FIVE FAVOURITES: Sarasara

One Little Indian Records signee Sarasara is set to release her second album Orgone on the 5th of July which she co-produced with Liam Howe of label-mates Sneaker Pimps (Nülifer Yanya, FKA Twigs, Tom Vek, Lana Del Rey) and it looks set to be a versatile, experimental delight.

Sung mostly in French and dealing with themes of suicidal thoughts, existentialism and meditation, Sarasara moved from Paris to Margate at the beginning of 2018 to write her new record, which features collaborative tracks with Peter Doherty of The Libertines. We caught up with Sarasara ahead of her headline show at St Pancras Old Church on Thursday 4th July (tickets here) to talk about her “Five Favourite” albums – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below…

1. Malik Djoudi – Cinema
I’ve discovered Malik’s music recently when he played with me in New York at France Rocks festival, the very first show of my Orgone tour. I fell in love instantly, his live show was so good and his songs so catchy. Me and my team are currently touring in Asia and Europe and we’ve been listening to him like crazy people. His definitely part of our tour playlist.

2. ASAP ROCKY – Testing
I love a bit of American rap & hip hop sometimes. I think this one is a bit of a UFO, I look forward to it every-time I listen to Testing, the album, I love the vibe, it takes you back to America. I would love to work on a rap project at some point, I have absolutely no idea how, but I love the idea of a new challenge, it’s exciting.

3. Tricky – False Idols
I’ve always been a fan of Massive Attack, Tricky solo projects included, and it is an absolute honour to have had my production sound compared to his, but it was never my plan when I started to write music. Lately, I’ve been thinking there’s probably something for me to learn from this because it keeps coming up, and I’ve been digging into his old albums again. False Idols and Adrian Thaws are two masterpiece albums for me. ‘Parenthesis’ is one of my favorite songs ever.

4. Garbage – Garbage
I’ve been listening to Garbage since I was a teenager. I discovered them when I was maybe 12, 13 years old, via Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Shirley Manson was playing a gig at the Bronze, which is the music venue where the Scooby gang goes every night. It made me want to dig into their music. Then I discovered Garbage and Garbage 2.0 which are two brilliant albums. At that time for me, Shirley Manson was really impressive and I was seeing her as a role model, a powerful front woman, a rebel. She was singing boldly, screaming stuff like “Make the beat go harder”, wearing crazy outfits in crazy music videos. That’s what I was feeling like at that time, rebel and raw. I remember I got kicked out of school for several days because I arrived there one day with bright pink hair, nose piercing and massive boots, I just wanted to look like her but teachers thought it was “a bit much” . Anyway, I heard the song ‘Milk’ several times randomly while on tour, so I’m listening to the album G again.

5. MONOLOC – Drought
I’ve got a thing for dark techno. I’ve been following Sascha since his debut on Chris Liebing Recordings. I love his way of incorporating techno music and his aesthetics. I can feel soul in his productions, there’s the dark and raw side, but there’s also always a touch of gentleness somehow. I love the combination of both. I think he definitely stands out from the crowd. I am really honoured and proud that he remixed my single ‘Blood Brothers’, first extract of my upcoming album Orgone, the result is stunning. I can’t wait for it to be released.

Thanks to Sarasara for sharing her choices with us. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Big Joanie

DIY punks Big Joanie have had a great year. They’ve toured extensively across the UK & Europe, supported our faves Dream Wife at Camden’s KOKO, and last week they released their debut album Sistahs. Their music is a mix of the personal and the political, and we wanted to know what inspires the girls to create their own sound. We caught up with band member Stephanie Phillips to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
I’m a huge Sleater-Kinney fan and it all started when I was a teenager. Listening to Dig Me Out in my bedroom when I was 16, I remember feeling a well of emotion in my chest. It was like I wanted to shout out loud with the song but I could never get the words out, even when I was alone. My journey from a shy, reserved kid to a singer in a band has mostly been through listening over and over again to this band and learning how to sing along. I’m pretty sure Carrie’s stadium rock guitar style has crept into my playing as well.

2. The Breeders – Last Splash
It’s hard to pick a favourite out of all of The Breeders albums, but Last Splash had a huge impact on me. Kim’s way of creating something that can still be a bit rough or unusual as long as its honest has been an approach I’ve tried to follow. The Deal sisters know their way around a harmony and it’s glorious to listen to them when it seems to come so naturally. Big Joanie’s album also opens with a song called ‘New Year’, not the same song but I must have subconsciously taken a note of this. It doesn’t matter how many times I go back to this album it’s still one of my favourites.

3. The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
I once went on a date with a guy who said he didn’t like ‘60s girl groups. I knew then and there I couldn’t be with that person. Who doesn’t love girl groups? From The Crystals to The Shangri-Las, I’ve studied every type of girl group but one of my all time favourites is The Ronettes. Ronnie Spector’s voice still sounds as arresting today as I imagine it did when the group first debuted. Though Phil Spector is a detestable human being, he was a visionary producer. The all encompassing wall of sound he was known for worked so well with The Ronettes sound. It’s a sound I’ve always wanted to capture myself. I know the wall of sound would have been nothing if it wasn’t for the young black women Spector worked with who gave it a voice.

4. Throwing Muses – Untitled
Again similar to the other artists I’ve listed, Throwing Muses have so many albums that influenced me but I have to pick their first album. I loved the complexity of the song structures, the emotional depth of the lyrics and the unusual turns and twists the record took. The album made me think about different ways to write pop songs. It made me think about how some of the best songs always take a different path to reach their destination of eventually becoming a pop song. Songs like ‘Vicky’s Box’, which is essentially a three part epic packed into a five minute song, shouldn’t work but they do.

5. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
The raw blues punk of Peej soundtracked my early years and it’s still with me today. I love this album for all its worth. It’s strikingly intelligent, funny (even though many male journalists at the time didn’t seem to get her humour) and displays a level of emotional vulnerability that is rarely seen. Her dark sensibility and slightly twisted takes on love, lust, pain and anger captured my attention when I first listened to the album. I couldn’t believe that was the way people felt whether it was about her own experiences or not. Her ability to switch between different voices and tell numerous stories in her songs is comparable to the greats like Bob Dylan. I’m pretty sure for as long as I live I’ll always be trying but failing to replicate the work Polly created on this album.

Huge thanks to Steph for sharing her five favourites.

Order your copy of Big Joanie’s Sistahs here.

Follow the band of Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Five Favourites: Annabel Allum

After seeing Annabel Allum support Australian songwriter Stella Donnelly earlier this year at The Lexington, we knew her talent would take her to the places she wanted to be. She’s been gigging relentlessly this year, with spots at Reading Festival, BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend, The Great Escape and Boardmasters and more, and now she’s heading out on a headline tour of the UK.

We caught up with Annabel to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – Five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below and make sure you head down to one of her tour dates too.

1. ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ 
The sounds, the experimental element of it. Just the whole feel of this record stands very close to me. It always has done. Every track has a very vivid memory or feeling.

2. Janis Joplin
Her energy and freedom inspire me to let go, her attitude does too. What a woman. And her voice- fucking hell. Not gonna try and use words to explain that one.

3. The XX – ‘XX’
This record always reminds me that less can be more. Space in music is valid, and I don’t always need to fill it.

4. The Mouldy Peaches
Haha, I don’t care what any of my musician friends say, I fucking love the Mouldy Peaches. They remind me to stop taking myself so fucking seriously and singing about real life tiny funny experiences is good. And being loose as a band can be fucking cool too. They’re brilliant.

5. Jimi Hendrix – ‘Are You Experienced?’
Because it reminds me to stop thinking about what is musically correct. I know fuck all music theory, but I know what sounds and feels good.

Annabel Allum UK October 2018 Tour Dates
13th – Crofters Rights – Bristol
15th – Sticky Mikes – Brighton
16th – The Shed (Vault Stage) – Leicester
18th – The Hifi Club – Leeds
19th – Cuban Embassy – Birmingham
20th – SWN Fest – Cardiff
29th – Studio 2 – Liverpool
30th – Moth Club – London

Photo Credit: Caitlin Traetto

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut