Thursday 25 February 2021

NEW #15 - Sam Ryder

Today’s artist already has 2.6 million followers on Instagram. His Tik Tok account was named the most popular UK artist account of 2020. Yet his ‘official’ debut single Whirlwind only dropped earlier this week. (A previous song, a cover of  the classic rave track Set You Free by N-Trance was released in 2019 and can still be found on Spotify). 

If I was a betting man I’d be putting money on Sam Ryder flying as high very soon. 

How’s he achieved that online following? Is it because of some past participation in a reality TV show? No. Is he a member of a now defunct high flying boy band? No. (Although he has been in various music projects since 2009 including previous bands such as The Morning After and Close Your Eyes - nope, I'd never heard of them either). Does he have a famous mother or father or slept with someone famous? No. (Or not to my knowledge at least!)

He’s done it because, put quite simply, he’s got it. He seems to be able to turn his hand to any style and nail it. Pop, rock, soul – he can do it all. He has a vocal delivery that is rich and full bodied. He has the personality – take a look at his Instagram (samhairwolfryder) and let him grab you with his enthusiasm and humorous expressions. He has the looks – part Viking, part surfer dude. If he’d been on the X-Factor he would have won hands down. 

Put aside some time because once you’ve watched one of his covers on social media you’ll probably be going for a deep dive as he performs clips of The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Elton John, George Michael, Blondie and many more. 

If you’re a fan of Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Jon Newman, Passenger or Hozier you’ll probably find a lot to like about Sam Ryder. Let's hope he doesn't go back to running a vegan coffee shop (as he was doing not so long ago) in the near future.

You'll find Whirlwind on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist which will be uploaded to Spotify around 13.00pm on Friday 26th Feb. This is just the start.

Sam Ryder - Whirlwind

Sam Ryder - Clip of Bee Gees Cover Stayin' Alive

Wednesday 24 February 2021

NEW #14 - Wallice


Pop music is an odd profession isn’t it?

What other job in the world for example would you promote your product / brand by sitting in the bath (fully clothed or naked / with or without water) and do a photo shoot to promote it?

I could almost understand it if for example it was a plumbing company. But a musician? Yet so many of them do. Have a look on Twitter for #musiciansinthebath for a few examples.

Another odd way that musicians ‘promote’ their work is via the defeatist bio or CV.

“Gloomy rock band.”

“Just another beige indie group.”

“I just write songs.

“Jazz school dropout.”

These are real examples. Frankly they don’t inspire confidence. If this was the first round of shortlisting for an interview I doubt if any of this lot would get through.

But of course, this is rock ‘n’ roll kids – where it pays to be anti-establishment and alternative.

The jazz school droput is the subject of today’s post. She’s called Wallice and she’s based in LA.

With two songs out there on streaming services (although you'll find a bunch of older stuff going back 5 years on Soundcloud - of these songs Call Me By Your Name is particularly lovely) she’s ditched the jazz for pop. I’m not suggesting that she’s making the deathlessly bland super produced pop that sits easily on daytime radio. Instead, based on the 2 most recent songs it seems that Wallice’s music is more lo-fi indie but still packed with mellifluous melodies and hooks – fans of Clairo, beabadoobee or Lauran Hibberd will probably find something they like here.

Debut single Punching Bag is lyrically one of those can’t forget you tunes: “Left my Hydro flask in the back of your car, I'd like to have it back but you live so far? Can I come and grab it later today? Can I stick around? I drove all this way.” 

Second and latest track 23 deals with the aspirations of a young  (but not that young - sorry Wallice youth is over) person approaching their twenty-third birthday and how sometimes life doesn’t quite pan out the way you hoped. Wallice sings about being “terrified of the future, scared that I’ll still be a loser.” Mind you her (laced with cynicism?) aspirations are pretty high: “Maybe I’ll get married soon and buy a house with 3 bedrooms.”

Conclusions to all of this? Wallice may be rubbish at writing a bio, but she’s pretty good at making music.

Wallice - 23 (Video)


 Wallice - Punching Bag

Sunday 21 February 2021

NEW #13 - Amy Montgomery


Today’s new artist channels elements of Bonnie Tyler and Suzi Quatro in her commanding vocal delivery, whilst creating a forceful and raw sound that could have easily come from any decade - except the last one. 

It’s this out of fashion approach that makes Amy Montgomery from Belfast, Northern Ireland stand out. She is definitely not a Billie Eilish copycat and is all the better for it.

Amy describes her music as “alt-rock inspired by experience, nature and search for truth.” Nowhere can that be heard more than on the cathartic lead track from her most recent EP Intangible. This tour-de-force of a tune is about her mother, who committed suicide when Amy was just 16 years old. Yet despite the tragic subject matter Amy makes the song truly uplifting: “I know this sounds like a strange thing, but I think it’s pretty nice that when we’re gone the birds will still sing.” It’s accompanied by a video that, despite being relatively low budget, makes good use of sheets and coloured dry ice to reflect the song in a powerful and compelling way. 

The aforementioned Bonnie Tyler similarities really come out elsewhere on the Intangible EP though. The song Jupiter 4 is a huge ballad which finds Amy’s vocal not just reaching for the skies but pole-vaulting the clouds in rasping glory. It’s huge. Old Photographs is another one – the piano may be soft and restrained but from the off Amy’s vocal kicks butt. It makes the likes of Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine look slight and meek.

Her sound might belong to a musical style that you assumed was long lost. But with live performances where she appears bare footed, adorned in war paint and in flamboyantly bohemian stage-wear, plus the big songs to carry it off, it’s clear that Amy Montgomery has other ideas. Write her off at your peril. 

Amy Montgomery - Intangible (Video)

Tuesday 16 February 2021

NEW #12 - Glüme


Who is Glüme?

I’m not even sure if she is real.

Is she just an internet-born character? Is she ’a séance with Norma Jean starring as Marilyn Monroe hosted by Julee Cruise’ as her biography reads? Is she just a creation of those at label Italians Do It Better? Is she actually an alien? Or perhaps she is just a dream?

Whoever she (or they as Glüme may well be a collaborative project) is, I don’t care. David Bowie, whilst talking about authenticity as an artist described it as being about following a personal vision and inspiration, whilst pushing the boundaries of comfort and normality.  Glüme seems to be doing this. There’s a real vision here all wrapped in the beautiful package we call pop.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, we’re told that Glüme was a child actress and juggled time between training her voice, exploring music and living with a heart condition called Prinzmetal. Later this year she’ll be releasing an album. It’s called The Internet, a title which sits perfectly with her art.

The small number of tracks she has online so far range from electronic cotton wool takes of 1950s US number ones (Come Softly To Me by The Fleetwoods) to retro futurist electronic pop tunes with darkly dystopian sounding intros and a video that features tapdancing and colour aesthetics that the White Stripes would be proud of (Get Low). 

Then there’s the sensuously dreamy Body, her most streamed track to date, which is about her ongoing health issues: “Body is about returning from an episode get with my heart disease and starting to notice each part of my body working again.” 

All of these songs, which are part sung, part spoken merge to create something both otherworldly and unsettling. You can hear it on Don't @ Me, the video of which certainly has some elements of the atmosphere of  director David Lynch. Then there’s a cover of Britney as well, which takes ….Baby One More Time to a new place – first stripped back to just guitars before all the instruments drop out and it’s just Glüme’s voice. 

Glüme is creating hypnotic chemical pop music full of digital invention and artistry. Take a listen below

Glüme - Don't @ Me (Video) 


Glüme - Come Softly To Me (Video)

Sunday 14 February 2021

NEW #11 - Attalie


If you’re craving something with soul, ghostly beauty and elegance then today’s new artist is going to tick all of your boxes.

Attalie might only have just over 1,000 plays of her latest song Homeless on Spotify, but never let the numbers cloud your judgement over the quality of the material.

Taken from her second EP Sigh, the follow up to the Latin influenced Polluted, Homeless is absolutely exquisite. With a voice that floats, despite its heavy depth, Attalie sings of being disconnected: “A stranger at home, have I become?”. It gave me shivers.

There’s a warmth to the musicianship as well; from the soft percussive rhythm that propels the introspective piece forward gently to the sudden surprising sunny stabs of brass, it’s a treat for the ears and one to lose yourself in.

Whilst Attalie might not sound exactly like these artists, Homeless reminds me of the likes of Laura Mvula or Anonhi. There’s the same quality running through her musical blood.

She really deserves more than the pitiful amount of streams she has at the moment.

Attalie - Homeless

Monday 8 February 2021

NEW #10 - Folly Group


They’ve already been touted by the NME as a ‘fired up collective making angsty post-punk anthems’, played Brixton Windmill the south London venue with its own little scene that has pushed bands like Black Country, New Road, Goat Girl and PVA  to the forefront and released two songs last year that twitched with an unflinching velocity.

But it’s their newest release that has particularly grabbed my attention. Released towards the end of January 2021, Fashionista is more refined, less scrappy and frantic than the earlier Butt No Rifle and the jerky spoken verses of  Fewer Closer Friends. Dark synth drones, spiked guitars, and yelped vocals combine here to form something that bears at least a passing resemblance to another bunch of Brixton Windmill graduates; Squid. The vocals are a little exaggerated and camp for sure, but that’s good in these books; it gives the song a stylish art-pop edge, throwing back to 80's new wave. 

It’s bands like this that a year or so ago I would have been expecting to begin cropping up on plenty of support slots and multi-venue festivals in London and further afield – possibly even the one I help book – Dials in Portsmouth. But for now everything remains on pause or is cancelled. Folly Group was due to go out on the road with the aforementioned PVA and Lazarus Kane in January but for the moment the best chance of possibly seeing them live is in Scotland where they are on the bill for Scotland’s Stag & Dagger multi-venue festival in May. However, given the current lockdown there has to be some question if that event can realistically go ahead. 

But for now blast out Fashionista and get to know your favourite new London jerky guitar four piece who aren't afraid to dabble in murky electronics.

Folly Group - Fashionista

Wednesday 3 February 2021

NEW #9 - Blu DeTiger


Today’s new artist is Blu DeTiger. She’s a purveyor of funky-strut-your-stuff pop and yes, she’s built quite an audience on the platform of choice for the early 2020’s – TikTok. Over there you’ll find, alongside her 1 million other followers, videos of her jamming out over pop classics with her bass guitar; Grover Washington Jr and Bill Withers track Just The Two Of Us and Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now as being two such examples.

Hailing from New York City, Blu is a producer, a DJ (she was blagging her way into clubs before she was 18) and has already toured with Caroline Polachek She’s also a former member of the band Kitten.

Of course, blowing up on Tik Tok is no guarantee of any longevity, but the handful of songs Blu has released so far have done pretty well on streaming services. 2020’s Figure It Out is the big one so far with 22 million streams on Spotify and counting; it’s all about a slinky bass line and languid not trying too hard vocal delivery. 

The recently released Vintage (which you can find on the Breaking More Waves weekly playlist until Friday just click here) has, for me, a bigger punch. With its tongue firmly in its cheek it finds Blu singing about how she needs a ‘Vintage Boy’ to be an accessory to compliment her outfit. “He looks so good showing up at karaoke night. He knows all the words to Mr Brightside, he says it’s a joke, but I know it’s honest, it’s so ironic, it’s  iconic, I get off on it,” she sings. 

Whilst Blu sounds modern and fresh, there are plenty of nods to the past, particularly the 70s and 80s. With what sounds suspiciously like a sample from Thomas Dolby’s Hyperactive and some beats that sound like they’ve come off an old Street Sound Electro compilation, Tangerine is once again all about the bass grooves and a certain aloof coolness in the vocals. Mad Love could perhaps be an out take from a Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul album.

If a fusion of funk, pop, electronic and nod along grooves gets you roaring, then take a listen to Blu De Tiger. Her debut EP is out soon.

Blu De Tiger - Vintage