MAY – Falling
MAY makes her debut with ‘Falling’, stark, haunting and she possesses an incredible vocal ability to invest each note and turn it inside out and wring it of every emotional drop, with sparse backing if tumbling piano notes and very little else it lies eschewing the coffee table jazz of the early ’90s this cut lies somewhere between Alison Moyet and Anthony and the Johnsons, the outro fades with her pained falsetto its a majestic and heart-stopping moment of sharp reflection and catharsis of loss and a exquisite introduction to a new talent. Falling is ‘an emotional account of a love that’s never been replaced.’ The song is the first to be taken from her forthcoming debut E.P Phantom on which she collaborated with Tom Elmhirst (Amy Winehouse, Adele) and Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Solange, MGMT).
“I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote it” explains MAY who’s heartbreaking vocal performance tells the story. “He was my first love, I was blinded by it. I’ve never been in love since and it’s the only song I have written that comes from this naive vulnerability”.
Born in Australia, MAY begun playing in churches around Brooklyn, MAY has already developed a cult following from recent performances at Ronnie Scott’s, London and also Electric Lady Studios, NYC, where she recorded much of the record. Phantom will be released via Best Laid Plans. (BC)
Callum Pitt – Away From The Rousing Parades
Newcastle-based folk singer-songwriter Callum Pitt is the kind of artist that just improves with each release. His previous four singles have shown an artist brimming with confidence and full of bright ideas. His latest, “Away From The Rousing Parades” is yet another ear-hugging piece of folk-pop that feels effortless in its ability to make you feel utterly devoid of any kind of negative emotion. In the beginning, guitars are delicately plucked, alongside Pitt’s, soft, storytelling vocal, but by the end, the feeling is nothing short of euphoric, with a full band entering into a glorious orchestral flurry of choirs, bouncy, country guitar licks and excitable drums. It’s a carnival of good vibes. Pitt explains the track further, “’Away From the Rousing Parades’ considers my own mortality and the process of working out what I value most in life. I’ve spent lots of time in the past comparing myself to others and this song talks about letting go of the need to feel validated by anyone other than close friends, family and yourself, taking ownership of your self-worth, and being at peace. This is by far our favourite to play live because we can really let loose and give out instruments a good bash.” (NK)
“Away From The Rousing Parades” is out now on Kaleidoscope
Giant Party – Red Button
Giant Party’s new single ‘Red Button’ takes ominous beats, funky percussion, playful Nile Rodgers-like jangles and sinister vocals, throwing them onto the dance floor for a new wave dance-off, with nods to LCD Soundsystem that and Duran Duran, with illusions to political mistrust and panic, they’re having a party at the end of the world, taken from their forthcoming EP which will be released in September. They tour the UK in October. which is set for release in September.
Following UK Festival appearances at Bestival, The Great Escape, Stag & Dagger, Metropolis Rotterdam and Live At Leeds the band take their live show on tour around the UK in October. (BC)
See Giant Party live in the UK this October:
13th: Twisterella Festival – Middlesbrough
18th: SWN Festival – Cardiff (Supporting Dream Wife)
21st: Komedia Studio – Brighton
23rd: Oporto – Leeds
24th: The Lexington – London
25th: The Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
26th: Broadcast – Glasgow
ALASKALASKA – Monster
Displaying another face to their a intoxicating alt-pop sound six-piece ALASKALASKA return with the yearning subtlety of ‘Monster’. Sewn with a enveloping atmosphere driven by clipped strums, subtle percussive shifts and Lucinda John-Duarte’s evocative vocals that offer vivid chunks in her self identity. Like the ace ‘Maneater’ it was recorded with Oli Barton-Wood – the producer and engineer behind recent releases from Nilüfer Yanya, HMLTD, and Sorry – with whom they, and fellow ascendant South London artist Mellah, now share studio space.
The group’s previous output, ‘Meateater’ and the brilliant 2017 self-titled debut EP, served as the perfect introduction to their sound laced with elements of electro pop, dance music and jazz flecked arrangements. They will be performing at a string of festivals across Europe in August and October. (BC)
See ALASKALASKA live at the following dates:
4th August: Visions Festival, London
31st August: Knee Deep Festival, Cornwall
20th Oct: Ritual Union Festival, Oxford
20th Oct: Simple Things Festival, Oxford
26th Oct: Primavera Club, Barcelona
28th Oct: Primavera Club, Madrid
30th Oct: Pitchfork Avant Garde Festival, Paris
Dead Ceremony – Heartache
Tunbridge Wells in Kent is the home of letters to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph but also to Dead Ceremony, a four-piece with a neat synth sound. ‘Heartache’ is also the title of their EP, which was released on July 27th.
The lyrics refer to the acknowledgement that even after experiencing intense emotional suffering one can still emerge stronger and undiminished. In other words, getting over it. Recognising the accepted mantra du jour that you have about four seconds to get a listener’s attention on a streaming site, they manage to do that with an opening bass line that sounds like a tachycardic heartbeat. They’ve racked up over 300,000 Spotify plays so the proof is in the pounding.
After that the song’s beat dives into a pretty accurate approximation of Arcade Fire’s first ever foray into dance music, the track ‘Sprawl II, (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ from Grammy-winning album The Suburbs, and with even the same chord progression in parts. (DB).
Krush Puppies – Petalhead
Newcomers Krush Puppies pull on the sleeve of ’90s acts like the Breeders or Throwing Muses with their delightful debut offering ‘Petalhead‘, mixing psych tinged, baseline threaded verses stirring in nonchalant vocals then breaking out the bar chords for emphasis. “‘Petalhead’ is for my twin sister”, Jenny explains. “She was feeling a long stretch of joylessness, as we both do sometimes – she lives in Mexico but I could feel her lack of spirit and wanted to send her a positive charm of some kind to connect us because I couldn’t be with her.” Exuding a laid back cool, and a naive optimism. It’s a very promising beginning from Krush Puppies.
The lo-fi playground video for ‘Petalhead’ was filmed and edited by Krush Puppies bassist Alexa and her boyfriend Stephen. Mimicking the song’s foundations, the video also joins two places – a green screen day dream in London combined with surreal footage from a recent trip to America. (BC)
Tom Adams- In Darkness
Cambridge-born and Berlin-based songwriter/composer Tom Adams returns with his second album, due for release later this year via Kowloon Records. Merging expansive electronic textures with his dramatic vocals that shift from introspective to cinematic and enveloping and grand falscetto swoop, it’s possessed of a intoxicating cinematic ambition. The first offering of his new material ‘In Darkness’ is out today and we have the premier. It grew out of feelings of detachment from the seemingly ever-increasing integration with technology. That feeling when you turn off your laptop at night and in the darkness of the blank screen, are suddenly back in the real world. He says:
“I didn’t grow up with the internet or using computers, but in the last 20 years, my experience has reversed and now many things are unavoidably filtered by computers. Even some of the most fundamental aspect of our lives such as relationships and life aspirations are intrinsically shaped by them. It’s not about if is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or even a Digital vs Analogue debate, it is about the speed with which technology has become an essential part of our lives without anyone stopping to ask if this is actually a good idea.”
Tom’s second record ended up going in quite an apocalyptic direction, and more details of that will be revealed in due course. (BC)