Tag Archives: Bea

2016 Preview: Artists to Listen out for Part Two

8 Dec

Listen Out For... (1)

After kicking off our own contribution to the end of year listing season yesterday, it is time to keep that ball rolling with part two of our countdown of artists to listen out for in 2016. Here then are three more acts we are excited to hear more from next year.

#12 – Hollywood Principle

Hollywood Principle

San Diego’s Hollywood Principle are masters of the deceptive pop banger. They are wonderful at blending the smokey and languid with the high energy and vibrant, soft glistening tunes that suddenly explode with rocket fueled ferocity.

Speaking of rockets, this year the trio supplied a track for the soundtrack of the bonkers sounding Rocket League computer game (online tournament of rocket powered cars playing football or something we think – sounds crazy but attracts hundreds of thousands of players at any one time). Suitably they used “Firework”, a high octane frenzy of electro pop, it’s frantic, frenetic and chaotic, all in a good way. Kaleidoscopic colours flash before your eyes like lasers of digital noodling and razor sharp beats.

They know just how to build a tune and how best to get your feet tapping and head nodding. Coupled with intoxicating and seductively wispy vocals, Hollywood Principle make a heady concoction of dancefloor friendly pop.

Stalk Hollywood Principle: Website / Facebook / Twitter

#11 – Bea1991


After the grand blog love-in that accompanied Bea1991’s debut track, “Breadwinner”, in spring last year, things have felt quiet around the Netherlands based artist. Though this is probably more to do with her slightly unconventional approach to releasing her music. Specifically, she puts it up on her website with no announcement and often it is free to download. There is no press, no excited tweeting or shouting. Just music.

This may have caused an apparent drying up of blog support for her (because they don’t know she is still releasing anything) but the quality has not dropped off. Her most recent EP, Songs of 2k11, is seven tracks of engaging and enigmatic pop. Her soft, rich vocal melts like a marshmallow over the crackling flame of melody and rhythm.

Hopefully 2016 will see another EP at the least and more of the recognition she should be getting and very much deserves.

Stalk Bea: Website / Facebook / Twitter

#10 – Lilla Vargen

Lilla Vargen

We’ve not heard much at all from Belfast based singer Lilla Vargen since her stunningly beautiful debut back in January. So exquisite was the simple piano ballad, so delicate and heartfelt, that it stayed with us for the whole year. While there was only one more track to follow, we’re hopeful that is because she’s been snapped up by a label and squirrelled away somewhere secret to get ready to release more evocative melodies on the world.

It would be a crying shame if that wasn’t the case as a voice this beautiful needs to be singing out to us all.

Stalk Lilla Vargen: Facebook / Twitter

What’s In The Box? – The ‘Playing Catch Up’ Edition

26 Jul

What's In The Box

Goodness, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Aside from a rather tongue in cheek post about the new Craig David song (did you spot all 12 song and album title references?) we’ve been silent for a couple of months now, which isn’t like us at all. We won’t bore you with details but after a combination of domestic upheaval, a truly remarkable World Cup and a very enjoyable and hot couple of days (and very wet nights) at Latitude, we are back, awake and ready to rock.

As we’re no doubt sure you noticed, there was a lot (and we mean a LOT) of cracking new music released over the last few months and while we are all about looking forward, we wanted to take a few moments to show some love to some of the tracks that came out during our unscheduled sabbatical. So, as a kind of gentle reintroduction (for us and you) to writing, we present for your delectation a special What’s In The Box rammed with quality tunes, possibly some puns and hopefully some reasonable scribblings.

Waylayers – “Take Hold”

We’ve been championing the talents of London-based Waylayers for some time and, after tipping them for big things in 2013, we think we are about to be proved correct. Having Ninja’d their way into the hearts and minds of the American public last year it’s time for a multi-national ground assault, beginning with “Take Hold”. Out on the wonderful Alcopop! Records on 15 September, “Take Holds” sees the trio move away from vast, anthemic synths and offers instead a much tighter, claustrophobic and funky sensibility. There’s a foalsian feeling to it as the bassline grooves along, the guitar tickles and Harry’s vocals pull you in close. It’s a dark, mellow and groovy tune that should have people on their forthcoming American and UK dates bobbing along in rhythmic delight.

HAze – “Reckless Heart”

We know little about Haze other than the fact that she is a girl in Reading and that she has a syrupy sweet voice that shines and gleams like sunlight breaking through rain cloud. Taken from her Picture Frame EP (which is out now), “Reckless Heart” is blessed with gorgeously light melodies and warmth that we could happily get lost in for hours and hours.

Elsie – “Mad Chemistry”

We’ve featured London based, Liverpool born Elsie a few times now and on the last two occasions she’s got us rather hot under the collar. With her latest offering, “Mad Chemistry”, things have escalated. Previously it was the undulating and slinky harmonies and the sensual and sultry melodies that provided the steam, now she’s gone all in and added lyrics to match. It’s about sex and frankly, we have absolutely no problem with that at all. She has a gorgeous voice, makes gorgeous music and now, well we didn’t think temperatures could get much higher but yeah, yeah they have.

Bea – “Safe Ground”

When we first wrote about the mysterious Bea we were accused of being laughable and pretentious, which is pretty much every bloggers dream analysis. Since then Bea has released another tune online and while we still know nothing about her, “Safe Ground” is another piece of quality, muted pop music with a gorgeously relaxed vibe to it. Like fluffy unicorns frolicking gently in a secret lagoon…

Laura Welsh – “Break The Fall”

At the turn of the year we named Laura Welsh as one of our artists to listen out for in 2014. Given that she had already supported the likes of London Grammar, a major behind her and a number of cracking R&B infused pop songs under her belt at the time, it was probably a safe-ish bet. You do have to keep banging out great tunes to have any chance at success though and thankfully, Laura is doing just that. “Break The Fall” is three minutes of dark and dramatic electro-pop music, all stompy rhythms and big vocals that we just love.

“Break The Fall” is out on 11 August via Outsiders/Polydor.

Saint Agnes – “Old Bone Rattle”

Yee-hah! Saddle up boy and get ready to ride, the Saint Agnes duo of Jon and Kitty are back and this time they have the full force of the Energy Snake behind them. “Old Bone Rattle” is a gloriously rawkus, foot stomping, gun toting, western of a blues rock track. It’s a magnificent bastard, as stunning as miles of desert and just and dangerous. This is the kind of tune villains take over towns to, that acid trips are taken to and that we just want to rock out with.

“Old Bone Rattle” is out now via Energy Snake Records.

bAnoffee – “Got It”
We’re sure there have already been about a gagillion puns around Martha Brown’s musical alias so we’re not even going to bother… for once. Instead we shall focus on the rapid fire scattergun of the digital beats, the sweet and soft melty vocals and captivating childlike electronic tootling. Taken from her forthcoming EP (out 22 August) “Got It” is a dreamily cool antidote for the baking heat that the UK is enjoying right now.

Verre – “blu”

Almost a year ago we featured a ridiculously sexy and sultry track from California five-piece, De Verre. With a totally nsfw video to accompany it, “Mad” had our pulses racing, heart beating and blood flowing places… Several cold showers later and they have dropped the De to become simply Verre are back with new song “blu” ahead of a six-track EP due later in the year. Singer Alice’s vocals are as soft and sensual as before but “blu” is much more pop-rock than pop-rotica and it quickly shows. The chorus is full of sass and attitude but the track is also laced with self-doubt and insecurity. It’s also very good and perfect for a good old fashioned hairbrush sing-along. Go on, you know you want to.

See, we told you it had been a good few months for music and there were many many more too, some of which we will be featuring in more depth over the coming days. Normal service will resume Monday; it’s good to be back.

Bea – “Breadwinner”

18 Mar


There are differing schools of thought on whether or not the recent trend for artists to be all mysterious and secretive makes a bloggers life easier or more difficult. You could argue that with no information out there it is difficult to write a post because where do you start? How can you give context to a song when you know nothing about the person who has created it and how it may relate to them and their experiences?

In instances such as the one we are presented with by enigmatic newcomer Bea, bloggers are often left to cobble together a random and pointless paragraph or two and try to make what little they do know (she’s 22, born and raised in Amsterdam to British parents) sound interesting. Or indeed they can jump to random and usually inaccurate conclusions (she LOVES baths) and try to say something vaguely amusing (she could do with getting some Mr Muscle on those grubby tiles over her shoulder) in the hope that no-one notices you actually know nothing.

When this happens we tend to fill posts with inconsequential sentences pointing out the difficulty of writing when you know nothing about an artist and try to pass it off as something clever and bordering on being ‘meta’. It’s not.

Of course, you could argue that it is easier to write about mysterious artists as, in the absence of any information, you can only write about the music and there is no need to get caught up in crafting superfluous fluff as background when all people really want to know is, is the song any good?

In the case of Bea’s debut, “Breadwinner”, yes, yes it is good. Very good in fact.

We’re tempted to leave it there, but you read through all that gubbins above, you deserve a little more.

Listening to “Breadwinner” is the aural equivalent to exploring a lost lagoon, diving deep into the cool still waters, the light refracting from the surface to illuminate hitherto unseen wonders in every direction. The track opens gently, the deep notes mirrored by her deep, solemn vocals and as the two entwine the lagoon widens, layers of sound are scattered across the seabed and your eyes widen at the elegant magnificence unveiled before you. There is a sense that you’re not alone here in this underwater fantasy and there it is, an beautiful ethereal figure, a mermaid perhaps, dancing through the water, a soft and enticing vocal complement to the beautifully sombre tones. It may just be a dream but as a welcoming arm reaches out to you, you can’t help but reach back, ready to be taken off, further into this extraordinary world of sound you have discovered.

Mind you, we still don’t know anything about her.

”Breadwinner” will be available as a free download on 27 March.


Stalk Bea: Website