Laurence-Anne - NIIKA - Casual Worker - Holly Henderson
Montreal based artist Laurence-Anne returns with her new single 'Polymorphe' via Bonsound and announces a UK tour. Laurence-Anne is an architect of the intangible; she sculpts musical landscapes composed of haunting melodies, lush synthesizers, synthetic rhythms and hazy textures, all coated with her voice, singing in both English, French and Spanish, capable of instilling both comfort and anxiety. All of these elements come together to create a blend of dream pop, coldwave and synthpop inspired by her imagination, intimately connected to her experiences, and deeply infused with her unique perspective.
Shortly after entering the Montreal music scene, Laurence-Anne made a big splash in 2019 with her critically acclaimed debut album Première apparition, making the Polaris Prize long list, which was followed by an EP showcasing her expanded musical horizons. Thus, the groundwork was laid for the release of her second album Musivision, co-produced by Félix Petit (Les Louanges, Safia Nolin, Hubert Lenoir) on which her creative identity was crystallized.
Following its release, Musivision received high acclaim across Canada, such as being rewarded with an Artist of the Year award at the GAMIQ, a nomination for Album of the Year - Alternative at the ADISQ gala and the album also reached number one on CISM's year-end Francophone charts and was named one of the 15 best Quebecois albums of the year by Le Devoir.
Laurence-Anne’s newest single 'Polymorphe' is a track that affirms her mastery of dream pop. Carried by lush synth arrangements and a heart-warming chorus, 'Polymorphe' is about the ever-changing nature of dreams and the desire to connect with them, as if they were entities in their own right.
Chicago-based NIIKA (the project of musician Nika Nemirovsky) is soon to be back with an exciting new release, Still a Soft One. Ahead of that today we have the first single 'Sever Ties' a beautiful and touching song which exudes a dreamy characterful vibe. Her third release is a notable departure from her other works. It’s a solo record with focus on the singer's lucious voice and dynamic guitar arrangements. Easy to listen to, but never lacking in complexities and nuance, lyrically or musically.
Born in Uzbekistan (former USSR), her music draws on a multitude of styles from many disparate parts of the world, ranging from Russian folk and rock, to American indie, soul, jazz, and rock, to bossa nova, to classical, to folk music from India, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe (to name a few). The eclectic array of makes for a spell-binding experience that feels somehow simple and elusive at the same time.
Nika has been making music that dances at the intersections of art-pop, indie rock and neo-soul for nearly 10 years. Still a Soft One seems to mark a really lovely juncture in this artist’s career. She’s been primarily performing solo for the last several years, and her sound has adapted to this new dynamic. The album gives me the same feeling of self-reflection and audio-intimacy as Nai Palm’s 2017 solo release, Needle Paw. NIIKA peels away the bigger sound and more complex instrumentation of her past records to reveal five songs that are sweet and cathartic, but still so powerful. Her lyrics are utterly relatable, often somber, but never lacking in a good bit of fire and a healthy dose of cheekiness.
The recording process for Still a Soft One saw Nemirovsky collaborating with Chicago’s Vivian McConnell (who plays under V.V. Lightbody and acted as producer and “album doula” on this record), Dave Miller as recording engineer for the guitar and some vocals, her partner and former producer Matty Witney (Dried Spider) as co-producer and arranger, and a few other artists and engineers in Chicago and Brooklyn.
Newly signed Glasgow duo Casual Worker release Model Number on 28th April. The three track EP explores our relationship with the digital world - examining themes of misogyny, data and virtual spaces.
Casual Worker are Eve King (vocals) and Hamish Wickham (instrumentation). Inspired by 80’s cold wave and gothic electro-pop, their sound has been described as “dark retro electronica” (The Roddy Hart Show). Lead single Flooding is released today 17th March - the track layers infectious electronics alongside hazy guitar and King's enchanting vocals.
Since releasing their debut EP Mousetrap in September 2022, they have received praise from The Skinny, BBC Introducing and more. The upcoming Model Number EP will be released by Last Night From Glasgow.
======================================================================Holly Henderson - Back After Sunrise.
London based Holly Henderson is back with a reflective new single “Back After Sunrise” from her critically acclaimed sophomore album “The Walls”. Glowing with gorgeous harmonies against a retro psych-pop backdrop, “Back After Sunrise” is a song about the end of a chapter and how we look idealistically at the time spent, when it’s all nearly over.
“It’s specifically about when I was ready to leave my home, to start a new life in America, before the lockdown”, says Henderson. “But it was so obviously the wrong choice. But not every decision to walk away from something is rooted in hating someone or something, sometimes it’s just not right, and that’s almost worse. But we soothe ourselves ‘I do my little dance, where we all pretend, we’ll be back after sunrise’, until we’re ready to move on.”, she explains.
The track, which escalates from soft glimmering melancholia into a fuzzy epic, comes from Henderson’s long-awaited sophomore album, “The Walls”, where the singer-songwriter shows a very different side to her musicality and depth. While her debut album, “Monday Green” featured Henderson’s impressive rock guitar work and alternative pop anthem prowess, her new work shows a more introspective, and slightly more delicate side to her songcraft.Recorded in a farmhouse in the English countryside, Henderson’s new album brings her full circle from her previous Los Angeles recorded album. Finely crafted arrangements, sonic musings, and playful themes take us on a journey with Henderson as she deconstructs her Brit Pop and classic influences and reassembles them into progressive-folk wonderment.
On “The Walls”, Holly said, “This album sits within a sense of place. As a songwriter, I can only speak of my own thoughts of home and belonging. I suppose this record is a wandering eye over the fleeting moments from the last few years, of when I felt at home, and when I didn’t. When I felt like the walls were tumbling, when they kept me safe, and when they became my prison. I learned the only way of breaking these patterns, was to let people step over the threshold.
Due to the intimacy of the songs, I wanted to preserve the organic nature of the words and the arrangements. The heart of every song was recorded live, from the front room of a farmhouse in Sevenoaks - everyone facing each other, hearing each other, and working together. The sounds you hear are preserved in the moment that they happened. Tentative and selective moments were never changed in post. The other-worldly elements, synths, sounds, etc, were still captured live. 3 to 4 of us, tinkering with analogue synths, percussion, voices, iPads, etc, while the songs played. Rowan’s sensitivity as an engineer and producer, preserved every magical moment in his safe hands, while every person in the band shines throughout, regardless of trying to make this happen during the times of Covid, nothing was missing.”