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
@surfjaz

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
@surfjazz

Photo Credit: Peter Catchpole

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
@surfjaz

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
@surfjaz