Sunday 25 September 2022

NEW #62 Al Costelloe


What is ‘new’ in the context of new music and specifically new artists?

It’s a question that any writer or writers of new music blogs or websites will probably ask themselves at some point. 

“Produced, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time; not existing before. For example, the new Madonna album” is one definition that a quick Google search throws up.

The big query that then follows is produced, introduced, or discovered by whom? For example, if a writer had only just discovered Madonna, then she might be new to them, but it would be somewhat stretching it to label her a new artist to most people when she has already had a 40-year career in pop.

And as, for the time being at least, the raison d'ĂȘtre of Breaking More Waves is to introduce new artists it’s important that what is featured is, for most people, viewed as new.

If I posted about Wet Leg today it would be way behind the curve of newness, but when the band uploaded Chaise Longue to You Tube on the 15th of June last year and I posted about them 2 days later on the 17th, ‘new’ seemed the right tag. But even then, there was a nagging doubt – after all Breaking More Waves had previously featured vocalist and guitarist Rhian Teasdale back in 2018 as a solo recording artist.

And so it is with today’s new artist. Al Costelloe might have only released 2 tracks so far and currently have 1,281 monthly listeners on Spotify, but she was formerly half of two-piece Big Deal, who released 3 albums, and toured with the likes of Depeche Mode and The Vaccines. She’s also played as part of Superfood and VANT live, so is hardly a newcomer. But I’m featuring here as new, because I get the sense that her name will still be new to many people, this is a new artistic project very different to her previous output and this is my bloody blog so I can do what I want with it; which includes writing rambles about the internal debates in my head on how to define new and then one short paragraph to actually introduce the artist. If you want professional journalism you’re in the wrong bloody place.

So, let’s welcome Al Costelloe. Her two songs out in the world have a smoky, dreamy Americana ambience to them with a gauzy touch of indie over the top. As here in the UK we rapidly head towards winter, they offer the last rays of warming yellowed sunlight through the blinds of the window and as such are rather lovely. Most recent single The Other Side is a blissful peach, with its pretty melodies and glowing chorus of hope: “I was down for a while, thought I’d never smile again, but now I’m out on the other side.” In a world that seems increasingly hostile, uncaring, and divided in many ways, the words “good times are coming,” that Al sings offer some much-needed positivity.

Al Costelloe - The Other Side

Al Costelloe - California

Thursday 22 September 2022



Today’s new kids on the block (no not those new kids on the block) are called KIDS.

They released their debut single Alcohol & Cigarettes last Friday and no, it’s not some back to front version of the Oasis song with a similar name. Instead, KIDS swagger into view with a pop-roots-folk-rap-indie-blues tune that owes some debt to Beck, Gomez and Jamie T. Essentially it’s full of the good stuff and if you don’t like it, then it’s time to nip down to Specsavers or your doctor and get your ears syringed.  

KIDS, as far as I can tell, is a fully formed band who has played just a handful of shows so far.  The man who seems to be at their core, Beau Blaise, has been working in the music industry for a while, and also has a another more electronic project called NOLOGO, but it’s this KIDS song that has really grabbed me. His partner in crime for KIDS is one Alex Harvey (and again no, not that Sensational Alex Harvey - he died in the 80s).  “It’s about trying to have a good time during the bad times,” say the group.

The band are gearing up for some multi-venue new music festivals in the UK this autumn (including Live at Leeds and a new event called Made Me Like It in East London at the start of October) so if you get the opportunity go and check them out and claim your bragging rights for seeing them early before (almost) anyone else.

KIDS - Alcohol & Cigarettes

Tuesday 20 September 2022

NEW #60 Indy


Siblings in pop is not an unusual thing. Sometimes they come as a package (Jackson 5, Bee Gees, Sparks and Haim to name just a few) sometimes they have other members attached (Oasis, B*Witched and All Saints) and sometimes they fly solo (Kylie and Danni Minogue, Beyonce and Solange Knowles).

Today we’re introducing a new solo sister. Her name is India Yelich-O’Connor and she is the sister of Ella Yelich-O’Connor, who we all know better as Lorde. 

India goes by the name of Indy and released her debut song proper Threads last week, The very observant amongst you may remember that she put out some music in the dim and distant past on Soundcloud, including a rough around the edges piano cover of A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s Say Something in about 2014.

Having a big sister who is already a global force in pop must be fairly daunting, but Threads is a promising proper start, and yes, it does sound a lot like Lorde. In particular, Threads will remind you of Melodrama era Lorde with some nice stabs of Vangelis style synths thrown in for good measure towards the end.

You can hear the song on all the usual streaming services and it’s also one of the featured songs on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist (here).

Indy - Threads

Friday 9 September 2022

NEW #59 Joe Unknown


“I like my life in halves, half full’s going to look half empty at times, but thanks to the later licensing laws it’s somewhat easy to get a top up.” 

That’s a selection of just one of the many blistering and heavily quotable lines spat out by Joe Unknown, an artist who blends spoken word with a very British no-holds-barred punk attitude on his debut single Ride from last year.

Think Slow Thai, think The Streets, think Sleaford Mods, think Lady Bird, think Bob Vylan. Then add the driving bass riff from Neat Neat Neat by The Damned and you’ve got yourself a relentless underground classic. It’s easy to imagine this one going off live in a particularly pumped up and rowdy way .

Since that debut in 2021 Joe Unknown has been pretty quiet, but last April he dropped Silent, his  second track. Once more it featured a nonstop barrage of sentences.  If you want hooky choruses Joe probably isn’t your man. But if you want something with mosh pit energy, based on these two tracks, sign him up.

Joe’s been spending the summer touring the small stages at this year’s big festivals such as Latitude, Secret Garden Party and Reading, slowly spreading the word (he has lots of them). As we go into autumn and winter expect a whole bloody dictionary.

Joe Unknown - Ride


Joe Unknown - Silent

Thursday 8 September 2022

NEW #58 House On Fire


It’s time for another addition to the slowly growing roster of artists that feature on Breaking More Waves under the title of ‘NEW’ because, quite obviously, they’re new.

This year has been the slowest year on the blog ever, but there’s still been some gems. From the punk-funk-disco-punch of The Queen’s Head (recently played and interviewed on Radio 1’s Jack Saunders show) to the sassy-r’n’b-pop of Flo who have now dropped their debut EP, to Southampton’s Caity Baser who recently sneaked into the UK top 100 singles, played Reading Festival on the BBC Introducing Stage and could (I think) easily become a regular on your internet streaming service of choice and radio.

According to Spotify our latest new diamond selection has just 239 monthly listeners. This is criminal. They deserve more. 

Why? Because House on Fire are purveyors of the sort of modern hooky pop the likes of Glass Animals make so successfully. Based in Liverpool, House On Fire consist of Tom Murray (vocals and programming), Josh Gorman (drums) and Jan Frost (guitar).

Their most recent single, Neighbourhood, one of only two they have on streaming services, is a slinky, buzzing, uplifting earworm that takes about one minute of playing to confirm its ear kissing friendliness. I had to check the writing credits to make sure it wasn’t a cover it sounded so familiar.

Geronimo, their debut, is more dancefloor friendly, with elements of electropop, funk and a hint of Years and Years in the sound as Tom sings of being ‘a keyboard warrior – modern day Geronimo’. 

Both songs are both rather good, but the question is, why is there so little online about them? There’s a tiny scattering of low-key blog posts |(including this one here) but otherwise nothing. They don’t even appear to have any social media (although there’s evidence of  now deleted Soundcloud and Instagram accounts). The only picture I can find of them is the one above – a poor quality shot taken in a pub somewhere. In fact, the only concrete thing I can find about House on Fire still existing as a going concern right now is that they are playing at Live at Leeds In The City festival in October. 

So maybe there’s more to follow? Keep your ears peeled.

House On Fire - Neighbourhood