Track Of The Day: Aderyn – ‘Playground’

‘Playground‘ is the latest single from South Wales indie-pop artist Aderyn, recent ‘Artist Of The Week’ on BBC Radio Wales. It’s a fun, summery and infectious pop song with a rock edge, recorded in LA with Bobby Bloomfield (who’s previously worked with the likes of 50 Cent and Linkin Park). 

The production is clean and polished with many engaging pop hooks and a cool, fizzing musicality propelled by the tight and energetic rhythm section. Aderyn sings blunt and playful lyrics following a recent breakup, delivered full of attitude and sass; sometimes sung so fast she’s almost rapping. She’s mastered immersive lyrical storytelling, allowing you to picture the scene in your mind – a story that many will relate to and cathartically sing along with in the chorus.

Musically, the song is built around fuzzy, slightly distorted riffs giving it a rocky edge, bringing to mind artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Soccer Mommy and Pale Waves, whilst incorporating swirling guitar chops, synth hooks and vocal harmonies.

Of the track, Aderyn explains:

“Playground was written just after a break-up. I was definitely in the ‘anger’ state of mourning the relationship when I wrote this song. I often joke at my gigs that singing this song live is a form of free therapy for me”. 

‘Playground’ is accompanied by a vibrant music video, showcasing Aderyn’s cheeky charisma and colourful energy as she sings directly into the camera at a sunny seaside theme park, at one point holding a pink smoke flare to amp up the attitude and fun. Watch here:

You can catch Aderyn live at  Sŵn Festival, Cardiff on the 22nd October. Find info about this and other tour dates via her Instagram .

Ella Patenall

Photo Credit: Hannah Tottle

Track Of The Day: Midnight Ambulance – ‘Smoke and Sweets’

In 2020, old friends reconnected after years apart and formed Midnight Ambulance, and boy are we glad they did! This perfect partnership has crafted an eclectic and dark sound which has gone on to see the Edinburgh based duo shortlisted for BBC Introducing Scottish Act of the Year 2022 and as support for Texas at Fringe By The Sea this August

Latest single ‘Smoke and Sweets‘ is a captivating offering, reflecting on feelings of isolation and someone’s reality slipping away; written through the Covid-19 lockdown, where isolation was experienced by many. The subject matter is clearly reflected through the powerful soundscape the duo have created, cleverly blending an exquisite folk-inspired musicality with electronic sounds and fuzzy in-your-face guitar, building to an immense frenzied climax. This eclectic fusion of sounds really gives them an interesting edge where you don’t know what to expect. 

Opening with an electronic drone and reverb-washed yet detailed vocals, Midnight Ambulance set an atmospheric scene with a stunning traditional folk melody sung with haunting close harmonies. A distorted drum enters, panned hard to one side, demonstrating interesting production decisions. For fellow audiophiles, this track must be listened to with quality headphones or a good sound system to truly experience the beautiful intricacies of what’s going on.

At one and a half minutes in, you are hit with a delicious drop – introducing heavier and more distorted territories. The vocals become faster, more urgent and desperate – “I don’t know how to let it go”. There’s feedback on the guitar, breathy vocal chops, vocal vocoders and smashing cymbals, poignantly mirroring the protagonist’s loss of reality. 

‘Smoke and Sweets’ was recorded at North Road Studios, which uses vintage equipment – giving the song a unique gritty warmth. 

Watch the stirring live video for ‘Smoke and Sweets’ here:

Ella Patenall

Photo Credit: Gareth Goodlad