PREMIERE: Charlotte Carpenter – ‘Spinning Plates’

Having charmed our ears as a guest on our radio show, and with 2017’s Shelter EP, East Midlands artist Charlotte Carpenter has previously shared stages with artists such as Marika Hackman and George Ezra. Now, having received acclaim from the likes of NME and BBC Radio 6Music, she has announced the release of her debut album later this year.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Spinning Plates’ offers a poignant reflection on the power structures and misogyny within the music industry. Propelled by a fierce energy, Carpenter’s gritty, raw vocals flow alongside catchy Americana-infused hooks. With a stirring sentiment that is all too relatable – lyrics such as “I’m just trying to be a better sister / daughter / lover…” highlighting how women’s worth is so often only seen as important within their relationship to men -, the track oozes an impassioned blues-soaked allure as it builds with a glistening, anthemic drive. A striking call to arms to fellow women and marginalised groups within the industry, ‘Spinning Plates’ offers a defiant return to form from this innovative artist, showcasing her ability to fuse together her trademark soulful musicality with a cathartic, empowering spirit.

Of the track, Carpenter explains:

There’s a lot to unpack in this songfrom societal pressures on the roles you are meant to fulfil as a woman, alongside the struggle of keeping up a relentless positivity to being a musician – and how impossible it is to ever get the balance between the two.”

Watch the new video for ‘Spinning Plates’ here:

‘Spinning Plates’ is set for release tomorrow, 17th May. Catch her live (supporting SOFT LAD and Kelli Blanchett):

14th July – The Finsbury, London 
27th July – The Victoria, Birmingham
28th July – Black Prince, Northampton
30th July – The Castle, Manchester 

Photo Credit: Fraser West

WATCH: Marlody – ‘Runaway’

Marlody is a singer-songwriter from Kent signed to Skep Wax Records. Her acclaimed debut album I’m Not Sure At All came out last month, and ‘Runaway’ is the third single off the record; a delicate and enchanting song that will leave you wanting more. 

‘Runaway’ opens with warm organ keys flowing; the soothing allure drew me in immediately. Marlody’s clear and present vocals come in next, taking centre stage and demonstrating this is a no-frills, lyric and vocal-driven song. Marlody’s voice is beautifully soulful, you can hear the feelings ejected into the lyrics, poignantly reflecting on “being on the brink of oblivion: contemplating the beauty of nothingness but stepping back just in time”. The stirring words convey a sense of regret and longing, giving the song a melancholic feel tinged with a glimmer of hope. 

Although ‘Runaway’ remains pretty stripped-back in instrumentation and production, the vocal production captures every detail which makes you feel more connected to the words, immersed in its raw emotion. Some very subtle drums enter later on and satisfying vocal overlaps and harmonies give the track another moment of satisfying interest. It’s refreshing to hear a track that isn’t overloaded with sounds and noises, and allows the vocal to take precedence. 

Accompanying the song is a music video which shows a blurred figure from behind, walking through different pastoral scenes; a stunningly atmospheric visual which perfectly conveys the overall feel of the lyrics. Watch it now:

To hear this captivating voice is person, Marlody has upcoming gigs over summer in London and Kent including a date at London’s prestigious Bush Hall on the 20th May. Grab a ticket and check out the rest of her album, I know I will.

I’m Not Sure At All, the new album from Marlody, is out now via Skep Wax Records.

Ella Patenall

WATCH: HMS Morris – ‘Family Souls

Family Souls’ – the latest single by the Welsh art-rock band HMS Morris – is as fun and surreal as the band’s name suggests. A joyful collage of a song, it brings together elements of soul, funk and indie to create a bouncy pop banger that’s both experimental and perfectly polished.  

Reminiscent of Tuneyards, ‘Family Souls’ quickly wedges its way into your brain, as front person Heledd Watkins unleashes the song’s infectious, angular hook. When she dreamily utters “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” it blends jerky instrumentation with sweet pop harmonies like a wonky ’60s girl group. 

At the heart of the song is a creative conundrum. The lyrics explore why Watkins finds it hard to perform in front of her family or, as the band put it: “the dissonance between Heledd’s roles as a dutiful west-Walian daughter on one hand, and as a badass creative force to be reckoned with on the other.” As the front person of a band with such vibrant eccentricity, it’s hardly surprising that Watkins wrestles with this. But I hope she resolves it soon; if this song and the incredible video are anything to go by, her family are missing out on an incredible performer! 

Created by Trigger Happy Creative, watch the new video below:

‘Family Souls’ is out now via Bubblewrap Records.

Vic Conway

Five Favourites: Heather Woods Broderick

Having played and toured with the likes of Sharon Van Etten and Beth Orton, LA based artist Heather Woods Broderick has just released her fifth album, Labyrinth. Partly written during the lockdown of 2020, the album offers a beautifully honest reflection on life and the difficulties of navigating the modern world. Oozing an anthemic, sparkling splendour and glistening allure, each track chimes with a captivating heartfelt resonance.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Labyrinth, we caught up with Heather to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite albums, and make sure you watch the atmospheric new video for latest single ‘Crashing Against The Sun‘ below...

Cindy Lauper – She’s So Unusual
This record was released the year I was born. It was an outlier in my parents’ record collection, one that was mostly made up of folk/singer songwriters of that era. It was my absolute favourite record to put on as a young girl, and I have vivid memories of the babysitter coming over and playing this record while we all danced around laughing together. It was most definitely the most upbeat music I can remember listening to as a young child, and it left a huge impression on me. I love how this record is catchy, silly, and strong at the same time.

Tricky – Pre Millenium Tension
I listened to this record on many runs over the course of writing Labyrinth. It was a big inspiration as far as rhythm and beats go for me. I really love the simple repetitive nature of hip hop / trip hop music, and I think Tricky does an amazing job melding genres. I love the use of the closed high hat in these beats (and in a lot of hip hop), and this influence showed up in the beats I made for the record.

Gigi Masin – Talk To The Sea
Beats and soft synths – I’m a big fan. The simple meditative beats and simple melodies that echo through this record have really infused into me over many many hours of repeated listening. The kind of record that makes time become amorphous. This would definitely be a desert island disc choice of mine, and I think the simple tones and beats in this record really influenced me and my desire to make my own beats.

Phil Collins – But Seriously
This is one record that punctuated my childhood. The song ‘Another Day In Paradise’ was on the radio a lot as a kid. I can remember this song coming on while we were driving around in the family Volkswagen Vanagon. The soft synth sounds of this record and era in general are sounds that I am so drawn to, so I feel like I can attribute that pull to my experience hearing them at a formative age.

Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes – Music For Saxofone and Bass Guitar
Repetition – I’m a big fan of it, and this record is all about it. It settles you into a groove and it lets you stay there. I love the concept of this record and have played it countless times. These guys are incredible players, and I’m always impressed when players that can shred choose not to. It feels like their individual styles have room to come forward with this ‘less is more’ approach.

Massive thanks to Heather for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the atmospheric new video for latest single ‘Crashing Against The Sun’ here:

Labyrinth, the new album from Heather Woods Broderick, is out now via Western Vinyl.

Photo Credit: Sophie Kuller