Track Of The Day: Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’

Following the recent release of their second album Girl, and having charmed us on more than one occasion with their joy-filled live show, North London’s Girl Ray have now shared a new video for album track ‘Friend Like That’.

An ode to friendship, ‘Friend Like That’ flows with the trio’s colourful energy as jangly syncopated beats flow alongside the distinctive soothing allure of Poppy Hankin’s vocals and funk-filled pop-inspired hooks. Filled with a vibrant calypso-tinged zest, it’s a dreamily uplifting offering showcasing the band’s shimmering, sunny charm and their inspired matured sound. Of the track, the band explain:

“This is a friendship anthem. Reminds us of a really smashing high five with great contact. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.”

Filmed in their old school in Muswell Hill, the accompanying video depicts an ’80s themed/Carrie-inspired tale of female friendship in the face of the mean popular kids, and showcases the band’s endearing wit (and significant acting skills!).

Girl, the latest album from Girl Ray, is out now via Moshi Moshi. Catch them live at the following dates:

18th February – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
19th February – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
20th February – Glasgow, Stereo
21st February – Manchester, YES – SOLD OUT
22nd February – Nottingham, Bodega
23rd February – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
25th February – Bristol, The Fleece – SOLD OUT
26th February – London, Electric Ballroom
27th February – Brighton, The Haunt

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Mathew Parri Thomas

EP: Captain Handsome – ‘I Am Not An Animal’

I Am Not An Animal is the debut EP from Lily Rae’s solo project, Captain Handsome. Over its five tracks, Rae, also of Fightmilk, celebrates her passions (including Dolly Parton who’s “like my mum/therapist/‘life coach”), and shares stories of social awkwardness (“the kind of stuff you lie awake thinking about for years afterwards curdling with embarrassment.”), which you can’t help but connect and empathise with. But, y’know, probably while you’re also squirming in your seat or hiding behind your hands in solidarity.

Opener ‘Annalise’ gets the EP off to an upbeat start, but the mood soon becomes gentler and more intimate. As the pace slows, there are echoes of traditional folk and Americana. ‘Dolly Parton’ is, as the press release, suggests, a ‘sad banger’ with a lo-fi, stripped back sensibility that allows you to really focus on Rae’s rich, raw vocal. Meanwhile, the beautiful ‘Halloween’ combines sing-song harmonies with sad, revelatory lyrics.

“Everything on the EP is something that’s happened,” admits Rae. The more confessional her lyrics become, the more her personality shows through. And while there are definite nods to Rae’s influences, I Am Not An Animal manages to stay fresh, weird and wonderfully personal. It feels like she’s poured her heart out on this release and we’re all the richer for it.

 

I Am Not An Animal by Captain Handsome is out now on limited edition CD and digitally via Reckless Yes.

Vic Conway

 

LISTEN: Emerson – ‘A Longing And Needing’

‘A Longing And Needing’ is the first single from new North London artist Emerson, whose creative spirit is inspired by poetry and rooted in collaboration. Emerson works closely with producers, choreographers, photographers, videographers and artists to bridge the worlds of art and pop together. The single features her soulful vocals against expressive electronic beats, which do not overpower the song.

It has a slow, soft start, introducing a breezy vocal, implying that this is a love song, but it isn’t… “God knows I tried, you didn’t see her lies, it’s plain to see that the Devil has meddled between you and me.” The song is about two friends who have betrayed her trust, and how she deals with the feelings. These range from nostalgia – “I like to think to think that you think of me”, to passionate and confused, where the tempo is increased and some distortion creeps into the sound. The song ends with a self-imposed acceptance, “It’s fine,” but it also draws you in and leaves you wondering if acceptance is the better half of loneliness, and if the ‘friend’ ever cared.

A very promising start from this innovative artist, and I look forward to hearing more.

Listen to ‘A Longing And Needing’ on Spotify now :

 

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Photo Credit: Jemima Marriott

Track Of The Day: Hilary Woods – ‘Orange Tree’

A tentative exploration of inner fears; Hilary Woods‘ latest single ‘Orange Tree’ is an atmospheric, brooding affair. Taken from her upcoming second album Birthmarks, set for release on 13th March via Sacred Bones, the Irish musician has crafted another dark, beguiling soundscape that smolders with quiet intensity.

Speaking about the new track, Woods explains: “For me, ‘Orange Tree’ is a personal song acknowledging an inner fear of the unknown. It’s an exercise in overcoming, becoming more planted and rooted in the earth and in the body.” Woods’ thoughts are reflected in the accompanying visuals for the track, which she created and directed with Joshua Wright.

Written & recorded over the course of two years between Galway and Oslo, whilst Woods was heavily pregnant, Birthmarks looks set to be her most personal and powerful record to date. Inspired by the works of Norwegian experimental noise producer & filmmaker Lasse Marhaug, the images from post-war Japanese and wet-plate photography, to the secret life of trees; Woods’ far-reaching influences are what make her art so mesmerising and transcendent.

Watch the video for ‘Orange Tree’ below, and follow Hilary Woods on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Hilary Woods EU/UK Live Dates 2020
April 19, Tilberg, NL @ Roadburn Festival
May 18, London, UK @ Cafe Oto

Photo credit: Joshua Wright

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: LegPuppy – ‘Secret Friend’ (feat. Josefin Öhrn)

A slow-burning, atmospheric new offering; South London band LegPuppy have collaborated with award-winning Swedish musician Josefin Öhrn on their latest track, ‘Secret Friend’. Independently released on Valentine’s Day, the new song is a smoldering four minutes of electro-psych sound.

When LegPuppy first heard Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation’s album Mirage, they described it as “like discovering the Velvet Underground for the first time.” The band instantly knew they wanted to collaborate with Swedish Grammy nominated Öhrn, and ‘Secret Friend’ was the result. Öhrn’s exquisite French accent floats above the band’s moody music, and contrasts well with the accompanying male vocal.

LegPuppy are set the release their new album There’s No Rock Stars later this year, and will be announcing tour, and festival dates in the near future. For now, listen to ‘Secret Friend’ below, and follow LegPuppy on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Secret Friend feat Josefin Öhrn (radio edit) by Leg Puppy

Follow Josefin Öhrn on Facebook and Spotify too.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: I Am HER – ‘Big Monster’

Following 2018’s poignant Herstory, alt-punk outfit I Am HER are back with an angst-driven new single.

Reflecting on feelings of anxiety, ‘Big Monster’ oozes a captivating haunting power with shades of the gritty sounds of early PJ Harvey. Propelled by the soaring majesty of Julie Riley’s rousing vocals, it builds to a stirring frenzied anthem, driven by an impassioned force and raw emotion. Of the track, Julie explains:

“… this song was triggered by someone telling me their experience of an anxiety attack. It got me thinking how anxiety/stress is like a beast separate to us that stalks us and preys on us.”

Listen to ‘Big Monster’ now:

 

Catch I Am HER playing live for us tonight at The Finsbury, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and Captain Handsome. All for free!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Bad Honey – ‘Circles’

With hypnotically smooth vocals and a dainty yet crisp soundscape, London duo Bad Honey host an ethereal world in their new single ‘Circles’.

Bubbling percussion layered over stirring lyrics has “its own flow and takes it slow” in a way that feels just right leading up to the song’s enticing pre-chorus. This warm buildup pays off immediately with a sing-along chorus that is glossy and so earnest lyrically. Here, Bad Honey create a beautifully produced experience that still feels so raw because of their compelling emotional disposition.

‘Circles’ feels like an affectionate and intimate conversation between lovers or friends. “We fight together, we build strength from each other” says it all in this loving promise of a song. Bad Honey have truly touched upon a sweet sounding destination that is soulful and anthem-like with their catchy and alluring melodies. A comforting and gorgeous groove that’ll leave you hungry for more of Bad Honey’s sweet sweet sounds. 

 

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn