Sunday, 30 November 2014
Emily Burns - Counting Seconds
Back in October we streamed Enemy by Emily Burns, a song that we described as her most assured to date. Scrub that, because she’s just gone one, possibly two, better.
Counting Seconds finds Emily wanting to reconcile a relationship after everything’s gone wrong. “When I’m not mad anymore, and I’m not angry like before, I wonder if you’ve gotten over this too,” she ponders before she hits the subtle but show-stopping chorus. With its quiet layered harmonies, gentle beat and soft keys this ballad of sad desire, of wanting to get back together, is the prettiest thing we’ve heard all week.
Counting Seconds is currently free to download from Emily’s Soundcloud.
Emily Burns - Counting Seconds
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Pris - Do You Wanna Be In My Bland? (Video)
There’s a lot of reasons to love d-i-y punk pop duo Pris, but in particular for their two fingers up at the world f*ck you attitude. Some of their recent targets on Facebook have included Jessie J, Ellie Goulding and Jessie Ware: “Jessie Ware on Later looked like my old boss doing karaoke at a works do,” was one that made us giggle recently. They’re the sort of band that we reckon it would be great to hang out with and go drinking with, except for the fact that we imagine they’d drink us under the table and then leave us tied to a lamp post, possibly naked, for punishment for what we’re pretty sure in their eyes would be some of the ‘bland’ music that we feature on Breaking More Waves.
The good news is that Pris have returned with a new song and accompanying video. Do You Wanna Be In My Bland is all lo-fi gangsta in a d-i-y style, with toy guns, lipstick, tit tape, bikes, cars (an old VW golf) and cigarettes. It reminds us a little of the likes of Shampoo, Fuzzbox, Kenickie, and Bis. It’s kind of shouty but still has plenty of pop sensibility about it.
Right we’re off to listen to a bit of Mumford & Sons and Michael Kiwanuka, we’re sure Pris would appreciate that.
Pris - Do You Wanna Be In My Bland?
DO YOU WANNA BE IN MY BLAND? from pris on Vimeo.
Friday, 28 November 2014
Young Fathers - Soon Come Soon
Young Fathers may have won the Mercury Prize but it seems there isn’t universal acclaim for their LP Dead - it’s been a noticeable absence from quite a few of the end of year lists that have been published so far, which we find rather surprising, being as inventive, raw and absorbing as it is.
Here at Breaking More Waves we’re very much in the thumbs up for Dead school, having first discovered the LP earlier this year when we asked our Twitter followers in Spring what albums they’d been enjoying so far in 2014 and one that got a number of shouts was Dead. It seems our Twitter followers have excellent taste. Young Fathers is also a fascinating live band; their show we saw this year at Glastonbury was one of the most intense performances we've seen for some time.
Now the Scottish three piece have released a new track to the world. According to the band’s label Some Come Soon was formed when they got together “for a wild night in a studio ran by a man called Daddy Kev. Under the influence of surf, skunk and earthquakes they got choral, and so the end of the world became a pop song.” It could quite easily fit on Dead, but is a stand-alone single on its own right due for release on the 1st December.
Young Fathers - Some Come Soon
Coronation Ball - I Feel Fine (Video)
What more could you possibly want on a Friday but a dapper man in a shirt and jacket (the indie equivalent of Theo from Hurts), dancing girls in latex, plenty of colour and shapes and a bloody good pop song?
There is nothing more to be said, except to repeat that we love the seedy line 'out of my head, revolting in bed' which we commented on when we first introduced Coronation Ball here.
Excellent work. Round of applause. Very well done etc, etc, etc.
Coronation Ball - I Feel Fine (Video)
End Of Year Tips - Are We All Bored Of Supporting Artists For The Long Haul?
This has been a week of looking forward hasn’t it? First there was Breaking More Waves own Ones to Watch 2015 posts, then there was announcement of the Brits Critics’ Choice Award nominations (Years & Years, James Bay and George The Poet). Next up will be the BBC Sound Of 2015 List (revealed around midnight on Sunday night / Monday morning) and then the day after that the results of the UK Blog Sound of 2015, which in a similar manner to the BBC list asks UK bloggers to nominate their 3 favourite emerging acts. As one of the organisers of the Blog Sound Poll we’ve already seen the results of that one and whilst we’re not giving anything away yet we’ve been told by the producer of the BBC Sound of List that although there’s a bit of crossover between the two lists, they differ quite a lot. As you’d expect the blog list has come up with a lot more specialist / alternative / underground names than the Sound Of 2015 list.
Whether it’s a tip list from a small blog like this or something much more wider reaching like the BBC’s Sound of list, we’re well aware that one of the dangers of all this crystal ball gazing is that there’s a potential for the lists to compartmentalise music into a window of opportunity; if the artists selected don’t come up with the goods in a particular year then they become expendable. There’s always some new young whippersnappers ready to be thrown up and pushed into the headlights in the next year of lists.
A classic example of this is Azealia Banks; championed by many blogs and end of year lists (not ours though, we weren’t impressed – although we do think 212 was a pretty incredible track) back in 2011, by the time she released her much delayed debut album this year we saw a number of comments on Twitter from those who had previously supported her suggesting that they didn’t even care to even listen to the album now. We think its something to do with those horrible words 'relevance' and 'zeitgeist'.
So whilst we’re excited to see what our Ones to Watch 2015 selections do, it doesn’t mean that we’ll just close and bolt the shutters over that window at the end of the year. Sure, some artists won’t go the distance and will just stop making or releasing music, some won’t impress us as much as we hoped they would, but as Breaking More Waves is a fan blog, not a blog that is or wants to be part of the music industry, we won’t stop listening to an artist just because they are no longer ‘relevant’ or popular. The music industry however does seem to be taking an ever more short term view - if the artist doesn't sell well at the start, they're unlikely to be supported any further.
We think the majority of blogs that aren’t written by music industry insiders or that are heavily connected to the business operate in this way – supporting artists they’re fans of over a sustained period of time, providing the music is good (good of course being a highly subjective word). It explains for example why the band Daughter featured two years on the trot on the Blog Sound of poll – we couldn’t imagine an artist appearing for two successive years on the BBC list.
Only The Lonely, which isn’t a cover of the Roy Orbison classic, is a new track from her forthcoming album No Romeo and will be familiar to anyone who has seen her live recently; it’s a euphoric sounding crowd pleaser, sonically far less dark than some of her previous songs. The album is, after what seems an age, released on January 19th, this song a week before that.
Indiana - Only The Lonely
Ones to Watch 2015 #10 - Elderbrook
Choosing the 10 artists in this year’s Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2015 has been harder than any previous year. We could have quite easily expanded the list to include artists such as Vaults, Raury, All We Are, Shannon Saunders, Soak, Kacy Hill, Claudia Kane, Ibeyi, Rebecca Clements, Sam Sure, Honne, Black Honey, Billie Marten, Shura and Meanwhile. The number of possible choices shows that music is in very good health in terms of emerging talent.
However the final artist we’ve chosen is UK based singer, songwriter, producer and self-taught multi-instrumentalist Elderbrook (real name Alex Kotz), who first cropped up on Breaking More Waves late in 2013 (around a similar time that other choices such as Laura Doggett and Lapsley did) and has subsequently signed with Black Butter records, home of the likes of Rudimental and Clean Bandit.
The reason for our eventual choice is because of the exciting possibilities this artist offers. The small amount of his music published so far has managed to blend elements of dance, hip-hop, folk, electronica and soul in a way that is both exploratory and yet accessible. Some (including ourselves) have referenced Alt-J as a possible reference point with certain songs (although not the ones we're streaming below) but there’s a sense with his work that he really could go in any direction – categorisation here is pointless. What we do know is that the construction of his songs is fascinating, formed as they are from unusual beats and ideas, but those ideas are never over loaded, Elderbrook let’s his songs grow giving them a very organic and natural feel.
Elderbrook’s debut EP Simmer Down was released at the start of the week. What comes next we’ve no idea, but we’re fascinated to see.
Elderbrook - Could (Video)
Elderbrook - How Many Times
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #9 - Chløë Black
Chløë Black picked up a lot of blog attention with her song 27 Club which many people assumed to be her debut tune, although some Google digging we did for an earlier blog post showed that Chløë isn’t a total newcomer, having previously released under the name Chloe Leighton, as well as having the likes of I Would Never Die For You lurking on the internet and a song that took the same name as the most addictive TV series ever; Breaking Bad.
However, it was 27 Club that really grabbed people’s imaginations (including ours) partially because of the voice, but also the subject material (the 27 Club being a term that refers to musicians who died at age 27 from either suicide or alcohol / drug abuse). Comparisons to Amy Winehouse singing a Lana Del Rey track were inevitable. It seems that there’s more good stuff to come from Chløë with co-writes alongside Justin Parker (yep, another Lana reference, he co-wrote Video Games) and Arcade (who helped produce Iggy Azalea’s Fancy) in the bag.
Big voice. Big tunes. Big possibilities for Chløë Black in 2015? We hope so for the lady who tags her music as 'goth and soul'.
Chløë Black - 27 Club (Video)
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #8 - Josef Salvat
Pop music is a funny old beast. Some artists seemingly appear out of nowhere and are immediately everywhere (of course the reality is that they’ve been working at it for a while but just haven’t entered the public arena until they think they’re 100% ready – and that readiness includes getting all the right marketing and promotion tools in place as much as it does having a fully brilliant body of work ready to release) whereas for others there’s a slow drip feed and gradual build of momentum before any sort of significant public recognition is achieved.
Josef Salvat could have easily fitted into the first category, after all he made his first appearance on Breaking More Waves in the first half of 2013and at that stage had already picked up by a number of blogs before us. Yet a year and a half later Salvat still isn’t a household name, far from it, but all the signs are now there that come 2015 there will finally be an album. There’s been a debut EP proper ( In Your Prime) in the later part of 2014, dates supporting one of last year’s Ones To Watch Banks on her short UK tour and his own smaller scale tour next year already booked, so it finally seems things are pushing forward.
Yet irrespective of if Salvat becomes a household name or not, all the signs are there that his album might just be the sort of lyrically intimate but musically euphoric pop to cherish. From the self-destructive lyricism of Hustler (below) to the dramatic and poised Shoot And Run, Salvat appears to know how to write a classy tune.
Josef Salvat - Hustler (Video)
Josef Salvat - Diamonds (Cover)
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #7 - Ryn Weaver
Having gate crashed the internet this summer with OctaHate, Ryn Weaver got a number of music commentators on the world wide web pretty worked up. Why? Because it seemed there was some serious industry backing in the promotion of the song. Benny Blanco, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos and Cashmere Cat produced the track, Charli XCX co-wrote it and the likes of Jessie Ware, Hayley Williams and Tom Krell of How To Dress Well all quickly tweeted about it shortly after it was released. The words “manufactured pop act,” were the words that came to many minds, a concept that here at Breaking More Waves we couldn’t care less about . We’re don’t carry the same mindset as Nottingham singer Jake Bugg, who once told The Sunday Times "Manufactured pop bands, they don't have any heart, they don't have any soul. It's really sad for me, when you work hard at what you do with your guitar, and then you pop the radio on and it's like some weird trumping sound coming out of it.” This of course was said by a man who doesn’t even use his real name to perform under and whose debut album was co-written with a number of hired co-writers, including one who has written Kylie Minogue and Liberty X. Maybe we need to have a conversation about the word manufactured Jake.
Our point is this. In this day and age arguing about the process of manufacturing and authenticity in rock and pop is a bit silly. Pop has always been about collaboration. Even the most ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ band will often use an engineer and / or producer in the studio to help them create the best recorded sound – this in itself is a manufacturing process. What is so inherently bad about collaboration? Any artist that thinks that they have all the talent themselves and don’t need help from others has a very high self-deluded opinion of themselves or really are bloody good. Some are good singers, some good song-writers, some good performers, some good producers. But very few are all of these on their own.
So we come back to Ryn Weaver. Her debut EP was the product of many talents. It was that collaboration that produced a recording of quality pop. But one excellent EP is very different to a brilliant album or a long term career. It’s why Ryn Weaver has to be One to Watch in 2015, can she (and whoever she works with) deliver the goods time and time again? Time will tell.
Ryn Weaver - OctaHate (Video)
Monday, 24 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #6 - The Shires
Most of the acts listed on Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list have already featured on the site at some point over the last year or so, many of them a number of times, the list effectively being a summary of some of the best acts we’ve featured who we think are going to go on to a prosperous 2015 either creatively, commercially or both. A large number of the acts featured were originally introduced under our New Waves feature.
However today’s pick is the exception to the rule. With a debut single titled Nashville Grey Skies it probably doesn’t take much brain power to deduce that The Shires play country music. However, the spelling of grey should also give a big clue to the nationality of this duo. They don’t come from Tenessee or Texas but from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in the UK, hence the name. The Shires music is rooted in the traditional sounds of country, but they give it their own UK twist as they sing of gin and tonic and village greens.
With a groundswell of popularity for country music over the last few years in the UK with acts like First Aid Kit and Caitlin Rose finding sizeable audiences and with Taylor Swift becoming one of the most talked about stars worldwide (albeit now with a move to pop) The Shires could be next in line. This is a band with an ability to connect to trad-country fans with those simple old fashioned virtues of strong songs and an ability to play live. They have a chance of not only finding a loving in audience in their homeland, but in the same way that the UK took black r’n’b and rock n roll music from America in the 50’s and sold it back to the States with its own UK twist, The Shires could do so with country in 2015.
The Shires are Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes and signed to Decca Records early in 2014. They have so far released 2 singles and The Green Note EP, which got to number 1 in the iTunes Country charts. The EP includes a cover of Reef’s Place Your Hands that transforms that beast of a song into a thing of pristine beauty. They won’t be lighting up the blogosphere, getting approval from Zane Lowe, and the so called tastemakers will probably sneer at their ‘uncoolness’, but for those who like country music, aren’t concerned with trends or fashion and just like good songs (Nashville Grey Skies is a real earworm - you've been warned) whatever the genre, keep an ear out for The Shires.
The Shires - Nashville Grey Skies (Video)
The Shires - Young Hearts (Cover)
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #5 - Låpsley
Our fifth one to watch for 2015 is another artist who, like earlier choice Laura Doggett, first appeared on Breaking More Waves at the back end of 2013 with a song that still stops us in our tracks; the calm perfection of Station. At the time we posted Station it had just a few hundred plays. Now it has over half a million.
When Station was uploaded to Soundcloud, sailing enthusiast Holly Lapsley Fletcher was just a d-i-y artist recording at home on GarageBand . Very few people could have had any idea that this song was part of the beginning of a journey that would, over the course of the next 12 months, lead her to play Glastonbury Festival on the BBC Introducing stage as her second ever electronic gig and sign with XL Records, the home of diverse artists such as Adele, FKA Twigs and Jungle.
Låpsley has grown from making songs created from simple acoustic guitar loops to beautifully crafted pieces that encompass downtempo electronica, ambient and on Falling Short, a song about the complexities of relationships and not being able to hold on, elements of jazz and soul but all played with a very modern experimental edge.
Her debut EP Understudy is being released on January 5th next year. Her journey is only just beginning and for that reason she has to be one to watch for 2015. What roads will she take next and where will they lead?
Låpsley - Station (Video)
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #4 - Coasts
In a Ones to Watch 2015 list that this year focuses heavily on solo artists, Bristol born five piece Coasts are the first (and only) indie rock band to be listed. Having formed in 2011 Coasts have been on a gradual upward trajectory due to their ability to deliver hooky anthems that sit very comfortably in the collections of those who own records by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Saint Raymond, Sons & Lovers and Foals. Songs such as Oceans (4,000,000+ plays on Soundcloud and counting) and A Rush Of Blood have become not only firm internet favourites, but the band have developed a decent live following as well. Next year they’ve already been confirmed for SXSW in Austin, Texas and with their big sound we can easily imagine Coasts being adored at 2015’s UK summer festivals. Their debut album is scheduled for 2015 and let's face it, as a blog called Breaking More Waves, based by the sea, we had to include a band called Coasts on this list didn't we?
Coasts - A Rush Of Blood (Video)
Coasts - Lions
Friday, 21 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #3 - Rag 'n' Bone Man
If there’s a common theme connecting a number of our Ones to Watch for 2015 it’s one simple thing – great voices. Here’s another one. Brighton’s Rory Graham, who goes by the name of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man has a voice that gets you inside. Richly soulful and gutsy it’s already led us to proclaim his 2014 EP Wolves as the best free to download recording of the year. Whilst evidently seeping himself in blues influences from the past his music is no simple revivalist project; listening to Wolves and previous releases Put That Soul On Me and Bluestown you’ll hear hip hop, funk, pop, gospel and even some wild-west styled country ballads. Rag ‘n’ Bone man can do all of this, because he has the tonsils and lungs to deliver.
Having already featured a couple of times on Breaking More Waves in October Rag ‘n’ Bone Man recently told Hunger website that he’s been “sitting in a room in South London with no windows making music with my pals, drinking loads of coffee and smoking cigarettes.” He’s also starting to get out a bit though, supporting Kate Tempest and playing a number of headline shows this month, one of which in his home city of Brighton had to be upgraded due to demand for tickets.
On the basis of what we’ve heard and seen so far we’re convinced that given the right exposure Rag ‘n’ Bone man could well be finding himself with an army of fans before 2015 is out, but even if he doesn’t, if future releases match up to his recorded work so far he has to be one to listen (and therefore watch out for) in 2015.
Rag 'N' Bone Man - Guilty
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #2 - Seinabo Sey
Swedish soul pop singer and self-confessed Beyoncé fan-girl Seinabo Sey shares a number of similarities with Laura Doggett, our first One to Watch for 2015. Both artists have incredible moving voices – deep, powerful and reminiscent of many classic artists of the past and both appeared recently on the same episode of Later With Jools. Laura even tweeted her love of Seinabo after the show. Each artist has also been around for a while, but has only really begun to grow in stature in the UK in 2014 - Sey’s song Younger had already been a Top 20 hit in Sweden in 2013. However, it’s 2015 where we might find the 24-year old artist who has spent part of her life in her father’s home of Gambia, becoming a household name worldwide.
Reports from her recent show at the Basement of the Edition Hotel in London (a show which found Frank Ocean in attendance and James Blake DJing) suggest that live Sey’s voice is able to win over even the hardest cynic.
We’re wondering how long it will be before this Beyoncé fan-girl has Beyoncé as a fan. If she continues to deliver the songs in 2015, it can’t be long. We're naming Seinabo as One to Watch because we think she might just grab commercial success and she's brilliant as well.
Seinabo Sey - Rather Be (Cover) (Video)
Seinabo Sey - Younger
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Ones to Watch 2015 #1 - Laura Doggett
We open our Ones to Watch for 2015 with an artist that almost sneaked in on last year’s list. Laura Doggett’s name and music has been floating around for a few years now with a past place on the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition longlist (her selection was by the now defunct Illegal Tender blog) and being a finalist of the Next Brit Thing, a national music competition for 11-19 year olds backed by the UK music industry, The BRIT Awards and the government. Her first appearance on Breaking More Waves was under our ‘New Waves’ introducing feature in December 2013.
However, it wasn’t until July 2014 that music blogs really started to take notice of Laura when the Sohn produced Phoenix hit the internet, a track which we described as ‘astonishingly good.’ Whilst Phoenix is full of edgy minimalistic beats and looped effects we suspect as time pans out and Laura releases more material we’ll find her songs sit far more in the genre of classic singer songwriter than edgy leftfield pop. She’s already cited the likes of Tracy Chapman and Annie Lennox as artists that she admires and this gives us a hint of what may be forthcoming. Her voice, which has a tone deep from the heart, sits well alongside those reference points. Her live gigs, which have included supports with Sohn himself as well as John Newman have demonstrated how well her voice stands up to scrutiny.
Laura has a debut LP scheduled for May 2015 and plays a very special show by candlelight at the intimate oak chambers of the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in January. Many more shows are sure to follow.
In an age when thanks to Simon Cowell the words Britain’s Got Talent can mean very little, Laura Doggett is reclaiming them back from his grasp. It’s because of this talent that we’re naming Laura as our first of ten ones to watch in 2015.
Laura Doggett - Phoenix (Video)
Laura Doggett - Moonshine (Jakwob Remix)
Ones to Watch 2015
Over the next 10 days we’ll be publishing Breaking More Waves 10 Ones to Watch for 2015.
Of the artists chosen, the vast majority will be of no surprise to regular readers. This list is effectively a summary of many of the emerging music makers that we’ve featured on previous Breaking More Waves posts in the last year or so who we are taking guess on as worth keeping an ear and eye out for in 2015, although not necessarily because all of these artists will become big commercial hitters (although we hope that some of them do). There will however be one artist that we’ve not yet featured to date, just to keep you on your toes.
We've been asked by a number of people this year why do we publish this list so early? After all it’s still only November. 2015 is still a distance away. So this post provides an explanation of why:
1. Other Polls - Particularly The Blog Sound Poll
Over the December and January period there will no doubt be many Ones to Watch / Sound of type features cropping up on websites, blogs and the in media in general including of course the much debated BBC Sound of 2015 poll and the lesser known Blog Sound of Poll. As one of the organisers of the Blog Sound Poll we get to see every vote that is submitted by participating bloggers. Therefore we could be influenced by those votes in publishing our list and we very much want to make this list our own. So we write our list and the associated posts in October before the Blog Sound Poll voting starts, publishing in November around the time the voting nears completion.
2. Music Blogging Sometimes Has To Take A Back Seat
During late November / early December, with the exception of a small handful of posts, we take a few weeks off from writing the blog for personal reasons. Whilst we’ve got our blogging feet up (don’t worry – we’re very busy elsewhere, we’re not just lounging around eating mince pies, smoking a pipe and drinking fine sherry - there's a day job, family and friends to think about) the blog itself remains active, publishing first our Ones To Watch and then Albums of 2014 posts, one a day. They're all pre-written. We have to start publishing in November to fit it all in. Sure we could just do one post and do one big list, but we like the idea of a drip feed - something for regular readers to catch up on for a few minutes each day.
3. Signing Off A Year With A Bunch Of Lists Feels Good - A Sense Of Achievement
We could really publish a Ones To Watch post at any point in the year, looking forward to the next twelve months, but as we get close to the closedown of one year and start of another it feels nice to bookmark that time with these lists and enables us to take the time off described.
It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to publish this list every year around this time and go early with it. Want to see who we selected previously? There’s been a fair few big hitters, including the likes of Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Marina & The Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches, Haim, James Blake, Lana Del Rey, Charli XCX and James Blake. Anyone remember Visions of Trees or Yes Giantess though? The full lists are below.
We’ll be publishing our first one to watch for 2015 at 9.30am today and then one will follow every day at 8.30am GMT until all ten have been published. The one rule for this year is that every artist must not have had a UK top 40 hit single before the list is published.
The Previous Ones To Watch Lists In Full
Ones to Watch 2009 (10 artists)
La Roux, Little Boots, Passion Pit, Yes Giantess, White Lies, Skint & Demoralised, Alessi’s Ark, Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Marina & The Diamonds
Ones to Watch 2010 (10 artists)
Ellie Goulding, Hurts, Beth Jeans Houghton, Unicorn Kid, Delphic, Clare Maguire, Stornoway, Mirrors, Holly Miranda, Clock Opera
Ones to Watch 2011 (10 artists)
Clare Maguire (2nd nomination after failing to release anything in 2010), James Blake, Misty Miller, The Vaccines, Starsmith, Let’s Buy Happiness, The Milk, D/R/U/G/S, Visions Of Trees, Spark
Ones to Watch 2012 (15 artists)
Lucy Rose, Spector, Alabama Shakes, Foxes, Dot Rotten, Lianne La Havas, Lana Del Rey, Willy Moon, Michael Kiwanuka, Queen Of Hearts, The Staves, Ren Harvieu, Outfit, Charli XCX, Rachel Sermanni
Ones to Watch 2013 (15 artists)
Chvrches, Haim, Gabrielle Aplin, Savages, Chasing Grace, Tom Odell, Sons & Lovers, Avec Sans, Laura Mvula, Curxes, Matt Corby, The Night VI, Luke Sital-Singh, Valerie June, Alice Jemima
Ones to Watch 2014 (10 artists)
Wolf Alice, Chloe Howl, Sophie Jamieson, Jungle, Flyte, Mononoke, George Ezra, Banks, Eva Stone, Iyes
Stay tuned as we publish one post a day for the next 10 days, including at the weekend.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Fickle Friends - For You (Video)
Tomorrow Breaking More Waves starts its annual Ones to Watch for 2015 posts. 10 artists who we think have a good chance of having an even better year next year than they did last year.
Before we get there, there’s just time for one more quick post featuring Fickle Friends, a band who have had a fairly impressive 2014, becoming firm favourites on many a blog from the moment they released Swim (remember that ?– here’s our post from January 2nd). What 2015 has in store for the Brighton five-piece we have no idea, but for now let’s revisit For You, a song that when we streamed it on Soundcloud in September we described as ‘the musical version of putting your chin up.’ Why the revisit? Because it now has a video.
The film basically has some people walking around a bit, the band doing some staring and looking generally thoughtful, some more walking around and a quarry. We’re probably not really selling it with that description are we?
Maybe if we told you that Fickle Friends spend the whole piece doing Britney Spears style shoulder roll-head roll-shoulder roll-groin thrust dance routines in their swim wear whilst someone jets pink champagne all over them would it make you watch it?
Look, just watch it OK? It’s a quality indie pop song and the video is sweet. OK?
Fickle Friends - For You (Video)
Robyn Sherwell - Islander
Here at Breaking More Waves we share a couple of things in common with Robyn Sherwell. First the Robyn / Robin connection. A quality name if ever there was one. Second, we’re both islanders. Breaking More Waves is based in Portsmouth, which with the exception of a couple of road connections is an island itself, but also our early childhood was spent on the Isle of Wight. Robyn comes from Guernsey and she’s turned to that Channel Island home of her youth for this new song.
The operative word here is wild, for not only is the music wildly different from the smooth velvety tunes she’s released so far, but its sonics are wilder. Islander is a tribal, drum heavy pop-pounder that we imagine people going a little bit crazy to around a big fire on the beach by the ocean. It’s time to bang to the beat of Robyn Sherwell’s drum.
Robyn Sherwell - Islander
Monday, 17 November 2014
Giorgio Moroder - 74 Is The New 24
“My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me Giorgio.”
Oh gosh. We’d better have a little sit down. Giorgio by Moroder from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was fantastic enough, but now things just got a whole lot better and a whole lot bigger. The king of the disco synth is returning properly with a new album.
If you’ve spent any time on Breaking More Waves you’ll probably have seen Moroder’s name crop up multiple times in reference points; recent examples include Indiana and Salt Ashes. Today no reference is required – he returns. Not only is he back with a belting piece of robot disco called 74 Is The New 24 that gives both Daft Punk and Kraftwerk a run for their money but there’s an album to follow next year that includes the likes of Charli XCX! Britney! Kylie! Foxes! It really as if we’re living together in electric dreams.
Giorgio Moroder - 74 Is The New 24
Kassassin Street - Centre Straight Atom (Video)
Some bands who sell out London’s Shepherds Bush Empire, a venue which holds 2,000 people struggle to sell out the 400 capacity Wedgewood Rooms when they come to play in Portsmouth on the south coast of the UK. Why do we tell you this? Because Kassassin Street, arguably Portsmouth’s finest band by some distance, have managed to pack 'The Wedge' as its affectionately known with relative ease. It’s not just that one show though; tickets for their gig at the 250 capacity Rifle Club last weekend flew out the door, selling out way in advance. If this was London, A&R men and women would be flocking to get a piece of the action. Mind you aren’t blogs the new A&R? Er….no. But if they were, then they’d be doing a better job than the real thing in this case, with a number of sites picking up on the band’s new accelerating electro-disco-rock single Centre Straight Atom, a tune which wouldn’t have sounded entirely out of place on Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR and certainly would be quite at home in big halls or arenas.
However, Portsmouth isn’t London, it’s miniature by comparison, (to the point where its seaside area of Southsea even has its own model village) so it seems weirdly appropriate that the new video for single Centre Straight Atom is shot entirely with miniatures. Expect plastic houses burning to the ground and creepy figures in the dark.
Kassassin Street - Centre Straight Atom
Friday, 14 November 2014
Little Boots - Taste It (Video)
We previously posted about how we’d quite like it if Victoria Hesketh, for the promotion of her next album, would get out on the road a little and play a few shows, particularly in Portsmouth or Brighton on the south coast near us, even offering to cook her tea for her or put her up for the night to keep her tour costs down. However, having seen this new video for Taste It we might need to revoke that suggestion. After all if Victoria enjoys a nice glass of red wine (made from blood) or a human foot burger, we’re not really sure if we’d be the right person to cook for her. Pink champagne with an extra pinky anyone? No we thought not.
The video was directed by Ish Sahotay. "Whether it's vanity, money, success, escapism, body image, or more abstract notions, Taste It is about that feeling of always wanting more even if we know it's bad for us,” Little Boots says of the video.
No models were harmed in the making of this colourful Generation Game styled conveyor belt video you'll be pleased to hear.
And one final thought - anyone remember the New In Town video? It seemed very awkward didn't it? This, despite the cannibalism doesn't.
Little Booots - Taste It (Video)
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Day Wave - New Waves
A short schooling in indie pop from Breaking More Waves:
Mathematics and Science
Here’s today’s formula:
(Carousel x 0.5)+(The Strokes + The Drums x Lo-Fi ) = Day Wave
From Oakland, California
Soundcloud on the World Wide Web
Premiered Wednesday 12th November 2014
The lyric “What am I good for, somebody tell me, I don’t know any more,” says a lot about the self-doubt and desperation within the character’s mind, after all he’s singing this to the world web.
Listen to this song and if you like it go to Hype Machine and click on the love heart (here).
Day Wave - Nothing At All
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Chløë Black - 27 Club (Video)
A few weeks ago a lot of new music bloggers (including us) got quite excited about Chløë Black and her song 27 Club, a tune (and what a tune) that sounded like something off Lana Del Rey’s first album sung by Amy Winehouse on a really good day.
Of course, like what seems pretty much virtually every other ‘new’ person in pop these days Chløë’s actually been at it for a while (a quick bit of Google digging finds at least two other past songs and a whole bunch of stuff on You Tube recorded under her previous name) but none of it is of the class of 27 Club which most sites are calling her debut.
Now there’s a video, which people are just dying to see (groan). Apparently it was filmed in the dead centre of town (groan x2). Apologies for all the grave jokes (OK, we’ll shut up now). It features Chløë and a bunch of dead popstars (obviously a huge budget was used to recreate these popstar ghosts in the most realistic form possible) having a bit of a party round the graves; if you’ve ever been to visit Jim Morrison’s resting place you’ll probably understand the atmosphere that Chløë was trying to create here.
Chløë Black - 27 Club (Video)
The Unthanks - Mount The Air
It gives us great pleasure today to feature a new song from a band that we’ve only featured a tiny handful of times on the blog, who certainly don’t fit in with much of the poppier side of the music spectrum that we seem to spend a lot of time getting excited and writing about, or indeed the next big thing culture that music blogging almost inevitably leads to. They are without a shadow of doubt one of our favourite bands of the last ten years; the only band to make us shed a tear twice at their shows, the only band that every time we’ve seen them (and it’s in to double figures now) have offered something different every single gig.
This is The Unthanks and this is their new song Mount The Air.
Released on their own label RabbleRouser, despite offers from major labels, Mount The Air is the title track from the band’s new LP due for release next year, although the single version is half the length of the full ten minute version that will be found on the long-player. Recorded in old granary building that has become their own makeshift studio it is the first studio release from the band since their 2011 LP Last which we named as our favourite LP of the year (see why here), a record that we described as having a real purity to it that we haven’t heard on any other record that year.
Mount The Air finds The Unthanks taking bold steps forward, exploring new territories, seemingly not content to just be seen as folk band. The song, which was written by Adrian McNully (husband of Rachel Unthank) with some lyrics by Rachel’s sister Becky, features trumpet courtesy of Tom Arthurs, a former BBC New Generation Artist and Elysian Quartet collaborator. The instrumentation gives the song an initially wintery feel before it develops into something loose and jazzy. It’s The Unthanks at their most free sounding. Then just when you think you’ve got the picture it heads further skywards as if the band have been listening to the more uplifting moments of Elbow. We can’t wait to hear it on their UK tour next year, we’ve got a feeling we’re going to blub again. The Unthanks just ooze real quality.
The Unthanks - Mount The Air
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Her Habits - New Waves
It's not often you come across a new act who provide a visual supplement to the music for you to download with their first track, but that’s exactly what Her Habits, a duo consisting of Joanie Wolkoff and Sanford Livingstone from Brooklyn, have done. “Illustrations of women’s tendencies gathered from a broad spectrum of observers. Some of the accounts were given in infuriation, others in adoration and even more in bewilderment,” is how the introduction to the document describes itself. So we get the woman who dances best alone in her bedroom, the woman who adjusts her hair when she knows you’re watching her and the woman who will not part ways with childhood favourites amongst others. You can download it here.
Then there’s the music, just one song so far, which we found thanks to Indie Shuffle. Slip Away is an airy and floaty blend of electronic pop with a soft focus ambience. It should come wrapped in cotton wool or clouds. It’s not Joanie’s first effort though having created music previously as Safra Nikoto and in the duo Foxe Basin with the suspiciously named Kent Rockafeller, who according to Indie Shuffle is actually Sanford as well. But Her Habits marks a new style of music for the pair. If you’re in the mood for something light and chilled to drift away to, this will do nicely.
You can download Slip Away for free from Soundcloud.
Her Habits - Drift Away
George Maple - Vacant Space
As we’ve suggested before, if Australian singer George Maple’s music career doesn’t work out we think she has the perfect made up name to head up a waffle / cake and sweet manufacturing company. Mr Kipling your time is up.
Mind you we can’t imagine the roles being swapped with Mr Kipling singing “It’s better with the lights off, it’s better when you slow down, it’s better when I stop thinking about this. Maybe I’ll put my hair up, maybe I’ll close my eyes, maybe we can find some mutual ground,” as the opening lines to a tune before things start pumping rhythmically. Then the big question arises. Are you faking it like her? Yes, the subject may be sex, but the reality is that this is a desperately sad piece of music about two people who are no longer suited to each other. Who said that dance tunes were all about partying and putting your hands in the air? There is another side.
Vacant Space is taken from an EP of the same name due out on Future Classic on 1st Dec. According to George’s Facebook Flume helped out with the beats on this one. There's a troubled beauty in the emptiness of Vacant Space.
George Maple - Vacant Space
Monday, 10 November 2014
Broods - L.A.F (Video)
It seems like at the moment you’re not allowed to write anything about music without somehow shoe horning Taylor Swift in to the conversation, so we’ll just jump right on that bandwagon and add our two pence worth. Here we go: (Hold on we’ll get to Broods)
Taylor Swift’s album 1989 is a very good pop album. The best way we can describe it is well-crafted, at worst it’s formulaic. It’s got at least 7 or 8 potential singles on it, maybe 9 at a push and even the filler is nearly all way better than most. It’s almost as if Taylor has been listening to every hit commercial pop single by the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna and the like plus quite a lot of the pop that is sometimes commercial and sometimes isn’t such as Chvrches, Robyn, MØ and Femme, as well as quite a lot of older pop that was commercially successful then but isn’t often celebrated these days such as Toni Basil and Debbie Gibson. Why do we mention this in connection to New Zealand’s Broods? Because as much as we’re enjoying Taylor’s album and it will probably find a place in our end of year lists, we’re enjoying another pop album, that of Broods, even more.
From that album Evergreen comes L.A.F and a new video. We assume L.A.F doesn’t in this case stand for liquid ass fire as urban dictionary suggests. This one starts a bit lusty (“kissing in the hallway, turn off the lights”) but then seems to turn into some zombie-movie inspired vision (“blood hits the pavement from your eyes”). Best of all however are the parts where Georgia sings “but I’ve got you,” or specifically the “you” part of the song. You’ll see what we mean when you hear it. Georgia wins the award for best singing of the word ‘you’ in a pop song in 2014.
Other points to note – there’s some marvellous orange squeezing in this video, Innocent Smoothies and the like would not be happy with that waste. There’s also plenty of neon.
What does the video all mean? No idea, but we’re pretty sure if Taylor Swift had made it there would already be a thousand think pieces on line about it.
Broods - L.A.F (Video)
Sophie Jamieson - Take
Life is a bit shite sometimes isn’t it? Particularly when it comes to relationships. Sometimes you think that you mean the world to someone and then somewhere further down the line you’re kicked into touch. With these thoughts we’re pleased to welcome back to the fray Sophie Jamieson, who we definitely haven’t ditched, with a new song called Take.
Take is the last bitter and desperate plea not to be cast aside. “Surely you could keep me,” Sophie sings with a mournful and deep intensity. She explains the song further here: “It explores the irrational, angry unacceptance of realising your insignificance. Beneath the unacceptance is an awareness of giving in at last. The pleas are in vain and melodramatic. The song is all the hurt that has bottled up, being released fully and finally and aggressively.”
To match these themes, the music matches the what-about-me sadness, with the thud of the drums and chiming guitars driving home a melancholic atmosphere.
Enjoying others bitterness or sadness is not a particularly nice thing to do, but in this case we think it’s OK to at least immerse yourself in the song and get something out of it.
Take is released on the 8th December.
Sophie Jamieson - Take
Vaults - Poison
Poison, the stirring new song from Vaults is an odd one. On one hand its weighty drums and synthy doom laden sound could be ready to file under the ‘mildly depressing’ label and yet even when Blythe is singing about letting her poison your heart it manages to sound majestically uplifting. We get the same feeling from records such as The Cure’s Disintegration or Daughter’s If You Leave. There’s a lot to be said for wallowing in music sometimes rather than skipping lightly over the dance floor with a big cheesy smile on your face.
Poison is taken from the Vultures EP which is released on 1st December. The band play a few shows in the UK this month prior to its release.
Vaults - Poison
Sunday, 9 November 2014
BenZel - Touch featuring Ryn Weaver
Having previously collaborated with Chance The Rapper as well as Jessie Ware now New York via Osaka duo BenZel deliver a new tune with rising pop lady Ryn Weaver, taken from their EP Men. The EP also includes a track featuring Cashmere Cat. This one was pushed out a couple of days ago and has already found itself whirring around the blogosphere like a tornado. It’s one of those productions that the cool kids would probably say was ‘siiiiiiiiick’ but we have a problem comparing music to vomit, so instead we’ll say that it’s a big glossy modern in your face production with lots of electronic stabs and cartoonish samples, with Ryn’s vocal giving it a softer edge.
Benzel - Touch ft Ryn Weaver
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Meanwhile - Icarus
We’re big fans of musical family trees at Breaking More Waves, trying to piece together who’s been in what band or helped out with a particular project that then branched into something else. Thanks to Google, mapping out the limbs of the tree has become a lot easier than it did in the olden days and whilst we’re not fully clear on all the links right now, the flamboyantly groovy dude Tom Andrews, who goes by the name of Meanwhile, certainly has a musical past. Before you listen to Icarus below put your ears around Millions by Evryone (here) and you’ll probably see the development.
Icarus is the second track to be taken from the debut EP Element Yes and is all about the flab-free guitar groove that struts and thrusts its funky way across the dancefloors as if Prince, mid 80’s Bowie and Mika had all got together to give us a secret choppy pop thrill. OK that’s a pretty high level of comparison but it gives you a pointer. We’re not sure if there’s a meaning to the song, but for those who don’t know their greek mythology, Icarus flew too close to the sun and it seems that Andrews is referring to himself as Icarus, possibly in connection with his previous musical project?
The Element Yes EP is out in December. We’ll be catching Meanwhile live for the second time in 7 days – keep an eye on our twitter (here) for updates on that.
Icarus - Meanwhile
Friday, 7 November 2014
Elderbrook - Could (Video)
Last month we streamed Could, a track from Elderbrook’s debut EP and today we’re revisiting that song because of this new video. Fusing music and visuals with striking results New York based artist Lauren Gregory has created a piece that combines oil paintings of Elderbrook with stop animation. The results are deserving of far more than a You Tube video viewed on a mobile phone or computer; somebody get this one in a gallery please.
Could is taken from Elderbrook’s debut EP due on the 24th November through Black Butter. We wrote about the music here.
Elderbrook - Could (Video)
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Laurel - Memorials
We’ve always had a soft spot for Laurel, partially because she’s (relatively) local to Breaking More Waves, partially because we gave her her first bit of Hype Machine blog exposure through the song Next Time, but mainly because everything she’s done since then has connected with us in some way. It’s got to that point where we’re actually a bit nervous when we press play on a new Laurel song just in case she’s made a stinker this time round.
As far as new song Memorials is concerned, there’s no whiff of mediocrity. Memorials finds Laurel taking her music to a subtler, deeper place. Without wishing or meaning to be patronising the word 'maturity' springs to mind. Prepare yourself for downtempo beats, pulsing electronics that glide in and out of the soundscape and Laurel singing with steely unhurried emotion: “He don’t, he don’t believe me and my young soul is sold to his heart.” It takes her away from those British Lana Del Rey comparisons that keep getting thrown at her and gives Laurel more scope as just being, well…. Laurel. Immerse yourself in this piece of dark addictive pop.
Memorials is taken from a forthcoming EP released in December.
Laurel - Memorials
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Little Boots - Taste It
For those who have dismissed Little Boots for sounding a little too retro-synth (LP1) or 90's dance influenced (LP2) think again. For new tune Taste It, from a forthcoming EP Business Pleasure, (we’re liking the pin striped power dressing going on here in the press shot to accompany the EP’s title) is a decidedly modern beats and bass led track, that if it had been released by Grimes (at a push we'd say there’s a bit of a similarity in some of the background ‘ahhh-ahhh’ vocal delivery) would have quite possibly had the internet salivating like a rabid dog.
However, Little Boots is in arguably a much better place now, with less heavy expectation and hype placed on her shoulders and much more control of her output. The disappointing thing about the fact that she’s no longer the slave of a major record label is that there's less chance of a full Little Boots UK tour, but we live in hope. Come on Victoria, a Portsmouth or Brighton show would be lovely, you could even come to our house for tea if you’re a bit skint and hungry. In the meantime we’ll happily settle for you singing food similes rather than eating the stuff: “Can you taste it on your lips like liquorice? Do want some more so bittersweet?” It sounds like whoever she's singing about might be going back for more....
Little Boots - Taste It
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