Track Of The Day: Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation – ‘Desire’

London-based psychedelic outfit Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation have shared their latest single ‘Desire’ and it’s a dark, frantic, immersive gem. The track is taken from their third Sacred Dreams, which will be released in April via Rocket Recordings.

Since 2014, Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation have been acquiring acclaim at a steady pace. Their debut album Horse Dance, and sophomore record Mirage were well received in both their homeland of Sweden – culminating in a ‘best newcomer’ nomination at Sweden’s Grammys – and here in the UK, receiving praise from BBC6 Music and a live session with Lauren Laverne. Now, the band are set to release a refreshing set of new tracks inspired by the universal themes of heartbreak and love.

Speaking about new single ‘Desire’ and the upcoming record, Josefin explains: “This album comes out of a period of heartbreak, loss and dissolution, but also of deep love, warmth and beauty unveiled in the middle of it. A sacred dream, the way we see it, is not necessarily a golden fluffy cloud river, but instead also contains all the shadows that need to be seen and felt in order to drop what has to go in order to truly live. And the dissonance of such a dream may not be immediately apparent, let alone the meaning of it. In a way all of these tracks seem to emanate from that place where we have almost reached a new shore, or maybe we missed it and are headed somewhere else entirely, but there’s no way of telling until afterwards.”

Listen to ‘Desire’ below and follow Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: BABii – ‘Seiizure’

Emerging Margate-based artist BABii has shared her new single ‘Seiizure’, taken from her debut LP HiiDE, which is set for release later this year via Deathwaltz Originals. It’s a lo-fi fusion of atmospheric synths, snappy percussion and cutting-but-cute vocals.

Speaking about the new track, BABii explains: “I nearly put this song in the bin, but Iglooghost heard a small clip from it when I used to post parts of songs on my Instagram and encouraged me to finish it. Now it’s one of my favourite songs on the record”. Encouraged by her collaborators and fans – including umru, Kai Whiston and Abi Wade – BABii has been cutting and pasting snippets of her songs and sharing them online for a while. Now, she’s ready to step in to the spotlight, and if ‘Seiizure is anything to go by, it’s going to be a bright one.

Listen to the new single below and follow BABii on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Mags On Earth – ‘Tulip Stone’

Influenced by her constantly changing surroundings and by the pressures associated with youth and living in the moment; Mags On Earth has shared her beautifully dreamy single ‘Tulip Stone’.

Born in Sweden, raised in Germany, and now living between London and Paris; Mags On Earth combines her love of these numerous city-scapes with the melancholic lyrical sensibilities of artists like Lana Del Rey and Bat For Lashes. ’Tulip Stone’ was recorded with producer Jose Manuel Cubides in London, and deals with “wondering what else life could be looking like right now, and the pressure of spending your youth in a certain way and how time keeps passing”.

The single is accompanied by a delicately shot video that Mags On Earth directed herself. Speaking about the footage, she explains: “I spent a month in Paris last October and was so inspired by the atmosphere. Paris has that authentic beauty and elegance that I strive for in my visuals, even in its less pretty parts. Paris is always Paris. And to me it feels kind of faded in the colours which really works well with the theme behind ‘Tulip Stone’”.

The new single is taken from Mags On Earth’s debut EP Girl in the City (available online now), which laments the “mundane in-between-feeling-stuck state of longing for something more, thinking nothing is ever enough”. Enter the dreamy world of Mags On Earth by watching the video for ‘Tulip Stone’ below, and catch her live on 4th March at Sebright Arms.

Follow Mags On Earth on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Boy Harsher – ‘Careful’

A record to cry, kiss, or dance to; Boy Harsher’s latest album Careful is a heated, heartfelt affair. Full of beats designed to ricochet around dark dance-floors or lonely bedroom walls, the Massachusetts duo blend nostalgic 80s percussion with sharp modern production to create an immersive, magnetic listening experience.

Formed in 2014, Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller released their first EP Lesser Man in the same year, and their sophomore record Yr Body is Nothing in 2016. Country Girl followed in 2017, and now the pair explore their “morose pop sound” further on their latest release. Named after the seemingly prophetic tattoo that Matthews has across her back, Careful smolders with a brooding, lusting aggression.

Inspired by traumatic personal experiences – the breakdown of a romantic relationship, losing a parent to debilitating illness, and a chronic fear of losing control – Boy Harsher offer a momentary glimpse in to their seething world via minimal electronics. The cinematic ‘Keep Driving’ opens the record, with whispered vocals and moody stretched out synths that could score a jaded night-ride, or an escape from a crime scene.

Hazy electronics, sultry vocals and 80s inspired beats combine in hypnotic style on ‘Face The Fire’, before the elusive ‘Fate’ bleeds in. It’s four minutes of off-kilter synths, breathy vocals and dance inducing beats. Grand synthesizers announce the arrival of next track ‘LA’, whist the throbbing synths and pounding beats on ‘Come Closer’ are intoxicating. It’s easily one of the strongest tracks on the record. ‘The Look You Gave (Jerry)’ flows in the same vein, before the punchy percussion on ‘Tears’ changes the pace. The track’s buoyant rhythms contrast well with the ominous, dramatic three minute interlude ‘Crush’.

Penultimate track ‘Lost’ meanders for just shy of five minutes, before the eponymous ‘Careful’ closes the record. It’s a brief affair with a mysterious voice sample, artistically book-ending this collection of alluring, seductive sounds. Whilst at points Boy Harsher’s Careful may may feel repetitive, it’s hard to deny the record’s flirtatious, infectious nature. Make sure you catch the band at HEAVEN on 27th February.

Order your copy of Boy Harsher’s Careful here.
Follow the pair on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Hockeysmith – ‘Tears At My Age’

Self-described as “Kylie on acid”, Falmouth-based Hockeysmith‘s new EP Tears At My Age is a sympathetic lo-fi dance-pop infusion designed to overcome romantic unhappiness. Released via Ex-Local in January, Hockeysmith (aka Annie Hockeysmith) has created four new tracks that cover uncomfortable emotions in a breezy, effervescent way.

Most listeners will be able to identify with the sentiments expressed in eponymous opening track ‘Tears At My Age’. It’s five minutes of ambient electronics that wash away the shame of tears shed by girls over their undeserving lovers. Hockeysmith has reclaimed these sad hours and transformed them in to something positive here via shoe-gazey synths and gentle vocals.

Up next is shimmering electro-pop gem ‘Lonely Loving Me’. Speaking about the track, Annie explains: “I wrote this in a cabin in Cornwall one winter after listening to tuns and tuns of early Kylie Minogue. It explores the idea of loving and being loved as an ambitious person. It can be lonely loving yourself and lonely for someone else”. It’s an 80s inspired feel-good tune designed to get you moving around like Minogue, whether in your bedroom or on the dance floor.

Inspired by both dance & rave subculture in her hometown of Falmouth and in the frequently visited Copenhagen, Hockeysmith’s love and exploration of these scenes shows clearest on the final two tracks of her EP. ‘Messed Up’ is six minutes full of excitable dance beats that form the perfect backdrop for getting “dressed up messed up” to. It’s an ode to the blissful but tainted state of diluting your sorrows on a night out, encouraged by siren-like synths and layered beats.’Dare You’ sees Hockeysmith’s former sadness come full circle, as she calmly embraces the idea of loving anew and moving on. More rave-inspired beats and gentle vocals combine in hypnotic fashion here, closing the EP on an optimistic note.

On Tears At My Age, Hockeysmith has crafted an intriguing mix of synth textures and beats inspired by her surroundings in Cornwall and experiences in Copenhagen that work together to distill any shame or uneasiness leftover from broken relationships. A definite mood-lifter.

Listen to Tears At My Age on Spotify. Follow Hockeysmith on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Nik Void (supporting Gum Takes Tooth) – Electrowerkz 25.01.19

Surrounded by smoke and bathed in flickering coloured lights, Nik Void gave a masterclass in how to perform electronic music solo at Electrowerkz on Friday night. Supporting duo Gum Takes Tooth at their album launch for Baba Yaga’s Hut; Void’s obscure but intriguing soundscapes infiltrated the heads of her large crowd.

Positioned behind a desk overflowing with wires and synths, Void skillfully tuned and triggered her equipment, creating intense waves of experimental electronic noise. Many will be aware of Void’s history as one half of Factory Floor, and as one third of Carter Tutti Void, alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle/Chris & Cosey) – but even without an understanding of her previous work, Void’s solo set is a truly remarkable experience.

The transitions between tracks are seamless, despite Void being open to “the creation of space for ‘mistakes’” in her music. The mood and tone are constantly in flux; sometimes droney and desolate, other times euphoric and uplifting. Despite her laid-back performance style, it’s easy to see that Void is a woman who is entirely immersed and in control of the jungle of wires that surround her. She moves with ease between synthesizers, making her technical set-up look like it requires minimal effort to manipulate.

There is something transformative about her sound; she communicates complex emotions in unconventional ways with only a few voice samples. She blends elements of techno, ambient, avant-garde and noise into a truly stunning performance, which is made all the more intense by the venue it’s set in. Track names and timings become unnecessary, as Void’s electronic craft-work eludes any kind of labeling or conventional measures/restraint.

At the end of her set, Void graciously bowed her head to the appreciative applause directed her way. Whether you’re a loyal follower or a new addition to the fan club, Nik Void’s live set is definitely going to appeal to anyone interested in diverse, original electronic music.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut