ALBUM: Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’

Tentative, pensive and poetic; Fenne Lily has the ability to bruise, burn, and heal all within the space of a single track. Raised in Dorset and now based in Bristol, her debut album On Hold is a breath-taking collection of soft yet seething guitar ballads that strike the heartstrings in brutal and beautiful fashion.

Wary of being “pigeon-holed” after her over-night Spotify success with self-released single ‘Top To Toe’ (which also features on the album) a few years ago, it’s clear from opening track ‘Car Park’ that Fenne is self-aware when it comes to her songwriting style. Speaking about the track, she says:

“I’ll be the first to admit that my songs are far from uplifting, but while ‘Car Park’ chronicles yet another period of false hope and turmoil, it was written following the realisation that damaging patterns are enabled and suffered by the passive. I cannot and will not blame my heartache on anyone but myself, so this isn’t a song about pain, it’s a song about power”

It’s this quiet “power” that permeates her record, so even in moments of genuine sadness there’s a sense of relief accompanying many of her tracks. ‘Three Oh Nine’ may ache with desperation, but her brave revelations of fear of abandonment make it a therapeutic listen: “it’s a first for me, it’s a pain I need”.

The urgent and quietly consuming ‘What’s Good’ extends a somber but beautiful invitation for connection, and it flows wonderfully in to the heavy grace of ‘The Hand You Deal’. The gentle nod to learned experience from others on ‘More Than You Know’ is pure and compassionate, and this is mirrored in her simple acoustic guitar sounds.

Title-track ‘On Hold’ is a grateful ode to small acts of kindness, whilst ‘Top To Toe’ documents the seemingly inevitable changes you start to make when mixed feelings start to appear: “So I’m changing all my days to make your nights, it’s just not right…” The light, refreshing honesty of ‘Bud’ follows, with the charming ‘Brother’ behind it, before the penultimate ‘For A While’ opens more tender romantic wounds. ‘Car Park Overflow’ bookends this melancholy but hopeful record.

With the aid of producers Tamu Massif, James Thorpe, PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, and the mixing skills of Ali Chant; Fenne Lily’s debut album is set of delicate but passionate laments about the pain and the clarity that comes with falling in and out of love with others, and trying to be kind to yourself. Don’t put it On Hold, invest in her music ASAP.

On Hold is available online and in stores now. Order your copy here.

Catch Fenne Lily live at London’s Moth Club on April 10th (tickets here).

Follow Fenne Lily on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Hollie Fernando

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: April 2018

Another month, another brand new playlist brimming with fresh music! We’ve been (gladly) overwhelmed by the amount of brilliant new sounds bursting in to our ears this April, and we wanted to share our favourites with you here. Whether you’re in to the idustrial/electronic beats of Zola Jesus, the anti-fascist punk glory of Dream Nails, or if you’re breaking in to “mumble rap” with Tierra Whack…there’s something here for your listening pleasure. Scroll down to the playlist below & enjoy! 

 

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’ 
Artist & Producer Zola Jesus has shared an eclectic set of new tracks & remixes on Okovi: Additions, and ‘Bound’ is one of many sonic treats on this project. This release follows her 2017 critically acclaimed album Okovi (via Sacred Bones Records), and features remixes by a diverse cast of artists including; Johnny Jewel, Katie Gately, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Joanne Pollock. I’ve had this track on repeat since I first heard it in March, and I’m happy to stay ‘Bound’ by Zola Jesus’ sounds. Read our review of the album here(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Svengali’ 
Having previously worked alongside the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, American artist Wendy Rae Fowler has now released her new solo album, Warped. Taken from the album is the utterly bewitching ‘Svengali’. Filled with sweeping layers of sound and the cinematic grace of Wendy’s vocals, it’s a truly captivating creation. Read our review of Warped here(Mari Lane)

Rhye – ‘Please’
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Rhye perform in London this week, back in our ears after a four year hiatus.  What a treat. When they played this track I felt like I was melting into Heaven’s floor (apt), so incredibly gentle, sensual and intimate. I can never get enough of the gender-fluid vocals of Mike Milosh, now more so than ever. (Tash Walker)

Girls Names – ’25’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Belfast’s Girls Names’ new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full. Stains On Silence, the new album, is out 15th June. (ML)

Henry Green – ‘Another Light’ 
I recently reviewed Henry Green’s debut album Shift, and I felt like every track was a helpful reminder to inhale, exhale, and try to exist in the moment. His gentle electronics and intuitive lyrics have helped me to slow down (whilst still moving at full speed) this month, and I’d recommend him to anyone that needs a ‘Shift’ in perspective. (KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Magnets’
Keziah Stillwell’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics that prove Black Gold Buffalo have a knack for writing atmospheric dark-pop songs. Their debut album is released today via their own label Buff Rekkids, and we’ve been swooning over it ever since. Read our review here(KC)

Lamb – ‘Gabriel’
I was recently reminded of Lamb after we put together our alternative Best of British playlist this week. Gabriel is a solid blast from my past taken from their album What Sound released back in 2001, which was my soundtrack of that summer.  Listening to Rhodes’ distinctive and emotive vocals wavering over the top of a medley of string samples and gentle beats, this song marks the beginning of my love for electronic music. 15 going on 16 and very sexually confused. All the feelings, all the emotions and all the hormones in the world. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘Small Talk’
Filled with smooth, celestial vocals and folk-tinged melodies, Irish artist Maria Kelly’s ‘Small Talk’ is a majestic, emotion-strewn offering. Written during a storm blackout in her hometown, the song parallels the nature of a storm with her own feelings of social anxiety. Double A-side ‘Small Talk’/’Dark Places’ is out 27th April via Veta Records. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
Since I saw her live at The Islington pub a few months ago, Fenne Lily’s sad but sublime music has played on my mind (as has her sharp wit and dry sense of humour). ‘On Hold’ is the title-track from her debut album (released today), and it makes my spirits sink and soar whenever I listen to it. The accompanying video is a charming ode to small acts of kindness too. (KC)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (Rehearsal Room Recording)’
A beautiful stripped back cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Courtney Barnett. I love this simple recording of her performance, finding myself completely entranced by our Aussie fav. This song was released for an Apple commercial in support of marriage equality – here here. (TW)

Sit Down – ‘Honeysucker’
Oh. My. Word. There’s no force on earth that could make you sit still or indeed Sit Down to the sound of this Brighton duo (pictured above). The pair released their knockout debut EP Cheap Luxe at the end of March, and ‘Honeysucker’ is my go-to track. Filthy, furious, and sweet as hell. Read the full review here(KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Victim Age’
It was Transgender Day of Visibility on 31st of March (thanks to Tash for informing me), so it feels apt to support Queen Zee and all that she and her band mates stand for. They’ve been taking down trolls and tearing up stages across the country with their live shows, and I can’t wait to see them again at their sold out Sebright Arms show on April 26th. Long live Queen Zee! (KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” Dream Nails front-woman Janey rages in the refrain of our favourite Feminist Punk Witches’ ‘Vagina Police’. Oozing the poignant message that women are not allowed to have control over their own bodies, it races with the band’s trademark punk-fuelled energy and the riotous power of Janey’s seething, impassioned vocals. Another formidable offering that proves once again why we need Dream Nails in our lives, and makes us even more excited to see them live at The Finsbury for GIHE on 13th April! (ML)

Tierra Whack – ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
A twisted reflection of mumble rap and hip-hop, I cannot get this song out of my head and I especially love the ambiguity around what she’s saying, making it so much easier for me to join in.  Quietly. Mumbo Jumbo came out last year but I was recently introduced to her in the wake of her outstanding performance at SXSW. Soooo godamnnnn gooood. Need I say more? (TW)

BARQ – ‘Sassy Mouth’ 
One half of their new double A-side, Dublin band BARQ’s ‘Sassy Mouth’ is inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s Repeal The 8th movement and the perils of online debate. Oozing the soaring power of front-woman Jess Kav’s soulful vocals alongside immense funk-fuelled beats, it’s a powerful, and empowering, call to arms. (ML)

WATCH: Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’

If you’re a firm believer in small acts of kindness, then Fenne Lily‘s new video for ‘On Hold’ is going to brighten up your day. It’s the title track from her upcoming debut album (out April 6th), and the accompanying visuals are as sweet as the single sounds.

The video is a self-directed, DIY project which shows Fenne Lily roller-skating around London handing out roses, captured by her friend following behind her on a skateboard with a camera.

Speaking about the concept for the video, Fenne Lily says: “‘On Hold’ was written as a thank you for the warmth of the world when I was at my lowest, and I wanted the video that accompanied it to be a raw representation of this gratitude. Being nice is underrated. It makes me smile to watch, and dorky as it is, I feel this video communicates a joy that often goes untold.”

Dorky or not, we love it. Watch the video for ‘On Hold’ below, and check out her UK tour dates below. Tickets are available here.

Fenne Lily Live Dates 2018

6th Apr – Cardiff – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
7th Apr – Southampton – Heartbreakers
9th Apr – Brighton – Hope & Ruin
10th Apr – London – Moth Club
11th Apr – Manchester – Soup Kitchen
12th Apr – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
13th Apr – Glasgow – Stereo
15th Apr – Dublin – The Sound House
16th Apr – Birmingham – The Cuban Embassy
17th Apr – Bristol – Thekla

Pre-order your copy of On Hold here.

Follow Fenne Lily on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Fenne Lily – The Islington, London 31.01.18

Fenne Lily‘s understated, soft, yet seething lyrics captivated her sold out crowd at The Islington on Wednesday night, and we were impressed by her tentative voice and startling self-awareness.

Whilst persistent sound issues kept taking listeners out of the moment, Fenne Lily managed to bring them back in to it with a combination of perfect vocals and self-deprecating humour. Whilst her songs often ring with sadness and pain, her not-so-PG stories – including one about a guy who ruined Back To The Future for her by asking for a blow job – make her live performances a real joy to witness.

Accompanied by her bassist and drummer for the majority of her set, she effortlessly performed singles ‘What’s Good’, ‘Bud’ and ‘On Hold’, as well as delivering a solo rendition of track ‘Brother’, which was particularly poignant. The tear-inducing ‘Three Oh Nine’ was also performed in Fenne Lily’s trademark modest, yet stunning style. Even in her sleep-deprived state – she’d spent almost a solid 24 hours hand-painting tote bags for her fans – she’s a beguiling, beautiful performer.

We recommend you catch her now, before she inevitably becomes uncatchable.

Support came from Oxford group Be Good, who won the crowd over with their indie-pop sounds and hap-hazard charm.

Fenne Lily’s debut album On Hold will be released on 6th April. Pre-order it here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Fenne Lily – ‘For A While’

Keep yourself steady this Saturday with the pensive, poignant sound of Fenne Lily‘s new track ‘For A While’. Though her previous singles hint at a fuller band sound, her latest track takes things back to basics, offering a simultaneously delicate and powerful listen.

Fresh from supporting the likes of Charlie Cunningham and Ed Tullet, Novo Amor, Fenne Lily has announced a handful of headline shows to kick off 2018 and for the first time she’ll be joined onstage by her new band. Dates are below, and tickets are on sale now.

Follow Fenne Lily on Facebook for more updates.

Fenne Lily Live Dates Jan 2018:
17th Jan – Eurosonic Festival, Groningen NL
31st Jan – The Islington, London UK

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut