I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes we show up late to a party that started a few months earlier, but a lot of the time we’re starting the party a few months before anyone else shows up.
The latter is certainly the case when it comes to young Londoner Halls. Back in April 2011 we tapped him as One To Watch, noting "With homage to the likes of Burial, Mount Kimbie and Gold Panda all present, his ability to build layers interwoven with micro-samples, warped strings and his own fragile voice mean that his style is most definitely his own.”
Now he’s back and he’s armed to the teeth with a new album Ark, set for release on October 15th via No Pain In Pop. His new track "White Chalk" lives up to the hype that we created for ourselves last April; Somber, reflective, and sparse, with a thundering beat that kicks in a third of the way through closely followed by the most haunting of choirs. Stunning.
Third Man Records, owned and operated by The White Stripes frontman Jack White, are known for working with a variety of artists from all over the world in different genres, and the most recent artist to get all up in their shit is New Zealand native and London-living Willy Moon.
You might recognise the name if you read this site as we named him as One To Watch back in April, highlighting his bombastic and charismatic approach to soulful, Hip-Hop-inspired early Rock ‘n’ Roll. He pulls off the amalgamation perfectly, showcased on his new track that he’s releasing with Third Man Records.
"Railorad Track" will be released as a 7” single via TMR on August 20th and backed with "Bang Bang", another new track. Check out "Railroad Track" below as he saunters through some disused Nashville streets.
A few months back we introduced you to a wonderful new artists from London called Lianne La Havas and we found her to be so good that we labeled her as One To Watch, something which seems to have come to fruition in the months since.
Apparently we weren’t the only ones to see and hear the potential in the young Londoner, and as she’s clearly proven with her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? she’s been winning people over with her hypnotically soulful and insatiable indie-pop, as with tracks like "Forget" and "Empty".
The album is a sublime listen, the melodies, the grooves, the lyrics and wordplay, it all comes together perfectly for an extremely impressive debut album, and thanks to NPR you can listen to it in full below.
Is Your Love Big Enough? is out now in Europe and released on August 14th in North America.
Since then she’s toured all over the shop, released another couple of songs and announced her debut album "Is Your Love Big Enough" due for release on July 9th. Yesterday she released the title track and accompanying video, a live montage of her touring life both on and off-stage which can be perused at your leisure below.
Watch the video for Willy Moon's song "Yeah Yeah" below, easily one of our favourite songs of the year, and if you’re unable to hit replay when it’s done you may just want to rethink your taste in music.
Expect a more thorough One To Watch article on him this week, this guy will be huge.
Listen to "White Coats" a new song by Foxes.
We dubbed UK electro-pop singer Foxes One To Watch back in February, and now she’s back to prove us right. One of our favorite labels, Neon Gold unveiled the first song the London native has released since her first 7”, and it’s no less spectacular than "Youth" or "Home".
As usual, Foxes sticks to an electronic beat to support her powerful vocal, using swells to build emotion that climaxes in the final stretch of the song. The chorus, very much in the musician’s style, is huge, albeit a little less catchy that what we come to expect, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.
"White Coats" is set to be released as part of a special three-track EP in June, alongside "Warrior" and a demo for a song called "Let Go For Tonight". Neon Gold will be putting out that release which is already marked on my calendar.
For now, you can listen to "White Coats" below, and if you’re lucky still download a copy. As always, let us know what you think!
There are some classic artists that you can listen to time and again and never grow tired of hearing them. I’d rank crooners like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Al Martino (to name but a few) in this category. These are the voices that transport you back in time to the golden age of music when the wireless was king and one of the only ways you had to discover new music.
Of course, nowadays we are inundated with ways of finding our new music (including sites like this), so imagine my delight when I stumbled across a modern artist that had the same effect as the greats listed above. Enter Idiot Glee, a crooner for the digital age.
At 23, James Friley sings in a style that aches with nostalgia. Trained as a classical pianist from the age of 7, as he developed in his teenage years he wrote and improvised his own solo piano compositions. Finding that they didn’t fit in with a fledgling rock band, he went alone. Influenced by the discovery of Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys (an album he played around 100 times in a year), Idiot Glee took shape releasing a debut single last year.
With a first album due in June (Editor’s note - Looks like it’s at least out in the U.K. right now!), I thought this would be the ideal time for you to find out what you’ve been missing. Have a listen to “All Packed Up” and you’ll see just what I mean, from the doo wop style opening to the layered harmonies, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s evocative of the era I mentioned earlier. We’re making him One To Watch because there is enough of a modern twist here to give Idiot Glee a sound of its own and that makes us very excited about what’s to come.
My Gold Mask is a duo from Chicago whose austere sound is dynamic and infectious. Gretta Rochelle sings lead and plays drums to Jack Armondo’s stripped-down guitar chords. His backup vocals give “Violet Eyes” an additional eerie feeling to Rochelle’s piercing vocals that could probably actually and metaphorically “drive nails into your heart.”
Despite the similarities between Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Rochelle, “Violet Eyes” adds something almost sadistic and dark - the lingering guitar strokes, the repetitive clanging, the dramatic pauses, and the ever-so-slow drumbeat that steadily builds. It’s so intense that at times you can almost picture the sound flowing right in front of you. Or it could be that she apparently “like[s] violent skies” and as I mentioned before, “like[s] driving [those] into your heart.”
Listening to their EP, “A Thousand Voices”, My Gold Mask adds some range to their sound, but their signature seems to be how well they can make the simplest beats sound so exaggerated and forceful. In “All Up In The Air,” what I believe is a cowbell, even sounds climactic and expressive. They call their sound “intrinsic pop,” which I couldn’t agree with more, but it’s with a twist.