EP: Sophie Kilburn – ‘My Room Made Public’

Sophie Kilburn is a London based, Derbyshire born singer-songwriter who merges a classic rock vibe with a modern alt-pop twist. My Room Made Public is her debut EP, featuring four tracks with an emphasis on digging deep to ask how much of our lives we should share with the world. 

Self-empowerment is a theme that runs throughout. Each track scratches the surface on different aspects we share and how we deal with the challenges life throws at us. For example, stirring opener ‘Movements’, with its driving guitar and percussive synth with shades of later Fleetwood Mac (“you’re the wildstar on my fan poster”) reflects on the acceptance that a relationship is over, whilst ‘I’m In love With My Therapist‘ – with its slow rock beat, and soulful refrain of “gotta get out of here” – explores the claustrophobia of self-analysis, using classic ’80s pop-rock sounds.

Although ‘Ruthless’ is a slightly more uptempo dance-pop track (although the lyrics deal with being unsure of oneself), the collection ends on a more reflective note with ‘Under The Heat’ – an emotionally open exploration of the social pressures of misogyny: “Under the heat, since I was young… My voice is strong enough to speak on its own.” That is the message of this EP as a whole; finding your voice and your place in the world, and having fun while you do it. And what is particularly clever is how it uses an old school classic sound to reflect modern pressures in this social media age, all delivered through Sophie’s exquisite, powerful vocals and poignant, emotional lyricism. It is both relatable and catchy, so let it be your therapy.


My Room Made Public is out now. Listen here.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Photo Credit: Percy Walker-Smith

LISTEN: Chloe Castro – ‘FUTURE’

Having been tipped as one of BBC Introducing’s ‘Tips for 2021’, and previously charming listeners when she reached the quarter finals of BBC One’s The Voice, British-Brazilian artist Chloe Castro has now shared a powerful new single.

Gliding in with pristinely enunciated vocals, ‘FUTURE‘ mesmerises instantly. Just as our hips start to find an infinity motion to match the alternative R’n’B opener (think Banks meets PARTYNEXTDOOR), Castro switches the beat – suddenly smacking out speedier lyrics borrowing cadences from hip-hop and rap as she goes. 

For Castro, language isn’t just how she describes her emotions, but the conduit through which she makes us really feel them with her. When she belts out “fucking go for it” she hits the guttural “K” with a firmness that makes me gasp and nod my head in agreement like “yes tell him Chloe!”. The track’s refreshing bluntness lands like a high kick to the chest, accompanied by scattered subtle percussion. A perfectly crafted mood.

Although Castro goes in on indecisive boys and their half-baked excuses, this isn’t a heartache song – the opposite in fact. Instead of pleading for clarity and commitment, Castro holds her agency and her boundaries firm: “… you don’t need to tell me why you sad boy”. What a chant. She’s onto something there. The perfect track for a long chaotic Love Island obsessed summer. 

Tutku Barbaros
@tutkubarbaros

PREMIERE: Alice SK – ‘Another Girl’s Man’

Following collaborations with Muca (L.A Salami, Los Bitchos) and Bossa Nova legend Roberto Menescal, songwriter Alice SK has now announced her debut EP, set for release later this year, and today shares the poignant first single.

Reflecting on feelings of love turning sour and the self-destructive tendencies this can evoke, ‘Another Girl’s Man’ combines lilting, blues-infused melodies with folk-strewn gentle strumming; a perfect musical soundscape providing the backdrop for Alice’s sweeping, emotion-rich vocals. Oozing a sparkling grace and soulful splendour, it’s a twinkling heartfelt ballad that’ll soothe the ears and calm the mind with its stirring, effervescent charm.

‘Another Girl’s Man’ is produced by Muca. Of the collaboration, Alice SK comments:

“I’ve been writing for years and it never really crossed my mind to get involved with others on the writing side of things; but when I heard a few of Muca’s other projects and his ideas for the demos that I showed him, I thought it could be a great combination of our two sounds and I’m hoping that that comes across in the tracks too.”

Listen to ‘Another’s Girl’s Man’ for the first time here:

‘Another Girl’s Man’ is out tomorrow, 15th July, and is taken from Alice SK’s upcoming debut EP, set for release later this year.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LISTEN: Billie Flynn – ‘Hey Stranger’

Debut single ‘Hey Stranger‘ by Cornish artist Billie Flynn is an emotive and ethereal summer treat. Gentle as the winds, crashing as the waves – a track you can almost feel on the surface of your skin. 

Recorded between her home studio and remotely during lockdown – with beautifully pitched production by JMAC – this song  bends time as it conjures thoughts of past relationships. Flynn’s unique vocal style is delicate – breathy, floaty and melodic – but simultaneously packing its own punch. There’s command in her tone as she sings up with refreshingly direct lyrics about that standard scenario we all wonder about: in her own words “It’s about seeing someone again that isn’t in your life anymore and hoping that they’re proud of who you are now.” Deliciously relatable – “Well…are you proud?”, I ask myself before getting swept up in the melody again. 

This is a track which undulates and surprises over and over again as it confidently takes on many instrumental turns and changes in pace, culminating in a textured, echoing climax before being neatly stripped all the way back down again for a final glorious flourish of Flynn’s uniquely elemental voice. An absolute journey of a track, which summons much excitement for future EPs.

‘Hey Stranger’ is out now via Never Fade Records.

Tutku Barbaros
@tutkubarbaros