LISTEN: Brimheim – ‘This Week’s Laundry’

A stirring, intricately observed guitar tune about trying to cultivate a “normal” routine during a time of deep vulnerability, Danish alt-pop artist Brimheim has shared her latest single ‘this week’s laundry’. Taken from her upcoming album can’t hate myself into a different shape, which is set for release on 28th January via W.A.S Entertainment, the track flows with her tender vocals and confessional lyrics, which chime with relatable melancholy.

“The song is an inner monologue about keeping up appearances,” Brimheim explains. “Attempts at adjusting very mundane things in life to feel in control. The collection of specific actions in the song – like buying frozen beans, sorting laundry, and skipping lunch – are all somewhat failed approximations of normalcy and balance. In reality, they just thinly veil existential loneliness and insecurity. It’s someone trying to convince themselves and everyone around them that they’re fine, when they are actually barely keeping it together. It’s like they’re live action role playing as a responsible adult. The lyrics list all these things to point out their banal absurdity as well as their relatability.”

With realistic lines like “I put on foundation for my trip across the street / I am getting a new bag of frozen beans / ‘cause that’s a good way to sneak some greens into a meal / although fresh would be ideal” – Brimheim’s rich guitar sounds and exquisite emotional resilience shine through on ‘this week’s laundry’. She pulls herself back from the brink with an understated confidence, providing comfort for listeners who may be living through a similar experience.

Listen to ‘this week’s laundry’ below.

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Photo Credit: Hey Jack

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: VERO – ‘Concrete’ (Shame cover)

A swirling, provocative cover of British punk band Shame’s gritty original track, Stockholm-based trio VERO have shared their latest single ‘Concrete’. Released via PNKSLM Recordings as the second half of their upcoming 7″ ‘BEG!/Concrete’, which is set for physical release on 14th January, the track is a heady mix of distorted guitars and alluring vocals.

Formed of teenage friends Julia Boman & Amanda Eddestål and Clara Gyökeres who they befriended whilst DJ’ing on the Stockholm nightclub circuit, VERO create music inspired by an eclectic range of influences. Their main purpose, aside from creating anthems with shades of 90s alternative icons Sonic Youth, is to challenge the idea of what a modern guitar band is supposed to be. With their cover of Shame’s ‘Concrete’, the trio have further proved their ability to antagonise and intrigue listeners with their brooding rhythms and crystalline, urgent vocals.

“We’ve never made a cover before, so when we were thinking of a fun B-side for the 7”, we decided to pick a song and a band that we loved,” the band explain. “We’ve been fans of Shame since ‘The Lick’, so it was an easy choice. The original ‘Concrete’ is a high-powered song; energetic and fast. We decided to take it down a whole lot, and then accelerate the intensity for the second half of the song. We had only 2 days to arrange, record and mix the track, which must’ve been a record for us. It was done in super-speed with no second thought, and we love the result.”

Listen to ‘Concrete’ below.

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Photo Credit: Hanna Rubensson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Hinako Omori – ‘a journey’

A soft, lilting creation that transports listeners into a state of calming bliss, London-based artist Hinako Omori has shared her latest single ‘a journey’. Taken from her forthcoming debut album of the same name, which is set to be released on 18th March via Houndstooth, the track gently meanders through memories and reflects on their ambiguous nature, guided by a lightly distorted, meditative voice.

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Hinako moved to the UK when she was three years old, beginning her musical journey by learning classical piano. She later trained as a sound engineer and has now transitioned into working with analogue synths (including the Prophet 08 and Moog Matriarch.) Heavily inspired by the physiological effects that music and sound frequencies have on the body, field recordings and the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (“forest-bathing”) her music seeks to connect with, and understand the human condition in intricate and invigorating ways.

On her new single, Hinako’s use of warm, expansive synths supplies a gentle rush of tranquility, which she describes as “a journey through the cartography of the mind, piecing together past events which seem to appear differently each time – revisiting memories, and healing cognitive distortions.” This is further reflected in the beautiful accompanying music video, created by Emi Takahashi.

Hinako will celebrate the release of her upcoming album with a special performance on 19th March in the Purcell Room at London’s Southbank Centre accompanied by London Contemporary Orchestra. You can buy tickets here.

Watch the video for ‘a journey’ below.

Follow Hinako Omori on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Annie Lai

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra – ‘Empty Envelope’

A disarming reflection on the emotional resilience that’s required in the wake of a bad decision, Dublin-based trio Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra shared their single ‘Empty Envelope’ via Anon Records in September last year. The brooding, shoegazey lament was inspired by a dream that vocalist & guitarist Sarah Deegan had about receiving an empty letter in the post, and today (12th Jan) the band have shared an accompanying video, shot & edited by Irish artist Hollie Gilson, further exploring the song’s narrative of unsaid things.

We caught up with Sarah to talk about creating the new video, how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first came to meet and what we can expect from the band in 2022…

Can you remember who or what inspired you to start making your own music?

I remember CDs. I loved the tactile nature of it; putting the CD on and flicking through the lyric booklet while listening, finding your own meaning in the songs. I remember listening to the whole album and not just one song. I remember the music channels on TV, the emo ones of course. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the music video for Evanescence ‘Bring Me To Life’ or Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’.

Neither will we, that’s some iconic 00s imagery. For anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first met?

The band has changed about 9 times since its original conception, so it’s kind of hard to say, but I first met Danni about 5 years ago through being friends with her brother. I was in their house and mentioned needing a drummer for some college performance thing I was doing. He said it to her at the kitchen table, and she said that she was up for it. About 20 minutes later I could hear Danni out in the shed playing the song. She’s just a legend. On bass, we’ve recently enlisted Sarah Michelle, who is well known for her guitar playing skills. She’s amazing at bass too.

You’ve teamed up with artist Hollie Gilson (who directed the video for your previous single ‘I didn’t love you when I said I did and I don’t now”) to create the video for ‘Empty Envelope’. Talk us through some of the highlights of working with Hollie again…

Me and Hollie are really good friends, so that makes the process a lot easier. We always do 4 or 5 drafts before a video is final. We spend time watching it, we show others, and consider their feedback. It’s important to have people around us that we can bounce off. This video is a lot more abstract than the last one, there’s no clear timeline in it. We focused more on letting the imagery tell the story.

When you released the single back in 2021, you said that the image of the ‘Empty Envelope’ was inspired by a dream you had, and the lyrics to the track are based around the “cyclical nature of bad decisions.” Talk us through how you chose to reflect these things in the accompanying video…

The start of the video is pretty much exactly like the dream. In the dream, I got a letter in the post. The envelope was painted with swirls of blue and pink. It was the most beautiful envelope I had ever seen. It was from my ex, I could see their name and return address in the corner. I opened it and it was completely blank. Just a really nice looking envelope with absolutely nothing inside. I thought that was a good metaphor for the relationship.

We used wringing hands in the video to portray anxiety and nervous energy. The protagonist attempts to write a response to the empty letter, but this only leads to more frustration. Frustrated and alone, they take their piles of paper and burn them, along with the letter.

The track is an ode to moving on, and this is reflected with the imagery of the train. But moving yourself physically doesn’t change anything, in a new place the cycle of bad decisions continues. It takes something a bit more dramatic (like burning everything) to really break a pattern.

PCRO are working on a debut album at the moment. What details can you tell us about the record?

We’ve been working on this album for the last 2 years with Sean Montgomery Dietz, who is an insanely talented producer/engineer/musician. We’re recording mainly in Crossroads, a studio owned by Shane Tobler in Kilkenny. Parts of the album were also recorded in Dublin, at the Annesley House, and in Clare and Drogheda. We teamed up with some really talented musicians who played orchestral instruments on a couple of tracks, Ali Comerford on violin and Karima Dillon El-Toukhy on flute. A combination which I can only describe as majestic.

Most of the songs were written in Mayo, where I’m from. The album takes you on a journey through growing up, the confrontation of idealism and the real world, asserting your independence and getting your heart broken. It’s an honest reflection on the confusion of youth, and talks openly with both sensitivity and cynicism.

We’re really taking our time with this, and I can tell you that, unlike a lot of new albums, every song is a proper song. Long songs, with long titles, that don’t really care for the modern lack of attention span. There has been some debate about whether or not the album will be uploaded to Spotify.

That sounds great, we can’t wait to hear it. Aside from releasing the album, what are your hopes and ambitions for PCRO for 2022?

To play as many shows as the pandemic permits, to just keep doing what we’re doing.

Finally, are there any bands or artists you’re listening to who you’d like to recommend we check out?

Another Anon Records artist to watch this year is OG CNT & the 1240. OG CNT is a WhatsApp famous counter-cultural anti-hero. Tracks like ‘HATE’ and ‘Everybody that I know’ are unforgettable. His album, The Memoirs of OG CNT, will be out this year too.

Thanks to Sarah for answering our questions!
Watch the new video for ‘Empty Envelope’ below.

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Photo Credit/Video Still: Hollie Gilson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut