FIVE FAVOURITES: FRIEDBERG

Alt-indie outfit FRIEDBERG – The brainchild of Austrian singer-songwriter Anna Friedberg – came together as a result of frustration at the wider industry and being in the right place at the right time. Originally discovered by Lenny Kravitz, Anna spent much of her time as a songwriter travelling between Europe and America, gaining influence from the spaces she was surrounded by – particularly the Joshua Tree National Park in the Californian desert.

Inspired by her time writing and recording in the wilderness, Anna moved to London where she teamed up with a group of musicians – Emily Linden, Eilidh McKellar and Cheryl Pinero. In the summer of 2018, the girls began playing a handful of secret shows which then led to a singles deal with London indie label LGM Records (Goldheart Assembly, Amaroun) and Free Trade Agency (The National, The War On Drugs). Thus, FRIEDBERG was born. The band have just shared their debut single ‘Boom’ and will be releasing more new music in the near future.

We asked Anna, Cheryl and Eilidh to name their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to ‘Boom’ at the end of this post!

1. ESG – ESG
The hottest band and album in the world (still). I still cannot believe I discovered ESG and their ’91 album only a few years ago. What have I done all my life before I knew ESG?! To me, they are coolness personified and much more than that: So groovy and hooky and minimalistic, just everything I love combined on one record. What I found most inspiring is the incredibly unique drumming. I really have never heard a tastier, more special way of drumming. I could endlessly just listen to that record. It just never gets old, probably even fresher every year. (Anna)

2. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit
It was probably the best time in my life: 2015, driving through California, into the desert of Joshua Tree, windows rolled down and singing along to Courtney Barnett’s debut album. It was at that time when I also started to write the music for our new album and Courtney was just like the gentlest and freshest breeze carrying me on that special journey. I just cannot express how much I love her lyrics. Her stream-of-consiousness style, the way she tells her stories is simply sublime. So smart and beautifully written, that you just cannot escape. Not to forget her super laid-back vocals and phenomenal guitar playing. (Anna)

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
I almost cannot listen to that album without seeing PJ Harvey in my mind’s eye performing those songs at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona a few years ago. Whenever I listen to that record I’m back there, standing in the middle of thousands of people, by the sea, totally overwhelmed by her jaw dropping performance and presence. Polly’s haunting live-show is to blame, why this became one of my favourite albums of the past years. (Anna)

Warpaint – The Fool
I’ve listened to this record probably a million times since it came out. It has such an uncompromised sound to me, because each individual song shows so many facets, with such effortless dynamic. I love the raw, dreamy and deep feel to their music. What an amazing band! (Cheryl)

Radiohead – Ok Computer
I first discovered this album when I was about 13, but truly came to love it when I was 17 when I performed the whole entirety of the album at university. ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Let Down’ are my two favourite tracks. Thom Yorke’s vocals are trippy and haunting. Listen to it while walking in the rain (Eilidh)

Photo Credit: Max Parovsky

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PREMIERE: Cerian – ‘Wasteland’ (ft. Robert Taira Wilson)

‘Wasteland’ is the debut single from London-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Cerian. It’s the first single to be released from her upcoming EP, Caught in the Dark – a series of songs written in the middle of the night.

A self-confessed “lifelong insomniac”, Cerian’s profoundly personal songs have grown out of her struggle with both the literal and internal darkness felt in the isolation of the early hours of the morning. Frustration and fear have come together in a calm, emotional union on ‘Wasteland’, on which her call & response vocals are matched beautifully with Robert Taira Wilson’s.

Of the track, Cerian explains: “In the dead of the night, terrifying existentialism takes over: seemingly frozen in time, you feel unable to traverse the space between where you are and where you want to be. The precipice of the unknown future is calling, but you don’t know if you’re going to fly or fall, if you can find the courage to jump.”

Fortunately, Cerian found the courage to write, produce, and create all the accompanying images and visuals to accompany ‘Wasteland’. She’s also been involved in numerous collaborations with the likes of U2, Radiohead, Sam Smith, Imogen Heap, Charlotte Church, Laura Mvula and Amber Run. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also proved her work ethic and talent further by performing at Glastonbury Festival, Bush Hall and two sold-out headline shows at The National Portrait Gallery.

With a series of shows planned in the UK, Europe and America this year, Cerian is set to for more big things. Listen to ‘Wasteland’ below, and follow Cerian on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Tom Leishman

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Indian Queens – Meltdown Festival 2018, London 15.06.18

After watching Hackney trio Indian Queens perform to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre last night, we have only one ambition: to become as skilled a guitarist as their front woman, Jennifer O’Neill. The band were hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his exceptionally well curated 2018 Meltdown Festival, and after their mesmeric, sharply executed, stunning performance; it’s easy to see why.

Together; Jennifer, bassist Katherine, and drummer Matt create thoughtful, atmospheric sounds reminiscent of bands like Warpaint and Radiohead. Performing against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic visuals – which were a fusion of live footage and urban buildings – Indian Queens played a captivating set, featuring their brand new single ‘Pretty Little Thing’, which was released via Cool Thing Records on the day of the show.

Bare-foot bassist Katherine was animated throughout, delivering her moody bass lines with stylish aplomb, whilst drummer Matt was the driving force behind it all – even after he dropped a stick, he recovered the rhythm seamlessly. Jennifer’s vocals were as magnetic as her guitar riffs; effortlessly anchoring the performance of singles ‘Save Yourself’ and ‘Get No Rest’. She confessed mid-way through that the band had accidentally their set-lists in the dressing room, but the trio moved from song-to-song with such ease and precision, this oversight was barely noticeable. Their set closed with a standing ovation, which was unsurprising, but entirely deserved.

If you haven’t caught Indian Queens live yet, a) what have you been doing? They were the secret openers for our March gig at The Finsbury earlier this year, and b) buy a ticket to their headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in October here. They’re a must-see for those who appreciate hypnotic, alternative, guitar-led tunes. We can’t wait to hear more from this compelling new band.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut