Natalie Bouloudis - Pipsy - Emma Elisabeth

Natalie Bouloudis - Firebird.

Background - About Natalie Bouloudis “My songs tiptoe on the edge of fiction and reality. I like rich melodies, moody skies, dark romanticism, charged atmospheres that tell hard-boiled tales.” 

A native of East Sussex, Natalie Bouloudis first got her musical education in childhood, having played clarinet in jazz bands and had a few guitar lessons at school. From the age of seven she started writing her own music and has been (till recently) a secret songwriter ever since. Having lived in London for the better part of the last decade, she decided three years ago to launch her music into the public sphere under the name Aurora Harbinger. She soon played venues like Servant Jazz Quarters and The Victoria in Dalston, quickly building a loyal fan base that enabled her to successfully crowd fund her debut record. For Natalie, playing live is an important consideration in the songwriting process, a process which focuses centrally on generating atmosphere and intimacy. 

Her debut EP is her first proper recording and it was all recorded live at Wax Studios in London and produced by Robert Strauss. For Natalie, getting the EP right was dependent on how precisely she could evoke the feelings she had in mind. Though armed with encyclopaedic knowledge of narrative songwriters across the spectrum of folk, rock and jazz, Natalie brings to the table her own brand of atmospheric storytelling. It’s folky in its arrangements, but in terms of sheer vocal delivery she’s a soulful rock and roller, at times calling to mind the visceral and lurching tones of Patti Smith or Etta James. ‘Burning Pier’ may only be her first single, but already it reveals an artist in the classic sense: thoughtful, precise, and led by instinct and imagination. 

About ‘Firebird’ - I wanted to capture a strong empowering feeling in this song, the protagonist is a femme fatale character.  I wanted it to sound like a 60’s girl group jamming with a 90’s grunge band.  Essentially ‘Firebird’ is about taking charge of your destiny, walking through the fire and coming out the other side just as the mythical firebird or phoenix is the embodiments of obtaining a new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor this song is about emerging out of darker times stronger than ever and looking forward all the way. Facebook here.

Taken from the five song EP 'Dead Sea Scripts' we have 'Firebird'. Natalie's vocals are the first notable feature, exuding passion and sounding so heartfelt and determined. Musically there is a powerful yet uncomplicated soundtrack that adds to the emotion and feel. Like song equals love EP.


Pipsy - Why Can’t I Get What I Want, For Once?

Background - Pipsy announces their highly anticipated debut single and video ‘Why Can’t I Get What I Want, For Once?’ is released this week via Melbourne (AUS) label Warhammer Kid.

Originally from Dunedin (NZ), Pipsy is the latest project by Melbourne based artist and producer Paul Pouwels.  Named after the local nickname for the Dunedin New Zealand native, Pipsy follows up Paul’s work with critically acclaimed jangle-pop bands Males and blues-luchadors Julian Temple Band. Pouwels steps out from behind the drum kit as a frontman for the new band – offering up visceral, upbeat punk songs, with a soft and gooey pop-caramel core, written during his years as a sideman for other bands in the Dunedin music scene.

Written as a reflection on past mistakes revisiting him time and again, ‘Why Can’t I Get What I Want, For Once?’ is a surprisingly upbeat, tongue-in-cheek musing on bad relationships, bad choices, and that silly desperation that we all feel from time to time – that little voice that says ‘Why me?’, and the other that answers ‘Because you never seem to learn.’ The track was produced by Pipsy’s longtime collaborator Tex Houston, famous for his work with the historically significant Dunedin Sound bands The Clean, The 3ds, and The Verlaines.

Musically, Pipsy explores new psychedelic and soul-pop territories on ‘Why Can’t I Get What I Want, For Once?’ while further stretching his musical muscles by writing, producing, singing and playing guitars and drums on the new track. ‘I felt that it was pretty personal music, so I liked doing as much as I could – plus I still love bashing the drums, so I thought, if Dave (Grohl) can do it, maybe so can I!’ said Pouwels of his turn to songwriting and being a frontman. 

The band is rounded out by Paul’s brother Cameron on bass, longtime collaborator and hip-hop producer Josiah Cowan on guitars, and new member and childhood friend William Powell on drums for live shows.  Pipsy's debut EP will be released later in 2017. Website here, Facebook here.

I get the personal feeling, that was sought for 'Why Can’t I Get What I Want, For Once?' and the video adds a story line with just a little humour for good measure. Musically it's a slightly laid back indie rocker, one that grows quite quickly into a very likable and re playable track.


Emma Elisabeth - Where Do Tears Go.

Background - Emma Elisabeth is a Swedish artist based in Berlin. She has one foot in the Swedish pop musicscene and the other foot in the fantasies of the fuzzy underground. Sort of like ABBA jamming with Jefferson Airplane and Fleetwood Mac in a 90's grunge club hosted by Garbage. 

A rather wild mixture, which results in playful, gritty pop songs that fearlessly take on hooklines and bring them into unexpected places. It's a shower of jangly guitars and flowing vocal harmonies filled with both elegance and intoxication. 

The expatriate Swede is currently residing in Berlin where she has teamed up with well-renowned producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, PJ Harvey among others) to produce her upcoming EP.

She has just released her new video "Where Do Tears Go". Facebook here.

'Where Do Tears Go' mixes melodic pop sensibilities with a slightly understated soundtrack that drives the rhythm and adds just enough content to makes it's mark. All of which allows Emma's tuneful, vibrant vocals to add emotion and passion to a very desirable song.