Josienne Clarke - Alphanaut - The Hengles - Lia D'Sau - Tacsidermi
“You’re the collector / You’ll keep me forever / A small unknowable thing / With you as preceptor,” Josienne Clarke sings on new single ‘The Collector’, a song inspired by writer John Fowles' novel of the same name. For her new album A Small Unknowable Thing, due out this Friday, Clarke is flying solo. No label, no musical partner, no producer. For the first time since her early beginnings, Clarke is in complete control of her songwriting, arranging, producing, release schedule and musical direction.
On 'The Collector', Clarke experimented with unusual sounds, marrying earthy folk with cutting industrial noise. Recording the sound of her phone interface via her Cornell amp, Clarke processed it using some Logic pre-sets to make a sound that eventually resembled an angle-grinder. It’s heavy noise grates and cuts, reflecting the horror of the woman’s treatment. “Having read [Fowles’] book again, I just identified with some of the themes of it. [The protagonist] doesn’t see her as a human being. She has all this power and then none at all, because her’s was a power she’s unable to use for anything; the man’s was always greater. It’s a power that makes you really very vulnerable.”
It’s an experience the vast majority of women making music today can identify with. Despite writing a plethora of critically acclaimed songs, winning a BBC Folk Award, opening for Robert Plant on his European tour, playing prominent slots on some of the UK’s biggest festivals or even taking a leading role in The National Theatre’s revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good (after being personally chosen by Cerys Matthews no less), Clarke felt daily self-doubt as a result of an industry that variously gas-lit, put-down, questioned and othered. A Small Unknowable Thing is, at least in part, about recognising there are still existing structures to keep women in their place – but it’s also about having the courage to break those structures down too.
After leaving her label, musical partnership and home (Clarke moved to a small village on the outskirts of Glasgow with her husband), she started afresh. Gradually, as she slowly began to write and record once more, the album’s narrative arc emerged and Clarke found herself again. “It’s an empowered narrative, not a weak and vulnerable one,” Clarke says of the album. “It was a conscious decision to walk away from my career as it was and there’s a positive message on this record: there’s a lot of reclaiming the narrative.”
==========================================================================Alphanaut - Shake the Rhythm
Avant-garde Southern Californian music collective, Alphanaut, are back with a dynamic new track. ‘Shake The Rhythm’ follows the release of lead single, ‘Virtual Love,’ along with the announcement of their album out on October 15th.
As the second single, the bright horn section lends a big band influence, while the pizzicato chorus hook adds a playful pop element. This special album edit features a gradual chorus fade towards the end that’s taken over by a jazzy improv jam session where the musicians let go of traditional song structure and have some fun showing off their chemistry as a band.
Told through Mark Alan’s colorful vocals dripping with TLC, ‘Shake The Rhythm’ is about embracing your individuality and dancing to the beat of your own drum, even when it seems like everything is trying to stifle your shine.
The uplifting animated video that accompanies the track is by artist, Matt Brown. Staying true to themselves and to the theme of the album, each track tells the stories of fictional characters that embrace their own unique place in the world; even if it is different than those around them.
The Hengles have never sounded more danceable than on their new single Find The Way! It’s going to move your feet! You just can’t stop the beat! Jingle-jangle Hengle Pop in its purest form, but with just that little extra twist, to give it that boogie feel. Bet you can’t resist a big smile on your face when you hear this golden tune. Simple as it may seem, meticulously crafted and styled in their Hok-P Studio near Amsterdam, to fit your precious ears. Yes, Pop music is a serious business!
You don’t have to Find The Way yourself, because it is already here. But if you do, remember where you heard it first!
In the past year, The Hengles have made considerable progress internationally. That resulted in airplay on radio in among others: Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, USA, UK, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Phillipines, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Hungary and Austria. Singles from the band also entered the iTunes / Apple Music charts in: Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Switzerland.
The distinguished gentlemen of The Hengles have more than earned their musical spurs in the past. The guys from Amsterdam played in illustrious 80s and 90s bands like Fatal Flowers, Treble Spankers, Supersub and Jack Of Hearts.
==========================================================================Lia D'Sau - Bird.
For Lia D’Sau, songwriting is a declaration. The 18-year-old singer-songwriter explores her thoughts on womanhood, relationships and social issues with maturity and curiosity, using music as her toolkit. “Having other people write songs for me seemed daunting, terrible,” says D’Sau. “I’ve been taught to look deeper at the world since I was a child, and I have things I want to say.”
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, D’sau grew up listening to her parents’ favorite R&B records, with her father being a former boy band member himself. D’sau began singing at age eight, eventually attending music camp in New York City at age fifteen.
Lia is excited to share her new single, out August 13th. Here's what she had to say about it: "This song means a lot to me, especially after these last 2 years of isolation and feeling trapped: in our homes, our countries, our heads.
I wrote this song after I came home from watching the sunset at the beach one day, which is something i started doing daily during these times, and I was listening to "good days" by SZA. I think it was the day it came out, and I just felt so free, and alive like I hadn't felt in a long time. This song is meant to be like a breath of fresh air after being stuck in a basement for a year".
Tacsidermi are back and how we have missed them! Gwenllian Anthony from the ‘Welsh Music Prize’ winning band Adwaith and multi instrumentalist Matthew Kilgariff have crafted a sublime pop song in ‘Ble Pierre’. Every note played is powerfully evocative of never-ending, carefree summers and romantic escape and wonder.
Tacsidermi with the support of David Newington (Boy Azooga) on drums and mixing by Matthew Evans (KEYS) find a perfect marriage of Jane Birkin / Serge Gainsbourg 60s French pop, Stereolab’s 90s dreaminess and The Happy Mondays, Paul Oakenfold infused Balearic heartbeat.
With Gwenllian’s beautiful restrained vocal delivery set at the centre of the mix the listener falls yet again under Tacsidermi’s spell!