Five Favourites: Maria Uzor

Having recently wowed us with her immersive live show at The Shacklewell Arms, and having received acclaim from the likes of John Kennedy and Amy Lame, we’re excited to hear that Norwich based vocalist and producer Maria Uzor (also half of faves Sink Ya Teeth) has now announced the release of her upcoming new EP in December. Ahead of the EP release, she has now shared captivating new single ‘Solitaire’. Flowing with a luscious, swirling groove and gnarly beats, it builds with a shimmering, pulsating majesty to a gritty slice of euphoric electro-pop. Oozing her distinctive, spellbinding sweeping vocals, it’s a gloriously uplifting synth-soaked soundscape.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the upcoming release of Songs For Luminous Living, we caught up with Maria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. See below for their choices of their five favourite albums, and be sure to watch the trippy new video for ‘Solitaire’ at the end of this feature.

Tricky – Pre Millenium Tension
I’ve always really admired Tricky as an artist. I’m really drawn to the landscapes he paints with sounds and vocals, and how he doesn’t confine himself to genres. You can hear influences from all over the place. There’s an other-worldly quality to his music too, which I think comes from not putting restrictions on himself. He’s an explorer; I love that. This album also features the superb vocals of Martine Topley Bird. The interplay between their two voices is something magic.


Minnie Ripperton – Come To My Garden
This was Minnie Ripperton’s debut solo album after leaving Rotary Connection, and what an album! That voice is just from another realm – it makes me cry! And such beautiful production too. It’s the kind of album I can play on a summer’s day or late at night and it will just put me in a mood of beauty and possibility. This album has an other-worldly feel to it too; it’s haunting in its beauty.


Sylvester – Stars
I absolutely adore Sylvester. He had such a beautiful voice and presence, and he chose to spend his time on this planet being unapologetically himself, and I really love that. Stars is only a four track EP but every song is special. The title track makes me want to dance whenever I hear it, it’s just life affirming. The EP also features a collaboration with Patrick Cowley on ‘I Need Somebody To Love Tonight’ (Cowley produced it). It definitely grooves hard, but there’s a pensive element there too which gives it a different edge.

David Bowie – Low
Whenever I speak to people who were around when Ziggy Stardust first landed, they always say the same thing; that it was like he came from another planet. So naturally, I love him – haha! When I was a teenager I used to just play all the usual early ’70s classics like ‘Life On Mars’ and ‘Starman’, but then I started loving all eras of Bowie as I got older. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed out on. I’m really into how wise he became in his older years too. There’s some stellar nuggets of wisdom from him in YouTube videos! It was hard to pick just one Bowie album but I settled on Low for the beautiful songwriting and production. I admire Bowie for the same reason that I admire Tricky; they’re both explorers, boldly dancing beyond boundaries in every sense. ‘Sound And Vision’ just reminds me of countless good times I’ve had with friends, late at night in small kitchens!


Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?
To me, no other piece of music comes closer to perfection than this album. I first discovered it at art school and used to play it every day for about two years. The production, the sentiment, the vocals; it’s like it’s a precise moment of expression beamed out to the universe. Or beamed in from the universe. Or both! Flawless and breathtaking in its beauty.


Massive thanks to Maria Uzor for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the captivatingly trippy new video for her single ‘Solitaire‘ now:


Songs For Luminous Living, the upcoming EP from Maria Uzor, is set for release on 9th December via Hey Buffalo Records.

Photo Credit: Andi Sapey

Track Of The Day: Angela Sclafani – ‘How We Meet’

Angela Sclafani is a New York City-based songwriter, performer and musical theatre-maker. Having twice won the Great American Song Contest’s Adult Contemporary category, she has independently released three original EPs, plus Edge Of Seventeen – an EP of wonderfully reimagined Stevie Nicks hits. Now, the first taster of her upcoming debut full-length album, latest single ‘How We Meet’ offers a sonic journey through the playful world of her inner child and past personas.

The song starts off with a country pop twang and delicate backing drum beats, as Angela’s honey-sweet voice takes us back to more innocent times – “Talkin to myself in a voice so sweet… Could I fit inside the shape you made your life?” – as she poignantly explores the older ways of communicating with other people (talking, writing letters, telephone) with a shimmering musicality. A well-crafted and uplifting song from a truly versatile artist, ‘How We Meet’ oozes a twinkling Americana-tinged grace alongside infectious melodies; reminding us with Sclafani’s lilting tones to seize the moment (answering that message in a bottle!) and make the move to form meaningful connections.

The song is the first of four singles leading up to the album’s release in February 2023, providing a representative sampling of its concept; taking classic Americana sounds as interpreted in an innovative way by a New York City theatre kid.

‘How We Meet’ is out now via Pitch and Prose – download on Bandcamp now. Songs Of Other Selves, the upcoming debut album from Angela Sclafani, is set for release next February.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Photo Credit: Jules Miranda

Introducing Interview: Lõwli

Having received acclaim from the likes of The Irish Times and performed at showcases for organisations such as Sofar Sounds, Irish artist Roisin Lowry – aka Lõwli – has just released her captivating new EP, Otherworld. An ethereal collection showcasing her ability to create cinematic soundscapes oozing a spellbinding majesty – it beautifully interweaves a traditional classical musicality with more contemporary, heartfelt shades of alt-folk as Lowry’s rich, soulful vocals soar.

We caught up with Lõwli to find out more about the EP, what inspires her and her thoughts on the industry today. Have a read!

Hi Lõwli welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thank you for having me! I’m a composer and songwriter from Galway, Ireland but I’ve been based in Dublin for the past number of years. I write and perform piano-driven, cinematic music which often combines strings, vocals and piano. Although it’s difficult to find a genre for my music, I’d describe it as neo-classical dark-pop.

How did you initially start creating music?
I
began writing my own songs and pieces when I was about fifteen, mostly on piano or violin, but also experimenting with other instruments too. I then studied music in university where I developed a bit more confidence in composing as I had the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and composers. I also wrote music in a few bands and original music projects around that time too. I then began my own solo project in 2016 and since then, I have been writing, releasing and performing music as Lōwli.

Your new EP Otherworld is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout it?
Otherworld is a 3-track EP which was recorded back in May 2021 in Camden Studios, Dublin. The EP features two instrumental tracks and one track with vocals. As this EP was written and recorded during a time of strict covid restrictions, I wanted to emulate a ‘live’ feel in the songs, due to the lack of live music happening at the time. The tracks are written and produced quite minimally to achieve this authentic, vulnerable sound. Themes of transition, perspective and acceptance are portrayed in this work.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Agnes Obel and Olafur Arnalds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Agnes Obel and Olafur Arnalds are big influences. I also love the music of contemporary classical composers such as Hania Rani, Poppy Ackroyd, Max Richter and Nils Frahm as well as piano composers such as Debussy and Chopin. I’m also very inspired by Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and many others.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I live in Dublin and the music scene here is great. There’s lots of amazing, diverse music to experience and I go to see live gigs as often as I can. It’s great to see so much live music happening at the moment after a very difficult couple of years for the industry. 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
My shows are very focused on the piano and vocals. I often have a string section playing with me as well as percussion and backing vocals. I’m currently experimenting with some new ideas for my live shows which will incorporate more modern sounds and techniques. My music is quite delicate and cinematic so my live shows are best suited to an intimate atmosphere. I particularly love to play in churches and halls, where both the audience and performers can be fully immersed in the experience.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I’ve seen some fantastic live shows in Dublin and Galway recently from Anna Mullarkey, Vale, Moon Looks On and Sive. I’ve also been listening to music from Una Keane, Rachel Lavelle, Bridin, Brian Crosby, BK Pepper, Aoife Nessa Frances, Pine the Pilcrow and lots more. Most of these artists have recently released new music so I would definitely recommend checking them out!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I think the music industry can be a challenging one to navigate as a new artist. It can also be quite difficult to get noticed as there is so much new music being released all the time and the standard is so high. But I’ve also found the music scene in Ireland to be very supportive generally, and people are often happy to help if they can. I think it also helps to put yourself out there and play live as much as possible.

Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for Lõwli?
My upcoming EP Otherworld has recently been released, which is super exciting! I’m also working on new music for my debut album, as well as planning some Irish shows which I will be announcing soon!

Massive thanks to Lõwli for answering our questions! Otherworld, her captivating new EP, is out now on Veta Records.

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Big Joanie 21.09.22

Tash and Kate were back on Soho Radio’s airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ artists, and Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too. They enthused about the eclectic mix of tracks on the playlist, their love for London duo Scrounge, and Kate revealed that her fear of technology stems from watching Terminator 2: Judgement Day on repeat throughout her childhood.

They were thrilled to have Chardine, Estella and Steph aka DIY punk legends Big Joanie join them on air again to talk about their latest single ‘Confident Man’, which is taken from the trio’s upcoming second album Back Home, due for release on 4th November. The band also spoke about their recent work organising Decolonise Fest, the inspiration behind the artwork on their new album, working with amazing producer Margo Broom at Hermitage Works Studios in North London, and their top tips for surviving life on the road whilst touring.

Listen below:

 

Tracklist
Noga Erez ft. Missy Elliott – NAILS
Maury Blu, Peaches – Vashti Part One
Lucy Dacus – Night Shift
Scrounge – Starve
O Hell – I Watch The Women
AGAAMA – Blackbox Oracle
Moglii, Palmaria – Volcano
TSHA, Clementine Douglas – Dancing In The Shadows
Tokky Horror – Jazz Music
New Pagans – Better People
SPRINTS – Literary Mind
Amaroun – Brown Skin Beauty
Perera Elsewhere – Who I Am
Big Joanie – Confident Man
**Interview with Big Joanie**
Gustaf – Best Behaviour
Grandmas House – Body
Connie Constance – Mood Hoover
Brutus – Victoria
adults – things we achieve
DIVES – Say
Zahra Haji Fath Ali Tehrani – Waiting
th’sheridans – Luka
Perfume Genius – Queen
Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – Helen Is A Reptile
The Big Moon – Trouble

(you can listen back to the our original 2019 interview with Big Joanie here too)