Who? Stealing Sheep
What? Just Do
What they say? “Just Do was formed between a studio session in London with Raf Rundell (2bears) and a composition we created for an experimental show called Wow Machine featuring hocket style vocals, synchronized dancers and a light up mechanical stage. The music was inspired by this set up with mechanical samples, MPC sequencing and ballroom inspired bass synth and drums.”
Why we love it? Spacey and ravey, it’s another evolution for Stealing Sheep following their awesome album Big Wows which came out last year. Its crunchy beats and playful synth samples are punctuated by evocative melody lines. Fabulous and strange, a mighty welcome return from Stealing Sheep. (Bill Cummings)
What? Kings & Queens
What they say? My debut release is about two individuals lifting each other up. When things are really great between them, they believe they can achieve anything. When I began to write this song what came to mind was Kings & Queens, all the strength and power of royalty, but no riches required.
Why we love it? Coming drenched in a sleek, modern soundscape of synthetic emotion, ‘Kings & Queens’ is a swooning, cinematic ballad filled with purpose, positivity and much promise for floss‘s bright recording future. (Simon Godley)
FFO: Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine
What they say? Taken from Tourists’ long-awaited debut album Another State, mixed by producer Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs, DIIV, Here We Go Magic), and set for release late 2020.
What they say? The song explores the Western world’s consumerist culture, one that controls and distracts us from what is important. The song took inspiration from Graham Hancock’s banned TED talk ‘The War on Consciousness’ which explores the hypocrisy of drugs laws, and what Tourists describe as “the repression of our rights to a meaningful experience that gives us an alternative perspective on our lives and our true meaning.”
Why we love it? Speeding down the highway with new wave bass lines, glistening synths urgent vocals and the sparks of gaze guitars. This track carries you the shoulders of an anthem about repressive drug laws. Enveloping and fantastic this is Tourists racing toward the winning post. (BC)
FFO: Simple Minds, Interpol, My Bloody Valentine,
Who? Scott Hardware
What? Blu Again
What they say? Engel is Hardware’s second full-length album, and first on Telephone Explosion Records.
“‘Blu Again’ is about the fear and confusion of life’s beauty floating in front of you while your brain takes hold, but your heart does not. The narrator sings “a mid-day sky over beach, I’ll never see that blue again”, already regretting a moment slipping by.”
Why we love it? This gorgeously drawn mini opus, is dipped in wistfulness, laid back percussion and guitar strums, Hardware’s exquisite vocals sigh gloriously as he gazes into the middle distance. A wistful piece in three movements this wonderful song is a promising sign for his new album. (BC)
FFO: Rufus Wainwright, Perfume Genius, Guillemots
Who? The Sunset Beach Hut
What they say?
”Dancing can be the most incredibly freeing thing, and I can see why as a species we’re drawn to it. Not the kind of dancing that you do in clubs, but the kind where you shut yourself in a room, turn the music up loud and throw yourself about. See, that’s what twenty//25\\five is all about- feeling so trapped in a situation to the extent where you feel like you’re always doing the wrong thing. In these situations, it feels impossible to leave. In these situations, sometimes the best thing to do is to just let go.” – Aphra Smith
Why we love it? Shimmering, catchy and perky. The wonderfully named The Sunset Beach Hut show a way with a poppy melody on this glistening slice of guitar pop with bittersweet vocals that are lost in the moment of dance. Highly promising.(BC)
FFO: Two Door Cinema Club, The Japanese House, Bombay Bicycle Club and Fickle Friends
Where? South London
What? If You Know
What they say? KEYAH/BLU: “’If You Know’ is dealing with your shit in a dark room and saying ‘this is me and I’m okay with that’. I wanted to play around with textures that felt new to me. It’s not easy being vocal about doing certain things you, yourself, are super comfortable with in a world that wants you to think you’re wrong or undesirable for doing so. I wanted the lyrics to reflect that. If you know, you know.”
Why we love it? Dark and insidious cut pairs skittering break beats, and simmering samples laced with snaking melodies and a whispered brooding introspective stream consciousness. Intense, alluring, addictive and shadowy this is a new side to KEYAH/BLU’s fascinating and burgeoning artistry. (BC)
FFO: FKA Twigs, Massive Attack, Aphex Twin
What? Over It
Where? York, England
What they say? Recorded at Greenmount Studios in Leeds straight to tape late last year, the song is a barbed attack at not only the world today but at the state of a music scene as observed by a band navigating their way through it. ‘Over it’ comes from the band’s third unreleased album as they finalise the recording of their fourth.
Why we love it? Cowgirl ain’t superstitious. They have chosen Friday the 13th as the date for the release of their latest single, ‘Over It’. Heralding a shift in emphasis from the York four-piece away from the harder, rockier edge of previous recordings, this glistening ballad loses none of the band’s evocative drive and creative ambition as it sparkles into life. (Simon Godley)
FFO: The Flaming Lips, Beck, Weezer, Grandaddy
Who? Fenne Lily
What they say? “The song’s theme was realised immediately; pressure to feel enough but not too much in a time of hyper connectivity, plus a personal reminder to be accountable for and have agency over the part of me that gravitates towards meltdown. It’s the first in a collection of tracks addressing myself as both the cause of and solution to my anxieties, as well as a shift in attention from predominantly relationship-based writing to a more self-reflective dialogue.”
Why we love it? An beautifully drawn song that’s inner dialogue attempting to quell anxiety is woven with a remarkable prescience given the current Coronavirus lockdown. “These are trying times but I’ll get by,” sighs Lily, her gorgeous shivering vocals wafting through this dreamy and reflective single, that’s the best thing she’s done so far. Intricate guitars lace a percussive breakdown that builds into a glorious chorus that’s as comforting as great big hug during a time of crisis. Wonderful.(BC)
FFO: Aldous Harding, Phoebe Bridgers