Track Of The Day: Ailsa Tully – ‘Sheets’

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 announced the release of her upcoming EP next month. Taken from the EP, she has now shared a brand new poignant offering.

Flowing with a shimmering, stripped back musicality, ‘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. There is something uniquely captivating about the juxtaposition of the vocals and the rippling instrumentation; the gentle build up and crescendo evoking images of waves delicately crashing against swathes of sand. Of the track, Tully explains:

 “’Sheets’ is about restlessness and trying to let yourself be still. It’s about waking up and feeling the anxious urge to be productive, to wash your clothes, to make your bed, but forcing yourself to slow down in order to share a moment with someone.”

With a heartfelt splendour, ‘Sheets’ offers an exquisite slice of folk-strewn indie, resonating with a glistening allure and subtle, yet stirring, sentiment. A simply beautiful creation that tugs at the heartstrings, leaving us eager to hear Tully’s upcoming EP in full.

 Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 20th August via Dalliance Recordings.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Maja Lena – ‘The Keeper’

Maja Lena is the latest moniker of Marianne Parish, formerly of Low Chimes. Following bewitching singles ‘Sacred Practice’ and ‘Birch’, she has now shared new offering ‘The Keeper’ – the title track from her debut solo album, set for release this summer. 

Maja Lena’s music is ethereal and beautiful, led by a haunting and unpredictable vocal melody. The song is meditative and introspective, as Parish explains: “…the song name ‘The Keeper’ to me resembles the keeper of the self…” She adds that it “… is about our relationship to ourselves and how we view ourselves. Whether we hold trust in ourselves and if the way in which we strive can ultimately lead to us feeling less satisfied in life.”

The instrumentation is folk-inspired, with nylon and acoustic guitars in conversation with an eerie double bass. Rachael Dadd’s backing vocals weave together with Parish’s lead, culminating in a psychedelic mantra-like chant. Rob Pemberton’s synth, warm and warbling, complements the classic folk sound alongside the haunting dissonance from the cymbals. Together, it creates a serene and natural ambiance oozing a spellbinding magic.

The video, with a witchy charm, was made together with Parish’s husband Luke Oakley-Smith and filmed on a ’90s VHS camcorder to reflect an eerie nostalgia. Abundant with pastoral imagery, beautiful animals and Kate Bush-like dancing, it captivates and reflects the introspection and curiosity inherent of the song.


The Keeper is out 23rd July via Chiverin Records. Save / pre-order the album here to find out what other magical realms it will take us to.

Jazmine Kelly
@surfjaz

Photo Credit: Aloha Bonser-Shaw

EP: Gold Baby – ‘Rabbits’

Gold Baby’s debut EP, Rabbits, is a real treat for the ears and soul. The band – fronted by singer-songwriter Siân Alex – show their versatility with this accomplished and assured collection of lush, folk-infused dream pop.

Opener ‘Bodie’ is the soothing soundtrack we all need right now. With retro, woozy guitars and drums that thump like a heartbeat, it has echoes of ’60s girl groups. And like those glorious, bittersweet ballads that bands like The Ronettes or The Shangri-Las sang back then, ‘Bodie’’s lyrics dwell on loneliness and longing. It’s a real standout.

The band show their playful, experimental side with ‘2041’ – a punk-inspired number with jerky spiky guitars and a lo-fi, shouty chorus (“And I said NO!”) that act as the perfect foil to Siân’s pure, calming voice. It’s brave and brilliant; the sound of a band who refuse to be pigeon-holed and are keen to grow and evolve.

Closing tracks ‘Betty’ and recent single, ‘Captain Dorego’, are quieter, deeper and more confessional, reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens and The Unthanks – very much in the folk storytelling tradition. ‘Captain Dorego’ is particularly affecting, dealing with Siân’s experiences of being overstimulated by modern life. Something that, in these crazy times, we can all relate to.

Ultimately, with Rabbits, Gold Baby show that they can both soothe you and make you shimmy (check out the video for ‘Captain Dorego’ for more of the latter!). The band’s confidence and chemistry, coupled with Siân’s raw, self-revelatory songwriting and beautiful vocals, come together on this release to create something that’s pure magic. Listen if you want something pretty that packs a real punch!

Rabbits is out now. Download via Gold Baby’s bandcamp

Vic Conway

Video Premiere: Hazel Iris – ‘Needles’

With acclaim from the likes of Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music, and having worked with Grammy award winning Tom Biller on her album Nine Sisters, classically trained, Berlin-based, musician and songwriter Hazel Iris is known for her intricate sonic tapestries and rich lyrical storytelling. Fusing together elements of folk, indie, classical and traditional songwriting, her creations consistently remain truly unique and emotionally poignant.

Collaborating with London-based filmmaker Mona Najma, Iris has now shared a new video for her track ‘Needles’. Reflecting on the power of womanhood, and the anthropomorphic relationship between woman and nature, it’s propelled by a twinkling majesty, flowing with a sparkling uplifting splendour as the ethereal grace of Iris’ vocals captivate the ears. Accompanying the sweeping, effervescent musicality, the video features beautiful pastoral imagery as a woman makes her way through the forest. An utterly enchanting tranquil soundscape bringing a subtle message of hope, now that spring has arrived, with an equally stunning cinematic visual to match.

Of the significance of the video’s imagery, Iris explains:

Historically forests have often represented a space where “women” can roam free in folklore, which is why it stylistically takes inspiration from films such as Daughters of the Dust, The Company of Wolves, and Valerie and her Week of Wonders.

Filmed in the Berlin forest Grunewald, with archival footage of the Californian Yosemite Valley, watch the exquisite new video for ‘Needles’ here: 

Mari Lane
@marimindles