LISTEN: Madge – ‘Ethanol’

A gritty, electronic pop tune that explores self-destructive tendencies; non-binary artist Madge has shared their latest single, ‘Ethanol’. Released via 22TWENTY, the track is a chaotic blend of dense beats, hushed vocals, and manic synth textures.

Having just been announced as an artist in residency for ‘Future Classics x Dropbox’, LA-based Madge has been attracting attention in all the right places with their one-person show.

Madge extrapolates about the context of the ‘Ethanol’: “Inherited trauma as compulsive self-destruction. For every garbage fire I put out in my brain, I find myself dumping gasoline on another. I find myself wondering if I just accept this state of things. I created this song with Lecx Stacy who brought in the grit and grime to my vision.”

This “grit” along with some catchy dance beats makes Madge’s music an explosive, energetic affair. Listen to ‘Ethanol’ below, and follow Madge on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: TSARINA MERRIN

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: JEANA

Emerging London-based artist JEANA – who originally made music in Bedford with her siblings – has spent the majority of 2019 working alongside Producer Ginger Snaps to create her smooth, indie pop sounds. Her latest single, ‘Nameless’ is a polished offering that explores the feelings of vulnerability and of power when a toxic relationship comes to an end, and showcases the nineteen year old’s ability to rise from these ashes in Phoenix-like fashion.

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 JEANA to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to her single ‘Nameless’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Like a lot of people, this album was on repeat in my household for a few years when I was growing up as a child. We used to go to a bar on a beach in Spain, which always played this album & even though the bar has since shut we still refer to it as the Amy Winehouse beach. I love this album so much because I felt I could enjoy it as a child as well as enjoying it now as an adult for different reasons. The lyrics are so raw and are empowering I think. The memories are distant from when I first heard this album but I associate it with so many different good times, and i’m sure I can go back and relate to this album in more stages of my life to come.

2. Taylor Swift – Fearless
I found this album in 2011 as a young tweenager and I remember feeling like I had discovered the true meaning of music. I randomly found an iPod on a family holiday with only illegally downloaded Taylor Swift music on, Fearless being the only album. Of course, I rinsed all the songs and wanted to become Taylor Swift, this album actually encouraged me to start singing, pick up a guitar and started me writing (and I really did want to be Taylor Swift for a good 3 years!).

3. Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony
At 14 years old I discovered Catfish and the Bottlemen, and wanted to be “Mrs Van McCann”. This album completely transitioned me from Taylor Swift’s biggest fan to the indie girl that started to go to gigs with her Sister. I’ve always loved indie music as it’s what I’ve been brought up on, but this is the first album I remember discovering myself, and loved like it was my own. It made me start to explore similar artists, and led me to the artists who influenced them.

4. Arcade Fire – Funeral
This album is one of my all time favourites, not only because its the soundtrack to my childhood but also because every song is a favourite. The songs are all such massive anthems and listening to it even though it was their debut, feels like a greatest hits collection. Seeing them live last year at Wembley arena just made me love them as a band even more. From the way they swap their instruments during their set, to the show being staged in a boxing ring – they bring such variety to a performance.

5. Ms. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
A truly beautiful album that I discovered through working with my producer Ginger Snaps. Listening to this was my first step away from my indie/pop roots, and influenced my sound more towards RnB. The songs are so raw and vulnerable, it made me feel more comfortable putting my own honest feelings into lyrics. It has so much going on musically with the combination of reggae/latin beats. Since discovering this album early last year I’ve been lucky enough to see Ms. Lauryn Hill twice – at the O2 arena and Boomtown Fair.

Thanks to JEANA for sharing her favourites with us. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

LISTEN: Grace Lightman – ‘Zero Impact’

A careful yet catchy electronic curation; London-based electronic pop artist Grace Lightman explores what it’s like to have ‘Zero Impact’ on her new single, out now on Handsome Dad Records.

Describing her own sound as “one part ABBA, two parts Twin Peaks” through her gentle vocals and mixture of poppy and gritty synth textures, Lightman has created an electronic pop gem. She collaborated on the new single with longtime mentor and co-writer, Patrick J Pearson as well as Ben Baptie (previously mixed & engineered; Moses Sumney, Young Fathers, Puma Blue, Lady Gaga) who produced the single.

Speaking about ‘Zero Impact’, Lightman explains: “[the song] is about trying to exist in the world without disturbing those around you, almost like an apparition. Treading on eggshells while essentially trying to fit seamlessly into humanity. Just thought I would present that musically in a more attention seeking way.”

We’re loving Lightman’s musical juxtapositions and look forward to more details of her debut album in the coming months. Listen to ‘Zero Impact’ below and follow Grace Lightman on Facebook for more updates.

Grace Lightman will play Bluedot festival Jodrell bank, Cheshire on Friday 19th July.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Host – ‘b4me’

“Cut your hair but not your ties” advises Host as she faces down multiple camera lens’ in her new video for single ‘b4me’. It’s an infectious slice of electro-pop from the Irish newcomer, which navigates the tricky territory between being in love with the idea of being loved, and not being able to reciprocate that desire.

Following on from her debut single ‘Goodbye’, Host has spent most of her year writing, recording and producing music alone. ‘b4me’ is another sharply produced offering from the newcomer, who had this to say about her new track: “Usually, like many other artists, I write my songs based off an exaggerated version of the truth; but ‘b4me’ is far from fiction. I produced the song fully before adding a lyrical element to the music and for me, that alone spoke volumes, but sometimes you just have to speak your thoughts aloud to make them fully register”.

Fact or Fiction: we’re happy to dance along to Host’s upbeat tunes. Watch the video for ‘b4me’ below, and follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut