Thursday, 23 October 2014

Brika - Gold

Following three previous tunes, namely Mumbai, Expectations and Options (two of which we featured on Breaking More Waves) comes Miami singer Brika’s fourth single, Gold, the final release before her debut album Voice Memos which is due on November 25th via Art House Records. We quite like the idea of an album called Voice Memos. We imagine Brika singing her weekly food shopping list over some pumping electronica and perhaps some domestic chores and laundry that she needs to remember to do over some deft piano. After all it was good enough for Kate Bush.

However it looks like our fantasies of normality will remain just that that, because Gold is nothing of the sort. Instead it’s a propulsive and uplifting dance-pop belter with not one mention of packets of pasta or washing the kitchen floor. “Hold me close and I know I'll feel fine,” Brika sings before the chorus hits the swagger button and forces you to throw your hands in the air.

Bika - Gold

Rag 'n' Bone Man - Hell Yeah ft Vince Staples

Stop everything. Brighton based Steptoe & Son obsessed Rory Graham, better known as Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (who we enthusiastically introduced earlier this month) has a new tune and it’s an absolute corker. Imagine George Ezra discovering hip-hop, going deeper and finding a growling hook line “maybe you're going to hell yeah, for all our wicked crimes,” that buries into your head on first listen. This one is pretty incredible and once you hear it you’ll probably understand why his forthcoming hometown show in November has already had to be upgraded due to demand. This man knows how to holler the blues, (with some accompanying rap from Vince Staples on this track) and then some. This big man deserves to be a big name; find salvation in Hell Yeah.

Rag 'n' Bone Man - Hell Yeah ft Vince Staples

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Honeyblood - Choker (Video)

Whilst Royal Blood are taking all the accolades for ‘Best UK Guitar Band of 2014’ it’s worth remembering that they are not single flag bearers. In fact we’d rather the flag was ditched completely and we just talked about good music. Another 'blood' named two piece  -Honeyblood - make exactly that. 

Having been named on the UK Blog Sound of 2014 long list the group has certainly justified that tip, releasing an excellent debut album (we’re hoping it might sneak in on a few end of year lists) and played many well received shows. With original drummer Shona McVicar now departed and replaced by Car Myers, next up for the Scottish band is a co-headline slot on the NME endorsed New Breed Tour 2014 alongside Superfood.

As part of the build up to this tour Honeyblood has released a new Hitchcock styled video for the song Choker which is based on Angela Carter’s short story The Bloody Chamber. The Choker is a wedding gift given to the main character by her husband. In the book she discovers that he enjoys sadistic pornography and has killed his previous wives, keeping them in a secret room. It’s fair to say that he isn’t a particularly nice chap, but he gets his comeuppance eventually. The story was in turn based on the fairytale Bluebeard. 

The director of the video Julian Tardo says of the piece “I wanted to house Stina's reinterpretation of Bluebeard within yet another layer of context - so I suppose it's Bluebeard through the Bloody Chamber through film noir. I like layering these ideas over and over - I think the essence of human reaction becomes ever starker as you bury it in these layers.”

The video is also the second that we’ve featured in 24 hours that uses the colour red to highlight key visual images in a largely black and white environment after Seinabo Sey's effort yesterday.

Honeyblood - Choker (Video)

Chløë Black - New Waves

Wikipedia suggests that musicologists define pop as having a number of characteristics, one of which is a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments. When a new artist breaks through with something a little unique and special you’ll inevitably get a slew of similar artists following in their path. It’s probably why right now there’s a lot of white bearded men who have suddenly discovered sexy r’n’b and why there’s quite a few female singers out there sounding a little bit like either Lorde, Ellie Goulding or Lana Del Rey. This isn’t a criticism on our part of those artists, because let’s face it, much of progressive art, be it music, painting, dance or architecture is fundamentally rubbish – but out of the crap, somewhere something incredible will also be born.

So let’s back track to Lana Del Rey. Yesterday we posted Zella Day’s new tune Hypnotic and immediately compared it to Lana. Today we’re introducing Chløë Black and once again making that comparison. The melody, the vocal intonation and even the subject material (the 27 Club being a term that refers to a number of musicians who died at that age from either suicide or alcohol / drug abuse) could easily be something that we can imagine Lana performing. After all she alluded to the idea of dying young in this interview with the Guardian and now Chløë is doing the same. 

“Joplin, heroin, cocaine, Cobain, raise my Hendricks to Jimi no one gets old in this city,” she sings and we’re won over with the gin and rock star reference, the hint of faded glamour and a vocal that once you suck in you find is delivered with more soul and passion than Lana could ever muster. We’ve no idea what other material she has, or if she can sing this well live, but if she can, we could have a star on our hands. 

Incidentally, what’s happened to another Chlöe -  Chlöe Howl? Are we ever going to get an album from her?

Chløë Black - 27 Club