Category Archives: TVD UK

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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TVD Live Shots: Mew at Royal Festival Hall, 9/4

“Absolutely fucking magical,” is what I heard over and over again as the crowd left the Mew show at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

After being rescheduled several times due to the ongoing pandemic, Mew took to the stage to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the landmark album And the Glass Handed Kites. In an era when albums are quickly becoming irrelevant, and music itself is treated as an “add-on” instead of the centerpiece, it’s more important than ever to recognize and celebrate the ones that “should have been bigger.” While the theater was full that evening, it begs the question, what place does this genre-defining masterpiece hold in the continued evolution of experimental pop?

Anyone present can immediately tell you that the music holds up like it was released yesterday. The fact that there was no opener and that the band played the record straight through nearly without interruption speaks volumes. The music becomes a soundtrack, and the visuals projected take you to another world—a strangely beautiful world that doesn’t make sense outside of the immediate space. Is it art or music? It’s both. Singer and guitarist Jonas Bjerre’s a bit older, a bit grayer, but his voice sounds as perfect as ever.

I’ve listened to this album hundreds of times over the years. It’s tough to get tired of this one as I seem to discover something new with each listen. The layers and complexities of the songs are stunning, and the melodies find a delicate balance between an earworm pop hit and progressive shoegaze. They did what Radiohead failed to do in their later years—push the boundaries but keep the hooks in place.

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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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TVD Live Shots:
HRH Sleaze, Sheffield 8/28–8/29

Live music has returned to the UK with a mad rush of festivals doing their best to salvage what has been a brutal summer for music lovers.

I had my sights set on something a bit different outside of the masses heading to Leeds and Reading. Taking the train from London a few hours north to Sheffield, I was excited to get back to my roots, the music I grew up on, sleaze metal. And there’s no better way to experience this resurgence than my first Hard Rock Hell festival. Focused on returning this under celebrated metal pastime to the forefront, the fine folks at HRH brought together a stellar lineup for their 2021 return.

While quite a few of the original headliners and bands from outside the UK, unfortunately, had to cancel due to Covid restrictions in one form or another, the lineup ended up surprisingly strong. A mix of new blood nestled in-between some industry staples made for an exciting two days of old favorites and new discoveries. Here are my highlights and picks from the two-day sleaze-fest.

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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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UK Artist of the Week: Mike Walsh

This week’s AOTW comes from London-based Spaniard Mike Walsh. His newest single “Ride” is a stunning slice of indie-pop that showcases Mike’s velvet vocals.

What a voice! Mike’s smooth, sultry tones will transport you to eternal bliss on his new single and we can’t get enough. The single showcases Mike’s more vulnerable side as he explores themes of loves lost and the challenges we face in overcoming heartbreak.

The poignantly relatable lyricism paired with mellow guitar tones and hushed melodies make for the perfect break up anthem that is bound to pull at your heartstrings—so be sure to have tissues at the ready.

“Ride” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Crawford Mack

Brighten up your day with Glasgow’s Crawford Mack and his infectious new single “Kicks,” out now.

You can’t go wrong with a classic slice of indie-rock can you really? Crawford Mack knows this and his latest release “Kicks” certainly is no exception. The new single is a sparkling, spangling indie-rock track that is bound to get your toes tapping in no time. Mack states some of his influences as the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Pulp and we can certainly hear those legendary artists creeping through as “Kicks” kicks off (sorry, we’ll stop).

Talking about the single, Mack explains, “I was out for a walk in Victoria Park and got caught by a wave of optimism by seeing a group of people hanging out with a speaker blaring Franz Ferdinand. I was actually taking a break from writing a slightly darker song, came back and changed the whole thing!”

Crawford Mack is a Glaswegian at heart but he currently resides in London. To celebrate the release, Crawford plays a headline London show at The Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston. Tickets are here.

“Kicks” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Arthur Brothers

Our Artist of the Week is the London-based collective The Arthur Brothers who have recently released their new single “Watson (Pt. 1)” and it’s a woozy delight from start to finish.

The Arthur Brothers consist of, funny enough, brothers Matt and Danny Arthur. The duo work closely with producer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist J. C. Wright to create their genre-defying sound. Channelling the likes of Animal Collective, The Flaming Lips, and even the legendary Queen, The Arthur Brothers’ latest single is wonderfully eccentric, innovative and endearing throughout.

“Watson (Pt. 1)” is the final single to be released from their epic debut album Nine, which came out last year. The single was originally clocking in at an ambitious nine minutes long, but you’ll probably be relieved to hear that it has been reconstructed to just under four minutes for this release.

“Watson (Pt. 1)” is in stores now.

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