Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Amelia Rose

London-based newcomer Amelia Rose and Finnish producer cocabona collaborate for the release of celestial new single “Falling Down,” out now. As well as being a writer, vocalist, and producer, Amelia is now curating her slick new sounds through experimentation and collaborating with various producers, musicians, and artists.

Chill to the max with Amelia Rose and cocabona’s stunning new single “Falling Down”—a jazzy fusion of electronic splendour, soothing vocals, and vibrant beats. Talking about the single, Amelia says, “This track is about going back to your old ways even though you realise that something isn’t working out. I wanted to create a kind of sonic tapestry, with the production and the vocals, that would take the listener on a journey through that emotional space which cocabona really brought out and was a pleasure to work with.”

After the success of her first single “midnight” with New York-based artist Relyae, which was featured on BBC 1Xtra and several editorial playlists, Amelia will be releasing her debut EP “Phases” in February 2023.

“Falling Down” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Mandi Mapes

Nashville-based newcomer Mandi Mapes shines bright with the release of her touching new single “Daffodil Floors,” out now.

What an absolute delight to listen to. Folk-pop newcomer Mandi Mapes shares her breathtaking new single “Daffodil Floors” which is truly stunning from the offset as Mandi’s intimate vocals compliment the rich, piano-led musicality—and the string section at the end?! Amazing.

Talking about the single, Mandi explains, “This song is about healing from that hurt. It’s about taking off those heavy burdens, ignoring those voices of shame and running free like a child, knowing that we are loved, that we matter, and that we belong not because of what we do, but because of who we are.”

“Daffodil Floors” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Skelly

Sibling duo Skelly brush off the January blues with the release of their deliciously jazzy new single “Connection,” out now.

Tom and Laura Misch better watch out cos there’s a new pair of talented siblings on the London jazz scene. Skelly are a brother and sister duo from North London who make neo-soul flavoured music with jazz and pop influences. Their latest single “Connection” is a brass-filled delight from start to finish with Emma’s soft subtle vocals soaring effortlessly over Ben’s brilliant musical arrangements.

Talking about the single, the band elaborate, “‘Stop lying to yourself, you cannot fake a connection, I do not need your protection…’ This line, repeated over and over in the outro, is the fundamental idea behind this tune. It’s about close friends headed for inevitable romance, yet while one side yearns for it, the other is reluctant to acknowledge their feelings.”

“Connection” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Melotone

This week we’re heading to the West of England to meet Melotone, a psych-jazz quartet who are creating wonderfully woozy tunes.

The band’s latest release “Entre Ondas” combines sixties psychedelia with jazz-infused Tropicalia and Bossa nova soundscapes creating something truly mesmerising. Lead singer Alec Madeley is half-Brazilian, which has clearly influenced the rest of the band’s musical motives. “Entre Ondas” allows us to travel away from these cold winter mornings to warm, sultry afternoons—and we can’t get enough.

Talking about the single, Alec explains, “’Entre Ondas’ is a landmark song for me because it is the first of ours that truly captures our love of sixties and seventies Brazilian music. During the pandemic, I was listening to a lot of Caetano Veloso, Os Novos Baianos, and Gal Costa, which I think inspired me to write something in Portuguese, almost as a homage to the greats I had been obsessing over.”

“Entre Ondas” is in stores now via Think Twice Records, an arm of Last Man Music Group.

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UK Artist of the Week: Hayleon

We’re kicking off 2023 with a brand new Irish discovery. Hayleon released her debut single “Warrior” in December we can’t wait to see what the New Year has in store for her.

“Warrior” infuses Scandi-pop and Irish folk music creating something that is truly unique. Hayleon’s soft, celestial vocal soars over the almost tribal-like musicality, whilst the fiddle and low whistle create an undeniably ethereal sound. “Warrior” is a song about the physiological and emotional elements of female relationships and the press that comes with it.

Hayleon—aka Hannah Ryan—was previously a member of ambient folk quartet Pine The Pilcrow. With “Warrior” she goes solo for the first time and we’re excited to hear what she gets up to next.

“Warrior” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Badliana

Shake off those Christmas party hangovers with Bristol- based newcomer Badliana and her trippy new single “Mayday,” out now.

“Mayday” is oozing with sass and swag from the offset as Badliana’s smooth, sultry vocals compliment the dark, woozy electronics effortlessly. Fans of FKA Twigs and Little Dragon will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Badliana explains, “‘Mayday’ is bossy, confident, and all about just doing what you want, when you want, manifesting it, and achieving it basically. It’s about taking control and just fully allowing yourself to be yourself and not giving a f**k about what anyone thinks.”

Having already previously supported the likes of Jelani Blackman and Etta Bond and made her debut appearance at Glastonbury 2022, we’re excited to see what this emerging electronic talent will get up to next.

“Mayday” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Thallo

Welsh newcomer Thallo captivates listeners with her unique blend of jazz-infused dream-pop. Her new EP “Crescent” is out now.

Thallo creates a wonderful cocktail of sounds throughout her EP, combining elements of jazz, pop, and folk creating a sound that is truly enchanting. Thallo’s hauntingly beautiful vocals compliment the subtle jazz textures effortlessly, whilst the personable lyricism adds further depth and importance to the musicality.

The three track EP chronicles the artist’s own story about an on-going condition causing chronic pain which began in 2020 and left her temporarily unable to walk or stand—locked in by her condition after the world had been released from lockdown—and forced to cancel her planned appearance at this year’s SXSW, which is now rescheduled for 2023.

Thallo is the work of singer-songwriter Elin Edwards, based between her homelands of Gwynedd, North Wales, and London.

“Crescent” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jewelia

London-based emerging artist Jewelia shines bright with the release of her bittersweet new single “Second Best,” out now. Influenced by the likes of nineties pop star Natalie Imbruglia, there is definitely a nostalgic edge to Jewelia’s music, however it is brought into the 21st century with Jewelia’s butter-soft vocals and relatable lyricism at the forefront.

Talking about the single, Jewelia explains, “From a young age, we watch stories of success against all odds and are besotted with the chosen one, while getting accustomed to look down on the average people and their struggles—the irony being, of course, that we are them.

We are told that we can achieve anything, if only we try hard enough. As inspiring as this sounds, it also implies that we only have ourselves to blame (regardless of systemic disadvantages, biological limits, financial difficulty etc.) for having an average life, in a world where mediocrity is viewed as being worse than utter failure. Something is messed up here, and I thought it was worth exploring.”

“Second Best” is taken from Jewelia’s upcoming album Strong in My Own Way, due in stores in Spring of next year.

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UK Artist of the Week: Rodney Cromwell

London-based synth-pop artist Rodney Cromwell, aka Adam Cresswell, has had an eventful career. A founding member of notable electro duo Arthur & Martha, as well as head of independent label Happy Robots Records, Cresswell has spent the last few years creating a sound synonymous with his alter ego, culminating in the recent release of single, “The Winter Palace.”

The track is taken from album Memory Box, released this year to wide acclaim. Standout track, “The Winter Palace” perfectly illustrates Cromwell’s distinctive synth-pop sound. The single, with a nod to vintage electronic artists, combined with Cromwell’s own unique style, dances with synth strings, dreamy harmonies, and evocative lyricism, creating a perfect soundtrack to winter.

Accompanied by the krautrock-inspired b-side, “Rod Jane & Freddy,” the soon-to-be-released promo CD will feature remixes from Infra Violet and Gemma Cullingford.

Cromwell’s quirky style has attracted the attention of a range of tastemakers from NME to Paste magazine, as well as synth-pop legends Blancmange, who have invited him on tour supporting their UK dates. Even more reason for us here at TVDHQ to make Rodney our UK Artist of the Week.

“The Winter Palace” is taken from album Memory Box, both in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Tragicomics

Tragicomics are a collective from the Northwest of England. True to the name, their inimitable sound straddles the line between upbeat, in-your-face melodies combined with a pathos that pulls emotively at the heartstrings. Their latest track, “Hopeless Romantic,” is a rousing folk-rock number that’s been on repeat here at TVDHQ—so much so, that we’ve decided to make them our UK Artist of The Week.

Having taken a break due to singer Chris Eatough’s struggle with mental health, the band came roaring back in 2021 through the release of the album, Book Of Want. Their eclectic sound—taking in folk, Americana, rock, and pop—is no more apparent than on their latest cut.

Mastered by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Scott Walker) at Abbey Road, “Hopeless Romantic” showcases Tragicomics blend of rock, indie, and folk on one breathless track. Laced with a relentless baseline and toe-tapping beats, Eatough’s charming delivery comes to the fore and is accented delightfully by Laura Morley’s violin.

A sincere, passionate song, “Hopeless Romantic” encapsulates the best of what Tragicomics has to offer as a band, and illustrates why the likes of BBC Radio, Drowned In Sound, and Louder Than War have supported their distinctive sound.

“Hopeless Romantic” is in stores now and available to stream on all platforms.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jonathan Ogden

Singer-songwriter Jonathan Ogden celebrates the release of his beautiful new album Future Forever with the release of his equally stunning new single “When I’m Home,” featuring Molly Parden on guest vocals.

Channeling the likes of Sufjan Stevens and early Bon Iver, Jonathan creates shimmering indie-folk that feels both delicate and heartwarming. Molly’s vocal compliments Jonathan’s hushed tones effortlessly, creating something that is truly mesmerizing.

Talking about the single, Jonathan explains, “I lost my Dad in December last year. He was a pastor and I learnt so much about God and faith from him, just listening to his sermons and through conversations at home. It might seem a strange thing to say but his funeral was actually really wonderful because it was a reflection of his faith and his hope. While it was a sad time of loss, it was also a time when I realized the hope that he had was real, but it’s also a song that recognizes the ‘ache’ of a hope that we’re waiting for and haven’t fully seen yet.”

Jonathan’s album Future Forever is in stores now.

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TVD Premiere: Dyan Valdés, “Fade Away” (Acoustic)

TVD fave Dyan Valdés is back with a formidable new acoustic version of her single “Fady Away,” out tomorrow.

Today, we are able to exclusively share this powerful new version which is being appropriately released just before the US midterm elections. Dyan recorded this version of “Fade Away” on the day the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, which, as we know, took away women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Quite rightly, Dyan was angered and upset by this decision and felt a reinvention of this song needed to be appropriately released.

The original release was taken from Dyan’s incredibly powerful debut solo album Stand; an album she released after she’d was attacked during the pandemic by a man on the streets of Berlin in broad daylight.

The new version of “Fade Away” is in stores on 28th October 2022.

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UK Artist of the Week: Ch’Lu

This week’s Artist of the Week is London-based artist Ch’Lu—aka Camilla Mathias. Her latest single “I’m Not The Type To Sit & Swipe” is a highly relatable song about the trials and tribulations of online dating.

Ch’Lu has previously been praised by none other than Kate Bush herself, someone whose sound you can clearly hear in Camilla’s work. “I’m Not The Type To Sit & Swipe” combines art-pop and folktronic elements creating a sound that is undeniably enchanting.

Ch’lu is is a classical guitarist, singer, and actress. Her self-produced upcoming album is due for release in 2023 and is funded by Arts Council of England.

“I’m Not The Type To Sit & Swipe” is out now.

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UK Artist of the Week: May Payne

Slacker-pop newcomer May Payne discusses the trials and tribulations of situation-ships on new single “Lazy Sunday,” out now. May is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Manchester who blends intelligent songwriting with a gorgeous live-band sound.

Soak up the last of the sun’s rays with May Payne and her gorgeously sun-kissed single “Lazy Sunday.” A song about the joys of getting lost in someone else and temporarily being able to put your incompatibilities aside, fans of the likes of Lily Allen and Faye Webster will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, May explains, “I get myself entangled in a lot unhealthy and mismatched situation-ships and more often than not it all comes down to that feeling when it’s a Sunday, you’re hiding away in someone’s room, and you’re both happy to pretend that things really could work out between you—or ignore the fact that they won’t.”

“Lazy Sunday” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sarah Carton

Emerging English artist Sarah Carton slows things down with the release of her smooth, sultry single “Fire,” out now. The single is taken from Sarah’s debut EP “Raw,” which is out on 14th October 2022.

Combining subtle piano tones with eerie synths and Carton’s velvet-like vocal, “Fire” is a single that will sooth your soul. Fans of the likes of Kate Nash and Arlo Parks will feel at home here. Speaking about the upcoming EP, she said, “This EP grew from a collection of phone notes around a difficult relationship. Writing and producing it was a kind of therapy for me. A means to untangle experiences that had previously been so messy in my head. The process helped me find clarity, acceptance, and empowerment.”

Sarah Carton will be performing her first headline show and EP release gig at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney on Thursday, 13th October.

Sarah’s debut EP “Raw” is in stores on 14th October 2022.

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