Five Favourites: Peggy Sue

Set to release their upcoming fourth album next month, London duo Katy Young and Rosa Slade – aka Peggy Sue – create beautifully captivating offerings filled with luscious harmonies and a shimmering energy. A celebration of self love, the reverb-strewn, uplifting sound of latest single ‘In Dreams’ showcases all their is to love about them, a band who have now found themselves again after a four year hiatus.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Katy and Rosa, who have shared their “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with them. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to listen to watch the new video for latest single ‘In Dreams’ at the end of this post.

Porridge Radio – ‘Lilac’
Katy:
I fell in love with this song last summer, when we played a show for She Shreds with Porridge Radio at Great Escape. The refrain “I don’t want to get bitter, I want us to get better, I want us to be kinder to ourselves and to each other”, really spoke to me then and is a pretty good rule for life to be honest. I may or may not have recorded a sneaky bootleg on my phone at the time, but luckily it’s now out for real and sounds much better. They have a new album coming this year that I’m excited for.  

La Luz – ‘Sure As Spring’
Katy:
We did a support tour with La Luz in 2018 – there wasn’t really any reason for us to do it because the record wasn’t finished, but it was exactly what we needed to kind of force us into being a band again properly. I think their music has been a big influence on this new album – their sound is obviously incredible but it’s also clear and cohesive and consistent in a way that I think we strived for. Taking influence from lots of places is really important, but there’s something really powerful in turning all of that into one continuing sound that is all your own, which is something we’ve really tried to do on Vices more than we ever did before. But probably even more than any of that, being on the road with those girls was really inspiring, and their encouragement and support was a massive confidence boost exactly when we needed it.

Big Thief – ‘Paul’
Katy:
It feels like it’s so much rarer that I become totally obsessed with a band now – something that felt like it happened about once a week when I was younger. But Big Thief have been a bit of an exception to that in the last few years. At least five friends sent me this song, knowing I would love it. It’s so beautiful and tender and catchy as hell. I have probably had the first line in my head for three years straight. 

Beth Gibbons – ‘Tom The Model’
Rosa:
It’s kind of a cheat to choose this song; the chorus borrows so much Nina Simone’s ‘Do What You Gotta Do’, another of my all-time favourites, it’s a bit like sneaking two songs into one choice. When it bursts into that chorus, it’s the ultimate release after the slow creeping verses. The horns and strings are lush and kind of ominous. Beth Gibbons’ voice soars – walking that line between delicacy and pure force. I’ve always liked that she embraces darkness so unapologetically, and can make sweetness or desire as threatening or powerful as they are gentle. Listening to her music always feels like a solo experience. It’s impossible for me not to enter into the world her songs create wholly.

Landshapes – ‘Red Kite’
Rosa:
I love this song – it has made me cry perhaps every time I have watched Landshapes perform it. There’s a deep feeling of pride watching close friends play a song you think is truly objectively beautiful. The song just builds slowly and surely like this swelling wave. Jemma’s guitar solos have the ability to shift Landshapes’ songs into a totally different place, and when Luisa sings “in the face of everyone I swear this time I’m done”, it’s like this wave crashing down in a sort of haunting catharsis. Dan, Landshapes’ drummer, also played drums on Vices, and it’s a joy watching and listening to the different things he’s brought to both bands.

Massive thanks to Katy and Rosa for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

Vices, the upcoming fourth album from Peggy Sue, is out 21st February via French Exit. Watch the new video for ‘In Dreams’ here:

 

VIDEO PREMIERE: Mevrouw Tamara – ‘Jij Fantaseert Liever (You’d Rather Fantasize)’

Sang in her native tongue, Dutch artist Mevrouw Tamara released her latest single ‘Jij Fantaseert Liever (You’d Rather Fantasize)’ earlier this month. Now, she’s shared a beautiful accompanying video that she collaborated on with Dutch dance collective, MAN||CO.

Taken from her recent album In Je Hoofd (In Your Head), Tamara’s track is centered around the theme of depression. She hopes that by singing about mental health, she will “break the taboos” surrounding it, so it “becomes easier to solve the obstacles that are going on between our ears.”

The music video for ‘Jij Fantaseert Liever’ is a cinematic affair, featuring wonderful choreography from the dancers at MAN||CO. Their movements are the perfect mediator between Tamara’s soft, tentative vocals and the gentle orchestral elements that permeate the track. Even if you’re not fluent in Dutch, Tamara’s exploration of low mood translates in both her voice and the movements of her collaborators.

Watch the video for ‘Jij Fantaseert Liever’ below, and Follow Mevrouw Tamara on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Fenna Jensma

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Five Favourites: MEI

South London-based vocalist, bassist and producer MEI, is on our radar. MEI recently released her double a-side project ‘No Dim Lights’, the second installment in her Antonio Vivaldi-inspired seasonal trilogy. The project expresses the “fight to not give up, even on my gloomy days, my light still shines and nothing can dim it.”

We asked MEI to name her ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques, and we let her chuck an extra one too! Check out her choices below, and make sure you give ‘No Dim Lights’ a listen out now.

Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
This album really changed my life. I studied it like it was a school project! I learnt so much about singing, songwriting and rapping from it, and it was the first time I’d heard all three be done so incredibly well. She definitely put the fire inside me to rap as well as sing, and it wasn’t until years later I actually had the confidence to do it. The honesty in every lyric also made it impossible not to connect to it. The album really had a profound impact on me personally and my songwriting.

Coldplay – Parachutes
I still remember clearly hearing ‘Trouble’ on the radio for the first time and feeling such a strong wave of emotion. I don’t think I even took in the lyrics because I was too young but sonically it was just so moving. When I revisited the album in my teens I was so gripped by how talkative they were and how they hit you so deep. The chord progressions too!

Laura Mvula – ‘Show Me Love’
I truly believe this is outstanding songwriting. It inspires me so much. It’s so honest and tragically beautiful. Wow. The vocal is mesmerising, you feel every word and the arrangement tears you apart and brings you back again. I wish I wrote it.

Ms Dynamite- ‘Dy-Na-Mi-Tee’
I absolutely love this song. I’ll never forget feeling so empowered by it. Here was a young black girl from London being herself all over my TV screen and I loved it! She was so unique and unapologetic and always bringing a positive message to her music, which was so inspiring to me.

Ebo Taylor – ‘Love and Death’
This song takes me straight back to my childhood! Growing up in a Ghanaian household meant I got to hear a lot of highlife and afrobeat music. Especially at family parties; you would have all the old school high life playing in the background and I’d never know any of the titles or artist names. I loved the horn line on this tune so much, so when I rediscovered it a few years ago I was so happy! I also loved the concept of a sad song that made you want to dance. The polyrhythms in highlife and afrobeat music really inspires my production.

Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’
Kendrick is definitely one of my favourite artists of the last decade.

Massive thanks to MEI for sharing her Five (or six!) Favourites with us. Listen to ‘No Dim Lights’ below.

Follow MEI on Twitter for more updates.

PLAYLIST: January 2020

We’re two weeks in to 2020, and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, venturing into ‘Veganuary’ or simply demolishing the leftover Christmas snacks; we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Shopping – ‘Initiative’
Referencing governments who shirk responsibilities whilst placing blame on individuals; international trio Shopping’s new single ‘Initiative’ oozes a racing sense of urgency and gritty energy, whilst funk-fuelled beats and jangly, whirring hooks flow. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album, it’s a vibrant anthem encouraging us to stay motivated and keep going against the grain. All Or Nothing, the new album from Shopping, is out 7th February via FatCat Records. (Mari Lane)

Dream Nails – ‘Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns)’
With their distinctive, raucous punk-pop energy; our favourite London Punk Witches Dream Nails address the anxious hell-scape that is 21st century dating on ‘Text Me Back’, and the excruciating pain of being left on “read”. With stomping beats, pounding bass-lines and immense riffs accompanying the fun-filled lyrics, it’s an instant smile-inducing anthem. Of the track, Janey from the band explains: “For those born beyond the M25, “chirpse” is London slang for flirting, and “chirpse degree burns” is our personal slang for the injuries borne from romantic misadventure. The song is a tribute to the gut-wrenching feeling of checking your phone every 5 minutes to see if your crush has replied.” ‘Text Me Back’ is taken from Dream Nails’ eponymous debut album, out 3rd April via Alcopop Records. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘Money’
I’m thrilled to announce I am now a contributor to The Irish Jam for their #NewMusicSunday slot, which airs on Riverside Radio on Sunday evenings 7-9pm. They focus on new music from Irish artists, so I played Party Fears’ latest single ‘Money’, as they’re formed of Northern Irish native Maggie Devlin, and Aussie Eilish Frawley. Their single ‘Money’ is a reflection on power, and how it isn’t always used for the greater good. It’s raw, it’s shouty, and it’s catchy as hell. (Kate Crudgington)

draag – ‘Ghost Leak’
A hazy ode to feeling inconsequential; L.A, shoegaze outfit draag have crafted a strung out, dreamy soundscape on their latest single ‘Ghost Leak’. The track is lifted from their upcoming EP Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February. (KC)

Post Louis – ‘Descender’
The new single from London art-rockers Post Louis, ‘Descender’ juxtaposes a dreamy, swirling musicality with soaring impassioned vocals. Oozing a heartfelt raw emotion, it’s a truly captivating slice of stirring alt-folk. Descender, the debut album from Post Louis, is out 28th February. (ML)

Xylo Aria – ‘Ignorance’
‘Ignorance’ is the eponymous track from London-based producer Xylo Aria’s latest EP; a collection of songs informed by the current environmental crisis, mental health issues, and the societal pressure she feels to conform. Aria also runs Music Production For Women, which is a fantastic initiative encouraging women to get involved in the production of their own music. Listen to the Ignorance EP in full here. (KC)

Madeleine Smyth – ‘Palmers Green’
Released by independent record label Scratched, London-based artist Madeleine Smyth’s recent EP Covert is a beguiling blend of soft vocals, ambient sounds, orchestral elements, and trip-hop inspired beats. ‘Palmers Green’ is one of four tracks showcasing Smyth’s ability to blend all of these influences seamlessly. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Soil’s Daughter’
The new single from New York artist Aisha Badru, ‘Soil’s Daughter’ reflects on the need to protect our environment. Radiating a sparkling majesty and subtle, soulful power, it’s a truly beautiful ballad; a moving and sincere offering at a time when our world is literally burning, and things feel like they’re falling apart. Of the track, Badru expands: “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people, and us with the planet.” Transcendence, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is out 7th February via Nettwerk. (ML)

Drea & The Marilyns – ‘Everything to Me’ (Lips Cover)
Loving this cover of Lips’ ‘Everything to Me’ by Drea & The Marilyns! I mean, I loved the original but I’m really enjoying this remake from the Seattle-based artist. Mix anything up with some electro-synths, and I’m yours. (Tash Walker)

Captain Handsome – ‘Halloween’
The second single taken from Lily from Fightmilk’s solo project Captain Handsome, the rather unseasonably entitled ‘Halloween’ flows with silky-smooth vocals and a twinkling, stripped-back musicality. With its delicate lo-fi scuzz and tongue-in-cheek relatable lyricism – “It was Halloween, I was 24, I had a bad time on the bathroom floor” – it’s a sensitive, yet not sentimental effervescent slice of indie-pop. I Am Not An Animal, the debut EP from Captain Handsome, is out 31st January via Reckless Yes. You can catch them live for us at The Finsbury on 14th February, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and I Am Her. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’ 
I’ve been following Bristol-based songwriter Fenne Lily for a while now, and was lucky enough to have a chat with her for a recent feature on The Line Of Best Fit. This is the title track from her 2018 debut album, and I melt a little bit each time I hear it. She’s playing a (sold out) show at The Lexington on 16th Jan, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the new material that will make up her second album, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

Ethereal UK – ‘Strange World Normal Girl’
This track literally landed in my inbox just before the winter break and I immediately added it to the playlist for the radio show. Just beautiful. (TW)

Asha Gold – ‘Too Good’
Asha Gold who champions self-confidence in R&B influenced electro-pop. Released at the end of last year, ‘Too Good’ is the West London artist’s current single, and it flows with catchy melodies, beats and an infectious chorus. Keep it up Asha. (TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
I’ve always been a fan of Mavi Phoenix, and had the opportunity to interview them a couple of years back now. I remember how they spoke so eloquently about equality and the importance of queer music in the world. Phoenix has found a home in their new sound and also in the pronoun “he”. This is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track ‘Boys Toys’, directed by Elizaveta Porodina, ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Mavi Phoenix’s gender identity, as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy. Watch the video for ‘Boys Toys’ here. (TW)

tAngerinecAt – ‘I don’t want to be a white master’
tAngerinecAt are a non-binary duo originally from Ukraine, and now based in London. What an amazing track – the vocals, the heavy electronic based instrumentation, pedals, their self-defined “hurdy-gurdy” loops and those beats! I am so happy I know about this band, and I cannot wait to indoctrinate myself further into their sound. (TW)

Last Eden – ‘Fallen’
If you’re into 8 minute long pieces of obscure electronic drone music (why wouldn’t you be?), then multidisciplinary Irish artist Aileen Wallace – aka Last Eden – is worth a listen. She experiments and improvises with elements of industrial and ambient music to create unusual, captivating soundscapes. Working as both a producer and a sound artist, Wallace uses bespoke DIY microphones, cassette recorders, synthesizers, and an array of equipment from both the analog and digital worlds. Her recent EP Elysian Plain explores the mythology and the journey surrounding death. It’s intense, but definitely intriguing. Listen to the record here. (KC)

FIVE FAVOURITES: Bad Honey

South London based duo Bad Honey blend dreamy vocals, bouncing beats and lo-fi electronics to create their upbeat, alt-soul sounds. Formed of Lydia Clowes & Teresa Origone, the duo have received radio support from the likes of BBC Introducing London, BBC Radio 6, Amazing Radio, and from Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Lydia & Teresa to ask her about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their song writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to watch Bad Honey’s video for ‘Weak When You’re Near’ in collaboration with O2 Music & their ‘Music Box’ challenge, at the end of this post.

 

1. James Blake – Assume Form
Teresa: James Blake’s melodies are the best melodies. His music makes me want to make sure I keep trying to find the best possible melodies when I write. I always loved James Blake, so I wanted to listen to this album as soon as it came out. The day before it was released, I was in the Netherlands playing keys for an artist called Rina Mushonga. We were there for only one day, but had a long day of travelling to play for a TV session, then drove back to Amsterdam for a radio session in the evening, then decided to go for a walk in Amsterdam in the snow, and ended up having a three hour sleep because our flight back to London was really early the next morning. As soon as I got home, I played the album. I was exhausted and I remember having one of those moments where you are reminded of how happy music can make you feel. It happened when I first heard ‘Into The Red’ when the twinkly piano comes in about 40 seconds into the song. It’s so tiny and delicate and it makes you want to cling onto it. The use of tension and release in that song is amazing. You really want something big to happen at the end of the first chorus, but it just doesn’t happen until the second chorus.

Lydia: I love how James Blake’s songs are very atypical and don’t adhere to a “normal” song structure necessarily. Often his songs don’t have an obvious verse or chorus but he somehow manages to give you the feeling of tension and release in other ways. The production on this record is great and the fact that he does it all himself, I feel that this album was a particular motivation to me and Teresa to start producing our own music. I particularly love ‘Into The Red’, ‘Can’t Believe the Way We Flow’ and ‘I’ll Come Too’ on this album, they all have such a great way of portraying a feeling of love through interesting lyrics, without being cheesy, which I’ve found quite a hard thing to achieve!

2. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy 
Teresa: This album is a reminder that you need to be brave with your music, and you can do whatever you want with it. I discovered St. Vincent when she released her album Actor. I think I just saw an article on Pitchfork about it and decided to listen to it, and it took a couple of listens for it to grow on me, but I’ve loved her music since then. I was 18 then, and I remember thinking that it would be cool to produce my own music at some point. She’s one of those artists who I will always love, and will always find something new to love about her each time I listen to her music. Strange Mercy is my favourite St. Vincent album. It’s so dreamy and heavy at the same time, which for me is one of the best things you can achieve in music. I love how loud and direct the guitar is, kind of at the same level as her voice. And I don’t know how she made the backing vocals sound like that, but it sounds so great. My favourite moments on the album are the weird guitar riff on ‘Surgeon’, and the craziness at the end of ‘Northern Lights’. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

3. Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room 
Lydia: I first heard of Laura Mvula with ‘Green Garden’ when I had just moved to London and I loved everything she represented. She was making a blend of music that I’d not really heard before and I loved it and wanted to make this myself. I found out she was from Birmingham, which is near to where I grew up so this helped to inspire me to think I could do it too! This album for me has an overwhelming feeling of female empowerment and joy, and therefore it really resonated with me from the first time I listened to it.

I love how Laura Mvula has always had a really unique style of what seems to me, orchestral inspired pop songs, using interesting chord progressions, simple but strong melodies and for me one of my favourite things is her use of close vocal harmonies. I’ve always loved vocal harmonies and I think she uses them so effectively throughout this album, with the emotion of her voice really coming through. This album is also produced by Troy Miller who I think is a genius, I’ve loved many of his other album productions such as Gregory Porter’s ‘Liquid Spirit’ and Jamie Cullum’s ‘Taller’. ‘Overcome’ has such a strong emotion, especially the outro where it builds and builds on the same melody which never gets old, she’s really good at doing this and I could listen to this forever! ‘Show Me Love’ is an amazing song. The intro is almost like an recitative in an opera, and sets the rest of the song up beautifully. I find this song quite deeply sad, but it one of my favourites of the album. My other favourite is ‘Phenomenal Woman’ I just absolutely love this song, it’s so feel good. I remember clearly dancing in the back of a car whilst driving up to Glasgow on a tour to this song. It just makes me want to move, and I love the fact it’s written about her Grandma. Elements throughout the album reflect back to this too with ‘Nan’, a phone calls between Laura and her Grandma. I am keenly awaiting an album 3 for Laura Mvula!

4. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR 
Teresa: This is my album of choice for when I’m driving and want to play something really loud (through my tiny bluetooth speaker). I’m not someone who grew up listening to hip hop, I discovered it quite late and I am still slowly discovering it, but I think everyone should listen to this album regardless of what kind of music they usually listen to. Not that I think people really listen to music based on genre, but hip hop in particular can be so diverse and free and it can incorporate so many types of music, and this album is such a good example of that. The arrangements are amazing, there is so much happening, so many details, and it’s so intricate and colorful. More is more and I really agree with that. I love how much space is given to instrumental sections, the songs are so progressive and each section flows into a new one each time. This is definitely one of those albums I’d need to listen to the whole way through from beginning to end, and I wouldn’t be able to remember even one title of each individual song, because it’s a whole journey. It’s also full of analog synths, so it was just made for my ears. It’s a great example of how making music is just fun, and making music means exploring where you can go without limiting yourself to a structure or a genre.

5. Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough?
Lydia: Lianne La Havas has one of my favourite vocalists, so this album was instantly a favourite of mine. I first saw Lianne on Jools Holland singing ‘Age’ in 2011. I just thought she was brilliant, the song was light-hearted and almost humorous, her voice was amazing and her guitar playing was interesting. She was not just your average singer songwriter strumming on a guitar, she could actually play quirky riffs, harmonics, and was also playing electric which I thought was extremely cool. Again like Laura Mvula, I think I discovered Lianne La Havas when I was at a stage in my life when I wasn’t yet sure who or what I wanted to do and be in terms of music, and so she was a huge inspiration for me. Seeing a young woman playing great music, with incredible instrumentation, talent, and confidence was exhilarating. I generally prefer the more acoustic songs on this album, as I think it really showcases Lianne’s voice, such as ‘Lost & Found’, ‘Au Cinema’ and ‘Gone’. Again, she uses lots of vocal harmonies throughout the album, and I love that.

 

Thanks to Lydia & Teresa for sharing their favourites with us. Follow Bad Honey on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Boy Harsher

We’re no strangers to the dark, heated sounds of electronic two piece, Boy Harsher. Together, Augustus Muller (synths/percussion) and Jae Matthews (vocals) have released two albums and two EPs since their inception in 2014. Their songs brim with beats designed to ricochet around smoky dance-floors or lonely bedroom walls. The Massachusetts duo blend nostalgic 80s percussion with sharp modern production to create an immersive, magnetic listening experience.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Jae to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch Boy Harsher’s video for ‘Send Me a Vision’ at the end of this post.

1. Annie Lennox – MEDUSA
When I was a child, during a rocky divorce, my mom would listen to this album nonstop. Luckily, I was at the age where it wasn’t lame to sing along with your mom, and boy, did we get into it! On a subconscious level, these songs (Annie Lennox in general) gave me this attachment to a contralto voice in contemporary music. DIVA and MEDUSA both got equal play, but my story with MEDUSA is a bit embarrassing. I didn’t realize the songs were all covers, so when years later I heard the originals (like Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting in Vain’ or Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’) I was a bit shocked.

2. Nirvana – Nevermind
A classic. I made my dad buy this CD at a garage sale, which he did – yet later took away, due to “it’s graphic nature”. A stubborn child, I found it and hid away with my new love and Walkman. ‘Something in the Way’ really rocked my core. I was a lonely pre-teenager and I remember this music kept me company in a very real way. Now, I can’t listen without getting very nostalgic.

3. Pixies – Doolittle
Okay – this one is tough. It’s a tie between this and Cat Power’s Moon Pix. Both took up the same space in high school. I would listen to ‘Debaser’, literally SCREAMING along with my first crush. Then, later when home, would listen to ‘Metal Heart’ (lol) and cry, because she would never love me. Ah, the drama. I needed a support system for understanding my sexuality and processing my Father’s death. Both albums are amazing in their ability to muster emotion; sometimes flippant or mean, often raw and always very authentic.

4. Troller – Troller
I left the Northeast for graduate school and moved South. It was the furthest I had ever been from my family. It was a really amazing, lonely time. After attending SXSW in 2013, my musical understanding totally changed. I became a devotee of label Holodeck’s projects (Thousand Foot Whale Claw, Survive, Boan, Smokey Emery) and Troller. This is the first physical RECORD that I ever bought. Listened to it over and over – it still makes me think of Savannah, the rain, smoking inside, kissing.

5. Circuit Des Yeux – Overdue
After living in Savannah for a couple years, myself and my partner starting booking shows. We focused mainly on projects that centered on experimentation, some noise, and no drums. We booked Circuit Des Yeux on their first US tour in a small dive bar in downtown Savannah. Far too few people came. It was such an amazing performance. The way Haley used her voice was really inspiring to me – startling even. I began to understand the voice and body as an instrument, a performance tool. This really impacted the way that I sought to use my voice.

Photo Credit: Zach Hart

GIHE Ones To Watch 2020

Whilst 2020 may be looking pretty grim in the grand scheme of things at the moment, the array of amazing new music to look forward to is giving us hope… 

We’ve been introduced to so many fantastic bands and artists over the last year, but here we’ve selected just a few who’ve made a particularly lasting impression. Here’s our Ones To Watch 2020. Have a read and listen to the updated playlist on Spotify

LibraLibra
Having completely blown us away at our last gig at The Finsbury this month, and with an appearance on our radio show back in 2018, we’ve been massive fans of LibraLibra for a while now. With their immense dance-punk creations, the band ooze a unique dazzling magnetism, creating the colossal cacophony and overwhelming tribal power of tracks such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Tongues’. They’re truly unlike any other band I’ve come across, and with new releases on the way, I predict a big 2020 for the Brighton band.
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Sea Change
Norwegian electronic artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde), sounds like she could be the introverted distant relation of Fever Ray. Her recent album Inside, is an impressive collection of instinctive, immensely enjoyable soundscapes that could fill busy dance floors, or soundtrack private moments of introspection in a dimly lit bedroom. I’m a big fan, and I’m hoping to catch her live in 2020.
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

Gold Baby
With a 2019 filled with line-up changes and a new sound, Gold Baby have charmed us on numerous occasions with their beautiful live set, and treated us to acoustic renditions of some of their songs on the radio show. Now, with a confirmed sparkly new line up, front woman Siân has been busy writing new material – offering some of the most dreamy, emotion-strewn creations you’ll ever hear, all held together with spellbinding, crystalline vocals. With a new single set for release in January, I can’t wait to hear more from the London-based trio in 2020.
(ML)

King Hannah
‘Crème Brûlée’, the debut single from Liverpool-based Hannah Merrick – aka King Hannah -, completely cast me under its spell on first listen, and has been one of my most repeatedly played earworms of 2019. With a sweeping, ethereal power and longing, impassioned vocals that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from in 2020. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 5000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears over the next year.
(ML)

ARXX
Brighton power-duo ARXX have been on the GIHE radar for a while, and each time I see them play live, I’m blown away by their raucous guitar tunes and witty on-stage observations. Their headline show at The Finsbury for GIHE on International Women’s Day this year cemented to me that Hannah & Clara are a formidable, and incredibly funny pair of musicians who deserve to be propelled into bigger spotlights in 2020.
(KC)

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something
Having released their debut album Oh Really, What’s That Then? earlier this year, via Trapped Animal Records, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something have previously wowed us with the charismatic energy of their live show, and are swiftly becoming one of the most exciting bands on the London circuit. With their unique, soaring vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, they create truly infectious slices of colourful psychedelia. Already counting Radio X’s John Kennedy as a fan, I predict that the distinct, vibrant sound of JFATC will be heard and loved by many more in 2020.
(ML)

Hurtling
With the release of their debut album Future From Here in October this year, Hurtling have already received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and Louder Than War, and – on listening to their sun-drenched whirring hooks and sparkling psychedelic haze – it’s easy to see why. Fronted by Jen Macro (also of My Bloody Valentine), the band create fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with an understated grit and sonic majesty. I can’t wait to catch Hurtling live for us at The Finsbury on 10th January, and to see where else 2020 takes them!
(ML)

Thanks to all the bands and artists who’ve got us through 2019, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year. In the meantime, have a listen to all our highlights from the last twelve months, and our Ones To Watch for 2020 in our mega playlist here:

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut