Tag Archives: Wishing Well

What’s In The Box? – #8

10 Jan

What's In The Box

To commemorate the dawning of this New Year (we’re 10 days in, can we keep going on about the New Year or is it just January now?) we’ve decided to do something old. Regular readers may recall we ran a very occasional Saturday feature where we caught up with tracks and videos we may have missed in the week or just didn’t have time to get to properly. So occasional was this feature though that in 2014 we ran it a whopping four times (and two of those were special editions). Still, it is the New Year and we are trying to be a bit better at posting, better at managing the inbox and now, better at bringing you this weekly round-up.

For those of you unfamiliar with the premise we, like every other blog, are inundated with emails from bands and PR companies on a daily basis. A lot of this music is really good but sadly, we have a day job and other responsibilities and cannot cover everything, no matter how much we would like to. What’s In The Box? is designed to go some way to address our wish to feature more music vs time in the day.

So, on a weekly basis (and we will try and make it weekly) we will showcase a bunch of tracks and/or videos that we have enjoyed in the past seven days. Most of it, but not all, will have come directly from the inbox and while we won’t be as verbose in our descriptions of each one, we figured some words were better than none. At least this way you get to hear them too right? And that’s the main thing.

Makes sense? Let’s do it, and make sure you read to the end, there’s a plenty of absolutely brilliant tracks in there.

Susanne Sundfør – “Delirious”

First out of the box is a track that didn’t actually come from the box. Instead we heard it on When The Gramaphone Rings who made it their track of the day on Thursday. There they likened it to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and they are, as ever, bang on. Taken from her new album Ten Love Songs (due in February), “Delirious” is a pulsating electro-dance-pop tune full of kaleidoscopic colour, energy, heartbreak and malice. It is, fantastic.

The Lone Bellow – “Cold As It Is”

In complete contrast, our second track this week is a catchy, slightly stompy, blend of bluesy-americana from The Lone Bellow. It’s almost impossible not to tap your foot along with this as the beat claps and the bassline rumbles on. Check out their performance from the Jimmy Kimmel show the other night and you’ll see what we mean.

“Cold As It Is” is taken from the forthcoming album Then Came The Morning (out 27 Jan).

r.e.l. – “Plateau”

“Plateau” by 19 year old newcomer r.e.l. has been online a couple of months now but only just found its way into our inbox. We’re glad it did. With its laidback R’n’B grooves, it’s a deliciously cool and soulful piece of pop that grooves effortlessly along. It’s got some really lovely late night drinks vibes and the vocals are sweet and dreamy. Alongside the other tracks from her debut EP that are online (check out “All That Bite” in particular) there is every reason to believe that r.e.l. is destined for big things. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more, that’s for certain.

Kanzi – “Two Hearts”

Taken from their self-titled debut EP (out now on Animal Records), Kanzi’s “Two Hearts” (not a Kylie cover, or a Phil Collins cover for that matter) is rather wonderful. Like Friendly Fires turned waaay down, it’s melancholic electronica has a liquid texture, gently rippling with rhythms and soft synth melodies while the gentle falsetto vocals float smoothly along.

Altar Flowers – “Bastard Song”

They used to be LVLS but one quick jump into a phone box and a change of clothes later and the Manchester quintet are now Altar Flowers. The name may have changed but aspects of the sound are still there as “Bastard Song” harks back to predecessor “W.S.C.B.F” with its 80s pop-rock, Tears for Fears, John Hughes, sensibilities.

Mary Caroline – “Life On Earth”

She may currently reside in an icy wasteland (in a cabin just below the arctic circle to be precise) but the title track to Mary Caroline’s debut album is anything but cold. In fact, “Life On Earth” sounds more like a playful skip through the park on a bright spring morning than huddling round an ice hole fishing for supper. It’s swaysome, singsong folk pop that, as the piano and guitar does so merrily, frolics and prances through the grass and flowers. Lovely.

Janne Hea – “Wishing Well”

On the other side of the folk spectrum to Mary Caroline is Janne Hea whose track “Wishing Well” is one of those that brings about rapt and silent attention from the audience whenever it is played live. It feels reverential, at least that is how it should be treated, with a quiet and restrained simplicity and beauty. It appears to have been out for some time but could be in line for a re-release / re-package as it only made it into our inbox yesterday. Regardless, this is a gorgeously subdued piece of folk that deserves to be heard and enjoyed.

Monophona – “Thumb”

Ahead of the release of their second album, Black On Black (out 30 Jan), Monophona have released new track “Thumb” for us to get to grips with. And goodness, not only are we gripping it, we don’t want to let go. This hypnotic blend of analogue and digital, acoustic and electronic has us hooked. The quiet darkness of “Thumb” is fantastic, it’s shadowy and mesmeric with the repetitive pluck of guitar and sonar-esque electronic beeps serving as beacons of light to guide us. Out on German label Kapitän Platte, it has a very Ninja Tune feel to it. We love it.

Victoria – “Into The Wild”

If you like your indie pop sounds big and anthemic then you’ve come to the right place. London based combo Victoria have already played to a sell out crowd in Hoxton and it is only a matter of time before the venues start getting much bigger but the ‘sold out’ sign will remain on the door. “Into The Wild” is a vast, rousing track, the kind that deserves a suitably widescreen video, sporting montage of triumph over adversity or a large festival crowd jumping up and down. Hell, it’ll probably get all three and so it should. Another group to keep an eye on.

Lyon – “Catch Me If I Fall”

Falling perfectly between Fickle Friends and Vérité, Toronto’s LYON has shared the video for her latest poptacular, “Catch Me If I Fall”. Full of bounce, energy and joie de vivre, it’s a dazzlingly infectious synthpop extravaganza. The video may be black and white but the song is full of colour; it’s bright, cheery and delightfully infectious.

So there we go, ten superb tracks that hopefully include at least one that you enjoyed. Come back next week for more regular posting and, all being well, there will be another What’s In The Box? here for you next Saturday as well.

Watch: Cheyenne Marie Mize – “Wishing Well”

14 Mar

What do you do when you’ve stripped back your song so it is nothing more than infectious, foot stomping percussion and sultry honey dipped vocals? Easy, strip the video back so it is a combination of talking heads of course.

Simple, effective and hypnotic. The new video for Cheyenne Marie Mize‘s stomptastic “Wishing Well” is all of this and more, perfectly fitting both song and artist.

Check it out below.

Review: Cheyenne Marie Mize – We Don’t Need EP

24 Jan

You’d be forgiven for approaching any release where the artist themselves says “the songs … are meant to be digested individually more than as continuous parts of a complete whole” with some degree of trepidation. However, while Cheyenne Marie Mize is correct in her assertion that each track on her latest EP, We Don’t Needhas its own character and will likely be enjoyed in different mental states“, any suggestion that the six songs don’t hang together as a collected whole does a disservice to her song writing and musical accomplishment.

Such is the variety on offer here, that if we were to attach We Don’t Need to some form of electronic device that measured tempo, or speed, a speedometer perhaps, then the needle would be flying back and forth like crazy. The EP begins with “Wishing Well”, a fast paced percussion and vocals only track that had this reviewer’s foot stamping the floor like a failed Stomp auditionee; before moving immediately into the sombre, funereal “Call Me Beautiful”. Sure, a rest is required after all that foot stamping but you are left unprepared for Cheyenne’s haunting Beth Gibbons-esque vocals and the deliciously dark, gothic sensibilities.

From then on the tempo picks right back up again with the dance-a-riffic swing-a-thon of “Going Under” before finally settling down on the more moderate “Keep It” and “It Lingers”, ultimately coming to rest on the gentle instrumentals of closer, “Back Around”.

She has a wonderful voice and a real talent for drawing the listener into the music, which is especially impressive given the disparate musical styles and tones on offer. As Cheyenne herself says, “As a whole, We Don’t Need is surely eclectic, but each part gives a little taste of the things to come…”. If what is to come can maintain this level of quality then Cheyenne may be in for quite an exciting year.

“We Don’t Need is out now on Yep Roc and American fans can catch Cheyenne on tour on the following dates:

January 25 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
January 27 – Cosmic Charlie’s – Lexington, KY
January 28 – Headliners – Louisville, KY
February 8 – MOTR Pub – Cincinnati, OH
February 9 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN
February 10 – White Rabbit Cabaret – Indianapolis, IN

If you still want more, you can find her previous releases over on bandcamp, like her Facebook page or check out her official website.

Free Download: Manna – “Wishing Well”

12 Jan

It’s always pleasing when our inbox is full of great new music to digest and enjoy, and this latest track from Finnish blues-folk star Manna certainly raised a smile in the office when we opened our email yesterday.

Taken from her forthcoming album, Shackles, “Wishing Well” features one time Screaming Trees founder and Queens of the Stone Age member, Mark Lanegan as a thunderous, snarling counterpoint to Manna’s smooth, lilting country-folk vocals. The track skits from the light, gentle, acoustic verses, down to the dark, grinding, blues chorus and back out again. The juxtaposition of Manna and Lanegan is inspired, like the proverbial ying and yang, their contradictions are connected and attracted to one another.

Manna acknowledges these apparent differences when describing her music; “I am not interested in creating anything except heartfelt music, it can be either beautiful or just plain aggressive – often both”.

This is very definitely both.

You can listen to the track below and during January, it will be available as a free download from Manna’s Soundcloud page.