Five Favourites: RAHH

Having previously provided backing vocals for Liam Gallagher and shared stages with the likes of Nile Rogers, Emili Sande and Beverley Knight, Manchester born London-based artist RAHH has now shared a euphoric new single.

A blissful slice of soul-strewn alt-pop, ‘Overkill’ showcases the impassioned soaring splendour of Rahh’s vocals alongside a house-inspired enraptured groove.

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 RAHH to ask about her ‘Five Favourites’– five albums that have inspired her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her latest single ‘Overkill at the end of this post.

TLC – Crazy Sexy Cool
This was my first album, bought for me by my big brother. I think it just opened up my eyes to what was possible as a music artist. I was a little mixed-race girl in a white area and the media and charts reflected that massively. All of a sudden I was introduced to TLC, the coolest girls I’d ever seen in my life and they kinda looked like me. It was massive! Plus I adored the music, I loved that Lisa Left-Eye Lopez rapped and that T-Boz sang so incredibly low – it was totally unusual. I remember learning every word of the rap from ‘Waterfalls’, playing it on repeat in my room and having to turn the volume down when she said “my only bleeding hope..” because I thought my Dad would go mad at me for swearing!

Michael Jackson – History
A different big brother moved out to go travelling in Australia and left me with this album and the VHS to go with it. It was pretty life changing for me. I fell head over heels in love with Michael Jackson’s genius, I was completely captivated. I think his influence can be heard in most music that came after him. The way he created a feel, a groove, and the infectious need to dance is magic. It’s something I think we all aspire towards as songwriters.  

Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends
I think before I’d heard this album I was big on RnB and soul, I was focused on the sound and technique of the vocal and hadn’t opened up to the possibility of liking artists that didn’t champion the voice in that way. After this album, all of that went out of the window and I fell in love with the lyrics and poetry of artists like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Track 2, ‘America’, remains one of my favourite songs of all time. I’ve had incredible bonding experiences with other people who adore the song and who know about that one lyric where he addresses his wife who’s sleeping next to him to tell her he’s empty and aching and doesn’t know why.  It is my favourite lyric ever and the way its placed in this song will forever inspire me as a writer. 

Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Every song and every note just seems like effortless genius. I can’t remember when I first heard this album but it is timeless. It inspired me to be a better musician and to care less about perfecting vocals and more about the depth of the song. ‘Ex-factor’ makes me melt!

Solange – A Seat at the Table
As a huge Destiny Child and Beyonce fan growing up, I think I just never imagined I could possibly get into Beyonce’s sisters music more than Beyonce’s herself until this album. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I listened to it over and over, I love the whole concept of it, the fashion and contemporary dance of the videos and artwork. The interludes, the interviews. The running theme of race and Black beauty. I really think it’s a piece of artwork from start to finish. The depth of the music in its content and musicality is inspiring and I strive to instil that in my own writing.

Massive thanks to RAHH for sharing her Five Favourites with us!

Watch the new video for ‘Overkill’ here and listen on Spotify now:

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sarah Walk

Celebrating both the joys and the struggles of being a queer woman, LA songwriter Sarah Walk is preparing to release her second album, Another Me, on 28th August via One Little Independent Records. “The songs on my first album were a means to survive the immediate, and my songs on this album have been a journey in learning how to take up space and thrive in the long term”, Walk explains. It sounds like a learning curve both she and her listeners will benefit from, as she tackles everything from patriarchal entitlement to letting go of damaging tropes about being a queer woman.

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 Sarah to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to Sarah’s latest single ‘nobody knows’ at the end of this post.

1. Wolfgang Amadeus – Phoenix 
I just think this is a brilliantly executed record, start to finish. I still try to wrap my head around the arrangement of this album. Each part fits together like this weaving patchwork of ideas that lock into each other like a puzzle. When I try to isolate the vocal or an instrumental part it feels like such a scattered and disjointed idea, but as a whole it’s completely full. I often wonder how they recorded this because it’s so hard for me to hear a backbone that was built around.

2. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
What a powerful comeback album from Fiona. I grew up listening to her and felt so empowered hearing a woman sing and play the piano that wasn’t afraid to be angry. This album totally goes there, and I’m so happy it does. There’s anger and regret, and through that, this incredible reclamation of self. She’s one of the best there is and has paved the way for so many women in the music industry, whether we all know it or not.

3. Radiohead – In Rainbows
It wouldn’t be a favorites list without a Radiohead album. This band totally expanded my ears to what music could be, and were my unwavering companion during some of the toughest and loneliest years of my adolescence. I remember waking up early before school the day this album came out and downloading it (this was the “pay what you want” record pre-spotify which was brilliant) and I sat in my car in the high school parking lot that gloomy October morning and was crying by the time ‘Faust Arp’ came around. I was late for school that day, and I’m glad I was.sarah

4. Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
Love this band so much. They combine certain sonic elements of Radiohead that I love – that ethereal soundscape of guitars that don’t sound like guitars – with heavy grooves and pop sensibility. This album is so good, and they’re incredible live as well.

5. Madison Cunningham – Who Are You Now?
A more up and coming LA artist, Madison is an incredible force of talent. The first time I saw her play live I was completely floored. I’m not a religious person, but after first seeing her play I went home and completely broke down because it felt like such a spiritual experience. She absolutely destroys the guitar and her voice and songwriting are other worldly. Definitely give this one a listen and check out some live videos online.

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her favourites with us.
Listen to her track ‘nobody knows’ below.

Follow Sarah Walk on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

FIVE FAVOURITES: Hannah Georgas

“The album is about healing, self reflection and getting up again at the end of the day,” explains Toronto-based songwriter Hannah Georgas about her upcoming record, All That Emotion. Set for release on 4th September via Brassland & Arts & Crafts, it’s a full length collaboration between Georgas and The National’s Aaron Dessner, and one that shows her resilience as both a songwriter and as a determined woman navigating the world around her. 

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 Georgas to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to her latest single ‘Dreams’ at the end of this post.

 

1. The Cranberries – No Need To Argue
The Cranberries are one of my all time favourite bands and had a big effect on me throughout my adolescence. I was so drawn to Dolores’ melodies and songwriting. I loved that their music was catchy and also had a real depth to the writing. I would listen to this album over and over and try to harmonize with her vocals. I saw them live in the late 90’s and it was one of the most memorable live shows I’ve ever seen.

2. Sade – Lover’s Rock
I like putting this album on to de-stress and relax. Her voice is so incredibly soothing to listen to. I also love the slow paced hip hop loops mixed with acoustic guitar and layered harmonies throughout the album. The track ‘Every Word’ is a real highlight for me. This song helped me get through the time I first got my heart broken. I would cry and play it on repeat.

3. Broadcast – Tender Buttons
This album is something I discovered a few years back and I’m so drawn to the production of it. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it earlier. I love the drum loops, synth sounds and the simplicity to it all. My favourite track to listen to off the album is a song called ‘Corporeal’.

4. Fiona Apple – Tidal
This album gave me confidence and a sense of hope growing up. There’s so much strength and courage behind Fiona’s writing that I really admire. Playing music was treated like a hobby in my household and the moment I mentioned to my family I wanted to take music more seriously it was a hard thing for my parents to digest. I listened to this album a lot along with many other female fronted projects. I think they subconsciously gave me that courage to continue writing and making music. ‘Criminal’, ‘Sleep To Dream’ and ‘Never is a Promise’ are a few of the many highlights off the album.

5. The Blow – Paper Television
I discovered The Blow when I moved away from home and was living on the West Coast of Canada. I love how lo-fi, dancey and catchy the songs are. The album gives me energy and inspiration. ‘True Affection’ is such an awesome song and makes me miss Vancouver a lot.

Thanks to Hannah for sharing her favourites with us. Listen to her single ‘Dreams’ below.
Pre-order your copy of All That Emotion here.

Re-Covered: Sally Anne’s Favourite Illustrated Albums

If you’re anything like us, throughout Lockdown you may have been seeking refuge in some of your favourite records, perhaps rediscovering some old classics along the way. So, for this new feature, illustrator Sally-Anne Hickman re-imagines her favourite ten albums of all time by painting their covers in her own unique style, using watercolours.

Check out the last of Sally-Anne’s choices below!

PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
PJ Harvey is a storyteller. This album is a macabre mix of chilling tales told over an unnerving organ and bluesy guitar. Harvey uses biblical imagery in her lyrics, she sings of the dry earth and hell, managing to somehow show a vulnerability in her strong raw vocals. The album is a display of her song writing mastery, PJ Harvey unleashes musical theatrics and melodrama and proves that quiet is just as powerful and disturbing as loud.

 

Sally-Anne Hickman
@sallyshinystars