Meet Sasha. Whilst we wouldn’t usually write about a folk singer/songwriter from London, Sasha also taps into the gentler side of electronica, in the same vain as Bon Iver and The Japanese House.
Her current single, ‘Picking Flowers’ has more of a commercial edge than her previous material. Lyrically, it addresses the idea of adultery, using the concept of ‘picking flowers’ to symbolise a lack of care in a relationship.
It’s out now via Lemon Zen Records.
Sounds like: Daughter, Maggie Rogers, The Japanese House, Bon Iver
Jagara are three sisters from London making genre-bending mature pop music, or so their press release says.
When reviewing music, we usually enjoy having a good listen through what we get sent before we even cast our eyes on what we’re supposed to think about it, so putting the press release out of mind is a good starting point.
On first listen nothing about their new single ‘Real Love’ drags us in, then nothing is making us switch off either. Musically it is quite simple with an under-produced feel (in a good way), good arrangements with a strange and interesting appeal. There is a vague but pleasing sense of familiarity and that coupled with that by the third and fourth listens the vocals begin to become really catchy means that we can see how this three piece are building up a great reputation.
Jagara have recently been on tour supporting Bastille on their sold out arena tour and we can see and hear the link to a group like Bastille, and fans of Bastille will definitely be on board, even though we feel ‘Real Love’ displays a more pleasant subtlety to it than most of what we’ve heard from Bastille.
There are definite elements of past pop triumphs with plenty of influences rooted in the 80’s but Jagara have used only hints of these to give a sense of something you might know and their abilities as writers and musicians carry these through to make a good, albeit slightly uninspiring piece of music. On the whole ‘Real Love’ will no doubt push Jagara further to where they need to be, it’s catchy, it’s poppy, it’s familiar but it isn’t pushing the boundaries of their abilities let alone the boundaries of music. We feel there is much more to come from Jagara and we’re really looking forward to hearing how the next single or two develops from here.
Sounds like: Shura, Bastille, New Order, Grimes, Blondie
London based Martin Luke Brown shares his first release on LAB Records.
It’s slightly more restrained than his previous single, ’65 Roses’, but this approach keeps emotional tension throughout the track, whilst Martin Luke Brown continues to showcase his expansive vocal range with the accompaniment of an organ and the rumbling of bass lines.
Sounds like: Will Joseph Cook, KYKO, Sody, Dan Croll, Amaroun, Frank Ocean, DAUNT, Bon Iver, Rationale
Anti-folk artist, Erin K, has been keeping herself very busy. Originally born in London, but now residing in the States via Italy, she has just shared the video for ‘No Control’, filmed across Iceland, and released her album ‘Little Torch’, which you can listen to on Spotify here.
To celebrate, Erin K has put together a playlist for us.
Tennis – Night Vision I love the immediate hood of this cool drum beat and the contrast between the closeness of the verse against the dreamy delayed vocals in the chorus. I just walked to the flight gate listening to this in my headphones. Great walking song!
Perfume Genius – Learning The simplicity of Perfume Genius is a breath of fresh air, reminiscent of the honest lyrics encountered in Andrew and the Johnsons or (kids soundtrack guy). I especially love the lyrics “blah blah blah” at the end of this intimate song. I’m inspired by this artist! I have tickets to see him at Heaven in London in a few weeks!
Hospitality – Going Out I don’t have much to say about this other than it’s been my song to start my day with for the past 2 weeks! Makes me feel like dancing! I’d love to see them live.
Whitney – No Woman I LOVE this artist. It’s rare that you find a drummer that is also the lead vocalist. Check out their live sessions online, definitely one of my top favourite new discoveries at the moment.
Cass McCombs – Bum Bum Bum A friend of my from Fort Lauderdale introduced me to this band (amongst others) recently and I think I had this song on repeat for an hour after the first listen. I love songs that push along with a constant repeated beat and sound. Check out his other songs, they are all beautiful. Something very nostalgic about this sound.
Sufjan Stevens – All of Me Wants All of You This is one of my favourite songs at the moment. It’s so beautiful. He recently came out with a live version of this, amongst others. Personally, I prefer the live versions but worth checking out.
Leon Bridges – River When I first heard this I assumed it was an old recording from the 60s. I love the way this song builds and Leon’s voice is flawless and emotive. Goose bumps.
U.N.P.O.C. – Here on My Own What’s not to love about early Modest Mouse! Great build, beautiful lyrical rhythm, one to scream along to at home, or in my experience, the customs line at Heathrow Terminal 4 (in my head of course).
Shuggy Otis – Strawberry Letter 23 Yes Yes YES! I love the every part of this. If you like retro 60s jams, you’ll dance along to this.
CAN – Vitamin C I remember the first time I heard this in some shop in London. I couldn’t wait to get home and listen to it properly. I’ve loved this song for years. The vocal, the consisting arrangement and cool organ sounds. Might not be a new find for me but I’ve included it here nonetheless.
Sounds like: Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Alev Lenz, alt-J, Pam Ayres, Susan Vega, Kim Boekbinder, Lily Allen
Hot damn! Love Ssega is back with ‘Hot Electrolytes’.
The Kat Hassan-directed video bursts with colour, mirroring the warm tones throughout the track.
Explaining the track, Love Ssega says “This track has hopefully raised two eyebrows and a wry smile. To me it feels like a sledgehammer of passion, colour and sound, as that’s what I was going for. If it’s not surprising, it’s not exciting.”
‘Hot Electrolytes’ is taken from Love Ssega’s forthcoming ‘Emancipation!’ EP, which is set for release later this summer.
Sounds like: Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Tom Tom Club, Kindness, LA Priest, Prince