Thursday, 18 January 2018
Towards the end of last year when I was compiling my Ones to Watch for 2018 list, there were 2 names that needed absolutely no thought before including them. One was Norway’s Sigrid. She ended up being heralded by about 95% of all the tip lists and, perhaps somewhat inevitably, went on to top the big one, the BBC Sound of 2018 poll. The second name, one who didn’t crop up on nearly so many of the lists, but then surprised me a little by being included on the BBC Sound of 2018 was Jade Bird.
The surprise wasn’t because Jade wasn’t fully deserving of being on the BBC poll long list, she is, but more that she was on less other tip lists so logic would suggest wouldn’t be on the BBC one either.
Whilst tips are all well and good, they are just that – tips. What really counts is the music and thankfully Jade has wasted no time releasing some quality new material. Her latest song Lottery was released last week and today Billboard premiered her new video. It’s a simple, colourfully lit, two and a half minute performance piece that allows us to focus on Jade and her punchy piece of country-pop, which demonstrates not only what a potent and raw vocalist she is but that she has some real writing ability as well. Listen to her bang out that chorus: “You used to tell me that love is a lottery and you got your numbers and you’re betting on me.” It’s hard to disagree with the statement that she’s one of the UK’s finest new songwriters.
Jade Bird - Lottery (Video)
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
There are still no clues about who (or maybe even what) iZNiik is. Maybe it’s as simple as someone who is called Nick? Maybe it’s a collective? Maybe it’s all just music created by a computer or some sort of new pop music algorithm? We can’t be that far from the day when music and songs created solely by computers based on your own personal listening preferences is that far away can we?
Whoever he / she / they /it is / are though, last week saw the release of the 2nd iZNiik EP and from it comes the debut video for lead track shadows (yes no capital in the title). Once again it’s a fine slice of cut ‘n’ paste funky pop, a menagerie of samples spliced together to create something that sounds holistic rather than separated, as do the visuals which achieve the same interconnected feeling.
iZNiik - shadows
Thursday, 11 January 2018
Regular / long term readers of Breaking More Waves will recognise the name Emily Burns; she first appeared on this blog back in 2013 with a now long deleted song called Plasters, Glitter and Glue. At the time I compared her to a new wave of young acoustic singer songwriters that were making a name for themselves; Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin and Nina Nesbitt.
Since then Emily’s music has transitioned from vocals and acoustic guitar to out and out contemporary pop which we last heard in 2016 with the Sound of Fractures produced Take It Or Leave It, a quality cut which picked up some traction music blogs.
Now the 22 year-old is back with new pink hair and her most of-the-moment tune so far. It seems that her momentum is continuing as Bitch isn’t self-released, but through 37 Adventures – a label that has brought you the likes of Rosie Lowe, Jones and Salute.
Bitch finds Emily looking back at a past friendship / relationship and wondering how that person has been doing since they went their own ways and reflecting on what she’s heard of that other person, as they have mutual friends: “You say you’re flying now I’m gone, don’t care about me no more, you think I’m crying well I’m not, I’ve never been quite this sure.” It’s quite a jam and then some.
Bitch is spikey, full spirited and likely to make the ears of any pop fan tingle with excitement.
Emily Burns - Bitch
Somewhere out there on the internet or perhaps in a dusty cobweb covered library there’s some ancient directory called Band Names Volumes 1 to 10. It contains every single moniker that’s possible for every group and every time a new one emerges their name is deleted from the directory. With the development of Google the directory had to be updated to include all those Google optimised bad spellings like Chvrches or Deadmau5, giving a fresh and almost unlimited supply of ideas for those who are struggling to find something original.
Which brings me to south London double denim wearing five-piece Yawwn. You can probably see where I’m going with this already. In terms of names it seems like this lot drew the short straw – you can just see the jokes about them being boring tumbling in already.
Thankfully though despite the sleepy name the music is excellent. Debut single Partisan is a melee of slacker grooves, indie rock, weird bubbling sounds, piano stabs and slow bump and grind bass. It also has an addictively simple killer chorus: “I have a feeling that I’ll need you always.” I imagine (and this is complete guess work) that their record collection contains everything from art-school funk, to psychedelic, to straight up alternative indie rock, disco and pop. What I do know for sure however is that this is in no way dull or sleep inducing. Partisan is a preening piece of musical joy. Get ready to stop yawning and get dancing.
Partisan was recorded between the band’s South Wimbledon rehearsal space and Konk Studios, and is the first track off a forthcoming EP. Yawwn played their first shows last November supporting Kane Strang on his UK tour, including a gig at Oslo, Hackney. Partisan is officially launched on 13th January at the very first of their own Club Yawwn nights in SW19 London, which according to the information I’ve been sent includes ‘Meal Deals’. I’m not sure if that’s the name of a band or a packet of sandwiches, a bag of crisps and a smoothie for £3, but either way I like the idea.
Yawwn - Partisan