Track Of The Day: Maria BC – ‘The Only Thing’

A gentle musing on relinquishing yourself to the feeling of being in love again and having that feeling reciprocated, Maria BC has shared their latest single ‘The Only Thing’. Taken from their debut album Hyaline, which is set for release on 27th May, the track is a disarming, tender reflection on the serenity that sets in once you are fully “seen” by your partner in a new relationship.

Following on from their dreamy debut EP Devil’s Rain (2021), on Hylaine, Maria BC has created another tender collection of songs that “Let the world wash over you…rather than trying to pin it to one single thing.” This immersive quality is captured beautifully on ‘The Only Thing’, through Maria’s tentative guitar picks, atmospheric beats and soothing vocals.

“The track is about allowing yourself to be seen fully by another person. When you find they aren’t afraid, you realise you shouldn’t be either,” Maria explains about their new single. “It took me a bunch of tries to finish the arrangement for this one. It felt too sparse, while the song is about that full, effervescent, sun-is-coming-up feeling of new love. I spent several weeks adding parts and scrapping them — you know, getting nowhere. Then, at some point, I realised the refrain of another song I was working on had the same chord progression as ‘The Only Thing’ refrain. I turned that into a kind of counter-melody, Liz Fraser style, and I think it tied the whole thing together.”

The new track is accompanied by a beautiful video, shot by Olivia Q. Pintair and choreographed and Performed by C Green. Watch it below.

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Photo Credit: Ulysses Ortega

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sea Change

Equally as inspired by the club music of LA and Berlin as she is by her quieter coastal surroundings in Kristiansand in Norway, Ellen Sunde aka SEA CHANGE’s sounds ebb and flow with a tranquil, yet deeply primal desire to move through a feeling that sometimes escapes written articulation. Her electronica ripples with emotion, but without every feeling weighty or over-thought, reflecting the way she feels about music in general. She’s set to release her new album, Mutual Dreaming, on 11th February via Shapes Recordings.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with SEA CHANGE to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques and informed her new album. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Aurora Halal – ‘Death Of Real’
Aurora Halal is an amazing techno producer, I’m just totally mesmerized by her productions. This particular track is more mellow, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve recently been re-watching some videos of her hardware live sets. Wow! A total inspiration. Her music is super sensual and dreamy and has this dark psychedelic and shadowy vibe, and at the same time it’s also danceable. This combination was also something I tried to achieve on my album. She releases on her own label called Mutual Dreaming and, well, guess where I took my album name from? Just a little homage from me there.

2. Lövgren – ‘Power Surge’
Around the time I was producing Mutual Dreaming in my home studio, my friend Lövgren was finishing up his debut album, and his Burial inspired ambient made me realize I wanted to do more ambient textures in my music. I think his combination of hard hitting beats with manipulated vocal samples and textures is amazing. This was the first time I heard his music and I was totally blown away. It’s always really cool to be inspired by friends, it makes you try to reach even higher yourself. This track and the whole album is an amazing hidden gem that more people should listen to.

3. Julee Cruise – ‘Mysteries Of Love’
I was late to the party to watch the last Twin Peaks season, but when I finally did I got this total new fascination for Julee Cruise and her floaty voice over dreamy ambient. So then I had to re-watch Blue Velvet where this song is featured as well. Julee Cruise gives me a very strange and weird vibe – it’s almost too dreamy – I don’t even know how to explain it, but I guess that’s why it works so well cinematically in these films. This song was a very direct inspiration for the tracks ‘Mirages’ and ‘Mutual Dreaming’. I guess I sometimes can be a little afraid of singing too prettily over a beautiful instrumental track. Always a bit afraid of seeming too cute. But on ‘Mirages’ I tried to channel my inner Julee Cruise, and I kind of loved it.

4. Sassy 009 – ‘Okay’
The first time I heard Sassy 009 I was totally compelled by the ethereal feel, combined with her danceable beats. Sunniva who is the producer of Sassy 009 has a really stunning way of making her productions dreamy and experimental, but at the same time there’s several super catchy phrases in each song. It’s like all of them could be the main hook in a completely new track, but instead she spices up her song-writing with it and makes this beautiful forward thinking alternative pop of out of it. When I was looking for a mixer and co-producer for my last album INSIDE I looked everywhere for a person to work with. I tried different things out but didn’t really feel it worked. At that time Sassy 009 was a trio and released their debut EP, and I absolutely loved their vibe. I reached out to their mixer and co-producer and BAM – I found the right person to work with on INSIDE – BAYA and I also worked together on my new album Mutual Dreaming.

5. Haxan Cloak – ‘Excavation (Part 1)’
One thing that I loved about the process of producing my new album was that I felt I had the time to really go deep into learning new production styles. One thing I tried was reproducing tracks that I’m fascinated by, just to learn some new things in the process. This Haxan Cloak song was one of the tracks I tried to reproduce. Since this record came out I’ve been super fascinated by this album and especially this track. How it shifts and turns in the intensity of the production. The combination of the reverb heavy beats together with the heavy side chain makes you feel on edge the whole time. And it’s so dark and compelling that it makes me want to go into the woods and do some witchy rituals. My little copy of this track developed into its own thing and I split in two and it was actually planned to be the first and the last track on my album, but in the end I felt the first one didn’t belong there. But I kept the last part – which is called ‘Rituals’.

Thanks to Sea Change for sharing her favourites with us.

Watch the video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ below.

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Photo credit: Simen Løvgren

Track Of The Day: Evil House Party – ‘Head Held High’

A captivating synth-pop tune that laments the struggle of trying to survive in the real world whilst also trying to fulfil your dreams, Copenhagen-based duo Evil House Party have shared their latest single ‘Head Held High’. Taken from their debut EP Grand Theft Audio, which is set for release on 24th September via Third Coming Records, the track is a heady, bittersweet reflection on personal uncertainty.

“I think a lot of people can relate to the feeling of life passing them by,” vocalist Emma Acs explains, “the song is a state of mind really. Like the disappointment of life not keeping up with the pace of their dreams.” Written during a time when both Emma and fellow band mate Jacob Formann were broke, moving around and feeling restless, ‘Head Held High’ is designed to resurrect feelings of confidence when you’re at an all time low.

Following on from their debut single ‘Wicked‘, ‘Head Held High’ smoulders with the duo’s trademark restlessness. Described as “a fugitive road journey, a febrile whirlwind of moods, incandescent like a city on fire,” their debut EP Grand Theft Audio looks set to be just as captivating.

Listen to ‘Head Held High’ below.

 

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Photo Credit: Frederikke-Agnete Svarre

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Penelope Trappes – ‘Fur & Feather’

Inspired by Celtic mythology, the on-going journey towards self-autonomy and a sense of inner peace, Australian-born Brighton-based artist Penelope Trappes has shared her latest single ‘Fur & Feather’. Taken from her upcoming album Penelope Three, which is set for release on 28th May via Houndstooth, the track is a deeply soothing listen led by tentative keys and Trappes’ beguiling vocals.

“I wrote ‘Fur & Feather’ after becoming inspired by the Celtic tale of The Selkie, which is about ‘homing’ – returning to a sense of self,” Trappes explains about the track. “I found this treasure within the well-known book Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkes Estés. In preparation for the inevitable day that my sole daughter would leave home after 18 years, I carried a great sense of bittersweet loss in my heart. The Selkie reminded me of how I always knew the time would come when I’d be physically and emotionally alone and because of this I have always kept my own identity intact.”

Accompanied by a beautifully shot self-directed video in collaboration with art collective Agnes Haus, ‘Fur & Feather’ sees Trappes find contentment in a spiritual and physical sense, exploring lush woodlands as her calm vocals act like a deep exhale, dispersing her fears of loneliness and reassuring herself that the inevitability of change can be embraced and enjoyed with the right mindset.

Watch the video for ‘Fur & Feather’ below.

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Photo Credit: Agnes Haus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut