WATCH: Tomberlin – ‘happy accident’

A captivating reflection on the mental toll of existing in emotional purgatory when you’re in an undefined relationship, American songwriter Tomberlin has shared her latest single ‘happy accident’. Taken from her second album, i don’t know who needs to hear this… which is set for release on 29th April via Saddle Creek, ‘happy accident’ is a sincere, relatable guitar tune underscored by Tomberlin’s tender vocals and candid, relatable lyrics.

The follow up to her 2020 EP Projections and her debut album At Weddings (2018), Tomberlin’s new record promises to “to examine, hold space [and] make an altar for the feelings.” On ‘happy accident’ she unravels the many disconcerting thoughts that come with not knowing where you stand with someone romantically. Her observational lyrics cut deep throughout the track, particularly lines like: “walk five miles from my door / just to give you some more / do you just talk to me / when you’re lonely and bored?”

“‘happy accident’ is a song about relational obscurity. Trying to sort out who you are or who you were to someone,” Tomberlin explains. “Is this relationship romantic or is it just sex? Do you want to spend time with me or are you just bored? Do I make my own decisions that are good for me or are my decisions predominantly based on what I think you might want or need? I was kind of walking through moments in previous relationships in my life. I wanna know why someone wants to get to know me. Do you want to know me or just your idea of me? Do I want to know you or just my idea of you?”

From breaking away from her highly religious roots as a Pastor’s daughter in Kentucky, to relocating to New York to play music and featuring as a guest vocalist on Phoebe Bridgers’ last album Punisher, Tomberlin’s unconventional journey into music has paved the way for her exquisitely confessional songwriting. She’ll be touring the UK & Ireland in April and May this year.

Watch the video for ‘happy accident’ below.

Tomberlin UK & Ireland Tour Dates 2022

April 28th Margate – Caves
April 29th Nottingham – Rough Trade
May 1st Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
May 2nd Manchester – Yes (Basement)
May 3rd Edinburgh – Voodoo Rooms
May 4th Birmingham – Cuban Embassy
May 5th London – St Matthias Church
May 6th Cardiff – Clwb For Bach
May 7th Brighton – Kmedia Studio
May 8th Dublin – The Grand Social

Follow Tomberlin on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Photo Credit: Michelle Yoon

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Karima Francis – ‘Say’

In what feels like a gentle stroll down a dim, busy street, LA based Karima Francis releases her stripped-back single ‘Say‘. With a steady, comforting mix that is folk-inspired in its narrative, and indie in its disposition, it sparkles in its simplicity, allowing Karima’s songwriting to shine through without obstacles. 

With ample time to dabble, reflection advances Karima to a moment of realisation where she becomes aware of her self-made walls. In times of isolation, sometimes our relationships may feel like they are under a microscope, even the relationship with one’s self may become that way. This poignant offering is self-aware in its apprehensive footsteps, offering to become smaller to make space from a place of anxiety. With both its beautiful musicality and stirring lyricism, ‘Say’s universe builds up boundaries whilst tearing others down. 

Warm, widespread bass and laid back drums spread a blanket out for Karima’s ideas to nestle in balance. There is a subtle energy to ‘Say’ that feels like a summer breeze, whilst lush guitar hooks stay humble and satisfying, passing through naturally without invasion. Oozing an immersive intimacy, Karima whispers her worries in a delicately rousing close vocal, with shades of the emotion-strewn splendour of Phoebe Bridgers. 

Of the track, Karima explains:

Say’ is about the isolation caused by Covid -19 and how that can impact relationships closest to you.The song lyrics came to me whilst I was on my daily run, the whole cycle of Covid repetition was becoming overwhelming. My ongoing battles with CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) became more outward and started to impact those around me.” 

‘Say’ is a ticket for a walk in Karima’s shoes, a saunter down awakening realisation; a necessary catharsis.

Jillian Goyeau

Track Of The Day: BECAH – ‘Reminders’

With her debut EP Freak on its way, Northern Irish alt-indie artist, BECAH, has released ‘Reminders‘ – an utterly captivating new single. It’s a powerful expression of vulnerability, with honest lyrics and underpinned by brooding instrumentation.

‘Reminders’ is a soundbath of sweet tones, with sweeping synthesisers, jangling guitar and BECAH’s heavenly vocals, all fusing together to build a hypnotic atmosphere. Although there is a fuzzy sweetness in the instrumentation, there is an underlying darkness to the track. It is constantly building and there’s a cinematic drive, reminiscent of bands like Muse. Every instrument seems to create tension, pulsating and building with an epic grandeur.  

BECAH’s combination of powerful instrumentation with her expressive vocals and lyrics is truly poignant; there is an empowering element to the song, revealing a strength in being vulnerable. The subtle layering of their vocals really emphasises this duality. The vocals are tender, almost fragile, but they are layered to create power, whilst still conveying vulnerability. Musically BECAH reveals shades of singer-songwriter greats such as Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, and contemporaries such as Phoebe Bridgers.

Of the track, BECAH reveals: 

“I wrote ‘Reminders’ in the aftermath of a very toxic relationship with a past girlfriend. The coinciding music video, filmed by Chris McCann and directed by John Dynes and Chris McCann, presents a glimpse into that story – the good times I had with her in the beginning, to its violent turn. The lyrics speak of the struggle I had to feel like myself again, and how all my attempts to push away all the little details and memories of that time felt futile.”

Watch the stirring new video for ‘Reminders’ here:

Freak, the upcoming debut EP from BECAH, is set for release later this year.

Jaz Kelly

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sunflower Thieves

Combining charming vocal harmonies and soft guitars to create their delicate pop-folk sounds, Leeds duo Sunflower Thieves write tunes inspired by personal narratives and nostalgia. Their musical creations have blossomed out of a sixteen year friendship between band members Amy and Lily, and their upcoming single ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ is a warm reflection on staying grounded and safe within the relationships with the people you trust.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Amy and Lily to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired their song-writing techniques. Check out their choices below and scroll down to watch Sunflower Thieves’ lyric video for ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ at the end of this post.

1. Sylvan Esso – What Now
Lily: Since I was first introduced to Sylvan Esso with their song ‘Hey Mami’, I just completely fell in love. Amelia’s gorgeously beautiful vocal alongside Nick’s impossibly catchy production is just the perfect mix to leap around your bedroom or just lie on the floor and weep. When this album came out I was absolutely obsessed and it’s all I wanted to listen to for a really long time. I remember every time that me and my best friend got in the car to go anywhere we’d blast it out on the country roads and just scream along without a care in the world.

I think the main thing I gained from listening to them was the reassurance that having a soft vocal does not mean that you can’t sing. At the time when we started singing together I felt very self conscious about my voice because I wasn’t/will never be a belter! But as I grew up and started listening to more and more music I realised that that wasn’t the be all and end all.

2. MUNA – Saves The World
Amy: I first came across MUNA through one of my Uni lecturers. I don’t think he would have predicted what an impact they would have on me. Lyrics are a big thing for me and there aren’t many people who cut straight through to your feelings like MUNA. It’s hard to choose between this album and About U, but Saves The World came along during my time at Uni and for me, it’s attached to a lot of my personal growth, new experiences and wonderful friends found during that time. I can’t wait to be back in a room with my friends, dancing to this album and celebrating loving each other and being exactly who we all are.

3. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps
This is our joint choice and always our reference for writing inspiration, production inspiration and general wonderful human being inspiration. We couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve been working on a song and one of us has said “you know in ‘Scott Street’ where she does this…we could try that!” We’d never heard anyone say things the way she says them before and when we first heard ‘Motion Sickness’, it was an instant “yes please.” Phoebe has helped us find our sound, inspired us to write the kind of music we want to write and we definitely aspire to achieve the kind of poetic realism her lyrics hold. In this album, Phoebe helped Sunflower Thieves’ writing grow and she hasn’t disappointed since.

4. Darwin Deez – Songs For Imaginative People
Lily: It was hard to choose which Darwin Deez album to pick! I think I know every word to every song he’s ever released. However, I reckon this album has really influenced the lyrics I write. The word play in his song-writing is something I strive for and all his outer-space metaphors excite me, I just love how geeky he is! I feel like we’d get on. I first heard of him because a friend at school recommended his song ‘Radar Detector’ and that was it, I was hooked. My favourite song on this album is ‘Alice’, it’s the song that plays automatically every time I plug my phone into the car stereo and I don’t hate it! I just love how honest and real he is, in a weird and wonderful way.

5. Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles
Amy: My ultimate go-to running/driving album (drumsssss + Springsteen vibes). I first saw Sam Fender play live at The Bodega in Nottingham in 2018 and have followed his journey since – I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about an artist’s debut album. I listened to nothing else for weeks after the release – my friends and housemates at the time can attest for that! I have Geordie family, so I guess that’s why I feel at home with his music.
It’s so refreshing to hear an artist address real, difficult subjects with such intimacy and fragility. This album makes me feel angry, powerful, vulnerable and uplifted. And probably most importantly for me, the lyrical content of this album makes me want to write songs.

Thanks to Amy & Lily for sharing their favourites with us!

Watch the lyric video for Sunflower Thieves’ new single ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ below.

Follow Sunflower Thieves on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Alice Ashley