INsiders Guide: Ellyn Woods, Bloom de Wilde, Jenna Kyle, The Velveteins, Natalie Shay, SAM AND THE WOMP, Maya Delilah, Charbonneau, Spearmint, J-Onyx, Alice Pisano….

Italian born, London based singer/songwriter Alice Pisano is known for her uniquely warm vocals and natural ability for writing emotive pop songs. Her passion for music flourished from a very young age, where she spent much of her time as a teenager singing in various bands and studying classical piano, guitar and singing. With the desire to create authentic music that listeners can deeply connect to, Alice’s emotional and heartfelt music touches on her own personal experiences and relationships. 

Her latest heart-tugging single “September” captures the post-sunshine blues, as Alice explains, “I wanted to try and capture that bittersweet feeling that I often get towards the end of summer…and at the same time, the end of love, when you’re trying hard to forget about someone but everyone and everything reminds you of them”. The bittersweet end-of-summer anthem is produced by John Foyle (Years & Years, Maisie Peters) and driven by rich piano motifs and intimate vocals. 

Sometimes less is more, and for Alice, no more than a piano and her stunning voice is enough to engross an entire room full of people. With strong chords, the dynamics ripple a reflection of emotion in the lyricism, paired with the skeletal landscape and haunting backing melodies which pour out like an angelic aura. Alice displays the power of simplicity, showing true skill as both a musician and writer.

Alice has garnered numerous Spotify editorial support, including 14 New Music Friday’s across the globe and critical acclaim from publications such as Clash and Wonderland Magazine. Amassing millions of streams for her infectious and relatable anthems, Alice’s music can be heard on radio stations wide and far, including BBC Radio London, National Dutch Radio and Amazing Radio in the UK and US. Her songs have entered the iTunes Pop Charts and the uptempo “Open Up” landed the soundtrack for the summer trailer of the British hit TV show, Hollyoaks. The acclaimed songwriter has had the pleasure of collaborating with the likes of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Ian Barter (Dermott Kennedy, Izzy Bizu), John Foyle (Maisie Peters, Years & Years) and Troy Miller (Emeli Sandé, Jamie Cullum). Quickly becoming an artist on the rise, there is no slowing down Alice Pisano.

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When I sing “Lifted” I can’t help but think of my boyfriend. He is simply the best. This song is about those amazing people in our lives that lift us up when we need it most. 

You can hear “Lifted” via your preferred streaming service

from my debut solo EP, All At Once, out now: https://album.link/i/1576766338

Life is always happening, but sometimes everything seems to happen all at once. It’s that moment when what you’ve been working towards starts to manifest itself with exponential growth.

 In the past two years I have written and recorded more songs than the rest of my life combined. There’s no single reason that explains it, but a number of them conspired to come together at the right time.

I would like for you to dance & feel good listening to this record. 

Thanks for your time,

Ellyn Woods 

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Bloom de Wilde is back with a colourful, cosmic new video for “Garden of the Sun”.

WATCH HERE

The visuals for Bloom’s latest single also arrive in tandem with an exceptional new remix by the legendary DJ: JSTAR. 

LISTEN TO THE JSTAR REMIX HERE

Pairing the playful surrealism of her new single with visuals tailor-made by Bloom herself, the video blends astral animations with exuberant live-appearances from the London-based creative.   

Speaking about the new video, Bloom says: 

“The video for Garden of the Sun is an astral projection journey through the colourful play worlds that exist in my inner universe.”

Initially started in Amsterdam, Bloom created the visuals using frame-by-frame rotoscope animation techniques and custom-designed collages of fantastical worlds. Travelling back to London, Bloom teamed up with friend and film maker Mark Keshishian, with the pair shooting Bloom’s captivating live performance at Sugarland studios.

Bloom’s striking outfit was made courtesy of designer Kitty Joseph, with make up by Kamila Forini.

LA-based indie-pop artist, singer/songwriter, producer and live electronic artist, Jenna Kyle, shares her debut EP, Ojos, today. The release represents a new era for Kyle, who has actively been leaving her mark as one of the 2% of female music producers in the industry. With more of a techno and world-influenced sound and English and Spanish lyrics, the focus track, “Abre La,” and the Ojos EP marks a new openness and experimental nature of Jenna Kyle’s production and writing style.

Kyle says, “During 2020 we were living in our small NYC apartment, feeling trapped, uncreative, just trying to keep sane and alive. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder right before the pandemic hit which was already up-ending. I was reading Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Flame’ which kept it real and helped me process some of the darkness. The lyrics “I speak with Jenna night and day, it’s highs and lows and highs again” were inspired by Cohen’s poem where he addresses himself directly; “I love to speak with Leonard, He’s a poet and a Shepard, He’s a lazy bastard Living in a suit”. The English verses are more self-aware, while the Spanish breakdown was written all at once at 4am, the imagining of a more open world. Writing ‘Abre La’ which means “open it, or open her” was probably my way to not go mad!”

Soaked in the bright psychedelia of the 1960s and dipped in the indie rock explosion of the new millennium, The Velveteins are best described as a bridge between the two. Inspired after living out of a camper van on the beaches of Australia for a year, frontman Spencer Morphy returned to Canada and started the band with co-songwriter Addison Hiller in 2014. Later joined by Dean Kheroufi and Danger Sedmak, the foursome have since made a name for themselves for their incendiary live performances. 

Radiating hazy energy, “Cosmic Saturation” has a trippy, laxed aura with a structurally, pop-rock sensibility. The vintage twangs on the guitars surf over an ocean of edgy, quirky melodies and soft drums that lend to a more modern indie feel. The vocals maintain a relaxed feel allowing the subtle, psychedelic atmosphere to stand out next to charming, gritty guitar riffs.

While travelling across the USA, the band were exposed to a colorful palette of sights and sounds, with a fusion of delirium, euphoria, and chaos spinning the web of inspiration for their new single. Morphy shares, “Cosmic Saturation was largely inspired by our lives at the time, being constantly travelling and the lifestyle we were living playing so many shows. Driving across the country from the east to west coast, watching the interstates fly by in the dawn.” Keeping the themes of their tracks very much in the present day, their sonic taste buds draw them back to the classic flavors of the 60s, resulting in a throwback sound reminiscent of Babe Rainbow, Foxygen and Deerhunter. 

Garnering millions of streams for their music to date, The Velveteins have built an ever-growing, dedicated fanbase across all corners of the globe. Their vigorous touring schedule has led to international festival appearances (SXSW, and The Great Escape) and opening slots for established acts including Wolf Parade, Hockey Dad and Chad Vangaalen.

Natalie Shay is an indie-pop artist hailing from North London. The multi-award-winning musician has established an ever-growing presence and loyal fanbase through her explosive live performances and unforgettable anthems, recognising her as one of the UK’s hottest emerging talents. Her relatable lyrics touch on love, self-discovery and the everyday experiences of a twenty-something. 

 Combining her youthful and charismatic aura with her classical training and time spent at the prestigious BRIT School, Shay has finessed the ability to produce undeniably catchy music, whilst maintaining musical maturity. Compared to the likes of Haim, Little Comets and Fickle Friends, the Londoner has absorbed similar energy and dynamics within her new music, resulting in a sound that oozes with passion and allure. 

 Energised and glowing with her signature pop vibrancy, “New Wave” talks about the butterflies and excitement of entering into a romantic direction with someone. There is an uncertainty of not knowing how it will play out, but also a desire to remain in a bubble of amorous emotions. “New Wave” also touches on how the end of a relationship gives you a fresh slate to kickstart into a new chapter, better and wiser than before. Shay confides, “After a relationship, there’s that little period of time where you need to find your way, then the new wave comes and it’s a super exciting start of something new”.

“New Wave” is doused in bright 80s inspired, pulsing synth beats with a tropical, funky edge and backing melodies making you feel warm, summer-ready and alive. Written alongside Kaity Rae (The Shires, GIRLI and Liv Dawson), the lyrics burst in passion and flutters of nerves, delivering a relatable anthem for those new lovers. 

Shay continues to pique the interest of audiences across the globe. Garnering attention from notable publications such as Billboard, Clash and The Line of Best Fit, to name a few, as well as landing Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist in nine countries, Shay has collectively amassed hundreds of thousands of streams. She has also worked on EDM tracks with the likes of Grum and Kryder, racking up over 2 million streams to date. In 2018 she was asked to be part of the jury for the UK Eurovision competition. With her second EP in the works and a show at Camden Assembly on November 24th, Natalie Shay is an artist to watch.

the multi-platinum London band’s first music in three years is now paired with visuals as bright and energising as a sunny day. Traversing through a universe of technicolour wonderment, the new video finds the band busting-a-groove in honour of the heavenly body found at the centre of our solar system.

Featuring the band’s leading lights Bloom de Wilde and Sam Ritchie, “Sun Dance” also sees a special guest appearance from UK-based Ghanaian vocalist K.O.G. (fresh from his appearance on BBC’s Later with Jools Holland), who lays down the track’s incendiary spoken word section and brings the moves.

Directed and edited by Bloom herself, the “Sun Dance” video was filmed by Mark Keshishian at Sugarland studios in London. The unique costumes were designed by Carley Hague, Kitty Joseph and Jylle Navarro, with make up by Kamila Forini.

Recorded at Love Electric Studios in North London, live drums come courtesy of longtime Womp drummer Juba Wetzler. Live brass instrumentation was orchestrated by Sam Ritchie (trumpet), with its multi-layered oomph provided with the assistance of long time band members Tony Rico (sax), Tom White (trombone) and new tuba player Christopher Barrett. Bloom de Wilde’s spirited, sunshine-soaked vocals were recorded at the Lullabye Factory in Amsterdam, while collaborator K.O.G. laid down his bars from his current base in Sheffield.

Engineered with James Carey, “Sun Dance” was edited in collaboration with Sam Ritchie. The final arrangement was sent to 2x GRAMMY Certified Recording and Mix Engineer, Producer Mack Woodward in the US and then mastered by Nick Watson at Fluid.

Fronted by award winning trumpeter Sam Ritchie and Dutch songstress Bloom de Wilde, Sam & The Womp draw on their eclectic heritage, breaking free of convention, prioritising the party and creating a cultural explosion. Renowned for their potent alchemy of Brass and Beats, the band have conquered festival stages around the world, performing at the likes of GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL to WEMBLEY ARENA, touring Australia and sharing bills with DIZZEE RASCAL, MIA, MARK RONSON, RUDIMENTAL, DISCLOSURE and BASEMENT JAXX. Perhaps best known for their seismic number one chart-busting single “Bom Bom”, the track recently hit UK Platinum and Triple-Platinum in Australia and continues to cause pandemonium across the globe.  

An irresistibly upbeat new track inspired by the rhythms of Fela Kuti, the international pop sensations return in 2021 in fine fashion. Embracing the summer season with a groove that couldn’t be anyone else, “Sun Dance” is a blazing, beatific and brassy new single of pure Afropop dynamite.  

Fresh off the success of previous single ‘Breakup Season’ earlier in the summer, singer, songwriter and guitarist Maya Delilah is back with the irresistibly bittersweet ‘Thank You’, the latest track to be revealed from her forthcoming sophomore EP.

Soulful piano and organ sit over the swing of a laid-back drum groove, as Maya’s sweetly understated vocals build towards the wailing guitar solo of the song’s climax. Lyrically, the song is a characteristically wry take on seeing the best side of having a relationship end, and this inventive combination of music and message make for a compellingly self-affirming whole.

Maya explains: “Thank You is a sincere goodbye song written ‘to my ex’ as the final chapter to this EP as it is the journey of my breakup. The main line of the song is “Thank you for being the worst thing that’s happened to me”. I wrote it with the meaning of basically “thank you for being so awful, it made losing you easier, with no doubts that I am better off”. But the aim of the song is to be more sincere than blunt. The song later on is about feeling more free, like I can almost ‘breathe again’. The song is very gospel inspired with a 6/8 time signature. It’s meant to feel like the big emotional outro of a live show.”

Multi-instrumentalists, producers and accomplished composers, Mathieu Charbonneau and Pietro Amato are today sharing their new single, “Light Memoir”. The new single arrives on the heels of performances at MUTEK Festival and is out via Backward Music (sister label to Forward Music).

The pair have been working together for several years. They started collaborating initially with the instrumental group Torngat before continuing with Ferriswheel and indie group The Luyas, with whom Amato still plays today. The horn player, keyboardist and electronic enthusiast is also a member of Bell Orchestre and occasionally accompanies Arcade Fire in the studio and on tour, not to mention his collaborations with Amon Tobin, Islands, Snailhouse, Plants and Animals and the achievement of his many albums.

For his part, pianist, keyboardist and composer Mathieu Charbonneau is currently a member of the popular groups Avec Pas d’Casque, as well as Organ Mood. The Franco-Ontarian musician has also released two solo piano albums under his own name and several soundtracks for film and television. Together, the two versatile creators form the Charbonneau / Amato synth duo. Inspired by proto-electronic music from artists such as Harmonia, Neu! and Laurie Spiegel, the duo released the Synth Works Vol.1 album in 2018. The sequel, Synth Works Vol. 2, is scheduled for fall 2021.

Five years since the departure of one of pop’s ultimate Starman, the London quartet are releasing a beautiful new single which reflects not just on Bowie, but on the blackhole he has left in all of our universes since. 

As Shirley Lee of Spearmint explains:

“”Since Bowie Died” isn’t about David Bowie – it’s about the rest of us. I remember hearing the news at the start of 2016: it didn’t seem real. Then as things came to pass that ear and since, I felt like our world had become a harsher place from that moment on, as though it had ‘opened the floodgates’. I know others felt the same way, so we wanted to capture this feeling in the song, but add some hope too.”

Produced by Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), the lush, string-laden track offers a feeling of melancholic reminiscence akin to The Beatles’ classic “Eleanor Rigby”, yet sealed with Spearmint’s trademark flavour. At little over the 2’ mark, it’s a potent, poignant hit of warmly sentimental social observation that will strike a chord with just about any Bowie fan who’s felt anything but hunky dory since his passing.

Available digitally and as a 7” single, “Since Bowie Died” is backed with the b-side “Wonders of the World”, a love song written in the lockdown of recent months about “finding out which things really matter to you”. “It was very nearly on the album” says Shirley, “but it got bumped off by another song at the last minute, but it’s a favourite of the band.”    

The London based rising star solidifies her circle as she Chops The Bummies in a track that weighs in on the importance of having the right people around her. Setting the pace with her distinctively punchy and assertive flow, J-Onyx teams up with producer Ty Metronome on the latest release.

STREAM/ DOWNLOAD: J-ONYX – CHOP THE BUMMIES

Spitting over a hard-hitting beat, the rapper serves up her natural gift for rhythms and flows, as she delivers a straight-talking single. Bringing her alpha-female flex and demonstrating the levels at which she’s quickly establishing herself at, she puts her stance on sexualisation and independence on full display.

Stef wants you to feel something. The 21-year-old, dark pop artist makes music that is deeply felt and close to the heart, exploring tenderness and toughness with equal parts honesty and attitude. Known for her genre-blending songwriting and forward-thinking production providing the perfect pairing for Stef’s lyrical expressions, her music captures generational fears and ecstasies, as she documents her own pain and triumphs in a way that’s impossible not to relate to.

 

Currently based in Nashville, Stef was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, where heading down the path of a creative-based career was far from the norm: “Everyone’s pretty close-minded there, so the idea of me pursuing anything other than a college degree was very frowned-upon.” After an adolescence leading worship in church and becoming increasingly involved in theater and acting, Stef eventually decided to pursue music more seriously. “I was always around music, I just didn’t know that I wanted to do it as a career up until that point.” 

 

Her latest track “sicc” is a fun take on being in tune with your femininity. The single touches on the importance of being aware of not letting people play with your emotions, as well as dissecting hookup culture. Mastered by Grammy award-winning engineer John Greenham (Billie Eilish), the single feels rich with her tender, intimate voice sitting on an intense, minimal soundscape. There is a beautiful contrast between her soft, Madison Beer-esque voice and prowling, power-charged bass, with muffled motifs and touches of synth-pop embellishments. The tasteful punch of strength met by the meaning of the track bodes for an almighty, relatable anthem.

 

Stef has impressively racked up over five million streams for her music on Spotify alone. With an ever-growing and dedicated fan base, the singer/songwriter is quickly becoming an artist to watch. The young creative also runs her own custom clothing label, as well as a successful vintage clothes shop on Depop, where her flair for fashion has built over 36K followers.

Fresh off their euphoric last single “Do You Feel The Same?”, Newcastle four-piece Club Paradise are back with the exuberant energy of “Don’t Call Me Over”.

Softly oscillating synths and interwoven picked guitars build towards the kinetic release of the song’s massive chorus. A real floor-filler, the track brilliantly showcases Club Paradise’s signature blend of 80s pop hooks, contemporary indie-rock, and an anthemic dynamism which is all their own.

Lyrically, the song is a defiant articulation of the frustrations felt in a relationship. Front man Ryan Young explains: “I think at the time we wrote it, it’s kind of about not being made a mug of, or being made a mug of and not being entirely sure that’s what’s

happening to you, until you have the chance to reflect or see it for yourself. I remember sitting down with this one lyrically and it just fell down onto the page, especially the lyric “I never had your heart, but you can take my car, I don’t think that’s how this should be” It was supposed to be pretty angry at the time but now I just feel like it’s a bit of a cheeky way to call someone out, a bit smug.”

A band who shantied long before TikTok ticked, ‘Damn The Amsterdam’ harks a return to the original rootsy Skinny Lister sound. Written about the famous Hastings shipwreck, it’s a straight-up sea shanty which echoes the style and stomp of ‘John Kanaka’ from their first album ‘Forge & Flagon’. 

With especially salty guest harmonies coming courtesy of folk pin-ups: The Longest Johns, Skinny Lister can confirm that the band will also be joining them on their UK headline tour throughout November and December. The Manchester and London shows are already sold out. Full dates, including a support tour with Less Than Jake and a headline German tour can be found below. 

Written over the past 18 months, Skinny Lister’s new album A Matter Of Life & Love is in essence a collection of true stories and feelings that have really ‘mattered’ to them. 

While the album contains all the typically enlivening tales from the road that have made Skinny Lister the stuff of festival legend, from disturbing touring tales of being pulled over by Bavarian police (‘Bavaria Area’) to full throttle airport drinking songs (‘Breakfast At Heathrow’); dig deeper and you’ll find a record that might well be their most personal and profound yet.

Centrepiece and title-track, ‘A Matter Of Life & Love’, stands at the very heart of the album. Crystallising the record’s core themes with a Madness-esque playfulness, it’s a poppy and poignant reminder to recognise the moments in life that really matter, however trivial or throwaway they may seem at the time. “It’s a sentiment likely borne out of those months of enforced limited social contact endured over the past few months” reflects Dan. And one not likely to be taken for granted by anyone, or any band for that matter, any time soon. 

The Skinnies’ admirable ‘in this together’ ethos is echoed through stirring anthems such as ‘Shout It Out’ and ‘Shoulder To Shoulder’, which offer rousing singalongs primed and ready for a new age of live music. Skinny Lister’s adept ability for a heartstring plucking ballad also remains evident in tracks such as ‘Embers’, an elegant folky composition led by Lorna and destined to make Skinny fans everywhere crumble. Elsewhere, the celtic-tinged, string-adorned gem ‘Bonny’s Eyes’ offers a touching tribute to the wonder of being a new parent.  

The bright British songwriter, Songer (21), is back to provide his fanbase with his 3rd body of work “THE SUNRISE PROJECT”. With fans poised and rooting for the independent underdog, this restorative sonic experience demonstrates another depth to his ability.

Leading at the forefront of Reading city’s scene, Songer’s work can be seen from four years ago when he was 17 with notable cult favourites such as ‘No More Candles’. His lyrical flair attracted attention after a string of Blackbox appearances, one which is currently sitting at over 5 million views being the 3rd most viewed video on the freestyle platform just behind Dave and Abra Cadabra.

With a stage to build on, he put his thoughts to paper and attracted people with his incomparable flows and well thought out bars. ‘Dreamworkz’ his debut project really demonstrated the type of artist that was to prevail. A producer of tracks bringing the full package. 2020 saw the release of his second project ‘Lyrics for Sanity’ providing his fans with an element of sanity in an insane period of time. Turning heads with support from ‘Nines’ this project helped Songer to achieve nearly 5 million streams across a quarter of a million listeners in the calendar year.

Announcing his ‘Presence’ at the start of 2021 year, followed by a link up with critically acclaimed Kamakaze on ‘Ice and Cream’ has set us up seamlessly for this luscious project. As he says in the ‘Intro’, “This album is dedicated to everybody trying to find sense in a world that doesn’t make any.” and that is exactly what it does.

Beginning with the track when the sun comes up, ‘Sunrise’ wastes no time with an uplifiting aural introduction to the album. Partnered with a captivating chorus and thoughts converted into poetry filling the body of the track.

Passion and emotion are not a stranger to Songer but this current project sees a sensitive side of the artist. He opens up about relationship thoughts and problems with his mental well-being. Alongside his talent with words, only the finest art will be created. ‘Without my lover’, ‘I’d Rather You Cheat’ and ‘Confession Tapes’ all play this perceptive part well.

Track number 9, ‘Look At The Clouds’ sees Songer diversify into the Liquid genre. Not heard before in his music but has a place in his heart with the tune heavily influenced by his love for the Drum and Bass Rave scene growing up and to this day. ‘Endlessly’ sees Songer put a spin on a popular cover brining a low-end melodic edge to the sample.

Lemonade and Never Pretend are both standout tracks to pull in a new audience as we see Songer arrive with two stellar choruses on these tracks. With the ability to have a wide appeal, this is sure to catalyse further expansion of the loyal fan base.

Bonus track carefree saw success on Tik Tok and was released as single on the day of the Chelsea Champions League Final. All centred around the football club with ear catching wordplay that grasped 750,000 streams on Tik Tok.

One of the leading lights of the Welsh alternative folk scene – DANIELLE LEWIS – announces the release of her debut album: ‘Dreaming In Slow Motion’, this Winter.

The release is preceded by one of its most tantalising offerings, the new single: “Slow, Sad, and Real”.

Balancing arrangements of a feather weightlessness, with self-effacing lyrics of an iron heft, Lewis’ latest single finds the singer-songwriter in conflicted, confessional mood. Hung up on life by day and visited by nightmares at the dead of night, “Slow, Sad and Real” was forged as she sought solace from the realities of life and the shadowy paranoia of her subconscious.

“’Slow, Sad and Real’ brings to light the array of emotions, thoughts and dreams I’ve felt that have sometimes conflicted within. It’s the desire to resist suppression and embrace every part of the human emotional state.” says Lewis of the track. 

“The lyrics play between conflicting states, eventually resolving to a place of strength and realness in embracing feeling deeply.”

Striking a fine line between electronic and more traditional sounds, the blend of vintage synthesizers and Lewis’ own folk nuances owe to a single that feels both cinematic and defiantly emphatic. From its ghostly vibraphone-imbued beginnings, the accomplished arrangements provided by Alex Hibbert (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vibraphone) and Secondson (bass, drums, Korg PE200, Solina String Ensemble) see  “Slow, Sad and Real” manifest into something magnificent.

Written by Danielle Lewis, the track was recorded at Sail Loft Studios, Cardiff. It was produced by the highly esteemed Secondson, Engineered by Thomas V Westgård and Mixed & Mastered by Leon West; all of whom have contributed to Lewis’ highly anticipated new album: ‘Dreaming In Slow Motion’.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Written By: Neill Frazer

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