Friday, 30 January 2015

Albums of 2015 - Our End Of Year List !

Towards the end of 2014, like every blog / website / music fan that likes to make sense of the musical year and document things for future reference, we published our end of year album list. It’s what Bob Stanley in his epic tome The History of Modern Pop would describe as ‘competition, excitement in league table form, pop music as a sport’. As Bob suggests, charts are very British thing, ‘fuel for a nation obsessed with train numbers and cricket statistics’.

However, our end of year list wasn’t just one short rushed blog post decided on the spur of the moment but a reasonably weighty series of posts (see here). The positions of each album was simply but carefully calculated based on the number of times we’d played the album that year, the results being modified to account for the number of months since the album first reached our ears. The idea was simple - our favourite must be the one we had played the most.

Yes, we were sad and geeky enough to record our listening history over 365 days, with all the complications that brings; multiple listens to one CD on a car journey and forgetting how many times we played it, part plays of albums etc.

We’ll be doing something similar at the end of 2015, but quite clearly our end of year list is an ongoing project. So what does it look like after nearly one month? The graph above shows the results. As you can see we’ve listened to Charli XCX’s Sucker a lot. Full disclosure: Charli’s album isn’t released in the UK yet but we imported it from the U.S via Amazon where it’s already out. Also The Staves and The Shires records are advance copies from their respective labels, they're not due for public consumption for a few more weeks.

So there you have it, our Albums of 2015 list (work in progress). Will any of those make it through to December? Time will tell.

This is our last post on Breaking More Waves for a week whilst we take a short break. Normal posting will resume sometime around the 9th of February. We'll still be posting on Twitter (here) though.

Plastic Mermaids - Playing In Your Mind (Video)

Inhale The Universe EP from Isle of Wight psychedelic folk types Plastic Mermaids is the follow up to their debut Drømtorp . From it comes Playing In Your Mind a song that manages to capture the more tender feathery moments of Blur’s output alongside the mystic swirls of the Flaming Lips; this is no bad thing.

It’s got lines about “wandering through the pastures, looking back at our disasters,” or at least we think that's what is sung. Or is it past years not pastures? We’re not sure, so we’re saying it’s pastures, because that sounds weirder and therefore more fun, even though past years makes more sense. Then there’s spacey electronic noises that go oo-ee-oo-ee-oo, acoustic strums that sound giddily romantic and the most gloriously bonkers video you’ll see all week. Here you’ll find mannequins galore, upward ‘falling’ ticker tape, facial parts on drums, masks, journey’s into the mouth, stop motion a plenty and a rainbow of colourfully absurd ideas. Someone give them a decent budget so that they can build some of this vision into a live show of equal merit please. 

Inhale The Universe is released on the 9th March on Cross Keys Records. For now enjoy Playing In Your Mind’s beautiful oddball magnificence.

Plastic Mermaids - Playing In Your Mind (Video)

Emily Burns - Homewrecker

“Lord I’m a homewrecker,” Emily Burns sings on her new spicy not-giving-a-damn pop jam and for a moment you can’t be anything but a little bit taken back. After all Emily sounds such a nice person and yet here she is getting all lusty about someone that she probably really shouldn’t. She knows it as well: “I don’t want to be a homewrecker, I just can’t seem to get over ya.” It will all end in tears we can assure you.

Whatever naughtiness Emily has been up to, we’re immorally glad she has though, as this one grinds and grooves in all the right places, armed with of the moment r’n’b flavours and an earworm of a chorus. On the evidence of the material she’s released to date, we think it’s time someone gave Emily Burns a record deal. Come on music industry.

Emily Burns - Homewrecker

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Laura Doggett - Old Faces (Video)

Laura Doggett has started 2015 in a way that many new artists can only dream of. Her song Old Faces has had national exposure in the UK thanks to featuring on the trailer for popular TV series Broadchurch and found its way on to BBC Radio 1 via the In New Music We Trust part of the playlist. Then there was her stunning concert by candlelight in the intimate setting of the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in London, a breathtakingly beautiful Jacobean style galleried theatre space. We were lucky enough to catch the show. Not only did it show off Laura’s incredible deep-set vocal talent (keep an ear out for Beautiful Undone, which if the studio version is anything like the live take will have you physically and emotionally melting), but also her charmingly sweet personality that almost seemed at odds with her singing voice. 

So a good start to our #1 One to Watch for 2015.

Whilst there has already been a studio performance film for Old Faces, yesterday saw the release of the fully choreographed video proper, a simple but stylish black and white piece which finds Laura in almost goddess like form. We’re streaming that below.

If you want to go and see Laura, various opportunities are cropping up, including this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton, supporting BBC Sound of winners Years & Years in London in March and most importantly her own mini homecoming headline tour of the west of England, supported by none other than an artist who we’ve championed almost to excess over the last few years – Alice Jemima. Alice may have nearly disappeared of the musical scene over the last year, (whilst hitting over 2 million plays on her Soundcloud) but keep an eye and ear out for her in 2015, as things are just beginning to bubble. Tickets for the mini tour can be found here.

Laura Doggett - Old Faces (Video)