Tusks - Joana Serrat - Sauropod - Brass Phantoms - Thee Conductor (Feat: Bonnie Prince Billy) - Lisa Anderson

Tusks - Last.

Background - With her debut album Dissolve released 13th October, Tusks (aka Emily Underhill) builds on her towering musical vision. Created alongside longtime co-producer Brett Cox, her rich visual imagination with its cinematic enormity and resplendent detail is the work of a young artist mastering the nuances of her craft, a journey which began in her early teens.

On new single ‘Last’, Tusks ups the ante; “it’s the feistiest track on the album. It was a bit of a f you to a person at the time who I'd invested loads of energy and time into who'd messed me around."

It’s a track that demonstrates the breath of emotion on the record, that within ‘Dissolve’s’ immersive cinematic artistry and beautiful soundscapes sentiments of a vigorous, vitriolic nature also burn bright.

From a young age, her voracious appetite for music has taken in artists as disparate as Bonobo, Explosions in the Sky, and Foals, and the result is a sound that resists pigeon-holing. It’s the assemblage of all her experiences as an artist and as a person that get distilled in her powerful, glacial sound, which has been praised across the spectrum by tastemakers including Wonderland, MixMag, The Line Of Best Fit, Annie Mac, MistaJam and Lauren Laverne and nabbed her a spring tour with the impressive Icelandic singer songwriter Asgeir. 

Debut album Dissolve is heady and ambitious, not so much the sum of its influences as an outward projection of its creator. It’s the purest distillation of Emily as a person, and it strikes a uniquely human chord through its melodies, which are at once comfortingly familiar and refreshing. Website here, Facebook here

'Last' mixes distant & dreamy vocals with a musical soundtrack where the more understated moments are delicately arranged & when the power kicks in the attention to details is still notable.


Joana Serrat - Come Closer.

Background - ‘Come Closer’, Joana Serrat’s new song taken from her forthcoming album ‘Dripping Springs’, features members of Israel Nash/Midlake. For her fourth album in five years, Joana Serrat travelled from her home in Vic, Barcelona to the Texas Hill Country outside Austin. There she teamed up with Israel Nash at his Plum Creek Sound studio near the town of Dripping Springs. For the recording sessions Nash & Serrat corralled a stellar crew of musicians: Joey & Aaron McClellan, (Midlake, BNQT, John Grant, Israel Nash), Eric Swanson & Josh Fleischmann (Israel Nash), Dave Simonett and Dennis Love, as well as Nash himself providing additional guitar and backing vocals. Israel Nash produced the album, with Ted Young  Grammy award winner for The Rolling Stones) on engineering and mixing duties. 

It was no mean feat to gather all these creative talents and get them working together as a team, but as Israel Nash commented, “it was very easy to work with Joana because she knows where she wants to go and she leads us all there. Joana’s lyrics are brilliant. She uses images and colours to describe her songs and luckily that's the way we are used to working.” Joey McClellan adds, “her voice was our guide”. The resulting album - which Joana named after the local town - is unsurprisingly Joana Serrat’s most Americana album to date. Mojo described her last album Cross The Verge as “Mazzy Star guesting on an early Neil Young demo”, but with Dripping Springs she has produced a far more rounded and polished piece of work. Serrat explains, “it’s an album that deals with farewells but is filled with an optimistic melancholy that doesn’t isolate nor enclose the spirit and determination to realise our own dreams”. It was a bold move by the young Catalan to cross the Atlantic to work with a bunch of American musicians that she had admired from afar but had never met.

What she came away with is, however nothing short of magnificent and should see Serrat building on her existing achievements which have included a BBC 6Music Recommends Track Of The Week selected by Gideon Coe and Lauren Laverne, the latter commenting “she’s an amazing artist, an astonishing talent and I love her songwriting”. The lead single from Joana’s upcoming album has once again received plays from Gideon Coe, and also Another Country With Ricky Ross. Within the last year Joana has toured with The Jayhawks, The Handsome Family & Courtney Marie Andrews, and played the main stage at Primavera Sound Festival showcased at SXSW. Joana has just returned from performing in Nashville at AmericanaFest 2017. Facebook here.

Whilst Joana Serrat continues to provide music this good to feature, it will be featured. 'Come Closer' continues in a similar vein from the previous song we shared, with beautiful Americana vibes and a superb musical arrangement to match her beautiful vocals.


Sauropod - Never On Time.

Background - Norwegian trio Sauropod, made up of – Jonas Røyeng (guitar, vocals), Kamillia Waal Larsen (bass, vocals) and Jørgen Natland Apeness (drums) just released their second single ‘Never On Time’ via Propeller Recordings. The latest signing to Propeller Recordings (Sløtface, Highasakite, Frøkedal etc) — new single ’Never On Time’ is an exhilarating burst of high-octane grunge-tinged punk rock. 

An ode to living in the moment, Sauropod’s endearing carefree approach shines particularly brightly on this latest single. "I’m never on time / being so precise is putting me down” - sings Jonas, atop of the track's erratic rhythm section, before conceding he’d..."rather stumble around like a clown / cause all I see, surrounding me, is people who try very hard to believe that freedom’s for free”.

Perfectly capturing the sweet–sour synergy of frontman Jonas and bassist/vocalist Kamilla, ‘Never On Time’ showcases exactly what sets the band apart from their peers; a natural gift for simultaneously delivering energetic, punk-leaning songwriting with irresistibly catchy hooks.

Quickly becoming a force to be reckoned on the live stage, the band’s recent live credits include Øya Festival (NO), Trondheim Calling (NO), Eurosonic (NL) and Visions Festival (DE) - and their next steps will see them supporting label mates Sløtface at their upcoming London headline show in October.

The band are currently preparing for an extensive touring schedule kick-starting in the new year, as well as writing for the release of their first album on Propeller Recordings. Website here, Facebook here.

Indie rock with punk energy makes 'Never On Time' a feisty and potent affair. Catchy and urgent, at just over two & a half minutes it's a blast of refreshing rock.


Brass Phantoms - Indigo.

Background - Irish fourpiece Brass Phantoms have announced the follow-up to recent single City Of Wolves with new single Indigo released on 22nd September.

Indigo is a passionate track opening with a powerful and unique vocal that builds into a melodic indie-pop chorus backed by euphoric guitars. The video, produced by Alan McCarthy, shows a dancer performing a routine in a hall alongside a live performance by the band, which builds in intensity with the song. 13-year-old Alicia Premkumar stars as the dancer in the video. The band say;

“Indigo at times paints the picture of a war scene. We wanted to paint a bleaker image over music that has the appearance of joy or euphoria.”

“Alicia Premkumar was amazing. Her performance is extremely emotive and it gives another layer to the track. While the song is partially about a battle, her performance shows another conflict, a mental conflict to go with our physical.”

Having played headline shows in their home city along with performing at festivals such as Other Voices and Indiependence, Brass Phantoms will be embarking on their debut UK headline tour next month. Tour dates are on Beehive Candy's tour news page, Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

The vocals shine from the word go and it's not long before the band up the stakes even further on 'Indigo' a hook laden and passionate song.


Thee Conductor - Face Crinkle (Featuring Bonnie Prince Billy).

Background - The video for "Face Crinkle," is the first single off the upcoming Thee Conductor album, Cotton Tornado, which is out on October 20 via Sixgunlover Records.

Jason Butler, the creative force behind Thee Conductor, has teamed up with an impressive selection of musicians for a structured and intentional, yet open and collaborative, art project resulting in a curated collection of songs titled Cotton Tornado. 

This first single, which features Bonnie "Prince" Billy on main vocals, is the perfect intro to the project and oozes with depth, sincerity, and warm delivery. Pre-order here, Facebook here.

The first of ten tracks on the forthcoming album is 'Face Crinkle' featuring Bonnie Prince Billy, whose natural vocals are so at home with this song. Putting a guest artist of this calibre on the first track, suggests that Thee Conductor are confident in the quality of the remaining material. Rightly they can be, this is a selection of very individual and unique songs, there is an overall feel to the album, however the music takes on many forms and does so with quality and beauty.


Lisa Anderson - Your Silence Says It All.

Background - Lisa Anderson is a singer-songwriter from Calgary, Alberta who traveled and lived around the world before finding herself back home reeling from heartbreak. 

It was here, a place she once felt like an outsider, where she delighted to discover the freedom to be herself, the determination to plunge into her music, and the chance for real love.

A Hundred Lives reflects the struggles and the joys of embracing all life has to offer – the dark, the joyous, and the grey in between. 

The album journeys through the grief of her goodbyes, the ability to forgive a betrayal, the exhilaration of new romance, and the celebration of everyday absurdities. Her realistic optimism and quirky humour weave through her lyrics to form moments of kinship with her listeners.

Lisa Anderson will be supporting the release of A Hundred Lives with a Canadian tour in 2017-18. Release Date: Sept 26th, 2017. Website here, Facebook here.

'Your Silence Says It All' is one of eleven songs on the new 'A Hundred Lives' album. The featured track and music video gives a good idea of what to expect. Sometimes it's a little more sensitive, other times the lyrics are very personal, however add to that the musical quality and melodic vocals, and for me, we have a creative and very likable album.