FIVE FAVOURITES: Sea Change

Equally as inspired by the club music of LA and Berlin as she is by her quieter coastal surroundings in Kristiansand in Norway, Ellen Sunde aka SEA CHANGE’s sounds ebb and flow with a tranquil, yet deeply primal desire to move through a feeling that sometimes escapes written articulation. Her electronica ripples with emotion, but without every feeling weighty or over-thought, reflecting the way she feels about music in general. She’s set to release her new album, Mutual Dreaming, on 11th February via Shapes Recordings.

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 SEA CHANGE to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques and informed her new album. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Aurora Halal – ‘Death Of Real’
Aurora Halal is an amazing techno producer, I’m just totally mesmerized by her productions. This particular track is more mellow, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve recently been re-watching some videos of her hardware live sets. Wow! A total inspiration. Her music is super sensual and dreamy and has this dark psychedelic and shadowy vibe, and at the same time it’s also danceable. This combination was also something I tried to achieve on my album. She releases on her own label called Mutual Dreaming and, well, guess where I took my album name from? Just a little homage from me there.

2. Lövgren – ‘Power Surge’
Around the time I was producing Mutual Dreaming in my home studio, my friend Lövgren was finishing up his debut album, and his Burial inspired ambient made me realize I wanted to do more ambient textures in my music. I think his combination of hard hitting beats with manipulated vocal samples and textures is amazing. This was the first time I heard his music and I was totally blown away. It’s always really cool to be inspired by friends, it makes you try to reach even higher yourself. This track and the whole album is an amazing hidden gem that more people should listen to.

3. Julee Cruise – ‘Mysteries Of Love’
I was late to the party to watch the last Twin Peaks season, but when I finally did I got this total new fascination for Julee Cruise and her floaty voice over dreamy ambient. So then I had to re-watch Blue Velvet where this song is featured as well. Julee Cruise gives me a very strange and weird vibe – it’s almost too dreamy – I don’t even know how to explain it, but I guess that’s why it works so well cinematically in these films. This song was a very direct inspiration for the tracks ‘Mirages’ and ‘Mutual Dreaming’. I guess I sometimes can be a little afraid of singing too prettily over a beautiful instrumental track. Always a bit afraid of seeming too cute. But on ‘Mirages’ I tried to channel my inner Julee Cruise, and I kind of loved it.

4. Sassy 009 – ‘Okay’
The first time I heard Sassy 009 I was totally compelled by the ethereal feel, combined with her danceable beats. Sunniva who is the producer of Sassy 009 has a really stunning way of making her productions dreamy and experimental, but at the same time there’s several super catchy phrases in each song. It’s like all of them could be the main hook in a completely new track, but instead she spices up her song-writing with it and makes this beautiful forward thinking alternative pop of out of it. When I was looking for a mixer and co-producer for my last album INSIDE I looked everywhere for a person to work with. I tried different things out but didn’t really feel it worked. At that time Sassy 009 was a trio and released their debut EP, and I absolutely loved their vibe. I reached out to their mixer and co-producer and BAM – I found the right person to work with on INSIDE – BAYA and I also worked together on my new album Mutual Dreaming.

5. Haxan Cloak – ‘Excavation (Part 1)’
One thing that I loved about the process of producing my new album was that I felt I had the time to really go deep into learning new production styles. One thing I tried was reproducing tracks that I’m fascinated by, just to learn some new things in the process. This Haxan Cloak song was one of the tracks I tried to reproduce. Since this record came out I’ve been super fascinated by this album and especially this track. How it shifts and turns in the intensity of the production. The combination of the reverb heavy beats together with the heavy side chain makes you feel on edge the whole time. And it’s so dark and compelling that it makes me want to go into the woods and do some witchy rituals. My little copy of this track developed into its own thing and I split in two and it was actually planned to be the first and the last track on my album, but in the end I felt the first one didn’t belong there. But I kept the last part – which is called ‘Rituals’.

Thanks to Sea Change for sharing her favourites with us.

Watch the video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ below.

Follow Sea Change on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Photo credit: Simen Løvgren

FIVE FAVOURITES: LALA LALA

Following the release of her latest album, I Want The Door To Open via Hardly Art earlier this year, Chicago-based musician Lillie West aka LALA LALA is preparing to take her altruistic electronic sounds on tour across Europe and the UK in February 2022. Choosing to look beyond herself for themes and inspirations when creating this record, West co-produced the album with Yoni Wolf of WHY?, and had contributions from poet Kara Jackson, OHMME, Gia Margaret and her former tour mate Ben Gibbard.

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 LALA LALA to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her ‘DIVER’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Hildegaard – ‘Jour 8’
Hildegaard was introduced to me by my friend Pascal (Fashion Club) when I asked her what I should listen to on a bike ride. This whole album is a masterpiece. I think the production is perfect, it’s sparse but very intentional. This song in particular I’m truly obsessed with – the vocal loop, the bass line, the intertwining voices, the lyrics, the beat coming in half way through. I’m very inspired by Hildegaard, their music is restrained but super impactful. Enchanting.

2. John Carroll Kilby – ‘Walking Through A House Where A Family Has Lived’
I’ve been really into piano music lately and John Carrol Kilby is a beautiful contemporary pianist. I find this record to be very emotional. I don’t know how to play piano really at all, but I aspire to make a piano record and I listen to this all the time for inspiration. It makes me think of… wind? Wind moving leaves. Looking out a window peeling an orange.

3. FPA – ‘Baby’
I listened to this song for the first time walking down the street in the morning in Chinatown in NYC. My friend Andrew sent me the record because he worked on it some. I think it’s so incredible. I love this song. “My body pure, have I not paid it forward? My heart, she beats, did I not lay her on you?” The record is a story she wrote about Princess Wiko. I really want to collaborate with her.

4. Alabaster DePlume – ‘Whisky Story Time’
Wonderful saxophone player, very reminiscent of Mulatu Astatke. Introduced to me by my partner via the label he is a part of – International Anthem, which I highly recommend, everything they release is special. I love this style of saxophone playing, very loose, fluid? Sam Gendel is another sax player I love. Lately I’ve been mostly drawn to instrumental music, maybe because I’ve been stressed… Sometimes it’s just too much to hear other people’s words all the time. Anyway I love this record and Gus is also British, like me…

5. Dua Saleh, Amaarae – ‘fitt’
Two artists I love collaborating. Amaarae was introduced to me by my bandmate Yasmine who is a longtime super fan of her. I listened on our flight together to California. I love the panning on the distorted blown out beat. I love dancing to this song. It just moves around in a really satisfying way. I also love a pitched down vocal. Produced by Dua and Psymum.

Thanks to LALA LALA for sharing her favourite songs with us.
Watch her video for ‘DIVER’ below.

LALA LALA UK Tour Dates 2022
Feb 20 – The Green Door Store – Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 21 – Moth Club – London, United Kingdom
Feb 23 – Hyde Park Book Club – Leeds, United Kingdom
Feb 24 – Nice N Sleazy – Glasgow, United Kingdom
Feb 25 – YES – Manchester, United Kingdom
Feb 26 – Strange Brew – Bristol, United Kingdom

Follow LALA LALA on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Miwah Lee

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Five Favourites: SUEP

Led by SuepLord (Porridge Radio, Garden Centre, The GN Band) and Brain Wastefield (UK top model), London based SUEP are now a fully formed band with the addition of GN (The GN Band, Joanna Gruesome, The Tubs), Freakin’ Deacon (PC World, Garden Centre), and T-Mr.9 (Head of Pastoral Care). Interweaving jangly hooks with a whirring, psychedelic haze, the band recently released their debut single ‘Domesticated Dream‘. Oozing a vibrant, quirky energy, a joyous clatter of percussion swirls alongside uptempo electro-driven melodies and sweeping, honey-sweet vocals. A perfectly eclectic scintillating soundscape.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate SUEP’s new single, we caught up with Sueplord to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that she loves the most. Check out their choices below and scroll down to watch the unique new video for ‘Domesticated Dream’.

The Flirts – ‘Passion’
I only heard this song kind of recently, my friend Liam put it on in one of our YouTube sessions that me and my housemates often did during lockdown. It’s just so good and I reckon it’s quite theatrical, I really want to sing and act out all the words and dance along every time I hear it. I just looked up that The Flirts were formed by Bobby Orlando who worked with Divine and the Pet Shop Boys who I also love. I’ve been playing this song every time I DJ at the moment, and when I was on Green Man radio this summer I accidentally put on the extended mix which is just under 10 mins long but no one complained, that’s why I know it’s a good ‘un. There are a few performance videos of the song on YouTube and they are all amazing. I have definitely tried to use the song as a kind of exercise video by dancing along to their moves in my living room.

The Umlauts – ‘Boiler Suits and Combat Boots’
Ahh man I love the Umlauts so much, this is the first song of theirs I heard. It doesn’t have a video but it’s just such a great vibe and tune that I think I can get away with it. Porridge Radio played with them at two Library shows in Ashton and Widnes last month and there weren’t many people there and in Widnes it was a matinee performance, but they rocked it so hard, they sounded so large and full and it was literally impossible for me not to dance. I’ve listened to this song so much that when the synth solo came in I was singing along… They are stand up people as well. I can’t wait to hear their next single and the album. They are on Prah Recordings that are putting out some incredible stuff at the moment.

Jona Lewie – ‘I Think I’ll Get My Hair Cut’
Ok, this song is the song that I wish SUEP had written. But my man Jona wrote it. Jona Lewie is such a huge inspiration to me and Josh from SUEP. All of his songs have incredible hooks with a twinge of humour, which is exactly the genre I love, and I think it’s definitely a genre. One that Paul McCartney also fits into. I love that throughout the song he’s trying to be more attractive and popular and he’s concluded that to do that, he needs a haircut, but at the end of the song he realises he’s trying too hard and actually his hair is great. We’ve all been there. The synth riff that comes in goes straight to my heart every time I hear it, and I’ve heard this song a lot, I know all the words. By writing this I have concluded that SUEP should maybe cover this song. Keep your ears to the ground.

Becky Hill, David Guetta – ‘Remember’
Something a little different. I cannot contain how much I love this song. I have listened to it maybe a million times. The video is fine, don’t let it distract you from the lyrics:

“It’s only when I’m lying in bed on my own
And I wake up and I don’t see your name on my phone
It’s in the moments where I think that I’m better alone
That’s when I remember, that’s when I remember
Every time I walk past your house in the rain
And I tell myself that you were the biggest mistake
And just when I think I’m finally doing okay
That’s when I remember, that’s when I remember’

It gets me so deep every time. And it’s a huge club classic slam dunk. The amount of times I’ve been driving and yelling every word. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry with some kind of joyous sad tears. Nice one as well to Becky Hill, her voice is smash hits good. And David Guetta, all I can say is thank you. I’d just like to shout out to another song I would have put on this playlist that the rest of the band would have probably hated: Avicii – ‘Wake Me Up’ (definitely a song I wish I had written).

Alessi Brothers – ‘Seabird’
Damn, when this song drops and the vocals come in! The way the vocals are produced as well, they are so loud but so perfect. Normally I like vocals a bit buried, but this song has just got it. The lyrics are so beautiful and also is that a drum machine??? Also mega fade out vibes. It has it all.

Massive thanks to Sueplord for sharing their Five Favourites! Watch the video for ‘Domesticated Dream’ here:

‘Domesticated Dream’ is out now. It was recorded with producer Matthew Green (Sniffany & The Nits, The Tubs, etc.) at
SuepLord’s old house, which was once a youth centre in Surrey Quays, with the old sports hall being made into a makeshift studio where SUEP laid down a mini album worth of songs in two days, and later mixed by Mike
O’Malley (caroline, Girl Ray).

Five Favourites: Ailsa Tully

Following acclaim for previous singles ‘Greedy’ and ‘Parasite’ from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine, Welsh artist and GIHE fave Ailsa Tully has now announced the release of her upcoming EP, Holy Isle – due out in September. Taken from the EP, recent single ‘Sheets‘ insightfully reflects on those first moments of waking, as your senses gradually start to stir whilst limbs stretch amid the crisp white linen. Combining lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals, it oozes an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace. With a heartfelt splendour, it offers an exquisite slice of folk-strewn indie, resonating with a glistening allure and subtle, yet stirring, sentiment. We can’t hear to the EP very soon!

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the upcoming EP, we caught up with Ailsa to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that she loves the most. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to the uniquely captivating ‘Sheets’.

Rozi Plain – ‘Conditions’
Let’s start with this one because it’s a sonic masterpiece. I love how relaxed it is, how fluttery and flighty the synth parts are, the simple directness of the lyrics, and the grounding repetition of the bass riff. It has a wondrous quality like you are an (extremely calm) child on a day out, observing a blustery day by the beach.


Hildegard von Bingen – ‘Spiritus Sanctus Vivificans’
Hildegard von Bingen was a German Benedictine Abbess around in the 10th century and is one of the best-known composers of sacred monophony as well as being a respected writer, philosopher and mystic. I am so intrigued by her, a prolifically creative woman in the Middle Ages who was actually recognised for her work. Her music has an incredible purity and is so evocative of an ancient sacredness which I often feel I need to tap into. It reminds me of walking in the mountains in Wales where I grew up.


Joni Mitchell -‘Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow’
I listened to the album Hissing of Summer Lawns countless times with my Dad in the car. This was where I first fell in love with Joni’s lyrics and her ability to paint these incredible pictures of people and social situations. The power of her emotion and her voice just cut right through, coupled with these incredibly unusual arrangements. Every element is good enough to have made it amazing by itself. Me and Dad would talk about it on many journeys, extremely fond memories.


Sudan Archives – ‘Come Meh Way’
I am a cellist and spent a while trying to work out how to incorporate the cello into my live set up… In the end I gave up and turned to the bass. Sudan Archives made me wish I hadn’t. How she performs with a violin and how she uses it to accompany her voice is so unique to her, very mesmerising. She gets a really cool scratchy, earthy tone and puts it through loads of pedals. Catch her live if you can!

Caroline Polachek – ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’
I listened to this song all the time when I started dating my boyfriend. It reminds me of feeling all that crazy joyful excitement. It’s just a great pop song!


Thanks so much to Ailsa for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Listen to latest single ‘Sheets’ below:

Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 1st September via Dalliance Recordings.