Pom Poko – Unleash New Single Ahead of Trondheim Calling & Cruise Into Urort Final!

Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017
Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017

Norwegian modernist collective Pom Poko have just released their third single ‘It’s a Trap’ accompanied by an impressive avant-garde ‘toon visual, the work of Olav Fangel Jamtveit, brother of the band’s vocalist, Ragnhild FJ.

A song about release and arrival, letting go to achieve self-awareness, ‘It’s a Trap’ is a quirky, punchy little sherbet that fizzes with pops of 90’s post-punk with more than a hint of glam psych.  Without doubt the track benefits from the experimental nous and masterly hand of Highasakite‘s Kristoffer Lo, a man who knows his way around more than a few instruments.  Adding his trademark guitar, brass and a.n.other sounds to the mix, Lo has taken Pom Poko’s sound in a more experimental and diverse direction, giving the original live jam the same depth and texture he brings to all his collaborations.

While the instrumental backdrop has some sharp edges, it is chasmed by sufficient wide spaces to counter-balance the intensity. As usual, vocal duties of the infinitely starlit variety are carried off with effortless ease by Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit and if her previous live vocal performances are the benchmark to go by, Pom Poko’s two gigs at Trondheim Calling should be something else and then some more!  During TC the band will also perform a live sesh for P3’s Ruben.  Unfortunately for me it’s happening on the Wednesday, ahead of my arrival ‘on scene’.

In addition to their saffron shot nocturnal cartoon visual accompaniment, Pom Poko have adorned their single with the cutest, candy-coloured artwork by Norwegian illustrator Erlend Peder which you can see here!  The floral bedecked character is as yet to be identified!

Illustration Erlend Peder
Illustration Erlend Peder

In other news, Pom Poko have made it to the Urort Final 2017 (a Norwegian national award for promising emerging artists); if you like what you hear, you can vote for Pom Poko to win this prestigious award, here. #doit

It is a testament to their punky quirkiness that Pom Poko give their facebook page “unofficial status” – hook up with it here to touch base with the band and keep up to speed with their lives at Trondheim Calling and their Urort escapades!

The future is definitely as bright as the characters in their ‘It’s a Trap’ video for this effervescent four-piece – I hope you’ll join me in wishing them all the luck in the world – for Trondheim Calling, for Urort and we-ell, for the future.

‘It’s a Trap’ is available now via Phonofile – http://phonofile.link/its-a-trap  .  Watch the captivating fam-made visual here.

Heavy Heart Take Stock On ‘The Way Home’

Photo - http://www.rossmcclure.co.uk/
Photo – http://www.rossmcclure.co.uk/

With echoes of Lush casting ‘gazey shadows on its sonic periphery, ‘The Way Home’ is an impassioned piece of stentorian grunge distilled through the psychedelic waters of indie-thrum.  The latest in a line of monthly releases from London-based Heavy Heart, it’s quite the damning retrospective on the ‘annus horribilis’ that was GB 2016, especially if like 16million others, you were in the #Remain camp.

I’m no genius but my default interpretation, based on the lyrics, is that this is an indictment of Brexit and the divisions it has caused, the EU’s response to the Immigration crisis, and the collapse of the “land of the free” courtesy of King Trump and his court of clowns & chassis.

“When the kindest word is hard to find Turning on ourselves and taking sides”

The sense of determination coming from the strident guitar playing  is finely counter-balanced by the dreamy delicacy of vocalist Anna’s nuanced interpretation. An interpretation that belies the thread of disaffection running through the song.

“When the kindest word is hard to find, Turning on ourselves and taking sides
In the end we’re only wasting time, On each other we rely, rely, rely”

There’s plenty of fuzzed up drone and adrenalin pumping verve here to keep both psych-rock and indie lovers happy, whilst the cleverly crafted socio-political poetry should provide sufficient brain food for those who like their music ‘meaningful’.  Topped off with a captivating layer of vocal gauze, the ingredients are blended effortlessly to create a powerful invitation to engage and a striking signal that there is more to explore.

Listen to ‘The Way Home’ here while you take a gander at Heavy Heart’s social diaires

Facebook OfficialTwitter Bandcamp DervSwerve

Therese Aune Records Enchanting Farao Cover For Kultmucke

therese-aune-photo sara-angelica-spilling
therese-aune-photo sara-angelica-spilling

“In the fear of being lonely I tried it all to get you back
There were things you never told me Like your heart was painted black”
So run the opening lines of Berlin based alt-pop cum indie artist Farao‘s 2013 single, ‘Tell A Lie‘, a cover version of which has just been released by her fellow Nord, Therese Aune as part of a series of exclusive covers featured by the German Kultmucke publication.

Farao’s original is an even-tempered electro-pop ballad – measured, simplex, bleak in aspect with funereal organ-like synths creating a dark underbelly penetrated by tight guitar loops, jagged handclaps and a refracting click track.  The Norwegian’s voice is as light as a feather and cool as a Winter’s dawn.  Yet, despite the regretful melancholic sentiment that lies at the heart of the song, Farao’s beguiling vocal interpretation remains clear, poised, at times almost detached from the track’s emotional resonance.

Step forward Therese Aune with a dazzling electronic arrangement that takes the tempo and spirit of the song to another level. So delightful is this interpretation that if one didn’t know the lyrics one’s reaction would be one of instant joy!  Aune’s expressive vocal dances around the words and pirouettes between light-hearted synth reps and electro-beats.  It’s as uplifting and energised as Farao’s version is coolly sophisticated.  Two sides of the one song, as diverse as they are impressive.

Covers are always difficult and emulating the original should be avoided at all costs.  With her version of ‘Tell A Lie’ Therese Aune has taken what was obviously a deeply personal song and made it very much her own.  By re-choreographing it she has put her own unique stamp on this gloriously uncomplicated complex song.  Bravo.

There’s No Going Back To The Beginning for Irish Duo Motions

motions

As I sat listening to the hoarse vocals crying through the sparse opening bars of ‘Back To Where I Begun, the debut single from Dublin duo, Motions, I couldn’t help but feel that I’d heard that rasping plaintiveness somewhere before.  It was on the tip of my tongue and brim of my brain but nah …

Fate stepped in, it was getting bored, and whilst humming the melody I turned my head sideways and lo, there it was, a CD jutting out from my stockpile that immediate caught my eye.  The album, ‘Violator’, the band Depeche Mode.  Wham! It hit me.  This cigarette stained and strained, guttural yet strong and commanding vocal was redolent of Mode frontman Dave Gahan on ‘Condemnation’, widely held by DM fans to be his finest vocal hour.

But this isn’t about Mode … this is about Motions, the upcoming Irish duo whose very single, in all its debut innocence, was voted by savvy music fans into the Top 10 Fresh Faves over on the BBC Introducing feeding ground, Fresh on the Net – click here to read the review!

Motions aka @MotionsMusic is the enigmatic and mysterious Tom Daly and Dave Nulty, and currently an unknown entity. ‘Faceless anonymii’ about town around which wafts an air of Celtic mystery.

There’s no mystery to their music though – it’s attention-grabbing, showstopping alt-rock.  Musical headlights with an option of dip function.  Full throttle anthemic built on a weave of potent, grizzling guitars, spacious spiralling synths, vibrant drum rhythms and that ‘oh so amazing’, infectious vocal.

‘Back To Where I Begun’ opens in a near empty soundscape of spacious ‘piano’ chords and a wistful vocal, that from the outset create a brooding and regretful atmosphere.  A steady, introspective build follows, as the song makes a gloriously dramatic ascent through chorus and verse to a clamorous climax.  The chassis of the clangour is redolent of the chaos of the lyrics.  Layers of looping sequences and thrashing percussion underpin Daly’s honest and memorable vocal and save for a momentary dip of the afore-mentioned headlights, bring the track to a dramatic close.

Instrumentally solid with a vocal powerhouse in Daly’s voice, Motions have effortlessly arrived at the perfect combination of musical strength and lyrical insightfulness.  In fact, this duo make songwriting seem easy.

With a cleverly choreographed, ‘”Leave Your Emotional Baggage Behind” before it’s too late’ themed video, ‘Back To Where I Begun‘ is as ready-to-market/radio a commercial package as I have come across.   [Although there are some scenes in the video that I wish I’d never seen, thanks, and someone give that guy a razor #beardrash]

The vocals are potent, the lyrics thought-provoking, the music anthemic and for a debut single, that’s something special.

In a word, ‘memorable’.

You can sneak up on the mysterious Motions via their socials – Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTubeSpotify

Watch the Motions visual mini-drama whilst feeling your pulse soar here,

Introducing Swanlike : ‘Years’ EP

Swanlike
Swanlike

It’s been over a year since I first stumbled upon the impossibly talented Norwegian music artist Line Kasa.  After a long silence on her part, and much “patience” on mine, sorry couldn’t resist, Line is making a much welcome return in the company of her long-term collaborator and cousin Halvor Nordal Strand, with their Swanlike music project.  It’s quite the pleasure to bring you their new EP, ‘Years‘, a veritable sparkling treasure chest containing four diverse, thought-provoking and moving compositions.

Swanlike is the moniker for a project of moving parts, headed up by Halvor and Line.  Like shifting sands, the line up is made up of whoever is involved with the latest collaborative work; its current make up is Trym Gjermundbo, Øyvind Mathisen, and Sarah Nordal Strand.  Hailing from Notodden, in the southern Norwegian municipality of Telemark, this group of young, upcoming musicians have known each other for most of their lives.

years

While Halvor does most of the composing, lyrics and vocal arrangements are down to Line, with the remaining instrumental duties being picked up by the other three members.  The current line up has been playing and recording together for some time now and the ‘Years’ EP is a testament not just to their tightness as a unit, but to their relative ease with each other as a musical partnership.

While project founders Halvor and Line have long been admirers of each other’s music, their first love was for English supers, Radiohead.  Speaking about key musical influences Haldor explains: “Everyone in the band loves Radiohead. Line and I are both massive fans. Also, James Blake’s debut album was a turning point for me. I was, and am, so drawn to his approach to electronic music – with negative space, minimalistic instrumentation and gospel and r&b-influences in the London electronic sound. There are too many to mention but some of my other inspirations are, Frank Ocean, Burial, Jon Hopkins, Røyksopp, Arca, Bon Iver, and Cashmere Cat.

Drawn away from the strum of guitars to the pulsing world of electronica on first hearing Radiohead’s experimental opus Kid A, Halvor developed a fascination for “the sound shaping possibilities in working with synths and computers” and says moving to electronic music was a natural progression.

Inspiration for the the EP came out of a night of spinning Sia and Røyksopp tunes.  Their positive, party vibe triggered the opening note-sequence around which the song ‘June‘ was written. Swanlike craft their songs by using the well-worn ‘forwards-backwards’ system, as geographic location and availability aren’t always in sync and once the music to the single was laid down and Line had added the vocals, the song was finished off with Øyvind Mathisen on the mixing desk of his Oslo studio.

june

The opening track and possibly the strongest song on the EP ‘June‘, is a heart-melting, stirring track about holding onto a good but passionless relationship for all the wrong reasons.  With comfort and security comes guilt and frustration, feelings which Line Kasa’s exquisite vocal tenderly conveys with just the right amount of raw emotion.  While there may be few sparks in this impassive relationship, the instrumental is practically iridescent.  Windswept, radiant synths lines wrap around Line’s vocal in a landscape populated by the shadowy, dark spaces of disappointment and self-entrapment.

While most Norwegian electronica falls foul to the “icy”, “cold” and “frosted” labels, there is such a glow of warmth from Line Kasa’s clear vocal that when blended with such petillant synths, it melts whatever icy edges there are to be had on the instrumental accompaniment.

Delight follows delight as the EP moves onto the bewitching ‘Stones’, which has a slightly more rugged, edgy electronic vibe.  A slow electro-ballad it comes with the twist of a mad scientist instrumental.  A surprising side-order to its otherwise dreamy, hypnotic feel.  At 5.22 it comes in on the ‘extended side’ but it’s a well arranged, imaginative journey through a diverse electronic landscape that should be to the taste of most hard-core electro-fans. Unlike the more contemporary ‘June’, ‘Stones’ was recorded a while backin Trondheim, with the help of Erlend Elveseen.

Similarly, next up ‘New Years’, is an antecedent to the newer compositions on the EP being recorded some years back with Sjur Lyseid.  Speaking about ‘New Years’ Line explains:  “(It’s) a song about feeling empty and having a hard time coping with the stuff in life that is supposed to feel good.”  Spacious, stark, melancholic, there is an almost funereal quality to this track. An organ-like quality to the keys to which sombre bass-clarinet conjures a somewhat pious or reverent atmosphere while angelic harmonies counter the solemnity of the track’s musical foundation.

Book-ending the EP is a small slice of Norwegian delicacy, entitled ‘4’.  With existential themes at its heart and mourning in its soul, it ponders why, years after losing someone who was an integral part of our lives, certain inescapable questions still involuntarily float to the surface of the mind.  Of the song’s brevity Line comments: “I think one of the reasons why this song is so short is that the message is clear and there’s nothing more to say; these questions will never get an answer.”

Notwithstanding its doleful lyrical theme, the song’s pulsing instrumental and energetic percussive beat have a rather catchy rhythm that belie its inner melancholia.

The overriding sense of disappointment, despondency, and confusion that stems from the EPs lyrical content, is perfectly counter-balanced not just by the delightful tenderness and emotional honesty of Line Kasa’s poised vocal, but also by the imaginatively choreographed electronica that underpins it.  Kudos to Strand for pulling off a flawless blend of gloaming and dawn with his ingenious line in synth composition and arrangement.  The addition of drums and in particular the bass-clarinet, give texture and personality to what could so easily have been “ice-capped” electro-sounds, albeit sounds spun with some golden wizardry.

‘Years’ is a rather beautiful and stirring EP, skillfully orchestrated, and arranged with precision symmetry. A journey of dark and light, it is a confident, meticulous, intense and fascinating production that should provide Swanlike with a solid foundation from which to move forward and forge a full album.

You can follow Swanlike on Facebook.  They play Skien 20.11 and Notodden 22.11 and Oslo in early 2017 tbc.  A video for June is on the way, so keep your eyes peeled.  Stream ‘Years’ here – links for downloads below.

Dédé Davi Makes Her Debut & Alan Wilder Is Back A La Mode

Dede
Dede

Alan Wilder steps back in from the sidelines as performer-producer on debut single from upcoming Londoner, Dédé Davi.

Alan Wilder, man behind the Recoil music project, formerly one quarter of Depeche Mode, those pioneers of synth pop whose music captured the zeitgeist of ’80s experimental electronica, and general all-round enigma, has, after some years of silence which presumably he ‘enjoyed’, resurfaced in the form of performer/producer on an R&B piano-ballad by an upcoming English singer/songwriter.

calling-the-clock

‘Calling The Clock‘ is the debut single from Londoner Dédé Davi to whom Wilder was introduced by erstwhile Mode road-manager, Daryl Bamonte, now a successful label and artist manager in his own right. Dédé, who has gone from a Uni degree course, through being BBC play-listed, to working with the likes of Steve Hewitt (Paul Draper, Placebo), is currently in-studio working on her debut album.

Rehearsed and recorded in a negligible four hours, the song sees Wilder reprise his role as accompanying pianist, and music composer and arranger, one that recalls his indelible contributions to songs like ‘Somebody’ and ‘Pimpf’ and which will doubtless reawaken the memories of many a Mode fan.

Speaking of the collaboration with Dédé. Wilder said:

 I was struck not only by her beautifully soulful and sophisticated voice, but also the simplicity and directness of the words along with a melody which left plenty of room to come up with the arrangement … With limited hours in the studio, an immediate focus was required to get the right piano and vocal performances … The whole experience was refreshing and rewarding …”

alan-wilder
Alan Wilder

Similarly, the song itself – lyrics & melody – was written in a matter of hours, early ones at that, in a creative burst that saw the Croydon-born artist put body to a title that had been lying around for quite some time.  Explaining how the track came about, the singer confessed:

I knew I liked the sound of it; I just didn’t have a clue what it meant to me or what it could turn into. It came out of frustration, I kind of just stopped caring what it could be and at 1am on a Saturday I just wrote what came out and what I felt like.”

Listening to the lyrics one can easily understand how they flowed during the lonely darkness of the small hours.  The sense of frustration is palpable, the emotion raw, the uncertainty the territory of the still of the night.

Wilder’s musicianship is as meticulous as it is intuitive and his understated yet effectual performance provides the perfect balance for Davi’s heartfelt vocal. Her voice, which is pitch perfect and well controlled throughout, has a warmth and silkiness that lends itself well to this style of soulful balladry.  Mr Bamonte certainly had a eureka moment when he conceived of this perfect musical pairing!

‘Calling The Clock’ is a masterclass in subtlety and discernment.  A modern day soul song, emotionally stirring without being overindulgent, performed with accomplished restraint, by two musical perfectionists.

Dédé Davi  is as they say, ‘one to watch’ and so in a way, is Alan Wilder. Where or when he will next be seen or heard is anyone’s guess. We can only hope it won’t be another four years. In the meantime, you can download or stream ‘Calling The Clock’ (our on Smile Records) here : itunes | spotify and watch Dédé perform the song in the video here,

Sløtface Shine ‘Bright Lights’ On A Dark Subject

Lasse Lokøy
Lasse Lokøy

Earlier in the Autumn, when the evenings were still balmy enough for us to hit the streets without donning the plethora of woollens and multitude of layers with which we are currently swaddled, Norwegian four-piece Sløtface took to the nocturnal streets of Bergen to shoot the video accompaniment to their latest single ‘Bright Lights‘.

Lifted from the EP, Empire Records‘ itself just released on 18th November, the track is about escapism – escaping self and society. The song is written by frontwoman Haley Shea, who is to Norway what Grimes is to Canada and Ani DiFrancio is to the US. who gives an unusually restrained yet highly effective vocal performance with a much nuanced emphasis on the word “crushed” that hangs at the end of the chorus like a broken arm.  Musically, this is Sløtface at their most understated.  Intuitive guitars make a statement without being overpowering while the percussion takes on a more relaxed style.  This is less punky, rriot, more Blondie style pop with its native intelligence.

The self-made Lasse Lokøy directed visual however, focusses its lens on an altogether darker subject – female vulnerability & safety.  Just how safe the nocturnal streets of Bergen are is not known to me; what is known, and only too well, is how unsafe the streets of Dublin, city or urban, are for women at any time of the day or night.

Opening with scenes from a booze, music and fun filled gathering of friends, the mood of the film quickly shifts from relaxed gaiety to one of tense uncertainty, as the once crammed frame empties onto a deserted street, dark save for the street lights, desolate except for the lone female protagonist.  What follows in this perceptively scripted and directed storyline, is an experience with which most of us females will be all too familiar.

Lasse Lokøy
Lasse Lokøy

The nervousness that automatically creeps in when we find ourselves walking alone at night.  The sense of terror that screams inside when we suddenly find that we are not alone.  The panic that sets in when a dark, hooded figure walks into our immediate space.  The disgusted indignation and feeling of limp frustration at having to ignore midnight, booze-fuelled boors, spouting sexist claptrap dressed up as a neanderthal charm offensive, that rapidly turns into insults when their efforts go unheeded.

Walking with the phone on ‘dial-alert’.  Bracing oneself with keys jagged to the ready.  Taking to the middle of the street under some misguided impression that the midsection is safer than the side because “everyone can see me, right?”. Wrong.

We are not safe.  Not safe from louts. Not safe from thugs.  Not safe from bullies.  Not safe from misogynists.  Not safe from attackers, muggers, rapists, and murderers.  We are women .. vulnerable, open to every form of attack from mental through verbal to physical.  Welcome to our world.

Sløtface have been chugging out singles like JK Rowling spawns fantasies.  The ‘Empire Records’ mini-compendium is the latest in the ever accelerating run up to their debut album, due for release in early 2017.  In addition to their ever lengthening discography, the band have been speeding up and down the gig helter-skelter and not satisfied with having recently finished a whistle-stop tour of the UK, this hyper-energised bunch have just announced another week of UK dates running from 13th – 18th February.

feb-tour-dates

‘Bright Lights‘ is available to stream/download here https://slotface.lnk.to/BrightLights & you can watch the band’s ‘on point’ awareness film right here.

The Clock Strikes ‘Won’ For Robbie Williams

robbie

ROBBIE WILLIAMS’ NEW ALBUM “THE HEAVY ENTERTAINMENT SHOW” GIVES HIM HIS 12th SOLO UK NO.1 ALBUM, MAKING WILLIAMS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL UK SOLO ARTIST OF ALL TIME!

Having landed himself a record twelfth successive chart topping solo album, it looks like the British music buying public have well and truly taken up Robbie William’s 1997 ‘Let Me Entertain You’ battle-cry.

Not only has hitting the top spot with ‘THES’ landed him his latest gong, it has also positioned him just behind the Beatles (at 11) on the leader-board for most number1 studio albums in UK chart history.

This latest record breaking milestone marks the end of a triumphant week which saw Williams joining David Bowie and Elton John to become only the third person ever to be honoured with a Brits Icon Award.

On hearing the news that The Heavy Entertainment Show, his first album on Sony Music UK, had hit the top spot Robbie said: “I’m chuffed that this album is No 1 and I’m humbled by these amazing statistics and facts. Thank you to the wonderful, wonderful team at Sony. I’m as proud of this album as much as any other, and hope that the fans enjoy it as much as I loved making it…this is for the friendlies. I’m very excited to be taking The Heavy Entertainment show on tour next year.”

On June 2nd 2017 Robbie William will embark upon a European Arena tour, kicking off in Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.  So far, there are 31 confirmed dates up to the middle of September which will see the singer take in 18 countries including Russia.

Just how Putin will react to Robbie’s devil-may-care charm & mock Russian partying is anyone’s guess. Expect the next album to contain some references to oligarchs closer to home #Trumpton.

There are still some tickets left for Robbie William’s Irish date at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium 17th June 2017, tickets from Ticketmaster starting at Euro 69.50 excluding handling charges.  ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’ is available through iTunes, Amazon etc and in physical format via your local record shop.

 

Single Review: Sigma – Find Me ft. Birdy

Millie Bobby Brown by Christopher Sims
Millie Bobby Brown by Christopher Sims

Once upon a bus journey, I caught the tail end of an acoustic piano song on the radio.  Enchanting, delightful, and unforgettable, it wasn’t groundbreaking, but it had a special something in the form of a memorable vocal with a nuance, control and clarity beyond its 14 years. The song segued into another on the radio playlist, so the singer’s identity remained a mystery.

Every now and then, I’d hear mention of a name the originality of which ensured it was glued onto the pasteboard of my mind. Birdy – the word conjures up the most fragile and mellifluent of images – whose name found an empty spot in my musical cache, despite my never having heard any of the artists songs.

Then one day as I was browsing through the stacks at Tower Records, I came across a CD entitled, ‘Fire Within.  It was 2013, and Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde aka Birdy, had just released her second album.  The name struck a chord, and the intense B&W photo kind of resonated with me, so without having heard it, or read any reviews, I bought the album.

As the words to ‘Wings‘ kicked in, something clicked.  The wheels of my memory started to turn, as that voice with all its fearless self-assurance and youthful purity effortlessly tossed the lyrics around its upper reach.  Gritty but not forceful, controlled but with enough fluidity to flow into the melody, this was a vocal with the maturity of a more seasoned performer.

The album was followed by a string of live performances.  Simultaneously, several Birdy tracks were picked up by international TV series (eg Vampire Diaries) and film soundtracks alike, thereby giving the artist huge exposure across the North Americas and ensuring her fanbase went from local to universal.

Earlier in Spring 2016, Birdy released ‘Beautiful Lies‘, her third and most exploratory album to-date, a compilation which saw her ramp up to an altogether more expansive, textured and powerful level.  Exquisitely performed and meticulously arranged, ‘Beautiful Lies‘ has a depth and potency that lift Birdy to the heights of such contemporary ‘supers’ as Florence Welch and Marina Diamandis.

Since the LP’s release and subsequent chart sucess in more than 40 countries, the singer has played a myriad sell out shows including a stellar homecoming at the Hammersmith Apollo.  Brit & Grammy nominations as well as a worldwide sales tally of 10million+ sit alongside Birdy’s status as the biggest selling female artist in the UK, 2016 to-date.

Her latest foray is into the techno world of fellow English artists, drum & bass DJ and production duo, Sigma.  The pair’s latest single, ‘Find Me‘ features this young shooting star on vocals, while the main attraction of the nocturnal video, which was shot on the streets of Los Angeles, is Millie Bobby Brown, a 12-year old actress who lip syncs with a dramatic flourish.

Find Me’ is the first single to be taken from Sigma’s second album ‘Life‘.  The irresistible track blends Birdy’s touching lyrics and pristine vocal through infectious precision-beats and trademark soaring strings. The single is out today via 3 Beat Records & you can watch the accompanying video here!

“Find Me” is available now on Spotify http://po.st/FindMeSpotify Apple http://po.st/FindMeApple & 
iTunes http://po.st/FindMeITunes

Many Voices Speak’s Debut Single Is A Sweet Retro Daydream

Photo: Julia Mård
Photo: Julia Mård

If their social media presence is anything to go by, Swedish band ‘Many Voices Speak’ are a very, very recent formation. Online for less than a month, the band have obviously been living in close quarters and deliberately keeping themselves under the radar, given they have already signed to not one but two labels, and also debuted their first single, ‘Video Child‘.

Opening with a shiver of guitar strings with a nuance of Twin Peaks mystery, ‘Video Child’ slowly and cautiously evolves into an intricate, yet loosely woven retro menagerie of guitar lines lightly dusted with reverb, delicate melodic keys, and barely there horns, all underpinned by the most discreet of RS arrangements.  Full of Hollis-esque spaces that give it a relaxing tranquility, the song has a dreamy nostalgia into which we are irresistibly drawn, not least by the softly restrained vocals of Matilda Mård, whose careful enunciation evokes feelings of both nostalgia and regret.

With scant information on both their socials and website, there’s little to go on here, but what we do have is a quote from Mård about how the song was shaped:  “‘Video Child’ was shaped from a kind of rebellion against the musical introspective sound that I devoted myself to for several years. To me it’s a song that looks back to the late nineties. Both lyrically, but also I’ve given into another kind of arrangements that provide space for a larger expression, which looks back to the artists who made me want to sing in the first place, like Dido and Destiny’s Child.”

‘Video Child’ is lifted from the band’s debut EP, ‘Away For All Time’, which Mård wrote during a long term stay in the Swedish town of Borlänge.  Be prepared for more gentle, halcyon pop melodies laced together by pure, unadulterated vocals that invite and assuage with the lightest of impressions, as they sing of a darker past whilst looking to a brighter future.

You can stream or buy ‘Video Child’ via Spotify or iTunes, while Away All the Time will release via Hit City U.S.A. on October 28th.  In the meantime, you can listen to the debut single here.