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