Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Josh Thorpe

Get ready to get a little fuzzy this week with Josh Thorpe and his experimental new single “Manhattan,” out now.

Taken from his upcoming album Love & Weather, “Manhattan” is the perfect introduction to Josh’s unique blend of off-kilter alternative rock. Reminiscent of Velvet Underground and Kurt Vile, Josh combines colloquial lyricism with minimalist rock beats creating a sound that is undeniably adventurous and obscure.

Josh is originally from Canada but now resides in Glasgow where he continues to work as a visual artist who has made psychedelic installations of threads, balloons, and “a big public work of flags flying with stupid drawings on them.” If “Manhattan” is anything to go by, we’re excited to see what Love & Weather will bring. Watch this space…

Love & Weather is in stores on 5th February 2021 via Unusual Music Exchange.

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UK Artist of the Week: Camden Place

With the pandemic still running wild all over the world, it’s sometimes hard to feel optimistic about when things will be back to normal again. Now, more than ever, we need to look after our mental health and remind ourselves it’s ok to feel low or anxious in these unprecedented times. Collaborative dance project Camden Place remind us of just that on their ambient new single “Will I Make It To Springtime,” out now.

Blending woozy synths, transcendent drum beats, and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt’s soft, celestial vocal, “Will I Make It To Springtime” is the perfect lo-fi slice of electronica to get you through the winter months. Grainne has teamed up with Irish songwriter Seán Silke, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant, and label Beardfire Music for this release and it certainly seems like the new found collective are onto something good if this debut is anything to go by. Fans of the likes of Bonobo and Four Tet will feel at home here.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is a song about facing your fears and accepting your anxieties, something that feels extremely relatable at the moment.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sans Soucis

PHOTO: CHIARA BRUSCHINI | As the UK goes back into lockdown for another month, it’s tough to not to get bogged down and forget about all the positives in your life, and that’s ok. Get lost instead in Sans Soucis’ hypnotic new single “Air,” a song about finding your focus and facing your fears.

London-based artist Sans Soucis has us entirely entranced, and we’re not complaining. Her new single “Air” showcases her haunting vocals and poignant lyricism perfectly. The richly textured electronic beat throughout is totally mesmerising as well, by the way.

Talking about the single, Sans explains, “I spent quite some time wallowing in my insecurities and fear of failure, that I almost forgot how much courage it takes in a time like this to be real, to still believe we can inspire each other, to believe we can support and help people around us by simply being a great example. It’s a tremendous responsibility that I can only actively do while I am alive. “Air” is vital for our survival, which is something that we’ve started reconsidering during this tough year. With this song, I am trying to talk to someone who has lost focus, their compass or purpose.”

“Air” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Roma Rose

Roma Rose embraces the high and lows of motherhood on her charming new single “In My Head,” out now. With all the negativity in the world at the moment, Roma Rose’s latest cut is a breath of fresh air.

The Scottish artist reminds us to be true to ourselves on her poignant new single “In My Head” and it’s just rather lovely in all honesty. Roma’s soulfully sweet vocal compliments the celestial musicality perfectly and her highly relatable lyrics reminds us instantly of the likes of fellow singer-songwriter Maisie Peters. The track has an added adorable surprise feature from Roma’s one year old daughter, so get ready to gush appropriately.

“Her interwoven, joyous sounds also speak to the inner child inside all of us, who we so often push down and don’t let burst through the surface,” Roma explains. “I love being a mum more than anything, but never felt I fitted the mould of who a mother should be. I wanted so badly to connect with other new mums at awkward baby groups (who were probably feeling similar things!) but didn’t know how to connect my real self with this new life and this new person I had become—a mother.”

“In My Head” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Collect Call

Ease your way into the working week with Collect Call and their stunningly intricate new single “Pretense,” out now.

Instantly reminiscent of the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Collect Call’s “Pretense” is the perfect indie-folk song to get your through the winter months. Lead singer Joe Thorpe’s beautifully fragile vocals are at the forefront, soaring effortlessly over gentle guitar strums and tentative drum beats to create a sound that is wonderfully poignant.

Talking about the single, Joe explains, “This song is love letter within the digital age. It’s hard to perceive what people are really thinking alongside the echo chamber of the internet exacerbating our frustrations. It’s important to leave your phone alone and care for the people who actually matter in your life and love them properly.”

Collect Call has developed from Joe’s solo project into a fully fledged band and Joe shows no signs of looking back.

“Pretense” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Little Suspicions

Alex Turner, is that you? No, but you’d be forgiven for assuming so if Little Suspicions’ “Wasting All My Time” is anything to go by. British new kids on the block, Little Suspicions have just released their debut single and it’s a symphonic delight from start to finish.

It’s no surprise that the rising quartet have referenced both The Last Shadow Puppets and Scott Walker as major influences. Their debut single “Wasting All My Time” is instantly reminiscent of both artists, taking us on a much needed trip down memory lane.

The finished product is slick, euphoric, and incredibly charming—as Alex Turner himself I’m sure would agree. Yes, it’s not groundbreaking, but it is an extremely impressive debut and an exciting start for the UK four-piece. Watch this space, we’re sure we’ll be seeing much more from them on the coming months…

“Wasting All My Time” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Marija Clara

Get ready for the ultra immersive experience in the form of UK artist Marija Clara and her celestial new single “Heavenly,” out now.

We know, we know, Tuesdays suck, so why not forgot all your weekly worries for a sec and get totally mesmerised by Marija Clara’s euphoric new single “Heavenly.” It is, well, heavenly and an ethereal gem from start to finish.

Talking about the single, Marija explains, “‘Heavenly’ is a song that celebrates self-empowerment. The message of  ‘just in case you wondered, my life without you has been heavenly’ is wrapped up in a slow R&B beat; a nod to the groove-fuelled ’90s R&B I grew up listening to.” We love it.

Marija Clara is is known for creating an alluring musical experience that encompasses the audience by exquisite melody and soft, multi-layered harmonies and rhythms. Currently based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Marija was educated in the UK and is originally from Lithuania.

“Heavenly” is the lead single taken from Marija’s debut EP “Deep Dive,” which is also in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Versari

PHOTO: RENAUD de FOVILLE | We’ve ended up in France (theoretically) for this week’s AOTW, and the band’s new release is a post-punk marvel from start to finish. French trio Versari have recently announced the release of their forthcoming album Sous La Peau, due in stores on 16th November 2020 and we cannot wait.

Taken from the album is the powerful new single “Brûle,” out now. It’s a track oozing with abrasive edges and post-hardcore soundscapes that are bound to instantly wake you up from those mid-week slumbers—whether you like it or not. Jean-Charles Versari’s captivating vocal tone soars over the fuzz-filled guitar and pulsating drum beats, sounding reminiscent of The Fall and post-punk newcomers TV Priest as a result.

This dynamic trio formed in 2003 and they’ve not looked back since as their sound evolves once more with the release of Sous La Peau. If “Brûle” is anything to go by, we’re in for seductively melancholic treat.

Sous La Peau is in stores on 16th November 2020 via Good Deeds.

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UK Artist of the Week: A.S. Fanning

We are living in trying times right now and it’s so important—now more than ever—to look after each other and our own mental health. Irish artist A.S. Fanning reminds us of this with his powerfully poignant new single “You Should Go Mad,” out now.

Taken from his upcoming album of the same name, “You Should Go Mad” combines elements of goth-rock, psychedelia, and classic rock creating a sound that is wonderfully dark and richly resonant. Fans of The National and David Bowie will feel at home here. Talking about the single, A.S. Fanning, aka Stephen Fanning, elaborates, “’You Should Go Mad’ is a song about mental illness or ill-health, or more specifically about anxiety.”

“The title came from Moby Dick. There’s a section in it where Ahab is speaking with the blacksmith, Perth. Perth has had a lot of misfortune in his life but is a very stoic person. Ahab tells him ‘I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should’st go mad, blacksmith’. I suppose I found it a funny piece of advice, the idea that madness is somehow a beneficial choice, or preferential to internal turmoil.”

Fanning is originally from Dublin but now lives in Berlin. His upcoming album You Should Go Mad is due for release on 13th November 2020 via Proper Octopus Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dan Sumner

Brighton-based artist Dan Sumner is being celebrated today as this week’s Artist of The Week and we have no doubt you’ll understand why after listening to his poignant new single “Let The Light In,” out now.

With an impassioned baritone vocal that even The National’s Matt Berninger would envy, Dan Sumner is quickly becoming known in his seaside hometown as one to watch. His latest single “Let The Light In” blends the genres of rock, folk, and blues to create a sound that is entirely his own and filled with captivating, textured moments that are bound to warm your heart—no matter how cold it is.

“Let The Light In” is a song about someone locking themselves away from the world and needing to look outside and see that there are people who love them out there and not to suffer alone, something we are all guilty of at times. “Let The Light In” is the second single to be taken from Dan’s upcoming album Ebb and Flow, due for release in November 2020.

“Let The Light In” is in stores now via AWAL.

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UK Artist of the Week: Fanny Andersen

Norway’s Fanny Andersen returns with her infectious new single “Complicated,” out now. This is a piercing slice of alt-pop that is packed with a punch from the offset, so get ready cos she’s this week’s Artist of The Week.

The Scandinavian music scene is quite literally popping at the moment and we’re are very much on board. Emerging artist Fanny Andersen has just shared her infectious new single “Complicated” and it’s the perfect slice of electro-pop to get your hips moving in no time. Fans of the likes of Sigrid and Dagny will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Fanny explains “I was inspired to write about the complexities of love and life. This song is about falling for someone who’s really not right for you, and how this can make life feel very complex along with everything else that life throws your way.”

Fanny is is currently in the studio working with a new line of collaborators including Olly Burden (The Prodigy), Steve Weston (Skrillex / Rudimental), and Jamie Reynolds (Klaxons), so watch this space…

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Needle Drop: Mark Lanegan Band & IYEARA, Another Knock At The Door (IYEARA Remixes)

The remix album can be a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand the idea of reimagining another artist’s work in your own unique style can be a hard sell. Especially when the original body of work is critically lauded. On the other hand there are exceptions with the likes of Goldfrapp’s 2006 remix album We Are Glitter or Depeche Mode’s Remixes 81–04 turning this theory on its head.

Over the past 12 months London trio IYEARA have stepped into the role of remixers-in-chief having made their name through a cover of “Shout” by Tears For Fears featuring The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss. Indeed, the group, containing The Duke Spirit guitarist Toby Butler, have gone on to collaborate with Laura Marling’s LUMP project, UNKLE, Humanist ft. Dave Gahan, The Prodigy, The Boxer Rebellion and many more. Their most recent release is a collaboration with Mark Lanegan who gave his blessing for the band to remix his entire 2019 album Somebody’s Knocking—neatly retitled as Another Knock At The Door.

Akin to Depeche Mode’s Remixes 81–04, IYEARA have created a throbbing, industrial take on what was a critically acclaimed record, altering the atmosphere entirely, and forcing the listener to absorb Lanegan’s rasping, distinctive lyrics through an alternative vision. Considering his prolific nature, as well as a penchant for remix collaborations, Another Knock At The Door is the first time Mark Lanegan has allowed another artist to remix a whole record from start to finish.

That IYEARA have done so with such aplomb is testament to their ability to tap into, and understand, the artists they work with. First single “Playing Nero” offers an added layer of darkness. Soundscapes envelop Lanegan’s words in a way that offers a fresh, ominous meaning to his acerbic lyrics. “She Loved You” shimmers with atmospheric sonics and trademark pulsating synths, as IYEARA create a score befitting any John Carpenter film.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sianon

Despite this only being her third release to date, British newcomer Sianon is already proving that she is certainly one to watch. Sianon’s latest cut is a highly relatable new single about making your ex jealous… can you relate?

We’ve all been there, you spot your ex at a party or at the pub and you wish you were better prepared for the emotional blow, but you never are. Interestingly, electro-pop artist Sianon and her ex could not have been more prepared for the inevitable encounter if her shimmering new single “Make Me Jealous” is anything to go by.

Talking about the single, Sianon explains, “I turned up to a party with somebody else because I knew my ex boyfriend was going to be there and wanted to look like I’d moved on. He also turned up with someone but we later found out from mutual friends we’d had the same idea and were still very much single and caught up on each other.” All we can say is, we hope it worked out.

Sianon—pronounced Shannon—is originally from Dudley, Ireland but she now resides in Brighton, England. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, cos we’re pretty sure this alt-pop star is bound for big things.

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TVD Premiere: Melissa Bel, “Summer So Long”

Summer may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we can’t still pine for it, right? Melissa Bel does just that eloquently and poignantly on new single “Summer So Long” which we’re proudly premiering today ahead of its release tomorrow.

We first featured Melissa Bel way back in 2016 and she has been making some pretty definitive waves ever since. Her previous releases have always fallen comfortably within the commercial pop genre, but Melissa’s latest cut is taking her to expansive new territories and we’re all for it.

Combining elements of country, pop, and Americana, Melissa’s new single “Summer So Long” is the perfect summer sizzler that will make you want to get your picnic baskets out for one last hoorah before the impending cold and rain hit us, and you know it will. Fans of Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton will feel at home here.

Melissa grew up in Toronto but now resides in Sussex, UK, the perfect spot for watching those stunning seaside sunsets, apparently.

“Summer So Long” is in stores 28th August 2020.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jordana Lilly

We’re feeling funkalicious this week at TVD HQ and it’s all down to Jordana Lilly and her infectious new single “Locked Up,” out now.

The title may make you think this is going to be a Corona-related bop, but it was actually written way before all this madness began. “Locked Up” is a song about accepting yourself for who you are, even going so far as to celebrate it, and we’re so here for it.

The single is undeniably addictive from the offset as Jordana combines elements of funk, R&B and pop creating something that is full of fun and empowerment as a result. Turn this one up to full volume and have a boogie around your bedroom—we dare you.

“Locked Up” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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