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Uncategorized Why We Love

Why We Love: Maggie the Cat

And just like that, summer’s over and it’s October, the month when spooks and ghouls roam the earth freely. Prime time for the debut solo release from a founding member of south London’s finest and freakiest gang of voodoo high priestesses, Madonnatron.

If you’ve heard Madonnatron, then you’ve heard Maggie. Her voice is the lynchpin of the band’s signature sound, the gathering force that holds it all together, powerful and hypnotic. She’s recently struck out on her own, embarking on a solo career under her Madonnatron moniker, “Maggie the Cat.”

With her Farrah Fawcett hair, glam rock eye makeup and brooding, melancholy, stare, she explained the evolution of her solo work thusly: “Maggie the Cat emerged over the last few years like the mutant love child of covid and my long running obsession with Elizabeth Taylor, most notably her character of that name from the Tennessee Williams play, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.’

Her debut single, “I Think Last Night I Killed A Man,” is a definite shift from Madonnatron’s harsh, witch-punk sound. The production is more technically intricate: “… centered around a lot of quite dark, melancholic symphonic refrains juxtaposed with 80s synth sounds and disco drum patterns. The vocals are something of an id festival and may have ventured into other realms in places as I’m shamelessly emotional and the voice is a real channel for the soul, I think,” Maggie explains.

“Bianca Jagger rides in on a horse any second…” she teased on Instagram, days before the single’s release. A fitting comparison; the stylization is very Studio 54, albeit with a touch of what Maggie the Cat calls, “general murderous content,” a sinister speciality of supposed sweetness followed by violence, honed in the service of years of lyric writing for Madonnatron. Her blog describes the forthcoming album as “…simultaneously bewitching, erotic, menacing, and occasionally chilling (although never without mischief.)”

Trashmouth Records, the infamous New Malden-based independent record label that nurtured the raw, loose-cannon power of cult favorite rock n’ roll bands such as Warmduscher, the Fat White Family (and of course, Madonnatron) into musical adulthood, are backing Maggie the Cat’s solo efforts.

You can purchase “Last Night I Think I Killed A Man,” via Bandcamp at the link provided below. It is available to stream on all platforms.

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Creators Monthly Rap/Grime Why We Love

Why We Love – DATKID

One day I’ll fall in love with you like my ears did for hip-hop” is what my favourite poster on the wall of my childhood den said. I must’ve had it up for ages; I always loved hip-hop and spent countless hours listening and dancing to it in my bedroom, in the studio, and on stage. It was probably its mood and cadence that I really enjoyed at first before I started grasping the essence of it, the meaning behind the slang in verses about battles with poverty and crime. Years later I moved to Bristol and was introduced to Datkid – he’s got a sound I’ve personally not often heard off the East Coast and generally anywhere in the last 10 years or so. I’m still unsure whether it’s his well-thought, raunchy and oddly-satisfying lyrics, the heavy technical know-how, or the stern I don’t give a f*** attitude that fascinates me. What I do know is I re-live that moment my ears fell for hip-hop every time Datkid comes on.

He’s no new addition to the scene; Bristolian emcee and Crud Lord, he formed the rap collective Demorus back in 2008 and dropped his debut Dkay and Gramma 3 years later. He then linked up with the Bristol rap collective Split Prophets and featured on a number of their projects, including Drugs​, ​Booze & Dental Issues. Raw and factual, the album is a ride to the dark underbelly of the city. He released Home By 8, an epode to the art of tag, and that’s when his notoriety started to shoot up into the sky.

With a bunch of exceptional solo projects and gnarly features under his belt, Bristol’s very own Datkid quickly became a lead prospect in the British rap scene as he kept throwing top-notch productions at his fans. 2019 brought about Confessions of a Crud Lord, one of his mightiest projects so far, where alongside Four Owls producer Leaf Dog he serves a grim affair in all its flagrant dirtiness. The album features heavy craftsmen like Conway the Machine, Westside Gunn, and Roc Marciano, and it neatly sums up the tone of What’s the point in living if you’re just surviving?

Datkid’s latest prodigy, Wakmo, is nauseatingly grand. The secret to that is, of course, Illinformed’s finesse in producing sickly ghoulish beats. The bars are gloriously depraved, and they take you right there to that warped, crude-but-candid reality of Datkid’s life and career. It’s so dazing and potent that you don’t just listen to it but can actually feel an ugly aggressiveness breathing down your neck for a second. A tribute to the rapper’s hometown loyalty, the album boasts an impressive number of guest stars. Rappers like Bil Next, Mistafire, Wish Master, or Eric the Red will unapologetically discharge more sick verses with deft flows off onto you, therefore bringing about one of the most hardcore and obstinate rap albums that ever emerged from Bristol.

I urge you to listen to this one ’til the very end. And before you forget, go ahead and buy his music via Bandcamp. You can check out some more music and merch on the Split Prophets Bandcamp too.

Categories
Creators Monthly Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock Reviews Why We Love

Why We Love: Kitner

Kitner. From left: Conor, James, Will, Brianne

The local music scene is an ever changing landscape no matter where you come from. When I started making music with my band Friday Life back in 2017, there were around five bands that comprised the music scene, maybe a few more. However, four years on, Friday Life is the only band left standing, and that’s remarkable even to me. Local bands breaking up happens for a multitude of reasons: people begin going to college, members move out of state, scandals radically shift the prospects bands once had, the list goes on. It is as common as it is unfortunate.

For awhile, Boston based band Kitner seemed to be another local band come and gone. Forming in 2015, the band started as a five piece featuring Conor Maier (guitar, vocals), Brianne Costa (keys, vocals), James Christopher (guitar), Christine Atturio (bass), and Will Buiel (drums). They quickly recorded an EP of home demos, followed shortly by the release of a self-titled EP in September of that year. 

The EP gained momentum, with many people downloading it on bandcamp. The band played a few shows in Massachusetts over the next year as well. They even teased a return to the studio. However, due to their commitments to other bands as well as some member changes, the band vanished. For over four years, Kitner seemed to be just a memory, with the self titled EP being all that remained.

However, in 2019, Kitner quietly returned to the studio. Now a four piece consisting of Conor, Brianne, James, and Will, the band recorded their debut album, titled Shake The Spins. Announcing their return in April of 2021, Kitner set to work promoting their new album, set to be released in October through Relief Map Records. The hype was immediate, not just because the long absence had allowed their previous EP to garner a larger following, but because the music involved sounded incredible.

The first single from the album, Beth Israel, was premiered on July 29th by The Alternative. Starting with some mellow but present acoustic guitar, the muted vocals soon enter, giving the song a primitive feel, like a bedroom demo recorded on tape. It is warm, and it builds anticipation for when the wave comes crashing down. 

Sure enough, the wave hits a little over a minute in. Roaring, anthemic guitars meet steady, powerful drums that hit you like a train. The hushed vocals are replaced by rough, raw shouting from Conor that brings to mind an alternate universe where Jim James of My Morning Jacket fronted an emo band. Brianne’s light voice perfectly compliments Conor’s vocals, adding a dimension to the music that fits in your ears just right.

The wall of sound soon breaks in the final act of the song, with the acoustic guitar and softer vocals returning, accompanied by the solemn wail of a feedbacking guitar. The interplay of Conor and Brianne’s voices is clearer here as the two sing different lines, creating a tapestry of words and sounds. The drums begin building up again before sending the song off with bluster accompanied by some retro sounding keyboards.

Kitner’s return can only be described as triumphant, and that’s after just one single. If the rest of the album sounds like this, then Shake The Spins might easily be the album of the year. 

Kitner. From left: Brianne, Will, James, Conor. Photo by Brittany Rose Queen

Bandcamp: https://kitner.bandcamp.com/album/shake-the-spins

Spotify:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kitner.ma/

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Pop/Indie Pop Videos Why We Love

Why We Love – Salac

Salaċ is a Gaelic industrial duo whose music creates a Pagan dystopia as they whisper labyrinthine speech-to-song poetry over mystic beats. Clíona Ní Laoi and Max Kelan Pearce resemble some modern-day blue Bards, moulding audiovisual sorceries and anagogic poetry into a ritual of lunacy.

Part of the avant-garde Bristol collective Avon Terror Corps, the two orchestrate a resurgence of primal sound. Slithering noises and intricate inflections of their voices come together almost as if life and death are revealed to one another. Ceremonialists that speak to the wicked, Salaċ creates an epitome of disturbing magnetism through their ensembles of electronic distortions with obscure cadences.

The 13 songs on Sacred Movements take you for a trip through a clammy ambiance where softness and ragged vibrations come together in harmony. The heaviness of their performance is bewitching; it forges the album into a sanctuary of sunken alchemy. A twitching glow through a gloomy forest, an ode for the debauched and the midnight lords, this album is a remarkable eulogy to Gaelic ritualism.

Corybantic gyrations of sound will carry you away as you listen to The Dead Don’t Forget / Clouds Over The Moon. Spell-casting lyrics and daedal piano notes are as theatrical as they are auditory pleasing, testifying to the grand artistry of the two.

Illicit Rituals is another compilation of 13 pieces that evoke a sanctified dimension of industrial music, where mechanical whirring and ominous statics meet grave wailings. A thrilling mind trip that goes through legerdemain rhythmic pitches and sinister verses, the album is a cyber chaos that seems to come from the underworld.

Moony modulations inspired by an ancient world of magick and sacred initiation open the door to a realm of contemporary ceremonies of the depraved. A divination of the occult and a fascination with the natural world become apparent in the duo’s official video for Procession To The Underworld – the two burn sage and their bodies twist and turn as they summon hoary forces. Draped in gauzy veils and crowned with leafy branches, they dance to the convoluted buzzing and the vicious basslines.

Salaċ has a chilling and truly unique approach to industrial music. There is a fantastic peculiarity that makes their music a momentous expression of talent and affinity to the folk traditions as they get closer to their roots and depict repugnance towards the oppressors of the true Celtic spirit.

Listen on Bandcamp                                                                         

Categories
New Wave Punk/Rock Why We Love

ANIKA: the Totally Wired Interview

The artist currently known as Anika is no stranger to the feelings of separation and isolation that we’ve all struggled with over the past 18 months. Born in Surrey, and currently based in Berlin, she sees herself as “…a foreigner in both lands, belonging to neither…” Anika is a musician, a poet, a political journalist, and a DJ, and she’s spent the majority of the pandemic busily weaving the threads of her multiple artistic practices into the creation of Change, her first album in 11 years.

Her debut album, Anika, released in 2010, was produced and co-written by Geoffrey Barrow and his band, Beak. Anika’s choice to include a cover of Yoko Ono’s “Yang Yang,” (a prescient song that explores the mindset of a sleazy politician and his scurrilous dealings) on her debut garnered attention as the sign of a precocious talent with encyclopedic musical knowledge and a keen-eyed perspective influenced by her training as a political journalist—think The Velvet Underground and Nico meets Yaeji, meets Nilufer Yanya.

Change is an album full of both hope and warnings (Anika wrote “Never Coming Back,” after reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a wake-up call to the devasting effects of humankind on the natural world,) but on the title track, Anika’s trademark, icily cool Nico-esque drone takes on a certain tenderness, assuring her listeners that, “…I think we have it all inside…I think we can change…”

Change has already been named by Rough Trade as one of the best albums of 2021. Stereogum, Uncut, and Mojo have earnestly sung its praises. Anika is soon to embark on touring efforts, playing across Germany, France, and finally reaching the U.K., which will be her first trip to her homeland in two years.

TWM: It’s been 11 years since the release of ‘Anika.’ How has your approach to creating music changed and evolved since then? 

Anika: Quite a lot of time has passed. I have done a lot of collabs and learnt with each one, the most significant of which was Exploded View; that one really taught me how to be in a band, how to talk to each other, how to compromise, be compassionate, be honest and respectful. 

The first album was recorded without the intention of purpose or ever releasing it. This one was written very much with purpose, though the songs seemed to write themselves. That’s the thing about the texts, I don’t like to sit and write about specific topics. I bring diaries, books and notes to the demo recording session and then the music takes hold and I flick through the notes and the right ones float out; the music acts like a key to unlock all the stuff that is on my mind, but I hadn’t quite registered. 

I recorded it in stages. I’d make drum loops the day before and layer some chord progressions on top and go in armed with these. I’d loop the drum, play it in the back, then try the chords on different instruments, change it up, push against it. Last would be the lyrics. With ‘Freedom,’ and ‘Finger Pies,’ I did those at home, during some crazy night sessions, playing layers over each other. 

As for the lyrics being a freestyle gateway to the unconscious, it was very much like that with ‘No One’s There,’ from the first album (2010’s Anika.) Also, all the Exploded View records were recorded like this. 

This time around, I also wrote the music, which is a big difference from the first album because Beak were fully responsible for that. I also really wanted to co-produce this time and that was important. Once I was done with the rough track ideas, I did speak briefly to Geoff (Barrow) about whether I should take them over to Bristol to record there but with corona, this…was off the cards and to be honest, I am happy the way it turned out because it pushed me to do even more myself and learn more that way. Geoff is also cool like that; he likes to give space for growth and doesn’t try to hog projects. Probably because he is so busy and in demand! 

TWM: What was the process of creating and recording an album during a pandemic like? 

Anika: Yes, that was weird. It was very intense. Specifically, because my home situation was very intense and I was going through quite a lot of personal stuff at the time, on top of corona and the apocalyptic news events. I had to trust somehow and keep going, without overthinking what or why i was doing this. There were less people involved, that also made it more intense.


TWM: ‘Change,’ is an extraordinarily hopeful song, especially in the face of an increasing deluge of frightening news and events…I find it incredibly moving for these reasons, and I think it’s a very important song for people to hear and to fully absorb. What inspired you to write it?

Anika: I was reading all this stuff in the news about people doing bad things. I was also seeing people close to me do bad things. People do bad things. Sometimes it’s just for a time, it may be due to circumstance, their history, we can never really know what leads to it. Especially in this climate of distorted news and news bubbles, people are led into traps and false perceptions of reality. I think it’s important to stick together in these times and see these bad decisions and actions as transient and that most people have the capacity to change.


TWM: You posted on Instagram that you kept, “Covid19 Diaries.” Did anything you wrote in them end up on the new album, in the form of lyrics or otherwise?

Anika: I think ‘Sand Witches,’ actually came from this, or parts of it. Also ‘Change,’ had parts and for sure ‘Never Coming Back.’ All of them were a little from it. It was really important to keep these diaries because it kept my mind active and interactive with events and things going on. The instinct is to shut off, [to] numb. I wanted to embrace the thoughts I thought I should be scared of. 

TWM: How has your background as a political journalist influenced your artistic career? 

Anika: The way I consume information, books, news and process has a lot to do with my education in this field. English was actually my worst subject at school. My spelling was/is terrible and sometimes I would feel like words were road blocks to my expression, blocking me into corners, as opposed to rivers. Luckily, studying journalism helped break down this fear and also helped my ability to process information better. Before I mostly studied math, so my brain was wired a little differently. 


TWM: What music did you listen to most during lockdown?

Anika: I listened a lot to the John Peel sessions. There are so many good ones and his lovely nature seemed to coax out these very personal and unique performances from many great artists…Bowie, PJ Harvey, Basement 5, Archers of Loaf, Flock of Seagulls, A Certain Ratio, A Guy Called Gerald, etc. The curation is very special. It was also the nearest I got to live shows. They are raw, yet very well recorded. Great stuff.

TWM: Which dates of your upcoming tour are you most looking forward to?

Anika: I love playing at Bad Bonn Festival, it’s so much fun! Also, France is a great place to play. The venues are so friendly, and the crowds are very cool. I’m nervous and excited about the UK, too. I have never really toured there, and I haven’t been (home) in about two years now! That will be strange. I’m very excited to play with the new all-girl lineup, they are killa.

You can find Anika on Instagram @annika.henderson. Her new album, “Change,” is available for purchase on Bandcamp. https://anika.bandcamp.com/album/change Tickets for her upcoming tour are available at: https://anika-music.com/tour-dates

Categories
Creators Monthly Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock Reviews Why We Love

Why We Love: Cabin Boy

I remember my friend John “Guppy” Guptill first mentioning the idea of Cabin Boy to me last July. What immediately stood out to me about the band was that each member was from a different area of the world. He then played me a demo they were working on, and I was even more intrigued.

In recent years, I personally feel that the emo/math rock genre has become somewhat tired. While there are many bands who pull off the style well, there are several more that don’t do anything new with the sound, leading to some aspects of the genre becoming tired tropes. That’s why when there is a band that not only improves upon the sound, but also makes it their own, it immediately stands out. 

A few months after this initial reveal of the band, Cabin Boy began building up hype incredibly quickly, and they hadn’t even released music yet. The buzz was largely due to the kinetic chemistry displayed by the band’s members: the aforementioned Guppy, a bass player from Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Josh Cartwright, the vocalist and guitarist of the band who hails from Liverpool, England; and Dan Goellner, drummer extraordinaire from Berkeley, California. Meeting through an online music community, the three bonded over shared musical tastes and began sending music to one another to build songs individually—a perfect setup during the pandemic.

Recruiting producer Max Mayman, who Guppy has described as “the secret fourth member of the band” and who Dan met at a concert in California, the band debuted their highly anticipated first single, “Falcon Brunch.” Released on February 14th, 2021, the song was a smash hit and received raving reviews from fans; it is truly a gem. Featuring bright, jangly guitars reminiscent of 90’s power pop, the song kicks into gear once Dan’s confident, upbeat drumming and Guppy’s melodic bass lines come into play. Josh’s voice is interesting as well; it sounds effortless and carefree, while also carrying an emotional weight that feels natural. The song bounces along, and even during the instrumental break in the middle, which features some gnarly finger-tapping, it remains unpretentious and fun.

The single proved that Cabin Boy could take their lively personalities and instrumental talents and turn them into something great, despite thousands of miles being between them. They did this so well that a few months later, they signed to notable emo label Flea Collar Tapes on May 16th. Shortly after this big news, they also released a music video for Falcon Brunch. A visually stunning affair, the video utilizes green screens in an incredible way, courtesy of Dan. Each member’s charm and charisma are on full display throughout the video, and it is a joy to watch.

The wave that Cabin Boy were riding grew in June when they released their follow-up single, “Tokin’ Tree,” on the 19th of that month. The song starts with jagged acoustic guitar chords and passionate vocals from Josh. After a little under a minute of this, the electric guitar, bass, and drums burst onto the scene ferociously. The song features a far more distorted, darker sound, but the punk ethos of Falcon Brunch is still there in the undertow. Dan’s drumming is crazy on this track, highlighting how great of a drummer he really is. Overall, the song shows a remarkable maturity in the band’s sound, and it’s only their second song. 

Cabin Boy hit a new high when renowned music critic Anthony Fantano reviewed the song and praised it. This, combined with their record deal, indicates a remarkably bright future for Josh, Guppy, and Dan. Despite the distance between them, they have proven that great bands can conquer all odds to make amazing music. Their unique energy and uplifting personas are sure to continue to win over music fans far and wide, and hopefully someday, we will get to see them come together and perform.

From left: Guppy, Dan, and Josh

Support Cabin Boy on Bandcamp!

Categories
Rap/Grime Why We Love

Why We Love – Rocks FOE

Wandering the rowdy streets of Bristol I stepped into one of the city’s most loved bars only to witness the performance of the best young lyricist in the scene: Rocks FOE. The UK’s finest fire spitter, the bona fide beat sculptor, was finally up on the stage among a dozen other Bristol youths. I’ve been a big fan of his ever since his first Legion EP back in 2015 and let me tell you – his live performance was better than I could’ve dreamt of. Born and raised in Croydon, Rocks FOE took the scene by storm with his first self-produced rap-grime hybrid EP released on Black Acre Records. Harmonizing cabalistic beats with sinuous references from the occult, drawing on anime characters and US rappers like Pharaohe Monch and GZA, his unique style set him on the ramp to success – hear for yourself.

Rocks remained passive to the outside world and made rare live appearances. Still, UK producers quickly became spellbound by his talent and this landed him a feature on Commodo’s ‘How What Time’ LP in 2016. His next release from 2017, ’Fight The Good? Fight’, dives even deeper into his true being as he explores daily fights and struggles. Throughout the record he raps about money, family and inner turmoil. His sound scopes beyond the turf of Croydon and unmasks his nerve as he flows at warp speed over beats heavier than a black hole.

In 2018 Rocks comes again strong with his Legion Lacuna EP, and if you’re a true grime head you might even recognize a sound or two. Trance-worthy ominous beats that maintain the speed, nerve and sheer lyrical genius that the Croydon rapper already accustomed his listeners to are unveiled throughout the EP. With less than 10k views on YouTube, I can’t help but bow to the genuine underground flavour of his music. “Legion” is my all-time favourite grime track with lyrics that exude vigour, dynamism, and the confidence to rise above the unworthy.

RELX, Rocks’ latest project, is made up of three EPs produced by the man himself, and I promise you once again this will rocks-foe you off your chair. ‘Part I’, compiled and initially released in 2019 for 24 hours only on Bandcamp, is now (luckily) widely available to buy and stream. ‘Part III’ was released in March this year with ‘Part II’ still being kept hidden from the public. RELX shows a fresh approach to his established style as Rocks draws influences from R&B, contemporary American rap and Western-style gunshot sounds to put together another record that will surely strike your chords if you’ve liked his stuff so far. 

Rocks FOE has proven time and again to be one of the most talented rappers of his generation and is truly worthy to be heard by all of you out there who dig UK grime. Head off to his Bandcamp to help support his grassroots music, and let your friends know, too.

Listen Now on Bandcamp

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock Uncategorized Why We Love

Why We Love: Press Club

Spotify’s Discover Weekly is a wonderfully exciting place where you can unearth artists specifically tailored to your tastes and it is what led me to a band that has been described as “one of the most exciting young prospects in rock music.” Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Press Club’s gritty garage-punk sound first blessed the ears of Bandcamp listeners in 2017 with the release of their single Headwreck, a hazy two and half minute anthem clearly expressing the band’s true unadulterated passion and determination that has continued to shine throughout their two subsequent albums, Late Teens and Wasted Energy.

Influenced by bands like Brand New and Hüsker Dü, the energetic and chaotic sound of their music can often be seen to juxtapose the peaceful and laid back vibe that their narrative music videos exude, an effect that is especially evident in the video accompanying Suburbia, a personal favourite of mine and their most streamed track on Spotify. The calm everyday visuals of the video create an anticipatory tension throughout that reflects the angsty nostalgia of old relationships and moving on, a feeling that I am sure many can relate to. Lead singer Natalie Foster introduces dream-like vocals that explode into punk fervour, a technique common in Press Club’s discography, in Crash and Same Mistakes for example, and gives the band that irresistible indie edge and attracts an audience atypical to the punk genre.

The band tends to embody a kind of “go with the flow” attitude, creating music with ambiguity allowing the listener to interpret the meaning in a way unique to themselves and, as Foster revealed, deciding upon song titles and even their band name by throwing ideas around and seeing what felt right. Many of Press Club’s songs do, however, deal with quite heavy topics enabling an emotional connection to form between the band and the listener over similar shared experiences. Twenty-Three, the concluding track to their Wasted Energy album, for example, discusses topics such as drugs and how you can’t hide from your actions.

As a band notorious among its fans for delivering loud, atmospheric gigs and tirelessly touring around Australia, Europe, and the UK, racking up a huge number of shows in the last few years, Press Club should 100% be at the top of your “bands to see live” list. They will not disappoint.

Photo by: Ian Laidlaw

Listen to Press Club on Spotify now.

Categories
Soul/R&B Why We Love

Why We Love: Black Pumas

Psychedelic-soul band Black Pumas captured my full attention with their transcendent GRAMMYs performance just a few weeks ago. My mouth hung open throughout the duration of their stage time and, accompanied by several colorfully encouraging words, I couldn’t stop shouting, “Oh my god!” 

I didn’t need any more convincing whatsoever; I grabbed my phone, saved their music, and followed them on social media. They very quickly had me in the palms of their hands, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This group hailing from Austin, Texas serves as the definition of a powerhouse, and I have a good feeling that they will be the catalysts of a much-needed musical revolution. If you missed their performance or are simply entirely new to Black Pumas, I implore you to watch it immediately

Bandmates Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada, through the help of a friend, united in 2018. Shortly after the release of two singles (“Fire” and “Black Moon Rising”), Black Pumas dropped their fiery self-titled album on June 21, 2019. That same year, the GRAMMYs nominated them for the “Best New Artist” category. With a total of four Grammy nominations now under their belt, it’s absolutely criminal that they walked away empty-handed. To the GRAMMYs (and any other awards ceremony, for that matter): Do better. 

With sold-out tours, numerous television performances, and a recent achievement of taking the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart, this is merely the beginning of a prosperous career for Black Pumas. This immense, ground-breaking talent that they possess is awe-inspiring. Everybody, and I mean everybody, needs to put this band on their radar. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The entirety of their discography is unmatched, despite it being just the beginning. Coated in a dizzying richness that provides a similar feeling to taking a sip of warm coffee on a cold morning, their music fully envelopes you. I am completely and entirely bewitched; whether I am just listening to their record (original, deluxe, and expanded deluxe!) or watching videos of their performances, I find myself falling more in love as the minutes go by.

Every single aspect of each song, whether it be the heavenly, euphonic vocals or the electrifying instrumentations, is expertly crafted. I cannot stress enough how one-of-a-kind this band is. Seriously, stop whatever it is you’re doing and listen to Black Pumas. Go on then; go!


To stay in the know, follow Black Pumas on Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify.

(Cover photo by: JACKIE LEE YOUNG)

Categories
Pop/Indie Pop Why We Love

Why We Love: chloe moriondo

If you’ve heard of Frances Forever, or read Why We Love: Frances Forever, you may already be familiar with chloe moriondo (stylised in lower case). The reason being, Frances Forever re-released ‘Space Girl’ to feature chloe moriondo. The change in lyrics in the verse that chloe sings adds an extra dimension to the catchiness that was already there. 

In essence, chloe moriondo is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. I discovered her a couple years ago, back when ‘Lemon Boy’ by cavetown was big in my world. He helped produce her debut album that she released at 16. I envisage them to have quite a fraternal relationship, with older brother Robbie seeing success blooming in chloe and striving to help her achieve it. Back then, she was a shy closeted ukulele girl on YouTube. Famous for her red cheeks, button nose, round glasses and yellow walls, she was the embodiment of cute and sweet. Her voice seemed effortless and accompanied her shyness like sugar in a cup of tea.

Since then, she seems to have developed her musical style. What started off as covers became original content, which continues to mature. She has briefly spoken about her issues when it comes to the duality and dichotomy of being famous whilst still in full-time education. However, I would argue that this has improved the strength and honesty of her music. Nowadays, her innocence has been replaced with outward subtle neediness. She screams to be seen, heard and understood. Teenage angst bleeds out of her single ‘Girl on TV’. The music video depicts the insecurity exaggerated by social media and her wish to be what she sees everyone else be. 

There’s undoubtedly a certain nostalgia listening to music written by a teenager. Her content is relatable in a far-off sense for most, but remains convincing. This includes her latest song ‘I Eat Boys’, released today, which will be played on Annie Mac’s Future Sounds at 6p.m. Yet another angsty bop filled with feminist hope mixed with lesbian sympathy. It has potential to become one of those songs that you play on repeat until you are sick of them. Personally, I will definitely be listening to it until I know all the lyrics.