Wednesday, 22 July 2015
5 facts / opinions / things about Xylo and their third song, Afterlife, which has just been released to the online world (we’ve already streamed their other two songs here and here).
1. That early Broods comparison we made in the two previous posts continues with Afterlife. That is to say it’s brother-sister created electronic pop but with a bit of an edge, a bite, a staring out at the world and feeling sad and scared streak to it.
2. Xylo look cool. Look at them. They look like they sort of people we’d like to hang out with in trendy bars and cafes and talk about all the unquestionably cool books, films and music that they almost undoubtedly know about, if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re just not damn swell enough to even be in their presence. What does that have to do with their music we hear you serious ‘real music’ fans ask? Everything. If we need to explain to you why sometimes it’s important for pop stars to look amazing (in this case it looks like they've stepped out of some gritty Hollywood gangster film) then you’re probably reading the wrong blog.
3. Apparently Zane Lowe premiered this on his Beats Radio show. We guess right now, in terms of popular culture, getting your song premiered on Beats Radio is about as good as it gets.
4. Afterlife is very good. OK that last sentence isn’t going to get quoted on any future press releases by their publicity people, but trust us it is. What we particularly like is the swearing. Yes we know it’s not big or clever, but a pop song that features lines like ‘I need a f*cking holiday’ gives it that bit of weighty passion doesn’t it? Of course it also needs a good tune, and in this respect all the requisite things are there; hooks and melody are present and correct.
5. We don't normally do negativity on the blog, but this time feel that it has to be said. The ending’s a bit rubbish. It’s a fade. In the Rules of Pop Chapter 8, paragraph 7.2 specifically rules out the fade as a suitable ending in 2015. But then when you think about it, Xylo can do what the hell they want. They don't need an imaginary pop rulebook created by a blogger. Still, we think the ending is lacking. Sorry Xylo. Otherwise (we repeat) very good indeed.
Xylo - Afterlife
Portsmouth is the home of Breaking More Waves and it’s also the home of singer songwriter Jerry Williams, who we first featured on the blog at the start of the year. Since that time Jerry has played shows at Brighton’s new music showcase The Great Escape and has also been out supporting Nathan Skyes on his sold out UK tour.
Next up comes a new offering from her forthcoming EP, due for release on the 21st August.
Cold Beer has a glossier production than Jerry's earlier acoustic recordings, with some soft disco riffs entering the mix. Lyrically it rests a little against Kate Nash’s hit Foundations, with Williams singing about throwing up in the sink (rather than her trainers like Nash) so maybe at least a little easier to clean up!
The video itself is a whirlwind tour of some of Portsmouth’s local haunts, including Meat and Barrel, Clarence Pier, Lucile’s Creperie, Bandstand, Pie & Vinyl, The Garage Lounge and Tiger Tiger accompanied by her date - a man with a rather out of control afro. And the song you hear at the start of the video? It's a snippet of another one of Jerry’s songs, Boy Oh Boy.
Jerry Williams plays an EP launch show on the 20th August at Camden Barfly as well as Wilderness Festival this summer.
Jerry Williams - Cold Beer (Video)
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
All credit to pop duo IYES, for in 2015, the year of the complete attention span deficit, they’ve just banged out a pop song that has an instrumental intro that lasts nearly a minute, and a tune that takes its full journey over the five - we predict a radio edit. That length might not seem much of an achievement, but trust us, there will be people reading this blog post who have already skipped the text, played 15 seconds of the song, decided it’s not for them and scrolled down to something else that they’ll probably spend less than a minute with. Imagine if you treated your love life like that? Oh hold on, that's called Tinder isn't it? Let’s all s-l-o-w d-o-w-n a bit shall we and take time to really enjoy something.
The song itself is called So Crazy. We’re beginning to think IYES are trying to tell us something having already issued a cover of Crazy In Love. This one is a thing of swirling computer game electronics, boy girl vocals, lyrics about 'delete our mutual friends' and 'just admit the record ends', and a chorus that builds to the heavens. It’s from a forthcoming EP called Part One, so we guess there will be more parts to follow after that.
IYES - So Crazy
The last time we can remember there being a bona fide piece of pop brilliance called Tennessee on the airwaves was from Atlanta based alternative hip hop group Arrested Development. Now we have another. Having already blown up on the world wide web a few weeks ago with her debut track Gold (which we featured here) Kiiara produces a second tune that goes straight into the collection labelled A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. It’s another scissor sharp piece of electronic production that’s as modern as it’s possible to get. “All those pictures on the internet,” she sings, “burn them up like a cigarette.” On the basis of the two tracks she’s now released Kiarra’s debut EP Meet Me In The Cornfield is going to be a must have. As she commands herself on the track - do it.
Kiiara - Tennessee