FIVE FAVOURITES: CRONICLE

Swedish artist CRONICLE may have cut her teeth playing in punk-pop band Tantrum to Blind, but now she’s exploring her song-writing talent through the medium of brooding electronica. CRONICLE (aka Melanie Mohlkert) has shared three singles to date, with her most recent offering ‘Bruises’ focusing on the aftermath of a relationship.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with CRONICLE to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her track ‘Bruises’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want To Be
Taking Back Sunday is the band I still call my favourite band of all time. It’s kind of funny actually, because the first time I heard one of their songs I was like “What the hell is this noise?” but I was 13 years old and my (really cool) cousin who’s just one year older than me was super into them, so I was intrigued.

Then diving into their music opened up a whole new world for me. I was already a big fan of bands like Nirvana, The Offspring, Millencolin and Good Charlotte, but these guys were just something else. Their angsty and raw vocals with intense, emotional lyrics that literally have no filter at all, backed with sick guitar riffs and energetic drums just made me FEEL so much. It was like an amplifier to your heart and soul at that age and to be honest, it still is. I love this band so much. I feel like their way of phrasing what you want to say in lyrics, their guitar riffs and emotion will always be one of the core pedestals in me as a songwriter. Being able to show how you can be hurt and vulnerable with your music but at the same time saying “f*ck you” is definitely something they taught me about, and I’m forever grateful for that.

2. Ellie Goulding – Halcyon Days
This album is f*cking incredible. I actually can’t remember when I came across it first, I think it might have been that I fell in love with Ellie’s song ‘Figure 8’ and after that, checked out the whole album and damn, I couldn’t stop listening to it. It definitely was my first proper introduction to the electronic pop world and those kind of soundscapes. I think there are parts of this album that are pretty similar to the whole emo alternative rock elements I’m so in love with. To be honest ‘Figure 8’ would make a sick emo rock song, but here the electric guitars are kind of replaced with heavy synthesisers instead. I think that’s what I fell for. I also love, love, love the vocal production, how her voice is often used as an instrument. Then there are these rough organic sounding instrumentals, mixed with amazing electronic sounds. Ellie has generally really inspired me and been a big role model as the badass female solo artist that she is. I’m not a huge fan of the direction she’s taken musically over the last few years, but she’ll always have place in my heart.

3. K.Flay – Life As A Dog
I think it was in 2014, when my band had split up and I started getting really into electronic music that some friends of mine sent me a link to K.Flay’s tunes. They had just been doing Warped Tour in the US and got to know her because she was playing the festival too. They were like “Mel you’re gonna LOVE this chick” and oh my, they were right. I was hooked by the first synth that hit my ears in ‘Make Me Fade’ and K.Flay’s amazing whisky voice, smart, full of attitude lyrics and awesome beats. There’s also some electric guitars and bass, cutting through the production here and there and it’s simply a mix of everything I love.

The fact that she’s this awesome smart rapper just makes her pretty much royalty to me. Her Majesty K.Flay – the Queen of everything. I was at her first ever London show when she supported Lights and nobody really knew who she was. I had brought some friends with me who really dug her too after my passionate introduction and we were in the back of the room, jumping and singing along to her set. Her manager caught our little private party in the crowd and had to come up and ask how we knew about her. Then the craziest thing of this story here is that I actually got to support her when she had her first headline show in London and that was my first ever Cronicle show!

4. Twenty One Pilots – Blurry Face
I remember seeing ads on YouTube for their music videos and I thought to myself that there was just something really cool and real about them. After checking out the album I was a fan for life. I feel like I’ve always been really drawn to artists who are genuine and speak the truth in their music and these guys definitely do that. They also know how to write BANGERS. This is my “pick me up” album. It’s the one that I turn on loud as f*ck in the morning to get me going, to get my mood right for the day. I also love driving (read speeding) and skating to it. They are incredible musicians, performers and Tyler’s lyrics are just something else.

I will forever regret that I missed Reading Festival a couple of years ago when they played it. I was sat home behind my laptop watching their set online and even just through the 13” screen their show was absolutely mind-blowing. I also really respect how much hard work they’ve put into their career in terms of playing shows, touring so much of the world before they “made it”. They’re the real deal and I’m stoked to see how huge they are today, it gives hope to someone like me.

5. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
What can I say, how can you not love this album? Lana is an incredible songwriter and she really knows how to drag you into her world and turn you into an addict. This album is the soundtrack to my summers spent broken hearted and lost. It made them more beautiful somehow. I’m so captivated by her voice and lyrics and again, the production is a mix of organic instruments and electronic elements – my favourite thing. Lana is sharing sadness and pain in a proud way and there’s just something so empowering about that. I feel proud to be a woman with a broken heart not afraid to share my deepest pain because of her.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing her favourites with us!Follow CRONICLE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Shitkid – ‘Detention’

A grungy, gleeful take-down of a juvenile punishment; Shitkid have shared their latest track ‘Detention’. The single is the title track from the “anti-pop star’s” upcoming record (due out in May) and it’s just as catchy as their previous release ‘Summer Break’.

Originally the solo project of Åsa Söderqvist in 2015, Shitkid has now become a two piece; with new bandmate Lina Molarin Ericsson performing with Söderqvist under her mischevious moniker. Their new album [DETENTION] was recorded at Stockholm’s Country Girl Studios with producer Lovina Isaksson, and cut almost entirely live by an expanded lineup including Söderqvist, Ericsson, guitarist Arvid Sjöö and drummer Josefin Ahlqvist Lyzwinski.

Speaking about the upcoming release, Söderqvist explains: “I started listening to the bands that I loved in school again, and I felt inspired by it. It’s a genre that’s quite embarrassing to go back to, and I knew that would make it really fun. I used to be emo in 2008, and now nobody plays that music anymore! There’s nothing about being kids and nobody understanding you. It felt like time to bring it back.”

We’re all about the emo renaissance. Listen to ‘Detention’ below and follow Shitkid on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Moa Romanova

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – ‘Feel The Sun’

A swirling haze of sultry vocals and fuzzy guitars and synth textures; London-based psych outfit Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation have shared their latest single ‘Feel The Sun’. The track is taken from their upcoming album Sacred Dreams, which is set to be released in April via Rocket Recordings.

The band have seen a dramatic rise to prominence since the release of their debut EP Diamond Waves in 2014, which led to a nomination for a Swedish Grammy for “best newcomer”. Since then, Josefin and writing partner Fredrik have relocated from Stockholm to London and have created a new Liberation around them.

The new band consists of; Maki (Go Team), Patrick C Smith (Eskimo Chain), Matt Loft (Lola Colt) and Ben Ellis, who’s worked with both Iggy Pop and Swervedriver. They recorded the new album Sacred Dreams at Press Play studios run by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab, who also produced and programmed his non synced drum machines for the record.

With talented individuals surrounding them, Josefin and Fredrik are on track to release another altruistic record. Listen to ‘Feel The Sun’ below and follow Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Sacred Dreams here.

Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation UK Tour Dates 2019
23 Apr – Oxford, The Bullingdon
24 Apr – Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club
25 Apr – Manchester, The Deaf Institute
26 Apr – London, Islington Assembly Hall
27 Apr – Bristol, Thekla
30 Apr – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Majken – ‘Lovely Daughter’

Tentative, soft-focused, colourful visuals form the new video for Swedish songwriter Majken‘s single ‘Lovely Daughter’. The track is taken from her upcoming debut album, set to be released this Autumn via Kollektivet Records.

Directed and shot by Amanda Davies, Majken says the footage for ‘Lovely Daughter’ is “conceptual but still intimate and self-revealing” – a perfect reflection of the Malmo-based musician’s songwriting style. Majken has been writing songs since the age of 14 and has a clear intuition for delicate, tender sounds with “sad and sloppy guitar”.

Her debut album was recorded at her home with Damon Tutunjian (Mew, Swirlies), who appreciates lo-fi recordings, 70’s synthesisers and MIDI harp as much as she does. If the rest of her album sounds as sweet as ‘Lovely Daughter’, our ears are in for a treat this Autumn. Watch the video for the track below, and follow Majken on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: ShitKid – ‘This Is It’

ShitKid has a penchant for apathetic, off-kilter, intriguing lo-fi sounds and she’s set to share more of them on her upcoming EP, This Is It. The anti-popstar’s fourth record is due for release on 19th January via PNKSLM Recordings and it’s the perfect follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Fish.

ShitKid is the project of Swedish artist Åsa Söderqvist, who recorded and produced This Is It in her own bedroom, before handing over the material to be mastered by Luke Reilly. The EP opens with jaded track ‘Favourite Thing’, on which heavy bass & reverb align to communicate ShitKid’s simultaneous delight and dissatisfaction with a summer fling.

‘Oh Me I’m Never’ picks up the tempo, with pulsing, droning electronics and more of ShitKid’s deceptively sweet vocals, whilst the pounding drums and jaded synths on third track ‘All My Fears’ will get your feet slowly, anxiously shuffling around the dance floor. Although ShitKid admits “I’m not as tough as I seem” her insecurity is well disguised here.

‘High Way’ is an off-kilter extrapolation about life at the other end of the road after quitting a job because you’re “lazy and bored”. Her apathy has an unusual, engrossing energy to it, and penultimate track ‘Spring Theory’ will have you eye-rolling at your seasonal chores list, eager not to waste time on such mundane events

‘Yooouuu’ is an anti-love song – an extended farewell sponsored by “so many cups of coffee” and “cigarettes” culminating in a note “by the phone”. It’s a polished ending to this lo-fi, strung out, set of sounds, all of which prove that ShitKid is anything but shit.

Pre-order your Limited Edition vinyl copy of This Is It here. Follow ShitKid on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Pale Honey – ‘Devotion’

If you blend the vocals of Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell and the Cardigans’ Nina Persson with clear electronics and hazy guitar riffs; you’ll end up with the sound of Gothenburg duo Pale Honey. They released their second album Devotion earlier this month, and it’s a cool, understated, but intense new offering from the pair. If you’re a fan of fellow Gothenburg resident Shitkid  – you’re definitely going to approve.

‘Replace Me’ is a strong album opener, displaying the pair’s inherent ability to craft assertive, memorable indie-electronic tunes. It blends seamlessly in to second track ‘Someone’s Devotion’, which is an up-beat, fuzzy guitar-led rejection of love. ‘Get These Things Out Of My Head’ follows, and just like the track’s name, you’ll struggle to get the buzzing synths out of your brain.

‘The Heaviest Of Storms (Devotion Pt. 1)’ smoulders for just shy of six minutes, making it the strung out and sultry highlight of the record, whilst ‘Lesson Learned’ is another coolly uncompromising tune that threatens “I will break you honey” with casual venom. ‘Real Thing’ is charged with “electric” “obsessive” energy, and ‘777 (Devotion, Pt.2)’ bookends the previous three tracks with quiet guitar, and sweetly jaded vocals. It leads in to the lo-fi ‘Sweep’ with the achingly cool lyric “I belong to no-one”.

Penultimate track ‘Golden’is another charged tune that quietly, but defiantly champions independence, whilst ‘Why Do I Always Feel This Way’ closes the record on a note of uncertainty. There’s one thing we know for sure; Pale Honey pack a powerful punch with their modest but assertive indie-electronic offerings, and you should head down to their show at Old Blue Last on November 7th to hear their tunes in the flesh (RSVP here).

Follow Pale Honey on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut