Tuesday 17 January 2023

NEW #65 Heartworms


Her style is inspired by World War II uniforms and her music is an intoxicating mix of slightly funky, goth-tinged post-punk electronica. Does that do it for you? If it does and you aren’t familiar yet, it’s time to get acquainted with Heartworms.

I’ve been waiting for the right time to feature Heartworms on the blog since first hearing very positive things about her set at last year’s Great Escape festival in May and the subsequent release of debut single Consistent Dedication in September. Now with a truly excellent spikey second song Retributions Of An Awful Life out in the world, today seems a good time.

Heartworms is one Jojo Orme. Jojo spent her youth in Gloustershire but has now relocated to London. Having signed up to Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground label (Carey is also on production duties) her debut EP A Comforting Notion follows in late March.

Before the EP we get Retributions Of An Awful Life. It’s intensely immense - the sort of song that threatens to grab you by both shoulders and shake you until your bones break. Yet despite the pain, it's a pleasurable experience. There’s a suitably full-on cold looking video as well (shot in black and white of course). Watch it below and add Heartworms to your list of new favourite artists.

Heartworms - Retributions Of An Awful Life

Monday 16 January 2023

NEW #64 Connie Campsie


After rattling off the annual Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch (here) and a few end of year lists it’s about time this blog got its act together for the new year and put a few posts online, right?

For the time being the format remains the same; introducing new or relatively new artists, not too many posts to clog up your feed and only one about each. Effectively each post is the musical equivalent of a tinder one night stand; but if you want you can have a long lasting relationship with the artist; the choice is yours. 

Let’s start with Connie Campsie. You can see her in the picture above, staring up at the sky on what looks like the top of a concrete multi-storey car park. What is she thinking I wonder? Has she lost her car? Can she not remember what level it’s parked on? Or is there a really good view from up there? Or is she just thinking the most British of thoughts: "Looks like rain and I haven't got my bloody coat."

Now just in case you’re confused, yes this is the second British relatively young and new Connie in music with a surname that begins with C in the last few years. The other is Connie Constance, who to be fair isn’t that new now having been doing the rounds since 2015. Also, although the surname isn't a C, a quick shout out to Connie Talbot who was the runner up on the very first series of Britain's got talent in 2007 - remember the sweet little girl singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Except she's now 22 and a fully grown adult. Which if you're like me just seems wrong. In my head she will forever be that small child.

But before I go to far off at a tangent, back to Connie. It’s a cool name in my books. So cool one of my daughters is named as such.

Returning to the real subject of this blog post: Connie Campsie. Connie released a couple of songs in 2021, a couple in 2022 and has just last week dropped Uneasy, a tune which will feature on her debut EP I’m Still Talking To Myself out in February. It’s my favourite so far, a really intimate piece that floats to your ears with a gentle caress that whispers ‘I’m a beauty.’ Hints of Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift sweep through Connie Campsie’s music, so if that's your thought of thing, add Connie Campsie to your list.

The very sharp amongst you will of course be shouting at your screens that Connie has put out music even before that though. Prior to recording under her full name she released some songs under the name Campsie (now deleted from streaming services) and before that if you cast your mind back to 2017 and you may recall a band that featured on these pages called Sugarhouse. They had a delightful indie pop tune called Love Anyone Else that brimmed with the joys of young romance. “It will probably make you want to start a fanzine. Or a record label. Or a music blog. Or just give someone a big hug – maybe even a kiss,” I said at the time. One of the vocalists in that band was one Connie Craven Campsie. Yes the same Connie Campsie who features here now.

Connie’s dropped the Craven bit (her mother is Beverley Craven – the Brit award winning Beverley Craven who had two top 5 albums in the 90’s) and just taken her father’s surname to release under. But don’t hold the famous parent against her, except to say that the talent is clearly in the genes as her latest songs demonstrate – they’re the most mature and compelling she’s released so far and so for that reason Connie is our first ‘new’ artist of 2023.

Connie Campsie also features on this week's Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist, which you can find by clicking here or searching New Music Weekly on Spotify.

Connie Campsie - Uneasy

Sunday 1 January 2023

Favourite Gigs of 2022

2022 was a busy year for me in terms of gigs. I managed to catch in the order of 340 live performances.

So without further ado this is a list of my favourite 10 gigs of 2022.

1. Sofi Tukker - London

Moments after the gig I tweeted: "The energy from the crowd at Sofi Tukker tonight was insane. Sweaty, joyous and full of love. It verged on religious. Incredible." That sums up what was not just one of my favourite gigs, but one of the best couple of hours of my 2022.

2. Chvrches - London

I've seen Chvrches many times now but this was a peak. Add in Robert Smith of The Cure (one of my favourite all time bands) as a special guest and call me more than satisfied.

3. Ttrruuces - Bognor Regis

My 'Why have I not seen this band before?' moment. Also my pop-music-making-me-tearful moment.

4. Gabriels - Brighton

I'd read so many things about the elated state Gabriels could leave you in. Those writers were correct. A captivating and soulful live performance. Go see them if you get the chance.

5. Lorde - London

Lorde's 3rd album from 2021 continued to grow on me in 2022 and the beautiful live show complete with her staircase to the sun was aesthetically one of the most inventive I saw in 2022.

6. Rosalia - London

Rosalia isn't a household name in the UK, but elsewhere she's a huge pop star. She spoke of dreams of playing the Royal Albert Hall when she was young, so performing at the 20,000 capacity O2 was mindblowing for her. Thankfully it felt like every Spaniard in London had turned up and the show was packed. The Brits missed out here; an incredibly charismatic, funny, cheeky, sexy, weird, original and (despite the venue size) personal show from the woman who has also made my favourite album of 2022. And what a voice!

7. Gang of Youths - Kingston

This album release show for Banquet Records may have been the shortest gig I went to on this list of 10, but from the off it was exhilarating, with lead singer Dave L'aupepe heading straight into the crowd within seconds of taking to the stage. They may normally play much bigger venues, but The Fighting Cocks pub in Kingston was a perfect punch.

8. Priestgate - Brighton

One of the most exciting new bands I saw in 2022. "And the award for best new frontman at Mutations Festival goes to Priestgate," I tweeted after witnessing Rob Schofield's Iggy Pop referencing performance.

9. Kathryn Joseph - Reading

In a church in Reading Kathryn Jospeh was funny, bewitching, potty-mouthed and beautiful. The highlight of this year's Are You Listening Festival.

10. The Cure - London

One of my favourite bands of all time playing a 2 and a three quarter hour long set that included Friday I'm In Love, Pictures of You, Push, In Between Days, Lovesong and many more including a bunch of songs from the (hopefully / finally) soon to be released new album. What's not to like?

Sofi Tukker - Wet Tennis