Track Of The Day: The Northern Belle – ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’

Ahead of the release of their collaborative mini-album, The Northern Belle’s uplifting single ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ brings an exciting sense of adventure and togetherness as we navigate turbulent times.

Led by singer-songwriter Stine Andreassen, The Northern Belle spent the pandemic collaborating with other musicians, including Siv Jakobsen and Mallin Petersen, creating a musical community of Nordicana (Americana-influenced music from Norway). The result, much like a kaleidoscope, is beautiful when all of these fragments come together. 

Fans of Fleetwood Mac will love The Northern Belle. Andreassen’s sweet vocals bring to mind folk and country greats. A wash of luscious harmonies ebb and flow, building a warm and fuzzy sound. The sparkling Americana-style guitar lines weave seamlessly into the vocal textures. Andreassen explains: 

When I sat down to write ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’, I just felt a sudden urge to flee and run away from all of this madness.  On one hand we are travelling less and are actually taking care of our planet (if we want to or not) – I love that and I wonder if we will take more care of each other and this beautiful planet from now on. Then there is a little devil on my shoulder that wants to fly away from all of our problems and do all the things that you can imagine. Move through space and time and don’t care about any of the consequences of our actions. I needed to feel alive. All of these emotions got poured into these songs and I love the explosive chorus and the whole conversation with myself.” 

Though the ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ was creating during the pandemic, there is a wonderful lightness and ease to the song – it’s as crisp as a bright summer morning. The production is natural and spacious, highlighting the easy-going feel of the song. It’s easy to get swept up in its immersive charm as it transports you into a deliciously dreamy soundscape.

The Norwegian septet’s mini-album The Women In Me is set for release this Friday, 17th September. Pre-order here.

Jaz Kelly

Track Of The Day: BECAH – ‘Reminders’

With her debut EP Freak on its way, Northern Irish alt-indie artist, BECAH, has released ‘Reminders‘ – an utterly captivating new single. It’s a powerful expression of vulnerability, with honest lyrics and underpinned by brooding instrumentation.

‘Reminders’ is a soundbath of sweet tones, with sweeping synthesisers, jangling guitar and BECAH’s heavenly vocals, all fusing together to build a hypnotic atmosphere. Although there is a fuzzy sweetness in the instrumentation, there is an underlying darkness to the track. It is constantly building and there’s a cinematic drive, reminiscent of bands like Muse. Every instrument seems to create tension, pulsating and building with an epic grandeur.  

BECAH’s combination of powerful instrumentation with her expressive vocals and lyrics is truly poignant; there is an empowering element to the song, revealing a strength in being vulnerable. The subtle layering of their vocals really emphasises this duality. The vocals are tender, almost fragile, but they are layered to create power, whilst still conveying vulnerability. Musically BECAH reveals shades of singer-songwriter greats such as Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, and contemporaries such as Phoebe Bridgers.

Of the track, BECAH reveals: 

“I wrote ‘Reminders’ in the aftermath of a very toxic relationship with a past girlfriend. The coinciding music video, filmed by Chris McCann and directed by John Dynes and Chris McCann, presents a glimpse into that story – the good times I had with her in the beginning, to its violent turn. The lyrics speak of the struggle I had to feel like myself again, and how all my attempts to push away all the little details and memories of that time felt futile.”

Watch the stirring new video for ‘Reminders’ here:

Freak, the upcoming debut EP from BECAH, is set for release later this year.

Jaz Kelly

LISTEN: Teah Lewis – ‘Magnolia’

Sheffield-based singer-songwriter Teah Lewis has released ‘Magnolia‘ – a stunning new single, which blooms as beautifully as the flower it is named after. A perfect addition to your summer playlists, the music is bright and sensuous, blending modern folk styles with hints of electronica. 

Depicting the walk home on the morning after a night out, ‘Magnolia’ combines both the fresh brightness of spring and the hazy warmth of summer as Teah’s vocals flow with a soulful ease. Her music always feels effortlessly graceful and manages to capture something incredibly honest, and this track is no different. Led by her gorgeous vocal melodies and lilting guitar, ‘Magnolia’ builds steadily guiding you with ease along a musical journey. The understated bass and restrained percussion work to guide the journey. Before you know it, you realise you’ve been lifted into some otherworldly place. It’s utter bliss as the banjo, guitar, and harp weave around you, vocal and trumpets shine, hints of synthesisers and synth strings add a sprinkling of electronic ambiance, creating a magical atmosphere. It’s a truly ethereal experience.

The track comes together with the collaboration of Sheffield musicians, each bringing their own flair to the track: folk power-duo Kate Griffin (Mishra) and Manon McCoy (Shivelights) provide luscious banjo and harp accompaniment that flourishes in the spaces between the vocals, and Teah’s long-term collaborator, the composer Emily Compton, plays poignant trumpet melodies which add to the euphoria of the tracks’ crescendo. In addition to these musicians, Philippe Clegg (Oh Papa) plays bass, Josh Knight (I Set the Sea on Fire) appears on drums, and Ben Allen (Life Aquatic Band) features on the synthesizer and slide guitar. 

You can hear shades of legendary artists such as Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling in how ‘Magnolia’ is driven by infectious melodies and reflective lyrics, as well as harmonies as mellifluous as The Staves. If you are in need of a warm hug, ‘Magnolia’ will be able to provide the musical equivalent. It’s a beautifully crafted song that is sure to lift your mood.

Jaz Kelly

WATCH: Sophie Kilburn – ‘I’m In Love With My Therapist’

A ’90s inspired indie-pop belter, Sophie Kilburn has shared her latest single ‘I’m In Love With My Therapist‘. It’s the second single from her debut EP, following ‘Movements’, which also blew us away at GIHE. Shades of Americana ring out through the song, with the Derbyshire artist reflecting LA’s Sunset Boulevard. Fans of Haim, Phoebe Bridgers, and Maggie Rogers might just find Sophie Kilburn to be their new favourite artist.

A fiery fusion of old-school rocker and modern pop warrior, Sophie Kilburn captivates and commands her due attention. ‘I’m In Love With My Therapist’ is a display of assured and beautifully crafted song-writing. The addictive vocal hook lingers in your mind long after the song has finished. It’s a euphoric release, both emotionally and musically. Fierce guitar riffs, oozing a stadium anthem feel, interlace with the driven percussion and thumping bass line. It is foot-stomping emotion, displaying the strength that comes from being so in touch with your emotions, as Sophie sings of both being lost as well as knowing that she needs to get out. The musical drive and the honest lyrics create a poignant juxtaposition.

In her own words, Sophie describes how ‘I’m In Love With My Therapist’ came to be:

“It was lockdown number two, and I was annoyed at myself for killing yet another plant and the story of the song just fell from my frustration. When you go to therapy, you are trying to understand your emotions and behaviours. Sometimes that digging causes confusion, you start to project feelings – like your longing to fall in love – onto a person who ‘gives you the time of day’. It is quite a morbid thought that the only person who you feel who gets you and you can share anything with, is your therapistThey know everything about you, and you know nothing about them but the consistency of being emotionally intimate with them causes feelings to grow to the point of breaking point.”

The music video, shot with an all-female team led by Marieke Macklon, has shades of the Truman Show, with the cameras watching Sophie closely. It’s obsessive and bordering on invasive, powerfully illustrating the all-consuming nature of anxiety and depression and perfectly expressing the sentiment of the song.

Sophie Kilburn’s debut EP, My Room Made Me Public, is set for release next month.

Jaz Kelly