Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

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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UK Artist of the Week: Ed Patrick

English singer-songwriter Ed Patrick takes the prize as this week’s Artist of the Week and you’ll see why once you give “Nothing Personal” a few spins, mark our words.

Channelling the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine, Ed Patrick’s latest cut is a stunning slice of indie-folk that it bound to pull on your heartstrings instantly. Ed’s delicately weaved vocal is complimented perfectly with gentle guitar strums and soft piano keys, creating a sound that is undeniably intimate. If you’ve recently had your heartbroken, you may need to get the tissues out…

Ed left school at the tender age of sixteen and worked in his local guitar shop earning enough money to buy a one way ticket to North America. Ed’s journey to developing his intimate songwriting was only just beginning. Watch this space…

“Nothing Personal” is out now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sophie Mahon

We’re travelling back to the eighties this week with Sophie Mahon and her new-wave infused single “Bogart’s Eyes.” The single is taken from Sophie’s upcoming album of the same name and we can’t wait to hear more from this exciting new artist.

If you’re wondering where the song title “Bogart’s Eyes” comes from, then unsurprisingly we are pleased to inform you its because Sophie seems to be a little bit obsessed with Humphrey Bogart. Each song on her upcoming album is inspired by one of Bogart’s films and features guest musicians Emily Dolan-Davies (Bryan Ferry, Kim Wilde, The Thompson Twins) and Martin Dobson (Eurythmics, Jimmy Sommerville, Siouxie & the Banshees).

“Bogart’s Eyes” takes inspiration from his film Dark Passage which features Lauren Bacall (Bogie’s wife). “The lyrics are as if I am having a conversation with Lauren, who he adored with all his heart up till the day he died. I felt lonely that night and the only way I felt better was to imagine asking her what it was like to be loved that way.”

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UK Artist of the Week: Zed The Dreamer

Immerse yourselves in Zed The Dreamer and his smooth, sultry new single “Comfort (Not Love),” out now.

With a voice like velvet, Zed The Dreamer—aka Zé Pedro Viveiros—certainly proves he’s one to watch and we’re loving his low-key vibe. Zed’s latest single “Comfort (Not Love)” is taken from his EP “The Life and Death of McKenzie Kane,” which is also out now, and it’s made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Channeling the nu-jazz stylings of Tom Misch whilst bringing in the brooding sultry elements of the likes of Gus Dapperton, Zed isn’t messing around. “Comfort (Not Love)” is the perfect fusion of indie, soul, and jazz—and we can’t get enough.

Zed moved from studying in Portugal to London in 2019 and he hasn’t looked back since.

“Comfort (Not Love)” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Rebekah Fitch

What a voice! Irish artist Rebekah Fitch takes our breathe away with her latest single “Goodbye,” out now.

Channelling the likes of Lana Del Rey, Rebekah combines celestial soundscapes with enchanting vocals creating a sound that is undeniably compelling. Rebekah’s incredible vocal is at the forefront throughout, oozing with emotion and power and we can’t get enough. Talking about the single, Rebekah explains, “I have had several significant goodbyes in my life, but I never felt that I honoured them with enough recognition.

I wanted to pay homage to those people that have had such profound influence on me and given me so much. In a time of so many goodbyes, I wanted to write something that people could weave into their own personal stories.” You can now also listen to a stunning live piano version of the single, allowing Rebekah’s mesmerising vocal to shine through even more.

Rebekah has already made a name for herself in Ireland and now it looks like she’s set to take the rest of the world by storm if “Goodbye” is anything to go by. Watch this space…

“Goodbye” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jonny Wildey

PHOTO: FABRICE BOURGELLE | Take it easy this week with Jonny Wildey and his jazz-funk infused AA-side single “Your Dreams” / “Lonely,” out now. Quite rightly, we’ve decided to make him this week’s AOTW and after listening to both singles, we’re sure you’ll see why…

Wildey is no stranger to the music scene, having previously released a string of acclaimed singles under the name of Alphabets Heaven via the likes of Nightmares On Wax, Tru Thoughts, Soundway, and King Deluxe to name a few. But now, he’s decided to go it alone under his own name and it certainly seems to be paying off.

His latest release is the AA-side single “Your Dreams” / “Lonely”—a perfectly encapsulated pairing of tracks that combine elements of jazz, funk, neo-soul, and electronica creating some totally mesmerising soundscapes as a result. Both tracks are taken from Wildey’s upcoming album Nitely, a record written and recorded over a period spanning three years.

It’s an exciting new step for the London-based artist who is now keen to embrace a more traditional form of songwriting. Wildey’s celestial falsetto is at the forefront of both singles, giving us that warm and fuzzy feeling we’re all craving a bit of right now.

Nitely is in stores on 15th October 2021 via WotNot Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: second thoughts

Hitchin-based newcomers second thoughts have already been making some serious waves across the internet and it’s not hard to see why when songs like “nicotine stains” are coming out of the woodwork. This quartet combines all the best element of indie, pop, and rock and we love it.

Channelling noughties faves The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club, “nicotine stains” is an instantly infectious slice of indie-pop that will get your head banging and toes tapping in no time. The single was produced by none other than The 1975’s Ross MacDonald and was also mixed by Iain Berry who has previously worked with the likes of Wolf Alice, so second thoughts are definitely in good company here and onto a winning partnership we reckon.

Despite still being relatively unknown, second thoughts already have a huge following on social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, and Spotify, so we the future is looking extremely bright for these young bucks already. Get following!

“nicotine stains” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Nick Kingswell

Some of you may be aware that we had a very short-lived heatwave here in the UK recently… dare I say it was too hot? Said every Brit ever. Regardless, we’re back to our normal rainy reality here in old GB and Australian artist Nick Kingswell’s latest release feels perfectly fitting for these dark, cozy days.

Nick’s latest single “Deep Blue” channels the likes of RY X as sparse, lo-fi soundscapes are met with Nick’s rich, warm vocal, creating a sound that is undeniably ethereal. The single is accompanied by Nick’s B-side single “Money In The Bank”; an equally mesmerising song that takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster, as intricate guitar strums rumble quietly underneath Nick’s wonderfully poignant lyricism. Fans of Sufjan Stevens will feel at home here.

Nick grew up in Phillip Island, Victoria in Australia where he was heavily influenced by Carole King and Leonard Cohen. He has worked as a session guitarist for many years as well alongside Guy Sebastian, The McClymonts, and Samantha Jade. With a critically acclaimed debut album already under his belt, Nick hopes to immerse listeners further with his latest singles—and we can’t wait to hear what he gets up to next.

“Deep Blue / Money In The Bank” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: AOHDAN

We’re getting dreamy this week with Australia’s AOHDAN and his vibrant new single “Flies In My Room,” out now.

AOHDAN—also known as Aidan Whitehall—may only be seventeen but the quality of his songwriting is matured and sophisticated way beyond his years. His new single “Flies In My Room” is taken from his EP of the same name and it’s a celestial delight from start to finish. The single falls somewhere between the genres of indie, dream-pop, and indie-folk, giving the song a wonderfully chilled vibe whilst feeling intricate and warm. Fans of Real Estate and Beach Fossils will feel at home here.

Aidan is no stranger to the music scene, having already caught the attention of Communion Publishing UK, so we have no doubt his latest EP will certainly spark further interest. He’s already racked up the streams on Spotify with his previous releases and with his new single he looks set to do the same.

“Flies In My Room” is in stores now via AntiFragile Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: 88/89

We’re getting a bit funky this week with multi-instrumentalists 88/89 who have recently released their vibrant new single “Bite The Bullet” and we can’t get enough of their psych-pop sound.

Channelling the likes of Jungle, Prince, and The Presets, 88/89 are a formidable force to be reckoned with. They combine all the best elements of ’80s dance-rock with indietronica and nu-disco creating a sound that will get your toes tapping in no time. The latest cut “Bite The Bullet” is no exception as pulsating beats are met with distorted guitar twangs and celestial harmonies, creating infectiously uplifting soundscapes.

88/89 consists of Michael Hornby (vocals) and Jack James (guitar) but they also take on other musical duties including drums, keyboards and bass. This dynamic duo have been honing their sound since 2019 and show no signs of slowing down.

“Bite The Bullet” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Stereo Club

Cardiff-based newcomers Stereo Club bring the sound of the summer with their shimmering debut single “Parma Violet Gin,” out now.

It may be wet and rainy in the UK but Stereo Club aren’t gonna let it bring them down. Their infectious debut single is a dazzling ray of sunshine that effortlessly channels the likes of The Cardigans and Best Coast. “Parma Violet Gin” is about a group of kids achieving their dreams and we certainly hope this vivacious trio will get to achieve theirs.

Stereo Club are Ines Duarte, Dan Waggon, and Ben Morris. They may have only just formed and they may have only one song under their belts so far, but we’re sure we’ll be hearing plenty more from them in the coming months.

“Parma Violet Gin” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Monokino

PHOTO: GEORGE VAN WETERING | Dutch artist Monokino has already built a name for himself in both Asia and North Americana and he’s now set his sights on the UK. His latest release “Your Underground” is a woozy fusion of alternative-rock and off-kilter electronics that certainly deserves your attention.

Channelling the likes of Twin Shadow and The Associates, Monokino is an artist who is hard to define. His new single is packed with a punch from the offset, as distorted guitar twangs are met with 8-bit samples and Monokino’s distinctively experimental vocals at the forefront. Talking about the single, Monokino explains, “The ‘underground scene’ appears to be very much into systematic exclusion, which was already clear recently when Burger Records came into the news.”

“Over here one creates a scene to unite people, by excluding people, because it fits into the zeitgeist. Something in me snaps. What is actually new and exciting is skipped while that what needs to be sold is promoted as something new. It serves the big players in the music biz to promote artists as being valuable to some underground community—either created or real—because of some Spotify playlist. There must be more interesting things artists can tell, right?” Some serious food for thought there.

With “Your Underground” Monokino hopes to captivate a new surge of listeners with his experimental blend of alt-rock and pop—and we’re here for it.

“Your Underground” is in stores now.

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