Caleb Kunle - O - SHiN - Izzy S.O - Alas The Sun - The Storm Petrels
|Photo - Andy Banjanin|
Nigerian-Irish artist Caleb Kunle has released the new single "All In Your Head". Out now via Hackney label Pony Recordings (Tempesst, Sunglasses For Jaws), Caleb also today announces a new London headline show at Bermondsey Social Club on 8th June. "All In Your Head" follows his 2021 single "Could Be Good" and teases the release of a new EP due for release later this year.
Produced by London production duo Sunglasses For Jaws (known for their work with Sinead O'Brien, Miles Kane, Nick Waterhouse, Yak + more) and mixed by Elliot Heinrich (Little Simz, POND, Metronomy), "All In Your Head" unites folk-inflected soul with psych-tinged production flourishes, bringing forth a swell of sky-reaching horns and swirling strings as Caleb examines the pursuit of authenticity in his art.
Speaking on the release of "All In Your Head", Caleb said, "It's an anthem about facing doubt. I wrote this song during a time when my doubts felt hard to overcome. Our pursuit of authentic expression can bring us to a vulnerable place and in that place we can lose sight of our inner voice, our motivator, reminding us how deep our passion can flow and how much strength is in our hearts when we believe. As the saying goes, self doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."
Born in Lagos Nigeria, then migrating to Laois in rural Ireland, the journey of early childhood in the busiest city in West Africa to the peaceful solitude of the Irish countryside inspires a consistent inquiry into dual subjects and contrast. Caleb Kunle's music comes from a deep love of folk, soul, hip-hop and storytelling. An eclectic expressionist, his songwriting explores deep themes of harmony and equilibrium, self-love, and the complexity of romance in the modern world.
Michael Kiwanuka, The Beatles and Nina Simone were all key points of influence when it came to recording this new material – with the help of drummer Oscar Robertson and bassist David Bardon (who make up production duo Sunglasses For Jaws), violinist Clementine Brown (Penguin Cafe Orchestra) and flautist João de Macedo Mello (Tankus the Henge).
O - SHiN - Losing My Nature.
II / ∞ (Second of Infinity) is the long-awaited debut album from Berlin-based electronic artist Stefanie de Beurs, aka O-SHiN. Written over a period of five years, II / ∞ is a technicolour collage of electronica, experimental pop and field recordings. Following on from her debut EP, I / ∞, which was released back in 2018, the album’s name refers to the nature of Stefanie’s infinite relationship with making music and how she will never stop exploring it as well, as being symbolic of how short life is (a mere second) in relation to the eternity of the Earth.
Stefanie describes herself as being at a very different place personally from when she began writing her debut album. In 2016, she was travelling from Rome to Amsterdam when she found herself on board an aeroplane with a terrorist. The harrowing experience had a profound effect on the artist. “For the first time in my life, I experienced the fierce feeling of death being really close, not knowing I would survive or if those would be my last seconds on earth,” she says. “It was an intense experience and this album helped me cope with the emotions I was feeling at the time.”
Despite this, the songs that make up II / ∞ are largely filled with positivity, covering themes of growth, transformation and love. The album itself is almost unrecognisable compared to its first incarnation. “Everytime I met a new musician or producer that I liked, we reformatted the songs, re-recording and adding parts like a collage,” she explains. The lyrics themselves have been rewritten countless times, with new experiences informing and shaping the narrative with each pass.
This evolutionary songwriting process could easily have resulted in an album that sounds transitory, but Stefanie’s skilful use of field recordings anchors the songs in particular moments in time. “I think my work as a photographer has had an impact on the way I write music,” she explains. “I like to collect field recordings like audio snapshots of the everyday and use them in my songs.”
The album opens with an iPhone recording of a jam session with Stephanie’s old band which develops into the main hook of new single ‘Losing My Nature’, a song about growing older whilst maintaining one's sense of self. Of her new single, Stefanie says: "The older you is a different person, with different interests and even different looks. 'Keep me where the light is' is the call to the universe to shine a light on that path of transformation so we can see where we’re going."
============================================================================Izzy S.O - Flirting With Strangers.
A fresh and new force to be reckoned with, multi-faceted singer-songwriter Izzy S.O captivates listeners with her anthemic tone and lyrical originality. The London-based artist is quickly building a reputation on the live circuit for her signature poetic lyricism, as she fearlessly touches down in the indie music space. Her debut single ‘Flirting With Strangers’ is set for release on the 6th of May 2022 via Silent Kid Records.
Exploring an alternative blend of pop-tinged rock, soft punk, and indie, Flirting with Strangers is a lyrically intimate track that grows into a grunge-fuelled cathartic cacophony, taking on the aesthetics of the 90’s alternative scene and paying homage to the likes of Mazzy Star, Bush and Alanis Morissette. Izzy’s unique songwriting displays the careful touch of a skilled articulator, showcasing a mature capacity for storytelling that transports listeners out of their surroundings and into her own emotional experience. With a voice loaded in emotion and power, Izzy S.O plays on heavy guitar rhythms and soft melodies that will reverberate through your body for days.
The up and coming artist casts a light on mental health issues and the complex emotions attached to growing up while moving listeners through heartfelt tunes that give off a comforting sense of familiarity and warmth. For Izzy, Flirting with Strangers is about 'growing up in quite an idealistic way and then being abruptly shocked into adulthood and given a very different truth, its about the chaos that comes with being confused about your past and being concerned about your future. It was a time where I was being reckless and living fast trying to outrun the sadness of leaving my younger self behind, whilst also believing the messiness was needed as I'd lived a lot of my life trying to be perfect. 'There's no place like here' is realising that you have to find weight and safety in the present otherwise you live your whole life feeling scattered'
Raised in a household buzzing with musical expression and creativity, Izzy turned to poetry as an artistic outlet to process her emotions and experiences. This later transcended into her songwriting, and she began bringing her words to life through working with producer Dustin Dooley and writing with fellow creative Tadhg Daly at Strongroom Studios in Shoreditch.
===========================================================================Alas The Sun - Wild Honey Inn.
The indie-pop duo Alas The Sun from Zürich and Basel just released their second album 'Wild Honey Inn' via Taxi Gauche Records and have been awarded Best Talent in the month of May by Swiss National radio SRF3. The ten songs on the new long player enchant with their lightness and offer the perfect soundtrack for the next road trip - or just to indulge in daydreaming again.
When Alas The Sun released their debut album, “You And Your Love”, in autumn 2019, all seemed right with the world. The melodies were sweet and the acoustic guitar was always at hand. First single "Absence Of Time" promptly made it into the daily rotation of SRF3, Couleur3, Rete Tre and Radio Rumantsch. Positive reviews from RCKSTR and Artnoir followed, and an inclusion on the list "The 10 best CH albums of 2019" by SRF Virus was the icing on the cake. Two turbulent years later, after many ups and downs, a new chapter has opened with singer Nuria Thie having joined the group. The line-up change brought not only a different voice but also gave the duo the chance to develop their sound, to search for something fresh, something fun, something deeper.
The title "Wild Honey Inn" stems from a hotel sign that captured Raschle's attention during a journey through Ireland a couple of years ago. ‘The large, brownish letters above the entrance caught my eye immediately. "Wild Honey Inn" became a home to ten songs each starring different characters. In my mind, each individual song depicts a scene that takes place in different rooms of the hotel. I was writing mostly about relationships, mixing autobiography with fiction. Taking the view of an observer while writing, I absorbed what was happening in my close environment at that time, be it heartbreak or love blossoming. I tried to write from the point of view of my friends and added my own thoughts and experiences to their stories. There was something very liberating about this mixture of fiction and reality paired with the view through other people’s eyes,’ explains Raschle.
The new record has its roots in 15 demos that Raschle composed in his bedroom during the turmoil of the previous lockdown-plagued year. Back in the studio, the main focus lay on realising the right sound for each individual instrument. With a lot of patience and eagerness to experiment, the duo devoted themselves to effect pedals, bulky synthesizers, old Rhodes pianos and snare drum patterns. What results is an original, vital sound, much more versatile and dynamic than the one before. The duo has moved away from traditional singer-songwriter songs and other styles have been incorporated. On "Wild Honey Inn", Thie and Raschle combine dreamy indie tunes (Long-Haul Flights, Landline), loungey moments with a bossa nova touch (Distant Drone, Slower Motions) and synth-focused pop songs (Feels Honey-Laced, Days On End).
============================================================================The Storm Petrels - The Birds.
The Storm Petrels are a four piece indie band who came together in 2020 to bring some joy to those dark days. They herald from both sides of the Atlantic and play unashamedly upbeat indie pop. The band have just released their latest EP - Fabuloso!
It opens with a catchy pop song, Fairy Tale, before diving into the strange melancholy world of The Birds. The next song is a beautiful reimagining of the old school classic, Wayfaring Stranger. The EP finishes with Your Time, a driving anthem to freedom and joy.
There’s a touch of 80s new wave to their sound, a hint of folk, and the occasional memory of Belly and Abba - but their music is timeless and very much their own.