Five Things We Liked This Week – 26/11/21

Further Listening:

5. This Little Heart Of Mine, The Wave Pictures Sure Make It Shine

Formed over twenty years ago, The Wave Pictures have gone on to release, if not quite countless albums, certainly too many to be bothered counting. This week the band have announced their latest offering, a double album, When The Purple Emperor Spreads His Wings which will arrive next year. Celebrating that news the band have also shared the first track from it, This Heart Of Mine.

Described as having, “a nuance of autumn”, This Heart Of Mine is a delightfully subtle affair, which seems to mark The Wave Pictures going, “full-on country”, with David Tattersall’s acoustic guitar adorned by mandolin, harmonica and gently brushed drums. Citing the influence of classic Neil Young, the track is the musical equivalent of a gentle, bracing breeze, subtly melancholic without any histrionics, as David sings, “it takes a long, long time to heal this heart of mine”, before wistfully adding, “oh well”. It’s a welcome return from a band who never quite sit still, the great reinventors who never forget what makes them such a special prospect in the first place, now go on The Wave Pictures, spread your wings and fly.

When The Purple Emperor Spreads His Wings is out in 2022. For more information on The Wave Pictures visit http://www.thewavepictures.com/.

4. Baby U Know You’re Going To Love Bas Jan’s Vision

Co-founded back in 2015 by the acclaimed songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serafina Steer, Bas Jan have been through a few incarnations before their recent, “consolidation as a four-piece”. The world last heard from Bas Jan back in 2018, with the release of both their acclaimed debut album, Yes I Jan, and the equally excellent EP, Instant Nostalgia. Three years on the band are gearing up towards the release of their new record, Baby U Know, which was recorded over three days at Cafe OTO in Dalston, and will see the light of day via Lost Map in January. Ahead of the release this week the band have shared their new single, Vision Of Change.

Described by the band as, “an oblique and inconclusive vision of a future – possibly a better one”, Vision Of Change is like a manifesto for a better tomorrow, that’s slowly weighed down by the reality of the here and now, “will it be the new beginning for which we all have dreamed, will this be the age where the system bursts at the seams”. Musically, it’s a delight, resplendent with marching drums, twangy post-punk bass and that much-underrated instrument, the woodblock! The song ends, perhaps fittingly for a glimpse into the future, with a squalling sense of insecurity, via a rambunctious, Warren Ellis-like distorted violin solo, as the vocals become urgent yelps, the individual voices barely audible as they all tumble out at once. The perfect soundtrack for an imperfect future, Bas Jan are the sound of a world in flux, and who knew that would sound so great?

Baby U Know is out January 28th via Lost Map. For more information on Bas Jan visit https://www.lostmap.com/bas-jan.

3. Save Nisa For Special Occasions

A native New Yorker, Nisa Lumaj was born in the Bronx as the daughter of Albanian immigrants and grew up on a musical diet of the traditional folk music of her ancestral home. As a teenager, Nisa began branching out into the wider New York art scene, performing at open mic nights and joining a rock collective from Manhattan. After spending a year living in East London, Nisa returned to New York and released her first solo music via her debut EP, Guilt Trip. A year on, Nisa is gearing up to release her second EP, Time To Plant Tears, and this week she has shared the latest single from it, The Savior.

The Savior is the sound of an artist striving to push their musical boundaries, the intricate guitar lines and fabulous vocals might feel like familiar territory, yet the fabulous trumpet flourishes feel fresh and exciting. Discussing the track, Nisa has suggested it in an anthem of self-empowerment, “a reminder of the grounding nature of focus when the illusion of control starts to fade”. Particularly wonderful is the song’s ending when Nisa seems to truly let go, the trumpets soaring wildly into the stratosphere as the drums become a clatter of loose noise, and the vocal roars, “always been a saviour”. Something is compelling and stirring about The Savior, it seems less written and more crafted from the flames, raw and beautiful and ready to take Nisa’s fabulous music out into the world for anyone willing to cast their ear its way.

Time To Plant Tears is out December 2nd. For more information on Nisa visit https://www.itsnisa.com/.

2. Naima Bock Feels Like A Warm Summers Day

The daughter of a Greek/English mother and a Brazilian father, Naima Bock spent the first years of her life in Sao Paolo, before her family relocated to South London when she was just seven. As a teenager, Naima began attending shows across the UK’s capital city, and by the time she was fifteen was already performing in bands, which took her to stages across the planet. Embracing a desire for a musical change, Naima recently decided to start her own project, which has instantly paid dividends as this week she announced her signing to the legendary Sub Pop label. Celebrating that news, Naima also shared her debut single, 30 Degrees.

Speaking of 30 Degrees, Naima has suggested it is a track that, “came out of the adolescent duality of fear and freedom“, focusing on the idea of goodbyes, from the small forgettable ones to the big ones, “that can feel so small amidst the clutter of surviving day-to-day”. Musically, the track seems to be every bit as eclectic as Naima’s heritage would suggest, her vocal pitched between Nico and Shirley Collins, as the music seems to stitch together folk-influenced guitars and complex rhythmic flourishes that nod to her Brazilian roots. With dates supporting the likes of Porridge Radio and The Goon Sax coming fast on the horizon, 30 Degrees is the sound of Naima Bock marking herself out as a strong contender to be one of 2022’s breakout stars.

30 Degrees is out now via Sub Pop. For more information on Naima Bock visit https://linktr.ee/naimabock.

1. You’ll Feel A Catkinship With Raveloe

It was back in the very odd summer of 2020 that I first came across the music of Kim Grant, aka Raveloe. That was around the release of her single Abalone, which she quickly followed up with her debut EP, Notes And Dreams, which was released via Olive Grove Records. Ahead of Kim’s headline show at The Glad Cafe on December 2nd, this week she has shared the latest Raveloe single, Catkins.

Growing up in the industrial town of Motherwell, Kim learnt to appreciate life’s small beauties and in particular natures way to always find a way, and that’s a theme that permeates Catkins. The track was inspired by the fluffy buds of the Weeping Willow tree, as Kim explains, “I thought of their temporality and how their presence marked a change and the birth of spring”. The seasonal arrivals inspired Kim to think about the passing of time and the nature of change, and how that relates to the human experience of trauma and rebuilding yourself, “layer by layer”. Musically, Catkins is a track writ large with fuzzy urgency, the layers of guitars are meticulous yet delightfully ragged, while the drums echo and clatter, creating a perfectly imperfect backdrop for Kim’s rich, controlled vocal to relay her complex tumble of thoughts and feelings. With Raveloe’s music, each new track seems to offer another piece of a puzzle, a musical vision that’s quickly revealing itself as something really rather wonderful.

Catkins is out now via Olive Grove Records. For more information on Raveloe visit https://raveloemusic.bandcamp.com/.

Header photo is Raveloe by https://www.instagram.com/onamovie/

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