Five Things We Liked This Week – 03/04/20

Further Listening:

5. Kraków Loves Adana Will Make You Feel Young Again

Regular readers will probably be well aware of our love for Hamburg’s somber-synth duo, Kraków Loves Adana. The project of Deniz Cicek and Robert Heinemann, we first fell for their sound back in 2017 around the release of their Call Yourself New album, while the follow up, Songs After The Blue, was arguably even better. Now signed to the Italians Do It Better label, the band have this week shared a brand new single, Young Again.

As you’d perhaps expect from the title, Young Again is a reflection on youth, as Deniz explains it’s about, “youth and the time when anxiety, overthinking and unhealthy relationships were holding you down”. Despite reminiscing of difficult times, there’s still a certain nostalgia to Young Again, a feeling that even though things are better now, and your experiences have made you stronger, you’ll still never get the naivety of youth back into your life. Musically, the track enters on a burble of synth, before a more driving undercurrent drifts in with a distinct 80’s flavour and Deniz’s unmistakable vocal, with the enigmatic lyric, “I was born at midnight, I really was, a cold clear night, a forest fire all at once”. From there, Young Again is a master class in subtle layering as the track is adorned with layered vocals, driving guitars and crisp drum hits. With work on a new album currently underway, Kraków Loves Adana might just be ready to make the break through their talents so richly deserve.

Young Again is out now via Italians Do It Better. Click HERE for more information on Kraków Loves Adana.

4. Drift Off To Dreamland With Zelma Stone

It’s less than a month since we last featured San Francisco-based songwriter Chloe Zelma Studebaker, aka Zelma Stone on these pages. That was around the release of the single Fly, the brilliant first offering from upcoming EP, Dreamland. This week with that release just a fortnight away, Zelma has shared the title track from it, and thankfully it’s equally compelling.

As a title track should be, Dreamland is the poignant centrepiece of the upcoming EP, a tribute to Chloe’s brother Brett, who died when she was just 14, an event which served as a catalyst for Chloe to start writing music. Here Chloe flicks perspective between herself and her brother, allowing her mind to wander, and wonder what life would be like if he could somehow return. While the lyrics are undeniably emotionally heavy, to the point where you’ll be blinking back tears and might need a good sit down afterwards, the musical package they’re delivered in is an absolute delight. Dreamland builds around a steady tick of drums, and waves of luxurious slide-guitar; sometimes they seem to almost engulf Chloe’s unwavering vocal, before parting like clouds to allow it the limelight it so calmly demands. A reminder of music’s capability to help us process everything the world can throw at a person, while it might not solve the world’s problems, music can offer a way to make sense of them and find the beauty that lies within the struggle.

Dreamland is out April 17th. Click HERE for more information on Zelma Stone.

3. Make Your herbal tea Straight From The Garden

We first featured herbal tea, the bedroom recording project of Bristol-based Helena, back in 2018, around the release of the excellent, kitchen floor (4am). We then subsequently picked her as a songwriter to keep your eyes on during 2019, a tip that was somewhat negated by nearly two years of radio silence. Thankfully this week the waiting came to an end with the release of a brand new single, garden.

Entirely self-produced and recorded, garden is nonetheless a beautiful sounding record; the whole thing building around the steady, rhythmic strum of the guitar, adorned with warm ringing piano chords and Helena’s reverberating, ethereal, almost distant vocal. Despite being mixed relatively low, the vocal seems to draw you in, forcing you, as a listener, to lean in, and truly ingest Helena’s every word. Lyrically, the track seems to reflect on themes of belonging and self-doubt, of time passing and life changing, “I was born in a garden, when I liked being me, before the burden of my body”. Equally exciting as this wonderful new track, is that we’re reliably informed this is the first track from an upcoming album, scheduled for later in the year. We’ve learnt our lesson about predicting when new music will arrive from herbal tea, whenever it does though, it’ll almost certainly be worth the wait.

Garden is out now. Click HERE for more information on herbal tea.

2. Saskia’s Glasgow’s Next Top Life Model

New music from Glasgow’s Life Model is something we always try and celebrate on this site, and the new single from our favourite Scottish dream-poppers is no exception. Released via their new label home, the excellent Last Night From Glasgow, the band’s new single Saskia, emerged this week, their first material in a year, and the first with the band’s current five-piece line-up.

Saskia is Life Model at their most lush and wistful; recalling act like L I P S or Night Flowers as it rolls into view on a base of lush, jangling guitars and reverberating vocal tones. The whole thing has a certain melancholy undercurrent, a resigned sigh at love’s ability to break someone down, “when I’m speaking, I feel your mind is slowly drifting, and I came here just to see you, you stare out the window, I hold my breath and I watch you go”. As the track fades out on a rambunctious, almost War On Drugs-like lead guitar line; as a listener you’re offered not so much resolution as uncertainty, a track that doesn’t claim to have all the answers, a snapshot of real life, right in the heart of your darkest hours. Life Model have arguably never sounded more focused or enticing, a band evolving with each release and showing that where their music is concerned, there really is no limit to where it could go next.

Saskia is out now via Last Night From Glasgow. Click HERE for more information on Life Model.

1. Eve Owen Comes Around Once In A Blue Moon

Although these are very early days for London-based songwriter Eve Owen, she’s already making quite the impression. With just a handful of singles shared so far, Eve has already played a number of well-received headline shows, as well as supporting the likes of Hayden Thorpe, and was, prior to recent events, set to head out supporting The National. Eve’s links to The National run deeper than just a support slot though, her debut album, Don’t Let The Ink Dry, was recorded with the band’s guitarist, Aaron Desner, in New York, and she even helped with the recording of Where Is Her Head, from their I Am Easy To Find record.

This week, Eve has shared the latest track from, Don’t Let The Ink Dry, the delightfully crunchy sounding, Blue Moon. The track marked something of a turning point for Eve’s recorded output, as it was the first time she’d ever sang with electric guitar. The rawer sounding guitar tone gives Blue Moon a certain wildness, matched in Eve’s free and spontaneous vocal, that in her own words, was an attempt, “to capture some sort of Stevie Nicks atmosphere”. It’s a testament to the songwriting here that so much is captured with just voice and guitar, as Eve channels a spirit of “unrequited love, but not the hurtful kind”. The track is a reflection on an admiration so strong, you’re happy just to be friends with that person, as Eve explains, “I think when you take it upon yourself to truly accept unrequited love and still keep it, is when you’re finally becoming stronger again”. Eve Owen may be be a young songwriter taking her first steps into the sometimes cruel musical world, listening to Blue Moon, you wouldn’t bet against her soaring to the very top.

Don’t Let The Ink Dry is out May 8th via 37d03d Records. Click HERE for more information on Eve Owen.

Header photo is Eve Owen by Chris Almeida – http://chrisalmeida.uk

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