Five Things We Liked This Week – 11/09/20

Further Listening:

5. Rebecka Reinhard Is Our First Pick

A long term favourite on this site, Swedish sensation Rebecka Reinhard recently released her latest offering, the excellently named, and generally excellent Whale EP. Created between the Swedish countryside and the bustle of London, Whale is a record that fittingly flits between escapism and ambition. This week Rebecka has shared the video to one of the record’s many stand-out moments, A Pick.

Described by Rebecka as a song, “about feeling alienated from the world around you while trying to pretend as if everything is fine“, A Pick is a perfect blend of chaotic and indifferent. At its core there’s a distinctly laid-back feel, with the easy rhythm, built around prominent bass and what sounds like congas, and Rebecka’s crooned, echoing vocal, “I’m not that down, on a scale I’d say I’m average. Used to joke I was dead inside for years, for a long time”. That laid back feel is punctuated by the rambunctious lead-guitar, a fizzing furious assault, as if representing the feelings hiding beneath Rebecka’s calm exterior, “so what is your problem? You don’t think I’ve got my own”. One of the most intriguing new acts to emerge of the last few years, with each release Rebecka seems to take her listeners somewhere new, fresh and very exciting indeed, already we can’t wait to see where she goes next.

Whale is out now via Crowds And Power Recordings Ltd. Click HERE for more information on Rebecka Reinhard.

4. Everyone Is Going To Love Leila Sunier

Los Angeles-based songwriter Leila Sunier is making 2020 a year where she creates a very big impression in a very short time. It was only back in February that she released her debut EP, If Only To Bleed Out The White Noise, yet she is wasting no time in following it up, with a second EP of the year, When Everything Is Perfect, due at the start of next month. This week Leila has shared the second single from the record, Everyone.

Leila is an artist who has clearly set out with no plans for being pigeon-holed into a specific genre, even in the few tracks shared so far she has taken in elements of folk, indie-pop and expansive alt-rock. On Everyone, we’re treated to dreamy folk-pop, the rapid fire vocal delivery reminiscent of Regina Spektor accompanied by chiming bells, lush guitars and bright stabs of percussion. As you’d perhaps expect for a track entitled Everyone, lyrically, this track touches on a near universal experience, recalling the self-destructive cycle of, “nights spent stumbling from one bar to the next”. While the title of her new record might suggest perfection is around the corner, for now maybe we can all settle for very good; on Everyone Leila’s achieved that and more.

When Everything Is Perfect is out October 9th. Click HERE for more information on Leila Sunier.

3. Fightmilk Get In On The Sister Act

Like so many bands, Fightmilk’s plans for 2020 have been somewhat turned on their head. By now we should have seen the release of their second album, that’s hit understandable delays, and is now likely to arrive early next year via Reckless Yes. While we wait for that to emerge, this week the London-based quartet have at least given us something to keep us going, in the shape of their new single, If You Had A Sister.

The second taster of the album to be, If You Had A Sister is something of a sonic departure for Fightmilk, leaving their punk-pop roots behind and sliding into the world of atmospheric indie-pop. The track was written in the band’s first practice after new bass-player Healey joined, as the band say it, “seemed like an incredibly good sign”. The track rolls in on a bassy-rumble, punctuated by lush twinkles of guitar, and steady repeated drum rhythms, coming across somewhere between Remote Part-era Idlewild and a more relaxed Diet Cig. Fightmilk suggest the track is about, “all kinds of dark things”, a different side to a band who’s new record is shaping up to be well worth the extra wait.

If You Had A Sister is out now via Reckless Yes. Click HERE for more information on Fightmilk.

2. We’re Always Happy Looking Out For Ailbhe Reddy

Based out of Dublin, alt-folk songwriter Ailbhe Reddy has already made something of a splash, garnering 6-Music plays, festival slots at Glastonbury and Primavera and widespread rave-reviews online. Ailbhe is currently gearing up to release her debut album, arriving next month on Friends Of The Family. This week ahead of that, Ailbhe has shared the latest single from the record, Looking Happy, a track recorded with acclaimed producers Erland Cooper and Tommy McLaughlin.

Looking Happy takes on a somewhat different feel to the other singles on Personal History; while they channelled the folk-pop ilk of Soak or Martha Ffion, here we’re treated to something more driving and angular. The guitars seem to nod to Darwin Deez, while the soaring chorus could be Pillow Queens or The Beths. Lyrically, the track seems to be Ailbhe viewing an ex from a distance, looking at their internet persona and watching logic dissolve as she struggles to forget that what we all present online is not always that close to reality. Looking Happy is an intriguing release, a track that hints that any expectations the world has surrounding her debut album might just be met, and then some.

Personal History is out October 2nd via Friends Of The Family. Click HERE for more information on Ailbhe Reddy.

1. Remember Where You Saw Anna McClellan First

Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Anna McClellan started playing shows aged just seventeen, and has shown no sign of slowing down ever since. Back in 2015, Anna released her debut album, Fire Flames, headed out on tour with Frankie Cosmos and caught the ear of Father/Daughter Records. A period spent in New York resulted in her second album, 2018’s Yes and No, before Anna returned to Omaha and began work on what would be her upcoming album, I Saw First Light. The record charts Anna’s journey from the Midwest, to the East Coast and back again, and will arrive in November. This week Anna has shared two new tracks from the album, Pace Of The Universe and Desperate.

The two tracks serve as an intriguing introduction to I Saw First Light, existing like two sides of the same artistic vision. Desperate is the more straight-talking of the two, as bright guitars collide with a drum beat resplendent with slapped snare drum, and Anna recalls her teenage desire for, “male validation“, and how even now she lives with a, “fear that maybe genuine connection will elude me forever“. The track is a nice contrast to the more outwardly gazing meander of Pace Of The Universe, with it’s wandering keyboard-line, slow-motion marching drum and waltzing woodwind. These tracks serve as something of a celebration of creativity, an artist simultaneously exploring their place in the world and the one within their own head, along the way discovering the thrilling possibilities that exist within both. Where we’re concerned we’ve seen the light, and we’re going to follow Anna McClellan wherever it takes her.

I Saw First Light is out November 20th via Father/Daughter Records. Click HERE for more information on Anna McClellan.

Header photo is Anna McClennan by Jccwa Faya

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