INsiders Guide: Hoorsees, OddKidOut, Nubiya partners w/ National Theatre and Microsoft, MIREI, Franz Von, PLANET, B Live, Christina Wheeler, Brooke, Sticky Fingers….

Parisian indie quartet Hoorsees dust off their windbreakers and eye an endless summer with new single Week-End At Bernie’s. This release is the first since their debut album Hoorsees (Kanine Records) landed in February 2020 and sees the band continue their whimsical exploration of pop culture touchstones and everyday absurdities while stepping up with a new dynamic punch to the woozy melodies that permeated their self-titled debut. This is jangling guitar-pop that yearns for a sun-soaked era when the days were long, the inbox stayed at the office, and every party ended at Bernie’s house.

LA-based instrumental producer and renowned finger drummer OddKidOut made his Monstercat debut today, with actor-singer Marlhy on their cutting-edge new single, “BITTERSWEET.” Mirroring the delicate balance of pretty and evil, “BITTERSWEET” eloquently combines Marlhy’s silky vocals with gritty basses and synths. The first of more records to come, this next chapter is a testament to OddKidOut’s finely tuned production stylings, as “BITTERSWEET” conjures the perfect fusion of dark trap beats and bright future bass melodies. 

OddKidOut shares, “I got a pack of Marlhy acapellas and I produced the track around the vocals. It’s the reverse of the normal process of making a song, and it actually led to more experimentation and methods I usually don’t use. Marlhy’s voice is super pretty and smooth, so I wanted to put that within a sonic environment that felt more gritty and rough. The dichotomy of pretty and evil existing in the same world has always piqued my interest, so I wanted to capture that feeling with this track.

Marlhy adds, “I want people to feel empowered to take on the crappy situations life throws at us. I want them to know they aren’t alone and have the strength to deal with anything.

Rising to fame as a master finger drummer, OddKidOut quickly became one of the most sought-after beatmakers, catching the eye of OWSLA founder, Skrillex. Absorbing influences like Stewart Copeland, J Dilla, and Flying Lotus, he’s developed a rich sound that’s both complex and accessible. This year he’ll break out of the lane he became known for and forge a new experimental path as a producer, with “BITTERSWEET” setting the bar high. 

At just 19-years-old, Marlhy has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. A seasoned drummer, songwriter, and actor, the multifaceted artist has performed at festivals such as Lollapalooza and SXSW, and appeared on shows such as the Fine Brothers’ REACT YouTube series and Amazon’s “A History of Radness.” Having collaborated with artists such as Kellin Quinn (Sleeping with Sirens), Zookëper, pluko, and now OddKidOut, Marlhy is a forward-thinking artist to keep on your radar. 

simultaneously in a number of different ways: via a Virtual Reality headset, as Augmented Reality on a phone or tablet, or as a desktop experience. The project is supported by Microsoft, as part of a new partnership with the National Theatre, that looks to democratise access to new forms of immersive work based on the technologies that audiences have available to them.

Audiences in Virtual Reality will experience the immersive show at life-size scale, sharing the performance space with the volumetrically captured performers and a communal audience, moving around the space together. Those with mobile phones or tablets can place the performance in their own physical environment using Augmented Reality. And those with a desktop or laptop computer can enter and move around the performance space similar to that of a video game.

The National Theatre is partnering with DICE to provide all tickets for these digital performances including to international audiences in respective worldwide timezones.

The performance that audiences will experience is All Kinds of Limbo, a unique musical performance that was developed alongside the NT’s 2019 production of Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel Small Island. Writer and vocalist Nubiya Brandon, composer Raffy Bushman and the Nu Shape Orchestra take the audience on a musical journey inspired by the influence of Caribbean culture on the UK’s music scene, with Nubiya telling her own story of a life in limbo across the genres of reggae, grime, classical and calypso.

Immersive technologies, the ceremony of live performance, and the craft of theatrical staging transport audiences into the heart of Nubiya’s performance space. In creating this experience the NT utilised Microsoft’s mixed reality capture technology to record holographic performances of Nubiya which were then placed in the virtual environments.

All Kinds of Limbo was first presented at the National Theatre in 2019 as a communal VR experience alongside the production of Small Island in the Olivier theatre. It then had its international premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and was at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November 2020.

Toby Coffey, Founder of the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, said: “With each project our studio aims to push, in an appropriate way, the evolution of the form and the audience experience. With this project we asked the question – how can we create a ‘universal performance space’ where audiences can experience one performance in differing formats that suit their technology, their needs and their preferences? I’m delighted we’ve been able to develop this idea and present All Kinds of Limbo across VR, AR and desktop versions, giving international audiences access to the piece. It’s been fantastic to work again with the composer and musician Raffy Bushman and lyricist and vocalist Nubiya Brandon on this beautiful piece of music and on Nubiya’s story once more. We couldn’t have launched this today without our partners Microsoft, the support from DICE, Dimension Studios and All Seeing Eye. It is an honour to be working with such leaders in technology on this ground-breaking new project.”

Writer, vocalist and performer Nubiya Brandon said: “All Kinds of Limbo is an incredibly important piece to me. We take the audience on a journey through the UK’s kaleidoscopic musical movements and by doing so, two stories are placed alongside each other: a timeline of my own accord of the cultural and social changes since the Windrush with an insight into the catalogue of musical memorabilia that I see as a warped cultural understanding of myself. And also my own story of a life in limbo: the struggles of being born with estranged roots, striving for an identity that is uncertain – whilst purely being a product of my surroundings. I’m so delighted that international audiences will be able to experience it in multiple forms.”

Ryan Gaspar, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Microsoft, said: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with the National Theatre on this ground-breaking new performance of All Kinds of Limbo XR. Not only does it leverage the most innovative technology to democratize shared experiences, but Nubiya’s story of identity is at the heart of what will truly connect audiences on an emotional level.”

To accompany All Kinds of Limbo XR an outtake of the soundtrack will be available as a single release on all major music streaming platforms, exclusively distributed by Broadway Records. The single is called All Kinds of Limbo – Calypso and features the music of Raffy Bushman and Nubiya Brandon. Listen here on YouTube or Spotify.

All Kinds of Limbo XR was developed from research funded by Innovate UK, the national innovation agency. This underpinned the development of a universal performance space based on eXtended Reality (XR), encompassing virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences.

Japanese artist MIREI muses on the surreal yet demanding price of modern love in her new sultry alternative R&B-pop single and video “Sell Me Your Love” out now via Cool Japan Music.

 Pairing glistening smoky production with her silky croons, MIREI takes us on a feverish and slow-burning trajectory as she steps into a more minimalistic trope of alt-R&B polished with pop sensibilities. The track nestles us into the real-life stabbing incident in 2019 that took place in Kabukicho (known for being the red-light district of Tokyo) where a woman fatally knifed her then-boyfriend who was working as a nightclub host. The lyrics beckon its listeners into the perspective of the woman as MIREI walks us through the tightrope between passion and jealousy that arises when love is treated as a commodity. The chorus “Sell me your love / How much do I gotta pay” accentuates the surreal consumerist culture that has infiltrated modern romance, making every action and emotion measurable ad nauseam.

Revisiting his testament to personal strength, Jamaican-born and Sheffield-based artist Franz Von, brings the world of live music to the comfort of your own home with a live studio version of his current single, ‘Power Be You’.STREAM/DOWNLOAD: FRANZ VON – POWER BE YOUAt a time of new year resolutions, fresh starts and fresh perspectives, Franz stares down the barrel of the camera to deliver his rallying call. Enriched with a vibrant live feel from start to finish, his passion and emotion takes centre stage as the band deliver a captivating performance.

‘Power Be You’ is a message of empowerment that encourages listeners to engage and embrace their inner strength whilst highlighting ongoing systemic oppression and the importance and power of homegrown communities and local networks to make change.LIVE MUSIC VIDEO: FRANZ VON – POWER BE YOUHis genre-bending sound is rooted in UK hip hop and infused with elements of dub, jazz and electronics as he follows in the footsteps of other UK Afro-futurist rappers like Little Simz and Kojey Radical with an unmistakable tone and flow reminiscent of UK hip hop pioneer Roots Manuva

Aussie indie-rock quartet PLANET open 2022 in a serious way as they release the title track from their forthcoming debut album Information Overload.

Layering blazing electrics over a heavy percussive bassline, frontman Matty Took’s smooth vocals tie ‘Information Overload’ together into an addictive indie-pop groove. Mirroring the nostalgic indie sounds, the visual accompaniment centres on vintage TV sets that display the band’s performance between news clips from the past.

Speaking on the track and its meaning, Took said “We wanted the video for ‘Information Overload’ to be as intense and sporadic as humanly possible so the idea was to make three separate clips and add in affected news clipping and ads. The final product was filming these clips projected on old TV/broadcast monitors – quite obviously portraying the title of the song, but subtly highlighting how when there is so much going on you can’t think at all or do anything with clarity.”

Following the explosive release at the end of last year, B Live, otherwise known as Evil B, has returned with the visuals to his electrifying UKG single named, ‘Don’t Know About You’ alongside UK hit-maker Becky Hill and seasoned Grime emcee JME.STREAM/DOWNLOAD: B LIVE, BECKY HILL & JME – DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUUnderpinned with a bass-heavy, percussive, and feel-good production courtesy of renowned producer’s Sticky and Champion, that’s fit perfect for an irresistible two-step, Becky Hill welcomes the track with her signature rich tone and infectious melodies, “I don’t know about you but I know about me / When I’m coming through I’m getting rowdy / Got no rules cos I’ll be doing my thing / I don’t know about you, but I know about me”. B Live later pierces through with his assertive flow and explosive energy, glazing the beat with his gruff tone and straight-talking bars, this no-nonsense track will quickly blow those winter blues away. Swiftly joined alongside JME, who’s known for his versatility and skilled penmanship delivers a wheel-up worthy verse filled with punchlines from start to finish. Accumulating over 800,000 streams on Spotify alone, alongside support from DJ Target, Sir Spyro, KISS FM, Apple Music 1, Radio 1, BBC Asian Network, Reprezent, and more,  ‘Don’t Know About You’ is reminiscent of summer and those hazy nights out with your friends!

Berlin/Los Angeles-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, and multimedia artist, Christina Wheeler, announces her hypnotic and intimate new LP, Songs of S + Ddue out March 25, 2022, along with thrilling single, “Asleep at the Wheel,” along with an official music video. After releasing an enchanting and intimate EP, That Was Then, This is Now in November 2021 that served as a prelude for what’s to come, Wheeler now introduces a deeper dive into vulnerability with her signature blend of soul and shoe-gaze (or “soul-gaze”) sound culminating in a raw, electro-acoustic peak into the human experience. 

Christina Wheeler is widely known for her iconic performances with David Byrne from his tour throughout the U.S., Europe and South America in 1997 and 1998, which brought her to The Late Night Show with David Letterman, where she made her television debut with Byrne. In addition to her appearance with Byrne on PBS’ Sessions at West 54th, Wheeler has recorded and played with countless musicians like Ryuichi SakamotoChaka KhanVernon Reid, and more.

As a solo artist, Wheeler manages to brilliantly merge the worlds of electronic and acoustic with analog and digital electronic processing. Picking up where That Was Then, This Is Now left off, Wheeler continues to peel back layers of her conscience on Songs of S + D. Through twelve tracks, Wheeler illustrates the multifaceted human experience with profound exploration of love, heartbreak, growth, grief, and the fragility of life and its cycle.

“Asleep at the Wheel” opens the record capturing Wheeler’s signature soul-gazer sound. Over sped-up sounds woven into New Orleans backbeats, a shifting blues progression cradles lyrics that swiftly puncture the surface. Wheeler’s soulful vocals kick in with, “So, I try to stand here awake / Solitary, flawed, and still / But the lure still tempts me / To close my eyes, and / Dream my dreams / Asleep at the Wheel…”

Brooke is an Irish Alt Pop artist who has been making waves for her ferocious vocal delivery and dance worthy anthems. Rising to fame as a finalist of The Voice UK 2020, she wowed the judges and viewers with her show-stopping performances. Having duetted with Ella Eyre and been mentored by Grammy award-winning coach/singer Meghan Trainor, Brooke is closely following in the footsteps of these strong female artists. 

 Now competing for Ireland’s 2022 Eurovision Song Contest spot, Brooke is back with her latest single “That’s Rich.” Inspired by Blondie meets The Gossip, the fiery and empowering track narrates how you should never settle for anyone who doesn’t fulfill your needs. Brooke shares, “I was reading Debbie Harry’s autobiography and wanted to encapsulate the attitude she portrayed in her life.” Oozing with energy and sass, the songwriter demonstrates her impressive and powerful vocal range, which soars atop a throbbing beat and playful instrumentation. 

 With her music receiving acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, as well as numerous Spotify editorial playlists including New Music Friday and New Pop UK Playlists, Brooke is set for a roaring 2022. “That’s Rich” will premiere on RTE One’s Ryan Turbidity radio and will be performed for the first time on national TV on RTE’s Late Late Show Eurosong Special. 

The new single “Lekkerboy” is the title track off of their upcoming and highly anticipated album (formerly titled We Can Make The World Glow). Paddy Cornwall shares the story behind the single, recalling…

“AYYOP how we doing? Paddy here and I’ll cut right to the chase … I guess we kinda said the albums gonna be called We Can Make the World Glow … but yeah, we changed our mind. Here to tell ya the album is now called LEKKERBOY. 

Ya see one of the many perks of being an independent operation is we can change our shit up and do whatever the fuck we like, whenever we please. It’s fucking great.

There’s a few reasons for the change. For starters, say ‘We Can Make the World Glow’ five times fast. Sick of saying it yet? Yeah us too. 

Across all five Sticky biscuits there’s always been one song we’ve referred to as the ‘dark horse’. A track that has been in the running the whole time. Without us not realising its strength and beauty til the end of the race. In the case of album five that track is Lekkerboy. A bittersweet celebration of life.

There’s some decent history behind the name too …

Dylan had disappeared for a few days. None the mind. We had some rare spare time and Amsterdam was new to us all. The people are lovely and the drugs even better. We had no trouble making friends and settling in. I woke up on the floor of a new friend’s house. My eyes slowly adjusted as I realised Dylan was standing over me. “What do you reckon?” Diz lifted his shirt to reveal fresh ink across his belly.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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