In the second part of our Tips for 2019 pieces, today we present half a dozen eager new acts with exciting and eclectic sounds.
A multicultural melting pot that would annoy gammons more than any vegan sausage roll, trio Calva Louise have been forging a reputation in the last year with addictive tunes and fearsome live shows, now they are set to release their debut record in February. They are led by Venezuelan Jess Allanic, who possess incendiary vocals and frenetic guitars, she’s joined by Ben Parker from New Zealand on drums adding a splash of colour with his knack for graphic design. And from France, bassist Alizon Taho; a tech whizz building a wall of noise with thundering rhythms and hand-built pedalboards. the trio’s adventure has grown from an innocent chat about graphic design to jamming, signing to Modern Sky UK and releasing forthcoming debut album Rhinoceros this February.
“We enjoy adventuring into reality with a pinch of humour and optimism.” Inspired by the satire of Candide by French avant-garde playwright Voltaire and more explicitly, Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. “Alizon and I read Rhinoceros at School and it stuck with us, even though it was written in the ’50s,” recalls Jess. “Even at 12 years old we related to the main character’s journey of learning how to stay true to his values and not follow the herd. Rhinoceros is about that path of learning who you are.”
Recorded in just 10 days at North London’s Hermitage Works Studios with producer Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Goat Girl, Catholic Action), their debut album Rhinoceros out this February is packed with hooks, crammed with melodies and their stamped with trademark gonzo garage pop and simmering with undercurrent of psychedelia, Calva Louise might harness the attitude and riffs of Elastica with the sneer and tunes Hole but they frame it in slightly surreal pop art Technicolor. They promise ‘each album track sucker punches like the soundtrack of a Robert Rodriguez flick.’ And on the basis of the anthemic ‘I Heard A Cry’ that’s rooted in the frustration of injustice and fake news and the sneering brat pop of the frankly ace ‘Outrageous’ and the preview we’ve heard, we fully believe them!
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are the next cab on the rank from the Cardiff scene. Possessed of a playful take on the glam rock of the 1970s, led by Tom Rees and joined by Ed Rees on bass, Zac White on guitar and Ethan Hurst on drums. They are distilling the thrill of early Rolling Stones and T.Rex and stamping it with the Buzard style and wit, their shows have elicited wild scenes in recent months.
Splicing the classicism with an individual wit, a cheeky grin, and an array of stone cold hip shaking rockin’ tunes. Having appeared on a split EP last year with Boy Azooga on cool Cardiff imprint Bubblewrap it marked Buzzard out as a coming force, now with their moniker trebled Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and an album apparently in the can, they are certainly ones to watch.
Their debut single proper ‘Double Denim Hop’ confirms it. An ode inspired by the confidence inspired by wearing two pieces of denim, this urgent rock’n’roll splattered track is infused with effervescent energy that is somehow both redolent of the Sweet‘s Blockbuster and T.Rex‘s ‘Ride a White Swan’ yet isn’t a boring homage to either. Reassuringly, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, this tune swaggers down the street with nifty guitar licks and vocal lip curls like the New York Dolls on their holidays, bursting into a super singalong chorus, far from pastiche this is utterly addictive, get up and dance now!
Tom from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard told us “Thanks for including us in your list for 2019! We’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up this year, but more than anything we’re excited to be releasing new music and playing more shows, any opportunity to rock is a great opportunity. We’ve got a couple of singles to roll out following Double Denim Hop, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!”(BC)
Australian artist JEFFE has been made waves with her dreamy debut track ‘Whoever You Love, I’m Cool’ earlier this year. It was also picked up hype on US Spotify playlist Fresh Finds and has now picked up millions of streams but who cares about stats right because her second track ‘Undecided’ is a cracker. Moody and pulsing this deep cut balances introspection with a fleeting glimpses at joy, the squelching synths and expert production are sumptuously executed there are echoes of early Lorde about JEFFE’s layered vocals that hiccup and pour forth like the contents of an anxious mind, yet also there’s a melodic striking quality that underscores that JEFFE is very much her own artist. It may be Undecided but it’s also futuristic, and fantastic.
JEFFE explains: “It’s about feeling the pressure to choose your path when really you just want to navigate the waters in your own time.”
Having already captured the zeitgeist back in Australia she is set to move to these shores and she was recently announced as one The Great Escape’s First Fifty to perform in Brighton this summer, on this evidence JEFFE will be one not to miss. (BC)
I have been banging on about this lot for a little while now, but before it was a tabletop called “This band are great, has anyone heard of them? Check them out”. In 2019 I am buying a big bastard drum called “Debut Album imminent!! Slay it live. Must listen to!!”
They have released a bunch of 7” and Audio Visual singles in the past 18 months which taken together make up what would be a stonking Side A, including my Track of 2018 ‘Starstruck’ which I first heard at a gig in the summer when they supported HMLTD.
They have been touring with the band of 2018, Shame, and in conjunction with Fontaines DC played the gig of the year at Kentish Town Forum at the end of November.
On a bigger stage, their sound becomes a Godzilla. Whilst simultaneously heavy distorted guitars, twitching angular melodies, darting segments like a flying chocolate orange and breakbeats that sound like it shouldn’t work but does in the most glorious way.
They have announced a headline gig at Camden Dingwalls at the end of March so hopefully, that will be a precursor to the L.P.
Calling it for Album of 2019. No pressure guys. (Jim Auton)
The Danish electro-pop producer and songwriter doesn’t quite satisfy the criteria for inclusion herein that she doesn’t yet have an album coming out in 2019 (her first international one was released in September 2018), or any festivals booked. She appeared at Leeds in 2018 and just completed a short introductory three-city UK tour.
She’s been hiding in Denmark, living in China or touring in Asia, as so many Nordic artists do as it gets harder to make your mark in Europe each year, no matter how good you are. And she is, combining visuals, deft musicianship, powerful vocals and intriguing lyricism in one techno-pop package. She is socially-politically aware but with a mind of her own and is one of the few artists I know of who is able to marry the skills of a writer and performer with those of the less transparent ones of the DJ.
I’m certain that with adequate exposure here (pardon the pun, see the video below) 2019 is going to be a big year for this lady in the UK. (DB)
A 21-year old Swede with a superb soprano voice and the knack of writing powerful yet touching songs that she needs no help from other musicians to deliver. Having said that, finding exactly the right instrumental combination and producer to take her to the next level delayed her progression a little in 2018 and hopefully that will soon be resolved.
Suffering from a rare disease that inhibits movement, more so during the winter, she took up acting and songwriting to counter the depression it could bring on, astounding everyone with her ability; she is one of those artists with the rare quality of being able instantly to silence an audience.
She writes in both Swedish and English and it is hoped an English language album will be forthcoming in 2019, along with some shows here. (DB)