Thursday, 24 May 2018

New Music: Maggie Rogers - Fallingwater

From the 'Pharell discovery moment' of Alaska through to finding herself playing Glastonbury and singing alongside Mumford & Sons at another major festival, life has been a bit of a whirlwind for Maggie Rogers. The last we all heard from her was in September 2017 when she released a Split Stones and announced that the tune represented her saying goodbye for a little while. It seems that 'a little while' was only that. Because eight months later Maggie is ready to go all over again with a lovely new song Fallingwater

Produced together with Rostam Batmanglij, Fallingwater isn’t going to shock existing fans - she hasn't returned with a screaming heavy rock tune - instead it retains the warm, relaxed ambience that was prominent on her debut EP. The song itself comes from Rogers journey over the last 2 years and her transition from college to where she is now: “It’s a song that celebrates rapid change and how simultaneously scary and electric it can feel. It’s about giving everything and not knowing if it’s enough. It’s about the power of vulnerability – a cry for help and a battle cry at the same time.”

Although she’s only been away for a short time (and no doubt she’s been busy creating in that time, not just sitting round eating Ben & Jerry's and watching non stop Netflix) it’s good to have her back.

Maggie Rogers - Fallingwater

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

New Music: Saint Sister - Twin Peaks

I’ve never featured Saint Sister on the blog before, which is a real shame as the Irish duo have produced some exquisite tunes. Latest offering Twin Peaks is no exception – a spacious and silky song that will touch you with its soft tenderness.  

I really love the sentiment of it as well. Twin Peaks was written for a friend who was going through a bad time and the song is about the idea of just blocking out the world for a while and doing all the things that you enjoy doing together. Friends can be important for being a shoulder to cry on and talking through things, but sometimes what is required when things aren’t so good is just to be bloody self-indulgent and find some happiness again. Friends can be really good at helping with that.

Saint Sister will be releasing their debut album called Shape of Silence later this year and will be taking in a tour of America and Europe to promote it in the winter.

Saint Sister - Twin Peaks

Monday, 21 May 2018

New Music: Introducing - Abbie Ozard

When I started writing Breaking More Waves nearly 10 years ago I didn’t really realise what I was getting myself into. I just started posting about music that I had heard and liked (and posted the occasional festival review and what I now know to be called a ‘think piece’) with no thoughts about if anyone would read it. But just in case someone did read it and just in case an artist wanted to tell me about their music I put my email address on the blog for people to get in contact with me. It was my personal email address. Why on earth would I set up one for the blog when this was just a small personal project?

10 years later that email address remains on the blog as a way for people to contact me, except these days it receives over 200 submissions every 24 hours. It amazes me on a daily basis how much new music is released. And because there is so much music put out there every day, it makes me sad to think of how many of those artists will get little or no coverage from small scale personal blogs like mine right up to the Pitchforks of this world. I probably read less than 5% of the emails I receive - full time work and having a life take precedent. 

I’ve had to change my personal email address of course. The old one is now just for the blog. My mum was getting annoyed when I wasn’t replying to her because her messages got buried in between submissions from Japanese heavy metal bands and the latest glitchy new wave electronic bedroom pop artists single promotion. Sorry mum. Now I reply pretty quickly to her so we're all good.

But now I have to say sorry to the artists as well. Because although it can still be a lot of fun discovering new artists via the in box, I’m still just as likely to discover new music through a whole variety of other channels. Such as today’s new singer songwriter. Her name is Abbie Ozard and she hails from Nantwich, Cheshire. If she did ever send me an email (I've just checked - I don't think she did) the chances are I probably would have missed it anyway.

Abbie has already been picked up by BBC Introducing Manchester and last year won the inaugural Words & Music Song Contest, a competition that included 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins and singer songwriter Thea Gilmore as its judges. So it's not just me that has noticed her, although at the moment most of the attention on Abbie has come from the Manchester area. 

The song that has grabbed my ears is Average Disguise; it's a dark torch song cast from the witching hours. It was the track that won her the competition and it was released at the start of this year - but it's still worth your time now. The most important ingredient of quality is time. Average Disguise is full of powerful brooding textures and ghostly cinematic guitar rattles and it is frankly rather wonderful. Abbie names Daughter and Marika Hackman as influences and you can definitely hear that in terms of the atmospherics of the song – it has elements of the epic, the cinematic and the nostalgic to it, although this is no copycat – it very much stands out as a very well-crafted piece on its own.

It’s early days for Abbie Ozard, but I’ll be keeping close tabs on her to see what comes next, for this sounds impressive.

Abbie Ozard - Average Disguise

Thursday, 17 May 2018

New Music: Dizzy - Pretty Thing (Video)

“Hey guys we need to shoot a video for your song Pretty Thing.”

“Cool – what do you have in mind? Maybe we could do a performance video where we all play our instruments to show what we look like live. Or maybe we could not appear in the video at all and just use actors to tell an interesting or arty story for people to watch?”

“No, I was thinking that we get Katie to sing whilst you guys just stand there looking really really awkward for no reason.”

“Hmmm that doesn’t sound great – can we not at least move around or something? Maybe some dance routines perhaps?"

“OK, you can do a little bit of walking. But that’s it. Mainly I want you just standing doing nothing. It expresses something deep about the pointlessness of life”

“Er…OK…whatever you think will look good.”

Here is the new video for Pretty Thing by Dizzy. An undeniably beautiful song that in places reminds me of the band I’d most like to reform (The Sundays). Just feel a little bit sorry for the guys in the band in this video as you watch. They certainly don't look like they thought this was a good idea. More like they're at a funeral and Katie has just burst into song.

Dizzy - Pretty Thing (Video)