How many adjectives can be used to describe communal soul ache?

Rhapsodic and really, really, haunting. The kind that makes your body and soul crawl uncontrollably and repeatedly an inescapable and undulating celestial body. The Seed screams gauzy rawness paired divine energy that propels thick and stirring. You’re going to want to blackout draw the blinds, light a dozen white candles and outer-body abandon to experience this fully. 

You cannot eat money

A phonic tackling of humanistic destructive ugliness Aurora channels cosmic pith like no other. She has a potency to her voice that could grow trees or power tides with addictive staggered lust and sensory warmth. An empire of sound, if this is the seed to a greater good then we can all look forward to it’s birth.

Al Mills.
shout out to Dan the celestial connoisseur xo
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Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and beardphoto credit to: A.Swayze & the Ghosts

A stella and uncontrollably tight debut laced up in rigorous, soul strung unity before being spat out in a 10 minute spiral of urguncy, sweat and razored narrative. Liberatingly unhinged vocals drool spiritedly and dauntless all over a scything powerhouse of instrumentalism you can stomp your DM’s to.

This is Garage Punk at its peak promising. Charasmatic, determined and gnarly.

Yes to all of it. 

Al Mills

Image may contain: one or more peoplephoto credit: Ibibio Sound Machine

 

This is damn epic. Glittering disco grooves, riffs for days and the return of Nigerian Ibibio language to the mainstream Doko Mien, the second album by London’s ‘Ibibio Sound Machine’ is a fusionist celebration of universalness and rich heritage, proving once again the group can deliver illustrious high life perfection (figuratively and literally). A bit chaotic and chicly CHIC but not, Doko Mien is fuel for you inner sequinned disco-come-polyrhythmic diva.

Frontwoman Eno Williams is gloriously commanding in both delivery and lyricism; “I need you to be sweet like sugar”. A figurhead for badassness in eclectic tongue, she infectiously soars over a blended futuristic weave of synths and cow bells. A match made in an invigoratingly fusioned yet traditionalist heaven it’s an unsubtley unique and all round encompassing extravaganza. Where ‘I Will Run’ falls flat in comparison to initial elations, penultimate track Guess We Found a Way is the ideal counterargument to the (unapologetic) repetitivness of previous funk.

Image result for ibibio sound machine merge recordsphoto credit: Merge Records

 

At times there’s an apparent Morcheeba inspired crossover in sound. Williams does fine tuned, sultrous moody as well as she does feel good domination; in Ibibio (naturally). All in all if honoured, progressively nostalgic funk with a twist sounds like a shout then this is for you. Perhaps you need to be in the right mood to listen or perhaps, by listening, you’ll be in the right mood. 

Al Mills

emilie.pngphoto credit Lean Benoit

Emilie Kahn is a French-Canadian Mermaid in disguise. Equipped with her harp (although she’s dropped it’s moniker Ogden) and enchanted tales of heartbreak and fearlesness, Emilie has created a wonderfully lush, deeply distinctive, emotional rock pool of a follow up record.

There’s a driving pulse to Emilie’s writing style. Uniquely adaptable and immersive, Outro is a fitting soundtrack for an empowered fairtyale. With a depth to storytelling like no other, she capably creates her own genre of transformative layered Pop and Indie Folk. Never an afterthought, the presence of harp makes immediate and total sense, a seemingly withstanding engraving not addition to Emilie’s person. Outro is built as a resonating tide of ethereal choruses and captivated instrumental breaks whilst Emilie’s vocals are angelic but not without vigor. With subtle progression and glittering lovesick landscapes all encompassed into blossoming siren song. 

Sixth track Horse somehow sounds like blue lagoons and stardust.  A call out to a lover long gone it’s smoothly residual and soothing whilst stand out track Three is a blazingly controlled release of frustration; unshackled and Devine Feminine.

This is a record that’s both rhapsodic and mellow. Classical weaves with contemporary seamlessly with delicacy and reminiscent magic.  As youthfull as it’s ageless,  “I’ll give you all the goddamn stars if you want some space.” 

Al Mills

 

When Malena Zavala sings it sounds like a hazy summer evening glow, all murky and delicate. Her songs are alluring in their intimacy, showcasing a wide range of artistic capability and promise. I spoke with her (unfortunately not present up a mountain) before she embarks on her EU tour.

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malena press
Image by Victoria Cranstoun

Hey Malena where in the world are you right now?

Right now, I am up in the Andalucian mountains just outside of Tarifa, Spain.

I adored Aliso’. What was your mindset whilst writing the record?

Aliso was a whirlwind for me, I actually can’t remember making it. It was a catharsis of events that had built up before the summer of 2016 and ending up in me manically learning how to write and record music within a few months. A combination of obsession with writing and producing and a desire to prove my self worth.

Do you keep any sentiments with you whilst writing/ recording to help inspire?

The main thing writing this record was that all the songs are paired with a memory or visual idea I had. It’s hard for me to write music without visual reference. I make experimental short films and do all my music videos.

Is there a distinct influence behind your approach to writing or do you draw inspiration from everywhere?

Definitely a load of different influences. Every decision made are influenced by artists I love. For example, if I’m stuck on a transition between a verse and a chorus I think “what would Devendra Banhart do?” or “what would Beach House do?”. I slowly learn by what others have done and incorporate it into my own style.

malena

Image by Charlotte Patmore

You’re signed to Yucatan who are pretty rad. Was there ever a moment when you realised fuck I think this is all going somewhere?

I don’t think I’ve had that feeling yet, I keep my expectations low as a sort of defence mechanism. It’s super early days for me but the moment I was able to do music full time was big. It was a goal I had in life and once I’d reached that my focus switched to working as hard as possible.

If you weren’t making music what do you think you’d be doing right now?

Something creative, probably [working as] a film director/editor, visual artist, maybe even a choreographer. All the things I love doing as hobbies.

You’re about to go on tour and some of those dates are Festivals. Do you have a preference between playing venues or festivals?

Definitely venues. Festivals are super fun but it’s a lot of stress and logistics. When you have a gig in a venue it’s all organised and you know what you’re doing. I love that you get to see other bands at festivals though. I often get to play festivals that my friends are playing at so that’s cool.

If there was anywhere in the world you could perform where would you pick?

Oh, I don’t know. Somewhere really hot, South America definitely.

 

unloved press 2.jpgPhoto by Steve Gullick

Heartbreak is the second record by soundtrack wizards David Holmes, Keefus Ciancia and Jade Vincent. Recording under the name Unloved, the trio create music that encapsulates a fast pace world of  glamour and sensual film noir. A record thats oozing with Bond-esque big thrills Heartbreak is intoxicatingly put together; a cat and mouse chase of Vincent’s vocals and orchestral marvel paired with slick melodrama. It makes total sense Heartbreak was also the soundtrack to the BBC America triumph Killing Eve.

heather mchale.jpg

Photo By Heather McHale

If tracks such as ‘Love‘ conjur up images of 60’s Grease-style school discos, kids throwing themselves around in a flurried trance of well polished brass bands and shimmy inducing guitar riffs then the succeeding  ‘(Sigh)‘ is the sexy older sister who could be a vampire at the afterparty. ‘(Sigh)’ is bold and dangerous cowboys patrolling  in the full moon and Fleming Villainesses (or Villanelle). A crashing feat so confidently lush in it’s arrangement and red velvety, old Hollywood tobacco tainted approach, Heartbreak is able to shake up it’s classically cinimatic reverence (check out track 8) with frustratingly effortless ease. ‘Crash Boom Bang‘, a song that sounds like its namesake, is electronically taunting and empowering- perfect for blasting whilst driving through a freeway tunnel.

 Heartbreak is a richly unrestrained powerhouse. Wholeheartedly there is nothing not to love about it.

Al Mills

fruitsaladradio logovisual credit: Maisie Cowell

 

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Fruitsaladradio is a charming DIY radio show passion project from Joe Taylor. A drummer turned host and all-round indie sweetheart, Joe threads together an ever-growing patchwork of stories from people across ages, encouraging tenderness between music and memory. With the premise being a fruit salad of diversity, compilations blended together to form a wholesome mix of goodness, Fruitsaladradio is able to pair (pear) Graham Nash with Israeli Prog rock and it totally makes sense.

If Joe is the cool friend you have that’s always up to date with the latest music Fruitsaladradio is that chat you have with your best mate about growing up. It’s the soundtrack to long drives through Australia and memories of washing up in your parents’ home. For those of us who like a good theme, there’s an episode dedicated to women featuring the likes of Cherry Glazerr, Courtney Barnett and lipstick puns; proving there’s more to radio than the ‘Hottest Record in the World’ (although if Joe had a breakfast show we should all set our alarms).

Fruitsaladradio is exclusively for everybody. A little South-East London gem with a bright future. Shout out to Joe’s mum and her beats.

 

Al Mills.