Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Sun Bloom

Summer may be over but thankfully London trio Sun Bloom are here to give us another sprinkling of sunshine before the year is up.

Their latest single “Take It Away”—from their debut EP of the same name—is instantly warming, so warming in fact that its actually pretty surprising this sound has come straight out of London and not California.

Sun Bloom’s sizzling surf-rock sound feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast—but British. Their surf-inspired dream-pop sound is undeniably addictive and clearly a strong start for this budding band.

If you happen to be in London on the 27th September you can catch Sun Bloom performing live—and free—at The Constitution, Camden.

“Take It Away” is in stores now.

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Needle Drop: Dudley Benson, “We Could’ve Been Gods”

New Zealand avant-pop artist Dudley Benson weaves beautiful electronic soundscapes, effortlessly marrying challenging yet uplifting sonics, with deeply personal lyrical themes.

Exploring concepts of nationhood, decolonisation, and our relationship with nature, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is the latest cut from his ambitious new album Zealandia. Featuring a full symphony orchestra, 50-person choir, and beats made from samples of rocks and minerals, Dudley defies genre by combining alt-pop, choral, classical, and electronica, producing a record that is as unique as it is captivating.

Shot by Miranda Bellamy and Solomon Mortimer, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is a semi-improvised pulse of love, sex, and earth that reflects and bounces off the song, and the three filming locations around Auckland, New Zealand.

Collaborating with respected avant-garde dance artists val smith and Tru Paraha, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is the centrepiece of a an album that tackles hard-hitting themes surrounding New Zealand culture, history, and identities.

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TVD Premiere: Chloé Caroline, “Forgive Me”

2019 may have been a bit of a nightmare year for us so far, but one great thing to come out of it is the rise in mental health awareness, especially within music. So many artists have been incredibly open in their songwriting, encouraging people from all walks us life to open up. Californian native Chloé Caroline is one of these artists and we’re incredibly pleased to be premiering her new single “Forgive Me” on The Vinyl District today.

It’s happened to all of us, some days you just wake up feeling rubbish and you can’t shake that feeling of anxiety. It’s completely normal to feel this way and talking about it is incredibly important, not just for yourself, but for loved ones around you to understand and accept. Chloé evokes this beautifully in her latest ballad “Forgive Me,” a song that shines the light on mental health struggles, perfectionism, and societal expectations.

Not only is the narrative incredibly imperative, it’s also stunningly written. Chloé’s powerfully distinctive vocals, reminiscent of Taylor Swift and Sheryl Crow, ooze emotion as they soar over the warm, piano-led melodies. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, or even a bit of a cry, “Forgive Me” is the song for you. Chloé has hit the nail on the head here in so many ways and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.

“Forgive Me” arrives in stores on 13th September 2019 via AWAL.

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UK Artist of the Week: Living Hour

PHOTO: ALLY GONZALO | We’ve got something extra special for you today, so get ready to be all kinds of mesmerized. Canadian five-piece Living Hour are about to embark on a European tour and to celebrate, they’ve shared the stunning visuals for their brooding album track “Most,” in stores now on Kanine Records.

The video mirrors the hypnotic stylings of the song perfectly as textured, static-like images fill the screen, cinematic soundscapes also soar. “Most” feels instantly reminiscent of Beach House or Slowdive’s ability to create wonderful sonic vignettes with minimal fuss and yet, at the same time, are also undeniably complex. Front woman Sam Sarty’s ethereal vocal sits subtly in the background as she allows the enchanting musicality to take centre stage and whisk her into the ambient abyss. It really is a breathtaking piece of artistry from all angles.

As mentioned earlier, “Most” is taken from Living Hour’s poignant latest album Softer Faces. The five-piece are also due to start their European tour imminently, so be sure to catch them if you’re in the area. It’s guaranteed to be a truly majestic experience.

A full list of live dates can be found here.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kaiit

We’ve been obsessed with Kaiit ever since we caught her at The Great Escape earlier this year, so we felt it was high time we express our love for the neo-soul songstress right here at TVD.

Kaiit’s latest cut “Miss Shiney” is yet another example of this Australian artist’s ability to pen bright, colourful tracks with a serious groove. Taking inspiration from her time away in her homeland of Papua New Guinea, “Miss Shiney” radiates the sweet sound of soul and empowerment through unreserved vocal charm. If Amy Winehouse were still around today, we’re certain she’d be singing this girl’s praises from the rooftops. It’s jazz for the modern age and we just bloody love it!

Talking about the track, Kaiit explains “‘Miss Shiney’ is about going through writer’s block due to self-doubt and not trusting myself and the process. This track is more of a reminder for me, something I listen to when I’m trippin’ and need something to remind me that I got this! You that girl, and people heal from my words!”

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UK Artist of the Week: Mexican Radio

If you’re a fan of Berlin-based synth punk (and who isn’t?), then you’re in for an almighty treat. The formidable trio Mexican Radio will be releasing their undeniably determined sophomore album Deconstruction / Reconstruction on 20th September and to give you a little taster, they’ve just shared their brilliant new single “Night of Nihilist” with the world.

“Night of The Nihilist” is a wonderfully sharp and meaningful introductory track that showcases Mexican Radio’s potential perfectly. The production is undoubtedly impressive—they’ve recorded everything live to tape in an analogue studio with no overdubs—pretty serious stuff. Fans of The Fall and Atari Teenage Riot will certainly feel at home here.

Talking about the track, the band elaborate, “The song was inspired by the Russian nihilist movement from the 1860s and makes reference to their assassination of Tsar Alexander II. The narrator of the song also takes influence from the nihilist character Bazarov from Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons.

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TVD Video Premiere: CAFOLLA, “1985”

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, there must be something in the air up in Scotland because the talent coming out that tiny country right now is palpable! Our latest discovery is indie-electro artist CAFOLLA and we’re pleased to announce we’re premiering the brand new single and video for “1985” right here at TVD.

If you didn’t guess by the name, “1985” is brimming in all things ’80s—from the synth-infused soundscapes, to the political lyricism, right through to the VHS-inspired visuals in the video, “1985” is a powerful time machine that deserves your attention. The distinctively soulful vocals remind us of a cross between Jamiroquai, Prince, and even Michael Jackson in parts—and we can’t get enough.

It’s an undeniably addictive debut with an important message that we should all take note of. Talking about the single and video, CAFOLLA elaborates, ““1985” is a blaring commentary on consumerism, greed, and a reminder of what it has led to. It asks the question, “Have we truly grown from this over indulgence or is it as rife as ever?” Some serious food for thought there folks.

Check out the vintage-inspired visuals above, created by videographer Danny McCormick and produced by McCormick, Gordon Beveridge, and CAFOLLA.

“1985” arrives in stores on 22nd August 2019 via Dusty Reel Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Glossii

Get ready to rock as emerging quartet Glossii take over as UK Artist of The Week, and they’re taking no prisoners in the process.

Their latest single “Watching Me” is a raucous slice of alternative rock that is snarling with attitude from the offset. Hard to pin down to one genre, Glossii combine post-punk, grunge, and feedback-laden indie-rock to create their unashamedly thunderous sound.

Frontwoman Sofia Zanghirella’s powerfully distinctive vocal is instantly reminiscent of Garbage’s Shirley Manson as she emits dark femme fatale verve by the bucket load. Talking about the single, the band elaborate, “‘Watching Me’ is about growing up and going against the rules that parents tell you and want you to abide by.”

Having recently performed as part of NME’s newly appointed Girls To the Front programme, it’s clear that Glossii are going from strength to strength. Also proud members of the LGBTQ+ scene, it seems Glossii are exactly what we need right now in a world of political turmoil.

“Watching Me” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Canary Gold

Glasgow’s been on a pretty decent roll recently when it comes to producing great new music, and today is no exception. Canary Gold are the latest pair of Scots to impress us with their undeniably spellbinding blend of indie-electronica.

Canary Gold are brothers Spencer and JP O’Grady and they are indeed worth your attention, so listen up. Their latest single “Hummingbird” is a celestial slice of indie rock that combines twinkling piano notes with a driving, tribal-like beat to create a sound that is truly unique. Fans of the likes of Alt J and Local Natives will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, the duo explain, “in our heads Hummingbird is about a made-up apocalypse but it’s quite open to interpretation. We thought innocent image of a hummingbird against the back drop of some of those dark lyrics brings out a really interesting contrast.”

“Hummingbird” is in stores now via Master Closet Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Bubbatrees

If you prefer your summer anthems to be a little bit more on the eerie side, then we’ve got just the ticket for you today. Bubbatrees’ new single “Alchemy” is a dark, brooding slice of indie-electronica that is bound to get your head bouncing instantly.

The Scottish quartet have been making a name for themselves in their home country for some time now, having already sold out Edinburgh’s well known Sneaky Pete’s venue previously. But its with “Alchemy” that the guys hope to break boundaries and reach out to the rest of the UK and beyond.

“Alchemy” definitely has a hint of ’00s nostalgia to it, with frontman Andrew Gibb’s deep, powerful vocal reminding us of Maximo Park’s Paul Smith. But it’s the spooky, tantalizing musicality that brings us back into the 21st century and follows in the footsteps of fellow Brits The Horrors or Blossoms. So if you’re a fan of any of the above and a bucket load of synth-infused soundscapes—you’re in for a treat.

Bubbatrees’ new single “Alchemy” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the
Week: Buzzard
Buzzard Buzzard

Marc Bolan is that you? Nope, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so if Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s latest single”Love Forever” is anything to go by.

The Welsh quartet have been making quite the splash over in the UK recently, having even been praised by the one and only Noel Gallagher—who is notoriously harsh on Britain’s thriving young rock scene. It’s not hard to see why with singles like “Love Forever” being pencilled.

The band’s latest cut is an infectious slice of fuzz-filled glam-rock from the offset that combines ’70s-inspired swagger with modern-day sensibilities, creating a sound that feels both fresh and nostalgic. T. Rex is clearly a huge influence for all the members of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, but it’s frontman Tom Rees’ wonderfully distinctive vocal style that is really one to sit back and take note of. Marc Bolan would be proud, we’re sure.

Catch the band live when they headline the first ever Big Indie Summer Sessions, in association with The Line of Best Fit, on 31st July 2019 at Pop Brixton.

“Love Forever” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dudley Benson

PHOTO: MIRANDA BELLAM | We’ve got something pretty special for you today, something hard to pigeonhole, but we’re gonna try. New Zealand native Dudley Benson has just shared the extraordinary new video for his single “Mataraki” and its a must watch.

The word mataraki comes from New Zealand and it describes the time of year when the Pleiades constellation appears in the midwinter sky, in essence the Maori New Year. This relates to the Maori custom of tikanga, which tells that the people we’ve lost are still with us through the natural world. The video itself is a brilliant piece of animated work from Tokyo-based New Zealand illustrator Emile Holmewood.

We see Dudley himself in an array of fun cartoon-styled situations, representing a passage through time as he makes his way from creation to destruction to millennia. The song itself is a wonderfully weird slice of avant-pop that fans of the likes of Bjork and Brian Eno will certainly feel at home with. Totaling 6 minutes, “Mataraki” feels more like a short film than a music video at times, but perhaps that’s the point.

Dudley Benson’s musical style is undeniably unique and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. Nonetheless, its visually stunning and a conversation starter if nothing more. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

“Mataraki” is taken from Dudley’s latest album Zealandia, which is due for Eurpoean release on 23rd August 2019 via Golden Retriever Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Galileo’s Fan

Get ready to be blown away by Scotland’s latest majestic offering. Galileo’s Fan are a duo from the Scottish highlands who create stunning cinematic pop with flawless harmonies.

Their latest single “I Won’t Be Found” is taken from their upcoming new album of the same name, which is out on 16th September 2019. The track is instantly spellbinding, combining indie-pop sensibilities with their traditional folk roots to create something that is truly breathtaking. Think Of Monsters and Men meets Sigur Rós and your almost there.

Galileo’s Fan are siblings Fi and Martin Vass (surprise!). They have two other siblings—one of whom is renowned folk musician Mike Vass—but the pair decided to step out as a duo in 2012. “I Won’t Be Found” is the second single to be taken from Galileo’s Fan’s upcoming album and what’s up their sleeve next. Here’s hoping they’ll make their way across the pond sooner rather than later.

“I Won’t Be Found” is out now via GF Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: KTG

Those Irish know how to write a song, don’t they? It must be something in the air—which is certainly the case for young KTG who is our latest Artist of The Week.

KTG—aka Katie Gallagher—is pretty new to the scene but we’re sure that won’t be for much longer if her new single “Don’t Tell My Mother” is anything to go by. Her second release to date, “Don’t Tell My Mother” feels like a wholesome hug that keeps on giving. KTG combines elements of country-pop with indie-folk to create an undeniably infectious earworm, perfect for the summer months. Citing artists like KT Tunstall and Wallis Bird as her influences, it’s clear that her upcoming album Searching For Magpies will include even more tracks to get addicted to before the year is out.

At just 22 years old, Katie is already exhibiting huge potential and an incredible ability to write poignant lyrics way ahead of her years. With Searching For Magpies out on 26th September and another single on the way before that, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this wee, Irish gem.

“Don’t Tell My Mother” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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TVD Premiere: Gallery 47, “Weeklong”

It’s been quite a while since we featured young singer-songwriter Gallery 47 here at TVD, so it gives us great pleasure to share this exclusive with you today! His latest single “Weeklong” is his first official release of 2019 and its premiering right here, right now!

“Weeklong” has more of a classic rock feel than Gallery 47’s previous work, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. With a full band behind him, Jack’s warm, softs vibrato is filled with colour and a power that we haven’t really heard from him before. It makes sense that Gallery 47—aka Jack Peachey—has decided to change things up a bit, as the whole folk/singer-songwriter thing is starting to get a bit old isn’t it? With “Weeklong” Jack has stepped out of his comfort zone and it’s certainly paid off in our eyes. Fans of the likes of Canned Heat and Easyworld will feel at home here.

On the single, Jack elaborates, “‘Weeklong’ is a simple track which deals with the personal side of trying to make it in the music industry. Nobody knows quite how to treat you, and a lot of the time it ends up being down to how valuable you’re being perceived at the time. Anyone aspiring to achieve anything has to be willing to drop the rational anchors of stable life when a decent chance comes along, but as quite a cautious and cynical person I’ve often found it stressful to deal with that level of risk.

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