Monday 6 May 2024

Song of the Week - Sofi Tukker - Throw Some Ass


You may not know it butt this is what you knead. A peach of a video and a song that asks you to get off your backside and dance. If your plans have gone a rye, don’t worry, it’s impossible to feel sour when you hear this. Let’s just hope that it makes Sofi Tukker a bit of dough.

Warning: The video contains a beautiful set of buns. And some baguettes that despite being at the pool don’t get soaking wheat all over.

Right. That’s enough bread / ass puns. Song of the week, no question. Possibly tune of the summer. Come on UK, a lot of you are still way behind with Sofi Tukker, stop loafing around and get into them. The album Bread arrives this summer.

Sofi Tukker - Throw Some Ass (Video)

Sunday 14 April 2024

Song of the Week - Imogen and the Knife - Mother of God


Song of the Week this week could so very nearly have also fitted into an artists new / introducing type post, as on first glance Imogen and the Knife is a brand new artist, with Mother of God appearing to be a debut single. However, delve just a tiny bit deeper and you’ll find that Imogen has already released music between 2018 and 2021 under just the name Imogen, amongst them the song White Lines (no not a cover of the Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel classic ) picking up a couple of million streams on Spotify.

However, at the start of 2024 Imogen announced via socials that: ”From here on out I’ll be releasing and performing my music as Imogen and the Knife. There’s many reasons behind the name, one being the reclaiming of the surgical knife that has been a motif throughout my life and writing. But ultimately, the Knife represents the vessel for the music: the songs, the lyrics, the piano, my collaborators, my band.”

I saw Imogen support Another Sky last year and my overriding impression was someone with bags of talent who as a reference point I kept thinking of PJ Harvey, not in so much the sound, but in the sense of depth and artistry to what Imogen was doing. Now Mother of God gives us that artistry. Featuring a repeated riff, brassy stabs and (obviously) Imogen’s impressive vocals there’s a tension to this tune that gets under your skin after a few listens. A cut above the rest.

As always you can find the song on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist (click here)

Imogen and the Knife - Mother of God

Wednesday 10 April 2024

NEW #79 - The Itch


This week’s track is a combined ‘Song of the Week’ and ‘New’ post as it’s a debut tune from a brand new band. It is, as always, featured on the current Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist which you can find by clicking here.

Ursula by The Itch appeared online last week and prompted a flurry of posts from all the tastemaker websites; it’s easy to see why though. For Georgia Hardy and Simon Tyrie (who are The Itch) have created something rather magnificent. An ambitious meandering piece of electronic retro-pop that hints at the likes of Depeche Mode circa Violator and Your Love by Frankie Knuckles, it’s in no rush to finish as it tells us that pain is stronger than love and builds to an early proclamation that: “We can bring down the government, we could put their heads on spikes.” 

If I didn’t know better I would have suggested that this was a song that someone had discovered on one of those lost Alternative Eighties compilation CDs, but it’s not. What it is for certain is an impressive start. Clocking in at 7 minutes it’s not one for Tik-Tokers with the attention spans of a gnat, but for anyone else this is one to dive into.

The Itch - Ursula

Tuesday 2 April 2024

NEW #78 - The Pill


The Pill are like the snotty but sparkling d-i-y punk-pop sisters of Wet Leg, or perhaps Panic Shack, with extra venom. Debut single Bale of Hay, released yesterday, is less than 2 minutes long but packs in more wit and energy than most bands manage in years. “I’m a blonde bitch. Bimbo, butthole, tits. You expect me to be a sex icon. Oh wait, I am,” they proclaim with fake surprise before storming into some chaotic riffing. It’s all brilliantly messy and lo-fi and I’m here for it.

Describing themselves as “Two girlies on vocals, bass and guitar along with Rufus on sticks,” The Pill say that they draw from dire situations, like your scaffolder seeing you naked (insert jokes about big poles here like a Viz style comic) and the woes of your hair being too blonde, which is what this song is about.

If there is a hint of Wet Leg in what The Pill do, it’s perhaps not that surprising, after all they drink and bathe in the same water supply as Rhian and Hester, as they also hail from the Isle of Wight. 

For a pretty small place the island does damn well in producing artists that gain some traction. Besides the aforementioned Chaise Longuers, over the last few years we’ve had Plastic Mermaids, Coach Party and Lauran Hibberd all doing rather well (and all covered early on by this blog!) Now it’s time for your pills. Or rather The Pill.

The band has been kicking around for a while now. I first came across an earlier incarnation sometime around the back end of 2019 and had booked them to play Dials Festival in 2020. However, something happened in 2020 (you can probably remember!) and as a result there was no Dials. They seemed to disappear for a while but now The Pill are here and ready to go.

Bale of Hay streams below and you’ll also find it on next Friday’s New Music Friday playlist. The Pill are Lily and Lottie (and not forgetting Rufus behind!) and support Big Special in Oxford on the 4th April and play Notting Hill Arts Club, London with Juno on the 5th.

The Pill - Bale of Hay

Monday 1 April 2024

Song of the Week - Ellie Bleach - Hottest Man Alive 1995


The eagle eyed and observant amongst you will have noticed that there was no Breaking More Waves Song of the Week last week – due to being on holiday. However, the New Music Weekly playlist did get hastily constructed, put together in a hotel room whilst overlooking the Tyne (sadly no fog or Paul Gascoigne were present).

It’s back to regular service this week with a number of songs in contention for this post, but the one I’ve chosen opens proceedings on the playlist. Ellie Bleach’s Hottest Man Alive 1995 might sound like the title of some sort of super-sexed sweaty disco anthem but is in fact a slow burning country lament taken from her conceptual EP Now Leaving West Feldwood, a cinematic anthology of six characters and their intertwining lives.

“I’m not ashamed to say I did some light research today; I came across an image of you on a holiday. You had your arm around some blonde they said was half your age, but I know how these liberal types tend to exaggerate,” she begins and from there we’re whisked into a tale of a middle-aged woman in an unhappy marriage who obsesses about someone else. It’s like Lana Del Ray has gone to Berkshire.

A song about obsession which we can all obsess about. Excellent stuff.

You can find this song in an hour’s worth of goodness on the Breaking More Waves New Music Playlist by clicking here.

Ellie Bleach - Hottest Man Alive 1995

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Song of the Week - Metronomy featuring Pan Amsterdam - Nice Town


This week’s Song of the Week blog post is a little different insofar as I’m not writing about the song itself, but instead highlighting the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist on Spotify, where the Song of the Week will always feature.

There’s a handful of points I wanted to make about this playlist.

1.This playlist ultimately is made for me to listen to as much as you. And I do. They are all tracks that I like – if I can’t get behind a particular track, it doesn’t go on the playlist.

2. The playlist is always around 1 hour long. There are two reasons for this – I don’t really see the point of a six-hour playlist, who genuinely sits through something that long in one sitting? I certainly don’t. And the point of my playlist is it’s meant to be listened to in one listen, in order. The tracks are positioned in a way that makes sense to me – even if nobody else understands! Think of it like a movie or a story. There’s a definite beginning, middle and end together with closing credits.

3. I have listened to every song that goes on the playlist in full at least once and normally several times before it goes on the playlist. I must like it! This is key. 

4. I’ve seen this style of playlist described as ‘hyper-curated’. Well, if hyper-curation is for a niche audience and I’m making it just for myself, that’s pretty niche I guess. You’ll always find some indie and some pop on there but I’m not averse to any genre if it’s something I come across that I like.

5. I read an article about “people who intricately craft a playlist and put their life and soul into it.” Personally, I think that’s bollocks. It’s just a frigging playlist. Yes, I put some thought into it, but that’s a few minutes thought. Not my life and soul. There are more important things in life to dedicate my time to. Let's not try and make playlist curation anything bigger than it actually is.

6. And finally, of course, given the name, every track placed on the playlist has been released between the previous Saturday and the Friday the playlist is updated. That’s why it’s called New Music Weekly – but that’s obvious, right?

So, here’s my favourite track from last week’s playlist. It’s Metronomy featuring Pan Amsterdam – an old school rap piece with some neat jazzy trumpet that shows us that Metronomy are still able to surprise us after all these years.

You can find and follow the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist by clicking here.

Metronomy featuring Pan Amsterdam - Nice Town

Sunday 10 March 2024

Song of the Week - Laufey - Goddess


This week's song of the week is Goddess by Laufey. 

I’m often surprised that despite playing sold out shows across the world, winning a Grammy and having released acclaimed records such as Bewitched and Everything I Know About Love, when I mention Laufey to many of my peers they look at me with a puzzled expression. “Never heard of him / them,” they often say.

Maybe Goddess will be the track where Laufey finally enters their world. 

“Now you know I’m not your fucking goddess,” she sings on a song that deals with the contradiction of appearing on stage and being idolised and the reality of being a regular human being at home - and in this case the song is personal as the idolisation isn't just from fans but a single individual who has fallen in love with her stardom rather than anything else. From the opening soft piano to the swelling orchestration it’s a stately piece of music that’s taken from a new deluxe edition of the Bewitched album released at the end of April.

Laufey - Goddess

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Song of the Week - Nemo - The Code


This week’s Song of the Week is a Eurovision song contest entry.

Originally the plan (last Friday) was to feature Olly Alexander’s Dizzy, my home (UK) entry as Song of the Week. The signs all looked good. Olly has plenty of experience at performing, the song was co-written and co-produced by Danny L Harle (who co-wrote Bunny Is A Rider with Caroline Polachek and Houdini by Dua Lipa) and the initial clip of the track posted on Instagram sounded suitably hooky.

However, whilst the song bounces along giddily enough, it doesn’t have any real climax moment – something that seems almost essential to win Eurovision these days. It’s enjoyable enough, but I’m not 100% behind it.

Enter then the Swiss entry, also released in the last seven days. The Code is really quite something. You want climaxes? This one does multiple orgasms. Fast.

Imagine Bohemian Rhapsody given a jungle remix with extra rapping and a personal lyric about a true journey to find the artist’s (Nemo) non-binary identity in life. I love the fact that the song is clearly personal and not one that takes vague big picture concepts about love and peace to try and gain universal Eurovision acceptance. 

At first you’ll probably think the track is bonkers, then it gets under your skin and before you know it you’ll be declaring it a Eurovision styled masterpiece.

There’s already some tough competition for Eurovision (Italy’s song is very good, Croatia’s is bound to be a fan favourite (and in places sounds like the KLF - always a good thing), The Netherlands have a mad happy hardcore moment in their track that no doubt will have Eurovision fans going crazy and you can never discount Sweden who nearly always deliver and Finland’s fireworks / no pants production is hilarious, but I’m putting Nemo and Switzerland up there as a colourfully magnificent outside bet. And even if it flops / doesn't qualify through the semis, at least it won Breaking More Waves Song of the Week.

Nemo - The Code

Saturday 24 February 2024

Song of the Week - Ren Harvieu - Black Wig


If on a weekly basis like me, you scroll through all the big weekly playlists on Spotify, it’s pretty likely you’ll find a lot of songs that sound boringly similar. Pop music has always been that way of course, it’s why we can described music as having an ‘80’s sound’ or ‘60’s sound’. Pop = a popular sound, so if it's popular humans will want to make more of it.

However, it’s always nice to stumble across something that is refreshingly inventive and adventurous. Which is exactly what the new song Black Wig from Ren Harvieu is. Remember Ren? She first featured on this blog in 2011 and in a Ones to Watch 2012 post. Her debut album reached number 5 in the charts in May 2012. 

These days she leads a lower key musical existence but that doesn’t mean that her new tune is anything less than wonderful. On Black Wig there’s a string quartet, a harpsichord, a musical saw and a colourful video directed by Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers who Ren has a long-term musical relationship with.

Listen, enjoy and take some satisfaction in the knowledge that there are still people out there creating their own unique musical worlds. You won't see or hear anything else like Black Wig this week.

You can find the song on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist (here)

Ren Harvieu - Black Wig

Monday 19 February 2024

Song of the Week - Dua Lipa - Training Season

Here we are again with another Song of the Week and once again it featured on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist last week (here).

Of course Dua Lipa needs no introduction. She’s already a huge popstar. Well, she’s five foot eight inches which technically isn’t that huge, but is still a lot bigger than Kylie Minogue. 

And no doubt, unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have already heard this one. 

Therefore, you already know that Training Season is: 1. A bop 2. Hooky as hell (rather than hotter than hell which is so 2016.) It’s one of those songs that your postman will be whistling and football fans will take the chorus and make new words up to it whilst bouncing up and down on the stands. My only disappointment? I really wanted all the lads in the video to suddenly break out into a very camp Riverdance style flashmob choreographed routine halfway through the tune, but alas it never happened. Maybe there will be an ‘alternate version’ video for that.

The bottom line is, Training Season = A good pop song. A definite top 2 single in the UK surely? (I would say number 1, but there's the Texas Hold 'Em factor to consider.)

Dua Lipa - Training Season

Saturday 10 February 2024

Song of the Week - Beth Gibbons - Floating On A Moment


This week’s song of the week is an absolute no brainer of a choice.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Portishead, particularly their first 2 albums and the Roseland NYC Live recording. The band also played one of my most memorable and magical shows ever; Glastonbury Festival 1998. Together with my then 3 months pregnant partner we had already endured biblical storms and a crushingly dull set from Cornershop on the Jazz World Stage, now known as West Holts. Cold, tired and miserable we were about to give up and go back to our tent (which at this point had a small stream running through the middle of it) but held on for Portishead. The band were late on stage, having got stuck in the mud themselves, but once they started the dark clouds really did show they had a silver lining. Words such as haunting, mesmerising, and beautiful didn’t do the performance justice. With lightning striking down from the heavens behind the stage we shivered both with the cold and emotional goosebumps; it was worth every moment. It’s a moment in time that both of us, 26 years on, still remember with huge affection. A moment that made life worth living and sharing with someone.

Which brings us to Beth Gibbons new single. The lead vocalist of Portishead returns after a lengthy hiatus with another song to captivate our hearts. Taken from forthcoming album Lives Outgrown released via Domino, Floating On A Moment is perhaps half-surprising in that Beth Gibbons still sounds, after all this time, exactly like Beth Gibbons. Her croon is unmistakeable and once again her sorrowful but magnetic voice sends shivers down the spine.

Beth, just like all of us is getting older. There’s a realisation that our bodies are only finite and ultimately there is nothing we can do to stop our inevitable ending as she hints at death in this song: “Without control, I’m heading toward a boundary, that divides us, reminds us, travelling, on a voyage where the living, they have never been, have never seen.”

Despite the subject of the song, Floating On A Moment breathes life into our existence. Guaranteed to make even the most hardened of adult weep. Enjoy life whilst you've got it. Yes, there are many horrible things going on in the world, but wherever you can try to appreciate the good stuff. Like this.

Beth Gibbons - Floating On A Moment

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Song of the Week - Elle Coves - Born To Lose


Today’s Song of the Week was actually released last Wednesday, which raises the question is it this week’s song of the week or last week’s? Or does the week actually run in any seven day period? And more to the point, does anybody actually care?

So, let’s just cut to the chase and remind ourselves that time is just a human construct and in the big scheme of things (or even the small scheme of things) nobody really gives a toss about the Breaking More Waves Song of the Week. Except me.

But if you do have any passing interest in these things then have a listen to Born To Lose by Elle Coves. There’s a big dollop of Americana-Pop and Taylor Swift influence here, which depending on your perspective is either a rather excellent thing or just a bit overdone these days. It also has some rather nice lyrics about “what makes you think your tears can put this fire out”, which technically Elle is 100% right about. Unless of course it’s the world’s smallest fire or somebody has a sprinkler system built in their eyes. Anyway, even if Born To Lose isn’t actually about fire fighting with your eyes, it’s a pleasing tune. You can find it as always on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist (here), or at least you can if you are reading this before Friday 9th February, because it's all change then.

Elle Coves plays London Camden Assembly (or The Barfly as older readers may remember it, or The Monarch for those collecting their pensions) tomorrow (the 7th) and there are still some tickets available if you fancy it.

Elle Coves - Born To Lose

Friday 26 January 2024

Song of the Week - Nadine Shah - Greatest Dancer

I’ve been a fan of Nadine Shah for some time now. Probably like many people I first discovered her music by way of BBC 6 Music. I think Nadine herself realises how important 6 Music has been in her career. The first time I saw her live she stared into the audience, smiled and proclaimed: “Ah! The smell of 6 Music is here.”

As Nadine gets ready to release her 5th album Filthy Underneath, I’m pleased to report that the quality of her songs just gets better and better. Latest track Greatest Dancer is no exception.  Featuring stomping glam-rock marching drums (a few years ago we might have referred to them as Gary Glitter drums, but that’s probably best not done now is it?) and gloriously raw stabs of synth (Is it even possible to make electronic music sound raw rather then polished? It appears so) the song is a triumph. And let’s not forget Shah’s voice. She makes a song about sitting watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV sound celestial.

The song heads up this week’s Breaking More Waves New Music Playlist (which you can find and follow by clicking here). Get ready for it to lift you up and as S Club 7 once suggested, reach for the stars.

Nadine Sha - Greatest Dancer

Friday 19 January 2024

Song of the Week - Wynona - Feeling For Edges

Today’s song of the week comes from Southampton based Natalie Woodward and Rich Willats, who jointly call themselves Wynona and describe their music as ‘Mum-Jean’ rock. I’m not quite sure what that is but I’m all for inventing genres so I’ll go with it.

However, a warning to all mums in jeans. The rules of pop Chapter 12 section 3.7 specifically state that jeans shouldn’t be worn over the age of 33 and a third (it’s all tied up with jeans being a revolutionary trouser and once you’re over that age, revolution stops). However, a further rule hidden away in section 7.2 of the same chapter clarifies that once you get over 45 the jean wearing can start again, because at that point you’re too old too care and you are probably wearing terribly cut elasticated waist Asda Value jeans anyway. So, a note to all, check your age and ditch those jeans if you’ve hit the marker. Note this rule also applies to dads. Although Dad-Jean rock is probably not a genre I would want to hear as I suspect it would contain a lot of landfill indie.

Enough of this pointless waffle though. (Warning if you’re new to Breaking More Waves, that’s what this blog does; pointless waffle – if you want serious music journalism try The Quietus or such like).

Let’s talk about the music.

Wynona’s song is called Feeling For Edges and clocks in at a short-lived 2 minutes and forty one seconds. It throws us back to the hazy, jangly, wistful days of bands like The Sundays in its construction. It’s all gentle guitars and pretty melodies that sing of being on the brink of finding yourself but being stuck there; “I’ve been sitting on fences for the longest time.”

Feeling For Edges is laid back alt-acoustic-pop at its loveliest, kissing the ears in all the right places. It might not be pushing any boundaries, but sometimes (despite the song being called Feeling For Edges) beauty can be found in the middle.

You’ll find this one on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly Playlist this week, which is updated every Friday (yes, that's today). Click here to listen to that and follow.

Wynona - Feeling For Edges


Friday 12 January 2024

Song of the Week - Danielle Durack - Good Dog


It’s a new year, so here’s a new start.

No more just posting the occasional introducing-style post called NEW.

I’m going (partly) back to what I did before, with at least one post every seven days, with a favourite new release from the previous week.

Let’s title them Song of the Week shall we? Good huh? It took me a long time to think of that. Honest. 

I’ll keep doing the occasional introducing post as well.

To tie things up neatly the Song of the Week will always be a tune that features on the Breaking More Waves New Music Weekly playlist (another originally titled thing I do – which you can follow on Spotify). So if you have already listened to this week's edition, you'll have heard this one and know how gorgeous it is.

So here we go. Song of the Week #1 is Good Dog by Nashville’s Danielle Durack. For fans of the sort of sad girl acoustic folk-pop that the likes of Phoebe Bridgers writes, Good Dog seems to be a song about a dog waiting for and missing its owner: “I’ve been waiting by the window in the dark, keeping quiet, sat listening for your car.” However, as the song continues it seems that Danielle is projecting some of her own insecurities into the song as well. It's not just a cute song about her canine pal.

Tender, bruised and beautiful, the one thing you probably wouldn’t expect an introspective song like Good Dog to have is a rather comical (but kind of sad) video featuring a lonely hot dog sausage. But that's exactly what it has.  Trigger warning for sausage lovers – the ending is brutal. You'll either laugh or cry. Possibly both.

Danielle releases the follow up to her album No Place in February 2024 and it’s called The Escape Artist. You can order it through Bandcamp now by clicking here. She also has a number of US shows in February and March. Alas at the moment for those of us in the UK there’s no sign of dates here, but let’s keep everything crossed for something in the future.

Danielle Durack - Good Dog