Premiere: LORI – ‘I’m Still Here’

Known to us as the magnificent front-woman of rockers Weekend Recovery, songwriter LORI has now announced her debut solo EP, set for release next month via Criminal Records.

The second single to be taken from the EP, and the collection’s title track, ‘I’m Still Here’ offers a reflection on LORI’s recent mental health journey. Propelled by swirling, electro-infused hooks, LORI’s emotion-strewn crystalline vocals soar throughout with an empowering sentiment. Oozing a sweeping subtle power and shimmering emotive energy, it’s a perfectly heartfelt alt-pop gem; a much-needed stirring message of resilience and self-love. A huge step away from the ferocious punk-pop of Weekend Recovery, ‘I’m Still Here’ channels LORI’s distinctive impassioned spirit in a sparkling new direction.

As LORI reiterates the refrain “I’m still here. I survived”, I can’t help but feel extremely grateful that she got through everything to be where she is today; offering this deeply moving, and instantly catchy, survivor anthem.

Listen to ‘I’m Still Here’, for the first time:

‘I’m Still Here’ is out tomorrow, 27th August. LORI’s solo EP of the same name is set for release on 3rd September via Criminal Records. Catch LORI live:

6th Sept: Sidney & Matilda, Sheffield
7th Sept: Hope and Anchor, London
8th Sept: The Prince Albert, Brighton
9th Sept: Dead Wax Digbeth, Birmingham
10th Sept: Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham
11th Sept: Santiagos, Leeds
12th Sept: Retro, Manchester

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Keira Anee

PREMIERE: Bellatrix – ‘Bad Love’

With previous support from the likes of Clash and Wonderland magazine, former beat-box world champion (what a feat!) and proudly queer artist Bellatrix has now announced the release of a new EP. Taken from the EP, today they have shared a brand new single.

Propelled by glitchy hooks and a gritty, sensuous energy, ‘Bad Love’ showcases Bellatrix’s sweeping, impassioned vocals whilst oozing shimmering, blissful vibes with shades of pop legend SOPHIE. A scuzzed-out slice of infectious electro-pop reflecting on self-discovery and emotional growth, it sparkles with a fierce empowering drive, instantly demanding multiple listens. Of the inspiration behind the track, Bellatrix explains:

“‘Bad Love’ is a realisation, and really I think it does what it says on the tin. I remember being sat in circle with my women’s group – a candle lit circle of 15 witches – and saying ‘I’ve realised that I’m in an abusive relationship, and at the moment I can’t see the way out…’ There was a calmness in finally being able to be completely honest with myself about my situation. I knew that the storm would have to come, but for the minute I could just look at things as they were, and see them. Wow what a mess I had found myself in.

Listen to ‘Bad Love’, for the first time, here:

‘Bad Love’ is out tomorrow 1st July, And I Was An Aphid, the upcoming new EP from Bellatrix, is set for release later this year.

Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: Aiko – ‘Daughter Of The Sun’

A magnificent storm fills the sky in AIKO’s swirling track ‘Daughter of The Sun‘. With a myriad of sounds too grand to contain, the London-based artist stretches her dark pop anthem beyond a “pop” script, creating an all-encompassing soundscape that is equally as heavy as it is liberating.

Borrowing cinematic elements of electronic music and art-pop, ‘Daughter of the Sun’ allows individual moments to be themselves, sinking low when needed, and soaring up in celebration during others. The dynamics are reminiscent of the Loud-Quiet-Loud songwriting approach made popular in the nineties by bands like Pixies and Nirvana, but in a way that is sonically unique to AIKO and is grounded in the fluctuation of dense synth sounds.

Paired with an emotive arrangement, AIKO’s lyrics revolving around the saturation of love makes for a warm experience. Throughout the track, she shares earnest confessions delicately illustrating vivid moments of profound infatuation. She is “completely submerged into” the sun with what feels like no control, but does not forget her awareness as she paces herself throughout this process: “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, and let things happen”.

The percussion throughout ‘Daughter of the Sun’ relentlessly strikes until the track’s finale, where AIKO’s voice and its surrounding instruments come to a cathartic climax that feels like a sunbath. A truly captivating offering that beams emotion down from the sky, gently caressing your face with its twinkling splendour.

Jillian Goyeau

WATCH: Zoee – ‘Host’

From her upcoming debut album Flaw Flower, Zoee has gifted us with her second single ‘Host’ – a mix of retro-wave synths and ethereal vocals set to a film noir music video that tips its hat to The Twilight Zone. 

The opening shot of ‘Host’ centres on a hand mirror surrounded by swirling smoke, a perfect accompaniment to the winding, high pitched synths that open the track. Smoke and mirrors recur as motifs throughout the video as Zoee’s spoken word verses describe the lies and half truths that keep a jilted lover trapped in the memory of a broken relationship. Zoee takes on the role of femme fatale, wandering through a confusion of woods as if disconnected from reality in a state of suspended animation. 

Both the track and the music video are highly stylised, standing in stark contrast to the plainly stated candour of the lyrics. Zoee’s spoken word verses contain lyrical gems like “You said that ‘I need to be alone babe’, so why is it you’re not on your own babe?”. Her delivery in a canny and circumspect London accent suggests that this jilted lover grasps the truth of the relationship’s demise, but is unwilling to let it go. As the track draws to a close, the synths and smoke slowly fade, making way for a deliciously earthy solo on grand piano accompanied by a pattern of bright lights reflected in the mirrored surface. The effect is hopeful, implying that this otherworldly state of disconnect for our femme fatale may yet come to a close.

‘Host’ is an incredible showcase of Zoee’s artistic prowess as she delves into the personal. The video is a visual feast (a particular must watch for eyebrow and fashion enthusiasts), perfectly complementing the diaphanous, airy grace of Zoee’s music.

Host‘ is taken from Zoee’s debut album Flaw Flower, set for release on 25th June via Illegal Data.

Kate Sullivan