Who? Ana Mae
Why we Love it? Gobstopper has got fragility, beauty, vulnerability, wit, and has a kind of yearning, timeless ghostly girl group Phil Spector quality to it. It’s shimmering intelligent melodic pop music that resides somewhere between Camera Obscura, Mazzy Star, and the River Mersey. (Andy Von Pip)
FFO: Phil Spector , The Brill Building ,C86, Mazzy Star, Camera Obscura, Altered Images
What they say? With a broad cultural heritage, the song wears Italian and Nigerian influences. I want to share some notions that represent me, hence I’m using Yoruba to say I’m ‘sorry’ (‘Pele’ translated) on this Afrobeat singing about forgiveness.
Why we love it? A beautiful slice of afrobeat-pop with an infectious energy that bleeds through to the listener. Tana’s sublime vocal rides over the beat which possesses your spirit and makes it impossible not to dance. A true slice of summer paradise and an essential summer must-listen. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Dua Lipa, Raye, Mabel
Who? Barbe Rousse
What? Factory Settings
What they say? Edinburgh-based multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Alastair Kelly aka: Barbe Rousse, who is releasing a new EP, “Factory Settlings” on June 1st. The title track is out now.
Who we love it? Insanely busy, frantic shot of joyful sunshine prog-pop, assaulting your ears from all angles with quickfire riffs and bountiful melodic bursts. Like letting someone loose on a giant computer keyboard and allowing them to cause havoc. A riot of artful musical interjections, synth stabs, and off the wall melodies. Absolutely bonkers but guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! (Bill Cummings)
FFO: Everything Everything, Of Montreal, Devo
Who? Waiting For Smith
What? Long Life
What they say? I wrote Long Life while I was recovering from my injury, it became my upbeat theme tune for dealing with disaster. This song was planned for release months ago, not knowing it would be so suited for the time we’re in. So I’m hoping it will bring others as much comfort and lightness as it gave me when I needed it.
Why we love it? Feel-good music at its finest, this cheery acoustic track bounces along with an unrivaled optimism. It saunters forward at its own pace and invites us to share the journey, allowing us to relax and take a deep breath during these troubled times. The positive energy in the vocal radiates out of the track, softly repeating the melodic verse that beckons us to question our choices and strive toward happiness. It’s a beautiful message and beautifully conveyed through this track. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale
Who? Francis of Delirium
What they say? ‘Ashamed’ is about not knowing how much of yourself to give away and then second-guessing yourself, feeling like what you are giving out isn’t enough. It opens with the weightlessness of Tyler the Creator’s soundscapes before going up a notch or two, the heaviness of Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam etc coming to the fore.
Why we love it? A high energy pop-rock track with a unique, raspy vocal and a raw exploration of shame and its effect on our psyche. The instrumental rushes along at an almost frantic pace, changing constantly and pulling us along on this journey of anxiety. The music cleverly matches the emotions portrayed in the song, culminating in a frantic composition – akin to a panic attack. It’s a powerful tool and used to perfection here. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Paramore, Panic at the Disco, Kate Nash
Who? Genevieve Artadi
What? “Living like the future is a guess, living like I’m smaller than a speck”
What they say? ‘Dizzy Strange Summer’ revels in juxtapositions, unleashing high energy assaults at full tilt before giving way to soft-focus melancholia, allowing Genevieve to show off the full spectrum of her vocal prowess. On the first single ‘Living Like I Know I’m Gonna Die’ for example, her delivery is beautifully understated and airy: “Living like the future is a guess, living like I’m smaller than a speck”. “I sing it softly ‘cos it’s an internal proclamation… a message to myself,” she explains.
Why we love it? Sensuous, throbbing and subtle. There’s a psychy underworld here of 70s flecked basslines, synths swirls and a laidback beat. Artadi’s fragile refrains balance upon the contemplative melodic line that considers how tenuous life is and how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of the universe. Sublime. (Bill Cummings)
FFO: FKA Twigs, Grimes
Who? Lindsay Monroe
Why we love it? It’s another cathartic release, immaculately crafted alongside regular producer Chris Hamilton (Lump/Torres), in which she lays bare her soul across a sparse soundscape, bolstered underneath by moody, bass-driven electronics. Her powerful, PJ Harvey-esque vocals always help to keep the song emotionally grounded, as she builds towards a beautifully textured climax. Munroe’s lyrical approach is one of deep personal exploration and eventual acceptance. Having delved into her religious upbringing on former single “Split”, here on “River” she finds herself sifting through the debris of an unsettling relationship experience. As she states, “in each verse, I weigh up the options of how to respond; initially I ignore my feelings and deny them, but by the end I reach acceptance”. (Callum Mitchell-Simon)
FFO: Daughter, Lucy Rose, Haux