Tuesday, 19 September 2017

New Music: Introducing - Naaz

When you’re just starting out in the world of music, it doesn’t do any harm to get a leg up or two from those who have already had success and certainly when One Direction lad Niall Horan puts one of your songs on his Spotify Chilled Hits playlist, it’s not going to do any harm. Nor is it going to hurt in terms of exposure when Flux Pavilion and Yellow Claw collaborate with you so that you get to sing on a rampant dancefloor banger. However, even with these favours it’s not going to sustain you long term unless you can offer something special on your own terms. Thankfully newcomer Naaz does exactly that. 

Naaz (full name Naaz Salahaddin Ali Mohammad) is a 19-year-old singer, songwriter and producer from Holland. The back story that you’ll read on virtually every article written about her is that she was raised in a highly conservative Kurdish household and may have not ever pursued music until her parents were finally convinced that Naaz’s talents were too special to constrain. 

With a debut EP (Bits of Naaz) coming soon Naas has just a small handful of songs online; 2016’s Sadboy, and the two tracks from earlier this year that really show what she’s about. 

Words is a tender and ever so pretty pop song, one of those tunes that, if you are in love, will make you immediately want to play it to your partner and if you’re not, will probably make you decide that maybe it’s time to be so. “But yet it feels like I've never lived before, anything that's less turned into more,” she sings in her beautiful melody kissed voice and the world and life just seems a better place. 

Like Words, her other 2017 song Can’t clocks in at less than three minutes and with its warm soft synths and reflective tone also hits the spot.  It’s no wonder that Naaz has already picked up lots of streams on Spotify and You Tube. She is certainly Holland’s finest new music export.

Streams are one thing, but as any live music fan will know, you can clock up hundreds of thousands of plays on line, but it doesn't necessarily translate to a real life fan base. Playing live can help that and Naaz is now starting down that route. She plays the The Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany this Thursday and will be coming to the UK (my country) in November to play in London at the Old Blue Last alongside another Breaking More Waves favourite Joy Crookes.

Naaz - Words

Naaz - Can't (Video)

Monday, 18 September 2017

New Music: Bjork - The Gate (Video)

Over the last week or so I have been compiling one of those dreaded ‘my favourite 100 albums of all time’ lists for something that isn’t related to Breaking More Waves at all. What has been interesting to note is the handful of artists that have more than just one album on the list, and one of those is Bjork.

The Icelandic musician has produced, since 1992, a solo body of work that is extraordinary in its forward-thinking inventiveness, but more than that, even her older records still sound fresh, exciting and boldly modern after all of these years. They’re records that I come back to again and again, not weeks or months after release, but years. And yet, I don't think I've ever featured her on Breaking More Waves.

Despite the back catalogue Bjork also continues to release incredible new work and today she revealed her mesmerising video for new song The Gate, made in collaboration with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and artist Andrew Thomas Huang. Bjork has described The Gate as a transcendent love song, the lyrics portraying the healing process after the heartbreak of being pulled apart when a long term relationship ends. The video is a shiny, magical and enchanting thing - everything you would expect of Bjork.

Bjork - The Gate (Video)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

New Music: Slang - Murder

I’ve always been a fan of the 'no messing jump straight in with the hook' school of songwriting and Murder, the new one from Slang, does exactly that. There’s no long drawn out instrumental into and no rambling verse; it takes just eight seconds before the ear grabbing is complete. With this song title any reference to Slang ‘killing it’ is probably right. 

With a gritty old school gangland production Murder seems to take a myriad of different reference points from hip-hop to pop to 90’s baggy grooves but manages to hone them all down to something that keeps everything on point and accessible. Get ready to be slayed.

Slang has a new mix tape release called fwENDZ out soon.

Slang - Murder

Thursday, 14 September 2017

New Music: Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy (Video)

Fitter, faster, stronger…

Since Australian four-piece Confidence Man first appeared on Breaking More Waves things have been going pretty well for the band in the UK. They were one of the most talked about acts at this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton (don’t say I didn’t warn you) and they achieved the virtually unthinkable for a new band at Glastonbury and packed out the Williams Green stage at a pre-lunch time slot and got everyone dancing.

Now they’re upping the game again with the zestful Better Sit Down Boy, a tune which is guaranteed to make you want to throw on your leotard, sweat bands and disco shorts and bounce it, pump it and thrust it like you’re just one gym session away from total ecstasy. 

Coming on strong like a long lost Fatboy Slim / Big Beat track from the mid-90’s Better Sit Down Boy is pure too many beats per minute joy. 

Accompanied by a video which finds Janet Planet, Sugar Bones and the others as well as variety of body builder types working out it reminds me that a Confidence Man gig is an experience in keep fit and exercise itself – by the end of it you’ll be a sweaty but happy mess.

This is outstanding hyper-pop. Extra marks for the “Oh you speak French? Oh man that’s neat” line as well.

Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy (Video)