Author Archives: Katie Moore

UK Artist of the Week: Pip Blom

Having received airplay from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, as well as plenty of acclaim from both Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley at BBC 6 Music, Amsterdam-based artist Pip Blom first caught our attention last year with her EP “Are We There Yet?” Now, along with her band—Tender Blom (guitar and backing vocals), Berend Kok (bass), and Bowie Thörig (drums)—she is busy touring the UK with Surfer Blood, off the back of releasing her latest single.

“I Think I’m In Love” is filled with infectious, racing hooks and Blom’s distinctive youthful vocals reflecting on the complications of love and relationships. An uplifting, energy-fuelled offering reminiscent of Aussie rocker Courtney Barnett, “I Think I’m In Love” has all the twinkling melodies and rich harmonies you could ever dream of, complete with an addictive, sing-along chorus.

With her quirky charisma, raw vocal power, and ability to create such incredibly catchy offerings, it seems a sure thing that Pip Blom will be winning over the ears of many this year with her own distinct brand of charming, fuzzy indie-rock.

“I Think I’m In Love” is in stores now via Toaster Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Chairman

Starting out creating music alone in his bedroom, Danish artist Lucas Berner has now re-coined himself The Chairman and creates deep, reflective, electro-fused offerings. With his new single “Animate,” Berner’s set to grab plenty of attention from listeners worldwide.

Filled with throbbing beats alongside the rich darkness of Berner’s vocals, “Animate” exudes shades of melancholy electro akin to Lampchop. Written as a cathartic release from his personal battle with depression, the track flows with sweeping melodies and reflective lyrical storytelling, creating a truly captivating and thought-provoking soundscape.

If The Chairman continues to produce such emotion-strewn and musically rich tracks, he’s certain to be a one to watch for 2017.

“Animate” is out 10th March via Danish Music Entertainment.

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UK Artist of the Week: Army Of Bones

Already known for their engaging live shows, Brighton band Army Of Bones have received praise from the likes of The Revue and BBC Introducing and sold-out headline gigs across the UK. Now, with their debut album out next month, they are undoubtedly looking like Ones To Watch in 2017.

An album filled with songs of hope tinged with doubt, Army Of Bones’ eponymous debut is a creation inspired by the power of music to heal divisions. Filled with frontman Martin Smith’s soaring melancholic vocals and sweeping cinematic melodies, it’s a contemplative collection of powerful, emotion-strewn offerings.

From tracks such as the impassioned, anthemic “End Of Time,” to the more upbeat, driving electro-pop sound of “Batteries,” and the heart-wrenching emotion of “Ecclesiastes,” each track exudes a truly captivating, dramatic power. Filled with profound lyrical reflections that flow seamlessly alongside a rich musicality, this debut is sure to cement Army Of Bones firmly in our ears, and our hearts, for the long-term.

Army Of Bones, the eponymous debut album, is out 6 March via Bones Music Group.

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UK Artist of the Week: Be Charlotte

Fronted by teenager Charlotte Brimner, Scottish three-piece Be Charlotte are set to release a brand new single later this month. I’ve no doubt that it’s going to take the world by storm.

“One Drop” showcases just why Brimner is already regarded as one of Scotland’s most cutting-edge songwriters. Skillfully fusing an eclectic range of genres, the track combines elements of hip-hop, electro, and pop, creating a truly infectious and hugely addictive dance-floor anthem.

As Brimner’s Scottish twang alternates between sweeping, impassioned vocal power and gritty beat-boxing loops, “One Drop” races with twinkling melodies alongside throbbing beats and glitchy electro vibes—a vibrant and innovative creation, bound to propel Be Charlotte into the mainstream in no time.

Having already received acclaim from BBC Radio 1 and Radio X, Be Charlotte have also been named as one of The Great Escape’s First Fifty for 2017, and are going to be playing SXSW in March. This year certainly looks set to be a big one for Be Charlotte.

“One Drop” is out 20 January via AWAL/Kobalt Label Service.

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Needle Drop: Sam Brockington, “Peace
of Mind” EP

Having spent time travelling from London to Melbourne and back to the UK again, receiving acclaim from BBC 6 Music, and playing at festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds, Bristol-based singer-songwriter Sam Brockington has now released his debut EP. “Peace of Mind” is a collection of five emotion-strewn indie-folk offerings showcasing the depth of talent of this young songwriter.

The EP’s title track and opener is an impassioned, folk-inspired introduction to the collection, oozing Brockington’s distinctive husky vocals and catchy, uptempo melodies. It’s an instant earworm reminiscent of Paulo Nutini’s early work.

“Follow” proves to be another utterly infectious creation, filled with endearing, heartfelt emotion and charming, twinkling melodies. Next track “Manta Ray” ups the pace of the EP—racing, punchy beats and soulful, reflective vocals in the vein of George Ezra.

Penultimate track “Unstiched” flows with a reflective tone and rich musicality. Exuding luscious harmonies and intricate guitar-picking, it’s a touching indie-folk ballad. EP closer is “Cold Feet,” no doubt a literal sentiment we can all relate to during these frosty times. Showcasing the versatility of Brockington’s vocals—from impressive baritone to impassioned cries—it’s a perfectly heartwarming end to the collection.

“Peace of Mind” is in stores now via Prospect 21.

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Needle Drop: Pip Blom, “Are We There Yet?” EP

Set to release her debut EP on 28th September, Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter Pip Blom writes, records, and releases all her own material, and has already received acclaim from 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. “Are We There Yet?” is a short but sweet collection of three powerful tracks. Combining driving riffs with sweet, catchy melodies—it’s a true treat.

First track “Taxi Driver” immediately hits you with its uptempo indie-pop goodness. Undeniably catchy, its infectious lo-fi fuzz and jangly melodies will no doubt stick in your head upon first listen. Flowing with Blom’s honey-sweet vocals, it’s a track wonderful in its simplicity.

“Honey” is grittier than its predecessor; filled with grunge-inspired, languid riffs, it oozes a raw power showcasing this young songwriter’s skill for creating her own impressive indie sound. Reminiscent of some pioneering ‘90s female Brit Pop bands such as Sleeper or Elastica, “Alone” closes the EP in a gentler, more reflective tone. With acoustic twangs of guitar and Blom’s stripped-back vocals, it exudes a refreshing, honest vulnerability and emotion-strewn openness. A contemplative and delicately beautiful end to an inspired debut.

Although Pip Blom’s influences are clear on “Are We There Yet?”—most notably Aussie songwriter Courtney Barnett—that’s no bad thing in my book. I can’t get enough of these scuzzy, raw indie anthems.

“Are We There Yet?” is out 28th September via Toaster Records.

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Needle Drop: Tanners Pool, “Out of Line” EP

Tanners Pool are bringing back classic rock ‘n’ roll with their debut EP “Out of Line” out now via Alt/Logic.

The EP kicks off with the punchy, guitar driven “Bad Advice’” where lead guitarist Jess Ashdale immediately makes a name for herself with her insane guitar solo taking center stage. Funk-rock number “I’m Long Gone” feels more akin to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and shifts my initial thoughts on the EP quite drastically in the process. The track feels completely different to “Bad Advice”—it has a distinct edge that’s quite memorable.

Given latter tracks “Nothing and Nobody” and “Plastic Wings” I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that their funk-rock edge seems to have disappeared into the abyss and we’re back to the more generic classic rock sound. Are they missing a trick here?

Regardless, this debut EP from the Oxford quartet is definitely worth a listen and this band could be something very special. In a world filled with fresh new indie bands, it would be nice to see something a bit unique come out of the woodwork, and with a bit of tweaking, perhaps these guys could be it.

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Needle Drop: SHVLLOWS, “Zurich”

Having received acclaim from Amazing Radio’s Jim Gellatly, BBC Radio Scotland, and Clash, Edinburgh four-piece SHVLLOWS are currently enjoying the rise in attention and seek to continue the streak with their latest offering.

New single “Zurich” is an anthemic slice of indie-pop with catchy synth-laden melodies and subtle cinematic power. Oozing uptempo ‘80s vibes, it’s an infectious track that explores themes of anxiety and self-doubt.

Juxtaposing insightful, lyrical storytelling and melodies, “Zurich” is an atmospheric offering strewn with sweeping emotion and positive energy—a real treat for fans of light-hearted electro-pop. (You can certainly hear why Made In Chelsea featured the track in one of their undoubtedly dramatic and emotion-filled episodes.)

“Zurich,” the new single from SHVLLOWS is in stores 16th September via Choose Rude Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Empty Page

Having formed just last year, Manchester trio The Empty Page—Kel, Giz, and Jim—are already stunning listeners across the country with their raucous, grunge-inspired sound, and the band is set to release their debut album, Unfolding next month.

Previously released track “Deeply Unlovable” is the perfect example of the band’s anthemic, raw, riot grrrl-inspired sound. Accompanied by a video featuring women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, it highlights the need for a balanced and realistic representation of women in media, as well as simply being a fantastic song.

The latest taste of the forthcoming album comes in the form of “Big Wheel”—a ‘90s-inspired slice of indie-rock, filled with raw, fuzzy hooks alongside infectious melodies. The Empty Page are a must-listen for anyone craving some gritty, refreshing rock anthems with welcome shades of nostalgia.

Produced by Garth Richardson (Biffy Clyro, RATM, L7), Unfolding, the debut album from The Empty Page, is in stores 21st October via Vociferous Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Beauty

Singer, songwriter, and dancer, the multi-talented Beauty (aka Mark Thompson) creates his own unique style of electro-pop and is set to release his brand new single next month.

“Grown Up” is filled with twinkling synthy melodies alongside pulsating electro beats and Thompson’s distinctive impassioned vocals. Influenced by the likes of Sia, Robyn, and Sam Smith, Thompson describes “Grown Up” as being inspired by a much-needed conversation with an old friend.

Hankering back to simpler times, the track is an ode to childhood and the importance of holding onto what’s close to you when the responsibilities of adulthood become overwhelming. Oozing uptempo, poptastic vibes, “Grown Up” is a gritty slice of mature electro-pop.

“Grown Up” is out 16th September 2016 via BeautysMusic.

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