Tag Archives: soul

‘E’ is for Eckoes

13 Sep

Hypnotic, infectious and stunning; the music of Eckoes sounds as if it comes from another world. Her deep, soulful electronica combines with pop hooks, dance beats and glorious vocals to entrance and enthrall.

London based Eckoes is an artist you may have heard of already. If not, she is someone you will definitely be hearing more of in the future. A successful songwriter for other artists, she has recently been scouted by Grammy Award winning producer Naughty Boy. This is in addition to being a FAC Advocate Artist who helps and advise other up and coming artists. Oh, and then of course there is her own music, which is incredible and has received support from 6Music and BBC Introducing as well as a slew of glowing and effusive posts from legitimate tastemakers.

Eckoes’ music has evolved over the years; her pop skin has been stripped back, exposing her bare electro endoskeleton to the world. In so doing, Eckoes has revealed a sound that is altogether darker, more intense and bewitching.

Taken from her forthcoming EP, Eckoes’ latest single “Black & Red” is a stark and seductively dangerous slice of electronica. Dystopian in its sensibility, it could easily be the soundtrack to a dark sci-fi opera (think Blade Runner meets Event Horizon). It is absolutely perfect for that moment where we focus entirely on the protagonist and blur the surroundings. It feels like being being isolated and alone whilst surrounded by the incessant noise and hubbub of a densely populated megalopolis. The layered, almost choral, vocal is utterly captivating. A thing of pristine beauty in this otherwise dark and twisted world.

The melody glows and hums like vast neon signs while the sparse, crisp electronic beats pulse like beacons in deep space. At times claustrophobic and intense, at others cinematic and boundless, “Black & Red” is one of those incredible pieces that offers the listener something new on each listen.

Earlier single “S.B.F” has a driving intensity to it. It throbs and pounds with a bristling menace, whilst rippling and undulating with a sensual intoxicity. Startlingly open and honest, it is a track that stirs the emotions, that simultaneously gives in and fights back, standing tall in defiant submission.

Travel further through the back catalogue and you will find the deep rooted pop aesthetic becomes more overt. “Nobody Else” has a delightfully subtle 90s dance feel to it, while “Pieces” is a gorgeously deep soulful cut, complete with an infectious, eyes closed and sing along chorus. Keep travelling back, past the multi-layered “Human”, past the sorrowful beauty of “Blue Deep”, keep going and eventually you will find a remarkable, and swoonsome, cover of Mr. Mister’s 1985 classic, “Broken Wings”. Trust us, it’s fantastic.

Her music is something we can get lost in. As she takes us to other worlds, to darker places and to the intimate recesses of her soul, the sounds hypnotise and captivate. Hairs stand up on the back of our neck, goose bumps tingle on our arm and our feet tap along incessantly. It is only fitting that an artist as incredible as Eckoes be part of our Alphabet.

Eckoes is playing Birthdays on Friday 14 September with fellow Alphabet Bands favourites, HEZEN and Hydra Lerna.
“Black & Red” is out now and available to buy or stream here.

Get to know Eckoes: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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.


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

Stalk Rag’N’Bone Man: Website / Facebook / Twitter


21 Apr


Being Norwich based, getting an email from AViVAA threw us somewhat. Initially we wondered what the city’s largest employer wanted to talk to us about. Had they formed a choir and were looking for exposure? Was our writing ability so amazing that they wanted to offer us some special insurance cover in case something ever happened that diminished it? Clearly it was never going to be the latter and whilst the former wasn’t entirely out of the question (we have had some pretty odd emails in our time on the site), it wasn’t actually representatives from the former Norwich Union contacting us at all.

In fact it was an email introducing us to Aviva Payne and Matais Coulter, a pair of 19 year olds from Australia who do a very nice line in muted, distressed electronic pop. The duo has just released their second single, “XX”, and while you may imagine it to be homage to or cover of The XX, the influences and comparisons lay elsewhere. Not that they are hidden, for the band themselves acknowledge the likeness to aspects of the work of Lana Del Ray, and it would be churlish to try and pretend they are not there. But there is a lot more to AViVAA than ‘they sound a bit like Lana’.

They are not as obsessed with ‘vintage’ for example, instead focusing on the sensual and soulful melody. The cool electronica glistens next to the soft and wonderfully lazy beat. It’s a bit like watching an old swinger dancing in his three-piece suit, hat and tie. Shoes polished impeccably, he glides and swirls perfectly with the rhythm, his moves practiced and precise yet unhurried. He dances with grace and elegance, entirely at his own pace but never out of time.

The harmonies are haunting, disarming even and the whole package is one of sublime beauty. It’s delicate, poised and enthralling, a magical and potent elixir that leaves you feeling fuzzy, warm and happy. Aviva’s vocals are sultry and seductive, ”All I know is that I want to kiss you” she whispers as the piano drips notes effortlessly at our feet. She may not be able to deliver on that, but we’ve already been kissed by the melody and it felt so good.

Stalk AViVAA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Slow Club – “Complete Surrender” (video)

1 Apr

Slow Club

Last week, just seven short days ago, Slow Club dropped a brand new track on the world and the world went “woah”. The pair of Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson has been together for nine years and it’s fair to say that we had not heard anything like “Complete Surrender” from them before.

It is, in short, ridiculously infectious. Like the most enjoyable bout of Ebola the world has ever seen, it’s big, funky, brash and utterly danceable. It sparks the most random series of musical remembrances in our odd and addled brain as well, with a very Faith No More like drum opening to a bizarre but wonderful suggestion of Irena Cara’s “Fame”. That might just be us…

But there’s so much going on, so much to enjoy and revel in. Rebecca’s voice soars like never before, there are hooks aplenty and some of the most gorgeously dramatic strings we’ve heard in some time. It’s a compulsive amalgamation of styles and sounds and we honestly cannot get it out of our heads. We thought it couldn’t get any better.

Then they went and released a video to go along with it and we realised we were wrong. It does get better.

Take a look below, see what you think but for us, it just hit all our buttons. Drama, invisible violins, topless drumming (it’s ok, it is safe for work), dance moves, intrigue, Rebecca channelling ScarJo and looking utterly stunning. The whole thing is just fan-fucking-tastic.

Also, their new album has a song on it called “The Queen’s Nose”, which we believe is named after the old kids TV show. Literally cannot wait to hear that one.

n.b, this is not an April Fools, this really is a fabulous video and song.

Slow Club’s new album ‘Complete Surrender’ is due out on 14 July 14. You can pre-order it on iTunes and get the title track instantly or head to the Slow Club store for additional exclusives. The pair are playing London’s Village Underground on 13 May and tickets are available here.

Stalk Slow Club: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Nick Hakim – “Pour Another”

28 Feb

Nick Hakim

It’s been a while since we heard a song quite as onomatopoeic as “Pour Another”, the latest offering from 23 year old Nick Hakim, as it immediately evokes images of a glass of red tumbling from the bottle, shoes being kicked off and feet being rested on the coffee table. It’s a wonder it doesn’t let out an audible exhalation of relaxed relief as it begins.

Taken from his forthcoming debut album, Where Will You Go, it is a gorgeously stripped back tune of soft greys and misty whites. The percussion ebbs gently like a tide against rocks, as the caress of piano and guitars bob effortlessly on an ocean of warm vocals, glistening like sunlight catching the crest of the water’s rippling furrows.

“Pour Another” is smooth and soulful, a beautiful track to close a day with and it even comes with the added bonus of a ‘secret’ micro track at the end. A distant couple of minutes that gently crackles like an old vinyl record on your grandfather’s wind up gramophone as Nick’s far-away vocal rest wearily atop a sparse guitar sound.

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