Five Things We Liked This Week – 05/06/2020

Further Listening:

5. Francis Of Delirium’s New Track Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Francis Of Delirium are a somewhat surprising duo, consisting of 18-year-old singer and songwriter Jana Bahrich and collaborator Chris Hewett, some 30 years her senior. The pair didn’t even share a country, splitting themselves between Canada and the US, before settling in their current home of Luxembourg. What they do share is a love of 90’s grunge, the influence of bands like Alice In Chains or Soundgarden colliding with millennial bedroom pop to make something compelling and intriguing. The band are set to release their debut album, All Change, next month, and have this week shared a new single, Ashamed.

Discussing the track, Jana has suggested it touches on ideas of, “navigating how much of yourself you should be giving out to other people”, and often feeling inadequate for not sharing more of yourself with the world. Musically, as you’d perhaps expect from the themes, Ashamed is a tightly wound-affair, Jana’s rapid tumble of vocals colliding with crunchy guitar lines, in a tense unravelling of emotion. You can almost hear the ideas cycling through Jana’s head, shaping into rapidly formed thoughts before quickly dancing off somewhere else, the music mirroring the whirring of a sleepless mind. A fascinating collision of ideas, Francis Of Delirium feels like an intoxicating blend, there’s a restlessness and an urgency here, a demand to be heard that we can only recommend you give into, it’s well worthy of your time.

All Change is out June 19th via Dalliance Records. Click HERE for more information on Francis Of Delirium.

4. Skylar Gudasz Is The One You’ve Been Waiting For

Based out of North Carolina, 2020 has been a break out year for Skylar Gudasz. Back in April, Skylar shared her new album, Cinema, a record produced between the acclaimed April Base studio in Wisconsin, working with Grammy-nominated producer Brad Cook, and in, “secret studios”, in the North Carolina forests. With tour dates on hold, this week Skylar has shared the video for one of Cinema’s stand out moments, Waitress.

Waitress is a delightfully simple affair, Skylar’s vocal accompanied by just a fluttering electric guitar, with a chorus that tips its hat to Jeff Buckley’s take on Hallelujah and a vocal that’s as clipped and clear as Laura Marling. It’s perhaps lyrically that the track truly triumphs, it’s a sort of broken love song, a declaration that says here I am in all my busted glory, “you say that I’m stuck on the blues, well they were there before you and it’s likely they’ll be here long after you’re gone”. Ultimately the track concludes with Skylar’s admission that she is unwilling and unable to change, “in being myself, I could be no one else”, a simple declaration of the ultimate defiance, being yourself – on this evidence we’re very glad Skylar Gudasz is staying exactly who she is.

Cinema is out now via Suah Sounds. Click HERE for more information on Skylar Gudasz.

3. Elan Tamara’s Got Her Eyes On The Prize

Based, like this very website, out of Walthamstow in East London, Elan Tamara is probably until now best known for her keyboard playing with the likes of Toro Y Moi and Tirza. Both during and after her degree in ethnomusicology at SOAS, Elan has so far shared a number of EPs, and looks set for bigger things, following her recent signature to Kwes’ Bokkle label. This week Elan has shared her first offering for the label, My Eyes.

Described by Elan as a song about, “the highs and lows of a long distance relationship”, My Eyes is a track, that serves as a wider metaphor for being unable to spend time with loved ones, a very apt thought at this particular moment. Musically, Elan cites the influence of artists as varied as Steve Reich and Brian Wilson, channelling these varied sounds into something that’s at once complex, almost jazzy in places, and delightfully melodic, the Penguin Cafe-like staccato piano lines contrasting with the rich, layered vocal lines. While there’s recognisable touching points here, from Bjork to tUnE-yArDs, ultimately Elan seems to have created a sound all of her own, one that might just hint at a bright new future for pop-music as we know it.

My Eyes is out now via Bokkle. Click HERE for more information on Elan Tamara.

2. You Could Like immy If You’re Anyone, Anywhere

Describing their music as, “old-time folk music for queer millennials”, immy is a Bristol-based musician, probably best known up until now as the lead singer of WOAHNOWS. Discussing the project, immy has suggested this new solo project is both, “something more fragile and somehow simultaneously more tangible”. This week immy has shared their latest single, Anyone, Anywhere, a track that originally featured on Breakfast Records’ Breakfast In Bed Compilation and now, looking to shine some further light in its direction, is accompanied by an excellent new video.

The track feels like a moment of calm in a chaotic world, the warm melodies and fluttering guitars, nodding to the modern-folk tones of Grizzly Bear or Here We Go Magic. Lyrically too, this is a track that feels like it is aiming for escapism, longing for a place, “where people live freely and minds are open”, the whole track is given a bittersweet quality as immy sings, “where do you want to go?”, only to almost sigh out, “I’m done”. While it’s a gentle revolution, this feels like a big forward step for immy’s songwriting, in embracing a less-is-more approach, they might just have stumbled onto something simple, beautiful and its own way very exciting indeed.

Anyone, Anywhere is out now via Breakfast Records. Click HERE for more information on immy.

1. Martha Ffion Has Some Things She Wants You To Know

One of our favourite artists to emerge in recent years, Martha Ffion first came to our attention back in 2015 when she put out a single through the Turnstile label. Martha picked up a much larger audience with her 2018 debut album, Sunday Best, released through the ever wonderful Lost Map, which was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Award. Having returned from a period of radio silence recently with the excellent single, After The Fact, Martha has this week confirmed a new album, Night To Forget will be out later this summer, as well as sharing the latest offering from it, Want You To Know.

Inspired by, “the delusional nostalgia celebrated by the MAGA / ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ sets”, Martha first came up with the chorus for Want You To Know almost a decade ago, before putting it to tape in, “an uncharacteristically hot Glasgow summer”. The result has a delightfully summery feel, the whole thing engulfed in an almost heat haze, dripping with wistful memories and a gently psychedelic quality. As with After The Fact, there’s a subtle re-imagination of Martha’s sound going on; the sounds of 60’s-pop and Americana that were the hallmark of Sunday Best replaced by a newly technicolour sonic pallet, as easy guitars, processed vocals and twitching electronics come to the fore. Amid all the nostalgia and electro-pop perfection, there lies a certain sense of unease, the feeling that a bubble is about to burst, clinging onto the past can only last so long, a change is undeniably coming your way: “come, witness the end of pageantry, the cult is coming to your street”. Like all the best pop-songs the gorgeous sheen is masking something here, when Marta Ffion unveils her Nights To Forget it might well be one of the year’s most eye opening musical highlights.

Nights To Forget is out August 14th via Lost Map. Click HERE for more information on Martha Ffion.

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