Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Kynsy

Having recently signed to Nice Swan Records alongside the likes of English Teacher and SPRINTS, Dublin’s latest rising star Kynsy is looking to make a splash with new single “Money,” out now.

Talking about the release on Instagram, Kynsy said, “This song dives deep into the complexities of love, nostalgia, and longing, offering a raw exploration of the heart’s journey. Produced in my bedroom with the help of Caesar Edmunds on mixing duty, this project pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’m proud to say I took the leap.” “Money” is a scuzzy indie-pop delight from the offset. Fans of the likes of Soccer Mommy and Alvvays will feel at home here.

The Dublin based artist has developed her own songwriting rules that have given her the ability to experiment, push her own boundaries, and avoid being pigeonholed into any one genre. Kynsy is definitely one to watch…

“Money” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Luke Fraser

Singer songwriter Luke Fraser has returned with his theatrical new single, “The Curse.” Following on from Fraser’s debut album, Moth Eaten Romeo in 2022, the troubadour will unveil several singles as he builds towards EP “So Below” later this year.

Having spent many years performing on the London live circuit, both as a solo artist and with a band, Fraser has built a loyal fan base through his emotive style of music. Dramatic, literate, and heartfelt, Fraser’s sound sits neatly between the likes of John Grant and Andrew Bird.

“The Curse” is a perfect encapsulation of Fraser’s stunning sonics. Graceful piano, atmospheric percussion, and confessional lyricism play out, as Fraser’s reflective vocal takes centre stage. A mature, bittersweet piece of music from start to finish.

It’s easy to see why Fraser’s approach to songwriting has garnered support from tastemaker far and wide with the likes of Radio X, Absolute Radio, BBC Introducing, Clout Magazine and many more supporting the artist.

‘The Curse’ is available to stream now.

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UK Artist of the Week: PostLast

This week we have a debut release from Irish alt-pop duo PostLast! You may recognize the duo from their respective bands HAVVK and BARQ, both of whom we’ve previously championed here at TVD.

PostLast’s debut single “Connect 4” is an upbeat escape into the joy and fragility of making friends as a grown-up. “The song is about rediscovering your inner child through connection with others, and remembering how to switch off, play and dance with reckless abandon,” the band elaborate. Fans of the likes of St. Vincent, AE MAK, and Sorcha Richardson will feel at home here.

Julie Hough and Stephen McHale first connected while completing a joint headline tour of Ireland and the UK in 2017. Over the past year they have been writing in secret, preparing each element of their collaboration to be ready for public release in spring 2024.

“Connect 4” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Self Help

Oxford’s Self Help have released their propellant, post-rock single, “Enrage Engage.” The five-piece create an expansive sound in the realms of Squid, KEG, and Idles, all packaged in their own unique style.

“Enrage Engage” is the lead single from the band’s debut album of the same name. Following on from previous single “Spaceman,” Self Help have ramped up the eccentricity a couple of notches as they direct their ire at the ills of the world.

Self Help wear their heart on their sleeve, sarcastically voicing their displeasure at the state of the modern world. “Enrage Engage” is packed full of fuzzy melodies, distinctive vocals and a maelstrom of in-your-face guitars.

Following a short, self-imposed, break from the playing music, Self Help returned in 2022. Their uncompromising sound led to a number of festival appearances and airplay on BBC 6 Music as well as support slots with the likes of Squid, Goat Girl, The Murder Capital, and Animal House.

Having recently supported Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, and with further singles due for release, we here at The Vinyl District can’t wait to hear the record in its full, sardonic glory.

Debut album Enrage Engage is due in stores on 7th June 2024.

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Needle Drop: HAVVK,
To Fall Asleep

Ever evolving alt-rock outfit HAVVK’s raucous new album To Fall Asleep is a grunge-filled musical endeavour, packing a powerful punch that leaves you pining for more. The highly anticipated album was released on the 15th March via Veta Records.

Made up of Julie Hawk (bass, vocals), Matthew Harris (guitar), and former Bitch Falcon drummer Nigel Kenny, HAVVK’s emphasis is on social issues in their art—from bodily autonomy to “filthy landlords.” These upcoming tracks were primarily recorded in Belfast’s Start Together Studio with producer Rocky O’Reilly (Wheatus, And So I Watch You From Afar).

This is an album about sleep, and the things that keep us awake at night. Talking about the album, Hawk says, “We started talking about sleep a lot as a band a few years ago when I was experiencing insomnia. I was waking up with an unshakable feeling of urgency, like I was forgetting something and then letting my thoughts spiral for hours. Sleep was something I had always taken for granted, so at first this felt like a huge betrayal from my body. But it wasn’t really. Actually, it was my body trying to tell me something. I had to really listen to it, and examine how honestly I was living my life, and how much energy I was giving to things that I didn’t have the capacity for.”

Single “You Say You Won’t” is all about toxic and self-sabotaging habits, and starts with the slow thrum of the bass guitar, building up to heavy drops made for headbanging. The chorus takes the song into a more hopeful sound, contrasted with the lyrics saying “you say you won’t, but you do it again,” which is all too relatable for us all.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sophie Faith

British singer-songwriter Sophie Faith has been making waves for a while now. She combines jazz, soul, and hints of hip hop infused sensibilities and we think it’s about time you sat up and took note.

Sophie’s latest single “Dopamine” is no exception as it oozes with smooth, sultry melodies and Sophie’s equally mesmerising vocals shine throughout. Sophie has amassed a dedicated following and millions of streams with her string of singles since 2017.

Previous collaborators include Erick The Architect, Flatbush Zombies, Reuben James, Coops, Linden Jay, Joe Beard, Fred Cox, Lophiile, Joe Hertz and more from around the world.

Sophie is currently on her “Hold My Drink” tour, which will be the title of her upcoming project. Get tickets whilst you can!

“Dopamine” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: EEVAH

Alt-indie duo EEVAH showcase their true selves with vibrant new single “Heartbeat Is Missing.”

Taken from their upcoming EP “Simplify Life,” the single includes electrifying guitars and a persistently throbbing rhythm. For fans of the likes of Pale Waves and MUNA, “Heartbeat Is Missing” is oozing with raw ferocity and angst from the offset.

Talking about the single, frontwoman Nicole Smith says “It’s about pleasing people, changing yourself to fit in, and losing who you really are. Becoming desensitised to people’s apparent lack of boundaries or empathy, weaving together negative attention into a protective armour that keeps away the darkness but also blocks out the light, realising that then lashing out.”

EEVAH are made up of Nicole Smith and multi-instrumentalist producer and member of Embrace, Rick McNamara. The duo have built up a cult following performing hundreds of online shows to an ever growing community.

EEVAH’s upcoming EP “Simplify Life” is in stores on 23rd May 2024.

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UK Artist of the Week: Lola Young

This week’s AOTW comes from South East London. Lola Young has been making waves for a while now in the UK, despite only being 22 years old. Her latest release “Intrusive Thoughts” is a highly relatable, raw slice of songwriting that will hit you right in the feels.

Young’s upcoming album My Mind Wanders And Sometimes Leaves Completely is set for release on 26th May 2024. It represents the start of a new chapter for the rising newcomer.

Stepping into a new light of expression, Lola explores the depths of her creativity whilst consistently drawing her authentic South London edge through the project. She blends her passionate vocals with the emotions she is exploring with her casual wit and frankness, offering a genuine insightful experience for fans.

Lola is currently embarking on her North American tour at Vinyl in Atlanta, GA before going on to perform in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Tickets are available here.

“Intrusive Thoughts” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Marla Kether

This week’s Artist of The Week is Marla Kether—a rising and thriving session bassist, DJ, and producer based in London.

Marla has previously worked with the likes of Yazmin Lacey, Loyle Carner, and Obongjayar, as well as working on a self-produced EP “All That We Have,” which was released last year. Most recently though, Marla has teamed up with another TVD favourite, Samantha Lindo, on new single and remix “Bloodline,” which is out now.

Inspired by the likes of Kaidi Tathum and Kokoroko, the remix is Marla’s first release since her debut EP. With the help of some wonderfully warm and rich horns played by Poppy Daniels and James Akers, Marla has switched up this soulful jazz piece into an immersive bed of grooves reminiscent of the broken beat scene of the late ‘90s, and sounds that encapsulate the essence of “London jazz.”

Marla explains what drew her to this rework: “The mix is so full-bodied and rich, and the track is beautiful. With my music, I’m used to working with different elements recorded separately, as with electronic music there isn’t much importance placed on instruments sounding like they were recorded live.”

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UK Artist of the Week: True Strays

Bristol favourites True Strays bring listeners an infectious blend of blues, rock, and Americana, and in April 2024 will be embarking on a full band UK tour.

Hailing from Bristol, England, True Strays inject a modern edge into classic blues-rock, delivering a sound that’s both timeless and contemporary. Their music channels the spirit of legendary acts like Muddy Waters and Fleetwood Mac, while infusing it with their own distinctive flair.

With a reputation for their captivating live shows, True Strays have been winning over audiences across the UK and beyond. Whether they’re playing in intimate venues or commanding festival stages, their performances are always electrifying and bound to get your feet tapping and your heart racing.

Made up of lifelong friends Joseph James and James Cameron, True Strays are not just a band; they’re a force to be reckoned with in the world of blues and rock music. Keep an eye on them as they continue to make waves and redefine the sound of modern blues-rock. See for yourself on their UK tour—tickets here.

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UK Artist of the Week:
J. Bernardt

J. Bernardt, aka Jinte Deprez, gears up to unveil his second studio album Contigo, set for release on May 17, 2024, via Play It Again Sam.

With the anticipation building, J. Bernardt treats fans to a sneak peek of his upcoming work with the new single “Taxi,” featuring the bonus track “Matter Of Time.” Known for his diverse skillset as a classically-trained violinist, songwriter, instrumentalist, arranger, producer, engineer, and programmer, Deprez brings a wealth of talent to his music. He’s had a hand in producing several Balthazar albums and his debut solo album, released in 2016, was entirely self-produced.

J. Bernardt’s influence extends beyond his solo endeavors; he’s best known as one half of Balthazar, a cornerstone of Belgium’s alternative rock scene for over two decades. Together, they’ve graced prestigious stages worldwide, including All Points East, British Summer Time, and Electric Ballroom, amassing a dedicated fanbase and selling over 600,000 albums globally.

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UK Artist of the Week: Louis Cardozo

Bristol based artist Louis Cardozo has taken to the skies—literally!—and enchanted audiences with his latest music video for the single “Fly.”

In an unprecedented and visually stunning production, Louis combines a cinematic soundscape of music with the soaring elegance of a grand piano mounted on a paraglider. “Fly” is not just a song; it’s an exhilarating experience, a visual and auditory feast that defies convention. Co-directed by Franziska Treppman and Louis himself, the music video takes viewers on a captivating journey as Louis and his grand piano take flight, effortlessly gliding through the open skies against a backdrop of endless horizons.

On the single, Louis says, “The song ‘Fly’ is about embracing negative experiences and emotions and using them to build something positive. Often, as an artist, the biggest struggles are also our greatest source of inspiration. The song focuses on connecting with people experiencing these struggles, acknowledging them, and hopefully lifting their spirits enough to reach a place of acceptance.”

Louis is an independent Bristol based artist with a taste for fast-paced lyrics and Spanish guitar. Influenced by vintage blues, soul, jazz, and Latin records, he blends catchy foot tapping melodies with sentimental lyrics, bringing both energy and soul to his shows. With an EP in the works for later in the year and fresh energy to imagine more ridiculous projects into existence, Louis is not slowing down and will be bringing you more incredible musical experiences in the near future.

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UK Artist of the Week: Cherym

Derry-based pop-punksters Cherym continue to prove they mean serious business with the release of their new single “Alpha Beta Sigma,” out now. This is the opening track from their highly anticipated debut album Take It Or Leave It, also out now via Alcopop! Records.

The single is oozing with sass and swag from the offset, channelling the likes of Bikini Kill and Charly Bliss. Talking about the single, drummer Alannagh Doherty says, “ ‘Alpha Beta Sigma’ is about how gender inequality permeates every single aspect of our society. It is about the threat that men and patriarchy pose to women in this country. It is about the reclamation of our autonomy and our rights. It’s about freedom from fear and freedom to physical integrity, and overall it’s about having the freedom to just BE a woman.”

Alongside the new single, the band are also delighted to announce that they have been hand-picked by bassist Mickey Bradley to support “Teenage Kicks” legends The Undertones on their autumn 2024 German tour dates later this year.

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UK Artist of the Week: Marlowe

Newcomer Marlowe (they/them) brings an electrifying fusion of alt-pop in their vibrant debut single, “Give It Up.”

Marlowe’s single celebrates the nuances of femininity from a unique perspective, as a male-presenting, non-binary gay artist. In their own words, Marlowe says “It represents the struggles I have when trying to navigate my love life… It’s an invitation to embrace your inner femininity.”

Their sound is alt-pop fused with Latin roots and hints of R&B nostalgia, and promises to be a captivating experience. Fans of the likes of Prince and Charli XCX will feel at home here.

Currently based in London, Marlowe’s music is marked by raw, emotive lyrics centered around their story and empowerment. Keep your ears and eyes peeled to see them filling up a dance floor near you soon!

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UK Artist of the Week:
A Knife Ballet

Get ready to immerse yourselves in A Knife Ballet and his brooding new single “Red, Blue & Black,” out now.

Formerly known under the moniker The Holy Road, this artist has now progressed into creating a sound that is more exciting and expansive than ever. Fans of the likes of Radiohead and Black Country New Road will feel at home here. This single is taken from The Knife Ballet—aka Jonathan Stolber’s—upcoming album For The Blood of England, due for release later this year.

The single features a wide array of rich, dark musicality, whilst Jonathan is also joined by a multitude of talented friends including Maddie Cutter (Martin Grech), JJ Saddington (The Bridesmaid, Eaststrikewest), Ben Weedon (Maybeshewill), and Chris Fordham (Silent Commitee, Violets Gone), who help create this undeniably eery and cinematic sound.

“Red, Blue & Black” will also receive one bespoke vinyl pressing to be auctioned on Ebay to raise donations for Alzheimer’s Society.

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