Erin K - Mary Anne's Polar Rig - Bethan Lloyd - IST IST - La Faute
Erin K - Keep Her.
With a growing audience of over 3 million streams on Spotify, following the fruitful collaboration on 2019s I Need Sound, the American-born London-resident musician has continued her work with co-producer Kristofer Harris (Belle & Sebastian, Ghostpoet) and recorded new album Sink to Swim at his Squarehead Studios in Kent.
Erin’s narrative-driven songs are as forthright and personal as they are engaging and the candid nature of her often fearlessly self-deprecating lyrics make repeated listens of the timeless songs rewarding. None more so than Keep Her. “This song illustrates the circumstances of a girl who is bound to her relationship with a controlling partner”, Erin says. “It is written almost in the form of an encouraging letter to the dominant party, offering advice on how to “keep her by [his] side so she can’t let go”. As the verses unfold, the extent to which this girl is broken and bound are poetically revealed.”
This subject matter is intensely personal to Erin who “found myself in similar relationship dynamics in the past. It’s disturbing how reality can be so drastically altered in this way.”
The song evolved considerably from its original form to the final studio recording. “Musically, it was interesting to witness the evolution of this song, originating as something very sombre and heavy. The arrangement is lighter now, serving as a nice contrast to the subject matter”. The video for Keep Her was made in an unconventional way using cutting edge gaming technology. Director Dylan Copeland explains, “Using camera trackers designed for gaming, and a hardware compositor designed for broadcast, we projected Erin and her guitar from our studio in London to a bench in a virtual clearing in a virtual forest in an Unreal Engine”.
======================================================================Mary Anne's Polar Rig - Som En Dröm.
Rama Lama Records proudly presents 'Makes You Wonder', the new album from Malmö's art-rock-fuzz-pop duo Mary Anne's Polar Rig. Their sophomore effort is shape-shifting art rock that’s alternatively brooding and euphoric, the record is packed with irresistible melodies, needle-sharp guitars, scuffed-knees scrappiness and Hofvander’s snarling, growling and yelping vocals, but compared to their debut it vastly expands the scope of what they can do with it. The album will be out March 24th on all platforms, CD and a limited gatefold double vinyl.
A lot of the story of Mary Anne’s Polar Rig’s new album Makes You Wonder is about ambition. It’s a record the band made to explore new territory, to really see what they could do. New single, and the record’s final one, “Som En Dröm”, is that ambition made real - it’s five minutes of soaring, grandiose music, skyscraping art-rock that feels bigger than anything they’ve made before.
“Som En Dröm” (Like A Dream) announces itself with a stomping guitar riff, and grows into a swirl of jangling guitar lines and thumping drums. It feels like a song written in different chapters, with its choppy intro, rock-and-roll sing-along chorus and helter-skelter, guitar-shredding outro. But fueling it all the way is a sense of restlessness, of longing to run towards the horizon and never look back.
Singer Malin Hofvander says: “We used to call this the ‘bob hund’ song as we were working on it. They’re probably one of our all-time favorite Swedish bands, so it’s no secret that they’ve been an inspiration for us, and especially on this song. It was the last song we wrote before going into the studio, and I think that made us want to experiment with it more. Production-wise, I was really looking for that dreamy feeling of walking through different atmospheres, never knowing where you’ll end up next. Zakarias Lindhammar, who did the mix on this one, really did an awesome job. It’s probably the track I’m most proud of on the album”
About the video, MAPR says: This song was a wild ride in the studio. Much like its title (translated to "Like a Dream") we wanted it to have many parts drifting in and out of each other in a way that somehow makes sense although it's slightly unnatural. It will be released together with a music video featuring the dreamworld of a twisted detective desperately seeking signs of alien activity in Malmö. It was shot and edited by our friend Oskar Rydlinger who filmed us on tour in Germany 2018 and for several different loose music video projects over the years that never reached the surface. So he used all of that archive material he had for this video to make it really feel like a warped timeline of nostalgic memories blasting at you. We also threw in some really old videos of ourselves as kids just to go full circle with it. Guess the story is not really supposed to make too much sense... it's like a dream.... finns ingen tid"
======================================================================Bethan Lloyd - Aria.
Bethan Lloyd is a Welsh artist whose trance inducing vocals expand over an ocean of rave inspired production, harmonic layering and otherworldly ecstasy. Her sonic exploration has taken her from training as a classical singer, immersing herself in Berlin’s experimental music scene, to learning with shamans, masters and the ancient teachings of the natural world.
In her latest single, Aria, Bethan, producing alongside Pre-Human bandmate Isaac Ray, takes her intense explorations of the spirit and emotional realms and blends them into something playful and danceable, a gritty experimental pop.
The landscape itself often becomes the inspiration for Bethan's creativity. She is frequently journeying with her sonic tools to ancient Neolithic sites and places of awe and wonder and allowing her surroundings to inspire a unique vocal soundscape. Aria is one such example. Written in Bryn Celli Ddu, a Neolithic burial chamber on the Isle of Anglesey, Aria is an ode to the ancient Welsh, to the Sun gods and sleeping ancestors. Stirring up a sense of the forgotten past, the chorus is an emotional cry for a sense of belonging and the desire to truly find one's home.
======================================================================IST IST - Nothing More Nothing Less.
With their upcoming third album fast approaching, IST IST are pleased to unveil the latest track to be cut from the record: “Nothing More Nothing Less”. Chiming with the overarching concept of ‘Protagonists’ (out 31 March, via Kind Violence), the Manchester band’s new single finds them stepping into the shoes of a character trapped in a complex relationship and at odds with her true feelings. As frontman Adam Houghton explains:
““Nothing More Nothing Less” is a simple love song really written from a woman’s perspective who isn’t exactly sure what she wants.” Infusing atmospheric synthesisers and inspiriting backing vocals into their signature post-punk sound, “Nothing More Nothing Less” sees IST IST delivering one of their most cathartic and climactic singles to date.
“Nothing More Nothing Less” arrives as the next-in-line in a string of fascinating singles to have been released in recent months, with “Something Has To Give”, “Stamp You Out” and “Mary in The Black and White Room”, all leading the way to their upcoming ‘Protagonists’ LP later this month (31 March). A record all about new beginnings, the album will touch on the trials and tribulations of love, tricky family relationships, and the feeling of being trapped by the past. The title is inspired by songwriter Adam Houghton’s magpie-like method of writing, with its songs placing prominent characters, fictional and non-fictional, into dystopian worlds with new and uncertain outcomes. Recorded and mixed by Michael Whalley and IST IST at Milkshed Studios, the album was mastered by the legendary Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound (The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol) and as its precursory singles suggest it will see Ist Ist traversing a broader spectrum of genres and sounds than ever before.
Alongside the album, IST IST also delighted to confirm news of another exciting venture - a brand new community studio. Acting in response to the shock closure of the Brunswick Mill rehearsal spaces earlier this month, a facility used by IST IST since 2018 but also countless artists from across Manchester, the band quit their day-jobs and have decided to establish their own rehearsal rooms. Built with their own bare hands and located on the third floor at Nile Mill A in Oldham with just shy of 4,000 sq ft of space, KVR Studios aims to offer a safe space to all of the creatives in the city who have been evicted from Brunswick Mill and similar spaces blighted by gentrification. The studio will boast nine rehearsal rooms in total, a blackout photo studio big enough for photoshoots and videos, and lockable storage areas to store equipment. With 24 hour access to the facilities to accommodate all schedules and needs, rooms will be available to rent in four hour blocks or monthly, with multi-band sharing opportunities also available.
======================================================================La Faute - Watercolours.
A hidden gem from the frozen heart of Toronto, Canada, art school dropout and Sony Music Publishing artist La Faute (aka Peggy Messing) has released her lead single and music video, Blue Girl Nice Day, from the debut album of the same name.
La Faute is Messing’s dark, dreamy solo project. A visual artist, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter originally from Winnipeg, Canada, she explores themes of surface vs. depth, longing, betrayal, mourning and desire. Using tenor electric guitar and obsolete hardware samplers, she created her captivating live show and released her debut EP just before the pandemic. She chose to pause performing live due to her health, and returned to focusing on creation, finding workarounds to the problem of isolation. She connected with fellow artists and producers in France, the UK, Canada and the US to create music during this time, most recently with LA-based Topher Mohr who produced her upcoming album.
She received unanimous praise for the first single from the album, ‘Blue Girl Nice Day’, in February 2023, an unsettling, haunting song inspired by the Milgram experiments of the 1960s. The song was accompanied by an eerie video that showed the artist making a bed in a windswept field with looming power lines in the background. Messing has become increasingly interested in filmmaking, art-directing and shooting music videos for each song herself, inspired by French new wave and film noir aesthetics.
Messing is a former Girls Rock Camp Toronto volunteer, and found inspiration through helping girls get into music, offering them something that she wished had existed when she was growing up.