Grammar – “Summer Skin”

24 Oct

Grammar

Over the course of history, language has evolved and changed. The way we use it, the words and sounds we use, how we construct it, abbreviate it, coloquialise it and create it, it has all changed significantly over just decades, let alone the centuries. As has the accepted way in which it is used even, though many online would argue otherwise, how grammar is used. It too has evolved with language over time. Which is a happy coincidence, because so too has Barrie Lindsay’s band, Grammar, evolved over time.*

Originally a 15-piece orchestral chamber pop band as part of her work for her music theory and composition thesis, it then lay dormant as she played keys in her brother’s band. That too changed and evolved and eventually became Grammar once more as Lindsay took on a more prominent role as songwriter and composer. Now they have an EP and on it is the divine “Summer Skin”.

It is, as the title would suggest, quite summery in feel. The key strokes and guitar strums float lightly in the soft haze of sunshine and Lindsay’s vocal is a soothing breeze, gentile and delightful. The rhythm plays outside in the warmth of it all, jumping and spinning around happily over the chorus as the melody lilts refreshingly. It’s perfect for an increasingly cold October as we long for the short-sleeved days of just a few weeks ago.

”Summer Skin” is taken from the ‘Grammar’ EP which is out now.

*Yes, that was probably our most tenuous and frankly pointless segue/introduction ever. Yes, in a weird way we are proud of ourselves.


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Rag’N’Bone Man – “Hell Yeah” feat. Vince Staples

23 Oct

Rag'N'Bone Man

Stop whatever it is you are doing, grab a pair of headphones, plug in and prepare to be blown away by one of the biggest, most polished and chart ready tunes we’ve heard all year.

Seriously.

Hearing this gave us one of those rare and so exciting ‘holy fuck this is just amazing’ moments.

On “Hell Yeah” Brighton’s Rag’N’Bone Man has bottled soulful-hip-pop lightning and the result is quite remarkable. The vocals are raw and powerful, full of soul and heart, yet still manage to rise up into a little Bond theme-esque moment or two. The use of choral backing vocals to supplement the hook gives it an ever richer, deeper sound that fills every nook and cranny of your cranium. It adds an uplifting element to the darkness and world-weariness that runs throughout the song.

It feels a bit like the aural equivalent of watching The Wire, which as we all know is one of the best TV shows ever created. It’s dirty, rundown and desperate, but there’s hope, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and there’s an incredible and surprising soundtrack.

It is, frankly, huge and if, like us, you can’t get enough of it, check out his free EP, Wolves as well.

Via Breaking More Waves


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Oh Land – “Head Up High” (video)

23 Oct

Oh Land

Yesterday we told you that today we would be bringing you the new Oh Land video, and here we are, today, bringing you the new Oh Land video. There are two reasons for this, one is that we said we would, so we are, and the other is because we really like Oh Land, we even wrote about her second debut release (it makes sense, really) way back when this blog wasn’t really this blog yet. Oh, and we really like her new video too; three reasons.

Granted, we don’t know why her room looks a bit like a well furnished prison cell, but perhaps that is to foreshadow the eventual destructive behaviour and the representation of breaking free. Or something else. It’s probably something else.

What we do know is that “Head Up High” is quintessentially Oh Land, big poppy loveliness, electronics in all the right places, a stupidly infectious hook and fabulous inflection in her vocals. It’s also something different, something slightly darker in spirit and tone than that fabulous EP from all those years ago (note, yep, we do know she is now on her fourth album, we’re drawing a line from her start (ok, second start) to now). It’s almost electro-pop Lana but the pop has pretty much completely washed away all that stone washed glamour and replaced it with something you can dance energetically too. Which we would do, if we could dance.

“Head Up High” features on Oh Land’s new album, ‘Earth Sick’, and is available from iTunes.


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Kêta – “Find Me”

22 Oct

Keta

The world works in mysterious ways and we do love how it often sends us serendipitous coincidences and joins the dots from various points to another. For example, this morning we shared a song Chelsea Jade called “Find Me” and now we have another song, this time by Indiana-born prodigy, Kêta, also called “Find Me”. What are the chances? As if that wasn’t enough, we also referenced Oh Land in our Chelsea Jade post and guess what? Tomorrow we’ll be posting the new Oh Land video. Seriously, it’s almost like this was all planned out but really, we’re not capable of that level of organisation so this is all the Universe at work.

Enough mystical babbling, we’re here to talk about Kêta who, you may or may not already know, is a 16 year old wunderkind making waves across the states right now. Her recent debut EP, Generation Call, blends electronic arrangements, folky honesty and pop based catchiness across its four tracks, of which, “Find Me” is one.

It combines that kind of country-folk-pop sounds that would have the fictional Rayna James wetting her knickers with excitement and that would leave the patrons of The Bluebird in raptures. Yeah, we like Nashville and we don’t care who knows it.

Her voice is pillow soft and as comforting as your warm, cosy bed on a dark winter’s day. The guitar dances lightly as a butterfly’s kiss as the melody floats like fireflies on the night sky. It is a song that feels like wonderment, like fantasy and magic yet is built on a foundation of the reality of life and all its yearning hopefulness. “Find Me” is delicate and beautiful and it’s no wonder she is already causing quite the stir.

”Find Me” is taken from the ‘Generation Call’ EP which is out now and available to buy from iTunes.


Stalk Kêta: Website / Twitter

Chelsea Jade – “Find Me”

22 Oct

Chelsea Jade

Such is the amount of new music that we get sent, discover online and generally listen to that it can sometimes be a bit tricky to keep track of who is who, what is what and (embarrassingly) even what we have and haven’t blogged. Often we will find a new artist we quite like, follow them on Soundcloud and three months later when their new song pops up, we’ll scratch our heads and think to ourselves, ‘who on earth is this and why is this song here?’. Whilst this can be a little unnerving at times, we’re learning to live with this goldfish like capability of retaining information, but we do think it is a little mean when artists are complicit in our confusion by changing their bloody names.

Take Chelsea Jade for example. Just the other day her new song “Find Me” popped up in our soundcloud, we listened, we liked, we thought, ‘who on earth is this and why is this song here?’. The lady in question seemed familiar as did her vocals so we poked the little grey cells and went all Google-Poirot on the mystery. Of course it turned out to be not much of a mystery at all as, unlike many artists who choose to re-name and pretend like their previous self never happened, Chelsea Jade Metcalf has made no secret of her evolution from her earlier alias, Watercolours. And it was Watercolours that we had followed on Soundcloud after blogging her collaboration with fellow New Zealander, Boycrush, “Soft Teeth” back in March. Mystery solved.

Watercolours was to all intents and purposes a collective, with up to seven members at any one time with Chelsea providing vocals but, as she explained in an excellent interview with Stuff.co.nz her new music is all about her and it’s something she is excited by and proud of. She is now a one-woman show with no pseudonym to hide behind, it’s all her, all laid bare, “I almost feel like I was hiding before. That sounds so corny.

“The songs almost feel like a conduit for emotion. It doesn’t feel like there’s a front; it feels totally authentic. I like pop music because it can make you feel something and it can also recontextualise your experiences, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to do”, she explained.

This new step includes the release of a new EP, Beacons, this week and that is where “Find Me” comes in, popping up on our Soundcloud feed and momentarily confusing the hell out of us.

In fact, confusion is quite apt when considering “Find Me” as it is fantastically befuddling at times. It’s colourful yet sparse and monochromatic, simultaneously warm and cool, it’s gentle, embracing pop but made with isolating electronic noodles. It’s rather wonderful. It puts us in mind of Oh Land in the vocal styling and the subtle complexity and wondrousness of the soundscapes it creates. Dreamy soft yet spiky too and with a beautifully upbeat and melancholic chorus.

Time to embrace the confusion people and enjoy this fantastic slice of electro-poppery.

”Chelsea Jade’s new EP, ‘Beacons’, is due for release on 24 October 24.


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