Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: BRIDGES

Indie rock is looking alive and well if our next Artist of the Week is anything to go by. BRIDGES’ new single “Return To The Drake’s Nest” is an indie anthem from the offset that will have your toes tapping in minutes.

The rising quintet have been making waves in the UK for some time now, having already supported We Were Promised Jetpacks, Slow Readers Club, and All Tvvins to name a few. With their latest anthemic single, BRIDGES hope to continue to captivate fans far and wide with their poetic lyricism and celestial soundscapes. Fans of The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit will feel at home here. Oh, and the harmonies between these guys are absolutely stunning by the way.

BRIDGES are the latest signing to Big Indie Records, a label we’ve had our eyes and ears on for a while now and they are yet to disappoint. Based in both Austin and London, Big Indie Records have been making a splash on both sides of the pond recently and we’re always excited to hear what they’re getting up to next. Catch BRIDGES live on 10th July 2019 at London’s Two Tribes Brewery in association with Big Indie Big Nights.

“Return To The Drake’s Nest” on 25th June 2019 via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Chloé Caroline

This week’s Artist of The Week is a surefire sizzler who is bound to get you in the summer spirit. California’s Chloé Caroline has just released her infectious new single “Messy” and it’s an absolute delight from start to finish.

If you’re a fan of Shania Twain or early Taylor Swift then Chloé Caroline is definitely for you. Her new single is full of colour and feel-good vibes that will get your toes tapping instantly. Chloé combines country and commercial pop sensibilities to create a sound both vibrant and warm—along with being a totally addictive ear worm in the process. You’re welcome.

Talking about the track, Chloé elaborates, “This song is meant to unify people through our messiness and celebrate the strength it takes to keep moving forward despite the struggles.” Amen to that.

With residencies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas already confirmed for later on this year, it’s safe to say Chloé isn’t doing too badly for herself. We actually can’t believe this is the first we’re hearing of her, but we’re sure it won’t be the last.

“Messy” is out now via AWAL.

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UK Artist of the Week: Hein Cooper

PHOTO: ROBIN CERUTTI | Get ready to have your soul soothed by Hein Cooper’s mesmerizing musicality. His latest single “Hijack” is a breath of fresh air and will have you hooked in seconds.

The Australian artist has been making waves in his home country for some time now, even supporting huge talents such as James Bay and Edward Sharp and The Magnetic Zeros to name a few. He’s now preparing to release his ethereal new album Underneath It All on 14th June 2019 and if “Hijack” is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.

The single soars with crisp electronic beats and velvet-like vocals that could easily be mistaken for that of the late, great Jeff Buckley. Cooper manages to combine his warm voice with a celestial musicality that creates a sound entirely of his own. If Jeff Buckley and Chet Faker were ever able to collaborate, it would sound something like “Hijack” (in our opinion anyway).

You can also check out previously released album tracks “Like That,” “Fear Of Missing Out,” “Over Again,” and “Hear My Voice” to give you even more of a taste of what’s to come before the album release this Friday. So what are you waiting for?

Underneath It All is in stores on 14th June 2019 via AntiFragile Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kidsmoke

Are you ready for summer? Well you will be after listening to our Artist of the Week’s newest single. All the way from Wales, Kidsmoke kick off the summer months with their dreamy new single “She Takes You Under,” in stores now via Big Indie Records.

If you’re a fan of sparkling harmonies, jangly guitar riffs, pleasant drum beats, and general feel-good vibes, then “She Takes You Under” is the song for you. Reminding us instantly of fellow brits Bombay Bicycle Club, Kidsmoke prove there is nothing quite like a bit of uplifting indie-pop to get you going. Consisting of Lance (vocals/guitar), James (bass/vocals), Sophie (guitar/vocals), and Ash (Drums), the quartet’s harmonies are on point throughout.

Lead guitarist Sophie’s powerful guitar twangs are undeniably infectious and, as a result, it’s no surprise that they’ve been making waves over in the UK for some time now. They’ve also already been making some splashes over here as well, having played SXSW earlier this year and now signed to Austin/London-based label Big Indie Records, we’re sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Kidsmoke in the coming months.

Due to perform as part of Big Indie Big Nights on 12th June 2019 at London’s Two Tribes Brewery, we have high hopes for Kidsmoke and wish them all the best with this fantastic release.

“She Takes You Under” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week:
Luke Marshall Black

Sometimes all you you need is a sweet, wholesome piano ballad to sort you out, and that’s exactly what Luke Marshall Black’s “Losing Sleep” is all about.

If you feel like having a good ol’ cry to wipe the toxins away, this is the single for you. Luke’s warm, gritty vocal is full of emotion throughout, soaring effortlessly over the gentle keys of the piano. Fans of the likes of fellow Scot Lewis Capaldi and even Damien Rice will certainly feel at home here, so get the tissues at the ready. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but everyone needs to sing along to a powerful piano ballad every now and again right?

Now based in Bristol, the Glaswegian born singer has been honing his skills for some time, whilst dealing with heartbreak in the process, and as a result, “Losing Sleep” was made. With a slot at the UK’s previous Glastonbury Festival due soon, we’ve got high hopes for this young lad and, who knows, maybe he’ll make it across the pond in the near future too.

“Losing Sleep” is in stores now via Prospect 21.

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UK Artist of the Week: Danny McMahon

This week’s Artist of The Week is the UK’s answer to Keith Urban, well in our opinion anyway. Country singer-songwriter Danny McMahon creates beautifully poignant songs that will pull at your heart-strings and stay in your head for days to come (in a very good way).

Danny’s latest release is a gorgeously nostalgic video for his hit single “When I See You.” The single, written by songwriter Dan Evans, is an emotive tale about Dan’s grandfather who had recently passed away. Fittingly, as a result, the video sees Danny with his own grandfather in a number of clips from family footage over the years.

The single is incredibly moving from the offset, filled with twinkling guitar melodies and Danny’s soft, smooth vocal sounding incredibly honest and pure throughout—so get the tissues at the ready.

With “When I See You” having debuted at number 1 in the UK iTunes country charts, there are extremely high hopes for Danny’s forthcoming EP “Boys Cry Too,” in stores this Friday, and we can’t wait to hear it. Keith Urban better watch his back, that’s all we’re saying.

“Boys Cry Too” is in stores on 24th May 2019 via Puzzle Maker Records.

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UK Artist of the Week:
Kev Minney

Having gained notable press support from the likes of BBC Radio, Acoustic magazine, R2 magazine and Folk Radio, singer songwriter Kev Minney has returned with the pertinent new single “God is an Algorithm.”

Inspired by Yvan Noah Harari’s book Homo Deus, “God is an Algorithm” tackles important themes related to our reliance and addiction to modern technology. As technology continuously advances, and smartphones and computers dominate society as a whole, the impact upon our daily lives has been stark. With AI progressing at an alarming rate, it is difficult to predict what the future holds.

“God is an Algorithm” offers the perfect juxtaposition to the subject matter. The track begins with beautifully picked guitar as Minney’s lush harmonised vocals become the focal point, accented by a stunning orchestral segment produced by a sting quartet. Taken from the forthcoming album Modern Stories, “God is an Algorithm” is a majestic offering from a talented, thoughtful artist.

“God is an Algorithm” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week:
Tia Gostelow

Since releasing her debut album Thick Skin last year, Australian artist Tia Gostelow has gone from strength to strength. Now, gearing up for her first European tour, we thought it about time she got some AOTW recognition.

Despite her young age, this songstress has been honing her craft for quite some time already and boy, does it show. Thick Skin is a beautifully crafted debut filled with soft, sweet melodies and undeniably catchy choruses throughout.

Tia’s silky smooth vocals are like velvet and so, perhaps appropriately, she even has a track on the album called “Blue Velvet,” which is beautiful by the way. Her most recent release is a piano version of said single. Reminding us of the likes of Gabrielle Aplin or Nina Nesbitt, Tia’s ability to create real storytelling charm with simple musicality and poignancy alone is just stunning.

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UK Artist of the Week: Michael Timmons

Glasgow once again proves it’s the home to some incredible talents as we discover Michael Timmons and his beautiful sonic soundscapes.

Timmons’ latest single “The Games Room” is a delicately weaved slice of alt-folk that will have you mesmerised in moments. Intricate guitar plucks twinkle over ethereal vibrations and Timmons’ soft, emotive vocal fits perfectly in between.

The track tackles the difficult subject matter of grief and Timmons’ own personal experience of dealing with the death of his father. The musicality is fittingly sombre, allowing your mind to float effortlessly within the celestial soundscapes, reminding us of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Powerful stuff.

The Glaswegian songwriter is no stranger to the music industry having already released a debut album to critical acclaim and supporting The Twilight Sad at their sold out show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands—he’s not doing too badly. With a sophomore album in the works, we’re excited to see what the future holds for this talented Scot.

“The Games Room” is in stores now via Gargleblast Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: HYYTS

Today we are treating you to some progressive pop all the way from Glasgow. Emerging alt-pop duo HYYTS recently shared their ambient new single “Car Crash Carnivore” and boy, is it impressive.

Inspired by the likes of Scissor Sisters and even Ariana Grande, HYYTS—aka Adam and Sam—really are serving up something special. “Car Crash Carnival” takes the listener on a wonderful journey, as the song’s intricate electronic soundscapes are able to soar effortlessly.

Adam’s remarkable falsetto is at the forefront, oozing confidence and power throughout. The band even appear to have created their own genre; “skip-hop” (that’s Scottish hip-hop to you and me) and we’ve gotta admit, its pretty decent.

Having just embarked on a mini UK tour, we sure are hoping these guys make their way across the pond in the near future. For the skip-hop introduction if not anything else! If you’re a fan of Jungle and MNEK then you should definitely give this a go.

“Car Crash Carnivore” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Alex Bayly

This week’s Artist of The Week is an alt-folk Londoner who sings about love, loss, and commitment. Alex Bayly’s latest single “I’ll Never Leave You” is the first to be released alongside Big Indie Records.

Combining elements of blues, Americana, and indie rock, Alex Bayly is hard to pigeon-hole. His latest single feels as though it could have come straight out of California at times, sparkling with the sound of the summer with his surf-rock style guitar licks taking centre stage.

Bayly’s distinctively gritty vocal sounds instantly reminiscent of Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and we wouldn’t be surprised if Bayly takes influence from the blues-rock duo as well, although he certainly has more of a mellow vibe.

Bayly is the latest signing to Big Indie Records, an emerging London label we’ve been keeping tabs on for the past few months now. Bayly will perform as part of their monthly event, Big Indie Big Nights, on 10th April at Two Tribes Brewery and its all free! What a treat.

“I’ll Never Leave You” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Closet Organ

There’s some great music coming out of Glasgow at the moment and Closet Organ are no exception. Their raucous blend of scuzz-infused grunge-rock is oozing with attitude and their latest AA-side single certainly packs a punch.

“Smells Like Lynx Africa” b/w “Fat & Die: An Autobiography” is fully loaded, that’s for sure. The alt-rock quartet combine reverb-heavy guitars with pulsating drum beats to create their distinctively heavy sound, reminiscent of the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins. Frontman Stephen McLeod Blythe’s powerfully nasal vocal style reminds us instantly of the one and only Kurt Cobain, an artist we’re sure Closet Organ admire greatly.

The singles also tackle the hugely important subject matter of mental health, having lost a close friend of theirs a year ago. It’s great to see more and more artists approach this subject head-on, unafraid to express emotion and vulnerability, but all the while doing it in their own vibrant way.

“Smells Like Lynx Africa / Fat & Die: An Autobiography” is out now via Cow Tongue Taco Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: XY&O

This week’s artist of the week began their journey in an Exeter dorm room in early 2015. Fast-forward to 2019 and electro-pop trio XY&O have already racked up over 40 million Spotify streams, so you could say they’re not doing too badly…

The lads’ latest single, “Like A Promise” is an ethereal beauty from the offset, featuring wonderfully majestic vocals from Mr. Skip Curtis, reminding us of the likes of Years & Years instantly. Joining Skip are Nick Kelly (guitar, bass) and Tudor Davies (keyboards, percussion), who together create hauntingly good synth-pop bangers that will have you in a dreamy haze for days.

XY&O’s debut single “Low Tide” is equally mesmerizing and definitely worth a listen too, especially since it managed to reach number 6 on the Spotify Global Viral Chart—pretty impressive stuff if you ask us!

“Like A Promise” is in stores now via Electric MVM.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sive

If you’re a fan of intricate alt-folk, you’re in for a treat because Sive—the musical moniker of Sadhbh O’Sullivan—is an undeniable talent who spins widely relatable tales.

Sive’s latest single “Do It All The Time” is a truly enchanting piece of music that is full of colour and emotion. Sive’s velvet-like vocal is at the forefront throughout, complimenting the whimsical musicality perfectly. The lyrics are brilliantly relatable as Sive sings about the struggles we all face when we are forced to look at our weaknesses and admit them out loud to others.

Lyrics such as, “I went to a physiotherapist and I marked my pain as a five / I don’t know why I lied it was probably more like a nine / I do it all the time” is both comical and human and the perfect example of Sive’s ability to write poignant lyrics about tough subjects. Fans of Laura Marling and Lisa Hannigan will certainly notice similar traits in Sive’s songwriting, and we’re so here for it.

“Do It All The Time” is taken from Sive’s forthcoming EP “Sive” in stores on 3rd of May 2019 via Veta Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Night House

Get ready to be transported into a hypnotic abyss as this week’s Artist of the Week, Night House, are undeniably mesmerising and deserve your undivided attention.

Night House was created by singer-songwriter and producer Nick Williams in 2015 as a means to promote his folk leanings. Since then however, Nick’s sound has grown wonderfully and the moniker “Night House” has expanded into a fully-formed band.

Night House now exhibits incredibly impressive orchestral arrangements, creating a sound akin to Bon Iver or James Blake. Combining elements of electronica, alt-folk with pop sensibilities, Night House really are on the brink of something special—mark our words. Their latest single, “Unfold” is the perfect example of Night House’s ability to create beautifully atmospheric soundscapes that ache with emotion.

Having already supported the likes of Ben Howard, Willy Mason, Krystal Warren, and The Magic Numbers, we’re sure Night House are going to be a band to watch in 2019.

“Unfold” is in stores now via Back In The Woods Records.

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