Sunday, 25 September 2016
Because the new method of new music discovery for the majority now seems to be playlists and in particular Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, as a new music blog it seems almost pointless posting something that was featured on that playlist a few days later. But just in case you aren’t a Spotify user, or don’t use the New Music Friday Playlist, or just haven’t got to listening to Spotify’s selections yet then now’s your chance to hear Sickly Sweet by Fours. Back in January when I introduced the band I gave as a reference point a comparison between Fickle Friends and a less try hard Florence and the Machine. And guess what? That sticks with this new one as well.
Sickly Sweet is rabidly upbeat, one of those songs that in the alternative-pop universe would be all over the radio and in the charts. It’s not pushing pop in some radical new direction, but it will push you towards the dancefloor. “You shouldn’t have loved me anyway,” sings lead singer Edith Violet, which slightly takes the sunshine smiles off the chirpiness of the tune, but frankly she could be singing “I’ve just killed your mother,” and I’d probably still be grinning from ear to ear. (Sorry mum)
Sickly Sweet - Fours
Thursday, 22 September 2016
I love Black Honey. Do you love Black Honey? You really f*ckin should.
Someone who knows a lot more about music than I do once told me that the three basic rules of writing a great pop song (of any genre) were to 1. Keep it short. 2 Keep it simple. 3. Make it instantly memorable. Black Honey follow those rules 100% with new song Hello Today, which clocks in at just over 2 and a half minutes. They’re not hanging around here and they don’t need to. That’s all the time that’s required to make an impression. You only need this to pass your ears once and it’s there, in your head, riffing and snarling, strutting and preening, confident in the knowledge that it knows what it’s doing.
As I said. I love Black Honey and so should you.
Black Honey - Hello Today
North London’s Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville go by the name of Ider. This is their first time on Breaking More Waves, but King Ruby, their latest song, is their third tune to be released. That’s not to say I didn’t 100% approve of their first two offerings. Sorry was a piece of downbeat sad-pop, perfect for those late night moments when you’re alone and feeling a little bit lost in the world. It’s follow up, Pulse was even better; stripped back to just keys and beats it was a subdued yet stirring slice of perfection.
After those first two songs, it could have been easy to pigeon hole the duo as just being the languid version of Oh Wonder (not a bad thing), only being able to create hushed hymns for a generation suffering from the exhaustion epidemic. However, King Ruby offers something different. This one brings an Eastern ethereal sound to proceedings and a slightly more uptempo pace.
Apparently the likes of Aurora and Shura are already on board as fans and Pulse has already notched up over half a million plays on Spotify, which is some going. Probably adding the name of Breaking More Waves to the fan list probably won't be quite as big a deal, but for musicians, every fan counts, in large amounts.
Listen to King Ruby below and if you’re playing catch up enjoy the ambient pop sound of Pulse as well.
Ider - Pulse (Video)
Ider - King Ruby
Jazzy flutes? Check. Easy listening vibes? Check. Silky smooth sophistication? Check. Welcome to the world of Prep. It's a good world to exist in.
Prep first cropped up on Breaking More Waves just over a year ago with the far out soul of Cheapest Flight – it was the kind of jam that made me want to grab a cocktail and lounge back into a big white leather sofa. Since then they’ve followed it up with Sunburnt Through The Glass, received support from BBC Radio 1, KCRW and Beats 1 and grooved their way to near the top of the Hype Machine charts.
What I'm enjoying about Prep is that they sound so different from anything else out there right now. Sure the influences are there (I still hear a fair amount of Donald Fagen in their music) but for a bunch of guys that include a hip-hop producer, a classical composer, a house DJ and a singer songwriter and whose individual credits include Drake, Kwabs, AlunaGeorge, Foxes, Raleigh Ritchie and Klangkarussell they sound wonderfully not of the moment, and I like that.
Prep play Birthdays in London on the 12th October. Who's Got You Singing Again is taken from Prep's forthcoming EP which will be called Futures.
Prep - Who's Got You Singing Again