’s in her head, not ours and therefore any change in hair colour has to be her own decision.

Queen of Hearts - Wicked Game

Wednesday 5 June 2013

The Night VI - Thinking Of You

We’ve been waiting a very long time for this, but trust us it’s worth it.

Since Sophie-Rose’s first appearance on Breaking More Waves way back in 2010 her musical journey now seems to be reaching some sort of important point on the map. Thinking Of You is the debut single from her band The Night VI. If that name seems vaguely familiar it’s because we featured the group when they were just known as The Night and named them as one of our ones to watch for 2013. Here’s why.

Thinking Of You is an intoxicating song that takes the dreamy  glow of new hype kids on the block London Grammar, adds some guitar work similar to The XX and presses it tenderly together with the classic sounds of Fleetwood Mac. What can we say? It’s preciously seductive.

Thinking Of You is according to Sophie-Rose ‘representing a finite moment – perhaps an hour of your life; you’re missing the person that you love and at the same time hating them for making you feel that way.’ That’s an emotionally raw concept and maybe sounds just a little bit needy and obsessive, but if it helps create songs like this then we’re happy that Sophie-Rose had to feel that way.

The Night VI - Thinking Of You