Tag Archives: Saint Agnes

Listen Out For – 2015 Previews Round Up

7 Dec

2015 Previews Round Up

The calendar has clicked round to December and children across the world are excited about finding small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors. Like many other blogs, we are getting excited about end of year list-o-mania (and small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors).

As is our wont we will start with previews of artists we are looking forward to hearing from more next year. But, as is also our wont, we will preface this with a look back at the tips we made last year to see how they did and by association, how well we did. In all honesty it was, outwardly, a pretty quiet year for most of our featured acts with only one album and a couple of EPs released between them (but they were all great).


#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

We said at the time that Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. The only thing that has changed is that they are now 16. The girls are still remarkable and their talents are being recognised by a larger audience thanks to performances at Latitude and Festival No. 6 as well as features in NME and sessions on 6Music. The album is still in the works so expect to hear a lot more them both in the coming 12-18 months.

#14 – Treasureseason

It’s been a quiet year for the Norwich-London duo but fingers crossed we hear more from them soon as we are big fans of their soft synthy loveliness.

#13 – Chløë Black

It took just one song from Chløë Black to win our hearts, minds and blog love. Since then we’ve seen her play live, been treated to a number of fantastic videos and are even more convinced that big things await.

#12 – Saint Agnes

Another act for whom 2015 was relatively quiet, at least as far as new music is concerned. There were gigs a-plenty though which further enhanced their reputation as an act to get excited about.

#11 – Waterbed

It’s almost becoming a running theme but 2015 was pretty quiet with little in the way of new tunes to get excited about for Waterbed. Here’s hoping for more next year.

#10 – Daisy Victoria

Compared to the dual EP output of the year before, 2015 was fairly quiet release wise. There was a ramping up of radio coverage though, as well as headline shows and a burgeoning reputation across the blog world. There was also the stupendous “Pain of Dancer” which for our money, is the best thing Daisy has done so far.

#9 – Jagaara

Again, beyond festivals and gigs (most recently supporting Kyla la Grange) 2015 was a quiet one for the three sisters. Mind you, we saw them live in 2014 and they were superb so gigging across the country is a good thing for us as fans, hopefully there will be some more tunes to get our ears around in the coming months as well as well some shows in the New Year.

#8 – Black Honey

At last, a band for whom 2015 certainly wasn’t quiet, especially if their incendiary rawkus performance at Norwich Sound and Vision in October was anything to go by. Black Honey released new tunes, won new fans and wowed us and thousands of others with their explosive and energetic live sets.

#7 – Osca

After a couple of tunes earlier in the year, it’s been quiet since the spring. Hopefully they have been squirreled away, busily writing and recording ready for the New Year. Right guys? Guys..?

#6 – Wooden Arms

2015 was big for Wooden Arms. Not only did they follow up 2014’s gorgeous EP with their debut album, they also played a live session for Lauren Laverne on 6 Music. The collective have also been playing bigger and bigger shows across Europe and are currently working on their next full length, and we can’t wait to hear it.

#5 – Vérité

One of the few artists on our list to put some tunes out this year, Vérité put out the fantastic Sentiment EP as well as playing many shows. Some of which were in the UK, though none were in Norwich. No doubt that’s on her list for next year.

#4 – Yumi Zouma

2015 was an interesting year for Yumi Zouma. It started with some properly fantastic videos and a second superb EP which met with deserved rave reviews. After that though there was a low key departure and replacement of Kim Pflaum (so low key in fact that some publications had no idea they weren’t talking to Kim when featuring the band) but still lots of very successful shows and plaudits. As yet there has been no proper ‘post-Kim’ tunes so we can’t speak to what comes next but we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on developments.

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

One of the few on our list to put out some music this year, Rory Graham released the superb Disfigured EP, saw his music synced all over the place and produced one of the best gigs we saw all year. Seriously, if you have the chance to see him live, take it. All that and he is now curating his own gig nights as well.

#2 – Laurel

Having closed out last year with an EP release, it’s probably not a surprise that 2015 was fairly quiet. There was a slot at Radio One’s Big Weekend though and hopefully there will be more gorgeously evocative sounds from her in 2016.

#1 – Fickle Friends

They released an EP and wowed Norwich at Radio One’s Big Weekend (and a small pre-show the night before). In fact, so wowed were Norwich that they are coming back in 2016 (see you there) as part of their super huge mega UK tour (which we hope will coincide with an album release but we don’t know). They have also been playlisted on Radio One and put out some pretty rad videos so everything is looking set for them to build on a good 2015 to have a great 2016.

2015 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List

8 Dec

2015 Previews The Full List

After 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2015 was completed this morning when we unveiled Brighton’s Fickle Friends as our #1 tip for next year.

Before we crack on with our end of year lists (tracks first), for those amongst you who are lazy/busy/just like things all in one place (delete as applicable), we have collated the full selection of artists and a handy playlist of tunes from each of them below for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.


#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

”Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. Not sure if that makes sense? That is just a small part of the joy of Let’s Eat Grandma.”

#14 – Treasureseason

”…their recent Julep EP which is as good as anything they have done and juxtaposes Jess’s rich, lush vocals with their trademark icy and almost Scandinavian in style, electronic production.”

#13 – Chløë Black

““27 Club” is infused with touches of r&b and gospel, as well as [an] elegantly gothic and rich sound”; it is a compelling and captivating tune.”

#12 – Saint Agnes

”They make music that should soundtrack great western epics; epics that would have bar-fights aplenty, harsh inhospitable landscapes and, deadly predators waiting to pick you off at every turn.”

#11 – Waterbed

”Flourishes whistle and call like digital whale song as Cat’s vocals entice and beckon to your ears. It’s Blue Hawaii, Us Baby Bear Bones and MYPET; it’s dance music, has hip-hop beats and is frenetic electronica. It’s pop and it’s great.”

#10 – Daisy Victoria

”She rocks and croons, bounces, dances, spins and swirls, is dark, light, carefree and theatrical, all in the space of five tracks that are not only fantastic but that are also available for free (though we know once you hear them you’ll want to pay something for them).”

#9 – Jagaara

”Their songs are full of emotion and pain, entwined with first delicate then powerfully distressed arrangements. They make music that is not only evocative and often heart-wrenching, “Marble Arch” was wrought with a fist pounding frustration that stirs emotions within and had a suitably belt-it-out-when–you-think-no-one-is-around chorus, but it can also feel soothing and becalming.”

#8 – Black Honey

”…their fuzzy, retro-tinged garage pop sounds are fantastic and in just four tracks they have had us and our contemporaries all of a quiver. They make music that excites, it is dark and fantastical yet sun-tinged and born from very real emotion and desire and we love it.”

#7 – Osca

”Their debut track in particular, “Blood”, had many an esteemed publication pushing the button marked ‘gushing’ when determining which kind of praise to adorn them with. Like most of their songs, the piano driven ballad was simultaneously divine and foot stompingly catchy.”

#6 – Wooden Arms

”We’re massive suckers for the sweeping melodies, the orchestral arrangements, harmonies and ebbing rhythms. They make music to close your eyes to, music to get lost in, music for cold crisp mornings and for late summer evenings.”

#5 – Vérité

”She expertly walks the tightrope between mainstream and chic, with some commentators referring to her as alt-pop, though we like to think of it as just pop. Extremely good, extremely entertaining and enjoyable pop.”

#4 – Yumi Zouma

”We love Yumi Zouma, like properly love Yumi Zouma. Their debut EP was probably the most played release of 2014 at Alphabet Bands HQ and their follow up single “Alena” (as well as their love letter to Air France) has been played to death since its release. They are, for us, one of the bands of the year and we fully expect more of the same in the next 12 months.”

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

”Soon we were exploring and dived head first into his (still free) EP, Wolves, which, while lighter on the hip-hop element, is equally fantastic. His Mark Lanegan-esque vocals are raw, powerful and full of soul, yet they also feel tender and brittle with emotion at times.”

#2 – Laurel

”Her soft, ebbing melodies can, in the case of “Shells” for example, like a walk through a silent, dusky wood. Intricate rhythms reveal themselves like branches cracking underfoot as you walk, discovering new wonders behind each tree, beyond each hillock and ditch.”

#1 – Fickle Friends

”Their super light, bright and bouncy pop tunes lit up the year despite often dealing with disillusionment heartbreak and despair. In fact, despite their predilection for lyrics reflecting melancholy and confusion, seem incapable of making music that sounds like anything less than a glorious summer of fun and frivolity. The melodies and arrangements are gloriously infectious and playful and are perfectly complemented with soft, silken vocals.”


2015 Preview: Listen Out For #12 – Saint Agnes

2 Dec

Saint Agnes

As our own 2015 previews continue it is time to kick open that basement door, sidle down to that secret bar full of the underworld’s seediest and most notorious clientele, grab a shot of something strong and burning, pump the jukebox with coins and prepare for the havoc that will come with a blast of Saint Agnes. While the scum and villainy here may not be as wretched as in Mos Eisley, a grinding, grimey blues rock soundtrack is significantly more suitable than the doot doot doot doot do do do, doodly do do do do do that you get in certain cantinas.

Bizarre streams of consciousness to describe the feeling you get from their music aside, we love Saint Agnes. We love the sensation of rebelliousness that you get from the likes of “Where The Lightning Strikes” for example, the devil may care rawkusness and the vast sprawling desert of sound they create.

They make music that should soundtrack great western epics; epics that would have bar-fights aplenty, harsh inhospitable landscapes and, deadly predators waiting to pick you off at every turn. Our heroes would be two very cool people on a motorbike with nothing but a guitar, a harmonica, some whiskey, some smarts and an incredible ability to play music that makes people wanna yell ‘yee-haw’ and shoot at their hats as they throw them in the air.

After a brief hiatus, Saint Agnes made their return this year with a couple of singles and a new found partnership with Energy Snake Records. Their venom is potent and we hope to be bitten some more in 2015.


Stalk Saint Agnes: Facebook / Twitter

Saint Agnes – “Where the Lightning Strikes” (video)

21 Oct

Saint Agnes

For all our love of music that tends to go pop, or whirr with electro hums, gasp with breath like atmospherics or bounce with a thumping bassline, there is a large part of us that cannot live without the angular grind of guitar and the sweaty, dirty howl of blues-driven rock. Which is why, as soon as we heard “Old Bone Rattle” a few months ago, we knew that Saint Agnes was going to be one of those bands that we would be falling in love with. That they have hitched their sail to a fantastically dark and deviant ship helmed by the Energy Snake crew only served to seal the deal.

Following on from the re-release of “Old Bone Rattle” this year, the duo have released the suitably foreboding and twisted “A Beautiful Day For Murder” and have now shared the wonderfully scratched and retro filtered video for the b-side, “Where the Lightning Strikes”.

‘But Mr Alphabet Sir’, we (like to think we) hear you say (and do keep calling us Sir) ‘why are you sharing the b-side? Surely you should focus on the a-side as by definition it is ranked ‘a’ which is clearly better than ‘b’. No?’

Well, small pedantic person who we just conjured up in our mind, no.

Sure we could, but if everyone did exactly what you expected, life would be pretty dull. Also, as good as “A Beautiful Day For Murder” is, and it is very very good (so good we’re streaming that below too), we’re in the mood for something a bit rockier and a bit dirtier. Something covered in the dust of the desert and full of coyote howl harmonicas. We’re in the mood for a track that sidles up next to you in a bar in the old west, drains a whiskey, smiles at you and then starts an almighty bar room brawl just for shits and giggles. We’re in the mood for a track whose rhythm stomps and struts, whose melody embraces the chaotic nature of the universe and that has a grand organ wail that matches its stupendously arrogant and confident attitude.

Yeah, pop is great and all, but today it’s all about the sleazy grind of the blues.

”A Beautiful Day for Murder”, backed with “Where the Lightning Strikes”, is out now and available to buy on iTunes.




Stalk Saint Agnes: 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.