Monday, 19 February 2018
Consisting of Christie Gardner and Helen Dixon, the music of Lilo’s Wall casts the same sort of blissful spell as Watford’s finest The Staves. It’s all soft acoustic strums, golden harmonies and a calm intimacy that manages to create a quiet lull amongst chaotic pace of the world. It’s folk-pop cast from something rather graceful and lovely.
This Winchester two-piece have been playing together for a number of years now and last year released an extended play single Tinted Windows / Tough Love that picked up a small amount of attention including from their local BBC Introducing radio show, but really not enough. So, with the tracks being uploaded to Soundcloud over the last few days it seems an opportune moment to feature them on Breaking More Waves and hopefully guide their music towards a few more as yet unknowing ears. Take a listen below and find the full three track EP on all the usual streaming services.
Lilo's Wall - Tough Love
Sunday, 18 February 2018
I've often written on Breaking More Waves about how if you’re going to see a particular band headline a gig, make sure you get there early and watch the supports. There’s lots of reasons for this, but the primary one is for your own benefit. Just because an act isn’t top of the bill doesn’t mean they couldn’t be in the future. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to see acts such as Radiohead, The Killers, Ellie Goulding, Jorja Smith and Franz Ferdinand play as support acts in tiny clubs for way less than you would pay to see them now. And if you do go and watch the supports, please have the common decency and manners to actually listen to them, not just treat their music as a backing track to your conversation with your mates.
So, here’s another support band recommendation. If you’re in the UK and are going to see Pale Waves on their sold-out UK tour then make sure you get there early for Bloxx. They’ve already been featured on Breaking More Waves a number of times and their new song Novocain justifies another post. It's a vibrantly exciting piece of guitar pop that struts and shimmers with all the confidence of someone who has just slipped on some shiny new shoes and knows they look bloody good in them. To be honest Bloxx probably don’t need anybody to tell them that they sound good – you can hear they know it. Another two fingers up against anyone who says that guitar music is dead, this one walks it.
Bloxx - Novocain
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Harpenden’s Emma McGrath has been making music for some time now, with her first EP The Judgement released as far back as 2014. Yet it’s her latest song Love You Better that has suddenly seen a flurry of interest on line. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed a number of blogs that I visit such as Crack In The Road, Too Many Blogs and Going Solo all posting the song and it’s easy to understand why. Love You Better has a fully-grown completeness to it. It’s a guitar-based pop tune, but the sort of classic thoughtful pop song you might find being played out on BBC Radio 2 rather than Radio 1.
It’s probably fair to say that on first listen Love You Better probably isn’t the sort of track that you’d expect interpretive dancing (or in fact dancing of any kind) to be done to, but you’d be wrong. The video, which was released today, features exactly that and it’s surprising how well it works.
Of the song Emma says: "It's an interesting song, that can be viewed in two different ways. The lyrics "I can love you better in the long run" have juxtaposing meanings - "I'll become a better person" or "I'm better than that person". It says a lot about the attitude of an individual in love."
Having received a PRS Foundation Women Make Music grant in 2017 Emma has been working with the likes of Grammy Award winning Jimmy Hogarth and Brit School alumni Jackson and Rhiannon Mair to develop her work. Her new 6 track EP Silent Minds is due for release in April.
Emma McGrath - Love You Better (Video)
Last year when I published my annual Ones to Watch tip list for 2018 one name that I picked that I was a little surprised not to see on lots of lists was Grace Carter. Why was I surprised? Because of two simple things. First, because she is a super talented and composed vocalist. Secondly her debut single Silence was the sweetest of perfections and if she got anywhere near that with any other songs then she deserved to be taken notice of.
So now it really is time to take notice. Because she’s done it again. Working alongside Justin Parker, the man who is probably most famous for writing Video Games with Lana Del Rey and bagging himself and Ivor Novello award in the process, Grace has created Silhouette. It’s been out for a few weeks now but today she has released a video.
Silhouette is a huge emotional pop ballad that will probably have you gentling sobbing in the corner by the end. Be careful here though, when I saw ‘huge’ I don’t mean that it’s bombastic or over produced – there’s no grand orchestras giving an extra sense of drama. Instead Silhouette strikes the heart with its subtle and tender piano backing and Grace’s soulful voice. It's huge with it's impact. “You keep blowing smoke till you fade to a silhouette. You should've told me you didn't want me,” she sings. Breathtakingly sad and beautiful. Nothing else is required.
Grace Carter - Silhouette (Video)