LISTEN: Novaa – ‘Audre’

Unsettling yet somehow sensual, Novaa‘s single ‘Audre’ is a poignant tale of oppression, fatigue and the silencing of black voices. Lifted from her recent album She’s A Rose, the Berlin-based indie singer-songwriter pays homage to American feminist poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde on her latest track.

Layering placid vocals with lush electronic beats, the rigid strumming of a muted guitar and the serenity of softly played wind instruments, ‘Audre’ is pure poetry. There is something Black Swan-esque about the music video. With a stripped back, grayscale aesthetic and simple, yet jittery dancing movements, Novaa expresses the heavy emotions of the song visually as well as sonically. Like stars, the rhymes stud the underlying darkness of the track with light.

When she sings “It is heavy / to carry these shackles,” Novaa shines a spotlight on the mental and physical exhaustion that comes with fighting an oppressor. The past few years have been somewhat traumatising for many minorities – the Black community in particular – and with the constant bombardment of horrific hate crimes and police brutality on our timelines, it is understandable if people feel beat.

Vaulting off from Audre Lorde’s political message that caring for oneself in troubling times is a radical act of self-preservation, Novaa’s new track powerfully illuminates the painful foundations of activism and reminds us that our fight for equality is far from over.

Follow Novaa on Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kraemer

Jay Mitra
@punkofcolour

Track Of The Day: Everything And Everybody – ‘Lifequake’

A vibrant pop tune that challenges gender stereotypes, Berlin based duo Everything and Everybody have shared their latest single ‘Lifequake’. Blending jazzy beats with alt-pop melodies, the pair playfully question the expectations that heteronormative society imposes on individuals when it comes to their gender identity.

“The song challenges not only what is seen to be stereotypically female, but also what’s supposed to be stereotypically male,” the duo explain. “The song lists a few clichés. That of a passive woman: romanticising, emotionally stirred up. In need of a man’s confirmation in order to develop her self-esteem. And that of an active man who fights his way through life: lonely, cool, closed-lipped. For him everything is a fight, and he must emerge as the winner in order not to appear weak. Questions are posed. ‘Are you a girl?’, ‘Are you a boy?’. There’s no valuation intended, it’s more an invitation to questioning so-called female and male behavioural patterns, which are consciously or unconsciously, in any case unquestioningly accepted and passed on. The chorus pleads for living the way you are and feel, without being reduced to stereotypical patterns.”

The track is accompanied by a colourful, kaleidoscopic set of visuals that also reflect the tunes buoyant nature. With a sound that’s based on “chemistry, attitude and humour,” Everything And Everybody’s future musical offerings look set to be just as joyful and carefree as this one. Listen to ‘Lifequake’ below and follow the band on bandcamp, Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears @ Notting Hill Arts Club w/ ANNAVR 22.06.19

The sun was shining bright yesterday, but that didn’t deter us from venturing in to the basement of Notting Hill Arts Club to uncover the hypnotic electronica of three very different artists: ANNAVR, Zoey Lily & Death Hags.

The task of opening the night fell to LA based artist Death Hags, who delivered her dark, opulent, sci-fi inspired sounds beneath flickering stage lights. Her understated but confident delivery meant the obscurities of tracks such as ‘Oublie Moi’ and ‘Electrochemical Communication’ could be fully appreciated by listeners as she performed her one woman show.

Zoey Lily took to the stage next to perform her melancholy pop sounds. The London-based newcomer charmed listeners with her soft, elegant vocals and impressed them with renditions of her singles ‘I Wish I Had A Heart’ and ‘Hate You’. She looked especially pleased when the crowd participated in singing along to one of her tracks too.

Headlining the night and performing for her first time in London, Berlin-based producer ANNAVR melted us with her luscious electronic soundscapes. Originally a classically trained pianist, ANNAVR’s skills have transcend the pop barrier and have blossomed in to a mix of uplifting and distracting sounds. Between songs she spoke about how she relied on music whilst growing up in Berlin to express herself and to take her to new places, and we were proud to give her a platform to share her sounds and her stories.

Huge thanks to the bands, sound engineer and the staff at Notting Hill Arts Club for your help. Keep your eyes peeled for more gig announcements from us soon!

Follow the bands on Facebook for more updates: ANNAVR, Zoey LilyDeath Hags.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Valeska Rautenberg – ‘Berliner Morgen’

Berlin based musician Valeska Rautenberg has shared visuals for her new track ‘Berliner Morgen’ and they’re as cinematic as the soundscape that accompanies it. Taken from her most recent EP Veins: Songs for Piano, Wind & Water, the single is one of four songs that form a collection of “memories, favorite places, and forgotten tales” for the artist.

Valeska’s ambient soundscapes and minimal piano music takes listeners on a journey through her hometown, experiencing and concentrating on thoughts and feelings both she and the listener may not have noticed before. Speaking about her new music, she explains: “Sometimes there’s no need for words. You can let the wind whisper, the water roar, the birds talk, and the streets of Berlin tell their stories”.

‘Berliner Morgen’ in particular captures the beauty and solitude of a walk through Berlin at 5.30 in the morning. Valeska extrapolates: “Imagine coming out of a club (possibly slightly drunk) into the peaceful Berlin drenched in blue. With your blurry night-tainted vision you hardly see the dirt, only the serenity and sweet melancholy of the big B”.

Watch the video for Valeska’s new track below and listen to the Veins EP in its entirety here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut