Track Of The Day: Painted Zeros – ‘Break’

“I always felt I loved you more than you returned / a lesson learned” confesses Katie Lau – aka Painted Zeros – on her latest single, ‘Break’. The Brooklyn-based musician & sound engineer blends reverb-strewn guitar with her tentative vocals to communicate the emptiness left behind by a past love.

Lifted from her second album, When You Found Forever, set for release on 29th May via Don Giovanni Records, ‘Break’ is a poignant, bittersweet reflection on the grief caused by a painful breakup. “It’s a little bit about being broken hearted over a girl,” Lau admits, “But it’s more about the interior experience of being hurt — of feeling completely alone in the universe, that state of despair where you feel loveless and abandoned by all earthly and non-earthly things.”

Lau’s lyrics reflect the unfairness of this despair. Her soft vocals make lines like “I always hoped the one day it would be my turn / to give the hate” seem less spiteful, and more painfully honest. Towards the close of the track, when Lau sings the eponymous lyric, there’s a sense of relief and closure, underscored by more of her woozy, spiralling guitar sounds.

‘Break’ is accompanied by a video, shot and directed by Lau. The footage is full of springtime blossoms, birds, and sunshine; providing a bright contrast to the song’s underlying message of sadness, and showing that there’s still life after heartbreak. Watch the video below, and follow Painted Zeros on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: Love & Solidarity

It’s safe to say, each and every one of us right now is going through a hard time; a scary, strange time filled with uncertainty and fear. A time when feelings of anxiety are heightened and we need to seek refuge in our favourite music more than ever.

So, we wanted to put together a few tunes to soothe the soul; to calm and to motivate. Some music to aid positive thoughts and relaxation, and taking time for yourself to switch off and de-stress is so essential right now. Take a deep breath, unwind, and let us send you all a big dose of love and solidarity as you hit play and follow this playlist.. (link below)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’Bedroom Dancing’
Because I need Kathleen’s voice more than ever right now. This chilled number from one of my favourite albums, Le Tigre’s Deceptacon, just oozes so much twinkling heartfelt emotion from Hanna that my heart bursts a little more on each listen. Also, we will all no doubt be doing plenty of ‘Bedroom Dancing’ over the next few weeks/months…(Mari Lane)

Noga Erez – ‘Global Fear’
I listened to this track at least once a day on my commute to work pre-pandemic because, despite its melancholy context, I find it really relaxing. I’m a big fan of Noga Erez anyway, but I find her music extra impressive at a time like this, because it makes me feel both alienated and connected at the same time. She’s set to release her second album at some point this year, and that’s a small thing I’m holding on to. (Kate Crudgington)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Tears’
One of my favourite tracks from Nilüfer Yanya, and a slight move away from her guitar heavy tunes, ‘Tears’ captures you and takes you along with its bouncing beats and sad reflective lyrics. It’s been great to watch this artist reach the acclaim she so rightly deserves, and it reminds me of a personal highlight seeing her play at Primavera 2019. It was the definition of sun-drenched guitars. (Tash Walker)

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘Breathe’
Taken from their latest album Two, here our favourite Norwich duo create a soothing, sparkling majesty; oozing the soaring, calming vibes that we all need right now, it’s a truly exquisite offering, highlighting that it’s more important than ever now to make time each day to switch off, to simply breathe. And if you do that whilst listening to this euphoric soundscape, I guarantee it’ll make you feel a little better. (ML)

Massive Attack – ‘Safe From Harm’
This Massive Attack tune never fails to calm me down. The snaking bass lines and Shara Nelson’s mesmerising vocals override the threats being explored in the lyrics, making it an oddly soothing listen. (KC)

Portishead – ‘Roads’
Taken from my most listened to album of all time, ‘Roads’ is one of those tracks that never fails to calm me. With a cathartic raw emotion and whirring energy that builds with each throbbing beat, I find something deeply therapeutic about it. It’s the same with the whole of Dummy, but this song is probably just a notch above the rest. Listen, close your eyes and let the impassioned grace of Beth Gibbons’ heartfelt vocals take you down a road of healing. (ML)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Tiny Dancer’
Whatever your mood, electronic artist & producer Elsa Hewitt has a tune to accompany it. I was so caught up in her live set when she played for us at Notting Hill Arts Club in 2018, I could’ve listened to her mixing and triggering her ambient tunes all night. A perfect distraction in these strange times. (KC)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. It was a complete pleasure to see her perform for our IWD x Sofar Sounds gig a couple of weeks back. Listening to this song now, it leaves me reflecting on the older generations of our society, who we must all rally around as a community to help support through this uncertain time. (TW)

Babeheaven – ‘Seabird’
A perfectly dreamy accompaniment to gazing out the window at the beautiful blossom and budding dafs swaying in the breeze; a reminder that nature carries on, birds will continue to sing, flowers continue to grow, even when everything else is in disarray. I’ve found it really grounding over the last couple of weeks to focus on this, to seek solace in nature. And the luscious, soulful energy and beautifully rich vocals of ‘Seabird’ couldn’t be more welcome right now. (ML)

Connie Constance – ‘English Rose’
I first heard this cover about a year ago, but it’s really resonating with me at the moment, especially with the moments I go outside. Originally by The Jam, for me Connie Constance’s cover is the soundtrack to my daily stroll, enjoying every second I can of being outside at a time when we really value the things we used to take for granted. (TW)

Christine and the Queens – ‘Mountains (We Met)’
This track has been playing on repeat in my flat over the last couple of weeks, loved so much by my girlfriend who it brings a real sense of calm to. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be in lockdown with my loved ones, and the importance of staying connected week to week. Connected, we are a community, and communities can survive anything with love and solidarity. (TW)

Sharon Van Etten – ‘Beaten Down’
A poignant reflection on “love, patience and empathy”, Sharon Van Etten’s voice smoulders across dark synths, atmospheric keys and sparse echoing beats on this track. “‘Beaten Down’ is about making life-changing choices and remaining strong enough to see them through”, Etten explains. I think it’s okay to admit that the current situation has beaten most of us down, but I think you’ll be surprised how resilient you can be in the face of adversity too.
(KC)

Rilo Kiley – ‘A Better Son/Daughter’
With its twinkling emotion strewn splendour and heartbreakingly raw honesty, this is my go-to cathartic motivational soundtrack in life generally, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve pretty much been listening to Rilo Kiley on a loop. And I feel like this song in particular, with its impassioned and relatable lyricism, is a pretty spot on mantra of hope for getting through these strange times: “… You’ll fight it, and you’ll make it through… You’ll be awake, you’ll be alert // You’ll be positive though it hurts // And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends…” (ML)

Mazzy Star – ‘Fade Into You’
One of the most beautiful and touching songs, from ’90s slow-core band Mazzy Star. ‘Fade Into You’ is so slow, considered and full of emotion, it’s hard not to get completely mesmerised by it. Escapism at its best. (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Blush’
I can’t listen to a Wolf Alice track without experiencing a flood of emotion. Most of the time it’s a giddy feeling that makes me want to stomp about and sing Ellie Rowsell’s lyrics really loudly; but with ‘Blush’, I always get a bit choked. It’s such a soft, romantic, sentimental tune. I’m looking forward to singing “Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck, happy happy” into my sisters’ faces again when all this blows over. (KC)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
There is so much that is so perfectly poignant in this song – the glaringly honest and completely relevant social commentary showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. But a subtle glimmer of hope also shines through; the comfort we gain from those we love, and the comfort we can offer them just by being there (even over a Zoom or Skype meet!). So, even when it feels like the world is ending, we can still find happiness in each other: “… then we smile at all our friends… Even when I’m weak and I’m breaking… I can see your faces. There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces.” (ML)

PLAYLIST: Valentine’s Day 2018

Look, we know Valentine’s Day will never top Galentine’s Day, but we might as well hijack this awful date and try and use it as an excuse to get another cracking playlist set up for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to celebrate romantic love, sisterly love, brotherly love, other-worldly love – or just stay in with a bottle of whatever and seduce yourself – we reckon this playlist has you covered….

Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’ 
When Paul and I first started going out, I was living in Dorset and he was living in London, so we were sort of pen-pals for a while – sending each other mixtapes and little drawings (his were much better than mine, obvs). One weekend when I was missing him a lot, I received a package with a copy of Best Coast’s Crazy For You album enclosed. The title track has been one of ‘our songs’ ever since. An upbeat, summery tale of naive romanticism and all-consuming love. (Mari Lane)

Wolf Alice – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
“I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out…” My heart beats so hard when I hear the opening line of this glorious tune from Wolf Alice. The sweet, reluctant lyrics and gentle synth sounds make having feelings for someone sound like the most tender and precious thing in the world – even if they scare you half to death when the track stops playing. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘You Have Another Lover’
An anti-valentine ode to love and betrayal from Danish faves of mine Kill J. Equal parts heavenly and haunting, ‘You Have Another Lover’ layers and loops, so unsettling and so suffocating. This was actually where my favourite phrase to date “so chill I can’t even” derives from. (Tash Walker)

FKA Twigs – ‘Good To Love’
I heard FKA Twigs’ debut album LP1 for the first time after a painful break-up a few years ago, and I was captivated by her musical explorations of lust and heartbreak. I always return to the album when I feel lost or rejected, but stand alone single ‘Good To Love’ is another soft, calming tonic for the moments when my heart starts second-guessing itself. (KC)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’bedroom Dancing’
Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time, this uncharacteristic ballad of Le Tigre’s is a simple, lo-fi proclamation of love. Maintaining the stripped back nature of Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin project, it showcases a subtle fragility to her vocals; one which is often hidden behind her powerful persona. And, with lyrics like “The world’s a mess and you’re my only cure”, it seems to sum up the feelings of longing and vulnerability that can come with being in love, however independent we may normally be. (ML)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Lance Jr’
The excellent lyricist Courtney Barnett delivers some of my favourite lines in this track ‘Lance Jr’, where she casually sings about masturbating to a guy’s songs followed by “Doesn’t mean I like you man/It just helps me get to sleep…” Legit. We’ve got to look after ourselves people, and what a difference a good night’s sleep makes. (TW)

Alvvays – ‘Archie, Marry Me’ 
This song from my fave Canadian band just always puts a smile on my face. Paul and I have spent many an evening, or car journey, singing this to each other. It just makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. (ML)

Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’
Originally sung by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, Nirvana released this as their debut single back in 1988. It’s one of my favourite songs, and I still feel a glorious buzz whenever I spin it. (KC)

Joan Jett – ‘Crimson & Clover’
If you’re not singing this classic in to the face of the one you love on karaoke by the end of the day, you’ve failed Valentine’s Day 2018. (KC)

Blondie – ‘One Way or Another’
Co-written by Debbie Harry, this track is actually about an ex of hers who took things too far and started stalking her… I think it’s good to know what’s out there guys, this is still a tale of love, albeit obsessive creepy love. (TW)

Deep Throat Choir – ‘Baby’
I’ve seen Deep Throat Choir live a number of times, and each time it’s been a simply euphoric experience watching the exceptional power of these women uniting their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. This exquisitely beautiful cover of the Donnie and Joe Emmerson ’70s classic just gets me every time. (And, don’t tell anyone, but if I ever get married I’d like Deep Throat Choir to come and sing this at the wedding, please). (ML)

Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’ 
If you can listen to this song without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I ever will be. The heartbreakingly poetic lyrics, the stripped back instrumentation, the soaring, subtle power of Joni’s incredible vocal range; it’s just a devastatingly perfect love song. (ML)

Track Of The Day: Anteros – ‘Love’

Our eyes and ears are blossoming in to heart-shapes at the “effervescent pop” sounds on Anteros‘ latest single ‘Love’. Produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman, Bloc Party), The London-based band channel Blondie and The Cardigans on their brand new ode to the all encompassing universal emotion.

‘Love’ follows on from Anteros’ previous single ‘Bonnie’, which will be released on vinyl as a AA-side in Flying Vinyl’s December boxset. Speaking about the track, frontwoman Laura Hayden says: “Everyone is so scared, the world is so fragmented. Love is self explanatory, really, in the general sense of the word. It’s about putting LOVE first: before race, before fear, before hate, before greed.”

This year, Anteros have played sold out shows alongside Two Door Cinema Club, Sundara Karma and Blaenavon, made a splash on the pages of NME, Sunday Times Culture and Vogue and begun work on their debut album, due for release next year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for the group, but we suspect it will ‘Love'(ly).

‘Love’ is available digitally now. Follow Anteros on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut