Sunday, 9 March 2014
“The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” states a quote on the website for International Women’s Day. As part of those collective efforts, yesterday, (which of course was International Women’s Day) a variety of events took place across the world from large rallies to small gatherings. It was interesting to note that of the events recorded on the IWD website the country that had held the most events wasn’t any of those with the biggest populations in the world, but our own country of the UK.
In terms of women in music quite a few radio stations marked the occasion in some way (BBC Radio 1 for example only used female DJ's) and some artists themselves acts got on the case and recorded and uploaded songs, celebrating or drawing attention to the day. The song that we think had the best sentiment was Femme’s cover of Respect by Aretha Franklin, which of course was originally recorded by Otis Redding, and had a somewhat different meaning, the word ‘respect’ in that case being a euphemism. Yet it was Aretha’s version that became the hit, a signature anthem for feminism and one of the greatest songs of all time. So here’s Femme’s take on it, which keeps reasonably faithful to the original in terms of melody but with a more modern electronic pop vibe.
If you haven’t heard of Femme before then why not find out more and listen to some of her own material (here) which we posted in the middle of the night during our 24 hour Blogathon event earlier this year. We are very pleased to confirm that between this blog and Alphabet Bands blog we raised just over £1,500 for Cancer Research in finishing the Blogathon.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T is a free download for the time being and we're hoping that Barack Obama has been listening, because then he might learn how to spell the word after his mistake a day or so ago.
Femme - R.E.S.P.E.C.T
Saturday, 8 March 2014
We named them as one of our 10 Ones To Watch for 2014, and their song Over and Out as one of our favourites of 2013, now indie-pop boys Flyte are back with a new single We Are The Rain, which in a moment of coincidence is being released on the same label (paradYse) as the track by Cosmo Sheldrake we posted earlier today.
We Are The Rain finds Flyte finding a smigen of groove amongst the keyboard flutters and picked guitars; it’s a gentler offering than the punchy Over and Out owing more in atmosphere and slow-hip gyrating funkiness to the likes of Theme Park who also released on paradYse – we’re spotting a trend here. “In your dad’s old car, hiding from the weather, under April showers, we will stay together,” croons lead singer Will and despite the lyrics the band take us on a musical journey that sounds positively pina colada like to a desert island where they ask for “cheap warm beer and fake sunglasses.”
Flyte are out on the road supporting Bombay Bicycle Club at the moment and play Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth this Monday (see you there if you’re going) but get there very early, Flyte are on stage at 7.30pm every night. You can pre-order We Are The Rain which is strictly limited to 250 copies here.
Flyte - We Are The Rain
In a feat of incredible timing, the day that the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition longlist was announced and our nominations were revealed, one of the artists Breaking More Waves selected to be on the list also released his new song to the internet. This is that song.
Listening to Cosmo Sheldrake is an absorbing experience and The Moss is a perfect example of that. Did you know that the perceived wisdom is that where moss grows on trees in the northern hemisphere it is likely to be thickest on the north side of the tree? If you didn’t and you listen to The Moss it’s the first thing you’ll learn. It’s something to do with moss producing spores that need a damp environment to grow and as the sun shines from the south in the northern hemisphere the northern part of a tree is likely to remain damper. There you are, it’s not everyday you get a little bit of a science lesson from a pop song or a music blog is it? And as Cosmo continues you’ll also learn that the world spins on an axis of twenty three degrees and hear references to the nonsense poems of the likes of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. Cosmo isn’t a man who (thankfully) is likely to be singing about being ‘in da club’ or how ‘baby I wanna see you naked.’
It’s not just Cosmo’s quirkily unconventional lyrics that engage though. It’s his nursery rhyme melodies and his adventurous and eclectic instrumentation that he populates his songs with. On The Moss you’ll hear electronics, a woodwind instrument that we’re reliably informed is called a duduk and strings all combining to create something utterly unique. It encapsulates all that traditional and loveable British eccentricity yet thrusts it into a very modern context. Dare we say it? Absolute genius. If this one doesn’t leave you grinning from ear to ear check your pulse because you’re probably dead.
The song is released on the 21st April through paradYse/Transgressive Records.
Cosmo Sheldrake - The Moss
Friday, 7 March 2014
We’ve been hankering for a single proper from Berkshire based singer songwriter Haze since we first featured her on the blog last April with her song In The Midst Of The Storm and finally our wishes have been granted. It’s been well worth the wait.
Together Or Apart is a breathtaking piano ballad which finds Haze pondering on the subject that more songs have been written about than any other – love. Or more specifically can love last forever or will we all end up with broken hearts? Despite this philosophical question being somewhat introspective the alluring beauty of Haze’s unique vocal and the gentle growing power of the melody means that you’re more likely to be carried away on a heavenly wave of joy than wanting to go and check in at a depression clinic. This one induces hairs to stand up on the back of the neck. Oh, that voice!
Haze will be playing live at Reading’s Are You Listening Festival in April (the first acts of which have just been announced and includes the likes of Breaking More Waves favourites The Night VI – bands announced so far and ticket info can be found here) plus a number of other dates throughout the summer. Together Or Apart will be released as a digital download on March 25th – full details of which will appear here.
Haze - Together Or Apart (Video)