Sunday 23 January 2022

NEW #42 Abby Roberts


If, like me,you can be a bit of a music snob when you read of the latest Tik Tok / Instagram / You Tube ‘influencer’ who has decided to have a go at pop music then it’s very easy to choke on your own spew of cynicism. 

That’s certainly how I felt when I first learnt that Abby Roberts was releasing music. Yes, that Abby Roberts. The make-up / transformation artist who has 17.4 million followers on Tik Tok. Of course, there’s a reason why she has so many followers; what she does on social media is extremely creative and way above the norm. However, that doesn’t mean that a transition to another art form will automatically be as brilliant. Then there's the matter of having the luxury of a huge following on a number of platforms being seen as an unfair advantage over other new musicians.

But that distrust and jaded negativity got thrown in the bin as soon as I heard Abby’s debut song Paramaniac. It’s a delightful swirling, chiming indie guitar piece with airy vocals that remind me of Beabadoobee, Clairo and many late 80’s / early 90’s indie rock bands. As you would expect from someone who has grown up in the public gaze on social media the song is very self-aware: “I wish strangers liked me more, social media’s a bore, might be best if I just quit, does that make me a hypocrite?” she sings at one point. It reminds me a little lyrically of the likes of Baby Queen and Wallice, both whom have featured on Breaking More Waves. However, despite those reference points it also stands alone. After hearing it once I played it at least ten times non-stop it’s that good.

There’s a full EP on the way as well, with Abby not shying away from dealing with her life and the filtered fa├žade of what she does on line, together with the personal struggles and pressures that her job brings. If it’s anything as wonderful as Paramaniac then the switch to music can only be applauded; this is a superb start.

Abby Roberts - Paramaniac

Friday 21 January 2022

NEW #41 Amelia Moore


Today there’s a new addition to the Breaking More Waves NEW list; Amelia Moore. She’s an artist that makes the sort of edgy pop that sounds like the future, only in the here and now. 

If this is the future it also looks like condiments and sauces could play a big part; after all Amelia’s debut single from late last year was titled sweet and sour (yes it has the almost obligatory modern stylings of using no capital letters) and now her new one, released today and featured on this weeks' Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist (here), is called vinegar. If the next one is called mayonnaise or ketchup then we’ve got her sussed, right? 

Besides the sauciness it also seems that Amelia is a big fan of the most under rated of colours – orange. ‘Orange universe loading’ says her bio on Spotify alongside a playlist with tracks by Rex Orange County and Blood Orange called Orange Only. It doesn’t take a genius to guess the colour of her hair, even without the picture above. 

Now to the songs. The music that makes up sweet and sour shows how perfectly the tune is titled. It’s a mix of angelic honey coated modernism but there’s also a darkness, particularly in one of the dirtiest, minimal breakdowns you’ve probably heard for some time. It’s a moment to turn up really loud and make your neighbours wonder what the f*ck is going on next door. “I’m an angel till you cross the line, good girl but I’m doing time,” she sings. 

New song vinegar, out just a few hours ago might have elements of a standard mid-tempo ballad, but the chorus sways towards the leftfield in an agreeably synthetic manner as Amelia sings: "Vinegar pour it in my body, where it hurts like a pity party." 

It’s very early days for this artist, but to paraphrase a very old-school mobile phone network advert - her future seems bright, the future’s orange. 

Amelia Moore - sweet and sour


Sunday 16 January 2022

NEW #40 - Tits Up


The last month or so has seen pretty much every music publication give a run-down on their predictions for 2022; from buzz bands to future hip-hop stars to the next Ed Sheeran wannabe. The crystal balls have been out in full force. Breaking More Waves was no exception, posting an annual Ones to Watch list in the later part of December and early November (here), mirroring the idea of the BBC Sound of list by choosing just 10 artists – albeit the lists choices only matched with one act (Wet Leg), albeit two of the artists on the BBC list (Yard Act and Baby Queen) appeared on the Breaking More Waves list a year earlier in 2020 – hence allowing a gentle brag that Breaking More Waves is still ahead of the game.

Now that hype season is over, it’s time to get back to introducing a bunch of new exciting artists. Some may eventually reach the dizzy heights of pop stardom, whilst others will release a couple of songs that burn brightly and then fade away. That’s how pop works. That’s also how Breaking More Waves works. It’s not about finding the next big thing, it’s about highlighting the good stuff. Often the good stuff doesn’t stick around forever – but sometimes we’ve just got to enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Let’s kick things off with Tits Up. A brand new band from Liverpool who released their debut EP on January 1st 2022.

Tits Up are Evie (vocals and bass), Jess (guitar) and Amanda (drums). They do speed punk with a slap of Riot Grrrl and rowdy old fashioned rock n roll. It’s direct, it’s frenetic it’s fierce. They are the sort of band that will probably have audiences throwing their sweaty bodies around in tiny clubs. The tunes are energetic and in your face, the vocals shouty and guttural and you can find 5 of them on the aforementioned pun(k)tastically titled debut EP Greatest Tits.

Given the way that some part of society tends to think of / be offended about certain body parts, Tits Up are probably not going to be mentioned on the radio that much. The band admitting as much on Twitter: “No one’s allowed to say our name on radio and we have one radio friendly song. We didn’t think this through did we. Smashing it,” they tweeted recently. Of course, there’s a whole debate to be had there about why the word tits is often censored and yet other bands with names that include body parts aren’t. Is it about sexualisation – well if it is I don't see the band Feet not being named and some people have a foot festish.

Tits Up are the sound of straight-up no-bullshit raw DIY music. Gig promoters – you’d better have good security in place when they play Get Ya On, a sneering 100mph riot of a track, as bodies could be flying. However, there is a measure of respite on Baby which starts with a slower trippy rock groove before exploding with a throat wrenching squall. Macho Bullshit meanwhile gives a big clue to its lyrical nature in its title, the chorus ringing out: “Your Macho Bullshit don’t fool me, your macho bullshit is kinda cringey.”

Tits Up are far removed from the world of hype lists and end of year Ones to Watch polls. But if you like your music unprocessed and unapologetic, tune into their world.

Tits Up - Get Ya On