Friday 18 February 2022

NEW #45 Lexie Carroll


If you’re a hardcore follower of the Breaking More Waves presence online (hi Mum) then you may have already clocked that today’s new artist has already featured on past Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlists. Today, with the latest update to the playlist you’ll find her there again with her latest release. With that in mind, it felt like Lexie Carroll was overdue a blog post.

Who is Lexie Carroll? She’s a 17 year-old singer songwriter from the outskirts of London whose music is quietly honest and heartfelt. Lexie doesn’t do bangers. Her songs are the stuff of wholesome soft snugness; all gentle acoustic guitar, strings and piano that back her pretty pastel tunes. 

Her song racing raindrops (which was featured on the New Music Weekly playlist back in January) is a song about childhood friendships and how relationships change as you grow older. The music reflects that perfectly with a purity and innocence that can only be achieved when you’re young. Keeping it 100% organic and natural you’ll also hear some birdsong in the background as Lexie plays.

New track do you wanna leave this city is another twinkling romantic gem that reminds me a little of very early Maisie Peters - who is now playing stadiums supporting Ed Sheeran. So maybe there’s a space in that quiet pop setting for Lexie? Describing the song as about ‘hating the city and falling in love with complicated people and being incapable of hiding your feelings’ you can hear it streaming below. And yes, Lexie is clearly not bothered about capital letters.

With an EP to follow soon, I’m not expecting any glitchcore remixes to feature anytime soon in Lexie’s repertoire, but that’s fine, her music is adorable just as it is.

Lexie Carroll plays a show in London at the MAP Studio Cafe in London on 25th March. 

The New Music Weekly playlist from Breaking More Waves can be found by clicking here.

Lexie Carroll - do you wanna leave this city?

Sunday 13 February 2022

NEW #44 Kathleen Frances


Kathleen Frances is an artist that has been bubbling under for a while now since she released her debut single Define in 2020. Since that time the likes of BBC’s Fresh on the Net, Radio 1 and various websites and blogs have given their support and in 2020 she made the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent competition final 8 shortlist. Now it’s time for Breaking More Waves to join her fan club with her most recent single Boy heading up this blog’s New Music Weekly playlist (you can find that by clicking here if you fancy following it)

Kathleen has form when it comes to Glastonbury; as a member of the Bristol based band 4th Project, she was nominated for the Emerging Talent longlist in 2016 by this very blog. As a side note, one of the other artists I chose for the longlist in 2016, Ajimal, also made the short list in 2020 and went on to be runner up in the competition. If you don’t at first succeed etc etc…

But now to Kathleen’s solo stuff. This is music that hits you deep. There’s something soulful and almost otherworldly about this singer’s voice. If you are a fan of Anohni or Hannah Reid from London Grammar, then press play now. The aforementioned Define has elements of a midnight piano torch song, but the gentle clatter of percussion that accompanies the chorus could easily fit the song neatly onto Massive Attack’s Protection album. Her cover version of Electric Youth and College’s A Real Hero is swathed in cascading piano that rains elegance throughout. Then there’s new song Boy. Taken from her forthcoming debut EP Through the Blue it’s a desolate stop-you-in-your-tracks break up song that wrestles with moving on and letting go; sometimes no matter how sad it is, people change and have to leave. “I am not the same as before, and he knows it, letting go is hard,” she sings - your goosebumps and tears may possibly follow.

Kathleen has already been confirmed for this year’s Great Escape Festival and Green Man Festival. If you’re going to either, be like me and put her on your ones to watch list. She also plays her own headline shows in Manchester, Bristol and London in March.

Kathleen Frances - Boy

Sunday 6 February 2022

NEW #43 Tenderhost


If you listen to the latest instalment of the New Music Weekly playlist from Breaking More Waves (here), among some of the pop big-hitters and more played artists you’ll find a track from Tenderhost. 

The Descent doesn’t really sound like anything else on that playlist. Sliding in like a furtive villain from a black and white cop movie set in smokey New York City at midnight, there are elements of jazz, blues and rock here. It verges on the side of uneasy listening, but is all the better for being such a tensely ambitious piece of work. My only criticism is that it seems to end far too soon. Clocking in at a streaming friendly 3 minutes it feels like a radio edit of something that is ready to go the full hog at 8 or 9 minutes, ending in a cacophony of noise. Maybe that will be reserved for the album?

Who are Tenderhost? Formed last year by songwriter Gabriel Levy he’s joined by Tara Cunningham (guitar), Jonny Wickham (bass), Nat Phillips (saxophone), Nathan Ridley (drums) and Alex Parry (keys) They work from a North London studio / rehearsal space and The Descent is their debut song.

Whilst Tenderhost only formed last year the song was written before the pandemic, in 2019; a difficult year for Gabriel’s mental health where he started to become afraid of leaving the house and stopped getting public transport in order to avoid large groups of people. We can be pretty sure that by April 2020 this was actually common practice for a lot of the population!

The Descent is a fascinating opener from Tenderhost. You can catch them live on March 24th at the Sebright Arms in London for a free show.

Tenderhost - The Descent