Track Of The Day: Maja Lena – ‘Birch’

Formally of the band Low Chimes, Marianne Parrish – aka Maja Lena – has now announced her debut solo album, set for release this summer.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Birch’ offers a truly captivating alt-folk soundscape. Reflecting on new beginnings and oozing a pastoral elegance, it’s propelled by resplendent vocals and a luscious shimmering musicality, with shades of the likes of Rozi Plain. With a majestic, ethereal grace, sweeping soothing melodies are interwoven with exquisitely put-together layers of twinkling instrumentation, creating a bewitching sonic gem. Of the track, Maja Lena explains:

“‘Birch’ is a song about feeling vulnerable yet elated. About starting a new phase of life and love, yet also knowing that this elation could be snatched away at any given moment. The Birch tree here is a symbol for this feeling, and its branches moving in the wind resemble a feeling of freedom and excitement.”

‘Birch’ is accompanied by a beautifully made video, filmed entirely on Super 8 in the Lake District, with Martha Webb. Watch here:

Birch‘ is out now, and The Keeper – the upcoming album from Maja Lena – is set for release 23rd July via Chiverin Records.

Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: Orla Gartland – ‘More Like You’

A poetic alt-folk tune that tries to overcome feelings of inadequacy, Irish songwriter Orla Gartland has shared her latest single ‘More Like You’. Taken from her debut album which is set for release later this year, the track is a charming rumination on how “feeling second best” can affect the way you view yourself and others around you.

“I know that I’ve been obsessing in the worst way,” Gartland sings over soft beats and playful keys, gently examining her own vulnerabilities and anxieties about being replaced by another. “‘More Like You’ is about a jealousy I felt for my best friend’s other best friend; someone I simultaneously disliked and wanted to be,” she admits, but through careful introspection Gartland has now made peace with her initial feelings of discomfort. This journey is reflected in the choreography in the accompanying video for the track, directed by Greta Isaac.

“We brought Elan Isaac on board to choreograph the piece and she absolutely smashed it,” Gartland explains. “I had never danced before and she managed to put together a piece that felt so thoroughly me. The movement in the video mirrors my journey of finally making my peace with the other person. We shot the video with a small crew of 5 in a village hall in South Wales near where Greta & Elan grew up. It was lashing rain that day, but with a bit of movie magic we managed to pull off a fake sun.”

Watch the video for ‘More Like You’ below.

Follow Orla Gartland on Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Henry James

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Ailsa Tully – ‘Parasite’

A personal rumination on the pernicious power dynamics that are prevalent within the UK music industry, Welsh-born songwriter Ailsa Tully has shared her latest single ‘Parasite’. Released via Dalliance Recordings, the track is a deceptively powerful observation on the toxic behaviour Tully has experienced first hand, and a subtle warning to those who think their actions will go un-noticed.

“’Parasite’ is a confrontational song written for a controlling and manipulative person,” Tully explains. “It explores the insidious manner in which sexism takes form, particularly within the inner workings of the music industry.” Through a blend of brooding guitar sounds, enveloping vocals and the faux allure of her lyrics, Tully takes considered shots at her antagonist, effortlessly dismantling the layers of expectation that were pushed upon her because of her gender. Her gracefully repeated threat of “I could break you down / you parasite” sends shivers down the spine.

No longer intimidated by these industry peers, Tully is free to deliver her poetic alt-folk sounds with a hard earned confidence, and ‘Parasite’ is a poignant example of this. The track is accompanied by a video directed by Finlay O’Hara, which shows parasitic plants twisting around vines in tandem with Tully’s music, personifying the struggles she sings of.

Watch the video for ‘Parasite’ below.

Follow Ailsa Tully on bandcampSpotifyFacebook & Instagram for more updates.

Photo Credit: Finn O’Hara

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Catgod – ‘Sometimes I Care For You’

Having previously charmed us live at The Finsbury, as well as being the loveliest of guests on our radio show, Oxford sibling duo Cat Marriott and Robin Christensen-Marriot – aka Catgod – have now shared a beautiful new single.

The first of three singles to be taken from their upcoming album, ‘Sometimes I Care For You’ is an ode to the isolation we feel when we cannot express ourselves, and the heartache that can come from not knowing where you stand with your lover. Flowing with a stirring, heartfelt emotion, it’s propelled by the rich power of Cat’s soaring vocals alongside Robin’s twinkling harmonies, creating a truly captivating soundscape. Complete with additional sweeping musicality from Patrick Bolton, George Purnell and Casper Miles, ‘Sometimes I Care For You’ offers an utterly spellbinding taste of what’s to come from the Oxford band. 

‘Sometimes I Care For You’ is out now, and Born Again – the upcoming album from Catgod – is set for release in Spring 2021. To celebrate the single’s release, Catgod will be To performing a live stream concert at TAD studios tonight – ticket link here.


Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Ian Wallman