5. Give Wyndow A Spin Either Alone Or With Friends
Wyndow is the collaborative project of the uber-creative flautist Laura J Martin and Lavinia Blackwall of Trembling Bells. Last year saw the duo release their self-titled debut album, winning widespread acclaim for its creative take on indie-folk. With the band finally able to head out on the road at the end of this month for a run of UK dates, this week they’ve shared a new single, Spinning Alone.
Spinning Alone might sound familiar to fans of the band, as it’s actually a re-working of their debut album’s opening track, Never Alone. Discussing the decision to re-work the track Laura recalls that, “Never Alone felt like the beginning of something, a promise without resolution which was ripe for retooling, so we took the hammer to marble and chiselled until our fingers bled!” While the original was an ethereal introduction to the record that follows, Spinning Alone seems to dig deeper into the track, rooting around in the rubble and pulling out sonic diamonds, from the stomping percussion to the retro-futuristic twinkle of the synths. The whole thing feels huge, like the soundtrack to an astronaut drifting aimlessly in the vast blackness of space, a vision of nothingness, a Wyndow with a view that you’re not going to want to miss.
Wyndow is out now via Summer Critics. For more information on Wyndow visit https://wyndow.bandcamp.com/.
4. Gracie Gray Introduces To Anna
One of my 22 for 2022, Gracie Gray has been winning over hearts and minds in recent months with a series of brilliant singles, all lifted from her new album Anna, which is released today via the Hand In Hive label. Described by Gracie as being, “about holding onto love for yourself through all of life’s changes”, Anna is her first album since 2019’s Oregon in a Day. Ahead of the release this week Gracie shared the record’s fabulous title track.
Discussing the track, Gracie suggests Anna is a song, “about people who just aren’t able to function well in relationships“. While it might initially sound a little self-admonishing, it’s actually a song not about blaming yourself but instead, “promising to be there for yourself even if you feel inadequate in loving others for a while“. Musically, the track is one of the album’s brightest moments, with the consistent march of the drums adorned by a burbling synth-line reminiscent of Elbow’s more intimate moments. Throughout the synth seems to battle against the more organic tones of rich piano chords, each fighting for the limelight before ceding to the charms of the other instrument. Atop it all are Gracie’s vocals, layered and delightfully delicate, as the lyrics seem to teeter on the edge of hope and doubt, “hang the heart up, in the air, isn’t it hilarious, comparing us there”. While carving out her own path, Gracie Gray’s music seems to send my synapses pinging, as subtle influences from Sufjan Stevens to Haley Heynderickx come and go, never staying long enough to cloud the fact the Gracie is a singular talent entirely of her own making.
Anna is out today via Hand In Hive. For more information on Gracie Gray visit http://www.graciegray.com/.
3. 63 sdrawckB hsurC
A four-piece based out of Manchester, Crush first appeared back in 2019 with the release of their debut single, Rinse. They’ve subsequently gone on to release a series of singles as well as sharing stages with the likes of bdrmm and NewDad. The band’s sound has gone through a gentle revolution since then, shifting from the rockier tones of their early material towards a style more inspired by the shoegaze scene of the early 1990s. With a run of UK dates starting tomorrow night at The Victoria in Dalston, this week they shared their new single, Bckwards 36.
Bckwards 36 takes its name from a delay setting that guitarist Arthur Boyd used to overcome, “a creative rut while trapped at my parents’ house in April 2020“, which in his own words, “makes the music sound like it’s tripping over its feet“. The result is a track that has a certain cyclical nature, organically expanding then falling back again as wiry guitars and crashing drums accompany vocalist Amber Warren’s reverberating, spectral vocals, recalling contemporaries like Life Model or Soot Sprite. If the musical inspiration came out of enforced isolation, the lyrics too touch on widespread themes experienced during the various lockdowns, “the endless days and the demands put upon the recommended daily walk – only to be faced with a cold, wet park and not much else“. Despite its mundane inspirations, Bckwards 36 sounds anything but ordinary, a band gently re-inventing their sound and evolving into something really quite special in the process.
Bckwards 36 is out now via Polka Dot Music Collective. For more information on Crush visit https://linktr.ee/crushbankuk.
2. Take A Seat To Listen To Many Voices Speak
Many Voices Speak is the musical project of Swedish songwriter Matilda Mård, who first emerged back in 2018 with the fantastic debut album, Tank Town. Since then there was a one-off single, Want It Kept released at the start of 2020, followed by radio silence as Matilda kept us waiting to hear her next move. That all changes this week with the announcement of a brand-new album, Gestures, set for release in April, shared alongside a new track, Seat For Sadness.
After the verse of Seat For Sadness came to Matilda some time ago, it took several years, a move to Berlin and renting a, “piano room at a music school”, for the finished product to come together. Even then an entirely new chorus was added when working in the recording studio with producer Petter Nygårdh. While Seat For Sadness enters on an electronic pulse, it’s arguably the more traditional sound of the acoustic guitar that holds the track in place, the slowly meandering constant that allows the vocal melodies and rich synths the freedom to dance and explore. As ever with Many Voices Speak, this isn’t music that shouts from the rooftops, instead, it worms its way into your mind, subtle and beautiful, the kind of music that triggers connections between artist and listener that could just last a lifetime.
Gestures is out April 29th via Strangers Candy. For more information on Many Voices Speak visit https://manyvoicesspeak.com/.
1. Dana Gavanski Hits A Purple Patch
A mesmeric musical talent, Dana Gavanski has felt like something of a constant presence since her 2020 debut Yesterday Is Gone crash-landed into the world perfectly formed and ready to admire. After two years of largely cancelled touring plans, Dana has been working on the tracks that would become her second album, When It Comes, which this week was confirmed for an April release via Full Time Hobby and Flemish Eye. Ahead of the release, Dana has shared the second single from the record, Indigo Highway.
Discussing the inspiration behind When It Comes, Dana has spoken of it as, “an ode to the voice as an instrument”, an attempt to reassess her relationship with her own vocal cords and the ability of words to act as pivots, “they point in a direction but don’t necessarily stay there”. Indigo Highway is a fine introduction to the record, Dana’s voice, imbued with the playfulness of Cate Le Bon and the soaring richness of This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables, is the star throughout. Despite foregrounding the vocal, musically this is no stripped back minimalism, conversely, it might be Dana’s most musically ambitious offering yet, with joyous fair-ground like keyboard-lines, twitching electronic bleeps and rich crescendos of piano. The whole scope and ambition of the project feels bigger, the stripped-back beauty of Yesterday Is Gone, replaced by a vast, technicolour explosion, like Alice stepping out of the grind of the real world and into the weird majesty of Wonderland. Alongside the release of this most intriguing of albums, there’s the promise of a revamped live show, Dana even taking mime classes to channel her inner David Bowie, so don’t be surprised if 2022 is the year that Dana Gavanski’s magnificent music finds the audience that it so richly deserves.
When It Comes is out April 29th via Full Time Hobby / Flemish Eye. For more information on Dana Gavanski visit https://www.danagavanski.co.uk/.
Header photo is Dana Gavanski by Clementine Schneidermann.