Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Avery Raquel

We know, the weekend may be over but don’t fret! Get ready to bop till you drop with Canadian artist Avery Raquel and her infectiously funky new single “All Up To You,” out now.

We’ve been following Avery Raquel for a while and once again, she does not disappoint. Her latest banger is called “All Up To You” and it’s an addictive fusion of neo-soul, jazz, and funk that already feels like its gonna be the soundtrack to our summer.

Talking about the single, Avery explains, “‘All Up To You’ is a sassy, ’70s-inspired song about an old relationship going up into flames. Have you ever put so much effort into a relationship but never received the same amount of effort back? I hope you can relate to the feelings of confusion and hurt accompanied by a contrasting upbeat funk vibe. Will there be a second chance or can we reach a compromise? I leave it all up to you.”

Avery already has three solo album under her belt and is now prepping for her self-titled fourth release in 2022.

“All Up To You” is out now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Tyra Whitson

This week’s Artist of The Week comes all the way from Canada! Emerging artist Tyra Whitson pulls at the heartstrings with the release of her emotively alluring single “Father’s Eyes,” out now.

We’re slowing things down for you today with Tyra Whitson and her stunningly poignant new single “Father’s Eyes.” Tyra’s distinctive, compelling vocal is at the forefront throughout, channelling the likes of Lana Del Rey and Ashe. Talking about the single, Tyra explains, “The song was inspired by a deep appreciation and awareness of the various components that contribute to healing, learning, and coming into oneself.”

We know January can be a rubbish month for a lot of people, especially in terms of mental health, and sometimes you’ve just gotta let it all out. Let it out with Tyra, you won’t regret it.

“Father’s Eyes” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sonia Elisheva

We’re back! It’s 2022 and we’re kicking things off right with some soulful jazz for this year’s first Artist of The Week. British soul singer Sonia Elisheva sends tingles down our spines with her latest jazz-tinged new single “State Of Mind,” out now.

Jazzy beats, smooth vocals, and a killer sax—what more could you ask for? Sonia Elisheva gets us in the mood with her nu-jazz infused single “State of Mind” and we can’t get enough. The single is taken from Sonia’s debut EP “Hummingbird,” also out now. Throughout the EP, Sonia takes the listener on a smooth, soulful journey of discovery, channelling the likes of Jorja Smith.

Talking about the single, Sonia explains, “‘State Of Mind’ is a track about growth and self-acceptance. The moment you can truthfully say, ‘Yeah I’m on my own now, and it feels good.’ It’s realising that everything you need to be happy is already around you—that’s confidence and power and that’s the state of mind I always want to be in.”

“State of Mind” and EP “Hummingbird” are both in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Beth Duck

Vibe out with East London-based Beth Duck who creates infectious indie-pop that is bound to get your toes tapping. Her new single “CHILL” is out now.

We can’t deny, we’re suckers for a cheeky bit of upbeat electro-pop and that’s exactly what Beth Duck serves on her latest cut “CHILL.” It’s an addictive slice of synth-infused pop goodness that will get into party mode just in time for Christmas. Fans of the likes of Emily Burns and Sigrid will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Beth explains, “I wrote ‘CHILL’ about the struggles of dating in your twenties and pretending to be who someone else wants you to be.” We may not be in our twenties anymore, but we can certainly still relate…

“CHILL” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: LibraLibra

Get ready to rock out with LibraLibra and their punk-infused new single “Candy Mountain,” out now. Turn this one up loud and annoy your neighbours. Go on, it’s Christmas.

With a riot grrrl energy that Bikini Kill would be proud of, LibraLibra take no prisoners on their latest cut, “Candy Mountain.” The single is packed with a punch from the offset as pulsating drum beats are met with raucous guitar twangs and front woman Beth Cannon’s incredibly dynamic and breathtaking vocals taking centre stage.

Talking about the single, LibraLibra explain, “This is a full blown revenge song. I wanted to set the scene of survivor rage, joining forces and triumphing over their abuser. There is power and strength in numbers, hence the choral themes within. It’s a fantasy, a daydream of taking back control and defeating evil. It’s that self-realisation within the song where you realise how quick sexual escapades can turn from fun to tainted.

It again explores the idea of consent, and how maybe the idea of sexual desire is very different in reality. It attempts to acknowledge that young women are allowed to dream and explore those dreams, but if we don’t want to follow through, we are 100 percent allowed to say no.”

“Candy Mountain” is in stores now.

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Needle Drop: GARGALO, “King of Dark Waters”

The holidays are coming! Which means it’s the perfect time to get cozy and listen to some fantastic new winter warmers. Our latest discovery comes from TVD favourite GARGALO (aka Bruno G. Roth) who we previously featured as an Artist of the Week back in October. GARGALO’s EP “King of Dark Waters” is out now and definitely worth a listen.

Channelling the likes of Grizzly Bear and Beach House, the EP combines hypnotic atmospherics with indie-rock soundscapes creating a sound that is undeniably compelling. Bruno’s distinctively unique vocal style feels reminiscent of MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, taking us back to the late noughties instantly.

Lead single “Out of Sync” is brimming with colour and celestial moments, whilst follow up single “Monroes” perfectly encapsulates the bittersweet complexities that are engulfed within the entire EP. In fact, each track on this powerful EP percolates with ethereal undertones, making it that perfect winter warmer for these dark, cold months that are quickly coming.

“King of Dark Waters” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Atom Eyes

This week’s AOTW comes from Scotland’s Atom Eyes. The Edinburgh collective have unveiled their latest single, “Roll The Dice,” a jazz-funk infused odyssey epitomizing the eclectic, spacey grooves that have become synonymous with their sound.

Formed in 2017, Atom Eyes are comprised of vocalist Lissa Chen and backed by award-winning jazz pianist Alan Benzie, guitarist Fraser Christie, and the formidable rhythm section of drummer Scott Jamieson and bassist Tom Wilkinson. The quintet’s unerring ability to combine a cross section of genres, from neo-soul to R&B and funk to jazz, has seen them take centre stage the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.

“Roll The Dice” is the first cut from Atom Eyes’ debut album and is the perfect illustration of their syncopated soundscapes. Opening with grooving, head bopping bass lines, the song is propelled at a rate of knots by Lissa Chen’s smooth, soulful vocals and accented beautifully by funky guitar segments, melodic keys, and complex drum beats.

“Roll The Dice” is an exhilarating single recalling artists such as 30/70 and Moonchild. Breathless and beguiling, it gives you a tantalising taste of what to expect over the coming months from an effortlessly talented band.

“Roll The Dice” is in stores now and is taken from the debut album due for release in Spring 2022.

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UK Artist of the Week: Lexie Carroll

London-based singer-songwriter Lexie Carroll hits us right in the feels with her delicately weaved new single “we’re not lonely anymore,” out now. The budding young artist is definitely one to watch.

Sixteen-year-old (yep, you read correctly) Lexie Carroll shines bright on her wonderfully charming new single “we’re not lonely anymore.” Lexie’s bittersweet vocals are complimented by gentle guitar strums and subtle percussion, creating something undeniably celestial. Fans of Maisie Peters and Gabrielle Aplin will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Lexie explains, “I had this image in my head of a very movie-like scene of meeting someone at a party you don’t want to be at with people you don’t like and then heading outside to chat under the stars where it’s quieter but still with the distant sounds of the party fading in and out of the background.” She continues, “It’s about connecting with someone and it just being really easy to talk to them even though you’ve only just met. It’s very exciting because you know there could be something really special happening and you don’t have to be lonely anymore.”

“we’re not lonely anymore” is the first single from her forthcoming EP, “when the sun came up,” produced by Al Mobbs, Jamie Amos, and Dan Swift (Aqualung, Snow Patrol, Ash, British Sea Power, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian) and is due in stores in early 2022.

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UK Artist of the Week: Toby Corton

Ease yourselves into the working week with Toby Corton and his jazz-infused soundscapes that are bound to soothe the soul. Toby’s latest release is AA-side “Lost In You / Wide Lined Eyes,” and both tracks are absolute treasures to behold, trust us.

Toby Corton is a queer creative based in London who is definitely one to watch. Over the past few months, Toby has dropped a string of celestial singles showcasing his distinctive vocal style and equally distinctive fashion sense (hello Dalston). Toby’s newest singles “Lost In You / Wide Lined Eyes” are both quintessentially Toby where soul-tinged soundscapes are met with jazz and R&B-infused sensibilities creating a sound that even Amy Winehouse would be proud of.

If shaking up the music scene isn’t enough, Toby is also known for his photography of the already legendary Drag Queen from Rupaul’s Drag Race UK Bimini Bon Boulash, London Trans Pride Founder Lucia Blayke, as well as emerging artist Sophie Faith. Toby has also directed videos for other musical artists such as Jessica Wilde and Emilia Anastazja, and he has recently produced music with and for other visual artists including Adam Frost—busy guy! We can’t wait to see what Toby gets up to next and we’re sure 2022 is gonna bring even more good vibes (only).

“Lost In You / Wide Lined Eyes” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Robin and The Goblins

This week we are immersing ourselves in the experimental electro-pop goodness of Robin and the Goblins. They recently released their cosmic new single “Future Angel” and its spookily good if you ask us…

Robin Romo is a non-binary artist originally from Spain. Their latest cut is an eerily atmospheric song that combines both pop, synth, and indie sensibilities creating something wonderfully weird. Inspired by the likes of Kate Bush, it’s not hard to see the comparison when it comes to the visuals for “Future Angel”—the ruffles alone should give it away really. But what Robin also brilliantly accomplishes on this single is the ability to make it both tragic yet playful and we can’t get enough.

Talking about the single, Romo explains, “I wrote ‘Future Angel’ from the point of view of a guardian angel that comes to warn a kid about the dangers of isolating yourself; of course the child was me. One night I was walking home after a night out and went into a snowed-in graveyard. I fell asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up to the sound of crows and white all around me, I thought maybe I’d died. Turns out I was just hungover, but that inspired the imagery in the song, which I like to describe as ‘Dickens meets synth-pop’.”

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UK Artist of the Week: Dyan Valdés

The world can be an evil place sometimes, and in light of the recent attacks on Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa over here in the UK, it seems more important than ever to keep the conversation of women’s safety going and growing. Cuban-American artist Dyan Valdés released her powerful single “Fade Away” recently and its time to listen up and take note.

“Fade Away” is the first single to be released from Dyan’s compelling forthcoming album Stand. It’s a song dedicated to anyone who has ever felt trapped, marginalised, or silenced. The single is oozing with synth-infused soundscapes, channelling the likes of Bat For Lashes and PJ Harvey.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Dyan was attacked by a man on the streets of her home in the middle of the day in Berlin. Overwhelmed by the horrific experience and aware of increasing reports of domestic violence, Dyan felt the need to stand up and fight for women everywhere. “Fade Away” is about looking around and saying to yourself “this isn’t good enough.”

Dyan is no stranger to the music scene, having been founding member of indie-rock band The Blood Arm (2002-2017), synth-punk trio Mexican Radio (2017-), and plays keyboards in German Hamburger Schule legends Die Sterne (2012-). Stand is her debut solo album. All production, engineering, post-production, design, styling, film, photography, and promotion for the album has been done by women.

“Fade Away” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Darling Darling

We’re getting woozy this week with Darling Darling and his infectious new single “Cut To The Chaser,” out now.

Based in South England, Darling Darling—aka Matt Bisgrove—is serving up his own take on noughties nostalgia with his latest vibrant single “Cut To the Chaser.” At first listen you can’t help but feel an immediate comparison to fellow Brits The Stone Roses, but upon further investigation, this song is so much more than its influences.

Matt combines indie rock sensibilities with psychedelic soundscapes, creating a sound that is wonderfully infectious. If you’re missing festival season, you’re gonna miss it even more after “Cut To the Chaser.” Hopefully next year we’ll see Darling Darling performing this live with a cold beer in hand in a magical field somewhere…

“Cut To the Chaser” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: GARGALO

This week’s Artist of the Week is Spanish-American songwriter GARGALO. He recently released his debut single “Out of Sync” and it’s an ethereal delight from start to finish.

GARGALO—aka Bruno G. Roth—is an emerging indie-pop artist whose sound definitely deserves to be on your radar. His debut EP “King of Dark Waters” is out on 26th November 2021 and taken from it is this wonderful opener “Out of Sync.”

Channelling the likes of Grizzly Bear and MGMT, Bruno combines indie and electronic elements creating a sound brimming with colour and oozing with celestial moments. Bruno’s distinctive vocals are at the forefront throughout, whilst shimmering synths and jangling guitar twangs bring the whole indie-electro package together. This may be GARGALO’s debut release but we’re pretty sure we’ll be hearing plenty more from him in the months to follow.

“Out of Sync” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Let’s Set Sail

This Irish quartet are creating something pretty incredible if their latest EP “Enzo” is anything to go by. Let’s Set Sail create mesmerising ambient soundscapes throughout this release and it’s a true delight for the ears.

Channelling the likes of Sylvan Esso and Grizzly Bear, Let’s Set Sail combine subtle electronics with intricate folk elements creating a completely compelling sound. A personal favourite from their new EP is previous single “Toledo,” which even has a hint of Metronomy to it.

The single combines woozy synths from Iain Dunphy with soft, celestial piano notes via Rob Molumby. Frontman Warren McCarthy’s impressive lead vocal is of course at the forefront, and he’s joined quite beautifully by Marian Hughes on backing vocals.

The EP feels like a love letter to Dublin, making it all the more special. Talking about the EP, the band explains, “The negative aspects in Dublin were influenced by current social and economic issues in the country, particularly the housing crisis. The positivity and hope contained in both songs, “Our Collective Brain” and “The Vee,” is formed from an unshakeable attachment to home, and considering there to be a beauty in that.” Lovely stuff.

“Enzo” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Brian Mackey

Get the tissues ready because this one will definitely make you weep. Brian Mackey recently released the touching new video for his single “Saturday Night Sleeping,” and it’s as poignant as it is powerful.

American singer-songwriter Brian Mackey’s son very sadly died of a heroin overdose on a warm Saturday night and thus, “Saturday Night Sleeping” was born. It’s an extremely emotive single that is bound to pull at the heartstrings and the message it sends is incredibly fitting.

With this release, Brian’s hoping to raise awareness for mental health, opioid dependency, and addiction which has continued to grow exponentially during the Covid-19 pandemic due to isolation, loneliness, loss of work and global normalcy. Channeling the likes of Keith Urban and even R.E.M., Brian combines Americana, indie rock, and country-tinged sensibilities creating something truly special and unique.

Brian has partnered with the US Grammy charity MusiCares to donate 100% of the track’s proceeds this summer and fall in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month through National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month.

“Saturday Night Sleeping” is out now.

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