Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Rivera

Chilean born singer-songwriter Inti Rowland, aka Rivera, migrated to the UK as a small child before developing his craft in London as an emotively stylish musician—and he’s this week’s UK Artist of The Week.

Inti’s new single “We’re Alive” was inspired by the dramatic events of a car crash that left the songwriter to reflect on how reckless events can come from a single moment of naivety. The songwriter explains, “When your confidence runs away from you and you think you’re invincible, the song is about surviving what you bring upon yourself.” Having already been compared to the likes of Grizzly Bear and Elbow, Inti’s vocals compliment his musical stylings in a visceral fashion, supplying the track with a legion of beauty and compassion.

After spending to end of 2016 in South America, Inti travelled across the Atacama Desert and the landscapes became the aesthetically pleasing visuals of Rivera. Having previously released material under Inti Rowland and receiving praise from Clash and Gold Flake Paint, his new moniker, Rivera, is now ready to capture listeners with “We’re Alive.”

“We’re Alive” by Rivera is in stores now and available to stream on Spotify.

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Needle Drop:
Best Girl Athlete,
Best Girl Athlete

Following 2015’s debut, Carve Every Word, Best Girl Athlete—aka Katie Buchan—has released her brand new album. A musically rich, eclectic collection of tracks, the eponymous new release perfectly showcases Buchan’s skill as an innovative writer of songs. With each standing alone as a single entity, every track tells its own relatable story with a stirring emotive depth.

Opening with the twinkling melodies and warm vocals of “Baby Come Home,” we’re introduced to the album’s wide range of influences early on as the fast-paced rap of Jack Hughes is suddenly juxtaposed with Buchan’s lilting charm.

From the folk-inspired melodies, emotion-strewn vocals, and luscious harmonies within tracks “Different Face” and album closer “Sometimes,” to the electronic hooks and glitchy beats of anti-establishment anthem “In The Morning,” Best Girl Athlete succeeds in amalgamating genres to create something for everyone.

As sweeping strings and soulful vocals create the captivating, cinematic soundscape of “Cigarette Dreams” and rich piano melodies ooze an alluring, majestic grandeur in “Silver City,” Buchan surprises us once again with the whirring hooks and uptempo horns of “In Your Head.” Swapping Mark Ronson-esque moments to those of Lana Del Rey at the drop of a hat, it’s a truly impressive collection, and it’s hard to deny that Best Girl Athlete has created something rather magnificent and entirely original with this self-titled sophomore offering.

Best Girl Athlete is in stores now via Fitlike Records—on vinyl.

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UK Artist of the Week: Megan Henwood

Having won the BBC Young Folk Award back in 2009, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Megan Henwood has received support from BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe and Janice Long—and has now returned with a twinkling new single.

Taken from her upcoming album River, “Seventh” flows with shimmering melodies alongside Henwood’s warm, smooth vocals. Filled with a heartfelt, swooping emotion, it oozes a sophisticated musicality and delicate beauty, making for a truly charming slice of alt-folk. With shades of This Is The Kit and Lucy Rose, “Seventh” will leave you longing for more of Henwood’s intimate and uplifting soundscapes.

Having already wowed crowds at numerous festivals, including Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival, it looks like Megan Henwood will continue to draw in more fans with her consistently enchanting creations.

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UK Artist of the Week: SEYD

Having only been creating music as SEYD for a mere eighteen months, London-based artist Ellie Robinson has now collaborated with producer De Wilde (BMG) to create her twinkling new single.

A truly captivating offering, “Another World” flows with infectious glitchy beats that provide the backdrop for Robinson’s soaring honey-sweet vocals. A reflection on mortality and the loss of a loved one, the track oozes a sweeping, haunting splendour as chiming electronic hooks and shimmering melodies are interwoven to create a dreamy, whirring soundscape.

Simply spellbinding, “Another World” is a perfect introduction to the musically rich and eerily powerful creations that SEYD has to offer. And, having already received praise from the likes of Crack In The Road and BBC Introducing, we can’t wait to hear what she has for us next.

“Another World” is in stores now via Born Good.

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TVD Live Shots: Sigur Rós at the Eventim Apollo, 9/22

I’ve seen thousands of concerts in my life, but nothing could prepare me for my first Sigur Rós show. Billed as “an evening with” and a 15-song set split into two sets, it was the final night of three sold-out shows at the Eventim Apollo in London. Touring as a stripped-down trio, the critically acclaimed Icelandic band looks to be testing new material currently being written toward a forthcoming eighth studio album.

Moments into the set you are transported to another world. It’s like a live cinematic experience of both beauty and darkness. Frontman Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto vocals and the use of bowed guitar (think Jimmy Page, but with grace) build a wall of sound that is complemented by some of the most incredible lighting I’ve ever seen. While the trio’s music is very ethereal and atmospheric, when it goes dark, it gets heavy.

Drummer Orri Páll Dýrason transforms from a fusion style jazz drummer in an instant to a raging power player, hitting each drum with the force of a cannon. It’s an incredible dynamic to watch live, and at certain points I literally thought his drum set was going to break apart.

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Needle Drop: The Anatomy Of Frank,
South America

The Anatomy Of Frank are an astonishing breath of fresh air within today’s global folk and indie scene. Described as “art-folk,” the band are so dedicated to their craft that they plan to record an album on every continent. With their debut album North America in stores, the band now share the second chapter of their conquest, South America.

South America was recorded with Stephen Cope in a private farmhouse in the Ecuadorian mountains in 5 short weeks as the band tackled anxieties and loss head on. With a drip-feed of family and friends providing a source of inspiration during the recording sessions, the trio would take trips to the Amazon or spend time in the mountains to rejuvenate their spirit.

The album begins with “Ecuador (A New Year),” an eerie whistle into an acoustic intro that, when listening in headphones, captivates and instantly evolves into a cinematic soundtrack. As the album kicks into “The Girl From Ipanema,” the magnificent songwriting and storytelling of vocalist Kyle Woolard charms, hypnotises, and grasps you emotively.

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Needle Drop:
The Chairman,
The Strange Life

Following the success of his debut album 2064, Danish artist Lucas Berner—aka The Chairman—has teamed up with producers Mathias Bang Madsen and Jakob Løkkegaard to release his sophomore offering, The Strange Life.

An eclectic, sonically rich collection, The Strange Life is filled with one sweeping soundscape after another. Album opener “Masquerade In The Radio” oozes the subtle power of Berner’s soulful vocals against a backdrop of twinkling melodies, before “Lemon Yellow” scatters glitchy beats and electronic hooks alongside a soaring, dark melancholy.

From the catchy electro-pop sounds and whirring romanticism of “Dandelions” and “Now That You Love Me,” to the racing spoken word and definite nods towards old school hip-hop found in “She’s Not Fine,” The Strange Life fuses together a vast array of musical layers with experimental song structures and production.

Whether you’re being swept away by the rich lyrical storytelling and haunting power of “Animate,” or simply getting lost inside the complex electronic hooks and impassioned vocals of “Barcelona,” this album offers a captivating and unique take on contemporary pop.

The Strange Life is in stores on 29th September via Danish Music Entertainment.

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UK Artist of the Week: LIEZA

Having travelled alone to Nashville to follow her dream, artist Meghan Roner—aka LIEZA—began her musical journey as an intern for Grammy Award winning Femke Weidema, and has now collaborated with the producer to create her infectious new single.

A shimmering slice of electro-pop, “Eyeliner” is a truly heartfelt creation. Of the track, LIEZA explains: “…’Eyeliner’ is that anthem that you sing to yourself in the mirror when you’ve had a bad day and you’ve forgotten what makes you unique, what makes you strong…Put on your ‘eyeliner,’ whatever armour that may be for you, and then go out and take on the world…”

Flowing with the soaring power of Roner’s twinkling vocals, “Eyeliner” juxtaposes a delicate melodic beauty with sweeping electronic hooks and the subtle empowering sentiment of its rich, lyrical honesty. With shades of the likes of Banks, or even the emotion-strewn power of Lana Del Rey, this elegant new offering from LIEZA marks the young artist as a definite one to watch for the rest of 2017 and beyond.

“Eyeliner” is in stores now via LV Music.

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TVD Live Shots: The Struts at the Electric Ballroom, 9/18

Here’s something you don’t see every day—a UK band that’s much more well-known in the States than their home country. I’m talking about English glam rock band The Struts. Being a fan of all things glam rock myself, these guys have been on my radar from the day that they signed with Interscope Records when a friend of mine sent me a message that only read, “You need to hear this.”

It’s no secret that The Struts wear their influences on their sleeves and that’s a good thing because they know exactly who they are. Frontman Luke Spiller is the spitting image of the late, great Freddie Mercury, and he has the moves and voice to back it up. You can tell within the first few seconds of a Struts show that this guy was born to do this. He uses every square inch of the stage at his disposal and ignites the crowd with the energy of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Highlights from the set? How about the entire fucking set was one big highlight. New songs “One Night Only” and “Who Am I” take the band’s songwriting to a new level underscoring the fact that these guys are the real deal. “Kiss This” and “Could Have Been Me” just about blew the roof off of the Electric Ballroom.

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UK Artist of the Week: East of My Youth

Those pesky Nordics have been serving up some amazing acts recently and East Of My Youth is the latest. Their current twinkling delight is new the single “Broken Glass,” out now via West Of My Future Ltd.

Kicking off with silky smooth vocals and a truly hypnotic electro-pop beat, you’ll have your toes tapping from the offset and throughout. As the track builds, we are introduced to a celestial cocktail of synth-infused sounds and soaring, ethereal vocals, creating a wonderfully majestic sound. Fans of Anna Of the North and Lykke Li will feel at home here.

East Of My Youth—aka Herdís Stefánsdóttir and Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir—formed in May 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland. In that small space of time, these extremely talented women have already started making a name for themselves both in their home country, the UK, and across the pond. Having already dazzled fans at SXSW and Iceland Air, we can’t wait to see what they get up to next. Watch this space…

“Broken Glass” is in stores now via West Of My Future Ltd.

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