Video Premiere: Lusa Morena – ‘Where’s The Spark (If Not In You)?’

Following the release of their gritty debut single ‘Six Sessions‘, and having wowed us with the fierce charisma of their live show at The Shacklewell Arms last year, London-based five piece Lusa Morena recently shared latest single ‘Where’s The Spark (If Not In You)‘, and we now have the honour of premiering the track’s beautiful new video.

Propelled by a heartfelt, twinkling energy, ‘Where’s The Spark’ shimmers with a raw emotion and impassioned splendour. Reflecting on society’s frequent dismissal of – and stigma around – feelings of depression or mental health struggles, it’s a truly stirring offering showcasing a softer side to Lusa Morena than we may be used to. Oozing sweeping, glossy riffs alongside front woman Bárbara’s rich, luscious vocals, it’s a beautifully moving ballad, reminiscent of the likes of Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘Cold Little Heart’.

Filmed in the middle of some idyllic Portuguese mountains by creative collective Made By Sea, the accompanying video reflects the feelings of vulnerability and passion within the song perfectly. Inspired by the lyrics “A wish can wish can only grow/ Such as a delicate flower/ Similar to freedom/ Reaped at any given hour”, it provides an immersive visual, exquisitely portraying the poignant grace of the track.

Of the track, Bárbara explains:

I wrote this song during the lockdown period when I felt particularly lonely and the thoughts trapped in my head got increasingly louder and louder, to the point when I couldn’t ignore them anymore. It’s funny when people say “it’s all in your head. Snap out of it.” Well, duh! I know it’s in my head – that’s precisely the problem! There is no immediate escape, like an on-and-off switch, because it’s a mental issue, and when you least expect it, you get a wave of intrusive thoughts rushing through your mind. I got them when I was about to sleep, when I was asleep, or when I would be waking up or even doing mundane things driving me into panic attacks.”

The video for ‘Where’s The Spark (If Not In You)?’ was filmed in Melgaço, Portugal, by Daniela Gonçalves (Filmmaker & Editor), João Anjos (Director of Photography) and José Maria (Filmmaker) – three longtime friends of Bárbara’s. Watch it now:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Holly Whitaker

Five Favourites: Death Valley Girls

Having been big fans of LA’s Death Valley Girls for a few years now, I’m super excited to hear that they will be announcing their new album, Islands In The Sky, at the end of the month. Our second taster from the upcoming release (following 2021’s ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’) comes in the form of truly dreamy new single, ‘Sunday‘. Oozing a glistening, ethereal splendour, ‘Sunday’ offers a sweeping slice of anthemic, soul-strewn psych-rock. Building with a fizzing energy, it harks back to the psychedelic sounds of the ’70s California scene, whilst showcasing the bands’ ability to create something that is utterly unique. A beautifully immersive trip into the cosmic world of Death Valley Girls.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of the upcoming album, we caught up with Death Valley Girls’ front woman Bonnie Bloomgarden to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite ever albums, and check out the wonderfully trippy new video for ‘Sunday’ below!

Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
Did you know music is allowed to sound like this? And has the ability to affect your entire existence? To reframe your view of consciousness and reality. To massage your light, and your soul with in. To feed you, the you inside your body!! To take your earth body, gently lie it down, turn it off for the time being, and lead your spirit to a journey in the astral realm?? It is, it can, and with Alice Coltrane it often does! 

Otis Redding – Pain in My Heart
Wow, I could not imagine my world with out this record. I cry every time I listen to ‘These Arms of Mine’ – chills go down my spine and I remember I am alive, and it’s good ‘cause I getta feel things like this. His voice is epic, on the top ten most important voices of all time to me. It’s hard to imagine what a break up would feel like with out this record – I wouldn’t know, cause I’ve never tried!

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Without pause, even for a fraction of an instant, my all time favourite album is Black Sabbath’s first record. Up until the point I miraculously chose Black Sabbath from a stack of nearly 50 rock and roll records my cousin gave to me, I had only heard soft music. I am forever grateful to all the music I’ve heard, but I had primarily listened to what I know now to be goofy in the scope of my current taste. Like for my first ten years, I exclusively heard show tunes, Billy Joel, vocal jazz, and the Indigo Girls. Before that was all piano, orchestral, and acoustic guitar driven music. To hear electric guitar, in all its evil glory, by the God that is Tony Iommi, for the first time!! Can you imagine at ten how deviant that felt! Also, for the first time to truly understand instrumentation. Getting to know each and every single note by those master musicians! I can not imagine where I would be, or what I would think a great bass line, or guitar riff, or vocal melody, or drum part is, if not for that divine record.
Black Sabbath!! Black Sabbath!! Black Sabbath!!

Ronnie SpectorUnfinished Business
First of all, the concept of being the original bad girl of rock and roll could not have been any more exciting to me as a kid! I love Ronnie, and what she stood for, and how she stood for it – way back when, when it was practically impossible to do so. Her voice, her wickedness, her unapologetic nuances and phrasing, mixed with her immaculate harmonies… Oh my goodness. She also was considered one of the boys, and got to tour with the Stones and Beatles, what career highlights! RIP Ronnie!!

Iggy Pop – The Idiot
What an amazing story and collaboration! Only this type of decadence and decay could have been created by Bowie and Iggy trying to get clean from drugs in Berlin. We are so lucky for this type of art. Something that seems as though it could have just as easily never made it to the light of day. And yet, it did. And it is pure, raw, unadulterated fun, mixed with the suffering they must have been feeling between their realities. Very grateful for these two, and their collaborations!! 


Must add as all time greatest influences:

  1. Tina Turner 
  2. Aretha Franklin 
  3. Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  4. Lightning Hopkins

Massive thanks to Bonnie for sharing her Five Favourites (and more!) with us! Watch the new video, directed by Arturo Baston, here:

Islands In The Sky, the upcoming new album from Death Valley Girls, is set for release on 24th February via Suicide Squeeze Records – pre-order here. And catch Death Valley Girls live when they’re over in the UK later month – more info here.

Photo Credit: Neto Velasco

New Track: ARXX – ‘Ride Or Die’

I challenge you to listen to this new one from absolute faves ARXX without hitting repeat at least 10 times… It’s just such a totally infectious anthem. Following acclaim for recent singles ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Couldn’t Help Myself’ from the likes of NME, DIY and BBC 6Music, ‘Ride Or Die‘ premiered on Clara Amfo’s show on BBC Radio 1 last week.

All propelled by thrashing, impeccable time-keeping from Clara, ‘Ride Or Die’ showcases the gritty, emotion strewn vocals of Hanni, alongside sweeping catchy pop hooks and an empowering euphoria of unified voices singing along with the chorus. An utterly uplifting celebration of queer love and platonic friendship, it’s the perfect sing-along anthem live. Being able to share a room full of adoring fans, all joining in joyously with “I would” at The Social a few months back was a blissfully memorable experience that I hope to re-live very soon.

Of the track, the duo explain:

“To us it’s about a lot of things, primarily it speaks about the kind of commitment and dedication to something you love, that means there is no possible or conceivable way that you would give up on it. In one breath it is an unapologetic celebration of queer love, and in the next breath it expresses the unwavering determination that we both hold for our band.

Another truly impressive offering from one of the most exciting – and completely lovely – bands in the universe. ARXX continue to establish themselves as master creators of the freshest, most addictive and most empowering, indefinable euphoric anthems, and I couldn’t be happier that they exist.

Produced by Steve Ansell (Blood Red Shoes) and mastered by Katie Tavini (Arlo Parks), ‘Ride Or Die’ is out now via Submarine Cat Records. It comes ahead of the release of ARXX’s upcoming album of the same name, which is set for release on 31st March. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Rosie Powell

Five Favourites: Bria

Whilst you may recognise Bria Salmena from working in Orville Peck’s world-conquering backing band, she is also an immensely innovative artist in her own right. Following the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.1 in 2021, Salmena has now collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Hay Jennings once again for Vol.2., set for release next month.

As a taster of the upcoming EP’s release, Bria has now shared her rendition of Paula Cole’s ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘. Adding her own unique reverb-strewn scuzz and whirring danceable energy to the original, her rich, sumptuous vocals ripple alongside a soul-strewn groove, creating a dreamily immersive soundscape.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.2, we caught up with Bria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. Rather than pick five all-time top albums, she’s selected the songs she’s listening to the most right now – read/listen below and check out Cuntry Covers Vol.1 while you await the release of Vol.2!


It’s impossible for me to pick my favourite songs or albums, I’m just not one of those people. For me, it’s constantly in flux. So I’ve decided instead to share my top five songs of January 2023. And to be clear, these are not songs released in Jan 2023 but rather what’s been on repeat in my house, car, headphones etc. This list is extremely manic, I hope you enjoy it. 

Nourished By Time – ‘Romance In Me
Nourished By Time is a new discovery – initially introduced through an NTS playlist. There’s a very obvious nostalgic quality to the track, but I really just think the vocal progression is something entirely unique. I love the production – there’s a really satisfying balance of tension between the keys and guitar, especially in the choruses. This song really builds extremely well, I feel as though I kind of get swept away in it. It’s the kind of song I find myself harmonising with vocally, however annoying that may seem. When I’m in the mood to feel heartbroken I’ll probably put this song on.

Kate Bush – ‘Pull Out The Pin’
I’m a long-time Kate Bush fan, and this song came back into my rotation this month. The intensity of this track lyrically and musically is so satisfying for me. I love Bush’s ability to tell a story, it feels like theatre. This song was written after she had seen a documentary about the Vietnam war, wherein they show Vietnamese soldiers putting little silver buddhas in their mouths as they approached the front line. I love hearing this side of Bush’s vocal range – her ability to sing-scream is so beautiful, it’s been somewhat cathartic to listen this month. I also feel as though this is an overlooked B-side of hers, so I’m urging you now to give it a listen. 

Deftones- ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’
So technically, I started having this song on repeat in December, but there are no rules here. On Christmas day, I went to a very famous bikini bar here in Los Angeles called Jumbo’s, and one of the dancers did a very impressive pole dance to this song. I hadn’t heard it in so long and after that, I played it throughout my somewhat lonely holiday season. I think it might be the hottest song ever written – not sexiest, but hottest. The whole record is amazing, I don’t even know if I can say any more about it.

Golpe – ‘Non Piergarti’
Golpe is an Italian punk band whose first full-length record came out in 2021. Lots of Italian friends had told me to check them out and I finally did sometime last fall. ‘Non Piegarti’ might be one of my favourites of theirs – with ‘La Colpa E Solo Tua’ as a close second. I’ve spent most of January moving into a new apartment and sorting out my life here in Los Angeles, and the song title translates to “Don’t Bend Over” which has been a bit of a mantra of mine throughout a stressful month. I’m a big fan of the production of this song, and I love the vocal effect on this song and how well the guitars sit alongside. It’s heavy, but very well-balanced.

Florist – ‘Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)’
This song is extremely beautiful and EXTREMELY sad. You’ve been warned. When I’m searching for a sort of sad calm feeling, I will put this on. It’s a beautifully tragic song about the death of the singer’s mother. I’m drawn to the simplicity of the instrumentation, rooted in acoustic guitar and accompanied by a kind of dreamy ethereal electric guitar. I also am a big fan of the double unison vocals on this track – I myself love doing that, as I feel you can really round out the sound that way.


Massive thanks to Bria for sharing her five ‘favourites’ with us! Listen to new single ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’ now:

Cuntry Covers Vol.2, the upcoming EP from Bria, is set for release on 24th February via Sub Pop.

Photo Credit: Justin Aranha