WATCH: Montauk Hotel – ‘White Billboards’

Dublin four-piece Montauk Hotel have shared visuals to accompany their shimmering single ‘White Billboards’ released via Reckless Records earlier this year. The track is a reflection on the power of advertising in society and how the models featured within these adverts influence our choices, happiness and feelings of adequacy.

Through a montage of vintage advertising footage, the video gently questions whether a society with empty billboards would give people more freedom, or whether it would leave them lost and unable to regain a personal identity. Montauk Hotel’s luscious soundscape makes these poignant themes easier to reflect on.

Watch the video below and follow Montauk Hotel on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Julia Shapiro – ‘A Couple Highs’

“When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything” explains Julia Shapiro about her upcoming debut solo album Perfect Version, which is set for release on June 14th via Hardly Art. Having taken a step back from life as Chastity Belt’s vocalist & guitarist after a difficult year, Shapiro has returned with the second single from her new record titled ‘A Couple Highs’; and it’s a breezy, soothing drop of aural medicine.

The track is accompanied by a set of visuals directed by Claire Buss, and is a subtle homage to Kelly Reichardt’s 2008 film Wendy and Lucy, showing Shapiro and her canine doppelganger explore the quiet beauty of suburban Seattle. Shimmering guitars and Shapiro’s gentle voice make the track a real tonic for the ears, and the knowledge that Shapiro played all the instruments herself makes for extra listening satisfaction.

Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process, and it shines through on her latest single. Watch the video for ‘A Couple Highs’ below and follow Julia on Twitter for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Julia Shapiro’s Perfect Vision here.

Photo Credit: Eleanor Petry

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Valeska Rautenberg – ‘Berliner Morgen’

Berlin based musician Valeska Rautenberg has shared visuals for her new track ‘Berliner Morgen’ and they’re as cinematic as the soundscape that accompanies it. Taken from her most recent EP Veins: Songs for Piano, Wind & Water, the single is one of four songs that form a collection of “memories, favorite places, and forgotten tales” for the artist.

Valeska’s ambient soundscapes and minimal piano music takes listeners on a journey through her hometown, experiencing and concentrating on thoughts and feelings both she and the listener may not have noticed before. Speaking about her new music, she explains: “Sometimes there’s no need for words. You can let the wind whisper, the water roar, the birds talk, and the streets of Berlin tell their stories”.

‘Berliner Morgen’ in particular captures the beauty and solitude of a walk through Berlin at 5.30 in the morning. Valeska extrapolates: “Imagine coming out of a club (possibly slightly drunk) into the peaceful Berlin drenched in blue. With your blurry night-tainted vision you hardly see the dirt, only the serenity and sweet melancholy of the big B”.

Watch the video for Valeska’s new track below and listen to the Veins EP in its entirety here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Thallo – ‘I dy Boced’

Gentle, soothing sounds and startling visuals come together on ‘I Dy Boced’, the latest release from Welsh artist Thallo. Premiered on Welsh blog Y.Selar last week, the songwriter’s talent for creating sounds that are easy on the ear shines through on her new single.

Roughly translated as ‘In Your Pocket’, Thallo’s new song is a fusion of archaic lore and personal experience, mixing elements of jazz, folk and electronica. Accompanied by a six-piece band and their celestial instrumentation, Thallo sings her pretty lyrics in both the Welsh and English language.

“Described as “a paradoxically bittersweet rose-tinted fantasy” ‘I Dy Boced’ is an intriguing release from an intriguing newcomer. Watch the video for the single below, and follow Thallo on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

SKYND

WATCH: SKYND – ‘Jim Jones’

An industrial spiked exploration of how manipulative the human mind can be; SKYND have shared a video for their latest single ‘Jim Jones’. The duo – formed of vocalist SKYND and producer Father – are inspired by true crime, so far sharing tracks about infamous serial killers and their victims including ‘Elisa Lam’, ‘Gary Heidnik’ and ‘Richard Ramirez’.

Both their sound and aesthetic are intensely dark and unsettling, and their new material is no exception. Speaking about the new single, SKYND explains: “I always wanted to write about Jim Jones because I’ve long been fascinated by how easily people are manipulated when it comes to religion. It was interesting how people followed him while ignoring all of the facts to the contrary about who he truly was.We put the facts of the story into music. I was also intrigued by the audio tapes of him talking his followers into suicide, I knew I had to write about it.”

Producer Father also offers some insight in to the song’s context: “Although this horrible mass suicide happened 30 years ago, this case, at its core, is more relevant than ever. Where it has always been easy for religious leaders and governments to brainwash people, it became very easy for the silver-tongued Joe Blow to do so in recent years through the help of social media and the internet. Through the invention of the World Wide Web, we’ve been promised the age of information, which ironically became the age of misinformation. It is now harder than ever to tell the difference between the facts and what’s fake. Could this development lead to a fatal event like in 1979, but on a global scale? It’s harder to imagine that it couldn’t.”

SKYND’s uncompromising vision and wariness of the warped minds of others has culminated in a fascinating new video for ‘Jim Jones’. Watch the visuals below and follow SKYND on Facebook for more updates.

SKYND UK Live Dates 2019
5/9 — The Great Escape — Brighton
6/14 — Download Festival — Donnington

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Gurr – ‘She Says’

A hazy ode to being on the road and ricocheting between emotions; Gurr have shared visuals to accompany their new track ‘She Says’. Taken from their new EP of the same name which is set for release on 5th April, the Berlin duo blend dream-pop and psych sensibilities on their new tune.

They’ll be releasing four videos from the EP, and ‘She Says’ is the first from the collection. Speaking about the footage, Laura Lee explains: “We collected all this footage during our our summer of festivals last year. It was a bit of a schizophrenic time as we were always going back and forth between these positive festival vibes to the quietness and reality of home. That is what we were going for in the video”

She Says was recorded with New York producer Mathew Molner (Sunflower Bean, Friends) and Berlin based producer Tobi Kuhn at the UFO studios in Berlin. The band will play at SXSW in March this year and will be touring in Germany in April too. Watch the video for ‘She Says’ below and follow Gurr on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: LUCIA – ‘Blueheart’

Glasgow’s answer to Wolf Alice, LUCIA return with their Galentine anthem ‘Blueheart’. The single is accompanied by a stunning Kubrick-esque video which pulls you in to frontwoman Lucia Fairfull’s uncompromising vision – a mix of Bonnie Tyler meets Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base.

Self-directed by Fairfull, the video is set in a vast estate which mirrors the hugeness of the band’s sound. Talking about the video, the band describe it as “what happens when you feel trapped in a toxic bubble”. The sinister imagery hints at what happens when that bubble pops, with Lucia lopping the heads off flowers and dragging a spade seemingly to a grave site. Taking no prisoners, this song is for anyone who’s endured, suffered and survived a shitty relationship.

Expertly produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) and mixed by Charlie Holmes and Mark “Spike” Stent (Beyonce, Arcade Fire, Florence, Lady Gaga) LUCIA are tipped for greatness in 2019 and ‘Blueheart’ is a fantastic place to start.

LUCIA UK Tour Dates 2019
02/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Rough Trade, Bristol
03/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Mama Roux’s, Birmingham, UK
04/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Joiners, Southampton, UK
05/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Dingwalls, London, UK
06/04/2019 – 07/04/2019 Brewdog, Aberdeen, UK
11/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Stereo, Glasgow, UK
12/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Think Tank, Newcastle, UK
13/04/2019 Good Karma Club, Rock City Basement, Nottingham, UK
05/05/2019 Hit the North, Newcastle, UK (LUCIA)
10/05/2019 The Great Escape, Brighton, UK
21/05/2019 Hopscotch, Sebright Arms, London, UK
26/05/2019 Bearded Theory Festival, Derbyshire, UK

Mark Docherty