5. Escape From The Everyday With Kitty Perrin
Probably best known as a presenter on BBC Radio Norfolk, Norwich’s Kitty Perin has been championing new music on her BBC Introducing show, while quietly making her own music in the background. Kitty’s move from tastemaker to musician took a step in the right direction this week with the release of her debut single, The Escapist, the first track from her upcoming EP, Stick It Out.
Kitty credits sneaking into a Slow Club show when she was in Year Six at School as one of her major influences, there she found a musical hero in Rebecca Lucy Taylor (now SELF ESTEEM) and her conversational candid lyrical style. That inspiration, alongside future heroes from her teenage years Kate Nash and Lily Allen, emerge on The Escapist, a song about a relationship ending, her desire to feel blameless, “and our ability to invent false histories for our own peace of mind”. Musically, the track finds Kitty leaning into her local music community, the prominent piano-line adorned with pulsing drums, layered vocals and tumbling guitars, all serving to perfectly highlight Kitty’s laid-back vocals, reminiscent of Allo Darlin’s Elizabeth Morris. Despite being a song of self-admonishment and endings, somehow this song manages to feel almost triumphant, a celebration of a new voice emerging ready to make a real splash.
Stick It Out is out May 6th. For more information on Kitty Perrin visit https://twitter.com/KittyPerrin.
4. Deanna Petcoff Is Anything But Mediocre
One of my 22 for 2022, Deanna Petcoff is a songwriter based out of Toronto. After a number of years of self-releasing singles and growing her burgeoning reputation as a purveyor of emotive indie-rock, Deanna recently signed to Royal Mountain Records. This week, Deanna announced details of her upcoming debut album, To Hell With You, I Love You, set for release in April, as well as sharing the latest track from it, Devastatingly Mediocre.
A musing on the sometimes mundane nature of modern dating, Deanna has suggested Devastatingly Mediocre is a song about how, “it’s so easy to fall in love with someone just because you want to be in love, regardless of whether or not it really works“. This somewhat cutting takedown of averageness is set to a backing of rapid-guitars and loose, driving drums, finding Deanna simultaneously at her most energetic and melodic as she blurs the lines between Alvvays-like dream-pop and the punkier edges of Alex Lahey. Her upcoming record might be a world of break-ups, yet it feels less like an ending and more like a thrilling freedom, a reminder that your early twenties are full of pain, healing and ultimately accepting both, and doing it all over again.
3. Destroyer Are The Perfect Accompaniment To Bread & Wine
Dan Bejar has been making acclaimed music as Destroyer for over twenty-five years, finding regular acclaim over the course of his twelve studio albums. Two years on from his last offering, 2020’s Have We Met, Dan’s latest offering LABYRINTHITIS instantly caught my attention, with its title referencing an inner ear infection that I once suffered with, and never want to experience again. With the album due out next month via Merge/Bella Union, this week Dan shared the latest offering from it, Eat The Wine, Drink The Bread.
Discussing the inspirations of LABYRINTHITIS, Dan has spoken of it as a record of, “widescreen maximalism”, apparent here as he seems to sing straight from his soul, “it’s insane in here, it’s a lunacy out there and everything you just said, was better left unsaid”. If lyrically intriguing, musically Eat The Wine, Drink The Bread is perhaps even more wild, with an almost disco-beat overlain with funk-tinged guitars and the contrastingly sombre pianos, reminiscent of Reflektor-era Arcade Fire colliding with the technicolour-pop of Metronomy. A timely reminder of what has made Dan Bejar one of music’s great unsung heroes, LABYRINTHITIS is shaping up to be a career highlight, and for someone with a back catalogue as good as his, that’s high praise indeed.
2. nudista offer as much and more
One of the first band’s to play our gig night after the live music scene resumed last year, nudista are the indie-folk duo of guitarist Robbie Carman and Spanish-born singer Pilar Matji Cabello. They found a welcoming audience for their single confess, released in April last year via Sad Club Records. The band are currently building towards the release of their debut EP, Halfway Here, and this week they shared the latest single from it, inasmuch.
Instantly, inasmuch feels like a song of deep thinking, Pilar using her words to get us to ask questions of our own beliefs, highlighting the importance of thinking for ourselves and avoiding falling into the traps of following the crowd. Pilar recalls how it was inspired by feeling forced into a certain belief system and the strength required to move beyond that, “it is a message to say that we are capable of evolving and moving forward even when it is scary“. Having bonded over their mutual love for Yo La Tengo, Phoebe Bridgers and Neil Young, here nudista seem to favour a slightly more stripped-back sound, as Robbie’s country-licked guitar is joined by minimal drums and latterly flourishes of organ, combining with Pilar’s laid-back vocals to hit the surprising middle ground of I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning-era Bright Eyes and Kimya Dawson. No half measures here, nudista’s debut EP is shaping up to be something rather special from a band most definitely on the rise.
1. Moriah Bailey Has Plenty To Say
Previously working under the Sun Riah moniker, the world last heard from M. Bailey Stephenson back in 2017 with the release of her acclaimed album, Sitting with Sounds and Listening for Ghosts, a remarkable album full of memories, ancestry and place inspired by her grandmother’s house. Five years on, and now working under the Moriah Bailey, the Oklahoma-born songwriter and harpist marked her return this week with a new single, So You Say… once again released via Keeled Scales.
Discussing So You Say… Moriah has suggested it is a song that, “sounds bright in ways but holds a heaviness“. It’s a reflection on feeling diminished and struggling to, “find a way out of a particular mindset”, in the face of, “losing a sense of self in someone else’s perceptions, wants and ideas“. Musically, it’s a major departure from her previous more solo-led compositions, Moriah and her harp joined by an orchestral flourish courtesy of violin, percussion and guitar. Not that the harp isn’t forefront throughout, Moriah has always wanted to push the boundaries of the traditional femininity associated with her instrument and here fusing it with marching drums and layers of raw vocals, which gives her music a steely quality, a world away from the clichés of ethereal purity. This feels like a first foray into Moriah Bailey’s next stage, a logical step forward that still manages to sound thrilling, this very special talent might just be about to hit new heights.
Header photo is Moriah Bailey by Lauren Reese.