LISTEN: Cuntrie & Elsa Carmona – ‘Dear Sadness’

A sweetly sung, 80s inspired new tune; Cuntrie & Elsa Carmona have shared their first collaboration together, titled ‘Dear Sadness’. Accompanied by a video the pair co-directed, the track showcases Cuntrie & Carmona’s beautiful vocal ranges, and their ability to bring an eccentric lightness to a heavy subject.

Speaking about the track, Carmona explains: “Treating sadness as a friend was the inspiration for this song, and the polarity of that. I am a person who cries easily when I get too stressed, and that usually becomes my healing. We wanted to play with the idea of sadness being a Goddess that you pray to. Or turning sadness into a ritual as a way of gaining control. As a teen I actually had my own homemade Barbie voodoo doll…”

The pair’s playful and melancholic tendencies helped to shape ‘Dear Sadness’ into a bitter sweet music video, which Cuntrie says she’s very proud of: “I think we both have been dreaming about doing a video like this, and as soon as we started talking about it we just had to create it. It’s the perfect mixture between mystical, beautiful and silly. We filmed everything ourselves in a friend’s studio. The editing was my absolute favourite part to do.”

Watch the video for ‘Dear Sadness’ below, and follow Cuntrie & Elsa Carmona on Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Ebba G. Ågren

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

Track Of The Day: HOST – ‘Taste of Your Love’

An electro-pop gem that contemplates the short-comings of an unhealthy romance; Irish artist Host has shared her new single ‘Taste of Your Love’. Taken from her upcoming debut EP Adolescent Content (set for release later this year) the synth-pop star channels her love of bands like Diiv, Wolf Alice, The Japanese House, and The Cure on her new tune.

Speaking about her new track, Host explains: “Have you ever had someone you really care about do something so idiotic that it makes you look at them in a completely different light? ‘Taste of Your Love’ is that lingering bad impression that I just couldn’t shake, and everything built with this person, this solid foundation, just turned to quicksand. It’s sad really… this idiot, that you still adore nonetheless, has now forced you to cut them out and change your entire life.”

Despite its sad premise, we guarantee Host’s new single will have you up and dancing around your bedroom in no time. Listen to ‘Taste of Your Love’ below and follow Host on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Boy Harsher – ‘Careful’

A record to cry, kiss, or dance to; Boy Harsher’s latest album Careful is a heated, heartfelt affair. Full of beats designed to ricochet around dark dance-floors or lonely bedroom walls, the Massachusetts duo blend nostalgic 80s percussion with sharp modern production to create an immersive, magnetic listening experience.

Formed in 2014, Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller released their first EP Lesser Man in the same year, and their sophomore record Yr Body is Nothing in 2016. Country Girl followed in 2017, and now the pair explore their “morose pop sound” further on their latest release. Named after the seemingly prophetic tattoo that Matthews has across her back, Careful smolders with a brooding, lusting aggression.

Inspired by traumatic personal experiences – the breakdown of a romantic relationship, losing a parent to debilitating illness, and a chronic fear of losing control – Boy Harsher offer a momentary glimpse in to their seething world via minimal electronics. The cinematic ‘Keep Driving’ opens the record, with whispered vocals and moody stretched out synths that could score a jaded night-ride, or an escape from a crime scene.

Hazy electronics, sultry vocals and 80s inspired beats combine in hypnotic style on ‘Face The Fire’, before the elusive ‘Fate’ bleeds in. It’s four minutes of off-kilter synths, breathy vocals and dance inducing beats. Grand synthesizers announce the arrival of next track ‘LA’, whist the throbbing synths and pounding beats on ‘Come Closer’ are intoxicating. It’s easily one of the strongest tracks on the record. ‘The Look You Gave (Jerry)’ flows in the same vein, before the punchy percussion on ‘Tears’ changes the pace. The track’s buoyant rhythms contrast well with the ominous, dramatic three minute interlude ‘Crush’.

Penultimate track ‘Lost’ meanders for just shy of five minutes, before the eponymous ‘Careful’ closes the record. It’s a brief affair with a mysterious voice sample, artistically book-ending this collection of alluring, seductive sounds. Whilst at points Boy Harsher’s Careful may may feel repetitive, it’s hard to deny the record’s flirtatious, infectious nature. Make sure you catch the band at HEAVEN on 27th February.

Order your copy of Boy Harsher’s Careful here.
Follow the pair on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut