Track Of The Day: Companion – ‘How Could I Have Known’

A sweet musical embrace, Colorado twin sister duo Sophia and Jo Babb – aka Companion – have introduced their heavenly sound with their debut track, ‘How Could I Have Known’ – a delicious slice of indie-folk. With arpeggiated guitars, a lilting bass-line, gentle percussion, and the gorgeous harmonies which lie at the heart of the song, it is perfect for warming the cold winter mornings and nights. The duo charmingly illustrate the magic that happens between families when they create music together; the track is charged with a twinkling sense of intimacy as Sophia and Jo share the heartfelt vocal lines. 

The delicate stripped-back textures ground the song so that as you listen you are gently guided along the captivating musical journey. It feels beautifully restrained, rippling with catchy and light-hearted melodies, whilst also revealing a deep emotional core. As well as this raw sentimentality, there is also a flowing pastoral essence to the track, as it reflects on the wonder of nature and our connection to it. 

Sofia explains the meaning behind the song:

“I started writing ‘How Could I Have Known’ at the beginning of my first Autumn in northern Colorado… I quickly learned that fall is a fleeting, beautifully short time in the mountains. It takes just a few blustery days for all the yellow aspen leaves to give way to bare trees, snowfall, and early sunsets. At the time, I was engaged to my now husband. He was dealing with some concerning medical issues, and I developed an over-awareness of how quickly I could never see him again. Having lost family members without warning in the past, I became anxiously aware that just as soon as he came into my life, he could leave it, too. Though this thought, at its core, is a very scary one, when I looked beyond the fear of losing something I held so dearly, I could see the incredible gift it is to have something to hold dear in the first place…”

Directed by Jo Babb and shot by Rahul Chakraborty, a moving video tinged with sparkling nostalgia accompanies ‘How Could I Have Known’. Watch it now:

Jaz Kelly

Photo Credit: Chiara Garland

Track Of The Day: Tall Poppies – ‘Big Shake’

A playful reflection inspired by a walk of shame and the ‘me too’ movement, Tall Poppies are back with new single ‘Big Shake’. The danceable track is filled with jangly guitars, catchy vocal lines and oozes a nostalgia as it captures the fun sounds of ’80s pop music.

Tall Poppies can be grouped along with artists such as Belle and Sebastian and Kate Bush. The London-based band, fronted by twin sisters Susan and Catherine who are originally from Australia, are back with their first new music since 2019 and it’s as dreamy and fresh as we could have wished for. The self-produced and self-mixed alternative surf-pop song glistens with a slick shimmering allure.

The track is filled with the energy and excitement of a revelation followed by a big release; the violin and guitar play in conversation and burst out in a vibrant joyous expression. Shades of Pulp come through in the buoyant string melodies and catchy vocal hooks, which are beautifully airy as both Susan and Catherine sing in unison accompanied by luscious harmonies and bouncy ad-libs, as the lyrics are direct and packed with witty anecdotes – “I woke up on someone else’s floor/I’m not doing this anymore”.

It really sounds as though Tall Poppies were having fun whilst recording this latest offering and this comes through in the music, making it feel refreshingly easy-going. ‘Big Shake’ is accompanied by a colourful art-pop video, made using Catherine’s art supplies and fashion design skills. Watch now:

Jaz Kelly

Track Of The Day: Aisha Badru – ‘Rooted’

Enchanting folk-strewn new-age dreaminess, Aisha Badru’s latest single ‘Rooted’ is a therapeutic exploration of the feeling of home. It’s reassuring and comforting as if she was speaking directly to you, drawing you into the song. A truly stunning new offering.

‘Rooted’ is spacious and its simplicity gives the song a calming effect. Electronic and folk elements are combined to create an ethereal ambiance. Like rays of sunlight shimmering through the trees, you can hear nature seeping through the track. The atmospheric synth sounds function as a drone, creating a meditative sense of stillness. As I listen, the sweeping textures of the drone awaken an awareness of my body, giving me goosebumps. 

It feels as though the song creates a space for reflection and healing. The instrumentation is carefully layered to create calming soundscapes. Furthermore, Aisha’s voice is soft and soothing, her lullaby-like lilting melodies feel intuitive and natural. The vocals sound intimate as though it’s whispered into your ears. The simplicity enhances the heartfelt lyrics and allows you to reflect on each phrase. Aisha sings “plant your trees upon the earth, know your value, know your worth”, in a way that radiates sweet positivity. Alongside its positivity, the track seems to be both dripping with emotion whilst also being subtle and restrained in a way that is really impactful. Aisha, who has spent much of her time travelling around the world, explains that she never really had roots, but now – living in Orlando with her partner and twin toddlers – “We’re planting seeds and starting a garden. This is home. I’ve never felt this sense of home”.

Aisha Badru’s The Way Back Home EP is set for release on 3rd December via Nettwerk Records – it’s going to be a perfect way to reflect on the end of the year. You can pre-save the EP via a donation to the One Tree Planted non-profit organisation.

Jaz Kelly

Photo Credit: Jeffery Trapani

Track Of The Day: Alice Mary – ‘Surgeon’

Smooth and woozy dream-pop at its finest, Alice Mary’s latest single is the perfect tune to wind down to. Shimmering and effervescent, ‘Surgeon‘ will leave you feeling all kinds of things.

Alice Mary’s gorgeous mellow vocals draw you into the track, bringing to mind vocalists like Weyes Blood and Laura Marling; creating an immersive psychedelic musicality driven by a female voice. The opening lyric “the surgeon who loved you sewed you back together” sets the melancholic mood: beautiful, understated and effortlessly honest. Singer-songwriter, producer, and guitarist, Alice Mary explains:

‘Surgeon’ is about something I never thought I’d write about until I did. I ended up writing the lyrics in this really simple, almost childlike style, because that’s the only way I could look back at what had happened…

The jangling guitars, fuzzing throughout the chorus, create an instantly immersive atmosphere. It’s as though you’re floating calmly downstream. The music works as some kind of antidote to what inspired the song; any tension you might have is sure to flow away with the soothing effect of the descending chord sequences and the dark humour in Alice Mary’s vocal harmonies. The psychedelic synth textures and deep lyrical expressions contrast against the honey-sweet, catchy pop-inspired melody in a way that’s both eerie and carefree. In this way, ‘Surgeon’ is reminiscent of the brighter side of Portishead, or St. Vincent.

From dancy bops and funky riffs, to psychedelic sad girl soft-rock, Alice Mary has shown us so many sides to her witty music and we can’t wait to hear more! 

Jaz Kelly

Photo Credit: Peter Catchpole