South London-based singer MYTBE has shared “moody”, her first new music since last years spill out EP. Not only is the sound of just her vocals and guitar about as intimate as you can get, but her storytelling shares an incredible amount deep emotions as she details how infatuation can often lead to pain. “Call me darling / I know i’m starving for us / Undertow and overflowing with love, real love / It’s too much” she sings with a deep reluctance, knowing that soon this short-lived serenade must come to pass.
Speaking about the track, she said:
“‘moody’ is about the human instinct of wanting to be loved, no matter the circumstance. Craving another’s affection; be it right or wrong. Ignoring all sense and your better judgement, to instead bask in the rose-tinted euphoria of new romance. I wrote this song about a recent brief romance, one which both parties both knew wasn’t going to last forever. Although the end was in sight, I still found myself drunk on affection and willing to overlook the red flags. Inspired by these feelings of blindsidedness, I was keen to capture the foolish notion of loving carelessly.”
Lindsay Munroe has today released Softest Edge, her new EP alongside the title track “Softest Edge” as a single. The new EP follows on from previously released singles “Hornets” and “Weekend Love“.
The EP formed out of the fallout of two intertwined relationships within Munroes life, one with the conservative Christian church and the other with a long-term partner. Throughout the EP she explores how breaking away from both of those factors allowed Munroe to become the person she is today. Soundtracked by sweeping synthesisers on “Softest Edge” and intimate lo-fi guitars on “Andrew” she goes through to motions of love and longing, all whilst keeping a finesse of serenity over the whole project. She explodes with confidence and conviction and feels as though she’s truly come into here own not only with her songwriting but her sound as an artist.
Speaking about the title track, Munroe said:
“When two formative relationships like this come to an end, it does change your outlook. This song was me beginning to reach the other side of that and realising that I had a new uncompromising strength that I didn’t have before”.
Lindsay Munroe has today announced Softest Edge, her second EP set to be released on November 9th. Pre-order here. She has also shared “Parallel“, her most pop-sounding outing to date and we’re here for it. Its infectious groove and pumping synthesisers form the perfect backing for Munroe’s outburst of joy as she realises the improvement in her quality of life. The new single is the latest from her EP which follows on from “Hornets” and “Weekend Love” released earlier in the year.
Speaking about the new single, Munroe said:
“For a long time I’ve wanted to write a love song for my best friend. I wrote it last summer when she was still working on the Covid intensive care unit and having an absolutely awful time. Writing a song felt like a bit of a silly thing to do but it’s what I could do.
“I’ve always thought that it’s mad that our culture places so much value on romantic couplings. There’s no doubt in my mind that when I’m an old woman looking back on the big love stories of my life it will be my friends who fill my mind.”
Listen to the new single below!
A press release said about the new EP:
Whilst Munroe’s debut EP, Our Heaviness, centred on her divorce from a conservative church, its follow-up finds her thriving in her newfound independence, taking control of her sexuality and defining her own boundaries. It’s given rise to the fiercely independent, and cheeky songwriter that stands in front of us today.
“Sleeptight” sees IMOGEN further embrace her inner pop drives. With production and melodies reminding of the likes of The Japanese House and Marika Hackman, IMOGEN feels fully ready embrace her bold new sound. “16 years / It’s in my head / One can only hope of waking up in my bed / It’s a dark night baby / I’m on my way home” she sings as the song opens, a devastating realisation of the way society doesn’t believe women when they say they are in danger. The juxtaposition of swooning instrumentals and brutally honest lyrics creates the perfect match in a song that is sadly very of the zeitgeist. Brutally devastating and infectiously catchy, IMOGEN knows how to craft a song with poignancy.
Of the song, IMOGEN said:
“”Sleeptight” deals with the societal treatment of women’s bodies and the reluctance we have to believe women’s accounts of misconduct. The premise being ‘if you don’t believe me, I hope it haunts you.’ It was a conscious decision to set this anger against a big pop track. I guess I found the easiest way to process and deliver the message was to create something that people could dance and lose themselves to. My favourite pop songs are often like Trojan horses. In ‘Sleeptight’ I want people to be able to find empowerment and release. It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks to perform live.”
Kathleen Frances has shared new single “Shout Love”, her first single of the year following on from “Define”, released last year. The songwriter and producer has also announced her first London headline show at Servant Jazz Quarters on 24th November.
Over a rolling and memory-inducing piano line Frances uses her natural baritone to sooth and comfort in the face of despair. “No I won’t save my breath / No I won’t come to tend / Oh but I shout love” she declares as the chorus gently rises, proving that she won’t back down any longer, instead face the world head on. The gently flowing instrumentation acts as a cloud to support Frances’ words, carrying her message far and wide.
Explaining about the track Frances said:
“This was written on my bed in the middle of the night. The summer of the pandemic. I was feeling pretty low and anxious during this time, probably like many other people. I was letting the shit get to me and I wrote this as an almost aggressive positive response. I chose, in that moment, to marvel at the absurdity of the world. Rather than instilling existential dread it inspired a drive to shout out whatever I wanted to bring/do/be in this life, no holding back”
Lindsay Munroe has shared new single “Hornets”. This is her second release on Common Language, following on from “Weekend Love” released earlier in the year.
Munroe continues to be as inventive in her songwriting as she is enticing to listen to. Combining indie-rock tropes with emotional outbursts that swell into a mix of Kate Bush’s flowing melodies and Lucy Dacus’ grungy-folk ballads. It’s an anthem for the broken as she talks to girls with problematic exes and reassures them that it will work out in the end. A hero for the heartbroken.
Speaking on the new single Munroe commented:
“Hornets’ is a message of solidarity to them saying ‘even if this plays out terribly, you’re not only going to be ok, you’re going to be better off’.
“Through the ups and downs of romantic relationships my biggest lesson has been the sustaining power of female relationships and the solidarity that comes with them. There’s anger and outrage in this song, but it’s also a love letter to the hours spent comforting and building one another up, my public pep talk that reflects all the private pep talks I’ve received and given.”
Oakland, California’s Boy Scouts aka Taylor Vick has announced her new album Wayfinder, set to be released on October 1st via ANTI. Pre-order here. Alongside the announcement Vick has released new single “That’s Life Honey” with an accompanying music video directed by Jake Nokovic.
Working once again with longtime collaborator Stephen Steinbrink, Wayfinder was recorded in Anacortes, Washington at The Unknown. Working slowly, they invited a roster of collaborators to join them over time, in person and over email, including Taylor’s brother Travis, and Jay Som’s Melina Duterte. The effects of working in a new space and with more people can be heard across the bold, assured Wayfinder, which takes place across a wider scale than Taylor’s prior work. Strands of slide guitar, organ, and strings ring under her affable, expressive voice, bolstering layers and layers of harmony.
Vick invokes her inner Adrianne Lenker on new single “That’s Life Honey”, creating a sound that is juxtaposed in its bright guitars and flourishing harmonies with the devastating lyrics of being unable to afford therapy. “I’d be laughing at the irony / I would figure out how to rewire my brain / If only I had the money” she sings as the track closes out, leaving the melodies swirling around your head mixed with the image of subtle sadness that Vick sprinkles in so effortlessly. It’s sad songwriting at its finest.
Listen to the new single below!
1. I Get High 2. Lighter 3. A Lot to Ask 4. That’s Life Honey 5. Not Today 6. Charlotte 7. The Floor 8. Big Fan 9. Didn’t I 10. Model Homes
Anna Leone has today shared new single “Remember”, along with the announcement of her debut album I’ve Felt All These Things, which is set to be released on September 10th via AllPoints / Half Awake. The album will also feature previously released singles “Once”, “Still I Wait” and “Wondering”.
Through dancing plucked chords Leone tries to understand a long lost connection. “Did you lie to me in your sleep?” she asks on the chorus as her impassioned vocals fall and rise. As the layers of pianos and drums slowly creep in you can’t help but become lost in Leone’s heartfelt natural aura.
In a bedroom in Greystones, Ireland, Smoothboi Ezra spent isolated days and nights crafting their latest EP, Stuck. A collection of songs that seem sombre on the surface, but dig deeper and they try to understand the sadness they’ve been dealt. The sound is sparse, consisting mainly of just a guitar and Ezra’s voice, but this only further brings out the deep intimacy of their sound. Evoking the spirit of those early Soccer Mommy tapes, Ezra has both honed in their sound to resemble their biggest influences whilst simultaneously evolving their songs to become grander in their emotive palettes. Ezra’s music also offers an often overlooked insight into relationships, being both non-binary and on the autism spectrum, Ezra is trying to bring about more representation for neurodivergent and non-binary artists through their music and stories. We asked Ezra a few questions to get to know the smoothboi behind the songs.
Over what time and where was this EP recorded?
Between July 2020 and February 2021 all recorded in my bedroom.
What has your last 12 months looked like?
Binge watching a bunch of different TV series, crocheting a lot, basically doing any type of arts and crafts between writing and recording my EP.
You explore relationships and their eventual fallout on the EP, is the writing process somewhat therapeutic for you? Or is it more diaristic?
It’s a mixture of both, writing is my therapy – releasing it into the world is like releasing it from my brain.
Your songwriting is also very vulnerable lyrically, what allowed you to be this open with your music?
I don’t know how to be any other way when I’m writing. It’s easier to be vulnerable in my writing and tell the truth than to make things up.
What was the best part about recording this EP and what was the most challenging?
The challenge is knowing when I’m finished with a song and to stop working on it. I just like making music so I like the whole process.
Your sound has a very melancholic undertone to it, is this something you try to achieve with each song or is that just a sound you naturally gravitate towards?
I’d say it’s a sound I naturally gravitate towards.
Who inspires your sound?
Musicians like Eillott Smith, Phoebe Brigers, Kate Bush, Haley Heyenderickx. They’re the musicians I listen to and I would love to sound like.
Do you think there needs to be more representation of non-binary and autistic artists in the music industry?
I think anyone who wants to make music should make music and be listened to, we definitely need to amplify more neurodivergent voices.
And if so what do you feel needs to be done to achieve this?
The media should be open to covering more diverse artists. Venues need to be more accessible to all abilities. We should get more used to listening and giving platforms to autistic people who are not able to mask. I’ve seen that most autistic people in the media that are given airtime are able to mask to be more neurotypical passing, which is a comfort to neurotypical people. Autistic people who don’t have the capacity to mask deserve the same opportunities.
What will it be like playing those first shows again when they’re allowed?
It’s going to be exciting and I can’t wait.
What have been some of your favourite live memories so far? Both playing and gigs you’ve attended
When I supported Orville Peck two people came up to tell me that they loved my music and then they came to watch me at my first headline gig in Whelans (Dublin) later in the year, that was really nice. One of the first gigs I went to was The Front Bottoms and it still remains one of my favourite gigs along with Haley Heyenderickx.
If anything, what is something you’d like to change about the music industry?
We need to do a better job of amplifying more neurodivergent voices and musicians and creatives of all types.
Stuck EP is available to stream everywhere and buy now.
It’s fair to say Fiona Apple has been around the block a few times, and then some. She released her first album ‘Tidal’ when she was just 17 in 1996, two years before I was born, which went gold in the U.S. and won her a grammy for the single ‘Criminal’. Over the next couple of decades she cemented herself as a staple of the American Singer-Songwriter club, being nominated for more Grammy’s and selling over 10 million albums worldwide. Now after nearly 8 years she’s returned, earlier than expected, with what could be her most poignant work yet.
Fetch The Boltcutters plays like a musical of heartbreak, longing and anger. Its minimalistic approach to instrumentation lets every moment be significant and every lyric be meaningful and expressive. It has moments of beauty, moments of pure anger and intricate storytelling throughout. Fiona Apple has had her heart broken and she’s here trying to help anyone and everyone who feels the same.
The album starts with ‘I Want You To Love’ by feeling optimistic with a piano riff that could easily be the intro score to an American love story movie, cue the camera slowly panning down the Autumn lane. This optimism soon turns to desperation as the track breaks down into a faster dissonant piano roll and the vocals descend into a pining dolphin-like squeal.
Leading into the punchy piano of ‘Shameika’ which develops into a chaotic diary entry of reflecting on someone in Apple’s past that told her she wasn’t pretty yet, but had potential. Grinding guitars, unhinged vocals and jarring noise samples build to paint the harsh picture of thoughts racing through Apple’s mind that adds evolving layers of unease with each chorus. “Tony told me he described me as pissed off, funny and warm , Sebastian said I’m a good man in a storm, Back then I didn’t know what potential meant”.
This track also features one of the first instances, of many, in this album where the drumming and beats are perfectly on point and never wasted. The vocals flow over each beat and hit with purpose. Similar to the track ‘Relay’ where the drums drive the song forward through various time signatures and patterns, marching it along with its military like beat. Of the few instruments that do feature on this album, the drums are the most prominent and the most expressive. They’re not just thrown in to bring a groove to the track but are carefully placed to make the message of the songs stand out and punch you in the ear. The track ‘Drumset’ may have even more of a meta meaning given the lyrics. Her drums have been taken away in the lyrics of the song, which to Apple is like taking away her driving force.
Some of the best storytelling on the album comes from the tracks ‘Newspaper’ and ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’. The latter of which is a tale of realising something you’ve fallen in love with isn’t quite what you initially thought it was and needing to break free of that situation. “He sings so nice, I guess he tries, I’ve been thinking about when I was trying to be your friend, I thought it was then, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t genuine. Fetch the bolt cutters, I’ve been in here too long”. With its sparse keyboards, sleezy bass lines and anthemic chorus chant it serves as a familiar voice telling you to leave that eventually fades away to strange ambient textures and dog samples to bring you back to your reality.
‘Newspaper’ is perhaps the most minimalistic sounding song on the album with an industrial glitchy beat and glowing vocal harmonies. But at the same time offers the most with lyrical content. It’s almost like Apple is standing in her kitchen watching her ex-lover walk by with their new partner shouting out to them even though they can’t hear, banging the counter with cutlery. “I watch him walk over, talk over you, be mean to you, And it makes me feel close to you”.
‘Rack Of His’ is an eventual realisation that the person Apple is with just isn’t paying her enough attention and cares more about his guitar rack. It starts with these big passionate vocals that are telling someone they care about them “I followed you from room to room with no attention, And it wasn’t because I was bored, It was because I was loving you so much” that by the end of the track have faded out to a distant mumble, realising the other person doesn’t care as much. “I know how to spend my time, And meanwhile I’m loving you so much”. It also features one of the catchiest melodies on the album, where the slightly off key lead piano line dances carefully through the track guiding you through the story.
Cynical lyricism is one of Fiona Apple’s forte’s and is showcased perfectly on the track ‘Cosmonauts’. “Your face ignites a fuse to my patience, Whatever you do is gonna be wrong, There’s no time to interrupt the detonation, Be good to me before you’re gone”. Over a crooning bass line and theatrical piano melody Apple sings with hope that eventually leads to raging anger as this crescendo of disparity builds to a chaotic and harsh climax.
The final track ‘On I Go’ offers a final mantra to leave on. “On I go, not toward or away, Up until now it was day, next day, Up until now in a rush to prove, But now I only move to move”. The heavy pounding drums and closely packed in and distorted, almost Billie Eilish-esque, vocals create a resolve for all the grief laid throughout this album. Just keep on moving for yourself, no matter where you go.
Fiona Apple hasn’t lost her golden touch. Just give her a drum kit and the occasional piano riff and she’ll guide you on a voyage through her life. Offering guidance along the way with her unique lyrical identity of harsh truths and enthralling anecdotes.