Track Of The Day: BERRIES – ‘The Expert’

Bursting into your eardrums with a spiky guitar riff dancing around commanding vocals, the new single from London trio BERRIES tackles imposter syndrome with uncompromising grunge-fuelled power. Following latest single ‘Copy’ and the release of their recent EP Live From Big Smith Studios,The Expert‘ showcases the band’s the ferocious energy and sparkling charisma once again.

A firecracker of a track, ‘The Expert’ balances jagged punk heaviness with evocative harmonies while the lyrics take down patronising know-it-alls in the process. The mid-track instrumental is nothing short of rock perfection with its immediate call to mosh-pit inciters, pairing super fuzzy bass with a climbing guitar solo and head-bang worthy drums. BERRIES’ urgency is infectious, and – as the last note rings out – you’re left inspired to stomp around and take back control from your own so-called ‘experts’.

Of the track, the band explain:

Lyrically, ‘The Expert’ is based broadly around ‘imposter syndrome’ and the condescending controlling people who encourage this and internal struggles often felt… Instrumentally we wanted this song to build into itself, adding layers as we journey through the track. Starting off fairly minimal and finishing with layers of effects, fuzzy bass and drums, and the repetitive guitar riff which symbolises the loud and often unwanted voices heard all around.

Leonie Bellini
@teenpeachmovie

LISTEN: Sunken – ‘Show Me Your Mind’

Having previously supported the likes of Babeheaven, and newly signed to 7476 (Matt Maltese, Lizzie Reid, London band Sunken have now shared a dreamy new single. A fierce blend of throbbing bass and sharp synths, ‘Show Me Your Mind‘ is a song “about the subtleties of how someone presents themselves to you“. There is so much scope for exploration in that topic, and this song zeros in on it wonderfully.

The drum beat and the rich bass line form a solid core that carries the song from slower opening bars into its intense ending, as the pace picks up and the synths build until the track swells into bursting emotion. The musicality provides a foundation for Poppy Billingham’s incredible vocals that match its force perfectly. Billingham has a strong, captivating voice that sweeps you into the raw torment of the track.

The lyrics are simple, with repeating phrases that shift as the relationship progresses. They imagine a setting for that feeling that inspired the track; it embodies that sense of being in limbo with someone you can’t quite grasp with any sense of certainty. The lack of specificity allows you to project your experiences of people who are closed off – regardless of how an individual holds their guard up, this song reflects that universal feeling that you’re not getting the whole picture.

‘Show Me Your Mind’ is an intensely emotional song that combines lyrics, vocals and a stirring musicality into a genuine and powerful track. With only slight changes in intonation, it captures the joy in sharing what you know of someone, the fear of what you’re being shut out of, and ultimately the hope that an unfolding relationship may reveal the rest to you. It’s open-ended in a way that’s almost optimistic, but doesn’t shy away from that initial pain.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Track Of The Day: Desperate Journalist – ‘Personality Girlfriend’

Having been charming us for a number of years now with their hypnotic, ’80s-reminiscent indie soundscapes, London’s Desperate Journalist have now announced a new album, set for release next month. Ahead of the album, the band recently shared new single ‘Personality Girlfriend‘.

Reflecting on society’s obsession with “putting women into boxes/on pedestals...”, ‘Personality Girlfriend’ flows with jangly, scuzzed-out hooks and a swirling, shoegaze-tinged allure. Building with a fizzing energy as the distinctive, honey-sweet vocals of Jo Bevan soar with a subtle power, it glistens with a shimmering anthemic grace and reverb-strewn splendour. Whilst harking back to the grittier Britpop of the early ’90s, here Desperate Journalist once again manage to create something that is entirely their own – exquisitely fusing together their influences, whilst adding their own unique, captivating majesty and immersing the listener in the track’s poignant subject matter. Expanding on the song’s meaning, Bevan explains:

The stupid idea that we are either gorgeous airheads with no inner life, or Plain Janes ‘with a great personality’, is exhaustingly pervasive in the way people talk about relationships, and both ‘categories’ are negging, nasty excuses for not granting respect to the person in question… The song is also a riposte to the tired old cultural trope that in order to be worthwhile or interesting a woman has to be incredibly strong and some kind of paragon of virtue and/or intrigue, when men are rarely held to the same standardI’m a real person with needs and desires and interests and I fucking dare you to discount me.”

Watch the new video for ‘Personality Girlfriend’ here:

Recorded entirely in Crouch End during lockdown, Maximum Sorrow – the upcoming album from Desperate Journalist – is set for release on 2nd July via Fierce Panda Records. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Nick JS Thompson

VIDEO PREMIERE: The Pearl Harts – ‘Suck It Up’ (Live At Anchorbaby Studios)

A classic rock and roll anthem full of pounding drums, commanding vocals and raucous guitar licks, London-based duo The Pearl Harts have shared an exclusive live video of their track ‘Suck It Up’. Recorded in the summer of 2020 and filmed at Anchor Baby Studios in Kent, the band teamed up with producer Dan Lucas and videographer Sean Hardy to make the slick new visuals, which reflect the power and charisma of the duo’s live performance.

The Pearl Harts – like many bands – were hit hard when the covid-19 pandemic put a stop to touring in March 2020. The duo used their time in the subsequent lockdowns to remotely write & record material for a new album, and once restrictions were lifted they began performing a series of socially distanced gigs, including a drive-in show with VC London, the UK’s only all-female motorcycle crew.

Now, the pair are busy preparing for an interactive online gig with Blacksanta at The Fiddlers Elbow on Thursday 20th May. Whilst audiences are still not permitted inside, they’ll be able to experience the band’s set live from their own home, with the ability to be seen and heard by them in the venue. Fans can also join friends in groups, video chat in the virtual bar and continue to text chat whilst the performance unfolds. Tickets are available here.

Watch the video for ‘Suck It Up’ below for a taste of what to expect from The Pearl Harts on the night.

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut