Five Things We Liked This Week – 22/05/20

Further Listening:

5. Chalk Up Another Great Single On Babehoven’s Tally

Already featured within these pages a few times, Babehoven is the musical vehicle of Los Angeles-based songwriter, Maya Bon. In February this year, Maya shared her most impressive musical statement to date, in the shape of the excellent EP, Demonstrating Visible Differences Of Height. Wasting no time in following up, Babehoven have this week announced a brand-new EP, Yellow Has A Pretty Good Reputation, out next month, as well as sharing the first single from it, Dissociative Tally.

In Maya’s own words, Dissociative Tally, “is largely about feeling detached from my sense of self”, a study on “the foggy dream” that accompanies her own dissociative tendencies. It’s a theme the track explores not just lyrically but musically as well, Maya’s voice is slowed down and distorted, setting out to, “capture a warped reality”, imitating the inner detachment and, “persistent and mild delirium” of these dissociative events. It’s a track that serves as an intriguing invite into Babehoven’s world, if the rest of the EP is this good, it won’t just be yellow that has a more than acceptable reputation.

Yellow Has A Pretty Good Reputation is out June 19th. Click HERE for more information on Babehoven.

4. Happy Accidents Are The Best Kept Secret

Happy Accidents are the London-based duo of Phoebe Cross, also known for the excellent Cheerbeederz and DIY super-producer Rich Mandell, who’s worked with the likes of Fresh, Finish Flag and Painter among others. We last heard from the band back in 2018, when Alcopop! released their second album, Everything But The Here And Now. Two years on the band are set to return next week with their latest offering, Sprawling, and ahead of that they’ve shared the first track from it, Secrets.

Sprawling marks something of a departure for Happy Accidents, both their first self-produced and self-released record, allowing them a greater freedom than ever before. That creative spirit is present in Secrets, as the bands musical pallet is expanded, a world of ethereally floating guitars is latterly punctuated by a crunching power-pop chorus, reminiscent of The Beths or Diet Cig. Lyrically, the track seems to touch on themes of letting someone into your life, as Rich puts it, “the magic moment when you trust someone enough to tell them about how messy you feel”. This feels like an exciting next step for the band, a step into the unknown that still glances back to where they were, the Happy Accidents story might just have its most compelling chapter yet.

Sprawling is out May 29th. Click HERE for more information on Happy Accidents.

3. Jeremy Tuplin Heads Back Into Space

For a pioneering space-folk musician, Jeremy Tuplin’s last album, Pink Mirror was a surprisingly terrestrial affair. More concerned with the workings of the human mind that its wider place in the universe, it was fantastic, it just wasn’t all the spacey. Thankfully on Space Magic, the first offering from his upcoming album Violet Waves, Jeremy is putting that right. 

One of Jeremy’s most intriguing characteristics as a songwriter has always been his ability to merge his own wide-eyed excitement at the universe with the placement of his tongue firmly in his cheek. Walking the line between cynicism and wonder is not an easy task, yet Jeremy Tuplin seems to pull this off with ease. While Jeremy has suggested Violet Waves explores, “love, the ensuing apocalypse of our habitat and all that exists beyond”, on Space Magic everything is a little more trippy. Jeremy invites us on a gravity-less journey through Technicolor psychedelia, as Jeremy goes on a natural high, discovering the joys in the everyday working of the world around us. As he explains, “I use the term ‘magic’ loosely in a scientific way…through nature and anything from planet formation to the human mind, your neighbour’s overhanging wild rose or that piece of toast you’re eating for breakfast, it’s all pretty magical”. Musically, Space Magic is a delightful drift of a track, all steady pulsing bass and warm, tremulous guitar lines, accompanied by Jeremy’s rich baritone, it’s a perfect sunny afternoon bop, music to sit back and admire the world too, and quite possible Jeremy’s finest offering to date.

Violet Waves is out later this year via Trapped Animal Records. Click HERE for more information on Jeremy Tuplin.

2. It’s Been A While But Lily Hayes Is Still Young

Hailing from Cornwall, and now based out of Brighton, Lily Hayes first came to our attention around the release of her excellent debut single, Soft On Me. Since then Lily has shared stages with the likes of Tugboat Captain, Holiday Ghosts and The Golden Dregs, building a burgeoning reputation as a live performer along the way. This week Lily has teamed up with Bristol’s Uncollective Records for the release of her second single, Still Young.

Produced by her fellow Brightonian, Speedboat, Still Young is a wonderfully straight-forward piece of songwriting, the whole thing spinning out on a rich guitar line, accompanied by little more than a meander of ringing bass notes and latterly the addition of some warm vocal coos, quietly reminiscent of later-day Leonard Cohen. The whole thing serves as a vehicle to place Lily’s words front and centre, her clipped vocal, destined for inevitable Laura Marling comparisons, sounding confident and compelling as Lily dissects self-doubt and those who seek to keep us doubting, ultimately concluding, “I’m still young, but I know, what I’m doing“. A reminder of beauty that can be shaped from simplicity, Lily Hayes needs no bells and whistles, the brightest stars never do.

Still Young is out now via Uncollective Records. Click HERE for more information on Lily Hayes.

1. Tenci Went To The Desert On A Horse With A Name, She Just Can’t Remember It

We last featured Tenci, the musical project of Chicago native Jess Shoman, back in March around the release of Earthquake/Serpent, two tracks that served to announce her signing with the Keeled Scales label. Now two months on, we’re just a fortnight away from the release of their debut album, My Heart Is An Open Field, and this week Tenci has shared a brand new single, Forgot My Horse’s Name.

With a title as enigmatic as that, we’re instantly looking for hidden meaning, yet as Jess explains we might not be wise to do so, “I went horseback riding and afterwards forgot my horse’s name, The horse and I weren’t really getting along…by the end of it I was all scratched up and her name was erased from my mind”. Of course, there’s perhaps a lesson there, that you can put all your effort into something and still have it all amount to nothing, “sometimes by the end you are left with something that’s bruised and nameless”. Musically, Forgot My Horse’s Name might be the closest Tenci has got to a classic country song so far, the whole thing is resplendent with slide-guitars, brushed guitars and Jess’ unquestionably gorgeous vocal delivery, at once beautifully familiar and utterly unique. With each new track the evidence is mounting that Tenci might just have produced one of the year’s most jaw-dropping debuts.

My Heart Is An Open Field is out June 5th via Keeled Scales. Click HERE for more information on Tenci.

Header photo is Tenci by Ashleigh Dye

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/771rZRnQfzGmTrYnJMsD2w?si=XP6Zr0oAST-wU63Zur8uvA

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