Track Of The Day: Varley – ‘Married With Bruises’

Having charmed us live at Notting Hill Arts Club a couple of years back, Berlin based Varley have now shared a courageous and vivid reveal – ‘Married With Bruises’ – taken from their 2021 album, Smalltalk and DMCs. With an impactful track title suggestive of Varley’s tender subject dive, the three-piece have found a divine formula for exposing poignant subject matter with compassion. 

As a testament to Two Thousand Years, ‘Married With Bruises’ is a raw look into generational patterns of patriarchy and misogyny. As a highlight from Smalltalk and DMCs, it is an indie-pop venture that lyrically pays testament to its delicate narrative while musically encouraging liberation with a communal, orchestral disposition. Smooth, reverberated guitar cast a stormy spell for Irish front woman Claire-Ann’s voice to dance upon as her effortless vocal authority draws listeners into the world of Varley. 

As vocal layers are intricately woven during the track’s chorus, ‘Married With Bruises’ shimmers as Claire-Ann’s frustration festers over the repeated mistreatments thrusted upon women, her “mother’s mother” and later, onto herself. The discomfort of being shoved around and controlled is felt by just listening to the honesty in her vocal delivery as it cuts through the lilting instrumentation for our undivided attention. Of the meaning behind the track, Claire-Ann expands:

“It weighs heavy on me sometimes when I see that I am being treated differently to my band mates. Is it because they have willies and I don’t? Or do I allow myself to be spoken to in a way that they would never accept? The one thing I am so grateful for is that my band mates see it too and they always have my back when they see it happening. I never really confront it but you can be sure I’m gonna write a song about it and that’s why ‘Married with Bruises’ is so special to me. It was my place to vent when I felt I was being treated differently or unfairly or being spoken to in a creepy way just because I am a woman.” 

Cinematic bass expands the universe of ‘Married With Bruises’ as the track’s bridge becomes a cathartic outro, ultimately spiralling into a thunderous soundscape filled with haunting nuances reminiscent of Angel Olson. Captured with such grace and vulnerability, it offers a captivating insight that is both singer-songwriter genuine and art-pop captivating.

Watch the stirring new video for ‘Married With Bruises’ here:

Smalltalk and DMCS, the latest album from Varley, is out now.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

WATCH: Why Bonnie – ‘Galveston’

As the days get shorter and colder, the latest single from Texas quintet Why Bonnie is a much-needed blast of sunshine. ‘Galveston’ is uplifting, grown-up guitar pop that’s busting with love and longing.

Blair Howerton’s rich, wistful vocals recall childhood visits to island city of Galveston, Texas. Backed by melancholic guitar and whirring keyboards, the song epitomises faded seaside glamour. However, while Howerton’s voice is soft and soothing, the driving energy of the drums and bass create a buoyant piece of irresistible pop.

‘Galveston’ is described by Howerton as “…a snapshot of an old childhood haunt; the capital of ghosts and good memories.” But it’s not just the lyrics and subject matter that take the listener on a nostalgia trip. The band’s sound is reminiscent of the very best fuzzy, female-fronted ’90s indie-pop. Belly and Throwing Muses fans, this is right up your street.

Directed by Grace Pendleton and capturing the track’s twinkling emotion perfectly, watch the beautiful new video for ‘Galveston’ here:


‘Galveston’ is out now on Fat Possum records.

Vic Conway
@thepicsofvic

Photo Credit: Grace Pendleton

WATCH: CRISP&CLASSY – ‘Boom Bay’

Having released their fantastic debut album XTRA CRISPY last month, Feminist LGBTQIA+ electro-pop duo CRISP&CLASSY (aka producer Kat Knix and singer-songwriter Plushy) pride themselves on bringing sexual liberation and self-acceptance to the UK pop scene. Following the release of the euphoric single ‘Boom Bay‘ earlier this year, the duo have now shared a vibrant new video to accompany the track.

Exuding a colourful queer joy and blissful sassy splendour, the playful, fun-filled visuals are the perfect accompaniment to the track’s sensuous, soulful drive and its uplifting, empowering lyricism. A wonderful celebration of self-love and our connection with each other, it’s just what you need to start off the weekend – a truly liberating treat for the eyes and ears that’ll exhilarate and inspire.

Of the new video, CRISP&CLASSY tell us:

We are so excited to share our first music video with the world. This is a music video sponsored by our fans and made for our fans!

We had the absolute honour to work on this project with incredibly talented director Leo Lebeau and stunningly gifted producer James Bell. They have inspired us and milked the best out of us in this video. More iconic artists who worked on this project are stylist Tudor Covaciu, MUA Alberto Papparotto, wig styling by StyledByVodka and more wigs by Manwigs, drag artist Polka Dot, intersex model Deanna Jade.

The storyline follows us on a sexy journey, surrounded by a community of LGBTQIA+ performers. This is how we’ve always wanted our fans to see the CRISP&CLASSY World. Empowering women, non binary people, and the LGBTQIA+ community has always been our mission statement, and was important to include in this video, and our future work.  We love giving our audience a gender and genre bending experience, inviting them to a safe space where everyone can feel safe and seen.

We really enjoyed shooting this project and we love everyone who was there on set and in spirit with us from a far. We love u!”

Watch the new video for ‘Boom Bay’ here:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: KIN – ‘The Runaways’

Having previously charmed our ears with the sounds of ‘L.O.V.E’ and ‘Sharing Light’, and with over 310,000k streams of their songs on Spotify, London trio Grace, Ritu and Adam – aka KIN – have now shared another ambient new single.

Oozing a glistening, emotion-strewn splendour, ‘The Runaways‘ reflects on the mixed feelings of leaving a settled life and started afresh somewhere new. As the distinctive celestial allure of Grace’s vocals flows alongside chiming hooks and a shimmering energy, it’ll gently tug at the heartstrings with its poignant lyricism and a heartfelt ethereal majesty. Taking the listener on a mystical adventure, it’ll immerse you in a sparkling sense of romanticism, creating a stirring ode to finding a sense of belonging – a feeling of being home, not necessarily in a place, but in a person who you feel a deep connection with; a sentiment depicted beautifully in the accompanying self-directed video. With an exquisite emotive charm and captivating musicality with shades of The XX, ‘The Runaways’ is a perfect slice of blissful alt-pop that’ll cast you under its sparkling spell on first listen.

Produced by Josh Tyrell (Lana Del Rey, Mark Ronson), ‘The Runaways’ is out now via 3tone Music.

Mari Lane
@marimindles